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Where Have All the Condoms Gone?

Being Smart about Sex Is Not as Easy as It Seems

Once upon a time, I took it for granted that everyone my age had been privy to the condom-applied-to-the-banana demonstration. I remember the socially awkward gym teacher who, for at least two weeks each year, had to put the rubber balls aside in order to show us traumatizing and graphic STD videos. We learned new concepts-like abstinence-and that gonorrhea wasn't a character in King Lear. The braver girls asked questions like, "Mrs. Jacobs, do you have sex when you're on your period?" Sure, the process wasn't perfect, but we got the gist and had enough sex smarts to navigate junior high.

Lately, though, I have started to realize that not everyone is as informed as I supposed. My friend Jenna, who teaches high school in suburban Montreal, tells me, in all seriousness, that several of her students thought HIV was a music store. It seems like a ...

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