<\body> Stories in America: Conservatives Teach 'Sex Ed' to Medical Students, Girls Gone Bad Numbers Misleading

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Conservatives Teach 'Sex Ed' to Medical Students, Girls Gone Bad Numbers Misleading

Reproductive Rights

Conservatives teach sex ed to medical students. Thanks, Congress. - Slate
As Michael Specter pointed out in The New Yorker last month, the Bush administration spends hundreds of millions of dollars touting the benefits of abstinence. Most abstinence-promoting programs waste the government's money funneling misinformation directly to adolescents. But one such group, the Medical Institute for Sexual Health, has another audience in mind—medical students. With the help of Congress, the institute has finagled $200,000 out of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to develop a sexual-health curriculum for doctors in training. It's a small bit of pork, but it represents the hijacking of a government agency that normally funds research based on merit. And the CDC's imprimatur could persuade medical schools to use the institute's work.

Villanova considering on-campus memorial to 'victims of abortion' - AP
Long proud of its conservative religious values, Villanova University is generating new buzz as administrators consider a proposal to install a memorial to the "victims of abortion." Administrators at the private Catholic school in suburban Philadelphia decided Tuesday to consider the proposal being pushed by Villanovans for Life. The group wants to put the memorial along a path connecting the main campus with an area where freshman dormitories are located.

Names of donors to South Dakota abortion legal fund are public - AP
The names of donors and the amounts they give to a state fund intended to help pay the potential legal costs of defending a new state abortion law are open to the public, South Dakota Attorney General Larry Long says. After the South Dakota Legislature passed a law that would ban nearly all abortions, the lawmakers also set up a special fund that can accept private donations to help defend against a possible court challenge of the abortion ban.

Clerics force govt in Pak to shelve school sex education plan - NewKerala
Fearing a backlash from the local clerics, extremists and religious elements, a provincial government in Pakistan has reportedly abandoned its plan to start sex education and reproductive health classes at the school and college level. The plan was to be implemented to deal with increasing population by creating awareness among the youth. Senior officials of the Punjab government revealed said that the provincial government had almost finalised suggestions and was to forward them to the federal government, but the plan has been abandoned because of the fear of the backlash of “extremists and religious elements”.


Girls Gone Bad: Statistics Distort the Truth - LiveScience
Recent trends have suggested that girls are rapidly becoming more violent while the bad behavior of boys has not changed much. But the numbers are deceiving, some researchers say. The FBI's Uniform Crime Reports (UCR) shows arrests of juvenile females for assaults and violent crime from 1980 through 2003 rose from 20 percent to more than 30 percent of the total. The media have latched onto the statistic with glaring headlines. A book released in February carries the catchy title "See Jane Hit" and offers tips on how to deal with violent girls. An article last year in the Boston Globe was headlined "Violence raging among teen girls." Newsweek called the phenomenon "Bad Girls Go Wild." The real change is in how police and society deal with acts that used to be viewed as relatively minor, says Darrell Steffensmeier, a professor of sociology and criminology at Penn State.

In the Courts

Woman wins $27.5 million in suit against Southwest Airlines - USA Today
A Texas jury has awarded $27.5 million to a woman who says Southwest Airlines flight attendants had her arrested in 2003 because they were overly aggressive in enforcing post 9/11 security. The charges against Samantha Carrington, a U.S. citizen born in Iran, were dropped the next day when an FBI agent investigating the case came to her defense. Nevertheless, the Los Angeles woman says, she is now subjected to heightened security while flying and cannot clear her name from watch lists.


South Africa: The Shower That Washed Anti-Aids Efforts Down the Drain - Inter Press Service
AIDS activists have expressed concern about a remark by former South African deputy president Jacob Zuma that he minimised his risk of contracting the AIDS virus during unprotected sex with an HIV-positive woman, by taking a shower afterwards. Zuma also said he believed the chance of getting HIV from a woman was slim for a healthy man. "It is nonsense. There is no evidence to support it," said Nathan Geffen of the Treatment Action Campaign (TAC), a non-governmental organisation based in the coastal city of Cape Town that lobbies for improved access to anti-retroviral drugs.


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