Health-care org reaches teens via social media

Parkland Health & Hospital System connects with teenagers through MySpace.

Parkland Health & Hospital System connects with teenagers through MySpace

Sex education has just about come full circle.

Back in the day, kids used to get all their dirt on the streets. Sex education wasn’t taught in schools; kids whispered to each other or shared dirty magazines when grown-ups weren’t around.

Then came the social upheaval of the 1960s. And by the time I went to elementary school, back in the ’70s, somebody somewhere had decided that fifth-graders in the Chicago Public Schools needed to know about pregnancy and VD.

So once a week, my class was divided into two groups. Both groups used the same textbook, but the girls stayed in our classroom with a female teacher while the boys went across the hall with a male teacher. There was some giggling and comparing of notes amongst the kids, once the boys came back. But the teachers handled the topic professionally.

Yet nowadays, most states don’t mandate sex education. In fact, the National Center for Health Statistics recently reported that teen pregnancies are rising again. And some people are saying that the jump in teen pregnancy correlates with a lack of formalized sex education in schools.

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