Anti-abstinence bigotry

Hello from DC again. I had just returned home from a weeklong business/pleasure trip when I got a call 2 days ago to replace a cancelled speaker at a pro-life event, and here I am again, happily. Get to visit my daughter Daena as well as connect with pro-life policy friends. So I'll be blogging from DC another week.

At the event tonight someone told me about the following video. It was taken at the Rep Henry Waxman (D-CA) sham of a hearing against abstinence education last week. He called 6 witnesses to testify against and 1 for.

Republican Rep. Virginia Foxx (NC) asked the stacked deck a simple, telling question: Would they support abstinence funding if it were proven to be as or more effective than comprehensive sex ed?

No words.

UPDATE, 5/1, 6:45a: I have found words. These liberal ideologues are so zealous they're willing to be openly irrational.


Comments:

What does it matter? It's already proven to be worthless.

Posted by: Edyt at April 30, 2008 11:45 PM


Republican Rep. Virginia Foxx (NC) asked the stacked deck a simple, telling question: Would they support abstinence funding if it were proven to be as or more effective than comprehensive sex ed?
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

It's been a dismal failure everywhere it's been tried, except for Texas - where it was declared a tragic failure of epic proportions.
States were offered millions of dollars to promote the program and the money was rejected. The cost of the STDs and unplanned pregnancies in the wake of the failed programs was far greater than the funds the state received to participate.

http://www.advocatesforyouth.org/NEWS/press/2006/020706.htm

Posted by: Anonymous at May 1, 2008 2:00 AM


Perhaps there should be an 'Expelled' type movie about the failure of people to give abstinence its due?


[wink]

Posted by: Doug at May 1, 2008 6:04 AM


Abstinence education is worthless to those who have an agenda to make young kids more available for sex.
The possible reasons are that these people
1) think that young kids should have sex,
2) wish to profit from kids having sex by treating the STDs, aborting the babies, treating the psychological and fertility impairment issues, selling the birth control devices, or
3) wish to have sex with the kids.

Number two really generates big cash for those who aren't actual pedophiles themselves.

Posted by: kb at May 1, 2008 6:17 AM


Edyt, Anon, Doug: You join in illogically trashing abstinence education, which is sound. It is only found unsound by those promoting comprehensive sex ed. They're going on the offense because the emperor has no clothes. Comprehensive sex ed has been taught in our schools 40 years and where has it gotten us? What say you about the skyrocketing everything having to do with teen sex - pregnancy, abortion, stds?

Comprehensive sex ed, according to Guttmacher, is taught in 75% of our schools today. And you and they have the nerve to say it is abstinence education that is the problem? Get real. You're as irrational as them.

Posted by: Jill Stanek at May 1, 2008 6:49 AM


MORE comprehensive sex ed then!! If it's not working, more of it should solve the problem! More condoms, more std testing, more abortions, come on kids...keep having sex and we'll keep throwing condoms at you so you can have more sex.

More is always better.

Posted by: Carla at May 1, 2008 7:11 AM


Who were these six "witnesses"? Brilliant testimonies.

Ironically, that the politically correct answer to the question of ABSTINENCE funding was to JUST SAY NO! Lol!!!!

That's what my mother told me when I was young and it didn't cost her a dime.

Posted by: Janet at May 1, 2008 7:43 AM


Edyt, Anon, Doug: You join in illogically trashing abstinence education, which is sound. It is only found unsound by those promoting comprehensive sex ed. They're going on the offense because the emperor has no clothes. Comprehensive sex ed has been taught in our schools 40 years and where has it gotten us? What say you about the skyrocketing everything having to do with teen sex - pregnancy, abortion, stds?
Comprehensive sex ed, according to Guttmacher, is taught in 75% of our schools today. And you and they have the nerve to say it is abstinence education that is the problem? Get real. You're as irrational as them.
Posted by: Jill Stanek at May 1, 2008 6:49 AM

Posted by: Bethany at May 1, 2008 7:45 AM


About the video...great question...very revealing answers!

Posted by: Bethany at May 1, 2008 7:51 AM


You all really think that comparing young women who have premarital sex to dirty band-aids or already-chewed gum is an effective way to prevent teen pregnancy and STIs? Okie dokie then...

Posted by: Hieronymous at May 1, 2008 7:56 AM


kb:6:17: Abstinence education is worthless to those who have an agenda to make young kids more available for sex.

The possible reasons are that these people
1) think that young kids should have sex,
2) wish to profit from kids having sex by treating the STDs, aborting the babies, treating the psychological and fertility impairment issues, selling the birth control devices, or
3) wish to have sex with the kids.

Number two really generates big cash for those who aren't actual pedophiles themselves.

Excellent post. I'd never thought about comprehensive sex education from the pedophile perspective before. That's very troubling.

Posted by: Janet at May 1, 2008 8:10 AM


Hiero:7:56:You all really think that comparing young women who have premarital sex to dirty band-aids or already-chewed gum is an effective way to prevent teen pregnancy and STIs? Okie dokie then...

Come again, please?

Posted by: Janet at May 1, 2008 8:13 AM


With as many pedophiles are in public schools nowadays, Janet, I don't doubt it a bit.

Posted by: Bethany at May 1, 2008 8:14 AM


You all really think that comparing young women who have premarital sex to dirty band-aids or already-chewed gum is an effective way to prevent teen pregnancy and STIs? Okie dokie then...

As frequent as STI's and STD's are nowadays, what's the difference in an old dirty bandaid, already chewed gum, etc, and having sex with someone who's already had multiple partners? You're allowing their potentially diseased bodily fluid to enter your body.

Posted by: Bethany at May 1, 2008 8:16 AM


Janet -

Have you ever seen any videos of the abstinence-only lectures that they give in public schools? I have. They consist of NO real information, NO discussion about communication or negotiation skills, and the worst part are the "demonstrations". This is what happens:

Lecturer takes a band-aid (or a piece of tape, or a piece of gum).

Lecturer sticks the band-aid to his/her clothes or skin (or the piece of tape, or puts the piece of gum in his/her mouth and chews it).

Lecturer then removes the band-aid (or tape) from clothes, or takes gum out of mouth.

Lecturer then compares girls who have premarital sex to the already used band-aid (or tape, or gum).

Lecturer than asks the class if any of them want to be like a used band-aid (or piece of tape or gum) when they get married? Who would want to marry them if they're all DIRTY and USED like the band-aid, or tape, or gum?

That's your abstinence-only education. Awesome.

Posted by: Hieronymous at May 1, 2008 8:20 AM


Why are you all so desperate to keep teenagers ignorant?

Posted by: Hieronymous at May 1, 2008 8:20 AM


Hieronymous, if your method is superior, why hasn't it been working?

What do you suggest the solution is? More of the "solution" that hasn't been working already?

Posted by: Bethany at May 1, 2008 8:21 AM


Hiero: "Dirty-band-aids and already-chewed gum"? OK, I get your point, but you're reading way more into this than you need to. Do you see anyone passing judgement? Look at it from a purely fiscal perspective if you want. It's cheaper to let mom and dad handle sex ed at home than spend millions for the schools to do it. Why should I have to pay for comprehensive sex ed if I don't want to. I'd rather my tax dollars went to math and science and physical ed, at a time when our children are in the worst physical shape in history. Where's MY choice?

Posted by: Janet at May 1, 2008 8:23 AM


Why are you all so desperate to keep teenagers ignorant?

It sounds like abstinence education teachers want to reveal great truths to teenagers that comp. sex ed teachers want to deny. That STD's can be caught anywhere, at any time, and that taking the risk of disease for a moment of pleasure is just NOT WORTH IT.

Posted by: Bethany at May 1, 2008 8:23 AM


Bethany - studies consistently show that comprehensive sex education delays the age at which teenagers have sex, and lowers the rate of teen pregnancy. It works just fine. Unfortunately, the ignorance-only supporters have been undermining it since 1996, which is why we're sliding downhill again.

Posted by: Hieronymous at May 1, 2008 8:23 AM


Bethany - studies consistently show that comprehensive sex education delays the age at which teenagers have sex, and lowers the rate of teen pregnancy. It works just fine. Unfortunately, the ignorance-only supporters have been undermining it since 1996, which is why we're sliding downhill again.

Bull!

Posted by: Bethany at May 1, 2008 8:24 AM


It's cheaper to let mom and dad handle sex ed at home than spend millions for the schools to do it.

And THAT is where comprehensive sex ed should be handled! IN THE HOME. Exactly, Janet!

Posted by: Bethany at May 1, 2008 8:25 AM


Why should I have to pay for comprehensive sex ed if I don't want to. I'd rather my tax dollars went to math and science and physical ed, at a time when our children are in the worst physical shape in history. Where's MY choice?

Posted by: Janet at May 1, 2008 8:23 AM

First, there are many, many, many things that government funding goes to that each one of us disagrees with or doesn't want to support. None of us has a real choice about that. That's why we vote.

And second, comprehensive sex education that INCLUDES promotion of abstinence, but also gives teenagers the strategies and communication skills to say no, AND gives them the information about pregnancy, contraception, and STIs that they will need to protect themselves if they do have sex is a matter of good public policy. Do you want to pay for the sex ed now, or would you rather pay the health care costs for the STIs and the teenage pregnancies later? Either way, it's going to come out of all of our pockets.

Posted by: Hieronymous at May 1, 2008 8:27 AM


It may not have sounded like a serious question in my earlier post, but I really would like an answer. Why do you want to keep information away from teenagers?

Posted by: Hieronymous at May 1, 2008 8:29 AM


Jill, abstinence education has already trashed itself. Sex education has not been perfect, no, but that doesn't necessarily mean anything about the "abstinence" efforts, which have indeed failed miserably.

Posted by: Doug at May 1, 2008 8:34 AM


It may not have sounded like a serious question in my earlier post, but I really would like an answer. Why do you want to keep information away from teenagers?

Hieronymous, why do you think we want to keep relevant information away from teenagers? I don't think we do.

Do you mean things like what Teenwire.com teaches them? If so, I definitely want to keep them from learning all about stuff like that. I think it's disgusting to teach children how to masturbate and how to have sex with the same sex partner, how different positions feel, and what types of things you can use for lubrication. I don't think they need to know every pornographic detail about how sex works in order to have a basic understanding of what sex is, and a healthy attitude about it.

I think the details should be left to the parents judgement, not some random teacher at school.

Posted by: Bethany at May 1, 2008 8:42 AM


Just a quick question: Why do comp. sex education proponents seem to trust teenage judgement more than the judgement of their parents?

Posted by: Bethany at May 1, 2008 8:44 AM


Hiero,
I am going to have to agree to disagree on this, because people rarely change their mind on this once it's made up. Personally, I think our culture is over-sexed, and kids should be allowed to be kids. Parents are still supposed to be the primary teachers of their children and it's annoying that professional educators think they can tell us what is best. I want to educate MY child on MY terms. I wouldn't say that is "keeping them ignorant".

