This Thursday, World AIDS Day, sex education in New York's public schools will receive a politically charged facelift, the first major change to the curriculum in thirteen years. The major additions? Redesigned AIDS/HIV language and a better, more in-depth, discussion of the female condom. Fourth graders will now be told "HIV can be transmitted by sexual contact with an infected person. When you are older you will learn more," replacing the previous lesson which explained, much to the dismay of many parents, that condoms are used to "prevent transmission of semen, blood or vaginal fluids." Meanwhile abstinence is "strongly encouraged" in all grades.
Which is all nice and good in a press release, but the likelihood of many of these changes making it into the schools for quite some time seems minimal. Especially the female condom aspect. "Schools have no plans to make the female condoms available in high school, like they do the male one" Education Department spokeswoman Kelly Devers told the News.
Photograph from the Cervical Barrier Advancement Society.