Mississippi Using Reprehensible Example to Show How “Dirty” Women Are After Having Sex

peppermint-pattyMississippi just proved once again that while it might be 2014 in most of the country – they’re still decades behind everyone else.

You would think it would be easy for Mississippi.  They rank near the bottom in almost every significant category in this country such as education, median family income, infant mortality rate, citizens with health care and even life expectancy.  You would think seeing these statistical facts would encourage someone (or an entire state) to admit that what they’re doing isn’t working and they need to change.

Then again, the fact that they rank near the bottom in all these categories is probably the reason why the state seems too ignorant to change and almost enthusiastic about their ignorance.

Heck, it wasn’t until this year that the state implemented a policy requiring schools to teach sex education.  Because, you know, as long as you don’t talk about it – people won’t have sex, right?  That’s what you call an “#idiot” moment.

Well it seems in Oxford, Mississippi they’ve decided to teach sex education by attempting to show just how “dirty” women get after having sex – by passing a Peppermint Pattie around the classroom.  According to Marie Barnard, a public health worker and parent, what’s happening is they’re asking “students to unwrap a piece of chocolate, pass it around class and observe how dirty it became.  They’re using the Peppermint Pattie to show that a girl is no longer clean or valuable after she’s had sex—that she’s been used.  That shouldn’t be the lesson we send kids about sex.”

Ignoring for a moment the fact that this example makes absolutely no sense (unless most people don’t bathe in Mississippi) it’s reprehensible that they’re trying to devalue women who have sex.  To say that a woman who’s had sex is dirty and worth less than she was before is just absurd.

It’s just incredible to me how ignorant these people are when it comes to sex.  They really believe that not talking about sex, not educating their children about sex, that teaching “abstinence” is really going keep teenagers from having sex?  If you honestly believe that, you’re insane.

The reality is, teens are going to have sex.  As a society we can either see that they’re properly educated about the risks of having sex, and the ways to prevent unplanned pregnancies, or we can lie to ourselves by believing that if we just don’t educate and talk about sex – teens won’t have it.

And considering Mississippi ranks near the top in this country for rate of teen pregnancies, it sure as heck doesn’t seem like their abstinence/don’t teach sex education methods are working.  If they think devaluing women by comparing them to a dirty piece of chocolate is going to bring them into the 21st century, they’re obviously delusional beyond repair.

Allen Clifton

Allen Clifton is a native Texan who now lives in the Austin area. He has a degree in Political Science from Sam Houston State University. Allen is a co-founder of Forward Progressives and creator of the popular Right Off A Cliff column and Facebook page. Be sure to follow Allen on Twitter and Facebook, and subscribe to his channel on YouTube as well.


Facebook comments

  • kmeghan

    Seriously, what is wrong with people? How are people like this having anything to do with educating the children of this country. It is 2014. Not 1714. I’m thankful everyday for parents, teachers and schools who taught me the actual truth about things, and didn’t allow anyone to make me feel dirty or less than human because I’m a woman.

    • Whargarble

      They’re not people. They’re social conservatives.

      • Eoin Maloney

        Now, now, we can’t devalue these people because of what they believe. Even if what they believe is hateful, backwards, misogynistic, archaic, stupid and has no place in modeern society, or any society for that matter.

      • Chris Allen

        See my “cycle of ignorance” reply to Rrice below. Sigh.

        Archaic religious attitudes play a large part in it; it’s no surprise that states/areas where unthinking obedience to religious authority, fire and brimstone, etc. are strongest are also the places where this kind of ignorance is enshrined and socially-enforced. Certainly the attitudes in religious expression aren’t all of it, but they do play a very strong role.

        It’s those very attitudes, the Authoritarian principle of blind obedience and fear-based behavior, that are fueling the steady drop of membership in this country, and the movement of people toward either more compassion-based religion or secularism or no religion at all. And, in part it’s that steady drop and movement that fuels the increasing fear and vehemence from those who cling to that Authoritarian blind obedience and fear-driven principle.

        In short, their fear of change and automatic labeling of change as anathema and damned, makes them ever more desperate to rigidly enforce their own world view, makes them see society as “declining, falling into darkness/sin/etc.” All they know is the fear they’ve been taught (and in many cases, the power that fear gives to those in charge of it)… it’s hard to teach moving beyond fear, most especially when deity is being used as the *source* of said fear, the “big stick” held hovering over their heads by those who lead them and teach them from the cradle.

