Apparently, it’s just not enough for this administration to push ineffective and inaccurate abstinence-only education programs for our schoolchildren. Nope–they’re also being emphasized for adults up to the age of 29, as well:

If you’re single and in your 20s, the federal government wants you to steer clear of sex.

That’s the new guidance for states under the Department of Health and Human Services’ $50 million Abstinence Education Program. HHS officials say it’s not a requirement — just another option for states to combat what they call an alarming rise in out-of-wedlock births.

(More after the jump…)

A record 1.5 million babies were born to single mothers in 2004, according to the National Center for Health Statistics. More than half of them were born to women in their early 20s.

Now, I’m certainly not advocating for more out-of-wedlock births to relatively young mothers. There are some legitimate reasons to be concerned about this trend (you can find more data on the numbers of out-of-wedlock births and their rates over the last 25 years here; see figure 2). But studies looking at abstinence-based programs in adolescents have shown that they simply don’t work, as far as delaying sexual activity, or preventing pregnancies or acquisition of sexually transmitted diseases. (Indeed, in some studies the abstinence-only groups had higher rates of pregnancy and STDs). If this education doesn’t work in teenagers, who in their right mind things it will work with someone in their 20s?

Wagoner’s group, Advocates for Youth, argues that it’s futile to try to sell 20-somethings on chastity. He says birth control is a smarter way to prevent pregnancies.

“This is a clear signal that they’re using these resources — taxpayer dollars — to promote an ideological agenda,” Wagoner says. “It has nothing to do with public health.”

***

But HHS officials say the guidelines are not new, that department’s Administration for Children and Families “merely informed States of the flexibility permitted under Federal law.”

“The government’s clarification published in August is not a mandate,” the Administration for Children and Families said in a statement prepared in response to ABC News questions. “We are unclear why Advocates for Youth suddenly believes (after two months) that States should be denied the flexibility to provide young adults with the truth that abstinence is the only 100 percent effective way of avoiding unwanted pregnancies and sexually transmitted diseases.”

Man, this is some world-class spinnin’. Of course, no one wants to deny states the “flexibility to provide young adults with the truth” about abstinence. But let’s be a bit pragmatic here. All of these programs cost money. We–taxpayers–fund them. Now, which is going to get a larger bang for the buck–extolling the benefits of abstinence to a 28-year-old, or educating them about–and providing them with–condoms, birth control, testing, etc.?

Comments

  1. #1 writerdd
    November 2, 2006

    Why are you using their 1950s term “out-of-wedlock births”? I mean, wedlock? Jeez. It is absolutely none of the governments business, nor yours or mine, if single women in their 20s want to have babies. It’s none of anybodies business if I never want to get married and I want children. This stigmatization of single moms has got to stop.

  2. #2 Brian
    November 2, 2006

    I’m no expert (or qualified), but aren’t basic attitudes towards sexuality essentially formed in the early teen years or earlier? I wouldn’t think, outside of some traumatic crisis, that someone in their twenties could be persuaded to change their sexual attitudes that dramatically.

    We’ve had a serious issue in this country with parents not spending enough time/effort raising their children; when raising kids to be productive members of society becomes a national priority, I suspect the “out-of-wedlock” issue will become far less common.

    I lived on a tropical island for about a year–I won’t name it because I’m not trying to lash out, just make a point–on which there are more churches per capita than almost any other nation. Approximately 80% of the children are born out of wedlock on the island; the abstinence message is certainly not doing the job there.

  3. #3 Brian
    November 2, 2006

    Writerdd:

    I don’t think the decision to have a child as a single parent is the issue. The issue is that there aren’t enough social support structures/priorities in place for married couples that both work to devote enough time to their children; much less poor/middle class single mothers that have to struggle to support their kids.

    I’m sure it’s possible to work two jobs and not only spend time with your kids but ensure they also are in contact with positive male role models, but I sure wouldn’t want to have to make the attempt.

  4. #4 Robster
    November 2, 2006

    Despite the attempts of certain individuals over time, people are still having sex.

  5. #5 Jen
    November 2, 2006

    Abstinence education for 20-somethings??? Now that’s what I call magical thinking! Unless you spent most of your teen years at Jesus Camp, the horse was out of the barn for most of us by then.

    Jen in Texas

  6. #6 Kristjan Wager
    November 2, 2006

    Now, I’m certainly not advocating for more out-of-wedlock births to relatively young mothers.

    Doesn’t “out-of-wedlock” simply mean children by unmarried parents? Why should that be a problem? Single parenthood is of course problematic in some cases, but wether the parents are married or not is only relevant for legal reasons (inheritage etc.)

  7. #7 Chris
    November 2, 2006

    Is there any good reason to believe that unmarried couples are more likely to break up and leave the mother holding the bag? Seems like there are a lot of divorces shortly after the baby is born… and I know quite a few unmarried couples who have been together longer than the average marriage. It seems to me that a marriage ceremony isn’t going to have much effect on whether or not Dad runs away, unless it actually acts as a reliable indicator of his commitment to the relationship (a dubious premise at best).

    It’s also very misleading to say that abstinence is 100% effective at anything. It’s effective when you stick to it, which is FAR less than 100% of the time. Overall effectiveness should include both the percentage of the time when the method is applied correctly, *and* the percentage of the time when it is effective after being applied correctly.

    Regarding “relatively young mothers”: what *is* the safest age to have a baby? Is the age of lowest health risk to the mother different from the age of lowest health risk to the baby?

  8. #8 Davis
    November 2, 2006

    “…the truth that abstinence is the only 100 percent effective way of avoiding unwanted pregnancies and sexually transmitted diseases.”

    So does that mean driver’s ed classes should be teaching the truth that staying out of automobiles is the only 100% effective way of avoiding unwanted injuries and premature death due to car accidents? How would people feel about driver’s ed programs that refused to teach about seat belt use and road safety, and instead focused on “car abstinence”?

  9. #9 MarkP
    November 2, 2006

    “…the truth that abstinence is the only 100 percent effective way of avoiding unwanted pregnancies and sexually transmitted diseases.”

    Riiiiiight. Tell that to Ryan White and Arthur Ashe, both of whom died from non-sexually transmitted AIDS. Then there is always the possibility of pregnancy from rape. This is just a game of semantics these people are playaing. When people like Tara point out that abstinence-only programs often produce many unwanted pregnancies, the proponents of those programs claim that it was’t followed. It’s the equivalent of telling an alcoholic that the only effective way to avoid drunkeness is to just not drink.

    One solves very few problems with one’s hands over one’s eyes and ears.

  10. #10 BMurray
    November 2, 2006

    So does that mean driver’s ed classes should be teaching the truth that staying out of automobiles is the only 100% effective way of avoiding unwanted injuries and premature death due to car accidents? How would people feel about driver’s ed programs that refused to teach about seat belt use and road safety, and instead focused on “car abstinence”?

    I would *love* to see a car abstinence program (I have been private-motor-vehicle-celibate all my life). Unfortunately it’s impossible because, for many young people, the car is where you get laid!

