Last fall I sat at friend's dining table in Jackson, Mississippi, talking with people about sex, politics and religion. These subjects are rarely mentioned individually in polite Southern company -- the idea of discussing them all at the same time took on an air of scandal.
As it happens, these topics are my specialty as an investigative reporter, and Mississippi lured me by topping two national lists: the state is the most religious in the union and has the highest teen birth rate. So I was intrigued when House Bill 999 (HB999) -- which for the first time ever requires that sex education be taught in public schools -- passed the Mississippi legislature. Sex itself is a politically and religiously charged subject anywhere and in Mississippi you can take that to the power of 10.