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May 11, 2004

Substitute Goods

Eliana Johnson at Yale Diva seems to find this new British sex-ed program problematic:

Encouraging schoolchildren to experiment with oral sex could prove the most effective way of curbing teenage pregnancy rates, a government study has found.

The plan strikes me as intriguing, and quite possibly wise. I don't have the empirical data the article cites, but if it is indeed the case that teaching kids more about oral sex causes them to substitute from risky forms of sexual intercourse to less risky forms that's unquestionably good, especially if among the high-school population unplanned pregnancy is at least as problematic as unplanned disease.

I know that oral sex isn't necessarily 100% safe from disease (or from whatever moral decay some people think attaches to certain kinds of sex), but it is 100% safe from pregnancy, which is especially important when some kinds of birth control are unavailable to the young (though the British system of medicine is different from the one we have here).

Especially given the relative popularity of the oral-sex-is-not-real-sex norm in many high schools, this program might actually be somewhat effective in making children better off, or at least in teaching them about intelligent places they might draw lines.

I hope it works.

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The Court of Hinton

I should perhaps have spent the time working on my paper, but I took some time to go see the Law School's Hinton Moot Court finals yesterday. [Dear Crescat reader who tried to talk to me when I was on my phone-- sorry. But send an email.]

The students were arguing the Cheney case about FACA, and thus mostly about the D.C. Circuit's "de facto member doctrine" and other such fun stuff. A few notable quotes from the trial:

Judge Bowman: I don't know what we are . . .
Judge Schroeder: Well, we're higher than the D.C. Circuit!

Judge Bowman: The empty chair may be "functionally equivalent" to a student . . .

Judge Boggs: We have law clerks, and they're not judges.
Judge Bowman: And we have to keep reminding them of that.

Judge Bowman: Can't we just take a peek at the merits?
Counsel: Umm. No.

I had to leave before I found out who won, though.

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