  11. #11 Tara C. Smith
    November 2, 2006

    Why are you using their 1950s term “out-of-wedlock births”? I mean, wedlock? Jeez. It is absolutely none of the governments business, nor yours or mine, if single women in their 20s want to have babies. It’s none of anybodies business if I never want to get married and I want children. This stigmatization of single moms has got to stop.

    I’m not stigmatizing–I’m repeating the CDC’s term of choice. What do you prefer?

    Doesn’t “out-of-wedlock” simply mean children by unmarried parents? Why should that be a problem? Single parenthood is of course problematic in some cases, but wether the parents are married or not is only relevant for legal reasons (inheritage etc.)

    It’s not a problem in and of itself, as Brian noted. The problem comes in because many of these births are to mothers with low income levels, and the father of the child doesn’t stay around to provide support, either financially or in childrearing. Now, in some of these cases marriage may not have made a difference so I’m not saying that’s *necessarily* better, but these births outside of marriage can act as an indicator of other social issues.

    It should also be noted that there’s also an increasing trend for births outside of marriage in older age groups as well, not only the under-30 crowd. However, these generally tend to be people who have actively chosen to have a child outside of marriage, either because they have a long-term partner and simply don’t feel the need for a ceremony. They tend to be better off financially and regarding support for the child, however, so they’re not such a target of this abstinence push.

    Is there any good reason to believe that unmarried couples are more likely to break up and leave the mother holding the bag? Seems like there are a lot of divorces shortly after the baby is born… and I know quite a few unmarried couples who have been together longer than the average marriage. It seems to me that a marriage ceremony isn’t going to have much effect on whether or not Dad runs away, unless it actually acts as a reliable indicator of his commitment to the relationship (a dubious premise at best).

    Stats show they are. I’m short on time at the moment, but I’ll dig some up. (Might be in the .pdf I linked, actually…)

    It’s also very misleading to say that abstinence is 100% effective at anything. It’s effective when you stick to it, which is FAR less than 100% of the time. Overall effectiveness should include both the percentage of the time when the method is applied correctly, *and* the percentage of the time when it is effective after being applied correctly.

    Well, that’s true, but abstinence is by definition an all or nothing thing.

    Regarding “relatively young mothers”: what *is* the safest age to have a baby? Is the age of lowest health risk to the mother different from the age of lowest health risk to the baby?

    It’s not necessarily about safety; indeed, early 20s is a good time as far as the health of the baby goes. It’s more about support systems and being able to raise the child in a healthy environment.

    Riiiiiight. Tell that to Ryan White and Arthur Ashe, both of whom died from non-sexually transmitted AIDS. Then there is always the possibility of pregnancy from rape. This is just a game of semantics these people are playaing. When people like Tara point out that abstinence-only programs often produce many unwanted pregnancies, the proponents of those programs claim that it was’t followed. It’s the equivalent of telling an alcoholic that the only effective way to avoid drunkeness is to just not drink.

    Yes, this is true; there are circumstances where one can choose abstinence and yet acquire a typically sexually-transmitted disease. This strengthens the case for providing comprehensive information about sex to everyone–circumstances can sometimes be beyond your control.

  12. #12 Peter Barber
    November 2, 2006

    Ah, but Davis, driving uses petrol and therefore makes a profit for oil companies. If Bush II and friends got out of petroleum and into latex (OMG! ROTFL etc.) things would be different.

  13. #13 Peter Barber
    November 2, 2006

    On a more serious note – this advice is for targeting groups between 12-29. So what exactly happens on a single person’s 30th birthday that suddenly makes them less susceptible to STDs or becoming pregnant? If the answer is ‘nothing’, is the DHHS laying up a stockpile of Specified Pathogen-Free spouses? Or is this a prelude to advocacy of life-long abstinence unless you get married? – And all this in a country where brothels are legal in at least one state. Mad…

    I’m also wondering: how many of the current US administration stuck to this advice themselves? (Yes, I know that’s tu quoque, but it seems a relevant question to ask.)

  14. #14 kevin
    November 2, 2006

    Robster wrote:
    Despite the attempts of certain individuals over time, people are still having sex.

    It’s a small miracle considering all the fear-mongering that emanates from the HIV propaganda machine, not to mention the same tune sung in a different key by the Christian Right. Yes, HIV sycophants have more in common with the “creationists” than any of the rethinkers that I’ve engaged, but people are still having sex.

    Kevin

  15. #15 kevin
    November 2, 2006

    writerdd wrote:

    Why are you using their 1950s term “out-of-wedlock births”?

    Because most of the narrow-minded “blog scientists” posting here are closet right-wing nutjobs, whose subconscious often betrays their outspoken aversion to all things unscientific.

    Kevin

  16. #16 kevin
    November 2, 2006

    Kristjan Wager:
    Doesn’t “out-of-wedlock” simply mean children by unmarried parents?

    It has religious and/or conservative connotations for those of us who are keen to the rhetoric of bible-thumpers. Words and phrases are often ‘loaded’, thereby changing their meaning when used in certain situations, i.e. wedlock when used in a discussion about sexual abstinence is only relevant for those who wish to argue from a religious perspective. Prejudicial language is a common tactic used to support arguments of dubious origins.

    Kevin

  17. #17 Seth Manapio
    November 2, 2006

    “closet right-wing nutjobs, whose subconscious often betrays their outspoken aversion to all things unscientific.”

    —————

    Wow. Surreal incoherence… its like reading Burroughs or something.

    BoTD, Did you have a point, or are you just typing random words?

  18. #18 Miguelito
    November 2, 2006

    Why are you using their 1950s term “out-of-wedlock births”? I mean, wedlock? Jeez. It is absolutely none of the governments business, nor yours or mine, if single women in their 20s want to have babies. It’s none of anybodies business if I never want to get married and I want children. This stigmatization of single moms has got to stop.

    Would you prefer she uses the words “bastard” or “illegitimate”? “Out-of-wedlock” is accurate because these children are born outside of marriage.

  19. #19 Robster
    November 2, 2006

    Oh please. It is the accepted, if archaic term. What would be a better way to put it? You are the same Kevin who tried to tell us all to be polite, correct? The one who hates ad hominem attacks and prejudiced phrases?

    Closet right wing nutjobs? HIV sycophants?

    heh.

    But you got one thing right. Scientists don’t like unscientific crap.

  20. #20 pat
    November 2, 2006

    Wedlock

    “It has religious and/or conservative connotations for those of us who are keen to the rhetoric of bible-thumpers. Words and phrases are often ‘loaded’, thereby changing their meaning when used in certain situations, i.e. wedlock when used in a discussion about sexual abstinence is only relevant for those who wish to argue from a religious perspective. Prejudicial language is a common tactic used to support arguments of dubious origins.”