    • Julie Wickstrom

      Middle ages were not good. Let’s not copy them.

  • Jan M

    And a boy is?????

    • T Russell Morris

      Maybe they should pass around a Banana after the PepPatty to represent the boys. Oh well, all the Counselors, Psychiatrists, and therapists are probably happy…in a few years they’ll have plenty of patients…all from Mississippi trying to work out their “Issues”…lol.

      • Rusti

        Good idea! Then whack the banana in half and tell the girls that this is how you prevent unwanted pregnancy! Works for me!

      • Joy Karen

        Or just peel it and then pass it around just to see how much time it takes before it falls apart while that peppermint pattie is still intact

      • Crysta

        Hell to the fuck yes!!! AWESOME IDEA!!!

    • 1EdMeadows83

      Experienced. Wise in the ways of the world. A Player.

    • Stephen Barlow

      Clean if his date is into ATM.

  • bee

    I hope I taste like a peppermint patty!! 😉

  • deracoon

    No words….Just WTF??????

  • Leigh Anne P

    Talk about casting stones when you are not sin-free yourself!!! What about the men in this story….what candy are they compared to?

    • Stephen Barlow


      • Katrina

        Touche. Bahahahahaha….

  • Danny Metcalfe

    How could it NOT work??? Sarah Palin taught her faughter abstinence, and THAT worked out ok, didnt it?

  • Colleen Ryan

    This is REVOLTING.

  • Jaina


  • RoundRocker

    So women are clean and pure before having sex, but after they have sex with boys, they’re dirty. That must mean it’s the boys that make them “dirty”, right?

  • Monica

    i can see the thought process behind what the teacher was doing, but seriously that is just awful. those poor girls are going to grow into an idea that once they have acted sexually that there value as a person has decreased. i can see that the teacher is trying to shock the girls into abstaining from sex, but maybe they should stick to just trying to teach the kids about the biological scientific facts about sex.

    • carlsays

      There was no thought process from the Teacher. The rest I totally agree with you

  • robingee

    You’re a clean delicious pure candy, but once you have sex you’re a filthy fingerprinted mushy mess, ladies! Men, however, are studs.

  • Stephen Barlow

    I’d like to see the cartoon boy who makes a pass @ Peppermint Patty.

  • carlsays

    Until, Mississippi turns BLUE they will never be in the 21st Century. I find this disgusting. Always tearing down women. Republicans say to much government they need all they can get. I drove through Mississippi once and was happy when I was out of there.

  • davehorne

    The author left out one very important piece of information – in Mississippi chocolate is considered a vegetable. When you think of it in that manner, it makes more sense.

  • Rrice

    Ummmmm -author from Dallas? They’re only teaching abstinence in Texas, too, with almost no information about how pregnancy happens and no information on prevention. So other than the chocolate thing, I’m not sure what’s different between Mississippi and Texas.

    Had a conversation with a very pregnant teenage girl not long ago -she thought that having an abortion meant that she wouldn’t ever get pregnant -and that this baby was the same one that had been aborted 18 months ago. She wanted to sue the doctor who did the abortion, because it didn’t work!

    • Chris Allen

      This is true for a lot of states where ignorance is as guarded, preserved, and revered as “purity” is.

      And there’s the other side of this coin, too: some of the children raised in this system of ignorance grow up to become the state’s lawmakers, educators, and school board members—this is why, like a cycle of family abuse, it continues. Individuals sometimes do break past it, but far too many simply wash, rinse, repeat. This is why getting real factual education on reproduction, sex, and human relationships is so vital in these states… and why it’s so hard to *get* that into place.

      The media is chock full of stories and quotes from various state and national lawmakers that shows a shocking ignorance and downright stupidity about sex/reproduction/rape, and blatant abusive attitude toward women… all those people went through school systems in their states. We may not be able to change what ignorance they’re taught by their parents, their extended family, or their religious leaders… but we *can* change what they’re taught in schools so at least they have a chance to counter-balance ignorance, give them reason to question it, and hopefully grow beyond it.

  • ken

    If you’ve ever lived near MS you wouldn’t be surprised by this.

