Dr. Barbara Romanowski head of a federal advisory committee on sexually transmitted diseases, said we should be “bloody worried” about the incidence of these among teenagers.

She told the Reproductive Technologies Commission that the infections are costing the country astronomical amounts of money; $200 million is spent every year just for the treatment of pelvic inflammatory disease and ectopic pregnancies (often caused by pelvic inflammation). Dr. Romanowski blamed the teenage mentality: “Why do they drink and drive, why do they do drugs?  It’s the same answer: the teen-age mentality.

She told the commission that girls between 15 and 19 have the highest rate of gonorrhea of all age groups, and that the rate of chlamydia among teen-aged girls is staggering.

What remedy did she propose?  Sex education, beginning in public school.

“By the time they get to high school, maybe 50 per cent of them are already sexually active,” she reported. A significant minority of Canadians still resist the need for public sex awareness, she said. “There will always be some rural community in Alberta saying they will absolutely not do it, that if you put condom machines in the high schools, you are going to promote sexuality among school children.”

Dr. Romanowski did not explain how condom machines are going to overcome the teenage mentality.