Pharyngula

Old news: abstinence pledges don’t work

Another study finds that abstinence-only sex ed is a failure. Not that it will matter, proponents of such fantasy solutions will just close their eyes and pray harder.

Teens who take virginity pledges are just as likely to have sex as teens who don’t make such promises — and they’re less likely to practice safe sex to prevent disease or pregnancy, a new study finds.

You know what might work? Maybe the fans of abstinence only sex ed ought to distribute this study by Rosenbaum far and wide. It’s saying that the people who make virginity pledges are more likely to be dangerously diseased or fertile, which might discourage a few randy young men. “Oh, you’ve sworn to be abstinent? I won’t try to dissuade you…and excuse me, I have to go wash my hands and take a bath in disinfectant.”

A few more results from this study:

Teens who had taken a pledge had 0.1 fewer sex partners during the past year, but the same number of partners overall as those who had not pledged. And pledgers started having sex at the same age as non-pledgers, Rosenbaum found.

The study also found that teens who took a virginity pledge were 10 percent less likely to use a condom and less likely to use any other form of birth control than their non-pledging counterparts.

“Sex education programs for teens who take pledges tend to be very negative and inaccurate about condom and birth control information,” Rosenbaum said.

The study also found that, five years after taking a virginity pledge, more than 80 percent of pledgers denied ever making such a promise. “This high rate of disaffiliation may imply that nearly all virginity pledgers view pledges as nonbinding,” Rosenbaum said.

Charming. How much money has our country sunk into these ineffective sops to the controlling dimwits of the religious right?

Comments

  1. #1 Stephen
    December 29, 2008

    Back when I was in high school, there was much amusement over the fact that our school’s Teens Against Pregnancy chapter had multiple pregnant members.

    Actually, the name alone is amusing. I mean, Teens Against Teen Pregnancy would make sense, but Teens Against Pregnancy? Are they advocating the death of the human race?

  2. #2 varlo
    December 29, 2008

    More proof that the magic fairy crowd hasn’t a clue.

  3. #3 Zensunni
    December 29, 2008

    I think the taxpayer-funded religious right abstinence programs are quite effective… at funding the religious right, which was their purpose all along. Teen pregnancy also promotes limited education, which in turn can only help in their evangelical efforts.

  4. #4 Avidor
    December 29, 2008

    Speaking of throwing away taxpayers money on theocratic nonsense… read about < Senator Amy Klobuchar’s $500,000 earmark for the Halloween-hating Teen Challenge ministry.

  5. #5 TurboCramb
    December 29, 2008

    Heh, I took one of those pledges once. I broke it, which turned out to be a REALLY good idea. I have a feeling that fewer people would take those pledges if they were to actually try sex first.

  6. #6 Kassul
    December 29, 2008

    I was raised in a Catholic school, but come sex-ed time they actually told us about condoms and IUDs and diaphrams.
    Didn’t spend the whole time railing about how they’re a sin or how they don’t work either.

    In fact, the teacher for that section actually seemed to think they might be a Good Idea to use in some circumstances.

    Always struck me as a little odd that the high-ups at the school would let the teacher promote birth control and safer-sex materials while the official church policy was that they’re nasty things. Perhaps they realized that the teacher was actually not terrible at the rest of his job and didn’t want the fight?

    Granted, this is happening in Canada, and a fair few years ago now. Perhaps things are different nowadays, or south of the border.

  7. #7 SC, OM
    December 29, 2008

    Bill Albert, chief program officer for The National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy, said teens need to be encouraged to delay having sex, but they also need to be given the facts about safe sex.

    …”The notion that it has to be either a virginity pledge or encouraging teens to have sex is a false dichotomy,” Albert added. “There is a public consensus in this country to encourage teens to delay sex, but also provide them with information about contraception.”

    Why this emphasis on encouraging them to delay sex? How is not encouraging them to delay sex the same as encouraging them to have sex? Why not give them information and encourage them to think about what might be involved with being sexually active, and then let them make up their own minds?

    It’s saying that the people who make virginity pledges are more likely to be dangerously diseased or fertile

    Uh…

    , which might discourage a few randy young men. “Oh, you’ve sworn to be abstinent? I won’t try to dissuade you…and excuse me, I have to go wash my hands and take a bath in disinfectant.”