Busy day, got to run. Have a nice one all.

Posted by: Janet at May 1, 2008 8:45 AM


Excellent question, Bethany!!

Posted by: Carla at May 1, 2008 8:46 AM


Hieronymous, why do you think we want to keep relevant information away from teenagers? I don't think we do.

Bethany - The rules for federal funding for abstinence-only education specifically prevent educators from giving any real information about pregnancy, contraception, and prevention of STIs. That's what I mean by that. Instead, you get lectures like the one I described above. When you support abstinence-only education, you are supporting keeping teenagers ignorant and you are supporting deliberately withholding information from them.

Posted by: Hieronymous at May 1, 2008 8:46 AM


Hiero,
Are you assuming that the bandaid, chewed up gum speech is what is being taught all across this land?
Abstinence Ed in my school district is far more in depth than that. :)

Posted by: Carla at May 1, 2008 8:49 AM


Hiero,

I am going to have to agree to disagree on this, because people rarely change their mind on this once it's made up. Personally, I think our culture is over-sexed, and kids should be allowed to be kids. Parents are still supposed to be the primary teachers of their children and it's annoying that professional educators think they can tell us what is best. I want to educate MY child on MY terms. I wouldn't say that is "keeping them ignorant".

Busy day, got to run. Have a nice one all.

Posted by: Janet at May 1, 2008 8:45 AM

I think you'd be surprised about how many points on which we actually agree.

First, I think it's commendable that you want to provide that kind of education to your child. I also plan on making sure that I speak to my girls about sex, and that they understand all the possible consequences.

However, I don't think you can count on all parents to be that proactive. And the problem with that is that it ends up being a bill that we all have to pay when teenagers are unprepared and unprotected. That's why it is appropriate for schools to have sex education.

Second, I HEARTILY agree with you that our society is over-sexed. Our kids, and our girls especially, are being continually bombarded with the message that to be valuable, they need to be SEXAY. As a feminist, that really pisses me off. My girls are better than that, and so are everyone else's daughters. And that's why I think that a comprehensive sex education program is absolutely necessary. It should do the following (IMO, of course):

1. Promote abstinence for teenagers.

2. Teach them how to stand up to social pressure by giving them communication skills and negotiation strategies.

3. Arm them with ACCURATE and COMPLETE information about pregnancy, contraception, and STIs.

Posted by: Hieronymous at May 1, 2008 8:55 AM


Anyway, I've got a busy day also. I hope you all have a good one!

Posted by: Hieronymous at May 1, 2008 8:56 AM


Have a great day, Hieronymous!

Posted by: Bethany at May 1, 2008 9:03 AM


1. Promote abstinence for teenagers.

2. Teach them how to stand up to social pressure by giving them communication skills and negotiation strategies.
3. Arm them with ACCURATE and COMPLETE information about pregnancy, contraception, and STIs.

I agree whole heartedly with these three points! (except that I'm not sure if we have the same definitions of complete).


Posted by: Bethany at May 1, 2008 9:05 AM


Second, I HEARTILY agree with you that our society is over-sexed. Our kids, and our girls especially, are being continually bombarded with the message that to be valuable, they need to be SEXAY. As a feminist, that really pisses me off. My girls are better than that, and so are everyone else's daughters.

Posted by: Bethany at May 1, 2008 9:06 AM


However, I don't think you can count on all parents to be that proactive. And the problem with that is that it ends up being a bill that we all have to pay when teenagers are unprepared and unprotected. That's why it is appropriate for schools to have sex education.

This is the only part where I disagree. I think that if we make it the parent's responsibility, instead of the school's responsibility, more parents will step up to the plate. Not all, of course, but it's really not our business to force people to teach their children what "we" think their children need to know. I think it should be left up to their judgement.

Posted by: Bethany at May 1, 2008 9:10 AM


Excuse me...

EXCUSE ME?

The highest rate of teen preen pregnancies in America was 1957.
The rate of teen pregnancy has dropped every year for the past two-and-a-half decades.
Why don't those of you like Jill, Carla and Bethany tell us why YOU were having sex as teens, and why you didn't prevent those pregnancies you couldn't afford?

Posted by: Laura at May 1, 2008 9:49 AM


@Hiero and Betthany,

fascinating dilemma you pose ... but 'the' difficulty with sex-ed is that it is sex-ed at a time when kids want love-ed .... too often we attempt to appease teens with child-like fantasy-love rather than challenge them to adult-style bonding. When you start to perceive people as computer-machines in need of 'fixing' rather than people who grow in caring, then you have a problem.

Until this is fixed, you'll always have a problem.

Posted by: John McDonell at May 1, 2008 9:50 AM


Gee I wonder why teen boys are the most sexual creatures on the planet and teen girly are as fertile as a bag of Bandini?

Sound like someone's diety is responsible for some really crappy design...

Posted by: Laura at May 1, 2008 9:54 AM


Hey, LOOK!

86% of the massive drop in teen pregnancy is due to contraceptive use!

U.S. Teen Pregnancy Rates Decline As Result Of Improved Contraceptive Use
ScienceDaily (Dec. 4, 2006) — Eighty-six percent of the recent decline in U.S. teen pregnancy rates is the result of improved contraceptive use, while a small proportion of the decline (14%) can be attributed to teens waiting longer to start having sex, according to a report by John Santelli, MD, MPH, department chair and professor of Clinical Population and Family Health at the Mailman School of Public Health and published in the January issue of the American Journal of Public Health. The scientific findings indicate that abstinence promotion, in itself, is insufficient to help adolescents prevent unintended pregnancies.


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See also:
Health & Medicine
Teen Health
Birth Control
Sexual Health
Mind & Brain
Child Psychology
Mental Health
Depression
Reference
Sex education
Oral contraceptive
Birth control
Fertility
Data from the report, "Explaining Recent Declines in Adolescent Pregnancy in the United States: The Contribution of Abstinence and Improved Contraceptive Use" suggest that the United States is following patterns seen in other developed countries where increased availability and increased use of modern contraceptives have been primarily responsible for declines in teenage pregnancy rates. The study by Dr. Santelli of the Mailman School in conjunction with researchers at the Guttmacher Institute examines information from the National Survey of Family Growth, a nationally representative household survey that provides comprehensive coverage of female adolescents.

Between 1995 and 2002, U.S. teen pregnancy rates declined by almost one-quarter (24%). The new study examines the data to determine the relative contributions of abstinence and contraceptive use to this decline. According to the analysis, most of the decline (86%) was due to more sexually active teens using contraceptives, using more effective methods (e.g., condoms and birth control pills) and using multiple methods (e.g., the pill together with condoms) in 2002 than in 1995. When broken down by age, delays in sexual activity played a greater role for younger teens aged 15--17 (23% of the decline). Among 18--19-year-olds, the decline in the risk of teen pregnancy was entirely attributable to improved contraceptive use.

"The United States seems to be following the recent patterns in other developed countries where increased availability and use of modern contraceptives and condoms have led to remarkable declines in teen pregnancy," said Dr. Santelli. "If most of the progress in reducing teen pregnancy rates is due to improved contraceptive use, national policy needs to catch up with those realities."

The authors conclude that this study raises serious questions about the value of the federal government's funding of abstinence-only education programs that prohibit information about the benefits of condoms and contraception. They suggest that public policies and programs in the United States and elsewhere should vigorously promote provision of accurate information on contraception and on sexual behavior and relationships, support increased availability and accessibility of contraceptive services and supplies for adolescents, and promote the value of responsible and protective behaviors, including condom and contraceptive use and pregnancy planning.

The Guttmacher Institute -- http://www.guttmacher.org -- advances sexual and reproductive health worldwide through research, policy analysis and public education.

Adapted from materials provided by Columbia University's Mailman School of Public Health.

Posted by: Laura at May 1, 2008 10:00 AM


See, I think there's a bit of confusion going on here. I'm in favor of comprehensive sex ed, but I still want that to include plenty about staying abstinent! Comprehensive doesn't mean taking out the abstinence message. It doesn't encourage kids to have sex any more than history classes encourage kids to wage war. It means taking the mystique out of sex so that kids don't have to try it to figure out what all the secrecy is about!

Abstinence-only education has proven multiple times not only to not work, but to work against healthy teen sex behavior.* (More STDs and teen pregnancies, most break any chastity vows within the year of pledging...)

And I agree, part of it is due to too much sex -- the media is saturated with it. Yet that's what happens when you repress sex; people get obsessed with it. Teens are getting conflicting messages: One is the government saying: DON'T HAVE SEX and the other is from movies and TV shows and advertisements saying: EVERYONE HAS SEX.

So in response to the question about teenage judgment -- no, we're not "trusting" teens more than adults, but we're understanding that it will ultimately be their decision to have sex. Not anyone else's. And I want them to be equipped to make that decision with accurate facts.

*[Research by the Kaiser Family Foundation reported in 2002 showed that 15 to 24 year-olds in the United States get most of their information about sex from their friends. This is followed closely by Sex Ed Courses. Parents rank third. Are they going to "step up to the plate"? Not likely.]

Posted by: Edyt at May 1, 2008 10:02 AM


Question?

When does sex ed typically start in schools? I met a mom who has a daughter in third grade and came home and told her parents they started sex-ed that day.

Her big question was, how does grandma "do it" with her bad arthritic hips?

Posted by: Sandy at May 1, 2008 10:10 AM


@Hiero and Betthany,
fascinating dilemma you pose ... but 'the' difficulty with sex-ed is that it is sex-ed at a time when kids want love-ed .... too often we attempt to appease teens with child-like fantasy-love rather than challenge them to adult-style bonding. When you start to perceive people as computer-machines in need of 'fixing' rather than people who grow in caring, then you have a problem.
Until this is fixed, you'll always have a problem.

Very good point, John. I agree.

Posted by: Bethany at May 1, 2008 10:38 AM


National Day of Prayer today. I have much to pray about.

Posted by: Carla at May 1, 2008 11:18 AM


Carla 11:18: National Day of Prayer today. I have much to pray about.


Carla, thank you for the reminder. I have a special prayer request to make to anyone so inclined:

I received a prayer-request by email this morning from a friend of a friend whose Iraqi- Catholic sister and her family are being forced from Syria back into Iraq where they will most likely be killed due to religious intolerance in Iraq. They have no home, no relatives there and their situation is dire. Please keep them in your thought and prayers!

Posted by: Janet at May 1, 2008 11:40 AM


3rd grade is much too young, IMHO. My oldest niece is in the 2nd grade and I'm glad she goes to a school where condoms and planned parenthood are not going to be allowed. Hopefully her sex ed won't begin until 6th grade.

How about telling young adults that there are STDs that are spread by skin to skin contact that your precious latex can't protect against.


I really like the speaker Jason Evert. He does a talk for parochial and for public schools. The public school one is adjusted for that environment (its secular, but with the same message). He gives a straight talk about Sex.

