Tag Archives: sex education

Abstinence Or Orgies: The Eternal Dilemma

The subject of abstinence-only-until-marriage “education” seems to be rearing its ignorant little head again.

In Abstinence-Only: Stop The Madness! I wrote about my reasons for opposing abstinence-only programs. One of my reasons is that they are thinly-veiled religious programs to promote an ideology which encompasses ignoring and even lying about the facts regarding condoms and other forms of contraception.

I said it then, and I say it now, aside from religious ideology, there is no basis for teaching abstinence only until marriage. I invited readers to enlighten me; to give me one measly little logical reason to reserve sex for marriage.

To date, no one has been able to do so.

I’ve been given reasons to abstain which I agree with. I’ve been given reasons to abstain until adulthood which I agree with. And yet, despite efforts both here and on other forums, no one has been able to explain the mystical power of marriage contracts that allegedly protects against unwanted pregnancy or STDs.

Before you decide to take me on and show me the error of my ways, I recommend reading the comments section under the above-linked post. It could very likely save us both a lot of time.

While I want to avoid getting too long-winded and repeating every point I’ve posted on the subject, there are a few things I would like to address again.

The first is the apparent confusion towards those of us who want to provide comprehensive sex education for our children. You see, there are a lot of people who seem to think that it’s the same thing as telling our children to go and have all the sex they possibly can as if it’s all or nothing, abstinence or orgies, with no other possibilities.

Some people seem to sincerely believe that there are only two options we can give our children in regard to having sex: to have none at all, not ever, or to have indiscriminate sex any time, any place, with anyone at all. It’s really a rather bizarre and disturbing train of thought, isn’t it?

This subject seems to generate some pretty weird questions, too: “So, when you’re telling your son how wonderful sex is, do you plan to also tell him that sex can lead to pregnancy and STD’s? Huh? Huh? Do you? Huh?”

Well, garsh! I don’t know. I mean, in the context of talking to my child about sex, it hadn’t actually crossed my mind to mention pregnancy and STD’s. Good thing I’m surrounded by geniuses who can remind me that I might want to mention that little tidbit somewhere between buying his condoms and taking him to cruise the red-light district.

Engage your brains, people! You’re posing this ridiculous and redundant question to someone who consistently emphasizes the importance of teaching kids about condoms and other forms of contraceptives! In what context would these things be discussed, if not in the context of discussing pregnancy and STD’s?

“Look at these pretty red condoms, Honey! This should really put her in the mood!”

“Oh, let’s get these pills! They look just like smarties! And be sure and tell all the boys! They’ll start beating down your door!”

Of course I’m talking about pregnancy and STDs! Good grief! The fact that you’re even asking this only serves to confirm what I’ve suspected all along: that you’re not reading all the words, or you can’t or won’t comprehend them.

And people always seem so earnest in their questioning. Why, just this morning I logged in to find this little gem:

Are you going to teach your son also, that if he gets a woman pregnant to make sure he is a father figure in that child’s life for the rest of his own life? Are you going to teach him to take responsibility for one night stands? Are you going to have these discussions with him?

I hope you will.

Nah, I thought I’d just hand him a box of condoms, point him toward the nearest brothel and wish him the best of luck.

You really should read the rest of that comment as well as my response, if only for the entertainment value.

Once again, for the record: I have no intention of encouraging my son to have sex. I have consistently stated that I will encourage abstinence, first and foremost. But I will not treat sex like it’s something shameful, and I absolutely refuse to promote the lie that marriage contracts are more effective than condoms in guarding against STDs or unwanted pregnancy.

I can guarantee you that when the time comes for my son to make the decision of whether or not to have sex, he will be able to do so based on complete and accurate information. And you know what else? If he has doubts or questions, or just needs to talk, I’ll betcha he comes to Mike or me. Unfortunately, those parents who shut the door on the communication with their No sex, end of discussion mantra won’t be able to say the same.

I wonder where their kids will go looking for information.

Posted by Lottie – Copyright © 2008 Rambling On


Two Kinds Of Texans

There are two kinds of Texans: those who are born here and stay, and those who are born here and get the hell out as fast as they can. Count me in with the latter.

