Thursday, February 23, 2006

AIDS and Stigma

A CRC member raised some questions in our comments section this morning, which I think I will address here. I have edited the comments a little, mainly taking the personal stuff out and focusing on the questions:
"The .01-.03% of the population that insists on spreading this diesase to the rest of us SHOULD be stigmatized and learn some restraint."

Okay, before anyone throws a fit about this comment I want to clarify.

What I believe [another commentor] is suggesting is HIDING FACTS. He is suggesting NOT GIVING KIDS THE MSM AIDS rates, NOT GIVING KIDS the TRUTH. He is suggesting taking all the data that the CDC gathers specific to increased health risks in a homo-sexual life style and HIDING IT - representing it to kids as either anal sex or vaginal sex, and making kids do the correlation themselves.

This is not stigmatizing, this is deliberating misrepresenting FACTs. Hiding facts about the homosexual disease rates from kids because of the risk of stigmatizing a section of the population. what next ? are we going to hide the effects of eating junk food from overweight folks because we don't want to stigmatize them ? or increased anemia rates from blacks ?
or increased risk of downs in over forty females? how about alcohol ? drugs ?

This is HIDING FACTS. NOT TEACHING THEM.

That was the bread and butter of one comment. Here's the other:
Male homosexuals overwhelming practice anal sex. I am sure you are not going to argue with that.

Hetereosexuals overwhelminging practice vaginal sex (show me a study that says otherwise).

Most of the new AIDS infections in the US can be traced to males having sex with males (HOMOSEXUAL MALE ACTIVITY).

So trying to reduce this issue to the mechanics is just trying to deliberately confuse the kids and in the process not alert them to the danges of the lifestyle (which of course was your whole point).

At the risk of stigmatizing .01-.03 % of the population versus the great risk of not alerting the 97% to the dangers of the behavior.

Again, flat out irresponsible and not looking out for the kids.

The .01-.03% of the population that insists on spreading this diesase to the rest of us SHOULD be stigmatized and learn some restraint.

Maybe these comments were submitted in the reverse order, this is how I received them.

OK, so the topic is that men-having-sex-with-men (MSM) comprise an important channel, in the US, for the spread of the AIDS virus. The accusation is that TeachThe Facts.org or some subset of us would like to deny or ignore some facts in order to protect gays from being stigmatized.

It seems weird that such as issue would even come up. I cannot think of any other case where anyone would want to "stigmatize" a group for getting sick. But that certainly is the case with AIDS and gay men.

This person has taken the most conservative estimates of the proportion of homosexuals in the country and divided them by a hundred -- they might have said 1-3 percent, not .01-.03. As this happened three times, I assume it was intentional.

The reason the CDC and others use the acronym "MSM" is that a lot of the men who have sex with men do not identify themselves as gay or homosexual. A recent CDC survey found that about 6.5 per cent of men have had oral or anal sex with another man. That doesn't mean they would describe themselves as gay, but this "MSM" category includes a lot of people. (Female percentages are higher.)

That same survey, which is apparently not online any more, found that 35-40 percent of Americans have had anal sex with a member of the opposite sex. That's a lot of people. The point is, anal sex is primarily a heterosexual behavior.

Another CDC report was recently sent to me by a different CRC member. The report, which can be seen HERE, notes that, in 2003, MSM accounted for 46 percent of new AIDS cases diagnosed. We'll figure the numbers contain some error, so we'll just say that "nearly half" of new AIDS cases were in MSM.

That means that more than half weren't. Though the number is disproportionate, HIV/AIDS is clearly not a "gay" disease.

The CDC report that the CRC member sent had a quote that is awkward but accurate: "Not using a condom during anal sex with someone other than a primary partner of known HIV status continues to be a significant threat to the health of MSM."

OK, there are three things there:
  • Not using a condom
  • Anal sex
  • Not primary partner

These are the risk factors for MSM, which is the subject of this document. For the other 93.5 percent of the population, there will be other risk factors.

But, OK, let's focus on MSM. It looks to me like this statement can be turned into advice about education. Given that some nontrivial percentage of boys will end up having sex with another male during their lifetime, they should know the risks -- I agree. And the risks are bulleted above. They should know how to use a condom correctly. They should know the risk of unprotected anal sex. And they should know the advantage of sexual exclusiveness.