    Spot on. It reminds my of this great thinker

    “The degree of one’s emotion varies inversely with one’s knowledge of the facts — the less you know the hotter you get.”
    – Bertrand Russell (attributed: source unknown)

    or

    “The fundamental cause of trouble in the world today is that the stupid are cocksure while the intelligent are full of doubt”.
    – Bertrand Russell, “Christian Ethics” from Marriage and Morals (1950), quoted from James A Haught, ed., 2000 Years of Disbelief

    or

    “Dogma demands authority, rather than intelligent thought, as the source of opinion; it requires persecution of heretics and hostility to unbelievers; it asks of its disciples that they should inhibit natural kindness in favor of systematic hatred.”
    – Bertrand Russell, quoted from Laird Wilcox, ed., “The Degeneration of Belief”

    or

    “Most of the greatest evils that man has inflicted upon man have come through people feeling quite certain about something which, in fact, was false.”
    – Bertrand Russell, Unpopular Essays, “Ideas That Have Harmed Mankind” (1950), p. 149, quoted from James A Haught, ed., 2000 Years of Disbelief

  21. #21 Robster
    November 2, 2006

    Pat, are you talking about scientists or alties? Just kidding.

    Out of wedlock is preferable to “born in sin” or “bastardy.” Illegitimate might be better, I guess.

  22. #22 David Harmon
    November 2, 2006

    “So does that mean driver’s ed classes should be teaching the truth that staying out of automobiles is the only 100% effective way of avoiding unwanted injuries and premature death due to car accidents?”

    Actually, about that… maybe you should ask the pedestrians who’ve been regularly getting mowed down on my local Boulevard Of Death!

    Seriously, this sort of campaign is parallel to the So-Called War on Drugs, about which I recently ranted elsewhere.

    The proponents of “abstinence-only” programs aren’t really trying to improve the problems, they’re looking for pretexts to screw people over. In this case, that’s would be by replacing “expensive” education, welfare, and child-health programs with cheap sermons. Their dream is to be able to throw people off the welfare rolls for “immorality”, but they’ll settle for denying benefits to those “illegitimate” children.

  23. #23 David Harmon
    November 2, 2006

    Bah, I really should remember to preview my posts….

  24. #24 Seth Manapio
    November 2, 2006

    lets see…

    Tara says that a Republican policy promoting abstinence is totally stupid. Kevin calls her a right wing nut-job, and then lectures us about demonizing language. Pat applauds his smart call, and then quotes Bertrand Russel to school an audience of skeptics and scientists that includes at least one outspoken anarchist atheist.

    Have I moved to Oz, or did Kansas just get really weird?

  25. #25 konrad_arflane
    November 3, 2006

    About the term “out-of-wedlock”:

    Speaking as someone who was born to unmarried parents, I’d much prefer “out-of-wedlock” to any of the alternatives mentioned here. At least it’s directly descriptive of the situation (even if it is not very specific – it can cover anything from a child born to loving, committed parents who just haven’t tied the knot, to the child of a rapist and his victim). “Bastard” is obviously derogatory, “born-in-sin” is religiously biased, and “illegitimate” implies that a person (for instance, me) is somehow less legitimate for having unmarried parents (besides, it seems to me that “illegitimate” is more specific, covering only children with at least one parent who’s married to someone else. But English is not my first language, so I may be transferring that connotation).

    I think it’s a case of having a category of people that is considered by some to be unwanted or inferior – no matter what you call it, it will turn into a derogatory term for those who are so predisposed. While a lot smaller in scale, it’s a similar situation to the that of homosexuals, various groups of non-caucasians, etc.

  26. #26 pat
    November 3, 2006

    “Pat applauds his smart call”
    Yes I do because as his post stands it is correct. Out-of -wedlock is specific in its religious connotation. Children are born or they are not, anything else is just a qualifier that muddles the conversation.
    You didn’t like the quotes from Russell? I find them increadibly good and as Robster humourously pointed out, they are open to personal interpretation. You didn’t move to Oz and Kansas was always wierd.

  27. #27 pat
    November 3, 2006

    Seth,
    I posted some URLs with articles relating to science scandals but I haven’t seen it pop out of the spam filter yet. I’ll post it again.

  28. #28 pat
    November 3, 2006

    I should try to gather all my thoughts into one post but sometimes things come to me slowly. I totally agree with Tara that republicans are out for lunch. It is true in theory that abstinence is the only 100% effective way to avoid pregnancies and std’s but they are out to lunch because it is the same as trying to turn a cat into a vegan; like a broken pencil, it is pointless.

  29. #29 ebohlman
    November 3, 2006

    I think everyone’s missing the point here. I very much doubt that the architects of this policy seriously believe they’re going to be able to persuade twentysomethings to abstain from sex. And I very much doubt that they even want them to. Rather, what they want is for people to marry as young as possible. Why? Search me, but lots of fundies think that’s a Good Thing. Maybe it has something to do with getting women under male control (the fundie model of “graceful submission”) as soon as possible. Maybe it’s just that people married really young back in the Fifties, and everything was sooo great then (funny how they never talk about the 90% top-bracket income tax rate of that era, or the much higher rate of unionization).

  30. #30 Seth Manapio
    November 3, 2006

    “Out-of -wedlock is specific in its religious connotation.”

    ——–

    Really? Wow. And I thought that I got married for all the legal and financial reasons having to do with joint property and child custody, while all along I was getting married to please a god I don’t believe in. Thanks, pat and kevin, for setting me straight on that.

  31. #31 Seth Manapio
    November 3, 2006

    “You didn’t like the quotes from Russell?”

    ——–

    No, pat. I like Russel fine. But you are pretty wide of the mark… it was just a really funny sequence of events, almost like Gilbert and Sullivan.

  32. #32 Seth Manapio
    November 3, 2006

    “articles relating to science scandals”

    ——–

    Pat, the request is this–I want a single case where a biologist or pharmaceutical researcher admits that they published results in a peer reviewed journal that were changed due to political pressure.

    Without that, you have no case.

  33. #33 Jen
    November 3, 2006

    Tried to post this yesterday, but the filter ate my post.

    About that “100% effective” claim for abstinence… that’s the result of creaming the data. If someone chooses condoms as their BC method, has one lapse and gets pregnant, the abstinence only crown says that proves condoms don’t work. If someone claims to be abstinent, has one lapse and gets pregnant, that observation gets excluded from the dataset. The illusion of perfect effectiveness is thereby preserved.

    Jen in Texas

  34. #34 Robster
    November 3, 2006

    Actually, I don’t consider wedlock to be a religious word. In the US, marriage is regulated by the states, not churches. (big reason why I think gays and lesbians should be able to get married) A church, synogogue, temple can recognise the marriage and a minister/ priest/ whatever can officiate. But so can a judge. Athiests get married, too.

