Safe sex PSA: Men are jerks!

Are stereotypes about young dudes really the best way to encourage contraceptive use?

Topics: Sex Education, Broadsheet, Abstinence, Sex, Teenagers,

Has sex education really come to this? “Guys are a@#$%^&” is the best slogan we can come up with to encourage young women to use protection? At the third annual Sex:Tech conference this past weekend, the folks at SexReally.com played a PSA featuring that very tag line, followed by “Be safe. Every time.” Unsurprisingly, it sounds like many of the sex educators present at the event weren’t all that impressed. Writes blogger Shelby Knox: “Many of us were open mouthed with shock.”

The spot shows a group of dudes sitting around drinking beers and talking about sex in the most crude, stereotypical way imaginable. One guy talks about grabbing “titties,” another basically argues that a girl deserves to be felt up if she wears a short skirt and another introduces the concept of a sex move called “Arabian goggles” in which a guy takes his — ah, never mind. Knox adequately summarizes the message: “[M]en are pigs with raging hormones that can only process sex on a Neanderthal level. They sit around and demean women because they lack the emotional capacity to have substantive relationships.”



These stereotypes do more than just offend anyone who is male or happens to respect or care for males — they defeat the supposed purpose of the ad: sex education. “One of the biggest challenges [in sex ed] getting young people to unlearn gender stereotypes around sex,” Knox points out. But, keep in mind, SexReally.com hired traditionalist Laura Sessions Stepp, an outspoken supporter of retro relations between the sexes, as a writer and podcaster, so it’s unlikely they’re much bothered by such stereotypes.

Tracy Clark-Flory

Tracy Clark-Flory is a staff writer at Salon. Follow @tracyclarkflory on Twitter and Facebook.

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