The CRC has adamantly opposed two out of those three recommendations. They threw a fit over a video that showed how to use a condom correctly, vastly increasing its effectiveness. Their members have threatened to sue over the mention of "anal sex" in the video, saying that that was "teaching erotic techniques." Well, if you're serious about preventing AIDS, you've got to use the tell people how you get it.

The CDC isn't ambiguous about condom use. Look at this flyer, which came out last month: LINK. It says, "If MSM choose to have sex outside a steady relationship, they should always use a condom."

Now, the question of stigma.

There is no reason to believe that "homosexual behaviors" increase the probability of catching AIDS. Lisping, wearing eye makeup, and having a flair for interior decorating don't have anything to do with the spread of the virus, though most of us would identify these things, especially in combination, as "homosexual behaviors." And "homosexual behaviors" is not a good euphemism for "anal sex," because that act is overwhelmingly performed by heterosexual couples. Likewise, "being gay" is not a problem -- look at the recent discussion of gay priests. These guys are celibate, they are at no risk of getting the virus sexually.

As the CDC notes, a combination of things, in particular, unprotected anal sex with a nonexclusive partner, puts a guy who has sex with other guys at risk.

There is nothing, anywhere, about any "homosexual lifestyle," whatever that is. The mode of transmission is clearly identified, and it has nothing to do with anything resembling a lifestyle. There is a specific, well-defined act that passes the virus from one man to another. (And remember, we are ignoring the other half of the AIDS cases in this discussion.)

There will be some debate among parents as to whether they want to "go there." But if we are going to discuss the risks of AIDS at all, and if the CRC wants to go into the risks of HIV for MSM (and they insist that they do), then I'm afraid you have to tell the whole story. Gay men should be encouraged to minimize the risks by forming long-term, stable relationships (e.g., marriages) and using condoms, especially when they have sex outside those relationships.

There doesn't need to be any stigma.

61 Comments:

Blogger Dana Beyer, M.D. said...

It really is pretty simple, isn't it, Jim? Thanks for saying it better than I have been doing.

February 23, 2006 11:44 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

True: A male gay couple is more likely to practise anal sex than a heterosexual couple.

True: Promiscuous behaviour increases your chances of having sex with an infected person.

False: Male homosexual intercourse is inherently more dangerous than heterosexual intercourse.

True: The "homosexual lifestyle" is a stereotype.

True: A great deal of homosexuals are not promiscuous.

True: Homosexuals disproportionately account for the number of AIDS cases.

True: Not using a condom during anal sex with someone other than a primary partner of known HIV status is a threat to your health. The threat is greater for MSM due to the higher likelihood of meeting an infected person.

February 23, 2006 3:06 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"The reason the CDC and others use the acronym "MSM" is that a lot of the men who have sex with men do not identify themselves as gay or homosexual. A recent CDC survey found that about 6.5 per cent of men have had oral or anal sex with another man. That doesn't mean they would describe themselves as gay, but this "MSM" category includes a lot of people."

This would seem to indicate that engaging in homosexual activity is a choice. Having made a choice, any choice, might lead to a conditioning to desire that behavior- the possibility raised by the authors of the pheronome study.

"I have gazed into the doorway of temptation's angry flame

now every time I pass that way

I always hear my name."

-Bob Dylan

February 23, 2006 3:41 PM  
Blogger JimK said...

This would seem to indicate that engaging in homosexual activity is a choice.

Garsh, "Y", that's a real insight, people choose what they do. Gee golly whiz, I never woulda thought a that.

JimK

February 23, 2006 3:53 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Questions:

How many gays have you met who have not had multiple sexual partners?

How many gays have you met that have not had random intercourse?

How many gays have you met that aren't more attracted to straights than gays?

February 23, 2006 3:56 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Garsh, "Y", that's a real insight, people choose what they do. Gee golly whiz, I never woulda thought a that."

I know you wouldn't. You also don't realize that choices lead to desires.

February 23, 2006 3:59 PM  
Blogger Dana Beyer, M.D. said...