  35. #35 pat
    November 3, 2006

    I don’t see what the problem is in supporting Kevins post regardless of who made it and who it is directed against. AS A STAND ALONE POST it makes perfecct sense (to me).
    Personally I think all the legal implications and penalties involved in being or not being married should be abolished in favor of the very simple and bureaucracy-free idea of common law “marriage”. In Canada, if you clock 3 years living with a partner one is automatically considered to be in joint ownership of property and custody of any resulting children. My sister’s boyfriend (sorry Anonimouse, another fable of mine) has a 5 year old child from a previous relationship and because they were never married he has absolutely no say in the kids upbringing despite the fact that the kid is 50% him. That is sick and unfortunately for him THIS country (CH) does not have the notion of common law “marrige” so he is stuck with a legal construct of marriage that is directly derived from a religious concept. All kids come “out-of-relationships” and “out-of-wedlock” is only religious blather. I am sorry you had to get married out of legal considerations.

    Ok, so you want me to find someone who specifically ADMITS to having fudged data. That will be harder seeing 99.9% of the time people stand by their denials of any wrong doing but I’ll search and I’ll hope that it gets past the spam filter.

  36. #36 kevin
    November 3, 2006

    Pat

    Thank you for sharing the Russell quotes with this crowd. They could definitely use a dose or two of humility, for they certainly are cocksure and dogmatic. That said, it is their unyielding “faith” in the dogma of HIV that inspired my comment about their similarities to “right-wing” nutjobs. Blind faith is blind faith and thoroughly nauseating regardless of its inspirations.

    Thanks again for the very apt quotes from Russell. Unfortunately, I don’t have the time at the moment to continue their lesson.
    Kevin

  37. #37 Robster
    November 3, 2006

    Whatever, Kevin.

    Any evidence to back up your claims?

    [crickets]

    So, you have none? That puts blind faith in your corner. Only ad hominem attacks delivered ad nauseum.

  38. #38 Seth Manapio
    November 3, 2006

    “Blind faith is blind faith and thoroughly nauseating regardless of its inspirations.”

    ————-

    Wow. Just… wow.

    So, the group of people who ask research questions, investigate the results, and submit themselves to the judgement of both physical reality and their peers on a daily basis are dogmatic and cocksure; and the people with no knowledge of biology and a poor grasp of textual analysis who who make up conspiracy theories that they substitute for science are the intellectual inheritors of Bertrand Russel.

    I was wrong. I did not move to Oz. I’ve just gone straight through the looking glass.

    Pat, the problem with supporting what Kevin said was that it was total bullshit. Atheists get married, and among the reasons they do so is to insure that the Father has rights. Out-of-wedlock births occur in situations where, for WHATEVER reason, the father’s rights are not as important in that situation. This has nothing to do with religion. Furthermore, to call this crowd out as right wing dogmatic religious fanatics is a very bold statement, requiring some very bold backup that Kevin certainly did not, and I suspect cannot, provide.

    Dude, what you don’t get is that I would happily change my mind on the HIV/AIDS link, I’ve got no dog in that fight at all. But there hasn’t been any evidence to the contrary in over 20 years of denialist politics. Nothing. So, sure, find me the study where results are deliberately faked. I’ll give you a hint, the only one you’ll find in the last few years concerns human cloning. Then find out how that was discovered, and by who. Then what happened to the guy. Then come back and tell me again that biologists routinely fudge their study results for political purposes… and get away with it.

    Or, you could join us on this side of the looking glass where we have gravity, and immune systems, and neurons, and at least some moderately ethical, well informed scientists.

  39. #39 pat
    November 3, 2006

    “Atheists get married, and among the reasons they do so is to insure that the Father has rights.”

    You are right and I find it bullshit that a legal definition of marriage is needed to grant a father rights. A father has a birth right to be part of his children’s lives but because of the religious concept of marriage and the “legal monster” that envelops it and enforces it, his rights are denied. Rights denied based on a technicality! You said it yourself, atheists get married, among other reasons (that escape me), out of a legal necessity; to cement their rights as fathers. “Out-of-wedlock” is a qualifier born out of this religious/legal horror show called “marriage” to describe and collaterally marginalise children born to parents that didn’t buy into the game. I believe we must stop using such qualifiers that essentially have no effect on man kind’s natural drive to live, love and procreate in order to free ourselves from this invented, self-imposed and utterly useless concept. Ask yourself
    -why on earth do we have laws to regulate marriage? Why?
    -What would be the reasons to get married if there were no laws that treated couples differently based on this abstract technicality?” If you remove the legal need you are left with only one last reason; religion.

    Now “single parent-” or “two-parent household” is a relevant term in human society because they have a direct impact on our potential success or failure as growing individuals in a society. On the other hand, married or not married, “out-of-wedlock” or “legitimate”- these terms are all nonsensical and are making our lives miserable

    “Or, you could join us on this side of the looking glass where we have gravity, and immune systems, and neurons, and at least some moderately ethical, well informed scientists.”

    I am standing right next to you, dude. You would see me in the corner of your eye if only you would remove those damn “categorize people” blinders. Both my feet are on the ground preventing my arse from falling onto the pavement and I also don’t float out into space-gravity indeed. My immune system is valiantly keeeping my herpes in check after having fixed it. My neurons are great but my synapses seem to fire funny or not at all and I am in the presence moderately ethical, well informed scientists. What is it that I have in common with people who don’t believe in gravity anyway? Just because we happen to disagree on some finer points in life doesn’t put me on a different planet and certainly doesn’t put me in agreement with gravity doubters.

  40. #40 Kevin
    November 3, 2006

    Seth wrote:

    Pat, the request is this–I want a single case where a biologist or pharmaceutical researcher admits that they published results in a peer reviewed journal that were changed due to political pressure.

    Of course that’s never gonna happen, Sethy-boy. How naive are you?

  41. #41 Seth Manapio
    November 3, 2006

    “why on earth do we have laws to regulate marriage? Why?”

    ———-

    I’m an anarchist. So I don’t know why we have any laws at all. But I’m a nut. The fact is, regardless of WHY we have laws that regulate marriage, we do. And people who seriously care about their partner having certain rights and responsibilities get married (or, if they happen to be gay, campaign for the right to enter that contract) and while I agree that the marriage laws are stupid, that doesn’t make the term “wedlock” or “out-of-wedlock” at all related to religion. Its an acknowledgement of a situation that exists. Kevin’s statement was garbage.

    “I am in the presence moderately ethical, well informed scientists.”

    You earlier, accused Tara of being an HIV parrot. Which is it?

  42. #42 kevin
    November 3, 2006

    MarkP wrote:
    Riiiiiight. Tell that to Ryan White and Arthur Ashe, both of whom died from non-sexually transmitted AIDS.

    Riiiiight….1600 mg per day of AZT is actually what killed Ryan White and Arthur Ashe, which also happens to be non-sexually transmitted. You did get that part riiiight.

    If you want to argue otherwise, perhaps you’d also like to explain why the dosages used today are drasticly lower than the early suicide doses.

    Kevin

  43. #43 Seth Manapio
    November 3, 2006

    “Of course that’s never gonna happen, Sethy-boy. How naive are you?”

    ———

    Not very. Why do you think that can’t happen? Do you have evidence, or more bullshit textual analysis?

  44. #44 kevin
    November 3, 2006

    Pat wrote:

    Children are born or they are not, anything else is just a qualifier that muddles the conversation.

