<\body> Stories in America: Abstinence-Only Advocates in Denial

Monday, November 14, 2005

Abstinence-Only Advocates in Denial

The Philadelphia Inquirer has a great piece about what is being taught in abstinence-only classes:
Gale Grant, who has taught abstinence in Virginia and now works for the Virginia Department of Heath, said she teaches students to wait until they are married. She doesn't teach them about the use of condoms or other birth control, she said to an audience gathered at the National Academy of Sciences last week.

Someone in the audience asked about masturbation. She said she tells students to "abstain from arousing yourself sexually" because, she explained, it could lead to dangerous sexual behavior.

Somehow you're supposed to act as though your body below the waist doesn't exist until you're married.
Those opposed to sex education and abortion always fail to talk about the disturbing fact that three in 10 American girls become pregnant before the age of 20, which is high compared to other industrialized countries.
There must be something we can learn from the Canadians and Europeans, who have as much sex as we do but end up with fewer abortions and teen pregnancies. Could it help that they're more open about sex, while we Americans treat it like a crime, all the worse if it's, God forbid, premeditated? You're supposed to be swept away by passion with no plan, no discussion, no change of clothes for the next day, and no condom. No wonder three in 10 teenage girls end up pregnant.


At 11/15/2005 9:57 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Actually, according to this article, research supports the effectiveness of abstinence education for children, even among kids who are already sexually active. (5th paragraph down)


(And who knew that grape jelly makes you a responsible teen?! Not me, that's for sure.)

At 11/15/2005 12:43 PM, Blogger kat said...

anonymous, I'd be a bit more impressed if that actually WERE an article and not just a press release issed by project reality.

And I don't think that the press release says what you want to say, at any rate. They are trumpeting surveys saying teens agree that abstinence can be a worthy goal. They are not trumpeting, however, evidence that the pre-marital sex rate has gone down or that it has had any meaningful effect on the rates of teenage pregnancy.

At 11/15/2005 2:57 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well, here's the study. Take from it what you will...


At 11/15/2005 3:04 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

So what do you propose? Are you in favor of abstinence-only programs? What do you suggest we do about the millions of pregnant teens in this country? Take a look at any TV channel tonight. The fact is, sex is everywhere. The right pretends to care about the well being of women, when in fact all they want to do is control their bodies. I have never once heard an abstinence-only advocate talk about the realities of, or even acknowledge we have a major problem with teen pregnancy in this country.

At 11/15/2005 3:24 PM, Blogger kat said...

Sorry, anonymous, but that "study" is really the most useless waste of academic dollars that I've ever read. It's objective is apparently to quiz students on definitions of abstinence and sexual activity. No where does it actually indicate hard results achieved. Great that students recognize the difference between "saving it" and not, but are they actually saving it? The study doesn't go there. Great that the students realize that premarital sex can result in health problems--presumably we lump pregnancy in there--but the study doesn't indicate that understanding this actually translates to behavior.

At 11/15/2005 4:59 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh well...back to the grape jelly then.


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