07 March 2005

Do they make strap-ons for those?

Faithful readers of this merry little blog may remember that last month was "Infectious Disease Month" in my sophomore biology class. In fact, I even got to make a kid pass out on the very first day. This month in my AP class, it's Sex Month.

Last week, we got into the nitty gritty details of kinky plant sex. How they have threesomes right there in the ovary. How they'll trick a poor bee into thinking the orchid is a willing sex partner. How it makes you look at those Georgia O'Keefe paintings just a little bit differently.

And this week, it's time for some animal sex. Today, it was all about the ovarian and menstrual cycles. My guys were all given imaginary ovaries for the week (since apparently there aren't strap-on versions). We talked about the bossy hypothalamus demanding estrogen levels raised. I asked my kids to chart out a cycle and see the hormone dance...and think about what happens when all those chemicals don't play nice. We watched a story of a woman's pregnancy, told primarily from the perspective of the embryo. My kids agreed to go home tonight and thank their mothers.

Tomorrow, they'll watch an episode from the PBS Evolution series entitled "Why sex?" as a start at our look at the evolutionary biology of sex. By Wednesday, they'll be ready to be sex therapists to an animal in need. And by next week? Why, it's on to the "Naughty Bits Lab," where they'll get to dissect some pregnant reproductive tracts from different animals.

The students in these classes are primarily seniors and tend to handle things well. I never have any parent complaints, but for some kids, it's the first time that an adult hasn't presented sex as being something "dirty." I feel sorry for the kids who already have a complex about sex before they've even had an opportunity to do anything about it. This is not to say that I condone or promote promiscuity. In fact, I don't comment on what I think is or isn't inappropriate about their sex lives (or lack thereof). But I would hope that the "abstinence until marriage" kids would have a better reason for their beliefs other than "sex is dirty," and have a disgusted look upon their faces. I just hope that they're pleasantly surprised later on in life. :)

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