University of Pittsburgh
November 17, 2003

Pitt to Hold Debate on Sex Education Nov. 20

Erika Herald, Miss America 2003, to take part
Contact:  412-624-4147

PITTSBURGH—The question "Should abstinence-only sex education be taught in primary and secondary school health curricula?" will be debated at a forum sponsored by the University of Pittsburgh William Pitt Debating Union (WPDU) from 7 to 9 p.m. Nov. 20 in Parran Hall Auditorium at the Graduate School of Public Health building, 130 DeSoto St., Oakland.

Each side in the debate features a prominent expert in the field paired with an accomplished student intercollegiate debater. A panel of questioners will include Erika Herald, Miss America 2003, and Pitt debater Candace Ferguson, a sophomore majoring in history.

Participants arguing for abstinence-only sex education include Margaret Meeker, a pediatrician from Traverse City, Mich., and Darinka Maldonado, a sophomore debater majoring in communications. Those opposed are Brenda Green, vice president of education for the Pittsburgh chapter of Planned Parenthood, and Pitt debater Allison Hahn, a senior majoring in anthropology.

The WPDU is a Pitt student organization involved in a wide range of debating activities, including two-person intercollegiate policy debate, international parliamentary debate, and various forms of public debate. The WPDU has sponsored debates featuring Pitt students and community advocates on such topics as affirmative action, police brutality, same-sex marriages, financing sports stadiums, "no-kill" animal shelters, drug control policy, school vouchers, and nuclear deterrence.

The debate will be moderated by Gordon R. Mitchell, associate professor of communication and director of debate at the University.

The debate is free and open to the public. For more information, call Mitchell at 412-624-8531, or Peg Chalus at 412-624-2887.