Most of the gay men I know are manogamous, and attracted only to men. As far as I know, they don't go for "random" intercourse. But I haven't asked. How many of your friends do you poll on their extramarital activities? In that respect they're more monogamous than most stright men that I know.

People denying their homosexuality because of the stigma created by your kind is surprising to you?

And choices lead to desires? What planet do you live on?

February 23, 2006 4:33 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"And choices lead to desires? What planet do you live on?"

Try this experiment. Have a Jack Daniels on the rocks tonight. You'll find, at some time tomorrow, you'll have a craving for another one.

Works almost anywhere on Planet Earth.

Have you ever read Superman comic books? Are you from planet Bizarro?

February 23, 2006 5:47 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anonymous being the usual idiot.

freebird

February 23, 2006 6:03 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think Anon finally figured out his problem.

Let's hope he will find the inner strength to become an ex-Anon.

February 23, 2006 7:07 PM  
Anonymous PasserBy said...

He is a piece of work, isn't he?

PB

February 23, 2006 7:15 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You guys need to listen to what the scientists are trying to tell you.

February 23, 2006 7:15 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anonymous said:
"How many gays have you met who have not had multiple sexual partners?"


You expect one to actually know?

Anonymous said:
"How many gays have you met that have not had random intercourse?"


You really have to define "random intercourse". Regardless though, the answer is the same as the first.

Anonymous said:
"How many gays have you met that aren't more attracted to straights than gays?"


Whether they're straight or gay has nothing to with physical attraction.

February 23, 2006 7:53 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anonymous said:
"This would seem to indicate that engaging in homosexual activity is a choice. Having made a choice, any choice, might lead to a conditioning to desire that behavior- the possibility raised by the authors of the pheronome study."


You love that study don't you? You cling onto it so tight like it's your last hop. And you say "any choice", so really you're saying absolutely anything can lead to desiring homosexual behaviour. Why not forget the behaviour and concentrate on attraction first.

February 23, 2006 7:58 PM  
Blogger Dana Beyer, M.D. said...

Excuse me, Anon, but I don't drink. Jack Daniels makes me vomit. And people like you, who couldn't resist a second or third shot, are what we call "addicted." It's a medical condition. Certain people are prone to addiction, so they can't afford to start with certain substances because they then lose control to the cravings. Will power, the Republican favorite, often does not suffice. Those of us who are not addicted can control ourselves quite nicely, thank you.

February 23, 2006 8:05 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Excuse me, Anon, but I don't drink. Jack Daniels makes me vomit. And people like you, who couldn't resist a second or third shot, are what we call "addicted.""

I can resist. But I do get a pang.

"It's a medical condition. Certain people are prone to addiction, so they can't afford to start with certain substances because they then lose control to the cravings."

Maybe that's the real difference between bi-s and gays.

"Will power, the Republican favorite, often does not suffice. Those of us who are not addicted can control ourselves quite nicely, thank you."

You might be addicted to something and not even know it. Your welcome.

February 23, 2006 8:26 PM  
Blogger JimK said...

"Y", you sound like you've had a few already this evening. You've gone from despicable to juvenile.

I'm gonna cut you off in a minute.

It's time to go home, dude.

JimK

February 23, 2006 8:28 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"You love that study don't you? You cling onto it so tight like it's your last hop."

If it's my last hop, I'll make beer with it.

If you recall, I once asked for a scientific study that backs up TTF and Cilly offered this one up. After I read it, as she apparently hadn't, I found it didn't back up TTF at all.

After much discussion, I asked for another study to back TTF's claims. None other was offered.

"And you say "any choice", so really you're saying absolutely anything can lead to desiring homosexual behaviour. Why not forget the behaviour and concentrate on attraction first."

Because attraction last for a moment but a behavior lasts a lifetime.

February 23, 2006 8:30 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What's the "Y" thing?

I got the "W" yesterday but I don't get this one.

February 23, 2006 8:46 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

February 23, 2006 8:55 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

February 23, 2006 8:58 PM  
Blogger JimK said...

Good night, Anon. No-tell motel time.

You don't have to go home but you can't stay here.

JimK

February 23, 2006 9:04 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

That does it, Jim. You'll now have to double my stipend before I provide any more commentary.

February 23, 2006 10:14 PM  
Blogger Theresa said...

