LET S TALK ABOUT SEX takes a revealing look at how American attitudes toward adolescent sexuality impact today s teenagers. Director James Houston takes us on a journey to examine trends in American society as personified by a cast of diverse characters. At a high school for pregnant teens in Los Angeles, young girls are contemplating teen parenthood. In Washington, D.C., where HIV infection rates rival several African countries, community outreach workers are trying to save lives. The film also travels to the Netherlands, where Houston compares European attitudes with America, then concludes in Oregon, where the lessons learned in Western Europe are helping to create practical solutions. Real parents and youth, compelling statistics, animation and archival material paint an urgent picture of American youth in crisis.
Despite the title, the documentary Let s Talk About Sex is about what happens when people don t talk about sex a widespread problem in America s classrooms, homes and churches, according to the film. Sexual imagery permeates the culture, but many young adults are taught abstinence, leading to higher rates of pregnancy and disease than in countries such as the Netherlands, Germany and France, where, according to the film, teens begin to have sex at about the same age as those in America. Let s Talk About Sex exposes some stunning ironies, such as a teacher at a high school for pregnant teen mothers pushing abstinence on the students (um, too late!) and how a teen had sex the same night as her purity ball at church. The film aired on TLC in April and is now available on DVD. --Washington Post