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Today's Note From a Madman

November 6, 2007


The "Abstinence Only" Myth

"At present there does not exist any strong evidence that any abstinence program delays the initiation of sex, hastens the return to abstinence or reduces the number of sexual partners"
-a study by Douglas Kirby, a senior research scientist at ETR Associates

The myth that abstinence only programs, those favored by the Bush "pandering-for-profits" administration, are all that is needed to stop teenagers from having sex is now officially debunked, no matter how the Bushies decide to spin it or ignore it.

Like I needed to even tell all of you that in order for it to have already been true.

According to the latest study conducted by Kirby, President Bush's, and Religious Right's claim that the only sexual education necessary to keep teens from playing with each other's most personal areas is to "Just say 'No!'" has been proven false, if not stupid.

These are "myths propagated by abstinence-only advocates". These "myths" include ideas that a real sexual education program taught in schools promotes promiscuity and increases the number of times teens will have sex. In short, they are confusing to teens and pre-teens, and are, in fact, inaccurate.

And that's an understatement.

The Right's preference to ignore the fact that children grow up and start getting "feelings" is not only stupid, but it's dangerous.

The report by Kirby was found to thorough in its research and "fair and evenhanded" in its results. It's a far cry from those on the Right who believe that not talking about it because "it's dirty" is the only choice.

In reality, the report came to the conclusion that a real sexual education allows children a "confidence in their ability to say 'no' to unwanted sex."

Hey, maybe it IS "Just say "No!" after all.

The report stated that there was "too high levels of sexual risk-taking among teens", with some 47 percent of teens reporting that they have had sex at least once while in High School. In total, a whopping 63 percent said they've had sex by the time they've graduated.

One of the worst problems with abstinence only programs is that "Many teenagers do not use contraceptives carefully and consistently," the report states. And, as we all know (or at least those of us who have children getting real sexual education), not learning about the consequences of unprotected sex can lead to unwanted pregnancies, sexually transmitted diseases (STD's) and death (from diseases such as AIDS). A great, great majority of cases where all of the above-mentioned problems occurred would have been prevented had the inexperienced and unknowing been using something as simple to use as a condom. But with the Religious Right's determination to make the word "condom" into the eighth of George Carlin's "seven dirty words", many who would have had the knowledge are now clueless, and that's a bad thing.

Tens of millions of dollars are spent on abstinence-only programs by the Bush administration while programs which actually work are ignored. And whereas the ends are just (cutting down on teen pregnancies), the means are preposterous. More teens will get pregnant; more teens will get STD's; more teens will have unprotected sex; and more teens will "experiment" sexually without the knowledge necessary to keep themselves safe.

It isn't just ignorance that keeps the Bushies from understanding that education - real sexual education which talks about STD's, condoms and protection, etc. - keeps our children safe, it's their need to keep their "Fake-base" on the Religious Right in line that plays a part. I believe that it's the only part.

-Noah Greenberg

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-Noah Greenberg