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Sunday, December 27, 2009


"Abstinence only" indoctrination for American teenagers has proven to be mightily productive of unplanned pregnancies and not much else, except pious posturing by conservatives who say they want government out of our lives except when it comes to teenager indoctrination. Yet abstinence only proponents are hoping that any new health reform legislation will empower their stupidity with more government money.

According to the WashPost, "The health-care reform legislation pending in the Senate includes $50 million for programs that states could use to try to reduce pregnancies and sexually transmitted disease among adolescents by teaching to them to delay when they start having sex," even though the budget signed by President Barack Obama earlier this year zeroed out such funding as hilariously ineffective.

Some powerful senator or group of powerful senators managed to squeeze $50 million back into the conservative trough, and if we know Obama the Great Compromiser, he'll go along with it.

Albert Einstein called it insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.

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Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Abstinence-only "sex education" did not work in Texas schools when we went through them (in the 1880s). And abstinence-only sex education isn't working now. It's a joke almost as big as a certain former guv of Alaska, but at least some Texas school districts are beginning to recognize that.

There are few states where the Southern Baptists are more powerful than in Texas, and the Southern Baptists have been resolutely opposed to giving teenagers actual facts about their raging sexuality, including actual information about how to prevent pregnancy. On the other hand, the Southern Baptists have been extremely effective in forcing abstinence-only on public schools. Not to mention the federal government. Under both Bill Clinton and George W. Bush, the feds spent $1.3 billion (billion) on the abstinence-only fairy tale. The result? A soring teen pregnancy rate, especially in God-blessed Texas, which
has the third-highest teen birth rate in the country and the highest percentage of teen mothers giving birth more than once.

The rate of student pregnancies in Austin high schools has increased 57 percent since the 2005-06 school year, and rates of sexually transmitted diseases are rising among Travis County teens.

At least some Texas school districts (urban ones to be sure) are changing direction to combat such dismal statistics. For country school districts, where going to the football game and screwing under the bleachers constitute the standard teenager Friday night, well, they're not going to feel so free.

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Wednesday, March 11, 2009

North Carolina Teens Talk Sense, But Republicans Won't Listen 

A group of North Carolina teenagers visited the N.C. General Assembly and talked to legislators about the reality of their lives ... that "abstinence only" sex education is no education at all, and as a result, many of the state's teenagers have a "dangerous" lack of knowledge. The teenagers were advocating for a bill currently being considered that would establish a two-track option for parents: either keep their children woefully ignorant in abstinence-only programs or allow them "comprehensive" sex education.

While the students were visiting the legislature, a House committee voted to pass the proposal, with all the Republicans (naturally, dude!) voting against giving parents the option.

Rep. John Blust of Greensboro spoke for many of his Republican colleagues, holding high the banner of ignorance: expanding the sex education curriculum, saith Blust, would give schools license "to mention things way out there that are properly discussed at home, if at all."

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Thursday, January 08, 2009

Mississippi Burning 

Mississippi, where they don't want their teenagers to know the first thing about preventing pregnancy or about sexually transmitted diseases, has the highest teen pregnancy rate in these United States.

The Centers for Disease Control found that in 2006, the Mississippi teen pregnancy rate was over 60 percent higher than the national average and increased 13 percent since the year before.

But they simultaneously know how to preach that "abstinence only" line of propaganda, which (let's face it) is a whole lot easier to peddle than the truth.
Mississippi schools are not required to teach sexuality education or sexually transmitted disease (STD)/HIV education. If schools choose to teach either or both forms of education, they must stress abstinence-until-marriage, including "the likely negative psychological and physical effects of not abstaining." […]

If the school board authorizes the teaching of contraception, state law dictates that the failure rates and risks of each contraceptive method must be included and "in no case shall the instruction or program include any demonstration of how condoms or other contraceptives are applied."

A nervous titter might run through the room.

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Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Life Finds a Way 

News this a.m. about so-called "abstinence pledges" ("I promise God and all His angels that I shall not fornicate until I am successfully and legally married, and then only with my successful and legal spouse...") makes us flash on this moment from "Jurassic Park":
Henry Wu: You're implying that a group composed entirely of female animals will... breed?

Dr. Ian Malcolm: No, I'm simply saying that life, uh... finds a way.

The fantasies of adults that somehow, given enough doses of super-religion, their teenaged children will not sniff out opportunities for unbridled sexuality -- and that, furthermore, to teach them how to protect themselves from disease/unwanted pregnancies is more vile than catching the disease/unwanted pregnancy -- has been dealt a scientific blow by the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.

A "large study" by the aforenamed group found that teenagers who had promised God they would remain virgins were just as likely to have premarital sex as heathen teenagers, but -- much worse -- they were "significantly less likely" to use condoms once they succumbed to carnal urges.


But because this is scientific research and not divinely inspired wishful thinking, it will be ignored.

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