  • Cat Marcuri

    I have been a mother for 31 years now, rapidly approaching 32. I was raised in the generation where girls were supposed to be “pure” until marriage, while guys were total macho studs because, well, they were guys. I have ALWAYS taught my kids that teenagers are going to be teenagers, and I wasn’t going to punish them for being teenagers. I taught them sex ed, compassion for others, how not to make your children hostages in your relationships, and how to just be a decent person in general. I am glad to say ALL of my kids are doing well. My oldest boy became a father at 24, my oldest daughter became a mother at 23, both are happily married and raising beautiful kids with the same mentality I used to raise them. The two teenagers are growing up nicely, caring about others, standing up for those who are bullied, and both come and talk to me about their lives when they need some advice. I think I”m doing it right. Too bad this sort of common sense isn’t available in Mississippi. They need people like me to teach them that teenagers are PEOPLE, and are going to react to things like people. They’re not robots that you can control this way. They need to be given some common sense education, on sex and jobs and relationships and everything else. You can’t lock them in a mental box and expect them to stay that way. It just won’t happen.

    • Crysta

      Sad fact, the idiot whackadoodles out produce us 10:1…

  • angelicvh

    This is barbaric, why are not men dirty and used? Ignorance is reprehensible!!

  • NanaLenore

    If they’re going to pass an unwrapped piece of candy around to show kids how dirty a female is after having sex, why aren’t they also pass a peeled banana around to show how dirty males are? This “women are dirty after sex” idea is disgusting and just demeans women without asking boys and men to accept any responsibility for their own actions.

  • Nigel Spud Carrot Clements

    Not at all shocked, the amount of stories that continually pour out of americas bible belt areas and southern states is pretty much the same backwards nonsense that spews out of other staunchly religious areas around the globe. What I do find sad though is the amount of people banging on about they should pass round a banana afterwards, these people are clearly missing the point.

  • hermanprovi

    Miss. Governor has signed a bill to legalize hate in the name of [again] ‘religion’! No wonder they are at the bottom of the heap! Once again in our secular Nation, religious abetted hate, trumps the Constitution!

    • Logan

      Funny you bring that up because Arizona was the first but nobody says anything about that.

  • diamondmask

    Hey, they’re near the top in teen pregnancy! Who says they ain’t doin’ things right!

  • captain crowbar

    what offends me is the fact that this sort of thing is “offensive to women”, but what about the men who are treated like dirt for not having a peppermint patty in the first place? Really, is it such a bad thing to not have sex with everyone at wild drunken sex orgies all the time? Am I less valuable a human being for never eating your peppermint patty?

  • MLR

    Allen, not only is this pathetic ignorance, it is also a very dangerous attitude to instill in young kids. The other day I saw a pic on FB of a well-endowed woman and the caption said “My eyes are up here”. Well the comments were appalling and I couldn’t help but think to myself “Is this 2014 and are we still in America”? I was just shocked at the level of disrespect people showed towards her. I think of the women in my family and most of them are large-breasted and you can tell no matter what they wear and I would not want anyone, man or woman, disrespecting them. It is a sad day when instead of calling out the perverts, people are disrespecting women simply for having large breasts.

  • GOPhater

    Mississippi??? Pffft…this doesn’t surprise me at all, sadly.

  • radosney

    we don’t know what was actually said in the classroom. perhaps the teacher was wanting the kids to see that if you devalue yourself and allow yourself to be used and passed around you will feel dirty – doesn’t matter if you’re a girl or a boy. so, it’s important that you ‘save’ yourself until you’re ready and in a valued relationship. perhaps that was the lesson? not this twisted version told to get the public in a tizzy.

