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Flaherty exposes the darkest sides of sex and its three lies for Calexico High students

March 27, 2002|By AARON CLAVERIE

Staff Writer

CALEXICO — An assembly of Calexico High School students listened to Howard Flaherty talk about the dark side of sex.

He told the 10th-, 11th- and 12th-graders about genital warts, herpes, chlamydia and a host of other sexual diseases that have been associated with either Dennis Rodman or Motley Crue drummer Tommy Lee.

Flaherty's appearance was sponsored by the Imperial County Office of Education, lead agency of the Gang Violence Suppression Project.

Flaherty has made similar speeches at high schools and assemblies throughout the country, according to the Web site of his Lafayette-based employer, Josten's Speakers Bureau. He is described on the same site as having a "comedy and theater background."

Flaherty started his 45-minute speech by telling the students a little about himself. He then segued into the meat and potatoes of his presentation: the three lies high-schoolers are told about sex.

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No. 1 lie: "Everyone is doing it." Flaherty said not everyone is "doing it." He said some high-schoolers he has met during his trips across the country take pride in being virgins.

No. 2 lie: "You can't control yourself." Flaherty said high-schoolers are not controlled by their hormones. He said they are not animals.

"You're very capable of making those decisions," he said.

No. 3 lie: "Sex is free." As El Centro's recent sting operation proved; sex is anything but free. However, Flaherty did not mention that sting during his speech.

Flaherty used an audience participation bit to show how a girl sitting in the Varner Gym stands could be manipulated by a fellow teen to wave "hi" just as a woman could be manipulated by a man into having sex.

After expounding on the "three lies," Flaherty spoke about the sexual diseases students have to watch out for if they decided to have sex. He mentioned all of the big ones and then took the time to vividly describe "pelvic inflammatory disease."

Flaherty told a story about a girl who was unable to conceive a child because she had been diagnosed with the painful and sometimes fatal disease.

Wrapping up, Flaherty spoke about the importance of considering abstinence instead of relying on condoms.

>> Staff Writer Aaron Claverie can be reached at 337-3419 or claverie7@hotmail.com

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