    Well said.

  45. #45 Jess
    November 3, 2006

    “Out-of-wedlock” is a qualifier born out of this religious/legal horror show called “marriage” to describe and collaterally marginalise children born to parents that didn’t buy into the game

    While I’ll agree its a qualifier, I would argue against it being just from the “this” or Christian religion. The Romans had marriage “sine manibus” and “cum manibus”, which spelled out the different obligations of the man and woman as well as what obligations either person had to any children. They basically work out to our common-law and regular marriages, with some societal difference.

    Legal definitions in regard to rights and obligations of parents to their children can be traced back much farther back then the Christian religion and which gave the background to some of the current laws we have (if you look hard enough). The ‘legitimacy’ of children was equally about status and very real ideas like “if both parents die, whose family looks after the kid?”. So there are practical reasons for the two types of ‘marriage’, at least historically.

    Which may just be a fun fact for y’all. I’ll let the debating to those who are better versed in modern laws then I am.

  46. #46 kevin
    November 3, 2006

    Seth wrote:

    So, the group of people who ask research questions, investigate the results, and submit themselves to the judgement of both physical reality and their peers on a daily basis are dogmatic and cocksure; and the people with no knowledge of biology…

    How could you be certain of my experience with biology any more than I can be of yours? Just because I’m not on here tooting my status as a prestigious “blog scientist” doesn’t mean that I’m not experienced with the rigors of scientific research. Credentialism is a pet-peeve of mine and one gets enough of it through the formal academic channels. As I’ve pointed out to you before, Seth, if you cannot capture the essence of your scientific findings using accessible language, discussing those findings on a blog is not fruitful. Besides, the numerous problems with the HIV=AIDS story that we all know so well do not require any special credentials to discern. The HIV explanation of AIDS is a sinking ship and if you actually read my posts, I’ve offered numerous reasons as to why I have reached that conclusion–though I do have to spend a burdensome amount of time addressing your weak analytical skills.

    So, yes I do disagree with you and yes, there are many others with scientific backgrounds similar to my own who have reached the same conclusion, namely that the science propping up HIV as the cause of AIDS is specious.

    Kevin

  47. #47 Robster
    November 3, 2006

    shorter kevin: I don’t have any evidence of my point of view, and I can’t understand the evidence produced by scientists, nor will I make any attempt to.

  48. #48 Seth Manapio
    November 3, 2006

    Sorry, Kevin. That should have been people with no discernable knowledge of biology. You could have huge knowledge, and just be choosing not to use it or reveal it in any way.

  49. #49 pat
    November 3, 2006

    “Its an acknowledgement of a situation that exists”

    A situation that is a religious artifact. Do we need to care about the “out-of-wedlock” qualifier.

    “You earlier, accused Tara of being an HIV parrot. Which is it?”

    Firstly, I put it in milder language I believe and secondly “well informed” is a far cry from “knowing everything”. But ok, she’s a parrot. Not because she defends HIV/AIDS but because she too is guilty of categorizing people into “groups of thought” such as “mainstream” and “altie” as if those terms actually described anyone outside of her own mental construct. What is the difference between an “altie” quack and a “mainstream” quack? What is the difference between science that has been confirmed and science that has not yet been confirmed either way? Is “hit hard and early” “altie” or is it “mainstream quackery” ? Orac exempifies the nonsense in this thread:

    http://scienceblogs.com/insolence/2006/07/choosing_quackery_over_evidencebased_med.php

    “So show us the evidence. I see lots of claims, but not even intriguing anecdotal evidence to suggest that it might work. I’m tired of argument by assertion. Try argument by evidence for a change.

    You know what we in conventional medicine call alternative medicine that’s been shown to work scientifically in clinical trials, Phil?

    Medicine.

    We’re more than happy to add it to our armamentarium, but you have to show us the evidence that it works. And don’t tell me there aren’t any resources. Over $120 million a year is spent to fund the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine at the NIH, and not a single alternative therapy has been definitively shown to be effective, and the negative trials that failed to find a therapeutic effect are brushed off, leading to more money being spent to study the same old quackery.”

    notice this sentence:

    “You know what we in conventional medicine call alternative medicine that’s been shown to work scientifically in clinical trials, Phil? Medicine.”

    He points out exactly why the bullshit around “altie” and “mainstream” is just that but fails to grasp the pointlessness of his tirades and happily blogs on about these figments of his imagination. Also note that his final paragraph can be rephrased and fired back at his firm belief in HIV/AIDS. There is ONLY science, there is ONLY medicine, there are ONLY doctors and the there are ONLY quacks. “Altie” and “mainstream” are redundant qualifiers here and turn the conversation stricktly into a semantic exercise.

  50. #50 kevin
    November 3, 2006

    Then come back and tell me again that biologists routinely fudge their study results for political purposes… and get away with it.

    Don’t put words into my mouth, Seth. I never said that they deliberately fudge their study results. After all, Padian and Rodriguez proferred results that seriously undermine the current thinking about the two most important characteristics of the HIV model: number one…that it is a transmissable virus and number two…that it can be accurately measured in infected individuals and that treatment can be administered effectively based on those measurements.

    The politics of the matter are far more obvious, and thus, even more insidious. I mean how gullible does one have to be not to see through the publicly staged “paradigm affirmations” for what they are: propoganda. A scientist should let the results of a study stand on its own merits, even if their peers interpret the study in a manner that is unflattering to the status quo. In the least, the scientist in question should address the differing interpretation more thoroughly than is achieve by merely reading a prepared statement simply denying such an interpretation without addressing the salient points of contention. Furthermore, “press conference science” is a prima facie pathetic and deceitful. You may find such antics compelling, but I think they are symptomatic of what is ailing the HIV model of causation.

    Kevin

  51. #51 Seth Manapio
    November 3, 2006

    “Don’t put words into my mouth, Seth. I never said that they deliberately fudge their study results.”

    ———-

    The proper noun “Pat” in the preceding paragraph, followed by the generic “Dude” in the quoted paragraph, indicates that Pat was the person being addressed.

    I’m pretty sure that articles in the American Journal of Pathology doesn’t count as “publicly staged paradigm affirmation”. Maybe you should expand your research base a little.

  52. #52 Seth Manapio
    November 3, 2006

    But ok, she’s a parrot. Not because she defends HIV/AIDS but because she too is guilty of categorizing people into “groups of thought”

    ————-

    But Pat, you used the phrase in reference to Tara’s position on HIV/AIDS, claiming that she just repeated what she heard, which would be uninformed and unethical. Now are you backing off of that, or what?

  53. #53 Robster
    November 3, 2006

    Padian did not write anything that was against HIV/AIDS. We had an extensive discussion of this a bit back.

    A scientist should let the results of a study stand on its own merits, even if their peers interpret the study in a manner that is unflattering to the status quo.