The problem is PP's view of sex. Its promiscuity with no LOVE.


Romance without Regret.

PURE LOVE.

That's what should be taught.


Posted by: LizFromNebraska at May 1, 2008 11:48 AM


Janet,
I will be praying!

Liz,
Totally agree.

Posted by: Carla at May 1, 2008 11:52 AM


I find it interesting and sad that people associate being fully informed about sex and sexuality with being told its perfectly okay to start doing it at a young age.

That is not the message I received in my comprehensive sex ed class AT ALL. In fact, the more I learned, the more mystery was taken away from it. It wasn't anything I was in a big hurry to try, because the mystery surrounding it was eliminated.

Its also sad that "abstinence-only" curriculums aim to make kids think sex is dirty and shameful. Its not. And all that leads to (I've seen it with my own eyes) is girls having lots of sex anyway, but being too ashamed to talk to anyone about it. Thats how 14 year olds end up having abortions, or trying to flush their newborn down a toilet, or putting in a plastic bag.

Do you think all lessons should be taught that way then? Just leave out the facts? Well lets see...there's plenty of things that can harm or kill people. How about instead of teaching your child what products in the kitchen they can use, and which ones they should stay away from, you just padlock the entire kitchen and say "its dangerous. just keep out!"

You don't think that kid will spend every moment you're not watching trying to get in to that kitchen and see what all the fuss is about?

Don't believe me? Close a door and lock it. Tell your kid not to go in there no matter what or BADDDDDD things will happen. See how long it takes before the kid is saying "WHAT IS IT!?!?! WHAT IS IT?!?!!" and sneaks through that door the minute you're out of sight.

Posted by: Amanda at May 1, 2008 11:55 AM


Most excellent post Amanda.

Posted by: Anon at May 1, 2008 12:01 PM


Amanda: Its also sad that "abstinence-only" curriculums aim to make kids think sex is dirty and shameful. Its not. And all that leads to (I've seen it with my own eyes) is girls having lots of sex anyway, but being too ashamed to talk to anyone about it. Thats how 14 year olds end up having abortions, or trying to flush their newborn down a toilet, or putting in a plastic bag.

Telling kids they can have sex when they are "in love and ready" is more confusing than telling them to wait until marriage. What kid with raging hormones can figure that out on their own?

Comprehensive sex education is really no one's business but the parents'. Adding God and marriage to the equation, which we are not allowed to do in public schools, helps to emphasize the beauty of sex in the proper marital context.

Colleen Kelly-Mast has written her own sex education programs. One is secular and the other non-secular.

Posted by: Janet at May 1, 2008 12:46 PM


Thank you Carla!

Posted by: Janet at May 1, 2008 12:47 PM


Leaving comprehensive sex ed to the parents has led to boys thinking they have ovaries, girls thinking they can prevent pregnancy with a can of coke, girls thinking they can't get pregnant the first time they have sex, and both sexes referring to their genitalia with childish euphemisms.

Lets just leave teaching ALL controversial things to parents then. I'm sure all the parents out there will get things like slavery, racism, and the Holocaust covered JUST FINE.

Jeez - all this time I thought acting irrespsonsibly could kill me, I never knew FACTS were so dangerous.

Posted by: Amanda at May 1, 2008 12:56 PM


Lets just leave all controversial things to parents then.

Yes, lets.

Do you have children, Amanda?

Posted by: Carla at May 1, 2008 1:02 PM


Nope, but between working with 2 dozen teenage Moms, the vast majority of whom grew up in Catholic homes being told that sex was icky and dirty, and who still giggled when they heard the word "vagina" at their prenatal appointments - and seeing my young cousins Facebook pages, filled with their peers making comments about "69ing" and a dozen things I can't even mention here, it is very VERY clear to me that the harm you percieve is not coming from FACTS (provided by comprehensive sex ed), but rather by ignorance - passed on by peers and media, and perpetuated by ignorance.

Is it awkward and uncomfortable to talk to kids about the FACTS of sex? You betchya. But trust me, its a lot more uncomfortable trying to explain what a mucus plug is to a 15 year old boy a few months before he's about to become a dad.

As far as the religious aspect of it, THAT is the part that is at the parents discretion, and if they feel strongly enough about it, they can send their kids to Catholic school. Why should the rest of the children (every study I've read has shown that a majority of American parents approve of comprehensive sex ed) have to stay ignorant because of a few parents who think its better for their child to relate sex to a dirty toothbrush than to know those EVIL SCARY facts?

Posted by: Amanda at May 1, 2008 1:59 PM


Florida is now dealing with the results of it's moronic decision to incorporate an "abstinence-only" sex education policy.

04/03/2008 01:14 AM
ID: 69736
"Survey: Drinking Bleach Prevents HIV, Mountain Dew Prevents Pregnancy"

"Florida legislators are encouraging a review of their "abstinence only" sex education programs after a recent survey completed by Florida teens returned some curious results.

According to some of the teens, drinking bleach will prevent an HIV infection, and a dose of Mountain Dew soda will stop pregnancy. Knowledge of condoms and other forms of sexual health appeared to be comparatively lacking.

State officials believe that the myths are spreading due to the lone focus on abstinence, rather than other proven methods which encourage sexual health. A new, more comprehensive Bill has been drawn, and has passed its first committee vote."

Posted by: Laura at May 1, 2008 2:01 PM


That just reminded me...

No lie, couldn't possibly make this up, and this is "abstinence only education" at its finest.

17 year old boy, 16 year old mom are sitting in my class, while I'm talking about labor.

The boy raises his hand and says "while the baby is still IN her hoo-hah, what happens if {mom} needs to pee? Won't she pee all over the baby?"

Yes folks. There you have it. 17 year olds STILL manage to figure out how to have sex...and become fathers, without knowing a darned thing about female anatomy. Fantastic.

Posted by: Amanda at May 1, 2008 2:06 PM


Oh I also had a 13 year old girl, and 8th grader from a Catholic school, tell me she heard if she had sex while she was pregnant she might have twins.

This was the same girl that poked a hole in the condom her boyfriend used and got pregnant on purpose because his family had lots of money.

The proudest part of pregnancy for her was the Louis Vuitton diaper bag she got at her shower.

Posted by: Amanda at May 1, 2008 2:19 PM


When I was in High School there was a survey to find out how much teens knew about sex.
About 4% of teenage boys knew what a clitoris was - and worse yet - WHERE it was.

I think that statistic influenced my decision to delay sex until I was over 20.

Posted by: Laura at May 1, 2008 2:19 PM


HAHAHAHA Laura.... thats awesome. =)

What did it for me was the book we had in health class in 6th grade that had real pictures instead of drawings of naked men. I took one look at those and thought "eww. no thanks. I like them better with their clothes ON." and had absolutely no curiousity or desire to have sex until I was 17 and with the darling of a boyfriend I dated all through high school.

And because I knew what I was doing, we were able to talk about it like adults. I was already on the pill because of my severe cramps, and we went and bought condoms together. We broke up once we were both in college in different cities, but are still friends - and I can't think of a single regret in the 3 years I was with him.

Posted by: Amanda at May 1, 2008 2:35 PM


Amanda, 2:19 p.m.

There are so many things wrong there I just don't know where to start.

Posted by: Elizabeth at May 1, 2008 2:39 PM


Unbelievable video... I think this is exactly where libs stand on many issues, like the abortion breast cancer link for example. They couldn't care less what the research shows, they just want to push their Godless agenda.

Posted by: Will D at May 1, 2008 2:42 PM


I know Elizabeth... it was physically painful to listen to her...as in, I could actually feel my brain wanting to explode.

Posted by: Amanda at May 1, 2008 2:53 PM


Unbelievable video... I think this is exactly where libs stand on many issues, like the abortion breast cancer link for example. They couldn't care less what the research shows, they just want to push their Godless agenda.

Posted by: Will D at May 1, 2008 2:42 PM
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Actually, the most comprehensive study on the breast cancer issue was conducted at Harvard. It was a 10-year study involving over 100,000 women and found NO LINK between abortion and breast cancer:

http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2007/04/23/health/webmd/main2718947.shtml

Posted by: Laura at May 1, 2008 3:11 PM


The proudest part of pregnancy for her was the Louis Vuitton diaper bag she got at her shower.


Like my buddy Stan is wont to say, "Dude, that's ****** up."


Posted by: Doug at May 1, 2008 3:25 PM



You all really think that comparing young women who have premarital sex to dirty band-aids or already-chewed gum is an effective way to prevent teen pregnancy and STIs? Okie dokie then...

Posted by: Hieronymous at May 1, 2008 7:56 AM

How about comparing men who have premarital sex to dirty band aids and chewed gum?

Why pick on the women?

I think it is society giving men a total pass on the sex issue.

Posted by: hippie at May 1, 2008 3:26 PM


Once again, Abstinence Education is a failure... ACCORDING TO the "Waxman Report", a report prepared by extremely pro-abortion Rep. Henry Waxman.

Here's another pertinent question - if a report was prepared by Sen. Sam Brownback and it showed that Abstinence Education works, would you believe the "Brownback Report"? Or would you dismiss Brownback as an ideologue?

And, if you would dismiss Brownback, how can you expect us to take Waxman seriously?

Posted by: John Lewandowski at May 1, 2008 3:36 PM



Actually, the most comprehensive study on the breast cancer issue was conducted at Harvard. It was a 10-year study involving over 100,000 women and found NO LINK between abortion and breast cancer:

http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2007/04/23/health/webmd/main2718947.shtml

Posted by: Laura at May 1, 2008 3:11 PM

ah, another news report focusing solely on conclusions.

Go back to the Harvard report itself and you will find that some on the women in the abortion group had abortions just a couple of months before the conclusion of the study.

Notice also that the average age and number of months follow up for women in the abortion group is both younger and shorter, so of course there is less likelihood of cancer.

And let's not forget that all of the conclusions are based on the ADJUSTMENT FOR KNOWN RISK FACTORS.

And what are those known risk factors?

Age of mother at first birth and number of full term pregnancies.

Abortion is often used as a method to both delay the age at first full term pregnancy and to reduce the number of full term pregnancies.

The raw data from all of the studies of breast cancer and abortion shows that women who have had abortions have much higher breast cancer rates when not adjusted for these known risk factors.

Bottom line

Having more kids and starting by age 20 is the lowest risk.

Having fewer kids and delaying increases risk.

No kids is the highest risk.

Posted by: hippie at May 1, 2008 3:37 PM



Oh I also had a 13 year old girl, and 8th grader from a Catholic school, tell me she heard if she had sex while she was pregnant she might have twins.

This was the same girl that poked a hole in the condom her boyfriend used and got pregnant on purpose because his family had lots of money.

The proudest part of pregnancy for her was the Louis Vuitton diaper bag she got at her shower.

Posted by: Amanda at May 1, 2008 2:19 PM


What is the point of this?