    Uh…

  8. #8 Diagoras
    December 29, 2008

    I had oddly comprehensive sex ed. They explained how the various STD were contracted – the symptoms, how to test for, how to prevent. Condoms – how to use, and where to score a bag of free ones (health department). Pregnancy. Birth Control. Abortion.

    I say oddly comprehensive because I went to catholic school. In small-town Kentucky. Bananas + condoms + awkward gym teacher = epic win.

  9. #9 Jimminy Christmas
    December 29, 2008

    Wait. I thought abstinence wasn’t supposed to begin *until* marriage!

  10. #10 Nerd of Redhead
    December 29, 2008

    Shock of shocks, keeping teens uninformed about birth control doesn’t work as well as teaching them about birth control to avoid teen pregnancy. When did I learn that? Well, IIRC, I was in college, so that information is only ~40 years old.
    The religious mindset, with all the blinders on, ears with finger in them, but mouths wide open has never ceased to amaze me.

  11. #11 Lynnai
    December 29, 2008

    Hey I know full well one of the things that really slow down the teenaged ardor quite like the explicit discriptions of various deseases. The evils threats of hell, fire and brimstone in the afterlife have nothing on warts, discharge, pain, and infectiousness in the here and now.

  12. #12 Geoffrey
    December 29, 2008

    This is the real tragedy of the “Abstinence Only” programs; not that they promote abstinence as an option nor even that they teach abstinence alone as an option (as unworkable as that obviously is) but that, in an attempt to fix in the kids’ minds the notion that only abstinence works (scaring them into abstinence, as it were), they intentionally spread false information about viable means of contraception, and the kids pay the price.

    Despicable. But about what I expect from Evanga-Fundies.

  13. #13 E in MD
    December 29, 2008

    Not like it’s not something we didn’t already know but this isn’t going to stop the wingnuts. We’re still going to spend millions of dollars on keeping kids ignorant about their bits under the Obama administration and he’s not even a wingnut.

    Teach the controversy! Flat earth vs spherical earth in a science class near you.

  14. #14 Janine, Vile Bitch
    December 29, 2008

    You are all not being fair. The study was bias. Now if those people prayed with those teens instead of asking their atheist surveys, those kids would have remanded right with big sky daddy.

  15. #15 woody
    December 29, 2008

    Abstinence-only sex “education” is NOT designed to to educate kids about practical matters of sex.

    It is designed to re-assure jealous daddies that their little girls are still saving “it” for them…

  16. #16 Diagoras
    December 29, 2008

    I think the pledgesters should have gone with the I was hanging-curtains-naked defense, team sport version. Minus the potato. And more with the slipped and fell on the penis schtick. Sky daddy seems to be completely kosher with the oops-insertions.

  17. #17 JRQ
    December 29, 2008

    Understand: The people pushing abstinence-only ed programs do not care about the human cost of ignorance and misinformation. It does not matter to them in the slightest that Abstinence only programs fail to reduce pregnancy and STDs. All they care about is promoting adherence to “god’s will” in order to be saved.

  18. #18 Tim H
    December 29, 2008

    This particular item is on every blog this morning, of course. One comment suggested that the best way to reduce teen pregnancies would be educational presentations by lawyers talking about child support laws.

  19. #19 ice9
    December 29, 2008

    I’m struck by the little bit at the end–80% of the pledgers denied they’d ever done it–pledged, I mean. One more unintended consequence of bandying absolutes about in a biological context is a fractured sense of essential honesty. You pledge abstinence while your body is hardwired to want sex, sex, sex…how well is that going to work? Solution: crank up the penalties, including long-term hellroasting, betrayal of all that is sacred, violent shame, and membership (with pretty much everybody in the first 20 pews) in the Hypocrites Hall of Fame. Not surprising then that the horny abstainers all simply rewrite reality and either find a loophole (‘they didn’t say anything about gay sex!’ or ‘I did not have sexual relations with that woman!’ or ‘oy I’m so sorry, please forgive me, kaching!’) or just pretend it never happened. Who’s surprised that the christers now are so adept at hypocrisy? They’ve been practicing since puberty.

    ice

  20. #20 Feynmaniac
    December 29, 2008

    I remember a study showing that abstinence pledgers were also more likely to have oral and anal sex. It appears the teens had found a loop hole….or two.

