Time to wake up, America

Wise up, George Bush! “Just say no” isn’t the answer to adolescent sex anymore than it was the answer to substance abuse during the Reagan days.

A federal official recently deleted a chapter of the bestseller “Taking Care of Your Child” prior to its distribution to 275,000 federal employees. The official said he was afraid of offending “some people” with the terminated material.

The chapter hit on the issue of contraception and talking with adolescents about the reasoning behind birth control. The chapter’s main purpose was to encourage communication about sex. If the issue of contraception offends “some people,” then it’s time someone offended them.

The current governmental administration which has catered to conservative-minded Americans who believe adolescents should know nothing and do nothing concerning sexual intercourse should face the tragic reality: Statistics show that the majority of American teenagers have sex by the time they are seventeen and that AIDS is currently the sixth largest leading cause of death among people 15 to 24 years old. One million adolescent girls become pregnant every year, and they account for 25 percent of the abortions in the United States.

Americans need to be offended—offended enough to face the realities of HIV and adolescent pregnancies. In a world where knowledge is literally available at the skin’s touch, it’s necessary to be open to all the questions American youths have.