Of course, I would like to mention that no medical professionals, real or imagined, were consulted in the making of this chart so please use with some skepticism. This is more a reflection of my own thought processes on the pregnancy status of individuals than actual scientific fact.
On a slightly more serious note, I was reflecting on the somewhat negative messages the overall flowchart might end up conveying as I was completing the chart. Initially, I was afraid that the poster suffered from the alarmist approach to sexual education and activity. The kind that was best summed by that gym teacher in Mean Girls‘s speech: “Don’t have sex, because you will get pregnant and die! Don’t have sex in the missionary position, don’t have sex standing up, just don’t do it, OK, promise? OK, now everybody take some rubbers.”
However, once I continued thinking about it, I began to realize that this chart and, subsequently, my attitudes towards the fact that I think any and everyone is in danger of being pregnant is more a symptom of this type of sex ed. I think this way because people have taught me that sex is dangerous because of unwanted pregnancy and STDs. I have been taught to these two statuses are to be marked with shame. I am so afraid of pregnancy that I am afraid that it can and will happen to me no matter what I do. And all of this at the hands of the type of sex ed I had in middle and high school.
Of course, I was lucky. I had sex ed that went beyond just abstinence. I had sex ed multiple years. But I think it’s incredibly disingenuous to believe that pregnancy and STDs are the worst things that could happen if people aren’t educated properly about sex. There are other more traumatizing experiences that have been associated with sex. The taboo on talking about sex is itself one of those traumas that are rarely addressed that though small by itself, can compound with a large variety of other traumas, both big and small, that make sex and all its consequences very, very scary.
So I proffer this poster up as evidence of the level of emotional maturity current “good” high school level sex ed results in. (Clearly it’s not very high. I am pretty sure there are some pregnant men walking around right now that are going to be in for a biiiiiiiiig surprise.) It’s a shame that this is the type of “positive” sex education available to most teenagers, if they have any available at all. Just as people shouldn’t be scared into having sex, they shouldn’t be scared out of having sex.
I hope that people are avoiding sex because they are afraid that if they do, they will get everyone pregnant. All at once. I hope this chart doesn’t make them think that. But I also hope that everyone is being safe and smart and respectful and only having sex that they want. And not having unprotected babymaking sex unless they want unprotected babies.
So what’s my solution, if I had to just offer one?
I think everyone should just masturbate. All the time. But only if they want to.
[Previously] My Friend Blotchy