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Ruth Skopek

If you have brought a daughter in the High School years into the doctor's office for a "sports Physical" lately, you may have come across this warped mentality! You know the kind...a single sheet of paper to be filled out by a physician...giving just the very basic health information. I was appalled a few years ago when I brought my 9th grader in for a routine physical for sports. She was drilled by the female doctor about her level of sexual activity again and again during the course of the "physical". My daughter had asked me to accompany her into the room as she was modest and shy. I of course said yes. It was clear that the doctor had a problem with this. She ignored my presence and after my daughter said for the 3rd time that she was not sexually active...this doctor told her to "call me if you want to talk privately, and I can set you up with contraceptives for when you are ready."

I had not said a word yet...letting my daughter stand her own ground. But at this last comment I had to speak up. I told the doctor that I could not see why she was so intent on getting contraceptives into the hands of a girl who so clearly did not want them. Boy did the claws come out!! She told me that every girl DESERVES this information. I asked when it became the job of a doctor to force contraceptives on young women, and she stalked out.

Later in the hallway she approached me and "apologized" by informing me that many girls NEED this information and are afraid to ask for it in front of parents. Again I asked when the change had taken place that allowed her to not simply inform my daughter about this issue but to make her feel stupid because she wasn't sexually active!!!!!!!!!! Needless to say we did not return to her.

This really opened my eyes to the pressures coming even from their doctors to engage in sexual exploration at earlier and earlier ages. This doctor showed disdain for my rights as a mother, and my daughters right to choose a chaste lifestyle.

My daughter was not unaware of the prevalence of sexual activity among her peers. I regret the damage done by this doctor in reinforcing a message already coming from her peers...chastity is stupid...outdated, etc. It led to discussion and although I wasn't surprised to hear about the pressure my daughter experienced daily regarding this issue...it saddened me to realize how hard the schools and medical fields were making it for chaste girls!

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    • From Benedict XVI
      “People have realized that the complete removal of the feminine element from the Christian message is a shortcoming from an anthropological viewpoint. It is theologically and anthropologically important for woman to be at the center of Christianity."
    • Anger and Patrimony (from Donna)
      This is just another of the unintended consequences of the cultural acceptance of contraception and abortion! Men's sexuality has been robbed of its creative essence. It is now viewed as something that imposes a burden on women (when conception happens to occur), something used to control women or something that is purely recreational. Why would men bother?? In taking away their responsibility, we've also robbed them of their significance! In the big picture of humanity, men have been made into nothing more than a nuisance women have to figure out how to control in order to bring about the next generation. Men don't see it as their task to protect the vulnerable because they see themselves as the vulnerable ones. A few well preserved vials of sperm would make men entirely obsolete in the world's ethos today!!
    • Excellent, Dom! (from Teresa)
      That is astounding Robin, and good for you for standing up. At the heart of that matter, I think, is even worse than a gender mixing message. There is an increased sharper and sharper focus on the "self." Solid Catholic teaching returns our focus away from ourselves to Father, Son and Holy Spirit. The original sin, Eve denied her womanhood when she desired to be like "gods." Since the only god she knew was the Father. Where was Adam? He stood impotent... in other words, they were divorced. There's a young girl at Robin's son's high school who was just told that she is the center of the universe and it's a tragic disservice to her.
    • Find the logic (from "me")
      Ditto what Mary said! A lot of high schools have very poor math and science depts, for boys and girls. I also am educated as a chemical engineer, but chose to teach the two years before we had children because its hours were more suited to spending time with children. (I was looking ahead). When it came time and I was pregnant with our first, I realized that I did not want to leave him with someone else, and was able to stay home full time. I am not sure it would have been that easy if we were used to another engineering income and not just a private school teacher income. Also some of my first job offers were out on oil rigs - I had no interest in that at all even though I enjoyed my engineering classes and did well in them. No one discouraged me from an engineering job, on the contrary I got a lot of flack for my decision not to pursue an engineering career.
    • Find the logic (from Mary)
      I've been lurking, but this is one that irritates me. Beats the heck out of me what these "barriers" are. I was educated as a chemical engineer, where 1/3 of our class was women. However, in electrical engineering, only 1 or 2 out of 30 were women. Is it possible that women are Just Not Interested in some areas? Nah, it must be The Man keeping us down so we must legislate (and, I agree -- when they say "legistlate", I hear "quota"). And actually, I have a friend that was also a chemical engineer. When she lost her job, she decided not to go back into engineering and started working from home so she could spend more time with her 3 kids. Also, if nothing else, there are all kinds of incentives for women to enter science and engineering -- scholarships not available to men, guaranteed housing on campuses that do not guarantee housing to the general population, etc. I think you hit the nail on the head when you said that schools in general are not preparing students for the hard sciences. It is truly a sad state of affairs, the lack of science education these days.

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