  21. #21 raven
    December 29, 2008

    The fundies often practice human child sacrifice, one of their more common evils. Sarah Palin is a classic case having sacrificed her own daughter on the altar of ideological ignorance.

    The result of her wingnut abstinence only sex ed is:

    1. One 17 year old daughter who is pregnant.

    2. Supposedly engaged to the alleged father although no one has seen him around lately. Might be allergic to shotguns or something.

    3. Whose mother was recently arrested for selling hard drugs, oxycontin, also known as hillbilly heroin.

    Her oldest son hasn’t seemed to fare much better. He is rumored to have had several runins with the cops, resulting in him enlisting for Iraq without bothering with anything as effete as…a college education.

    Fortunately, Ms. Palin had the forsight to produce several backups, so out of her 5 kids, maybe one might escape the ignorance trap. All this is typical white trash behavior but I still don’t see how it qualifies her to be president.

  22. #22 dvizard
    December 29, 2008

    Teens who take virginity pledges are just as likely to have sex as teens who don’t make such promises — and they’re less likely to practice safe sex to prevent disease or pregnancy, a new study finds.

    Interestingly, this shows that abstinence only education does in fact accomplish its goals very well. The main point of abstinence only is to prevent the use of condoms, which it manages to do successfully. Even if the kids decide to have sex, at least they don’t use condoms, which would be an additional sin.

  23. #23 culmastadm
    December 29, 2008

    “Who’s surprised that the christers now are so adept at hypocrisy? They’ve been practicing since puberty.”

    Religion teaches you to lie, making one unprepared for real life.

    I had to lie to see movies, and hear non christian music.

    I lied that I knew what my ‘ministry’ in life would be.

    I lied that God came first. That was a big one that I didn’t realize untill way later. I mean, erally, how can someone else really come first in one’s life.

    I lied about reading the bible. (Ironicly, when I stopped lying about it and started reading it, I started on my road to athiesm.)

    And of course, I lied to have sex.

  24. #24 Matt Heath
    December 29, 2008

    UGH!
    We can keep fighting these idiocies case by case, and there will no doubt be political voices on our side, but where (in the whole world)n is the politician prepared to stand up for the principle of deciding policy on actual evidence. Where is the political party that says

    Our manifesto has two parts:1) a list of what we hope to achieve (you may or may not agree with it, that’s what political debate is for) and 2) a promise to actually try and work out what policies will achieve these aims. We will do the best designed trials of policies we can and we will do what works

    The nearest you get is managerial “pragmatism” which isn’t the same thing at all.

  25. #25 skyotter
    December 29, 2008

    “You know what might work?”

    surgery.

    *notices horrified stares*

    what?

  26. #26 Sastra
    December 29, 2008

    JRQ #17 wrote:

    Understand: The people pushing abstinence-only ed programs do not care about the human cost of ignorance and misinformation. It does not matter to them in the slightest that Abstinence only programs fail to reduce pregnancy and STDs. All they care about is promoting adherence to “god’s will” in order to be saved.

    I think you’re right. I also think that they’re looking at two different groups being “saved.” First, of course, is their own salvation, and that of the nation, which is aided by doing God’s will — discouraging extra-marital sex and contraception. If you try to do the right thing, God gives YOU the points for trying, and to hell with those who failed to follow the righteous path.

    But they’re also thinking in small, personal story terms. If there is but one teenager who, because of abstinence-based sex education, refrains from having premarital sex, then the program was a success! It worked! See? Give your testimony.

    They approach this issue the same way they approach the Power of Prayer. Look at the hits, and ignore or explain-away the misses. Find the better story — the one that goes the right way — and use it as your support and inspiration.

    They live in a make-believe world inside their own heads.

  27. #27 Sastra
    December 29, 2008

    Actually, the way the promoters look at this, it’s not true that “abstinence pledges don’t work.” On the contrary. They work 100% of the time — if you keep them.

    To their way of thinking, the fact that teenagers break the pledges and don’t ‘use’ them no more counts against the effectiveness of abstinence-only sex ed than the fact that teenagers don’t use condoms counts against the effectiveness of condoms. It’s the same sort of thing — isn’t it?

