A recent piece of news from Portland, Oregon, confirms that, while America’s attitudes vis-à-vis subjects that were once considered taboo are changing, some Americans are still mistrustful of such changes. Specifically, several more conservative media outlets were quick to report that the same organization which had been instrumental in getting an anti-pro-choice teacher fired was promoting sex toys. The link between sex toys and a responsible, enjoyable sex life has been the subject of research for several years now. More notable studies include the 2009 surveys that the Kinsey Institute undertook, in order to work out the ratio of adult Americans that use vibrators and other toys during intercourse. And while sex toy usage cannot directly deter the occurrence of unwanted pregnancies, many expert voices have been advocating their usage. Here is a brief overview of this case and its implications.
The Bill Diss Case
Bill Diss has taught math and PC science at Benson High School for eleven years and during the vast majority of his time there, he carried on a feud with the school’s officials. The reason behind his discontent was the agreement that the school had struck with Planned Parenthood, a non-governmental organization dedicated to preventing unwanted pregnancies. His first attempts to stop any Planned Parenthood-ran activities in the school date back to 2007. In 2009, the Columbia Willamette branch of Planned Parenthood released an official statement, according to which they were asking for the revocation of Diss’s teaching license. The final straw came when Diss started working toward preventing an abortion clinic being opened in a predominantly African American area of Portland. In the meantime, Planned Parenthood did manage to get the medical facility built, while Benson High issued a decree, which said the teacher could not publicly claim affiliation with the school while out militating against the pro-choice organization.
Finally, at the beginning of the current school year, Diss once more started targeting a Planned Parenthood initiative at Benson High – this time, it was the Teen Outreach Program, which specifically addresses teens’ issues with their sex life. When Planned Parenthood representatives entered his class room during a math tutoring session to promote the program, Diss denied them the right to hold the presentation. He later learned that the organization had sent out letters to students’ parents, allegedly indicating that he somehow approved of the program. He protested against this, only to find himself discharged and at risk of being fired.
Planned Parenthood Promotes Sex Toys
The point where the pro-life groups became highly inflamed was when they learned that Planned Parenthood also promotes the use of sex toys, in a series of events titled Sexy Tuesdays. Of course, these events are not held in schools, with the participation of minors, but are simply another item on the organization’s agenda. In spite of the controversy that some factions are trying to stir up at the moment, it is important to note that two studies conducted in 2009 by the Kinsey Institute, on American males and females aged 18 to 60 found that people who use vibrators during sexual interactions are more likely to be proactively involved in maintaining their sexual health than those who don’t.
The case at hand harkens back to the days of the Clinton administration, whose groundbreaking surgeon general Joycelyn Elders was asked to resign by the then POTUS. Clinto expressed concerns with respect to some of the more ‘unorthodox’ teachings that Elders wanted to see included in sexual education classes. And numerous colleges and universities around the country include presentations of adult toys such as the Gigi vibrator among the non-curricular activities on campus. While controversies persist in many parts of the country (a proposed bill in Texas even aims to have Planned Parenthood banned from local schools), there is no scientific proof at the moment that sex toys encourage promiscuity or any lewd behaviors. Quite the contrary, as Kinsey Institute experts would have it – they promote more awareness of one’s sexual health, as well as an improved sexual function.
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