Another Los Angeles Times letters to the editor, because our voices matter:
Bravo to Meg Waite Clayton’s articulate Op-Ed regarding society’s double standard for male and female sexuality, and the Obama administration’s consequent restriction of access to emergency contraception. As an adolescent medicine specialist, I have seen the punishing results of stigmatizing girls’ sexual expression firsthand, having cared for 12- and 13-year-old mothers. Conversely, I have seen many patients who greatly benefited from using Plan B, the so-called morning-after pill.
President Obama and Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius’ efforts to bar easy access to an extremely safe, effective medication with negligible side effects (much safer than, say, a bottle of Tylenol) reflects society’s mistrustful, punitive attitude toward young women and its shameful disregard for scientific expertise.
Putting our collective heads in the sand will not stop young people from having sex. But nurturing and supporting their resourcefulness, resiliency and proactiveness can prevent a life-altering, unplanned event. Plan B should be available without restriction to all youths, regardless of gender or age.
The writer, a medical doctor, is an assistant professor of clinical pediatrics at USC.
Clayton asks, “Is there a word for a promiscuous boy that compares with ‘slut’?”
There is such a word, one that’s widely considered to be the masculine complement to the designation “slut.” It’s also a monosyllable, and it has three of the four letters that appear in “slut.” Alas, that word is “stud.”
As long as the boys themselves, men in general and, indeed, many of the girls who sleep with these guys think along these lines, the double standard that Clayton laments will continue to reign supreme.