Hey, I like Anon !

Theresa

February 24, 2006 12:23 AM  
Blogger Willie Hewes said...

Jimk, excellent post, very well argued. Why can't more people be intelligent, like you?

As an aside, I don't know any gay men who are more attracted to "straights". *surprised* I also can't think of anyone who hasn't had multiple sexual partners. Maybe my grandma or something...

I love random sex! ^.^ Especially if it's with the man I love.

February 24, 2006 6:48 AM  
Blogger Dana Beyer, M.D. said...

Theresa,

Are you sure you want to associate yourself with Anon's words? Or do you mean you like him personally?

February 24, 2006 7:21 AM  
Blogger JimK said...

Theresa said Hey, I like Anon !


Tell ya what, Theresa, next time you're going to be over in Bethesda, send us a quick email and we'll give you his number. Maybe you two can get together and talk about the good old days. I'm sure Anon's supervisor won't mind if he takes a break from goofing off to visit with you, even during tax season.

JimK

February 24, 2006 9:24 AM  
Blogger CorinneD said...

Anonymous said...
"How many gays have you met who have not had multiple sexual partners?"

Anon, how many "straights" have you met who have not had multiple sexual partners?

"How many gays have you met that have not had random intercourse?"

What, pray tell, is random intercourse? Do you mean random as in at any old time of the day or night...or the more hip, "how random!" as in out of the blue and unexpected...which can be fun, I should think

"How many gays have you met that aren't more attracted to straights than gays?"

Give me a break, attraction has nothing to do with gay or straight. and why on earth would you think gays are more attracted to straights than gays, that's just stupid. people are attracted to other people because of appearance, or sense of humor, or they remind them of someone else they once knew. Gays are no more likely to pursue relationships with people are not interested in return than are heterosexual people. It's your perverted mind that makes you think gay people are after you.

February 24, 2006 10:44 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Tell ya what, Theresa, next time you're going to be over in Bethesda, send us a quick email and we'll give you his number. Maybe you two can get together and talk about the good old days. I'm sure Anon's supervisor won't mind if he takes a break from goofing off to visit with you, even during tax season."

Sounds like Jim's been googling someone. To no avail. My demands don't change: increased compensation or no more thought-provoking insights.

February 24, 2006 10:48 AM  
Blogger Christine said...

Anon said, "If you recall, I once asked for a scientific study that backs up TTF and Cilly offered this one up. After I read it, as she apparently hadn't, I found it didn't back up TTF at all."

Misconstrual, as usual. Anon has been working for months to try to make the pheromone study mean what he wants it to mean.

Anon looked at one paragraph from the pheromone study, this one:

"The difference between HoM (homosexual males) and HeM (heterosexual males) could reflect a variant differentiation of the anterior hypothalamus in HoM, leading to an altered response pattern. Alternatively, it could reflect an acquired sensitization to AND (testosterone – male pheromone) stimuli in the hypothalamus or its centrifugal networks, due to repeated sexual exposure to men (35). A third possibility is that HeW (heterosexual women) and HoM associated AND with sex, whereas HeM made a similar association with EST (estrogen – female pheromone). These tentative mechanisms are not mutually exclusive, nor can they be discriminated on the basis of the present PET data."

and decided that only this sentence mattered:

"Alternatively, it could reflect an acquired sensitization to AND (testosterone – male pheromone) stimuli in the hypothalamus or its centrifugal networks, due to repeated sexual exposure to men."

Anon insists that this single sentence negates the two other possibilities stated in the same paragraph and ignores other studies, such as this one mentioned in this FOX NEWS story about the pheromone study:

"In a separate study looking at people's response to the body odors of others, researchers in Philadelphia found sharp differences between gay and straight men and women.

"Our findings support the contention that gender preference has a biological component that is reflected in both the production of different body odors and in the perception of and response to body odors," said neuroscientist Charles Wysocki, who led the study.

In particular, he said, finding differences in body odors between gay and straight individuals indicates a physical difference.

It's hard to see how a simple choice to be gay or lesbian would influence the production of body odor, he said."

Anon's lack of scientific understanding is as obvious as his desire to change reality to fit his own biased perceptions.