    And this is what has happened. The behavior/ drug abuse hypothesis was popular for a time, and was dropped when a hypothesis that better fit the evidence was found. Certain scientists couldn’t deal with being wrong and refused to adapt. These scientists and their hangers on will not “let the results of a study stand on its own merits” as evidenced by the misinterpretation of the Padian paper (and countless others). I’d bet that the same goes for the Rodrigues paper you mentioned.

    In the least, the scientist in question should address the differing interpretation more thoroughly than is achieve by merely reading a prepared statement simply denying such an interpretation without addressing the salient points of contention.

    So every HIV/AIDS research article should include a full review of the literature debunking all the “points of contention?” Ridiculous.

    Furthermore, “press conference science” is a prima facie pathetic and deceitful.

    Often, major discoveries are announced with press releases and if really big, press conferences. But evidence is always at the root of such announcements. And if the evidence is good, it is accepted. If not, it is rejected.

  54. #54 pat
    November 3, 2006

    “you used the phrase in reference to Tara’s position on HIV/AIDS, claiming that she just repeated what she heard, which would be uninformed and unethical. Now are you backing off of that, or what?”

    no, the one follows the other. Once someone is dismissed in prejudicial and basically slanderous language such as “denialist”, “crackpot”, “flat-earther”, “altie” etc, they are simply put in a labeled box and have the lid closed on them. Anytime they speak up they automatically have scorn heaped on them, as if by some pre-programming. Rarely does she comment herself like that but this blog’s style and language is built on exactly such confrontational behavior. “the boredom of debating denialists” -thread summerises the bait and humiliate startegy.

  55. #55 pat
    November 3, 2006

    “claiming that she just repeated what she heard, which would be uninformed and unethical”

    I didn’t say that she was uninformed nor unethical but she may have chosen the wrong information to be true. Being under some kind of hypnosis does not make one unethical. Under the spell of a kind of politico-scientific version of Operation “Shock and Awe”-mass psychosis.
    Mass-psychosis hypothesis: Minorities are scared into believing that they belong to risk groups and this mass psychosis finds a permanent mooring in the collective mind in the form of a self-perpetuating and self-confirming myth. The implication is clear: “they brought it upon themselves by taking supposedly known risks” (such as one of being gay or of African origin for example). This in turn spawns a whole industry of activism to denounce this implication. It is also wrongly but effectively applied against the life-style hypothesis or anyting-else hypothis) This victim-syndromed industry insists that we are all in this together because it is a new, never observed kind of yuky retro-bug. Through this, support is gained to maintain this huge dillusional moralistic battle because that “retro-thingy” is from porno-land and no one wants to die because of porn; that’s human. And none of it needs to be premeditated. It is simply a herd mentality thing. Most can’t be wrong and most don’t want to be branded and banished and called a slut. The rest is financial opportunism by some really big assholes, present company excluded.
    Just an idea.

  56. #56 Seth Manapio
    November 3, 2006

    “no, the one follows the other.”

    ————–

    Okay, so basically, your position is that Tara never bothered to judge the science, and your evidence is that she calls people who DENY a specific theory DENIALists and gets tired of debating the same points over and over?

    Fine. You are terribly persecuted on this blog. Everybody is always accusing you of believing that HIV doesn’t cause AIDS and labeling you as a denialist. Yeah. It has nothing to do with the people you align yourself with and the positions you take, the fact that you habitually accuse the entire biology community of being either stupid, lazy, murderous, or all three, its all because we’re bad and close minded people. Whatever.

  57. #57 pat
    November 3, 2006

    First, yes. As for the rest it is not worth a reply because you have pulled every single one of those fabricated sentences out of your arse. And there you go on about alignment again.
    I agree; whatever.

  58. #58 Seth Manapio
    November 4, 2006

    Pat, pronouncing that people you don’t know at all have no integrity on such flimsy pretexes is just… its such an arrogant and petty thing to do that words fail me. And words don’t fail me often. And despite your denial, saying that Tara claims to have read papers and evaluated them when in fact she did not is to say she has no professional integrity.

    I didn’t make up the idea that you habitually accuse the entire biological community of being stupid, lazy, murderous, or all three, Pat, you say it all the time Saying that they don’t bother to judge HIV data is saying they are lazy. Saying that they just “chose the wrong data” is, if you know anything about how much work goes into this shit, saying they are stupid, and saying that lots and lots and lots of researchers are knowingly helping their bosses produce deadly drugs that they know are useless is saying that they are murderous. According to you, a statistical totality of biologists are either lazy, stupid, or murderous.

  59. #59 pat
    November 4, 2006

    “I didn’t make up the idea that you habitually accuse the entire biological community of being stupid, lazy, murderous, or all three”

    yes, and you did it again. I never said they weren’t bothering with the data, I said they were not bothering with the politics thus thinking that perhaps they are looking at it wrong data.
    Lots, yes but how much is lots? You say a statistical totality. How many Germans do you think it took to get the WW 2 rolling? According to your naive little world it would have taken a statistical totality. The reality will shock you. “Lazy”, “stupid” and “murderous” are words that you often use to describe people you disagree with.

    I don’t know G.W.B. either but I am quite certain that he lacks integrity.

  60. #60 Jimmy Jones Jr.
    November 4, 2006

    Peter Barber:
    So what exactly happens on a single person’s 30th birthday that suddenly makes them less susceptible to STDs or becoming pregnant?
    (anecdotal evidence, not science) When I was young, even when I was twenty-nine, it was babes, babes, hot babes evey day and every night. Wild (unprotected) sex four and five times a week. I had to lay low if I didn’t want “companionshp”. It was hard to study at the library, with all the cute chicks wanting to “share my table” or “ask a quetion”.
    I did not advertise my birthday, nor celebrate. The girlies never asked my age anyway, just “watcha doin?”, so they shouldn’t have known.
    It was like I went to a desert island! It still is. Only grannies look at me twice. No hot babes. No cute chicks. Girls look the other way.
    It has been four years. My doctor has congratulated me for “better behavior”. I am thinking I will propose to the first woman that talks to me.
    Someone should make a scientific study.

  61. #61 pat
    November 4, 2006
  62. #62 Seth Manapio
    November 4, 2006

    “You say a statistical totality.”

    “According to your naive little world it would have taken a statistical totality.”
    ————-

    Yes. What I mean is, in any significant poll of epedemiologists, biologists, chemists, and doctors that included the question “Does HIV cause AIDS”: the number who would answer “No” is so low as to be below the margin of error.

    Ah… the Nazi card. I was waiting for that.

  63. #63 pat
    November 4, 2006

    “Ah… the Nazi card. I was waiting for that.”

    I was actually baiting for your “nazi card” answer. Without your “How-to-thinking user manual”, you would understand that in fact my argument has nothing to do with nazis but rather is a perfect example of how little it takes to highjack a people and a reality. That this flew over your head is now obvious. Maybe because you were sitting down. Were you born naive or are you paid to be naive?