To me the bottom line is the girl wants to get married and have a baby instead of a career doing something else and you think she is stupid.

Looks like she got what she wanted. Doesn't she have the right to pursue her dreams even if you don't agree with her ambitions? Looks to me like boyfriend cooperated enough to get her pregnant. Looks like she was smart enough to figure out how to get what she wanted. Don't you think she has a right to make her own choices?

Who are you to judge her?

Posted by: Anonymous at May 1, 2008 3:47 PM



When I was in High School there was a survey to find out how much teens knew about sex.
About 4% of teenage boys knew what a clitoris was - and worse yet - WHERE it was.

I think that statistic influenced my decision to delay sex until I was over 20.

Posted by: Laura at May 1, 2008 2:19 PM

Okay here I agree with Laura. How much fun is it to have sex with someone who doesn't have a clue?

That is why I think we need to take a second look at what we are teaching young men about sex.

Posted by: hippie at May 1, 2008 3:52 PM


To me the bottom line is the girl wants to get married and have a baby instead of a career doing something else and you think she is stupid.

Actually, the bottom line is the girl did it because the guy was rich..probably not because she wanted to have a kid or be married..she just wanted to be rich.

My cousin did the same thing before her bf was going to go to graduate school. She got pregnant to keep him, and they got married..and were separated within the first year of the marriage. Now, my cousin has to meet him on one of those highway rest stops to drop off her son to his dad because her parents won't allow him in their house.

She was smart enough to figure out how to get what she wanted. She just didn't have the capacity to see the reality of what she was ACTUALLY doing. It's called being selfish..doing what you have to to get what you want no matter how if affects anybody else's life.

Posted by: Elizabeth at May 1, 2008 3:55 PM



Actually, the most comprehensive study on the breast cancer issue was conducted at Harvard. It was a 10-year study involving over 100,000 women and found NO LINK between abortion and breast cancer:

http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2007/04/23/health/webmd/main2718947.shtml

Posted by: Laura at May 1, 2008 3:11 PM

I have to contest the notion that the Harvard study was the most comprehensive. There have been studies from Europe that followed women for 30-50 years and included the entire population, so millions of women. Certainly far more thorough than any group of selected participants.

Posted by: hippie at May 1, 2008 3:58 PM


No, Anon. She didn't want to get married. She was THIRTEEN. She wanted a "baby daddy" with lots of money. She wasn't even dating him by the time she was in my course, at 4 months pregnant.

And she still had every intention of having a career too. Otherwise she wouldn't be going to the school for pregnant teens, where the whole point is to make sure these moms stay caught up enough to graduate high school and have some college prep. There was a career counselor there as well who worked with these girls, and a social worker who specialized in finding them day care providers so they could still work and/or go to school.

Seems like you're the one thats judging her - and completely incorrectly for that matter.

All I did was repeat the facts of what she did and what she told me. You're the one assigning meaning to it.

Posted by: Amanda at May 1, 2008 4:13 PM


Hey, LOOK!

86% of the massive drop in teen pregnancy is due to contraceptive use!

U.S. Teen Pregnancy Rates Decline As Result Of Improved Contraceptive Use
ScienceDaily (Dec. 4, 2006) — Eighty-six percent of the recent decline in U.S. teen pregnancy rates is the result of improved contraceptive use, while a small proportion of the decline (14%) can be attributed to teens waiting longer to start having sex, according to a report by John Santelli, MD, MPH, department chair and professor of Clinical Population and Family Health at the Mailman School of Public Health and published in the January issue of the American Journal of Public Health. The scientific findings indicate that abstinence promotion, in itself, is insufficient to help adolescents prevent unintended pregnancies.


Posted by: Laura at May 1, 2008 10:00 AM


My problem with a report like this is that is lumps 13-17 year olds in with legal adults 18 and over. In some states as much as 10% of 18-19 year old women are married.

I think if you were talking about comprehensive sex ed for high school seniors, few even very religious folks would balk.

When you are talking about 13 and younger, people feel it is inappropriate.

However, I really want to emphasize that 18 and older reduction in pregnancy means that it is adult women who are more effectively using contraception.

Demographically speaking it seems very confusing to lump together 13-17 olds with adults. In the interest of meaningful understanding, it would be much more helpful to discuss these issues using separate, disagregated data.

If for example, abstinence ed sufficiently reduces pregnancy rates in the 13-17 crowd, then it is appropriate.

For the 17-19 group comprehensive sex ed seems more reasonable, since this group will naturally be more likely to be having sex, especially the married ones.

Posted by: hippie at May 1, 2008 4:15 PM


No, Anon. She didn't want to get married. She was THIRTEEN. She wanted a "baby daddy" with lots of money. She wasn't even dating him by the time she was in my course, at 4 months pregnant.

And she still had every intention of having a career too. Otherwise she wouldn't be going to the school for pregnant teens, where the whole point is to make sure these moms stay caught up enough to graduate high school and have some college prep. There was a career counselor there as well who worked with these girls, and a social worker who specialized in finding them day care providers so they could still work and/or go to school.

Posted by: Amanda at May 1, 2008 4:13 PM

I'm confused. Did she say she didn't want to marry him? I mean did she refuse the big fat diamond ring he offered?

Did the career counselor give her any ideas about how to screen guys who would make appropriate husbands or do they rule out homemaker as a career? If she likes kids she might be interested in being a daycare provider, so she can stay with her baby full time. I know lots of middle class women who choose to provide daycare. It is a good home based business.

Posted by: Anonymous at May 1, 2008 4:40 PM


isn't the sex-ed being taught 'comprehensive' in name only? Love does not seem any part of this classroom teaching. This might be OK for girls but is definitely not enough for boys.

How is love taught - as an academic subject or is it experienced by passing it on? Is the target the head or the heart?

Posted by: John McDonell at May 1, 2008 4:41 PM



She was smart enough to figure out how to get what she wanted. She just didn't have the capacity to see the reality of what she was ACTUALLY doing. It's called being selfish..doing what you have to to get what you want no matter how if affects anybody else's life.

Posted by: Elizabeth at May 1, 2008 3:55 PM


Okay, I see your point that if she had a better idea of what she was really doing, she might not have done it.

I just think it is so disgusting to vent our disdain on women who do this and many are so conspicously silent when men do the same thing.

Posted by: Anonymous at May 1, 2008 4:49 PM


And, if you would dismiss Brownback, how can you expect us to take Waxman seriously?

Posted by: John Lewandowski at May 1, 2008 3:36 PM
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

State after state has declined millions of dollars in "abstinence-only" funds BECAUSE IT JUST DOESN'T WORK - not because of a single congressional report.

Posted by: Laura at May 1, 2008 4:50 PM


Hippie - I absolutely agree that there should be very different curriculums based on age, however, I think its important that around 4th and 5th grade kids at least know what all the words they're hearing mean, so they don't let their friends or their imaginations provide the answers.

Getting to middle school and still referring to your genitalia as a "wiener" or a "hoo-hah" is NOT okay. Not know what parts do what is NOT okay. Being a sexually active 7th grader who doesn't know about a vagina and a urethra is NOT okay...

I think thats the main premise behind comprehensive sex ed.

Posted by: Amanda at May 1, 2008 4:53 PM


"I'm confused. Did she say she didn't want to marry him? I mean did she refuse the big fat diamond ring he offered? "


LOL.

Anon.

Let me repeat this one more time.

SHE WAS THIRTEEN YEARS OLD.

The father was thirteen too, maybe 14.

Neither of them even had marriage, let alone diamonds, in the scope of their imaginations. They were broken up before she was even through her 1st trimester.

And no, I don't think a career counselor is qualified, OR has the right to tell a girl how she should "screen husbands"... and even suggesting that to a 13 year old is completely ABSURD.

Posted by: Amanda at May 1, 2008 4:57 PM


Why shouldn't a career counselor suggest homemaker as a possible choice?

If telling a person they should use contraception is not to personal, why is suggesting that they get married?

Also, she is not going to be 13 forever. She needs good unbiased advice about her options. Certainly marriage is a good option for a woman who has a baby to take care of. That way she can be home with her baby. She is still lovable. She could find a good mate. She just needs encouragement.

A friend of mine got pregnant at thirteen and married at fourteen. She took care of her baby and was happy. You may not like it, but it is what some people want to do.

Posted by: Anonymous at May 1, 2008 5:10 PM


What kind of career counselor is not qualified to give advice on the most important and most popular job of all time?

Posted by: Anonymous at May 1, 2008 5:13 PM


"I just think it is so disgusting to vent our disdain on women who do this and many are so conspicously silent when men do the same thing."

You know a lot of young men who poke holes in condoms to get girls pregnant on purpose for their moeny? Because I can honestly say I've never once heard anyone mention that happening to them or anyone they know.

Posted by: Amanda at May 1, 2008 5:15 PM


plenty of young men have sex with no protection and no intention of caring for their child.

Do you defend them and their casual attitude?

Posted by: Anonymous at May 1, 2008 5:18 PM


"What kind of career counselor is not qualified to give advice on the most important and most popular job of all time?"

Oh yeah thats clearly unbiased.... *eyeroll*

"A friend of mine got pregnant at thirteen and married at fourteen. "

Good for her. Only one problem: thats illegal in most states, including New York, where this all occured. Was her husband also 14? You know thats not even old enough to work full time? So how exactly is he going to support a wife and child? They should BOTH drop out of middle school? (also illegal) And she can stay home (what home, with no income?) and he can work whatever full time job he can find with a middle school education? Sounds AWESOME. Sign me up!!!

Posted by: Amanda at May 1, 2008 5:21 PM


"plenty of young men have sex with no protection and no intention of caring for their child.

Do you defend them and their casual attitude?"


Absolutely not. And I challenge you to find anyone on this board who would.

Posted by: Amanda at May 1, 2008 5:22 PM


Don't states have age exceptions for pregnant women?

What job is more popular or more important that being a mother?

Why do you roll your eyes in response to someone who says that being a mom is both popular and important?

Did she say her boyfriend was her same age? Generally that is not the case.

Are you really against marriage for a woman with a baby to take care of?

If sex is normal for teens, then so is pregnancy and marriage.

A percentage of teens have always had sex, got pregnant and got married. It is normal.

In Puritan communities the average number of months of marriage to first birth was only 8 months, indicating that a fair percentage were pregnant at the time of their marriage.

Until the 1800s there was no minimum age for marriage in most places. Menarche was the minimum for girls. Making marriage illegal is as ridiculous as making sex illegal.

Posted by: Anonymous at May 1, 2008 5:34 PM


Absolutely not. And I challenge you to find anyone on this board who would.

Posted by: Amanda at May 1, 2008 5:22 PM

I challenge you to spend as much time criticizing them as you do the women involved.

Thanks for the discussion.

gotta take my boys to baseball.

have a nice evening.