Christine

February 24, 2006 12:46 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anonymous said:
"Because attraction last for a moment but a behavior lasts a lifetime."


I don't mean that brief period of finding a person attractive; I mean the gender you are attracted to in general -- that lasts much longer than behaviour.

Most (the extreme majority) of homosexuals out there realise their attractions before any sexual behaviour occurs.

It appears that you don't even believe a homosexual virgin can die of old age.

February 24, 2006 1:32 PM  
Blogger Dana Beyer, M.D. said...

I know Charles Wysocki, and he's a good researcher and a good guy. He's been leading the fight for the recognition of a human pheromonal system for many years, often alone.

February 24, 2006 3:17 PM  
Blogger Theresa said...

Dana -
I generally agree with Anon postings.

And you have to admit he is very funny. That post about creating a TTF over in Saudia Arabia - that was truly hysterical.

Theresa

February 24, 2006 8:32 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Theresa said, "That post about creating a TTF over in Saudia Arabia - that was truly hysterical."

______

No more hysterical that CRC'rs saying they represent the mainstream.

Now that is truly hilarious!!!!!!

freebird

February 24, 2006 8:43 PM  
Blogger Dana Beyer, M.D. said...

Theresa,

I'm somehwat confused. You generally agree with Wyatt's postings? OK. But when you join in you usually stay away from religious concerns. Others and I have been able to engage you because we can meet on the same playing field and discuss the issues. You may have your facts wrong, but your parental concerns are no different than those of the rest of us here.

Wyatt, however, revels in projecting himself as a religiously inspired bigot. I accept that is who he is. Do you associate yourself with that as well?

February 24, 2006 10:38 PM  
Blogger Theresa said...

Dana -

I don't think religion is applicable to a discussion of sex ed in a public school - except that clearly a public school shouldn't be criticizing religions (as the old curriculum did) or promoting them.

I believe it is ridiculous that the public schools seem to be okay with any religous symbols BUT Christian ones.

I think that that if you are going to tell kids there are homosexuals, you have to tell them that there are also people who have thought they were and then decided they weren't. To not do so would be "not teaching all the facts". And I generally agree with Anon's comments about homosexual behavior being learned as opposed to "something one is born with and can't change".

Clearly I have not researched it to the extent that he has.

I think the lack of discipline in public schools and increased tolerance for just about anything is pretty shocking. I don't think that because public schools can't teach a position on God that this means they have to give up on right and wrong as well. And I think they have, in favor of "we must show tolerance for everything".

I was extremely shocked by the age they felt it was appropriate to began discussing sex with kids.

Does that make me a religous bigot ?

I don't know, you tell me.

February 25, 2006 12:22 AM  
Blogger Theresa said...

Dana -
I should add that I don't think Anon qualifies as a religous bigot either.....

Theresa

February 25, 2006 12:33 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

No surprise there for your statement Theresa. Bigots using religion to justify what they do and want/demand others to do never ever think they are religious bigots.


freebird

February 25, 2006 12:34 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Theresa said, " don't think religion is applicable to a discussion of sex ed in a public school - except that clearly a public school shouldn't be criticizing religions (as the old curriculum did) or promoting them."

Old curriculum did not do that. Teacher reference materials not to be shared with kids (not curriculum) in "proposed" had that but never curriculum.


freebird

February 25, 2006 12:38 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Theresa said, " I don't think that because public schools can't teach a position on God that this means they have to give up on right and wrong as well. And I think they have, in favor of "we must show tolerance for everything"."

Now are you saying we should think homosexuality is one of the "wrongs?" You will not get that support here and you know that. Tolerance for gays, lesbians and transgendered human beings is NEVER WRONG.

We all tolerate you Theresa.

freebird

February 25, 2006 12:44 AM  
Blogger Theresa said...

Freebird -
I was not referring to "right and wrong" about teaching tolerance as wrong, or even homosexuality as wrong, for that matter.

I was referring to the general attitude of "we must try and understand why little Johnny is behaving that way" when little Johnny is being RUDE. Teacher should be free to tell Johnny so.
The private schools my kids are now back in have a certain standard of behavior expected. Cross the line, you hear about it fast.

I don't think you see the same behavior codes in the public schools... and some of this is definitely related to this constant liberal mindset on discipline...