  64. #64 pat
    November 4, 2006

    “…in any significant poll of epedemiologists, biologists, chemists, and doctors that included the question “Does HIV cause AIDS”: the number who would answer “No” is so low as to be below the margin of error.”
    Back in the day of flat-earthers yes-sayers you would also find the number of people who answered with a no to be below the margin of error.
    So, in effect, science IS a popularity contest. Thanks for the clarification.

  65. #66 Anton Mates
    November 4, 2006

    Spot on. It reminds my of this great thinker

    “The degree of one’s emotion varies inversely with one’s knowledge of the facts — the less you know the hotter you get.”
    – Bertrand Russell (attributed: source unknown)

    Well, while we’re talking about Russell, guess what word he used?

    “According to St. Thomas the soul is not transmitted with the semen, but is created afresh with each man. There is, it is true, a difficulty: when a man is born out of wedlock, this seems to make God an accomplice in adultery.”

    –Russell, A History of Western Philosophy.

    Honestly, there’s nothing wrong with the word. I was born out of wedlock and I don’t find it offensive in the slightest. (I don’t particularly object to being called a bastard, either, except that the meaning is rather more ambiguous.)

    Out-of -wedlock is specific in its religious connotation.

    No, it’s specific in its legal connotation. It’s quite possible for a kid to be born to parents who consider themselves to be married on religious grounds, yet aren’t legally married. As far as the family’s future dealings with the law go, it’s very important to know the difference.

  66. #67 Seth Manapio
    November 4, 2006

    “Back in the day of flat-earthers yes-sayers you would also find the number of people who answered with a no to be below the margin of error.”

    ————

    Well, of course you would. And saying that they were all naive and deluded and under the spell of the church would have no effect at all on the validity of the flat earth theory. All of that could be true, and the earth could still be flat. So in order to challenge flat earth theory, you have to find a prediction of the theory and falsify it.

    See, Pat, science is a science contest. And you aren’t bringing any science. Merely the claim that all scientists in this area are ignoring the political situation to such a vast extent that they can’t tell that they aren’t fairly judging material… or… they aren’t bothering but say they are or… whatever the hell you are saying. Basically, you seem to be saying that all biologists are wrong because you understand the overall political situation better… and this affects their study results… somehow.

    Nothing you have said is actually relevant to the science. Its just an attempt to paint it all as a popularity contest, so thanks for clarifying where you are coming from.

  67. #68 pat
    November 4, 2006

    It is a contest of the most “persuasive”

    here, this is no gag and just a quick example of the system.

    http://youtube.com/watch?v=9RlAiTprpXc&mode=related&search=Keith%20Olbermann%20Iraq%20Cheney%20Haliburton%20KBR%20are%20murderers

    I am sure a lot of biologists would agree that something is afowl and they are merely assessing the risks of “coming out”. The area for most, judging by the personal smear jobs perpetrated by scientists and industry against scientists, is still not safe but for the bravest. Intimidation is the name of the game Seth. Apparently the same goes for our information channels. The tone of this blog indicates that it is more part of the problem than part of the solution.

  68. #69 pat
    November 4, 2006

    “According to St. Thomas the soul is not transmitted with the semen, but is created afresh with each man. There is, it is true, a difficulty: when a man is born out of wedlock, this seems to make God an accomplice in adultery.”

    A beautiful swipe at religious idiocy! Nice finds.

  69. #70 pat
    November 4, 2006

    “According to St. Thomas the soul is not transmitted with the semen, but is created afresh with each man. There is, it is true, a difficulty: when a man is born out of wedlock, this seems to make God an accomplice in adultery.”

    A beautiful swipe at religious idiocy and the associated constructs! God doesn’t exist and out-of-wedlock is an empty word. Nice finds.

    I have never in my entire life had to answer the question whether I was a legitimate child or was born out-of-wedlock although I have on many occasions been declared a bastard or a son of a…

  70. #71 pat
    November 4, 2006

    ???

  71. #72 Seth Manapio
    November 4, 2006

    “I am sure a lot of biologists would agree that something is afowl and they are merely assessing the risks of “coming out”.”

    ———–

    As evidenced by the vast numbers of biologists posting here or anywhere (with total anonymity and protection from backlash), backing you up on this.

    This is twenty years of research and thousands of studies versus nothing but your unsubstantiated and vague allegations. And even if what you say is true, it still doesn’t change the nature of HIV or challenge the hypothesis, unless somehow, every single study, all over the world, is being distorted in exactly the same way. I’m sorry, Pat, but I’d have to be an idiot to give credence to what you are saying.

    And vis-a-vis the wedlock quote… Pat, you have a truly splendid ability to miss the goddamn point.

  72. #73 pat
    November 5, 2006

    “And vis-a-vis the wedlock quote… Pat, you have a truly splendid ability to miss the goddamn point”

    we’re obviously talking past one another

  73. #74 Anton Mates
    November 5, 2006

    I have never in my entire life had to answer the question whether I was a legitimate child or was born out-of-wedlock although I have on many occasions been declared a bastard or a son of a…

    Then you’re lucky (and must have some very incurious friends.) But apparently your sister’s boyfriend’s kid can’t say the same.

  74. #75 pat
    November 5, 2006

    “Then you’re lucky (and must have some very incurious friends.) But apparently your sister’s boyfriend’s kid can’t say the same.”

    No one asks if he is legitimate or not. The only people for whom it makes a difference are the authorities. Do people in Lala land really ask you guys if you are legitimate or not? geez, where do you people live?

  75. #76 Anton Mates
    November 5, 2006

    No one asks if he is legitimate or not. The only people for whom it makes a difference are the authorities.

    Those two sentences contradict one another. If it makes a difference to the authorities, it makes a difference period.

    Do people in Lala land really ask you guys if you are legitimate or not? geez, where do you people live?

    I grew up somewhere where being born out of wedlock was neither particularly unusual nor morally condemned, so it was as natural to ask about that as about your friends’ parents’ jobs or places of birth.

  76. #77 pat
    November 5, 2006

    they dont contradict eachother because they are dealing with the subject differently

    According to you, good friends ask one another if they are legitimate. Here (at least) on the other hand no one gives a shit. I have never heard the questioned in my life…you get it? and that with friends aplenty

    Now the authorities seem to care because there is an entire industry of lawyers and law makers (and blow hard preachers) who need to entertain and justify most of their existance and trap humans in this utterly ridiculous and complicated construct called marrige and before you know it we have various classes of parents and children and for what? Why are we doing this to ourselves? Out-of-wedlock is an outgrowth of this construct. It defines nothing but a figment of our imagination. So you see now that these sentences in fact do not contradict eachother but I will word it differently for you once again

    (No one asks if he is legitimate or not. The only people for whom it makes a difference are the authorities.)
    -None of the people who care and love him ask him if he is “legitimate” or not; only the government thinks it matters.

    and

    (Do people in Lala land really ask you guys if you are legitimate or not? geez, where do you people live?)
    -Do your friends ask YOU if you are a legitimate child? Wow, your friends sure ask wierd and pointless questions.

  77. #78 pat
    November 5, 2006

    In the original article

    “Now, I’m certainly not advocating for more out-of-wedlock births to relatively young mothers.”

