Sorry to disappoint, but we won't actually be talking about sex. We will, however, be talking about Germany's amazing - albeit uncomfortably open for most Americans - safe sex campaigns.
I noticed it back in the fall when I saw these posters plastered all over our school. Now keep in mind that my "high school" includes 5th grade to 13th grade. So, while it may seem reasonable for the older crowd, it was highly amusing for me to see 10 year olds running pass these posters every day.
Amusing because I know these posters would NEVER be allowed in American schools. *gasp* Admit that people have sex before marriage? We don't want to give these kids any silly ideas now! I've never been a believer in the effectiveness of the preach abstinence stance most of the US has taken. But that's besides the point...
If I saw these posters all the way back in September, why waiting till now to post, you may ask. Well, tonight we went to see the King's Speech (don't see where this is going...?) Ok, it had nothing to do with the movie, but the ads before the movie.
Not only was the first ad an explicit (by any "prude" American's standards) condom ad, it was an explicit condom ad starring a gay couple. WHOA. I mean, I was incredibly impressed, because as equal rights/homo-friendly as everyone thinks Europe is, there is still quite a bit of stigma... And even more amazing was that there were no "OMGs" "ughhhs" or snickers in the entire (incredibly full) theater. I know that if that ad were played in the US, aside from the uncomfortable giggles from a condom commercial being played, there would also be a strong reaction to a condom commercial being played using a gay couple. In the end, they had played 2 condom commercials before the movie (don't worry, the 2nd used a straight couple...). They were both commercials that went with the poster to the left, which I have also seen at school, around the city and on tons of billboards.
I think this is one of the most interesting differences for me. Not only that subjects like sex, safe sex or (dare I say it?) condoms are openly discussed here, but that they are discussed openly in with high school students. It's not uncomfortable or silly or poked fun at. It's just normal. And I think that's awesome.