Posted by: Anonymous at May 1, 2008 5:37 PM


John McD: I'm skimming the posts... and I hit a word, LOVE. I know it's you - because I think you are the only person who's mentioned that word all day. What a sad commentary on the how our society views sex, when the biggest concern seems to be if boys at 15 years old can score a decent grade on a sex vocabulary and biology test. If my 15 year old boy could define some of the words being tossed around, here, I'd be a little upset, but some of you think it's a good thing? What was wrong with the days when husbands had no clue about the mechanics of having a baby before their first was born? Husbands and wives actually talked about these things together.

Why can't we tell the kids" just say no, or you're going to be in trouble!", like we used to? Who are the real dummies here, us or our kids?

Posted by: Janet at May 1, 2008 5:48 PM


Laura:2:19: When I was in High School there was a survey to find out how much teens knew about sex.
About 4% of teenage boys knew what a clitoris was - and worse yet - WHERE it was.

As this is a bad thing because????? (No answer required.)

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
"plenty of young men have sex with no protection and no intention of caring for their child.

Do you defend them and their casual attitude?"

Amanda said: Absolutely not. And I challenge you to find anyone on this board who would.

I would not condone this attitude but I wouldn't be surprised if this were the case with many boys, because of the attitudes of some girls on this board. Girls are sending the wrong message to boys, that "I'll have sex when I want and abortion is my choice if I need it". How can a boy resist temptation if he grows up in that type of environment?

Posted by: Janet at May 1, 2008 6:02 PM


Janet, I noticed you brought up the word love, and I wanted to comment on that, since you seem to be implying that sex ed teaches kids when the right time is to have sex.

On the contrary, comprehensive sex ed will not tell kids when the "right" time is. Love means different things to different people, so that isn't a good indicator of the "right" time or even "right" person.

What comprehensive sex ed WILL do is arm these teens with the facts. So that when they make the decision as to when the right time is (and they will do so without asking their parents!), they will be informed.

Hippie, thank you for repeatedly bringing up the issue of men.

Posted by: Edyt at May 1, 2008 7:43 PM


How can a boy resist temptation if he grows up in that type of environment?

Don't demean men by saying they can't control themselves in a promiscuous society. Men aren't powerless to an attractive woman. It's ideas like that that make rape more prevalent in our culture.

Posted by: Edyt at May 1, 2008 7:45 PM


If my 15 year old boy could define some of the words being tossed around, here, I'd be a little upset, but some of you think it's a good thing? What was wrong with the days when husbands had no clue about the mechanics of having a baby before their first was born? Husbands and wives actually talked about these things together.

Posted by: Janet at May 1, 2008 5:48 PM
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Yes, 15-year-old boys and husbands should be kept as ignorant as humanly possible.
If they knew stuff, they'd just become dangerous.

(I'd love to know which words are too racy for a 15-year-old...)

Posted by: Laura at May 1, 2008 9:04 PM


Edyt:7:43:Janet, I noticed you brought up the word love, and I wanted to comment on that, since you seem to be implying that sex ed teaches kids when the right time is to have sex.

No, quite the opposite.

On the contrary, comprehensive sex ed will not tell kids when the "right" time is.

Right.

Love means different things to different people, so that isn't a good indicator of the "right" time or even "right" person.

Highly debatable in the right arena.

What comprehensive sex ed WILL do is arm these teens with the facts.

Sounds more like a power struggle between warring factions than a relationship.

So that when they make the decision as to when the right time is (and they will do so without asking their parents!), they will be informed.

How can you expect to be taken seriously when you add a comment like that? Of course, why ask parents. They are only good for gas money, groceries, and a nice warm bed to sleep in at night. (Sarcasm alert.) A teen would never want to have an open line of communication with a parent. Ha ha.

Edyt, I find it hard to believe that you are actually serious with all this and not just pulling my leg.

I hope to God you are not ever in a position of teaching sex education to any impressionable minds, you would be a terrible influence. I could go on and on, you haven't heard a word anyone has said on this subject for several months now, so why bother...


Laura: You don't get it either. See comments above.

Edyt, Laura, what planets did you "grow up" on?

Posted by: Janet at May 1, 2008 9:13 PM


You seriously think a teenager is going to walk up to his or her parent and go, "Hey Mom, can I have sex with ____?"

Sure, they might talk about the subject with their parent(s), but they will always make the decision on when to do it on their own.

Posted by: Edyt at May 1, 2008 9:20 PM


Edyt,
Do you have children?

Posted by: Carla at May 1, 2008 9:26 PM


Do I seriously think a teenager is going to walk up to his or her parent and go, "Hey, Mom, I have decided to wait until I am married. Will you and Dad help me avoid temptation?"

Yes!!

Posted by: Carla at May 1, 2008 9:29 PM


You seriously think a teenager is going to walk up to his or her parent and go, "Hey Mom, can I have sex with ____?"

Sure, they might talk about the subject with their parent(s), but they will always make the decision on when to do it on their own.

Posted by: Edyt at May 1, 2008 9:20 PM

I was referring more to conversation a teen might have with their parents months or years prior to the event you refer to. Unlike you, I don't assume that that "big day" is inevitable in the teen years. I'm hoping my child(ren) wait until marriage, when they've finally figured out that there is a love component to a relationship that is far more important than sex.

Parental expectations are a very important factor in how their children will handle these teenage years and beyond.

Posted by: Janet at May 1, 2008 9:32 PM


"On the contrary, comprehensive sex ed will not tell kids when the "right" time is."

"Right."


Yes Janet, didn't you know that? comprehensive sex ed does not get into that, even kids at 9 or 10 yrs who decide to have sex, thats fine and dandy with the comprehensive sex ed group. The comprehensive sex ed people just give the kids all of their options; condoms, birth control, abortion (onlt as a last resort of course)straight sex, gay sex, bi-sex,pre-maritial sex, group sex, whatever kind of sex they choose. No morals involved, just choices, choices, choices....Thats the beauty of it.

Posted by: Jasper at May 1, 2008 9:33 PM


Do I seriously think a teenager is going to walk up to his or her parent and go, "Hey, Mom, I have decided to wait until I am married. Will you and Dad help me avoid temptation?"

Yes!!

Posted by: Carla at May 1, 2008 9:29 PM
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Yeah! ...And then you could have Daddy take his little girl to one of those "purity balls."
They could stand at the peculiar vagina altar, and Dad could profess his love for his little girl's virginity as he slips that ring on her finger.
God knows the Freudian trauma alone would turn most young girls into militant lesbian terrorists, and the parents would never have to worry about teen pregnancy EVER AGAIN.
http://www.areavoices.com/marabrust/images/thumbnail/purityball.jpg

Posted by: Laura at May 1, 2008 9:46 PM


Carla, that's a great goal to aspire to! But I don't think it's practical in dealing with all students.

Janet, I also agree with you there about parental expectations. And I'm not assuming the "big day" is inevitable, but it does happen often then!

Here's my take on it: Sex ed exists to tell the facts about sex and reproduction. It is there to talk about how not to get an STD or get pregnant, and how to handle uncomfortable situations (i.e. how to say no). It exists to talk about the legal aspect of sex (and crimes for things such as rape, sexual assault, etc). It explains the risks of sex, as well as the benefits. It explains the mechanics. It talks about the benefits of abstaining.

If you think abstaining should be until marriage, then feel free to teach that at home! That's what my folks did. I decided otherwise, but I'm not a big fan of marriage anyway. I think you can love someone without having to be married to them. And to explain some of my earlier comments... I think waiting until marriage to have sex sets up sex as the be-all-end-all of a relationship. Finally you're a real couple because you had sex. I don't agree with that, and I think there are many ways to grow as a couple without sex. I don't think physical touching is the most important aspect of a relationship -- but it seems to be the only one worth "waiting" for. I hope that clarifies the way I think a bit better.

I'm not trying to say that everyone should be promiscuous or experiment or have sex before marriage, but in my personal view, when you hold off sex it seems to make sex the most defining part of a marriage. Which I disagree with.

Posted by: Edyt at May 1, 2008 9:48 PM


@Laura: Purity balls are so friggin' creepy...

Posted by: Rae at May 1, 2008 9:52 PM


Laura, if 13 is too young to teach sex ed in schools, why do purity balls take place for girls as young as 10?

Posted by: Edyt at May 1, 2008 9:53 PM


Janet, I also agree with you there about parental expectations. And I'm not assuming the "big day" is inevitable, but it does happen often then!
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

After hurricane Andrew there was a big spike in the number of teen pregnancies in Florida. The experts credited the phenomenon to the fact that cable TV was out for over a week.
A Honda generator and a satellite dish may be more effective than morals and values.

Posted by: Laura at May 1, 2008 9:53 PM


A Honda generator and a satellite dish may be more effective than morals and values.

LOL "Get these kids some video games! I think they might be in heat!"

Posted by: Edyt at May 1, 2008 9:54 PM


Oooooooh!

Rae & Edyt-

The same Australian production company that made the documentary "Painted Babies" about the kiddie-pageant indusry in the US, is making a documentary about "purity balls" in America.
If it's ANYWHERE NEAR as twisted as "painted Babies" was, it should be a hit!

Posted by: Laura at May 1, 2008 9:58 PM


Jasper:9:33: Beauty, heh?

A few years ago, the "safe touch" programs were being introduced (actually mandated) into the Catholic parochial schools as a result of the priest scandal. The videos they proposed to show small children were almost pornographic. I was in shock after seeing the them. Luckily, a very small group of us made a stink about it, and the principal paid attention to us. Instead of playing the video in the regular classroom, they decided to hold a session at night, one for girls, one for boys, parents invited also. It made a world of difference to the children that parents were there to address their questions or comments afterwards. Parents were also given the chance to "opt out" of the program all together, if they wanted to discuss it at home.
This is an option that parents sometimes overlook - it is completely in your rights to do so.


Posted by: Janet at May 1, 2008 9:59 PM


Won't Daddy's girl be surprised Laura?! :) I guess I will be getting ahold of you for tips as you seem to know all about them!! You are just a wealth of info, I tell ya.

Hi Edyt. I know A LOT of homeschooling families who raise their children to wait. They just do. Of course they are taught what they need to know. All of their friends hang out together and help each other out. Most do not date. If they meet someone they become serious about, they court them. The relationships I have seen that have led to marriage are very special indeed. Their friendships grew into love without the added pressure of a sexual relationship.
HisMan could probably talk more about it. His 29 year old son is engaged to be married this summer. He waited. :)

Posted by: Carla at May 1, 2008 9:59 PM


Laura, keep me updated. Do you know if they plan on documenting whether or not the girls stayed pure? I know I signed a purity pledge when I was 11 and didn't know what I was doing. (and was pressured, did I add that? Yeah, definitely peer pressured into signing it without ever really thinking about it. Years later, even before I had sex I tore it up.)

Posted by: Edyt at May 1, 2008 10:01 PM


@Laura: Beauty pagents are scary as hell. I would consider that crap abuse.