  • Geoffrey Finnemore

    Just to let people know, this does not represent Mississippians as a whole in any way what so ever. Especially where I live on the Gulf Coast/South Mississippi. It’s actually fairly liberal and very culturally diverse in my part of the state. Regardless of what our politicians and educational leaders put into action, it is not a reflection on the state as a whole. The majority of what happens, just like everywhere else(I’m assuming?), is not something we get a vote on. I’m seeing a lot of things in the news lately that put Mississippi in a negative light and I’m just saying, it’s not all of us. Some parts of Mississippi are truly beautiful. Not to say that there are not ignorant people, or its the greatest place on earth, but it’s not as horrible and ass backwards as it’s portrayed in the media. South Mississippians are very tolerant, friendly,wholesome people. Things like religious tyranny and racism, or damnation of homosexuals, or voting No on sending Hurricane Sandy relief support to New York/New Jersey is absolutely NOT representative of the majority of people of South Mississippi. Especially voting No on Hurricane Sandy relief, because everyone here that was here for Hurricane Katrina has undying appreciation for the relief funds and efforts from everywhere in the country. We as South Mississippians are actually judged/discriminated against in our own state because we are “Coasties” aka in other parts of MS “Immoral Sinners who will burn in hell and have sharp objects shoved up our rectums for eternity” lol. We were actually told by people in our own state that we DESERVED to have our home DEVESTATED by Hurricane Katrina. I just don’t like all this anti-Mississippi stuff in the media/news/social media because I feel like they think all Mississippians are stuck in the Stone Age. It’s not true. Rant over lol

    • MLR

      I don’t know why you people from the South get all butt hurt when we (I’m very guilty of it) put down the South. Of course everybody knows there are exceptions to everything. It’s the same as if I got all butt hurt every time people talk shit about Texas, which is where I’m from. I also don’t get all butt hurt when people assume I eat jalapenos and refried beans because I’m Latina, which I don’t. I actually had people ask me if I owned goats because every Mexican they had met owned and slaughtered goats. I just laughed but I certainly didn’t get all butt hurt.

  • Fuck you

    Something about this offends the shit of me. Maybe because I’m from this state, and find it just as ignorant and degrading that all of you are implying that everybody inside these imaginary lines is like this.

  • MLewis

    I guess this make myself and a lot of other women a dirty ass piece of chocolate. lmao

  • Stephen Barlow

    Funny, how these good Christian people never mention how FILTHY sharing an unleavened pita among a dozen guys who wipe their asses with their fingers is. By Mississippi logic, Jesus was more of a whore than Mary Magdalene.

  • CynthiaGee

    Actually, they have a point. The teacher had the “students to unwrap a
    piece of chocolate, pass it around class and observe how dirty it
    became” and the point that she was making wasn’t that sex is dirty, it
    was that people who are PROMISCUOUS are dirty, and medically speaking,
    they are.

    It’s not PC to say so anymore, but the fact is that
    condoms are not 100% foolproof, and people who have numerous sexual
    partners are at increased risk for hepatitis B, hepatitis C, cervical cancer,
    ovarian cancer, anal cancer, herpes, syphilis, gonorrhea, chlamydia,
    genital warts, AIDS, and pelvic inflammatory disease; indiscriminating/
    random sexual behaviors can be commonly seen in various mental disorders
    such as psychosis, manic episodes, substance abuse and dependence,
    dissociative identity disorder, as well as borderline, narcissistic and
    antisocial personalities, and can, in fact, often be partially
    diagnostic of such pathological conditions.
    Add to this the fact that Mississippi leads the nation in cases of
    chlamydia and gonorrhea, ranks fifth in cases of syphilis,seventh in
    cases of HIV, and LEADS THE NATION in teen pregnancy, and I’d say that
    teaching Mississippi teens to keep their legs together is a pretty good
    idea – and teenagers have NO BUSINESS having sex anyway – they’re KIDS!

  • Susan Isabella Sheehan

    Lordy, lordy, lordy! What will those miscreants think of next? What an interesting concept using a peppermint ‘Patty’ to demoralize the feminine…..

    The fact that we all begin as female in utero should make ALL Mississippians feel ‘dirty’ after having sex. Backwards and backwater,’ I can almost hear ‘Dueling Banjos’ playing in the background…..

  • MamaMaggie

    For what it’s worth, this information is no longer accurate. In 2011, Oxford schools voted to update their sex education curriculum to an “abstinence plus” base. They purport to no longer use shaming techniques in their teaching.
    Now I’m all for any type of abstinence only/plus education going away in favor of teaching kids accurate info and providing real world knowledge. BUT, I think Mississippi is looking ridiculous enough on her own without reporting outdated info as current. Not sure why someone (not the writer here) decided to dredge up older info and throw it back into the light, but I hope it stops. Check it out instead of just slinging more insults at the “ignorant idiots of the Deep South”. Please.

