XOJane Post Reminds Us Why Sex Ed Ain’t Just for Teens
Whew. A lot has been written over the past couple days about a post by Cat Marnell on XOJane. Marnell wrote a (maybe, debatably, slightly tongue-in-cheek?) rant about her use of Plan B for—well—plan A, and how a shortage of it in NYC was causing her to reevaluate her choices.
The bad: Cat’s post offered scant factual information about avoiding unwanted pregnancy and a solid dose of misinformation, too. We’re all about people telling their stories and keeping it real, and maybe XOJane has a liberal interpretation of their editors’ responsibilities to have expertise and/or do research on the topics they write about, but the fact that Cat’s title includes the words “health director” does make it hard to justify publishing all that misinformation (without even an editor’s note).
The good (bear with us): On the other hand, loads of good conversation about contraception has come out of this. And a clear reminder that it’s not just teens who need sex ed. Clearly women like Cat need it too. Unfortunately a lot—a lot—of women (and men) have trouble using birth control effectively, don’t know about all the birth control options available to them, and believe a bunch of stuff that’s just not true. Cat’s post reminds us why it’s so important to reach them with better information.
A few noteworthy responses:
- In a post for The Frisky, Amelia McDonell-Parry shouts out that fabulous long-acting method we’re always talking about: “So, that leaves Marnell’s beloved Plan B—she has apparently never heard about the IUD—which you can get without a prescription and prevents conception.”
- This one’s all in the title: Lesson Of The Day: Don’t Use Plan B As Your Only Birth Control. Yep, EC is great if you slipped up or your method failed, but it’s just not as effective as most methods you use before sex. Like, really not.
- A set-the-record-straight interview on Blisstree with a representative of Plan B.
- And our favorite yet, also on Blisstree: “But negating attitudes like Cat’s, acting like it is just this one out-there person who behaves like this—it sort of stymies discussion about why women (and men) who know better do make such stupid sexual decisions all the time. And that’s a discussion I’d like to have.”
People aren’t perfect. People are busy. That’s why we do what we can to make preventing pregnancy easier. Maybe, if Cat’s looking for a plan A now, she’d consider checking us out?