Judge’s ruling: No sex is very bad for you

May 14, 2015 Originally published on SFGate

“To a hot and flaming hell we hereby send California’s shameful, insulting and entirely joy-stabbing abstinence-only sex education curriculum,” Fresno Superior Court Judge Donald Black did not say in a recent decision, but really, really should have.

“And good lord, what sort of soul-deadening tripe are we still inflicting on our unwary youth, on love, on life itself to suggest that having zero sexual contact whatsoever with a lover, with a burgeoning paramour, with someone for whom the stars explode in your heart and your loins whenever they whisper your name, constitutes valid sexual learning and is somehow to be desired, is the ‘right’ way to encourage the positive development in a young and sexually enflamed soul?” he should have added, but didn’t.

“This is like telling young drivers that the best way to avoid collisions is to never get behind the wheel in the first place. This is like telling newborn birds the best way to avoid flying into windowpanes is to hack off your own wings with a chainsaw. This is like telling Dionysus that the best way to enjoy wine is to spit it out and instead drink Diet Mountain Dew until you get cancer and die,” he also failed to sigh, somewhat derisively, in conclusion.

Did you know some school districts in California still “teach” abstinence-only as a valid way to stave off the white-hot gift of one’s ridiculously libidinous, sexually supercharged youth? I didn’t. But apparently a group of rather fantastic parents out in Clovis did, and they actually sued their local district for teaching their kids that not having sex at all was actually medically sound advice, and then entirely skipping the part about birth control and related options – never mind any healthy, joyful, sex-positive tips and tricks to make otherwise endlessly miserable teenage life slightly more bearable.

Good news is, Judge Black has declared the Clovis district in violation of, well, common goddamn sense, really, requiring them to henceforth knock it off with the abstinence BS and get to the real, medically proven, genuinely helpful sex education.

Still the best. Tell your fave  teens to Google it.

Still the best. Tell your fave teens to Google it.

“This is the first time that abstinence-only-until-marriage curricula have been found to be medically inaccurate,” said the ACLU’s Phyllida Burlingame, in response to the judge’s ruling. According to the California Department of Education, fully 96 percent of CA schools claim to offer “comprehensive” sex-ed curriculum. But some are, as the ruling indicates, lying.

Downside: the ruling only affects the Clovis district. Upside: It sets a precedent. And it reminds parents who might want to have healthy, less uptight, non-Republican kids to make sure said kids are not being completely lied to about one of the greatest shared activities in the known galaxy.

“Access to medically and socially appropriate sexual education is an important public right,” is what Judge Black actually said, which is nice, and very much correct, though one might say sorely lacking in real, sex-positive heat and free field trips to Good Vibrations for curious teens in need of reassurance and healthy enticement and starter bottle of Astroglide.

But that’s OK. That’s why we have the Internet. Praise.

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Mark Morford

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