Sex in the news: Quanitta Underwood gets tip of the hat, Rick Santorum wag of the finger | Style | NewJerseyNewsroom.com -- Your State. Your News.

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Sex in the news: Quanitta Underwood gets tip of the hat, Rick Santorum wag of the finger

santorumRick021412_optBY SUSIE WILSON
NEWJERSEYNEWSROOM.COM
SEX MATTERS

Spring isn’t in the air yet, but sex certainly has been for the past few weeks. I can’t quite remember weeks like it. There seems to be a new story about some aspect of sexuality in our 24/7 media cycle every time I turn around.

The stories include inappropriate sexual liaisons, political attacks (and presidential shifts) on contraception, political candidate’s advice on how to have a sex life, sex ed, gay marriage, and a courageous story about overcoming sexual abuse. And last and certainly not the least, the annual issue of a magazine devoted to sex: the 2012 Swimsuit issue. The last will reportedly be read or seen by about 70 million people worldwide.

Feeling swamped, I keep asking myself: What have we learned from this deluge of sexual stories? For one, we’ve come to the correct conclusion that in a secular society, which ours purports to be, most believe strongly that women’s health, including their access to contraception, is a critical issue. So President Obama was right in his decision to have insurance companies guarantee the availability of contraception to employees of religious and faith-based charities. In this election year, the president confirmed the basic concept that women’s health trumps religious doctrine about sexual behavior.

Women who work for Catholic religious and charitable institutions don’t have to choose to use contraception. But if they are among the almost 98 percent of Catholics who use contraception at some point in their lives, they can get it without co-pay through insurance companies as part of the package guaranteed to them under the new “Affordable Care Act.” Had the President bowed to the Catholic bishops and given their institutions a waiver about contraception coverage, he would have elevated their policies about contraception over American women’s health needs.

Speaking of contraception, a tip of my hat goes to Stephen Colbert, who put a condom on a banana during a recent segment on contraception. I never thought I would see a TV personality of his stature do this, even though he bobbled some of steps, a savvy teenager told me. Colbert may have even encouraged parents to show their teenage children how to put a condom on by practicing with a banana, too. (Let me reassure you, showing your kids this will encourage discussions about protection and not sexual activity.

Turning to the more negative stories, I can’t pass over the one about Senator Rick Santorum, who may be the first presidential candidate advising Americans on how they should lead their sex lives. It seems he believes that sex within marriage is basically for procreation and has little to do with pleasure, and therefore contraception is a “danger” to this principle.



 

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