This is a quick taste of a longer, more analytical post to come.
I'd like to bring two news stories to your attention.
First, in New Hampshire, parents are protesting an edition of the high school newspaper whose organizing theme was "Sex". The content, which the editor said had "been edited and re-edited for content and delivery, keeping in mind that the job here is to inform, not shock," contained an article about lesbianism and a quiz with a question about (GASP!) anal sex. In the AP article, one parent comments that "I thought it was a vile, disgusting piece of pornography I wouldn't want to be in front of children, let alone paid for by taxpayers."
Meanwhile, four 5th graders in Louisiana have been arrested on charges of obscenity for having sex in an unattended classroom. A fifth student has been arrested and charged with being an accessory after the fact. The students were 11, 12, and 13 years old. This comes on the heels of an incident in Indiana where two 6th graders had sex in class with a teacher present -- a case which the school tried to hush up.
Setting aside for the moment how completely and utterly ridiculous it is to arrest 12 year olds for having sex, maybe we should use these two news stories as a reminder of something we seem to forget as a culture: young people are curious about sex. They have been forever. It's normal. Maybe if we tried talking to them about it instead of making it a taboo, adults-only topic we could make their exploration a little safer, healthier, less public, and maybe even a little less hands-on.