Cutting Through The Crap

Monday, December 29, 2008

File Under... Duh


Who coulda guessed?! Virginity pledges, not unlike abstinence-only sex education, don't keep kids from having sex. They do, however, not unlike abstinence-only sex education, lower the likelihood of using birth control. Family fricking values.

The reason I consider it at all newsworthy is that it's but another example of religious thinking entering into the arena of public policy, and screwing things up. As it were.

I get that the idea of sex education is controversial. Difficult. Nor is it surprising that people who are uncomfortable with it willfully ignore the data showing that comprehensive sex education lowers the number of teens having sex, and getting pregnant. After all, ignoring data is exactly what such discomforts are all about. It would make more sense to me if a school district decided to have no sex education at all, than if it chose to teach abstinence only. What sort of policy is it that opts for an approach that is obviously wrong?

Religion, is what it is. In our schools. In the public square. Where it neither belongs nor adds to the common weal.

What makes the most sense, of course, is teaching based on facts. If parents don't want their kids so educated, they can opt out of those classes; or -- the refuge of the most unrepentantly indoctrinaire -- home schooling. (Sex is perfect metaphor: of course I'm not just referring to that.)

And yet, we must be tolerant. Even-handed. Inclusive. Fairness dictates, so we are told, that the weight of decades of research, of science, of irrefutable fact, is to be countered equally by fantasy. As is the left hand, so is the right. It's not enough that, in this (formerly) great nation people are free to believe and practice as they wish and to pollute their own; since they're not satisfied by that, neither must be the rest of us. We must allow those ideas, from the silly to the severe, into our lives as well: into our schools and into our politics. No matter how much it might wound us all.

Me? I'd rather abstain.

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6 comments:

Frank Drackman said...

Sid, have you raised any kids this century?? They should be teachin US about Sex not the other way around. And I'm a 1000% with ya on Birth Control, thats why my 2 daughters get 150mg of Medroxyprogesterone IM every 3 months, like clockwork, just tell em' its another of those Public School required autism-causing-vaccines...Trust but Verify I always say. And please, no Incest Cracks...

Ellen Kimball said...

Welcome to the Abstinence Group. We do a lot of sharing, cuddling, kissing, and holding hands. In our 70s, much of it has become a fun memory. I like to read erotica; he does whatever he does. Our diagnoses are available in our medical records. 'Nuf said. Sex is mostly in people's minds anyway.

Do you recall Maurice Chevalier's wonderful song about love? "I remember it well..."

Have a wonderful New Year 2009.

Ellen Kimball
Former Sexual Rebel
(I was one of the first women to demand a birth control device from the University of Miami student clinic. That was in 1956, when I was all of 17... "It was a very good year" as Frank Sinatra used to sing. My mother almost tore out her hair when I lost my virginity on 6/25/55 with an immigrant Jewish boy who was not welcome in our home. I found him in the Internet a couple of years ago and still call him on his birthday. He will be 73 next year.)

Sid Schwab said...

Ellen: nice story. And of Maurice, ah yes...

Sid Schwab said...

Frank: my kid is 30. But my wife is on the school board and, yes, it's a different world. Born too soon, is what I say.

SeaSpray said...

I think it all should be presented as an option.

Sex is one of our strongest instincts and to think that people won't ever succumb to it is foolish and therefore birth control and prevention of stds needs to be taught.

But to encourage abstinence is a good idea too. And there is nothing wrong with making that choice. Abstinence will guarantee no stds or unwanted pregnancies.

I think the ones that choose to where the virginity rings etc., are serious about waiting until they are married. Now they could change their mind but hopefully... the delay gave them time to be more emotionally ready/mature and hopefully sensible about birth control.

i would still think that even with the best of intentions... condoms should be handy/in their wallet or purse but then maybe that is opening a door to the possibility... but better that than caught without because... um...things do happen. Best laid plans... (no pun intended)

Sili said...

>>But to encourage abstinence is a good idea too. And there is nothing wrong with making that choice. Abstinence will guarantee no stds or unwanted pregnancies. <<

Indeed. The operative word there being *choice*. The trouble is that those in charge have not been willing to let the kids choose *for themselves*.

>>I think the ones that choose to where the virginity rings etc., are serious about waiting until they are married. Now they could change their mind but hopefully... the delay gave them time to be more emotionally ready/mature and hopefully sensible about birth control.<<

Think what you will, but the studies that Sid links demonstrate that that is emphatically not what happens in the real world. No surprise really, since the poor kids have not been allowed to receive comprihensive information about birthcontrol. At best they have been told nothing at all, but more often they seem to have been deliberately lied to about condoms, for instance.

Not to mention the redefinitions of what sex is. Most amusing really, since the fundies were so upset with Clinton's denial that he had "sex with that woman". Their blissfully unenlightended kids agree that a blowjob indeed isn't "sex" (nor is, of course, anal).

>>i would still think that even with the best of intentions... condoms should be handy/in their wallet or purse but then maybe that is opening a door to the possibility... but better that than caught without because... um...things do happen. Best laid plans... (no pun intended)<<

Hear! Hear! Now, how to make the powers that be hear?