Before I get started, I believe a couple of acknowledgments are in order.

First I would like to thank Mike, author of The Odd Blog, for his dedication to exposing fools and liars who insist on promoting creationist propaganda. Ben Stein’s Expelled! is but one example of the kind of garbage that Mike refuses to tolerate.

Upon checking in at The Odd Blog, as I routinely do, I found Mike’s latest entry, Ouchies. I do not share Mike’s talent for slicing and dicing these creationist fools, so I was delighted to learn of a way that I, too, can help expose at least one.

I would also like to thank PZ Myers, author of Pharyngula, one of the best science blogs I’ve seen. Professor Myers recently made a blog post calling for other bloggers to help promote a counter-site to Ben Stein’s “hideous little propaganda film” Expelled!. For instructions on how to participate, please see Professor Myers’s post, Bloggers, you have a job to do. While you’re there, please have a look around the rest of the site. You’ll be glad you did!

At this point, you may be wondering about the title of this post, and if I’m planning to tie it in somehow. Of course I am. I do tend to ramble, hence the title of this blog. I always know where I’m going, though, and I usually get there eventually.

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Mountain Dew or Clorox – What’ll It Be?

As you may already know, I am strongly opposed to abstinence-only “education”. For those who need clarification, this does not mean that I oppose teaching abstinence; just abstinence only until marriage without any comprehensive sex education to back it up.

It doesn’t work. Instead of being horny but equipped to deal with it, the kids on the receiving end of this “education” just end up horny and ignorant. As a Texan, I can tell you that it’s a dangerous combination.

And now we have yet another example of the kind of nonsense that is circulated among teenagers and accepted as fact in the absence of comprehensive sex education:

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Lies We Teach Teenagers, by Julie Sternberg

Julie Sternberg is senior staff attorney with the ACLU Reproductive Freedom Project

If you’re like the majority of Americans, 75 percent to be exact, by the age of 20 you’ve had sex without being married to your partner. By the age of 44 that percentage rises to 95 percent. These figures, from a recent study published in Public Health Reports, make clear that engaging in sex before marriage is the cultural norm in the United States and has been for decades.

Yet our government is downright obsessed with abstinence until marriage. In fact, since 1996, the federal government has poured more than a billion dollars into programs that are required to promote abstinence until marriage, and forbidden from teaching about contraception, unless it is to emphasize failure rates.

[…]

Of course, the million-dollar question (or should I say, billion-dollar question) is: Do these programs work? The answer: No. Research shows that while some abstinence-only-until-marriage programs may delay sex for a bit, most teens who participate go on to have sex before marriage and when they do start having sex are less likely to use condoms and get tested for STDs.

In contrast, evidence shows that programs that promote abstinence and provide teens with information on how contraception protects against unintended pregnancy and STDs actually result in teens delaying sex and increased contraceptive use. Yet there is no federal funding for such reality- and truth-based programs.

Abstinence-only-until-marriage programs are clearly not about science, nor are they about promoting public health. Rather they are about pushing a particular agenda.

Lies We Teach Teenagers, by Julie Sternberg


Leading Medical Association Rejects Abstinence-Only Policies

Among the highlights of the report:

Abstinence-only Programs Undermine Medical Ethics and Basic Human Rights

“We believe that current federal abstinence-only-until-marriage policy is ethically problematic, as it excludes accurate information about contraception, misinforms by overemphasizing or misstating the risks of contraception, and fails to require the use of scientifically accurate information while promoting approaches of questionable value.”

“Abstinence-only programs threaten fundamental human rights to health, information, and life.”

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Abstinence-Only: Stop the Madness!

I received a letter from the Director of Health Services of the school district my son attends. The title of the memo read as follows:

Fifth Grade Maturation/AIDS Education Program

In the body of the letter, however, it refers to “maturation and abstinence education”. I wanted to clarify this, to find out if it is an abstinence-only program. Well, sure enough, it is. She said that they teach the kids to avoid pregnancy and STD’s by abstaining from sex “until marriage”. What? I take issue with this on several different levels:

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