Was "Painted Babies" as good/scary as "Jesus Camp"?

Posted by: Rae at May 1, 2008 10:05 PM


Footnote to the previous post to Jasper : 9:33:

Just to clarify,
the videos being discussed were independently made for public and private schools to address the "safe touch" (or "talking about touching") program(s) and did not address the priest scandal specifically. They weren't "pornographic" (perhaps too strong a word choice, on my part), but were too explicit for the young children who were the intended audience, in my opinion, which is why we asked for changes in the way the video we chose was shown.

Posted by: Janet at May 1, 2008 10:06 PM


Carla, but that's homeschooling, where you have the freedom to teach whatever you'd like. Should public schools be subject to that? (Especially after its ineffective rate?)

I don't think people are wrong for waiting until marriage to have sex.

But I disagree with it because it makes sex bigger and more mysterious than it is... it makes sex the "end" of courting, so to say. And I just don't agree with making the physical part of a relationship more important than the mental, emotional, and yes, spiritual aspects of being in a relationship.

Posted by: Edyt at May 1, 2008 10:06 PM


Oooh Rae, Jesus Camp was creepy too. I felt so bad for those kids.

Posted by: Edyt at May 1, 2008 10:07 PM


@Carla: My parents didn't wait. They've been married 25+ years now and their marriage is as strong as it's ever been...

Posted by: Rae at May 1, 2008 10:08 PM


@Edyt: I did too. That movie made me so angry. I mean jiminy! Let the kids read Harry Potter, it's not "satanic", it's FICTION. I hated how they made those kids feel so crappy about the little screw-ups that they do because they're KIDS. KIDS MAKE MISTAKES. YOU SHOULDN'T SHAME KIDS WHEN THEY SCREW UP AND THREATEN THEM WILL HELLFIRE.

Uuurrrgggh. My blood is now boiling at the thought...

Posted by: Rae at May 1, 2008 10:13 PM


I agree. The physical part IMO is not more important in marriage.

Abstinence without morals makes no sense! Of course it's not going to work if there is no greater purpose for it. Signing a piece of paper means what exactly?

I used to homeschool and then had 2 more babies. I will still be teaching abstinence at home even though my 2 oldest are in public school.

Posted by: Carla at May 1, 2008 10:14 PM


Oh, I know. They had so much guilt and shame, and none of them had done anything wrong.

Like, when I saw these 6 or 7 year olds crying because they were afraid of going to hell, I just thought... "that's not right. That's downright child abuse."

Posted by: Edyt at May 1, 2008 10:16 PM


Ok Rae. :)

Posted by: Carla at May 1, 2008 10:16 PM


Edyt,

How about unmarried couples who sleep around with other people? That should be ok too? correct? After all, sex is not that big of a deal.

Posted by: Jasper at May 1, 2008 10:17 PM


Edyt: 9:48:

I think waiting until marriage to have sex sets up sex as the be-all-end-all of a relationship. Finally you're a real couple because you had sex. I don't agree with that, and I think there are many ways to grow as a couple without sex. I don't think physical touching is the most important aspect of a relationship -- but it seems to be the only one worth "waiting" for. I hope that clarifies the way I think a bit better.

I'm sure you don't really want to hear my opinion on this...but I will say this, because maybe it will make sense some day, if not now.

When you WAIT until marriage, you are a real couple BECAUSE you WAITED, not because you finally had SEX. You've got the emphasis on the wrong sy-lla-ble (figuratively speaking). When you wait to have sex, you have time to get to know the person every which way possible. Your love has a solid foundation to build upon. When you don't wait until marriage, those sex hormones are telling you you are in love, even if you don't know the other person very well. I think you can understand the danger in that.

Posted by: Janet at May 1, 2008 10:21 PM


@Carla: I was just using my parents as an example, because it annoys me when people say, "Oh! Couples that are abstinent until they marry will be happy forever and couples that don't will be miserable and divorce!"

I know it's a generalization, and I am pretty sure you didn't say it, but I've heard it before...maaaaaaaany times.

In fact, I know of more people who were abstinent until marriage who ended up divorcing within 5 years of marriage than people who didn't wait until marriage.

Just sayin'.

Posted by: Rae at May 1, 2008 10:21 PM


Edyt:10:01: Laura, keep me updated. Do you know if they plan on documenting whether or not the girls stayed pure? I know I signed a purity pledge when I was 11 and didn't know what I was doing. (and was pressured, did I add that? Yeah, definitely peer pressured into signing it without ever really thinking about it. Years later, even before I had sex I tore it up.)

Why didn't you ask someone if you didn't understand it? I think I can already guess how many girls stayed pure from your reaction to it. I think eleven is too young to be signing a purity pledge, but then again, if you want to teach sex-ed at age eleven, maybe it's not. How old are the girls when they go to a Purity Ball? Is it a one-time thing, or yearly?


Posted by: Janet at May 1, 2008 10:33 PM


Rae: @Carla: I was just using my parents as an example, because it annoys me when people say, "Oh! Couples that are abstinent until they marry will be happy forever and couples that don't will be miserable and divorce!"

Just a thought. Abstinence is no guarantee of a successful marriage, but getting to know a person well without the complication of sex and hormones, etc... gives the potential marriage a better chance.


Posted by: Janet at May 1, 2008 10:37 PM


@Janet: That's very possible.

Posted by: Rae at May 1, 2008 10:45 PM


Janet, that makes a lot of sense and I agree with it to a point. Of course, some people are more or less hormonal than others... and teenagers are prone to being much more hormonal. Yes, sex can be very complicated, but it can also be one of the most simple things humans do. I think the complications come from conflicting messages, not necessarily the act of sex itself. My parents both had sex before marriage and they've been together for ... umm, I want to say more than 20 years but I don't recall exactly how much more ... (my mother says she's 29 every year so it's hard to calculate when things actually happened).

Anyway, enough rambling. We have complicated sex unnecessarily by mystifying it. I think that's where a lot of the sex confusion happens, but you're right, hormones do play an important role as well.

Either way, I don't think sex before marriage is a good indicator of whether a relationship will last or not.

And in response to the purity ball thing: I never went to a purity ball, but I did go to a Christian camp when I was 11 and at the end of the week we were basically peer pressured into signing pledges. Everyone in my cabin did it, but in other cabins, the girls who did not sign were forced to meet with a counselor to review their "life goals." I'd only gotten the sex talk earlier that summer, and having been raised around boys... well, I wasn't THAT interested in doing anything with them! Haha. So I signed it without really thinking about what it meant. Of course, I didn't really know what sex meant either, so it didn't matter either way.

Posted by: Edyt at May 1, 2008 11:34 PM


Anon,

I'm pretty sure if Amanda is even criticizing the girl..which I didn't really hear..I just heard or read the facts of the situation she stated..that it's pretty warranted. I would criticize ANYONE who poked holes in a condom just to get a rich baby daddy. Since there are not a lot, if any guys doing this...the blame here gets put on the girl. Now, if the guy wanted to make sure he would never have to be held accountable in case a situation like this ever occurred..he could have kept it in his pants. He did choose to trust this seemingly sneaky girl, but we all trust the wrong people at times. That doesn't mean other people have the right to take advantage of us just because we are naive.

Posted by: Elizabeth at May 2, 2008 12:15 AM


@Laura: Beauty pagents are scary as hell. I would consider that crap abuse.

Was "Painted Babies" as good/scary as "Jesus Camp"?

Posted by: Rae at May 1, 2008 10:05 PM
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

It was made in '95 and released in '96 - shortly before Jonbenet Ramsey was sexually assaulted and murdered. Jonbenet shows up in some footage.
The producers have made a new documentary about the two principle pageant girls now that they're 17. I can't wait:

Painted Babies Growing Up

Film-maker Jane Treays follows up her acclaimed 1995 film, Painted Babies, by re-visiting the unique world of the baby beauty pageant queen.

Her original film centred on the rivalry of the parents of Brooke Breedwell and Asia Mansur – two beautiful, heavily made-up four-year-olds, competing for thousands of dollars in prize money.

Painted Babies Growing Up focuses on the Darling Dolls of America pageant in Texas, and reveals what impact the intense and early exposure to the pageant scene had on Brooke and Asia – and what sort of young women they are now at 17 years old.

Posted by: Laura at May 2, 2008 3:28 AM


I must say, that after reading these posts, this was one of the most mature, reasonable discussions I have ever read here on Jill's.

Kudos to all who participated. I was really, really impressed.

You know it was a good discussion because after reading it, I am totally conflicted on the right way to go...

On the one hand, I agree that our entire society is completely OVERSEXED. Which means kids are getting messages whether we want them to or not. Just walk by an Abercrombie and Fitch store...So the subject is OUT THERE and whether subliminally or overtyly, our kids are being "teased" with sexual stimulus.

On the other, I don't think schools are the right place for this education you speak of. Unless it is extracurricular, with parental involvement. After school, madatory parental attendance. That's the way to go. It's not that I don't want my kids educated, it's that I don't trust the educators to share my values.

I don't think learning "how" to have sex is necessary. It's enough to know the names of the parts, how they work, and what can go wrong if the "parts" aren't respected.

I agree that we aren't a theocracy, and shouldn't be. You wouldn't want sex ed in a public school to include that sex sans marriage is sinful, and I don't want it excluded.

If I was required to attend the classes with my child, I could cover the "sin" part, and the teacher could cover the "science" part.

Posted by: mk at May 2, 2008 6:40 AM


Anti-abstinence bigotry

Jill, you so crazy. There's no such thing as "bigotry" against bad ideas.

If you ask a bunch of teenagers what it means to be abstinent, they will tell you that it means you aren't having penis-in-vagina sex. Kids today think you can blow the entire football team and still be a virgin. Ignorance-only is not helping our kids; it's putting them in danger.

Posted by: reality at May 2, 2008 7:04 AM


What was wrong with the days when husbands had no clue about the mechanics of having a baby before their first was born?

Ha! Janet, interesting question. Well, a lot was wrong with those days, but not directly due to a lack of physiology, I'd say.

However, ignorance about how pregnancy occurs, etc., isn't a good thing, IMO.

Posted by: Doug at May 2, 2008 7:04 AM


(I'd love to know which words are too racy for a 15-year-old...)

:: laughing ::

Laura, you oughtta hear some of the 12 year olds in this neighborhood where I worked in East Chicago, IN. They know all the words.

Posted by: Doug at May 2, 2008 7:07 AM


kids are getting messages whether we want them to or not. Just walk by an Abercrombie and Fitch store...So the subject is OUT THERE and whether subliminally or overtyly, our kids are being "teased" with sexual stimulus.

MK, no doubt. I've read that the average American teenager is exposed to over 3,000 commercial messages, one way or another, per day. Many of them are "sexy" whether it's overtly or not.
......