  • Chris Allen

    Not only that, but the candy pushes the idea of girls as objects, as candy for *someone*—meant to be kept pristine until devoured by the holy owner who buys and unwraps it.

    As well, this is very like the “lesson” taught to child abduction and rape victim Elizabeth Smart: in her case a girl who’d had sex was compared to a stick of chewed-up gum. Smart has said that after the first time they raped her, the gum “lesson” told her that she no longer had value… which inhibited her from escape attempts. The “gum lesson” and other messages communicated to her as she was growing up made her believe that once her abductors had raped her, she had no further value as a human being… and given how that belief inhibited escape attempts, very likely extended the years of abuse she endured before finally being freed.

    I hope Ms. Smart travels to Oxford, MI to talk to the adults and children there… but given their attitudes on sex, they’re likely to ride her out of town on a rail as a “loose woman” or “damaged goods.” Urgh.

  • Johan Lastich

    And what about passing out the banana? Chocolate gets dirty because banana is dirty too;)

  • Chris Allen

    People aren’t food or objects to be passed from hand to hand. While pointing out the lack of bananas to represent boys in this “lesson” is instant response (and well worth pointing out that the “purity” issue focuses only on girls); I think it’s more important to focus on the facts that A. girls are targeted with this and boys ignored, B. it equates girls to objects, and C. it teaches that sex is dirty. Three strikes.

  • Nicole Chojnacki

    Why aren’t MEN dirty too?

  • Susan

    This sounds like a title VII lawsuit to me.

  • JPReturns

    Technically, it’s actually a pretty good example. All it illustrates is that repeated handling by multiple individuals results in contamination. Is that the FACT or not? It may offend someone’s political view of life, but if it protects girls from being used and feeling bad about themselves, so be it.

  • Dirty Chocolate Luvr

    They talk about dirty chocolate like its a bad thing…lmao

  • SpidersilkKevlar

    Um…you can point and laugh at Mississippi all you want, but this little trick reaches far beyond state borders. In fact, it’s a staple of abstinence education.

    Maybe instead of mocking a state you could tackle the actual problems here, such as Mississippi being so poor they can’t afford to school anyone properly, or the fundamentalist movement preying on people like that, or that many of these horrific abstinence programs are federally funded, or the toxic sex messages they send?

    But nope, I guess making fun of one instance in one single state is easier and pulls in more clicks.

  • seeiamheretoo

    You’re absoutely correct in that those of us who are educated and have a different view for the state than the one popularly accepted, are frustrated and disappointed in many things happening here. We are left with a choice of either abandoning the place we may call home, which in spite of things like this, truely has beautiy and value that are often overlooked, or trying to arrive at a point of change. Many of us attempt this by taking part in legitimate educational programs, for example, focusing on the application of evironmental sociology. While it may seem that the people of the state are “backwards” and without thought to the resulting realities of life here, it actually isn’t lost on the average citizen. In MS, the averagae household donates over 7% of its discretionary income to charitable causes. That is 2nd only to Utah in the whole of the United States. Most of the problems are related to public policy and controlled by politicians just like in every other state. We started in a worse place and stayed there. That’s the truth, but please don’t assume that it is the citizenry of the state that is strictly at fault, These are giving and caring people. The nutjob “teaching” that class is probably as conservative religious fanatic who found this was the closest thing to a speech on Biblical “purity’ they would be able to say in the classroom. In contrast to thinking it was uneductaed “bunk,” try to understand that it was probably a somewhat savvy attempt by an individual to spread information that they otherwise would not have been able to do. It was probably more calculated religious teching than it was uneducated “science.” This state could really offer so much to the world if it the poverty of the delta and the affluence of the coast could mingle with the ag center. Don’t know that it will ever happen in my lifetime though.

  • LJT

    This is cut and paste journalism. If you want to know what is actually going on in Oxford, contact the school board and inquire. None of the information in this article is current or accurate.

  • Paul

    I absolutely hate articles like this one. This article once again proves the ignorance of people not living in Mississippi. These writers typically focus on the outliers and not the majority. Mississippi is changing and is going through a cultural renaissance. I won’t bore you with the specifics but I thought I would mention that until you actually travel to a major MS city you should not be writing about how bad we are.