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February  14

Sex Games

Ok, so far we've covered gay marriage, Valentine's Day disasters, and gas-producing chocolate. We're having so much fun, why not introduce another twist on the old Feb. 14 theme: sexually-transmitted disease? Oops, we mean, STD games.

We hear that the book used for sex ed in Glen Ridge High School is basically just pro-abstinence. But those forward-thinking educators aren't sticking with the text. This is what passes for dinner conversation these days if you have teenagers.

Child One: So we played this game, the teacher puts a little bit of honey on somebody's hand and everybody walks around and shakes hands, and pretty soon, everybody's got honey on their hands, and so we learn that's how disease spreads. Of course if you wear rubber gloves, you don't get honey on your hands.

Child Two: We played a game like that too! The teacher has an Oreo cookie. She kind of breathes on it, then passes it around to everyone in the class, and everybody breathes their germs on it, and when it finally comes back, she says, "Who wants to eat this cookie?" Nobody wants to. Then she takes another Oreo, which nobody has breathed on, and she puts both cookies behind her back. Then she takes both cookies and puts them in front of her. "Anybody want to eat either of these cookies?" The point is you can't tell which one has the germs.

February 14, 2006 in Those Crazy Kids | Permalink


Too bad that what passes for popular culture in this country amounts to people gulping gallons of honey while reclined on mountains of Oreos.

Posted by: Right of Center™ | Feb 14, 2006 2:45:08 PM

Where's the love today?

Posted by: The Iceman | Feb 14, 2006 2:46:00 PM

Inventive. Although I don't like that implication that another human being can be equated to a breathed on oreo cookie.

Posted by: max | Feb 14, 2006 2:50:10 PM

yeah and they forgot the detail about taking the rubber glove off before shaking the the next person's hands, or else you too are sharing the disease.

Posted by: MyManMisterC | Feb 14, 2006 2:55:54 PM

I hope they wash their hands after handling the honey and/or Oreos. Nice breeding ground for all kinds of respiratory and otehr diseases. Ick

Posted by: Miss Martta | Feb 14, 2006 2:57:29 PM

"The point is you can't tell which one has the germs."

I hope this point is followed by a discussion about the importance of trust, honesty, and the practice of good habits (hygiene, protection) ... because you can't tell by looking at someone whether they have been "breathed on" or not ...

Posted by: Jim | Feb 14, 2006 3:11:06 PM

Mother of God.

Give the school some effing credit. It's invetive. It makes a point. Leave it at that.

You people...

Posted by: Subscribbler | Feb 14, 2006 3:19:55 PM

Hey, I'd have eaten the Oreo, they're de-lish.

Posted by: Bob | Feb 14, 2006 3:20:10 PM

I thought I had great sex ed as a kid. MHS didn't shy away, the teachers didn't hesitate to answer questions, we weren't scared to buy condoms, pass them out to friends, whatever.

Back when I was 20 something, on the town, a friend (who went to the same schools I did) once commented on the contents of my purse.

“Guys think you’re a slut if you ask them to wear a condom.”

She is sick now. I guess all the sex ed in the world doesn't help if you let some double standard get in your way.

Posted by: hrhppg | Feb 14, 2006 3:20:35 PM

Surely there's a better way than either a textbook or what sound like somewhat dumb games. (And what age are these kids, anyway?)

Perhaps they could watch a movie. "Fellini Satyricon." say. Or Samuel Fuller's "The Naked Kiss" to learn about child molestation. Maybe even Demi Moore in "The Scarlet Letter."

Or, their parents might work with them on this. Without the Oreos and the honey (which Fellini could think of a few interesting uses for), but with good sense and sincerity. I'm not at all opposed to sex ed in schools, but the description at the start of this thread, it's somewhat creepy. Reminds me of the Margaret Kelly Michaels matter and related cases, for some reason.

Posted by: cathar (8T) | Feb 14, 2006 3:34:04 PM

What a strong visaul messages these two exercises convey as part of a STD/HIV/AIDS prevention program.

Words could not convey the same images.

I guess an ounce of honey and oreo's are worth a pount of cure!

Do ya think those folks on the fundamental faith based right will object?

Posted by: Franklin | Feb 14, 2006 3:36:23 PM

You people get a life. Jeezus. All this talk of condoms and sex and rubber gloves. Yuck. I wouldn't date a girl who had been breathed on. Ick. Pass the Oreos, please. What the hell is this sticky stuff on my hands... Where are my rubber gloves!

Posted by: walleroo | Feb 14, 2006 3:36:34 PM

And walleroo reminds me, in an extremely weird way, of the medieval nun-composer Hildegarde of Bingen's wish to be "a feather upon the breath of god." You could waft right down into the honeypot that way, walleroo.

