When the economy tanks, some people work on helping each other out, and some look for how to mask their agendas.
In Georgia, some State House members are questioning why Georgia’s University System is supporting faculty with listed expertise in topics they don’t understand or maybe agree with, like oral sex. Aside from the fact that this is a terrific example of why we need the institution of tenure to protect faculty from meddling politicians, I have a major issue with this particular example.
In today’s youth culture, much has been made of changing attitudes in sex among youth, and how oral sex is not seen by many youth as being ‘real sex’. Georgia does not apparently collect sexual activity data, but here in Maine, 17% of 8th grade students have had sex, and in Alabama, which I picked just because it’s next door to Georgia, nearly 51% of 6-12th graders have had sex.
The reality is that nearly a third of 15-17 year-olds in this country have had sex. According to 2002 numbers from the CDC, 49.1% of 15-19 year-old males have had vaginal intercourse with females, and 55.2% have either given or received oral sex with females (they don’t seem to break out same-sex data with as much detail). For 15-19 year-old females, the numbers are slightly higher (53% vaginal, 54.3% oral).
The one other set of numbers (from the same source) that could be kinda scary is this: of 18-19 year-olds who have never had vaginal sex, 35.3% of females and 30.6% of males have given or received oral sex.
This means that there are tons of sexually active youth out there who may consider themselves “virgins” and, therefore, may ignore information about STDs.
Damn right I want experts in oral sex studying the topic. Ignoring things doesn’t make them go away, and often makes them worse. If we’d only talked about AIDS before it became the AIDS epidemic….