On the other, I don't think schools are the right place for this education you speak of. Unless it is extracurricular, with parental involvement. After school, mandatory parental attendance. That's the way to go. It's not that I don't want my kids educated, it's that I don't trust the educators to share my values.

In an "ideal" world the parents would be that willing and that involved, but that is so not the case for vast numbers of kids.

If it could be done on an individual basis, it doesn't sound bad to me for your kids, for example, to be excused, but for school kids in general I say give 'em the facts.

My wife teaches World History and Constitutional Law, and at times the discussion gets around to sex - it does that easily with teenagers.

Posted by: Doug at May 2, 2008 7:22 AM


Hi Rae,
I don't think that abstinence before marriage is a predictor of a successful marriage. My parents waited and have been married for more than 40 years. It is not pretty.
I am very thankful that you, my dear grew up in a loving, secure home!! :)

Posted by: Carla at May 2, 2008 7:23 AM


If you ask a bunch of teenagers what it means to be abstinent, they will tell you that it means you aren't having penis-in-vagina sex. Kids today think you can blow the entire football team and still be a virgin. Ignorance-only is not helping our kids; it's putting them in danger.

Reality, the teenagers that think that is what abstinence means, have learned about abstinence through comprehensive sex ed.

Posted by: Bethany at May 2, 2008 7:51 AM


According to Planned Parenthood's Teenwire:

"Should You Lose It?

Clearly, the definition of virginity leaves lots of room for interpretation! But the real question is: should you lose it? Deciding whether or not to remain a virgin is a highly personal decision that can be influenced by a variety of factors, such as religion, family and personal values, peer influence, and the status of your relationship. It's important to think about where you stand on the issue. Here are a few questions to ask yourself before you decide:

* Do I believe that sex should only be shared in a marriage or other committed relationship?


* Do I think that two people should be in love before having sex?


* Do I believe that a person should be a certain age before having sex?


* What will help me decide when I'm ready to have sex?

There are no right or wrong answers to these questions. Sexual decisions are a matter of personal beliefs and values, but it's important to think them through before you take the plunge. Talking about your views on virginity with your partner is also a good idea. And remember, sex doesn't have to be a part of every relationship ... even if you aren't a virgin. You have the right to decide when to have sex — the first time, and always!


******************************

Talk about sending confusing messages to teenagers! What is virginity? Oh, well according to Planned Parenthood, it's different things to different people, and it's just open to interpretation. Yeah, that really answers the question clearly! It's really just up to the teenager to decide what the teenager thinks virginity is.

And to think that you, "reality", think that it is abstinence ed that sends out the confusing messages.

Posted by: Bethany at May 2, 2008 8:05 AM


Oh and here's a goody. A teen asks the "experts" at teenwire whether you are still a virgin after having oral sex. Their answer proves that it is your mindset which causes the confusion that these poor teens have when it comes to whether oral sex is "really sex" or not.

**********************

Dear Experts,

if u have oral sex are you still virgin?

karlynn2, 11.01.04

The Answer:

Dear karlynn2,

There are many different beliefs about what losing one's virginity means. Most people agree that women and men lose their virginity the first time they have penile-vaginal intercourse. Many people also believe that two women or two men can lose their virginity through oral or anal intercourse. Some also believe that people have to give consent to lose their virginity — that virgins who are raped, for example, do not lose their virginity. Nearly all people in the U.S. agree, however, that people who masturbate or have other kinds of sex play — like touching a sex partner's genitals with the hands — are still virgins.

Hope this information helps!

Take care,

teenwire.com® Editors


*****

Posted by: Bethany at May 2, 2008 8:09 AM


Oh and in contrast, compare those articles with an article from OUR side:

*****************************

Oral Sex: Is It Really Harmless Fun?

Oral sex is a form of sexual activity.

There are very real risks of acquiring STDs/STIs which can cause serious harm to your body, perhaps for the rest of your life.

For more information about oral sex, visit The Medical Institute.

The Facts About Oral Sex & STDs

For much of our culture, oral sex is a taboo topic—something too private and personal to discuss openly—but that silence has resulted in a dangerous lack of knowledge. When it comes to your health, ignorance isn’t bliss. In fact, it can be costly and painful. For the sake of your health and safety, you need to know the risks of oral sex.



What Is It?
Oral sex is contact of one person’s mouth or tongue with the genitals of another person.

Who’s Doing It?
Anecdotes from educators and counselors suggest that oral sex is becoming common in both middle school and high school, even among many who consider themselves virgins. In one study of 12- to 15-year-olds, about one of every six students said they had tried oral sex (including many who had never had vaginal sex).2 In a study of senior high students, more than four out of five nonvirgins and one out of five virgins had tried oral sex.3 Teens exposed to drugs and alcohol are particularly likely to try oral sex.4

Is It Sex?
There is widespread confusion about whether oral sex is sex. In one study, one third of college students believed that oral sex was abstinent behavior.5 However, if sexual activity is defined as bodily contact meant to give or derive sexual gratification, then it is clear that oral sex is sex.

Is it Safe?
Another misconception about oral sex is that it’s “safe.” This is a dangerous myth. Although pregnancy is not an issue with oral sex, a wide variety of STDs (sexually transmitted diseases) can be spread through oral sex. Some of them are painful. Some of them are untreatable. And some of them can be deadly.

2 Boekeloo BO, Howard DE. Oral sexual experience among young adolescents receiving general health examinations. Am J Health Behav. 2002;26:306-314.

3 Newcomer SF, Udry JR. Oral sex in an adolescent population. Arch Sex Behav. 1985;14:41-46.

4 Schuster MA, Bell RM, Kanouse DE. The sexual practices of adolescent virgins: Genital sexual activities of high school students who have never had vaginal intercourse. Am J Public Health. 1996;86:1570-1576.

5 Horan PF, Phillips J, Hagen NE. The meaning of abstinence for college students. Journal of HIV/AIDS Prevention and Education for Adolescents and Children. 1998;2:51-66.

************************
Amazing! CLEAR, answers. NOT keeping children in the dark, confused, and ignorant. Who would have thought you could be completely honest with teens? lol

Posted by: Bethany at May 2, 2008 8:14 AM


Mk great post at 6:40!

Posted by: Bethany at May 2, 2008 8:26 AM


John Lewandowski at May 1, 2008 3:36 PM, exactly!!!

Posted by: Bethany at May 2, 2008 8:29 AM


Getting to middle school and still referring to your genitalia as a "wiener" or a "hoo-hah" is NOT okay.

Why not? I use terms like that all the time, and I'm not ignorant of what they represent.
I'd much rather say "hoo-hah" any day, than a boring, clinical term.

Posted by: Bethany at May 2, 2008 8:34 AM


The word wiener cracks me up.every.time.
Hi Bethany!!

Posted by: Carla at May 2, 2008 8:50 AM


Hi carla! :D

Posted by: Bethany at May 2, 2008 9:12 AM


Haha, Bethany...i still say hoo-ha..something about that term just makes me smile..as opposed to vagina..i think we should permanently rename it..maybe it wouldn't weird people out as much to call them hoo-ha and weiner..

teheheh...

Posted by: Elizabeth at May 2, 2008 9:19 AM


haha Elizabeth! it makes me smile too! I also like Elliot from Scrubs, when she uses the term "vagingo". lol

Posted by: Bethany at May 2, 2008 9:30 AM


lol that's a good one too Bethany!

Posted by: Elizabeth at May 2, 2008 9:36 AM


It's "bajingo". That's the term Elliot used. :)

Posted by: Rae at May 2, 2008 9:46 AM


Oh! I thought it sounded like a B but I typed vagingo in the google and it came up in the urban dictionary, so I thought that was it.
I like bajingo better. :)Thanks Rae. :)

Posted by: Bethany at May 2, 2008 10:00 AM


Speaking of scrubs, you guys have got to see a picture of JD and Turk that Rae drew one time. I love it! :)

Posted by: Bethany at May 2, 2008 10:01 AM


Here it is Hope you don't mind, Rae. :)

Posted by: Bethany at May 2, 2008 10:05 AM


My main issue is what Waxman found in the report...that abstinence-only is teaching some falsehoods. Some programs were found to be lying about condom effectiveness, plain and simple. The numbers they gave were even lower than "typical use" numbers, which accounts for us making mistakes. Pushing abstinence is great. Letting kids know the absolute truth about all of their options is greater. I have a sort of advantage here, because I'm 21 and I'm closer to this age than a lot of people on this blog. And I have to say, from a teenager's point of view, Amanda's original message was dead-on. Give us the facts, scare us with the facts (photos of STI symptoms- as long as they are still FACTUAL- are terrifying), and teach us that our bodies are something to be treasured and treated with respect, without making us feel like we're a worthless piece of garbage if we've already had sex (and by our 11th grade sex ed, I knew 5 pregnant girls in my grade). I've learned in my lifetime that when sex is considered dirty and shameful, girls feel dirty and shameful for having these natural, God-given urges to have sex (and thus reproduce). Teaching us about sex completely can be enough to scare kids away.
Oh, and to Jasper, you mentioned morals up there. Schools aren't there to teach morals.

Posted by: ali at May 2, 2008 10:08 AM


Schools aren't there to teach morals.

Huh?!! Then why do they have conduct codes and stuff? Why do kids get detentions? Cause they're trying to teach them there ARE consequences for their actions..that's teaching them right and wrong behavior...aka..morals. For the amount of hours kids spend at school...they BETTER be teaching them morals and how to behave..cause then they're COMPLETELY dropping the ball.

Posted by: Elizabeth at May 2, 2008 10:21 AM


Teaching and reinforcing appropriate behavior and respect towards adults is different than saying "Sex before marriage is bad" or "Accept God or suffer in hell"- some people's ideas of what true morals are. I don't want to get into a slippery slope argument of "well SOME people would say that kids shouldnt be taught appropriate behavior, leave THAT to the parents too!" But that disrupts class. Reinforcing correct behavior makes teaching more efficient and can't really be compared to "teaching morals" the way I see it.

Posted by: ali at May 2, 2008 10:35 AM


Bethany: I'd much rather say "hoo-hah" any day, than a boring, clinical term.

And when you say it, an old-fashioned car horn, one of those that goes "Ah-OO-ga!" should sound.

Posted by: Doug at May 2, 2008 10:40 AM


Here's another pertinent question - if a report was prepared by Sen. Sam Brownback and it showed that Abstinence Education works, would you believe the "Brownback Report"? Or would you dismiss Brownback as an ideologue?

And, if you would dismiss Brownback, how can you expect us to take Waxman seriously?

Brownback is a wingnut.

Abstinence education has been shown to be a failure, repeatedly, Waxman or no.

Posted by: Doug at May 2, 2008 10:42 AM


The word wiener cracks me up.every.time.

Heh - Carla, my wife and I will have watched a movie, and as the credits roll by, I'll note a name and say it, snickering, like "Jake Wiener." At that point my wife usually gives me one of her most withering looks, like, "You sorry-ass 14 year old..."