Posted by: cathar (8T) | Feb 14, 2006 3:40:24 PM

This may be too subtle a point for you, franklin, but the "fundamental faith based right" you conjure up as a convenient bogeyman here fundamentally wishes a Constitutionally guaranteed right to educate its children in its own, religiously oriented fashion. And down south (and up here to some extent, as with the Eastern Christian schools) they do so via their own schools. Since the children of most Baristaville residents aren't terribly likely to socialize on a regular basis with such kids, it shouldn't be too hard to let them have their way in their own private schools.

Similarly, Catholic schools should be allowed their own approach to the matter. And Islamic and Hebrew schools.

They'll probably all do better than those games with Oreos and honey seem to presage, particularly if one as amatively wise as walleroo teaches the course.

Posted by: cathar (8T) | Feb 14, 2006 3:49:50 PM


If we're speaking about movies - let's not overlook "Last Tango in Paris" (1970) starring Marlon Brando and Maria Schneider.

How's that for sex education 101?

Posted by: Franklin | Feb 14, 2006 3:53:34 PM

I thought the games to be a very simple and clever way to convey an important message ( beyond the overly simplistic and often ignored abstinence one that is ). I don't know the ages of these kids, but I doubt Fellini, or Fuller, or Hildegarde (good god) is going to stop kids from having unprotected sex.

Posted by: todd | Feb 14, 2006 3:55:47 PM

My dear Cathar:

Too much honey has apparently caused a sticking point. I thought these exercises were being used in public schools?

Let the faith-based religious schools teach what they may. But I for one dont think faith and prayer are sound prevention programs.

Let's see what the researcher say?

Posted by: Franklin | Feb 14, 2006 4:03:30 PM

I would think, todd, that either Fellini or Fuller would be very effective at stopping kids having sex. And walleroo even better! The Hildegarde of Bingen reference was just for walleroo, too, so don't get your copy of Krafft-Ebing in a twist here.

But I was being ironic. It hardly seems that the children who might be most impressed by those honey and Oreo games are the right age to even be having sex of any sort. At least in an ideal world which still values youthful innocence. How early does sex education have to begin, and to what real effect?

Posted by: cathar (8T) | Feb 14, 2006 4:05:19 PM

If faith and prayer have no relevance here, franklin, why not for the believers? Do you in fact have children yourself in public schools? If so, do you offer your own wisdom and experiences as an adjunct to what your children learn in school about sex? This is one where maybe as many liberal parents as fundamentalist ones may fall down on the job, after all. It certainly seems that way from American teen pregnancy rates.

Posted by: cathar (8T) | Feb 14, 2006 4:08:49 PM

While an abstinance only text book is used Junior year (for about the two weeks that we used it during the, the rest of the time, First Aid class), Senior year is certainly NOT abinstance only. While we were repeatedly told that the only 100 percent way to not get pregnant or catch an STD is to not have sex, we learned about every contreceptive known to man. Well, really, women.

Posted by: GRHS Student | Feb 14, 2006 4:14:14 PM

Senior year is way too late to be the first time to break out birth control options other then abstinence.

Despite all my complaints about my Bloomfield High education, I at least got solid sex ed where the message was that of course abstinence is the only 100% way to protect from STIs and pregnancy and that, while you should try not to get too intimate before you are comfortable and responsible and mature enough to handle the emotional and physical baggage it comes with, when you DO choose to go ahead and engage in sexual intercourse, etc. HERE ARE VARIOUS WAYS TO PROTECT YOURSELF AND YOUR PARTNERS. And we looked at lots of gnarly pictures of genitals with advanced cases of STIs.

Posted by: Meghan | Feb 14, 2006 4:49:00 PM


A reading of the Kinsey Report reveals that trends in pre-martial sex and American teen pregnancy rates are no different today than in the good old days of yesteryear!

Ponder that!

Posted by: Franklin | Feb 14, 2006 5:56:56 PM

News from the front:

If by "basically" you mean it does not include the words "birth control" "condoms" or "safe sex" even ONCE in the book... then yes... it is BASICALLY pro abstinence....
It also refuses to mention homosexuality... instead of stressing abstinence untill adulthood, it says only UNTIL MARRIAGE.
How do I know? I checked... like 6 times...
There is a chapter on preventing AIDS in this book, which lists "getting plenty of rest" as a preventitive, however, it does not mention condoms...
I assume this was just the cheapest book avalible... when I was a freshman we had different books, which included condoms, etc, although they were still strongly pro abstinence... I think pro-abstinence is a good idea, especially for 14 year olds, but seriously, knowing that condoms can prevent AIDS can't hurt...
Being from North Carolina, i am experiancing major deja vu...

Posted by: GRstudent | Feb 14, 2006 6:09:03 PM

PS: I am a junior and I thought the honey thing was cute, really.

Posted by: GRstudent | Feb 14, 2006 6:11:19 PM

>> A reading of the Kinsey Report reveals that trends in pre-martial sex and American teen pregnancy rates are no different today than in the good old days of yesteryear! <<

I always find that pre-martial sex leaves me too depleted & full of good vibes to have a decent fight.

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