Today in Sex: Celebrate Sex Education Week!

I grew up in a nice liberal suburb of New Jersey where—along with math, science and existentialism—our public school provided a comprehensive, scare-tactic-based foundation in sex education. Along with the boring stuff like the mechanics of the act and pregnancy prevention, we were regularly forced to watch slide shows featuring faces and genitalia eaten away by STDs that had long since been rendered curable by a single course of antibiotics. But hey, at least we were taught something.

In much of the country, sex education is definitely not a part of the curriculum. Instead of learning how to avoid getting knocked up or cootied, kids are advised to "just say no." Is there an eyeroll emoticon?

Abstinence is such a laughable concept when it comes to trying to quell the tornado of teenage hormones. I mean, you may as well try to drain the ocean through a straw. Luckily Washington state was sensible enough to opt out of receiving the strings-attached federal "education" money and in 2007 passed legislation ruling that if a public school was teaching sex education it had to be medically accurate, not "values-added." In other words, no slut shaming.

But obviously you can't rely on your children's school to teach them everything, so to celebrate Sex Education Week, Planned Parenthood of the Great Northwest is offering a customized series of workshops called "Families are Talking," which will "provide parents with communication tools about how to talk to your children about values, decisions, boundaries, and health."

According to PPGNW spokesperson, Kristen Glundberg-Prossor, contrary to what the abstinence folks would have you (wrongly) believe, "sex education actually delays the onset of sexual activity—it's not a bridge to more activity." Not only that, Glunberg-Prossor continues, "Countries that have solid sex education have much lower rates of teen pregnancy and STIs, and the age at which a young person engages in their first sexual activity is higher."

Because, let's face it, the only thing more unsettling than thinking about your parents going at it, is envisioning your kids getting down, Planned Parenthood will teach you how to minimize mutual mortification when telling little Johnny about his johnson, give you resources for pregnancy and STD prevention, and also clear up any questions you might still have. (Oh, please, like you know everything.) They'll even run the workshop at your home or place of business if you'd prefer that to their offices. Normally $25, for the month of October, PPGNW is knocking the price down to ten bucks.

Too bad Sarah Palin didn't shell out that ten-spot. . . .

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