There's no such thing as 'safe' sexHere are a few facts...

the Forum

September 21, 1993

There's no such thing as 'safe' sex

Here are a few facts related to sexually transmitted diseases:

The federal Centers for Disease Control estimate that there are now 1 million cases of HIV infection nationwide, and 63 percent of all sexually transmitted diseases occur among persons 25 years old and younger; 500,000 new cases of herpes occur annually, as well as 1.3 million new cases of gonorrhea.

How often do you hear the stressing of abstinence as a solution rather than the use of condoms?

There is only one proven way to remain healthy in the midst of this sexual revolution. It is to remain a virgin (or abstain from intercourse) until marriage, and then wed and be faithful to an uninfected partner.

The so called "safe sex" solution, one advocated by the federal government, Hollywood, the media, Baltimore city schools, etc., has been a disaster, and a waste of billions of taxpayers' dollars.

Condoms can fail 15.7 percent of the time in preventing pregnancy; the rate rises to 36.3 percent among young, unmarried minority women.

In fact, the University of Texas medical branch recently found that condoms are only 69 percent effective in preventing the transmission of HIV in heterosexual couples.

This surely explains why not one of 800 sexologists at a conference a few years ago raised a hand when asked if they would trust a thin rubber sheath to protect them during intercourse with a known HIV infected person. Would you take that chance?

Why do we promote the condom as being "safe"? Since the federal government began its major contraception program in 1970, unwed pregnancies have increased 87 percent among 15-to-19-year-olds, abortions among teens rose 67 percent and unwed births increased 83.8 percent.

Senators, congressmen, sex counselors, school boards, America -- please wake up and realize that we are threatening the future generation of our best and brightest with potential suicide.

Christopher S. Graham


Debating origins

When the Vista, Calif., school board approved the teaching of creationism, it rightfully placed this teaching in the "history-social sciences and/or English-language arts curricula" (news article, Aug. 15).

That is also where the teaching of evolution belongs. The question "where did we come from?" is a gripping and important one, but it is not scientific in nature; it is a matter for religion and philosophy.

The true science that has so long been attached to evolution (natural selection, competition, taxonomic relationships, etc.) can stand quite well without it. Indeed, many of these ideas were around before evolution as a theory of origins was conceived.

While a debate between the Judeo-Christian and atheist views of the origin of the universe is both inevitable and proper, it must occur in the appropriate venue, not the science classroom.

Nor should the public permit a religion such as atheism to use scientists and scientific resources to promote its beliefs. Especially now, when both scientists and support for basic research are in short supply, we cannot afford to encourage such nonscience.

Andred J. Bobb


Unreported news

An independent task force investigating Stuart Berger's supervision of the Baltimore County school system found the system was characterized by "an overwhelming fear of intimidation and retaliation."

During the school year it was common knowledge that teacher morale was falling rapidly and teachers and administrators feared reprisals if they criticized the Berger administration.

Where was The Baltimore Sun during all of this?

It would not have taken a Woodward or Bernstein to investigate the rumors surrounding "Bergergate." The Evening Sun allowed its editorial position favorable to Berger to influence its news coverage and investigative reporting.

Instead of investigating the deteriorating morale and heightened anxiety of teachers and administrators, The Evening Sun attacked those who criticized Berger as reactionaries.

The task force has called for two ombudsmen to hear parent complaints and review allegations of retaliation.

The reason, in part, such ombudsmen are necessary is that this newspaper has dismally failed in its responsibility to report the news and to pursue thorough investigative journalism.

By being so completely on board Berger's vessel, The Evening Sun has missed the boat.

Neal Wadler


Rights violated

Recent news has brought us some fine examples of the newest cultural backlash -- the one against gays.

From the young woman who lost her son because she was a lesbian to the Senate passing a more restrictive version of "don't ask, don't tell," it has been a dismaying time.

Has anyone out there besides me realized that we are violating these people's basic rights as American citizens? Or are these senators and these people in Richmond forgetting what I learned in my seventh grade classroom?

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