Kentucky: Hard Truths About Teen Sex Behind the Laughter
November 1, 2007
One recent evening at the James E. Bruce Convention Center in Hopkinsville, 13-year-old Antwan Galbreth brought his youth group for what would be his second abstinence rally that day. Galbreth, an eighth-grader at Christian County Middle School, had already attended Keith Deltano's performance earlier in the day. What brought him back? Comedy.
"I use comedy to deal with serious topics," said Deltano, a former public school teacher. "I use comedy as a vehicle." Deltano said teens are much more likely to remember things such as STD statistics if they are married with humor. "Comedy is a mnemonic tool. Comedy is secondary to what I'm trying to do. This message is more important than the comedy."
Deltano tours the country, talking to young people about topics such as sexual abstinence, bullying, and racism. After the Hopkinsville show, attended by both parents and children, the teenagers then went to hear local rapper Beau Jensen while Deltano stayed with the parents to talk to them about what they can do to encourage abstinence.
Parents must let go of denial that their children are not at risk for sexual activity, Deltano urged. They should stop thinking they are helpless and stop being afraid of conflict, he said.
Deltano said his key message is abstinence, though he is not "anti-contraception." "They're not telling the kids the truth [in comprehensive sex education]," he said. "They are telling kids single-digit failure rates. If we are going to tell kids about condoms, then those kids need to know that condoms are ineffective against herpes and HPV."
10.29.2007; Julia Hunter
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This article was provided by CDC National Prevention Information Network. It is a part of the publication CDC HIV/Hepatitis/STD/TB Prevention News Update.