February 25, 2006 2:04 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Glad you guys seem to have come up with a name for me.

In addition to my prior demands, I also will not jazz up your blog with provocative comments unless Jim agrees to stop deleting my posts. He's now doing it without putting up a notice.

We'll see if this one gets through.

February 25, 2006 8:52 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Wyatt, however, revels in projecting himself as a religiously inspired bigot. I accept that is who he is."

I assume you're talking about me, Dr D. Let's just clear up what you're saying: this is sexual orientation bigotry, am I correct? Any other type of bigotry involved?

Tell your buddy, Jimbo, no more comments until he stops deleting what he doesn't like. Had a couple of great comments yesterday. Very appropos.

February 25, 2006 9:01 AM  
Blogger Dana Beyer, M.D. said...

Wyatt,

Why don't you just come out of the closet? I guarantee it will make you feel much better.

February 25, 2006 9:05 AM  
Blogger Dana Beyer, M.D. said...

Theresa,

I really don't have any problems with much of what you said in general terms. And that was my point -- I don't remember you using a religious justification for any of your positions, so I was honestly questioning whether or not you wanted to associate yourself with Wyatt, who always does so.

I believe religion should be discussed in public school, though only from an historical point of view. it's pretty hard to study American history without doing so. And I would have no problem with a comp rel course either, though I can see how that might be very difficult these days. Fundamentalists simply don't like their religions compared to any others, favorably or not. It calls all sorts of things into question.

I think your comment about allowing religious symbols except Christian ones is a canard, part of the Fox News "War on Christmas" garbage. Do your own study, and you tell me how many public schools which celebrate the winter holidays have Kwanzaa and Channukah displays but don't allow any Christian ones. I don't think there is a single one. And, by the way, Christmas and Easter are public school holidays in most American counties, including Montgomery. Jewish students and teachers need to take comp time off for Passover.

There are no people who are gay and then became straight; there are no people who are straight and then become gay; -- we've been through this. People can control their behaviors, and if a gay man wants to become celibate or heterosexual in practice, all the power to him. As long as he doesn't lie to his partners about it; not that I have any control over that. As for kids who might be questioning their sexuality, not sure, then, the curriculum actually points out that it's ok to question, and things will generally settle down. Unless you're bisexual, of course.

How's this for a compromise? You accept the existence of bisexuals, and accept their behavior, and most of this problem will go away. An "ex-gay" is, practically speaking from a behavioral perspective, simply bisexual.

Wyatt is wrong -- homosexual desire is not learned, just as heterosexual desire is not learned. You and he both know that from experience. Behavior, of course, is often learned, but I've just pointed that out again for the umpteenth time.

I agree with you -- public schools often lack in discipline in general, though it rarely has anything to do with sexuality. It more often has to do with irate prents browbeating overworked teachers for not giving their darlings high enough grades. Does this have to do with liberalism? No, it doesn't, just more Fox News idiocy. What it has to do with is the fear of lawsuits, including the PFOX lawsuit, which hinders the school system in all its works, from special ed to sex ed.

So, the bottom line is, no, I don't think you're a religious bigot unless you sign on with Wyatt's pronouncements. Based on your own words, I would say you aren't, nor do I believe I have ever called you that. I just think you're an overprotective mom, and I can relate to that.

February 25, 2006 9:22 AM  
Blogger Theresa said...

Dana -

I think there is more of a liberal bent to the schools than perhaps you may realize.

Example, my 9 year old came back with a writing assignment about "whether girls should be allowed to become firefighters". They then discussed this in class.

I was a little surprised by this. It is a charged subject, brings out a lot of what might be referred to as political views.

I thought there was a lot of "molding" going on, and I didn't appreciate it.

February 25, 2006 11:07 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"I think there is more of a liberal bent to the schools than perhaps you may realize."

Read yesterday's Wall Street Journal op-ed page. Explains how PTA has become the TA, controlled by the teachers' union, NEA. PTA membership half what it was twenty years ago. Mentions pro-gay sex ed and opposition to school vouchers, among many other examples, of how PTA no longer represents parents' desires.

February 25, 2006 1:35 PM  
Blogger Dana Beyer, M.D. said...

