18 May 2007

Calling All Girls

I met with my group of seventh grade teachers this week. They don't get to see each other very often and there is always a lot of catching up about things. This time, however, the focus was on the district HIV/AIDS trainer.

We hire a licensed nurse to visit classrooms and provide the HIV training which is required by law. (Some teachers choose to do this themselves.) One teacher was talking about the training this spring. Apparently, when it got to the point where there was a discussion about the risk factors associated with different sexual behaviors, the trainer said that "No girl enjoys giving oral sex."

The teacher herself was not in agreement---but it wasn't as if she could stop the presentation and say in front of the class that she believed a healthy relationship included oral sex. Meanwhile, there were no remarks about boys...or about receiving oral sex. The teacher spoke to the trainer after class to no avail. The trainer made the same remarks in another teacher's class.

After this story was revealed, a teacher from another school mentioned that this same trainer had also editorialized a bit about oral sex. When one of the seventh graders finally made the connection that oral sex involved mouth to genital contact, he let out a bit of a gasp. The nurse said, "Yes, it's yukky, isn't it?"

Um, okay. My dilemma was what to do with this information. While it's not my responsibility to deal with this, it's a problem that has to be handled (so to speak). It's perfectly all right for this nurse to have her own view about sex, but the job she's hired for is just to present the facts on HIV, ma'am. How many seventh graders are now thinking there's something wrong with them for being interested (or perhaps for a few, enjoying) oral sex? What about the generalization about "all girls"? It just isn't acceptable.

I have collected a couple of pieces of written documentation from the teachers and passed this issue off to the proper person. Perhaps a gentle nudge is all that's needed. After all, some of us girls know better. :)


Ryan said...

I have a joke about her needing a good tongue-lashing, but I can't quite put it to words.

On that note, good night!

The Science Goddess said...

Ah, yes. Added to that will likely be a lack of a stiff penalty.