June 25, 2015 9:13 AM EDT The old adage goes that teenagers think about sex constantly, but there are at least a few out there who have expressed a very keen interest in the particulars of safe sex.
Three British teens—two 14-year-olds and one 13-year-old—have proposed an idea for a new type of condom that could detect sexually transmitted diseases amongst intimate partners. The
: Washington Post explains
There would be antibodies on the condom that would interact with the antigens of STDs, causing the condom to change colors depending on the disease…For instance, if the condom were exposed to chlamydia, it might glow green — or yellow for herpes, purple for human papilloma virus and blue for syphilis.
The proposal won the trio the top prize in the U.K.’s TeenTech Awards, and they have already reportedly been approached by condom companies.
The idea, however, is not without its imperfections. It seems unclear whether the STIs would be detected in just the user’s partner or also the user as well. In addition, there’s the awkward question of what would happen if the condom came into contact with two or more STDs—not to mention the logistical difficulties of figuring out a way to determine the color with sufficient opportunity to make use of those findings.
Nevertheless, if teens are going to think about sex, it’s tough to quibble with them spending more time thinking about ways to make is safer.
] Washington Post Sex Ed Books Through the Ages “Those who look at our bodily dwelling can gain a very good idea of what we are... The care of our body, then, adds to our value,” advised Barbara Wood-Allen in 1897's "Self and Series: What a Young Girl Ought to Know." "When the organs peculiar to woman are displaced or disordered ...pangs shoot through her like winged piercing arrows or darting needlepoints" wrote mail order doctor Lydia Pinkham in 1907. Published by the Christian Education Service, of Nashville, Tennessee, during the 60s, it was written by one of the founders of SIECUS "When the natural God-designed and God-honored sex instinct is perverted and base desire supplants love, in the choice of a companion, the home instinct is degraded, love dethroned and inharmony prevails," wrote Thomas Washington Shannon in 1913. "It is probably best, that the life-like illustrations, some of them photographic, in books of human anatomy be kept away from boys of early adolescent age" counseled Maurice Alpheus Bigelow in 1916. "... the woman so under the influence of liquor is, for the time being, little more than a "cave woman," or barbarian, with all the lax sex morality of the latter," wrote R.B. Armitage in 1917 This 1928 volume was directed to the "young man whose aim is to be sturdy, strong and successful." "Dr. Norman Carr," the pamphlet informed readers in 1934, "is probably the most widely read author on this subject in the entire world." First issued in 1949, this booklet warned: "Don’t forget that any woman who lets you use her, or who consents easily, is not safe." From 1941, "An intellectual and frank discussion of subjects of Social Hygiene, Physiology, the Science of Sex, Moral Living, Character Building, Motherhood and PreNatal Care." This 1941 manual includes a diagram entitled "Facts you Should Know for Defloration on Bridal Night." This 1943 book kept in simple with little line drawings accompanying text like: "Here is the way you looked when you were ready to be born..." The author of this 1944 guide, Belle Mooney, was touted as "a well-known physician pioneer and lecturer on hygienic and sociological subjects." "Sooner or later your children are going to learn about sex. They ought to. They must," wrote Fathers Rumble and Carty in this 1950 textbook for Catholics. Written in 1950 by pioneering sexologist David Cauldwell, who's credited with inventing the term transexual. In cheerful 1950 parlance it reads: "Lucky boys and girls whose parents, teachers and leaders provide this book for them! It would be a good idea for the old folks to read it too." "The smart writer... who says flatfootedly or insinuates cleverly that sex experience before marriage is necessary for happiness in marriage is a plain liar and an elaborate traitor to young people," cautioned Daniel Lord in 1951. "Here is a complete analysis of young people's sexual problems and mores—from kindergarten to college —a comprehensive case-history study of the new rebellion," promised this 1962 paperback. "Before boys are ready to get married and start a family, they must at least be able to earn a living," claimed this otherwise very hip Lutheran church publication in 1967. "At the most basic level, a concern with sex education must stem from the recognition that human socio-sexual development is a learning process," said this scholarly 1974 journal. This 1974 pamphlet was part of a collection of self help books from Ms. Landers including: “Teen-age Sex. And 10 Ways to Cool It!” and “Love or Sex. And How to Tell the Difference.” From 1983: "Ugly women have boyfriends, mean women have boyfriends, hopelessly insecure women have boyfriends, stupid women have boyfriends, women covered with hideous warts have boyfriends." This 1993 book claims that "classroom sex education is always wrong and always harmful; that it destroys modesty; awakens the passions; promotes sexual activity and fosters acceptance of sexual sins." "Sex is many different things, and people have many different feelings and opinions about it," says this 1994 classic, in admirable understatement.
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