Tag Archives: teen sex

What Downton Abbey Teaches Us About Teen Sex

At a moment when the popularity of the British TV melodrama, “Downton Abbey,” seems to have hit its apex in the United States, I’m hopeful that we Americans can take another cultural cue from the Brits.

Last week, a controversial bill calling for teenage girls to be given compulsory lessons in sexual abstinence was pulled at the last minute from the House of Commons order of business.

It was proposed by Nadine Dorries, a Conservative member of Parliament who is concerned that British society is “saturated in sex.”

“Teaching a child at the age of seven to to apply a condom on a banana is almost saying: ‘Now go and try this for yourself,’” Dorries told the Guardian when the bill was first proposed.

The bill was taken off the agenda before a protest by a coalition of feminists, humanists and abortion rights activists assembled outside of Parliament could even begin in earnest. It had already been roundly criticized by members of all three major political parties in the U.K. , including many Conservatives.

The general sentiment seemed to be that — however you feel about abstinence as an effective means of birth control — there wasn’t much sense in confining sexual education to only one gender. As one columnist in the Guardian noted, “And what about those boys? Should they just sit quietly in a corner with their fruit and their Durex Extra Safe?”

Read the rest of this article at The Washington Post’s She The People blog


Image: Untitled by Riley Alexandra via Flickr under a Creative Commons License.

Teen Sex: Lessons From Europe (Again)

Well, here’s something to pop your eyes open in case you can’t quite shake that post-election torpor. A county in the U.K. has just authorized pharmacies to distribute birth control pills to girls as young as 13, without parental consent.

It’s a pilot project in the Isle of Wight, best known as a British tourist destination for its ye olde worlde charm. Under the project, teenagers who approach a pharmacist for the morning-after pill will also be able to get a month’s supply of the contraceptive pill without seeing a doctor or informing their parents. After that month is up, girls must make an appointment with their general practitioner or sexual health nurse in order to get any additional supplies.

The campaign is aimed at reducing unwanted pregnancies, which have crept up on the island in recent years. According to Jennifer Smith of the local branch of the National Health Service, which approved the project: “I would suggest that what we’re doing is being entirely responsible by providing [contraception to] these most vulnerable women, for whom, for the most part, pregnancy is not a good outcome. We are linking them with people most able to support them in further decision-making and appropriate behavior in the future.”

Read the rest of this post at www.PoliticsDaily.com


Image: one pill gone by jodigreen via flickr under a Creative Commons license.

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