Posted by: Doug at May 2, 2008 10:48 AM


I don't think that abstinence before marriage is a predictor of a successful marriage. My parents waited and have been married for more than 40 years. It is not pretty.

Carla, too bad, and agreed that case-by-case it's no useful predictor.

I did see something surprising a while back - that people who didn't live together prior to getting married had a somewhat lesser divorce rate than did those who lived together. I would've thought it'd be the other way around.

Posted by: Doug at May 2, 2008 10:50 AM


Ali, great post, and you're right - it makes a difference being closer in age to the kids we often discuss.

(Good grief, I was 21 in 1980...)

My wife and I have no kids of our own, though she teaches 150 mostly sophomores and seniors in high school so she sees a lot and I hear about it.

I'm glad to see you posting!

Doug

Posted by: Doug at May 2, 2008 10:55 AM


Edyt:11:34: Janet, that makes a lot of sense and I agree with it to a point. Of course, some people are more or less hormonal than others... and teenagers are prone to being much more hormonal. Yes, sex can be very complicated, but it can also be one of the most simple things humans do. I think the complications come from conflicting messages, not necessarily the act of sex itself.

Regarding sex and hormones: I'm not referring to the typical hormone fluctuations we are familiar with from puberty, menstrual cycles, etc.. but those hormones that are released during sexual activity.

I think the role of these hormones which are a natural byproduct of sex is important in this discussion about teen/pre-marital sex. I looked for the research which I know exists, but can't find it right now, of course!...These hormones released during sex can influence a false perception of "love" on the part of a woman who may not actually be in love with her partner at all. It can lead to confusion for the person who is trying to figure out if this is a potential life-mate for them.

Posted by: Janet at May 2, 2008 10:59 AM


Elizabeth and Ali, lots of teachers just sort of have to enforce and teach what is considered acceptable behavior, and that's a lot of what morality is.

Among my wife's students, the number who have stable, two-parent homes is quite low. Even stable, one-parent situations aren't all that prevalent.

I agree that schools "shouldn't" have to make up for lacking families, but that is often the case.

Posted by: Doug at May 2, 2008 11:00 AM


Bethany, Great posts on PP at 8:05....!

Posted by: Janet at May 2, 2008 11:08 AM


Who says the word "vagina" in daily conversation, really??????

Posted by: Janet at May 2, 2008 11:09 AM


Hi Doug,
How has comprehensive sex ed shown to be a success?

Jake Wiener...hee

Posted by: Carla at May 2, 2008 11:13 AM


Carla,
Your blog is very nice! Loved your "Authority" post from Wed!

Posted by: Janet at May 2, 2008 11:48 AM


Carla,
I think it's hard to judge success. Kids are going to do it anyway (of course not the perfect, angelic children everyone on this board seems to have :)), and I guess the success of comprehensive sex-ed is shown by less unwanted pregnancies. Whether it's because the abstinence portion of the program stood out to these kids, or the fact that they now know how to correctly use a condom, we can't know. I took a human sexuality class my junior year of college, and the pictures of vaginal herpes and genital warts from my textbook still keep me awake at night...if all parents just plastered that on a kid's pillow at night, oh MAN would the pregnancy rate drop! hehe

Posted by: ali at May 2, 2008 11:52 AM


Thank you Janet! :)
Hi Ali,
Spend an afternoon with my children. That'll learn ya!! :)

Posted by: Carla at May 2, 2008 12:07 PM


Hi Carla! I know right?! I'm pretty much a professional babysitter, and every day I say to myself "I'm never having children"- of course I don't mean that, but believe me, I'm the first to agree that kids are a handful and not for the feint of heart! Every 14-year-old who wants to have sex and isn't concerned with using proper birth control methods should be forced to change a 4-month-old baby's poopy diaper, then try to satisfy 2-year-old twins (a day in my babysitting life).

Posted by: ali at May 2, 2008 12:15 PM


You brave, brave woman!! One minute at a time...chocolate helps.

Posted by: Carla at May 2, 2008 12:21 PM


ali 11:52: I took a human sexuality class my junior year of college, and the pictures of vaginal herpes and genital warts from my textbook still keep me awake at night...if all parents just plastered that on a kid's pillow at night, oh MAN would the pregnancy rate drop! hehe

Excellent point!!! I saw a picture of a human lung blackened by cancer as a freshman in high school, and had no desire to smoke after that. Let's bring out those photos of herpes again. It does work as a deterrent! Yikes!

Posted by: Janet at May 2, 2008 12:32 PM


ignoring TR today....

Posted by: Janet at May 2, 2008 12:34 PM


Eliabeth - thank you - and you were right - I think we can disapprove of someone's actions without passing judgement on what kind of person they are. =)

MK - the Abercrombie stuff makes me cringe. But thats exactly why I'll want my kids to know what REAL people look like naked and what their parts are, so they don't grow up with an Abercrombie ad in their minds. My cousin started cutting the cute boys off of the bags and taping them to her wall. Uhhhgggggg... no thanks.

I'll stick with Gerard Butler - on my wall or in real life ( http://www.kiltmen.com/celeb-gerard-butler-burnsnight.jpg) rather than some body-waxed 19 year old in undies, which just looks creepy. Hehe. =)

Posted by: Amanda at May 2, 2008 3:07 PM


* sorry, delete the parenthesis at the end if you want to view the picture. and trust me, you want to view the picture.

=)

Posted by: Amanda at May 2, 2008 3:11 PM


Janet,

You're killing me, you're killing me!!

Posted by: carder at May 2, 2008 3:23 PM


Bethany, you quoted this:

For much of our culture, oral sex is a taboo topic—something too private and personal to discuss openly—but that silence has resulted in a dangerous lack of knowledge. When it comes to your health, ignorance isn’t bliss. In fact, it can be costly and painful. For the sake of your health and safety, you need to know the risks of oral sex.

... yet you STILL believe it shouldn't be taught in schools?

Posted by: Edyt at May 2, 2008 3:40 PM


I did see something surprising a while back - that people who didn't live together prior to getting married had a somewhat lesser divorce rate than did those who lived together. I would've thought it'd be the other way around.

Actually, Doug, that may be changing. Steffen Reinhold at the Mannheim Research Institute did a study on the success of cohabitation before marriage (completed Dec. 2007) and found that the correlation weakened over time. It's an interesting read, and one to check out. It seems those who studied cohabitation before marriage didn't take into account some important factors that have changed and now make that circumstance more successful.

Posted by: Edyt at May 2, 2008 3:57 PM


Regarding sex and hormones: I'm not referring to the typical hormone fluctuations we are familiar with from puberty, menstrual cycles, etc.. but those hormones that are released during sexual activity.

I think the role of these hormones which are a natural byproduct of sex is important in this discussion about teen/pre-marital sex. I looked for the research which I know exists, but can't find it right now, of course!...These hormones released during sex can influence a false perception of "love" on the part of a woman who may not actually be in love with her partner at all. It can lead to confusion for the person who is trying to figure out if this is a potential life-mate for them.

Yes, you're talking about oxytocin, the chemical released during hugging/kissing/orgasm/breastfeeding that leads to bonding between humans.

Again, I think you're bringing up a good point, but people are going to have to decide on their own who is the best person for them to marry. Sometimes that involves trial and error. I mean, what about people who wait until marriage to have sex, then end up divorced? What influenced them to get married, if not oxytocin?

And not all people feel "bonded" after having an orgasm. Until this boyfriend, I never felt particularly attached to any of my other bfs, whether we had sex or not. I could be weird though, since my brain chemistry is abnormal (caffeine puts me to sleep, I don't get addicted to substances, many drugs don't affect me, etc).

Like I said earlier, my biggest hesitation with holding sex off until marriage is that it makes marriage seem "complete" only when a physical act is done. And don't you think it seems even less powerful knowing it's just chemicals in your brain making you feel in love?

Perhaps, instead of focusing exclusively on sex as the end of courtship and beginning of marriage, we should teach about healthy relationships and knowing the difference between real love and things like obsessions and crushes. Sex is but a byproduct of love -- not the only expression of it.

Posted by: Edyt at May 2, 2008 4:07 PM


How has comprehensive sex ed shown to be a success?

Carla, it's better than "abstinence education" and in general it's better for kids to know the stuff, diseases, genital warts and all....

Posted by: Doug at May 2, 2008 4:44 PM


http://client.norc.org/jole/SOLEweb/8197.pdf

Edyt - awesome, thank you. Reading it right now.

Posted by: Doug at May 2, 2008 4:52 PM


... yet you STILL believe it shouldn't be taught in schools?

The risks? Certainly!

Posted by: Bethany at May 2, 2008 5:41 PM


After reading it again, I realize my last post may not have been clear. The risks of sex should absolutely be explained to children. Doesn't abstinence education explain the risks of STD's to teenagers? I think it does, but correct me if I'm wrong.

Posted by: Bethany at May 2, 2008 5:44 PM


@Edyt,

"Perhaps, instead of focusing exclusively on sex as the end of courtship and beginning of marriage, we should teach about healthy relationships and knowing the difference between real love and things like obsessions and crushes. Sex is but a byproduct of love -- not the only expression of it.
Posted by: Edyt at May 2, 2008 4:07 PM"

A while back HisMan posted about 4-5 kinds of love. Besides this philosophers/psychiatrists and many others view love with unusual insight often adding their own definitions. Experiencing the many facets of love often takes a lifetime ... sometimes (it seems) several lifetimes. In some ways love is akin to faith in is bend toward fidelity its eternal dance with freedom; and its persistent 'yes' to life. To equate sex with love is doing a dramatic disservice to them both. However, these are not foreign to each other.

If love is understood as a flame then sex 'feeds' this flame. Love exists apart from sex and engaging in sex without love is ... (bad news). And this is why comprehensive sex-ed (as spoken about on this thread)is missing the boat. Because living in the state of love is what is sought, instead of love we supply technique.

Posted by: John McDonell at May 2, 2008 8:49 PM


JOHN MCDONELL I MISS YOU!!!! FIX THE DANG COMPUTER!

Posted by: mk at May 2, 2008 8:57 PM


Ideology trumps common sense, but that is not surprising because it is the hallmark of today's intellectually dishonest ruling majority.

Posted by: Jerry at May 2, 2008 9:01 PM


Jerry:9:01: Ideology trumps common sense, but that is not surprising because it is the hallmark of today's intellectually dishonest ruling majority.

"Intellectually Dishonest Ruling Majority" - IDRM - "I Dream"

Posted by: Janet at May 2, 2008 9:50 PM


John McDIf love is understood as a flame then sex 'feeds' this flame. Love exists apart from sex and engaging in sex without love is ... (bad news)

Very nice. Ties in nicely with your Trinity/flame metaphor of a month or two ago, and the Theology of the Body if I remember correctly. Could you refresh our memory when you have a chance? It was very enlightening!

Posted by: Janet at May 2, 2008 9:55 PM