Texas High School Says ‘No’ To Sex Ed, ‘Yes’ To Chlamydia Outbreak

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177412172Here’s the thing about refusing to incorporate sex education into your school’s curriculum: kids have a funny tendency to get themselves sexually educated one way or another. And letting them do it on their own timeline, instead of trying to jump out ahead of the curve with some front-loaded knowledge, is going to be a much bigger disaster for them than whatever you think a condom/banana demo is going to do. Case in point: the Crane Independent School District of Odessa and Midland, Texas, where an outbreak of chlamydia is currently tearing through the district high school (via Jezebel). I guess chlamydia didn’t get the memo that sex talk was a no-no around there!

Right now, about 7% of the high school’s students are reported to have a case of chlamydia, which is already 7% more chlamydia per high school than anyone would prefer.  But since chlamydia is asymptomatic in upwards of half of women infected with it, who knows how many more kids are blithely unaware of what’s percolating in their innards? Maybe if they’d have had some, I don’t know, formal sex education, they’d be better aware of diseases like chlamydia and know what what to look out for, or to talk to their doctor about STD screenings, or that condoms can be used for more than making little tiny weird-shaped balloons. Maybe!

Of course I know I’m mostly preaching to the choir here–for most of us, looking at the situation at Crane High School is something of a “No shit, Sherlock” deal. But I want to talk to those with the anti-utilitarian viewpoint that providing sex ed to high school students is akin to plopping them down next to the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil with a big neon “EAT EAT EAT” sign set up next to it. Now, I assume that for the most part, a stance against sex ed goes hand in hand with certain other collections of beliefs: the importance of the nuclear family, for example, and the idea that marriage is supposed to be about reproduction. Did you know that an undiagnosed and untreated case of chlamydia can cause scarring in a woman’s reproductive tract–which may cause her to become infertile? A raging outbreak of STDs might not trouble you, or maybe you even think it’s some kind of just punishment for kids who decide to get busy in the backseat of their car. But an infertility epidemic would put a serious damper on the Handmaid’s Tale fan-fiction version of society you’d like to create, wouldn’t it?

P.S. When I say we need sex education, I mean the kind where useful and accurate information is taught. If your version of sex ed includes “If you have sex you’ll die” or suggests that condoms fail more often than they work properly, that is sex mis-education, and we don’t want it.

(Image: Pupkis / Getty)