Wednesday, February 02, 2005

Hard Problems Easily Solved

We live in amazing and wonderful times, when the solutions to very difficult world problems are right at our fingertips. Take the problem of teen pregnancy. The world is scratching its head trying to figure out what to do, but the answer is simple: tell teenagers to stop having sex.

Another problem: sexually-transmitted infections, like AIDS and syphilis. What to do? Simple: tell teenagers to stop having sex.

See how easy? No sex, the problems just ... go away. Just like that. Poof.

Because, as you know, teenagers are very good about doing what they're told. Especially when it comes to self-control, teenagers have more self-control than anybody. If you tell them not to have sex, why, it won't even cross their minds. They'll act like it doesn't even exist.

At least that's the theory that the federal government is spending your money on. There's tons of funding for (oxy)moronic "sex education" programs that teach nothing about sex except that you shouldn't do it.
Abstinence-only programs like those promoted by the Bush administration don't seem to be working on teenagers in the president's home state, according to a state-sponsored study by Texas A&M University researchers.

The ongoing study, the first evaluation of the abstinence programs across the state, found that students in almost all high school grades were more sexually active after undergoing abstinence education.

Researchers don't believe the programs encouraged teenagers to have sex, only that the abstinence messages did not interfere with customary trends among adolescents. Study: Texas abstinence plan not working

This is so obvious, I'm almost embarrassed to report it. Did anybody really believe this would work, or is this some kind of weird game, a prank somebody is playing on the whole United States?
Among the findings in the Texas study: About 23 percent of the ninth-grade girls in the study already had sexual intercourse before they received any abstinence education, a figure below the national average.

After taking an abstinence course, the number among those same girls rose to 28 percent, a level closer to that of their peers across the state.

Among ninth-grade boys, the percentage who reported sexual intercourse before and after abstinence education remained relatively unchanged. In 10th grade, the percentage of boys who had ever had sexual intercourse jumped from 24 percent to 39 percent after participating in an abstinence program.

Realize -- this isn't some local-yokel group of "concerned parents" trying to impose their puritanical "values" on some ignorant local-yokel kids. These programs are mandated at the highest levels of government -- your Congress and your President passed these bills. You voted for these clowns, you're paying for it.
To be funded as abstinence education, programs cannot provide instruction in birth control, outside "factual information about contraceptive methods, such as the failure rates that are associated with the different methods," according to documents from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

Among other things, the law also dictates that an abstinence program must have "as its exclusive purpose, teaching the social, psychological, and health gains to be realized by abstaining from sexual activity."

And watch out -- there are people here in Montgomery County who would like us to downgrade our educational system to this.


Blogger Isabel Manuela said...

Did you notice what's the factual information they are supposed to give away?
"factual information about contraceptive methods, such as the failure rates that are associated with the different methods"
Not the success rates, but just the failure rate. The hypocrisy of this all is that, now in the debate over the gay parents with twins in a Catholic school, the reason the Church don't want to make parents sign a form attesting to "comply with church teachings" is that the church KNOWS many parents don't comply: they use contraception, they divorce, they do other stuff that may not be as Catholic...So, the only thing they shouldn't be is gays.
What bothers me is, and I left Michelle on the Einstein listserve get away with this one, that all this is puritanical and religious, because the "dangers of sex outside the protection of marriage" is just an absolutely religious vision, morality, and attitude. And in fact, it goes beyond the teen years, it's all about: you have to be married or you'd be sick. I guess a 15 year old married woman is really safe, isn't she?
On the listserve Michelle said that we would be surprised of how many teens actually respect their parents and their bodies. Well, I won't be surprised of that, I believe the majority of the teenagers actually respect both: but that does not mean that they won't have sex, because I don't believe that having sex before marriage is disrespectful or immoral...That's your view, Recall, but that's not ours, get YOUR kids to do what you want, and let MINE alone, please.

February 02, 2005 11:27 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh Isabella -- you just don't get it.

"but that does not mean that they won't have sex, because I don't believe that having sex before marriage is disrespectful or immoral...That's your view, Recall, but that's not ours, get YOUR kids to do what you want, and let MINE alone, please."

Sounds like you are encouraging kids to go out and have sex. That's right, 'don't tell my kids what to do, they can have sex with whoever and whenever they want to'!

Why don't you leave my kids alone? Why should your immoral viewpoint prevail?

Are you people all athiests?

And hey -- you're not just intolerant of people who believe differently from you, no. You are intolerant of all people with religious faith. You are even intolerant of the Catholic Church! You can't hide your intolerance Isabella. Nor your hatred.


February 02, 2005 12:01 PM  
Blogger Isabel Manuela said...

Did you notice, MB, that is the Church who does not want to force parents to sign that form attesting to following the church's doctrine?
Isn't me who is telling the church not to do so, in fact, if they do so I would actually understand it, because ONE CHOOSES to be of any particular faith, therefore one should abide by that faith's rules.
The problem is not in the religious schools, but in the public ones. Your sense of morality, what you consider respect, and what you consider a sin may be very appropriate for your religious school, but since the public schools are for everybody, no one sense of morality could/should be imposed, and believe me, I wouldn't like my kids to be taught that homosexuality is good either -not because I consider it to be bad, but because I consider that to be none of school business-, but to say that homosexuality exists, well that I have to agree with.
On the other count, I do want my kids to be taught about diseases, abstinence, contraception, and other facts in school, to confirm what I tell them at home-and supposedly to go even further since the people who teach that should be well prepared-.
You say I'm telling kids to go and have sex. Well, I don't. What I do tell is that sex is not immoral, and that morality itself is a historic concept and is qualified in many different ways depending on people's faith, education, vision of life, experience, geography, etc. You think that my viewpoint is immoral because you have a different viewpoint. That's the difference between us. I don't believe that your viewpoints are immoral, I believe they differ from mine, and should not be used to teach my kids. I don't want to tell your kids what to do, nor I want the school to do it. The school should tell the kids what exists.
By the way, did you intend to construct your question about us being atheists as an offense? And, who is the "us"? I seem to remember having signed my post as Isabel, that's one person.

February 02, 2005 1:03 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have no idea what you are talking about with the 'us'. I spoke strictly for myself.

You don't make much sense at all Isabella. But then again, I am not surprised. You just go 'round in circles trying to convince people you are not intolerant. But that is precisely what you are. And it shows.

February 02, 2005 4:38 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home