Theresa,

I hope you're kidding. Do you really think school discussion of women in the workplace, women as firefighters, police, soldiers, is a "charged political issue"? Representative of a "liberal" perspective?

If you do, it would go a long way to explaining why so many rightists are upset, beyond the religious fundamentalism. And it would also explain why the Fox News crowd thinks of liberal as a dirty word.

That war is over. Women are no longer willing to be forced into "kinder and kuchen." Women are developing the tools and models to help them place their needs and desires into perspective, to adapt as the world evolves -- they are doing this without the help of governments, schools, liberals, etc. But if you think the theocon battle to exclude women from the professional and general workforce is a battle you can fight and win, you will be sorely dismayed. Maybe the average woman doesn't care about access to abortion services, because it's rarely that she might need them, but take away her right to contraception, or, unimaginably to me, her right to work and be treated as an equal to men, and you will have an uprising in this country of almost all the women which will force those who believe in such nonsense to some little enclave in Idaho.

A woman who wants to be financially dependent on a man, and stay home and raise children? That's fine. That's great. But it should and will be her choice. Take that choice away from her, and you will have civil war.

February 25, 2006 5:32 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Theresa said,"I was referring to the general attitude of "we must try and understand why little Johnny is behaving that way" when little Johnny is being RUDE. Teacher should be free to tell Johnny so.
The private schools my kids are now back in have a certain standard of behavior expected. Cross the line, you hear about it fast.I don't think you see the same behavior codes in the public schools... and some of this is definitely related to this constant liberal mindset on discipline..."
___________


Theresa this blog is about sex ed etc. not about school behavior or for that matter equating chosen behavior to homosexuality. Now that your children are safely tucked away in private schools..AGAIN..will you still be telling the rest of us what our children should learn about in sex ed in public schools?
Discipline is a problem all over even in private schools but let's just say that no one should stand for intolerance displayed and heaped on those in same sex groupings/families, etc. whether private or public.

freebird

February 25, 2006 6:25 PM  
Blogger Theresa said...

Dana -

I clearly believe women belong in the workplace. I never quit working, I am one of very few women in my particular career - high tech sales.

But I also know where to draw the line.

I don't believe women should be firefighters UNLESS they can pass the same physical requirements as the guys.

Period. No exceptions.

Because to the 200 lb guy passed out in a burning building, it is unfair if the fire-fighter who happens to get to him first is a 120 lb female.

My son's response was - well, probably only guys should be fire-fighters because you have to be strong. Unless it's a really, really strong girl. I thought that was a perfectly rational response. It reflects common sense - like profiling ARABs specifically in airports as opposed to checking my Mom (80 years old) on her way to get heart surgery.

Common sense is not a bad thing.
What is good for the majority should sometimes trump the rights of the individual.

Did you think it was fair to the 4 people shot in that Atlanta courtroom that they put a 120 lb lady guarding a 250 lb guy ?

I didn't.

February 25, 2006 6:32 PM  
Blogger Theresa said...

Freebird -

I feel like I am even more entitled to "tell the rest of you" what your kids should be learning about sex ed.

Because I tried to use the public school system my exorbitant tax dollars have been funding for years - and I couldn't.

So ever time I write a 10K check for two younger kids grade school, I get mad. I had no problem with the quality of the education. I had problems with the infestation of the gay and liberal agenda attempting to mold my kids.
BTW, I intend to stay mad for a very long time.

Theresa

February 25, 2006 6:37 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

anonymous said," Read yesterday's Wall Street Journal op-ed page. Explains how PTA has become the TA, controlled by the teachers' union, NEA. PTA membership half what it was twenty years ago. Mentions pro-gay sex ed and opposition to school vouchers, among many other examples, of how PTA no longer represents parents' desires."


Okay Anonymous post the link and who authored what you are talking about. We will then get to the gist of this whole thing and who wrote it and why.

freebird

February 25, 2006 6:39 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Theresa said, " I feel like I am even more entitled to "tell the rest of you" what your kids should be learning about sex ed."

___________

Nope..NADA..you surely do not. Your "choice" was to place your kids where you write that check. Parent your own children and quit feeling entitled to parent others children that are actually none of your business.

