The New York Times gave it to us straight, on the front page on April Fool’s Day. Perhaps it was some kind of Freudian slip by the editors who decide which news makes page one.
One out of five Americans now suffers from a sexual disease. According to the Alan Guttmacher Institute, 56 million people in the United States are infected with a sexually transmitted disease, and more than half of those sufferers have sexual diseases that are incurable.
These awesome statistics mean that young women and men have a one out of five chance of getting a spouse (or significant other) who is infected. Those are pretty depressing odds. You wouldn’t ride in an airplane if you had a one in five chance of crashing-
The odds for those of marriageable age are probably worse than one in five, after you discount the children and the senior citizens who didn’t belong to the promiscuous generation. Also, the one in five statistic doesn’t include the figures for AIDS, an omission that was not explained in the report.
The experts have identified 55 different sexual diseases. the new Guttmacher study lists the most common as Chlamydia, Trichomoniasis, Gonorrhea, H.P.V., Genital Herpes, Hepatitis S, and Syphilis.
These are not diseases that, like AIDS, are concentrated in certain high-risk groups. These sexual diseases infect the good- looking guy and gal next door, who probably don’t think of themselves as promiscuous and indeed may have only one sexual partner at a time.
These sexual diseases are the plague of the smart set, the go-along teenagers, and the swinging young adults who have been practicing what is called “safe sex. ” Fifteen years ago, it was commonly thought that antibiotics had erased our worry about venereal diseases, but cases of syphilis have doubled in the last ten years and penicillin- resistant cases of gonorrhea are increasing.
The Guttmacher study also reveals the politically incorrect truth that sexual diseases are more devastating to women than to men. Why? Because they often cause infertility, and because sexual diseases can cause all sorts of complications during pregnancy, including miscarriage, stillbirth, premature delivery, and infection or major defects in the unborn child.
Just think of all the unhappy women involved in the Guttmacher estimate that up to 150,000 women every year become infertile as a result of a sexual disease. “If current trends continue, ” the report warns, “one-half of all women who were 15 in 1970 will have had P.I.D. [Pelvic inflammatory Disease, which causes infertility] by the year 2000. ”
A week after this sensational news burst on the national scene, the Food and Drug Administration reacted by announcing that it will henceforth require labels on all contraceptives to state that the products do NOI protect against sexually transmitted diseases. The FDA action was brought about by a sudden realization that many young people confuse birth control and “safe sex.’
In making this announcement, FDA Commissioner David Kessler said, “We have to recognize that, as we educate about pregnancy, teenagers also need to know that avoiding pregnancy isn’t avoiding sexually transmitting diseases.” Dr. Kessler might have discovered this amazing piece of common sense years ago if he hadn’t been spending so much energy and money trying to shut down natural food and vitamin stores.
Now that light has dawned on the FDA, we wonder if similar enlightenment will change the sex education classes taught in public schools all over the country. When sex education became a “basic’ of the public school curriculum in the 197Os, most curricula tended to downplay or even ignore the danger from venereal disease, often discouraging any classroom discussion of VD because it allegedly would instill ‘fear’ in teenagers.
After the AIDS scare hit in the 1980s, condoms became the centerpiece of all sex ed and AIDS curricula. Condoms became the new icon of “safe sex’ and “comprehensive” sex education. Avant-garde superintendents such as New York City’s Joseph Fernandez passed out condoms to minors over the opposition of parents, and other schools that wanted to be trendy passed out condoms surreptitiously in what are euphemistically called “school-based clinics.”
So, since the nid-1980s, teenagers have been taught in the public schools, and young people have been taught by public health department press releases, that condoms enable them to engage in “safe sex’ without getting infected with the twin evils of AIDS and pregnancy. Nobody told them about the 50 other sexual diseases that condoms won’t save them from.
When are the public school “sex education” classes going to stop lying to children about ‘safe sex”? “Safe sex” isn’t safe; it’s high risk. “Free sex” isn’t free; it’s very costly. The only safe sex is chastity until marriage and fidelity afterwards. If we care about our children, they must be taught this truth.