    Now, I can’t disect from this sentence where the writer’s worries truely lie. Worried about the specific “out-of-wedlock” births to relatively young mothers? or simply births to relatively young mothers? As long as language like this is used in a way that implies that it there is a moral difference between the relatively young, unmarried woman and the relatively young married woman we are always going to percieve the relatively young, unmarried woman as being a source of trouble because she is “unmarried”; never mind the young and pregnant.

  78. #79 Seth Manapio
    November 5, 2006

    “Now, I can’t disect from this sentence where the writer’s worries truely lie. Worried about the specific “out-of-wedlock” births to relatively young mothers? or simply births to relatively young mothers?”

    ————-

    Pat, all these issues were dealth with in a follow up comment.

    The problem comes in because many of these births are to mothers with low income levels, and the father of the child doesn’t stay around to provide support, either financially or in childrearing.

    This is clearly a statement about the financial difficulties of many young single mothers, not a moral judgement upon them. The only person who has mentioned morality vis-a-vis children and wedlock is you, no one else cares or thinks its terribly relevant to the discussion.

  79. #80 pat
    November 6, 2006

    its the hidden morality of that word blablawedlock snuck into the sentence for no real reason other than practice. unintentional but hard to eradicate.
    All this because I mentioned approval for one entry by Kevin that made sense even on its own.
    I know the rest of the article and find it just fine. I take issue, as Kevin did, with the use of the word o-o-w word. Kind of a “on a similsr vein…” thought.

    “The only person who has mentioned morality vis-a-vis children and wedlock is you, no one else cares or thinks its terribly relevant to the discussion.”

    1st part of this sentence: duh!
    2nd part of sentence: no shit!

  80. #81 Seth Manapio
    November 6, 2006

    “its the hidden morality of that word blablawedlock snuck into the sentence for no real reason other than practice. ”

    ———-

    But you are making that up. Wedlock has no more hidden morality than “committed relationship”, and there were reasons (as explained) to use that word. Why not just admit that you took a flawed position and be done with it?

  81. #82 pat
    November 6, 2006

    “Wedlock” has no more hidden morality than “committed relationship”
    I said;
    Now “single parent-” or “two-parent household” is a relevant term in human society”
    There is your “commited relationship: “two-parent household”. Are there “uncommited relationships” when children are involved? Perhaps when the social concept of marriage is accepted. The mere fact of producing children SHOULD be the social contract not some in my opinion dumb and redundant social/religious ceremony.

    “its the hidden morality of that word blablawedlock snuck into the sentence for no real reason other than practice. ”
    I am not making that up, I am asserting it. There are no reasons to use that word in my book outside a moral/religious argument. (back to square 1)

    “Why not just admit that you took a flawed position and be done with it?”
    Because I am not your Yes-man on this one. I will be your Yes-man on this: abstinence programmes do not work.

  82. #83 Seth Manapio
    November 6, 2006

    “There are no reasons to use that word in my book outside a moral/religious argument.”

    ————

    Yes, but you are wrong in this assertion. The fact is, “wedlock” also describes a legal contract that involves many things that have nothing to do with moral or religious issues. If we were all anarchists and atheists, there would be reasons for this contract to exist to whatever extent any contract existed. Your assertion does not take into account how people actually use the word, and their actual reasons for using it. You CAN use the word in a moral/religious sense, but that isn’t its EXCLUSIVE meaning.

    On the flip side, “two-parent household” can have exactly the same “loaded moral meaning” as wedlock. There is no phrase that can not, because the loaded moral meaning can exist in the listener or the speaker (in this case, it is purely YOU, the listener, loading up meanings) regardless of the intention of the speaker.

    You are simply wrong about the use of the word wedlock, both in general and in this context.

  83. #84 pat
    November 6, 2006

    No.I don’t think so.

    “The fact is, “wedlock” also describes a legal contract that involves many things that have nothing to do with moral or religious issues”
    That is correct and it is describing legal issues derived from moral/religious thought.(weather Roman or not)

    “On the flip side, “two-parent household” can have exactly the same “loaded moral meaning” as wedlock.”
    I Disagree. One-parent households descibe a situation where only one parent is available to the child regardless of the “social contract” between the parents.

    “You are simply wrong about the use of the word wedlock, both in general and in this context.”
    No, but we do disagree.

    “…regardless of the intention of the speaker.”
    Here again, it is slipped in not because of the particular meaning of the word or intention of the writer but out of sheer habit.

  84. #85 Seth Manapio
    November 6, 2006

    “I Disagree. One-parent households descibe a situation where only one parent is available to the child regardless of the “social contract” between the parents.”

    ———

    Pat, just because YOU don’t read a meaning into a phrase doesn’t mean that NO ONE can. I’m not arguing that you can’t impregnate the word “wedlock” with all kinds of meaning, I’m saying that you are bringing the meaning. And I can read meaning into “two parent household” if I want. I can PRESUME that a single parent is a bad person, and read meaning into the phrase, just like you are.

    You are wrong because wedlock has a certain meaning TO YOU, but it doesn’t have that connotation TO ME. It CAN have moral dimensions, but it doesn’t HAVE to.

  85. #86 pat
    November 6, 2006

    “I can PRESUME that a single parent is a bad person, and read meaning into the phrase, just like you are.”

    Where do I read the meaning “bad person”?

    “You are wrong because wedlock has a certain meaning TO YOU, but it doesn’t have that connotation TO ME. It CAN have moral dimensions, but it doesn’t HAVE to.”

    “Now, I’m certainly not advocating for more out-of-wedlock births to relatively young mothers.”
    This sentence is loaded (in my lonely opinion) because we are not explained by the author the meaning of the qualifier “out-of-wedlock” and what it has to do with abstinence-only programmes. We are left to make assumptions as to why this word is even in the article. I get the impression that the author has some religious motivation for putting it in, as if to deflect a potential future accusation of promoting “out-of-wedlock” births.
    It is not the out-of-wedlock that matters here, it is the young mothers and std prevention in general.

    Let’s just amicably agree to disagree.

  86. #87 llewelly
    November 6, 2006

    Tara nor the CDC intended any negative implications to the word ‘wedlock’. But many people spend their formative lives hearing that out-of-wedlock births are a sin. I certainly did, and as a result of that background, ‘wedlock’ has negative connotations for me, despite my confidence (in this case) that neither Tara nor the CDC intended that. I do not know whether people like Tara (or, for that matter, Seth) and organizations like the CDC account for the majority of uses of the term ‘wedlock’ in Americans in general, but in Utah, they are a minority.

  87. #88 Seth Manapio
    November 6, 2006

    “I get the impression that the author has some religious motivation for putting it in, as if to deflect a potential future accusation of promoting “out-of-wedlock” births.”

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    Only if you ignore absolutely everything you know about this author, . I certainly did not get that impression. And the author meant no such thing, nor is it incumbent in the use of the term that she meant any such thing. You can refuse to admit that you are wrong if you want. But that doesn’t make you right.