Enjoy the private school and let the rest of us decide for our own kids.

If you as a bigot had problems with "the infestation of the gay and liberal agenda attempting to mold my kids." in public schools...
I say TOUGH. Now enjoy your private school(we are so glad you outed yourself). Go tell them what to do in sex ed.

But you will not be telling me what to do with mine in public schools ever.



freebird

February 25, 2006 6:50 PM  
Blogger Dana Beyer, M.D. said...

Theresa,

I agree with you that a 120 lb woman who can't handle the job should not be given the same responsibilities on that job. There should be qualifications, which are appropriate. If a candidate, male or female, can't qualify, then they don't deserve the job. The job requirements should be the ability to perform certain functions to standard, whatever those are, as long as they are not set deliberately to exclude women. It should not be a difficult chore.

I am sorely bothered by your use of the word "infestation." It is an old fascist, Nazi tactic of dehumanization. It is insulting, it is disgusting, and it has no place in civil discussion. I hope it doesn't reflect your true feelings.

I have two sons. I, too, pay real estate tax, a great deal of it. My older son chose to go to boarding school, my younger son stayed at home. I will not be angry for a very long for doing my share in supporting the public schools. That is my responsibility as a citizen, whether my children attend or not. Actually, it is my responsibility whether or not I have children and regardless of their age. Too many wingers think they can opt out of societal responsibilities because they don't like this or that policy. I especially love the CEOs who claim they made it to the top all by their lonesome, ignoring their educations, their teachers' educations, the military service that has protected this country, the infrastructure, the health care paid for by government subsidy, etc. It's selfish and unpatriotic.

February 25, 2006 10:28 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Enjoy the private school and let the rest of us decide for our own kids."

Sure. As soon as you start paying for it.

February 27, 2006 10:11 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Too many wingers think they can opt out of societal responsibilities because they don't like this or that policy."

Not right-wingers. They want to accept their responsibility and give the kids a quality and accurate education. Pumping the kids full of a liberal agenda is setting them up for failure.

"Actually, it is my responsibility whether or not I have children and regardless of their age."

Responsibility is the key failure of TTF. They want to teach false ideas to kids that are potentially harmful to the kids and invariably harmful to society.

February 27, 2006 10:20 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Liberals who oppose school choice are the most hypocritcial. Siding with the teachers' union, they deny disadvantaged kids the option of a choice out of the dangerous and failing schools they're stuck in. If government is unable, they need to get out of the way.

February 27, 2006 10:20 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

anonymous said, "Responsibility is the key failure of TTF. They want to teach false ideas to kids that are potentially harmful to the kids and invariably harmful to society."


Yeah man teaching a full comprehensive sex education in public schools is just so irresponsible of TTF to support in anonymous's world and even Theresa's. Yes sirree teaching kids who are having sex or thinking about it how to keep themselves safe is just so horrible...NOT.

Both of you enjoy those private schools.

freebird

February 27, 2006 2:54 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Yeah man teaching a full comprehensive sex education in public schools is just so irresponsible of TTF"

You can say that again! Comp sex ed started in the 70s and has had horrific societal consequences. Those consequences only began to ameliorate with the introduction of abstinence programs in the 90s.

February 27, 2006 4:48 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...
"Yeah man teaching a full comprehensive sex education in public schools is just so irresponsible of TTF"

You can say that again! Comp sex ed started in the 70s and has had horrific societal consequences. Those consequences only began to ameliorate with the introduction of abstinence programs in the 90s.

__________

Anonymous keep living in that "perfect world" with your rose colored glasses on. May your children never have sex until they reach the age of 27 or you say it is okay ...or they get married.

For the rest that choose differently.....may they know the wisdom of how to protect themselves through a full comprehensive sex education being taught in public schools. TTF and a multitude of others...keep on trucking with the support to help the children of those hiding their heads in the sand like anonymous.

Anonymous has not figured out how irresponsible they are in keeping their children so naive way past their time for such.

freebird

February 27, 2006 7:06 PM  
Blogger Dana Beyer, M.D. said...

Has anyone noticed how the crime rate began dropping around 1990, 17 years after Roe? Not as many unwanted children growing up to become 17 year old thugs.

February 28, 2006 8:21 AM  

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