  28. #28 RM
    December 29, 2008

    Teens who had taken a pledge had 0.1 fewer sex partners during the past year, but the same number of partners overall as those who had not pledged. And pledgers started having sex at the same age as non-pledgers, Rosenbaum found.

    I don’t get this. If they have the same total, and start at the same time, and the only difference is that last years numbers are slightly reduced, does this imply that the pledgers had more partners than non-pledgers 2+ years ago?

    Also, the numbers quoted were for number of partners, not frequency of sexual encounters. I’m curious if there is a difference there. Say that the pledgers mostly had a number of meaningless one-night-stands separated by periods of loneliness and self-loathing, whereas the non-pledgers had a series of long term relationships. The pledgers might have had the same number of partners, but still had less total sex. (Whether this scenario would count as a “win” for the abstinence only crowd is an interesting question. – “Good news: your daughter doesn’t have sex very often, though when she does, she’ll put out to anyone walking by.”)

  29. #29 Pedro Godfroid
    December 29, 2008

    Nothing new under the sun.

    When I met my wife during the last years of Franco’s National-Catholic dictatorship, everybody in her neighbourhood began gossiping madly about when she was going to get pregnant. The very “logical” conclusion of dating a foreign godless hippy. They even made bets about it.

    However all her very Catholic, straight and franquist friends, relatives and neighbours began falling one after the other. All went to the altar with very noticeable “bombos” if not kids.

    But neither us nor any of our “pandilla” of hippies, bikers, “grifotas” and similar godless outlaws had similar issues. Just the contrary. We had our kids when we wanted them and none of the nasty things that our supposedly promiscuous behaviour called for.

    More generally the evolution of modern Spain since our little dictator’s demise is a proof that Catholic “magisterio” brings much more harm than good.

  30. #30 Metro
    December 29, 2008

    My Catholic primary school gave us the basics (lurid 60s animated film-style) in grade six, for which I thank them.

    Of course I grew up in a French Canadian Catholic town, where reverent church attendance Sunday morning might be urgently needed to repent of one’s Saturday night sins.

    Later in life I moved to Canada’s Bible belt. And discovered that it was also home to the largest number of teen pregnancies per capita in the whole country. The local middle school (grades 7-10) had a daycare center for students.

    There is, at least, one positive side to abstinence-only education. It’s got teens exploring (a-hem) new avenues. As Monsieur Savage explains in this week’s column (“DTMA-a-Thon”):

    This is where abstinence education and homophobia have gotten us: Gay kids are having vaginal intercourse and straight kids are having anal intercourse. Good work, sexphobes!

  31. #31 Britomart
    December 29, 2008

    I remember back in the pre Roe V Wade days several surveys about when abortions should be allowed.

    Back then I was lobbying as a NOW member to get NY State to change its laws.

    Yeah, I am old ….. anyways!

    The key results showed that an amazing percent of people believed that the pregnancy was a punishment for illicit sex, and there were results after results showing that an abortion should be allowed only if the couple (and the woman particularly) promised to never have sex again out side of marriage!

    I think that subtext to beliefs is very much in evidence in the results of abstinence only education.

  32. #32 Wicked Lad
    December 29, 2008

    Before Christian authoritarians pushed abstinence-only sex education into public policy, we didn’t know for sure whether it would work. We could–and did–argue the plausibility, but the experiment has been run. I’m not keen to beat up on people for trying something that turns out not to work. That’s an important part of making progress.

    But if, as some commenters here assert, these and other similar results meet proponents’ definition of “working,” that’s appalling.

    I wish I could remember the Clinton administration official who ran an expensive anti-smoking campaign and found part-way through that it wasn’t working. He announced that and shut down the program to much ridicule. But to me what he did was brave and proper.

  33. #33 Wicked Lad
    December 29, 2008

    Sastra wrote

    To their way of thinking, the fact that teenagers break the pledges and don’t ‘use’ them no more counts against the effectiveness of abstinence-only sex ed than the fact that teenagers don’t use condoms counts against the effectiveness of condoms. It’s the same sort of thing — isn’t it?

    It sort of is, isn’t it? Or at least the question of whether educating kids on how to use condoms helps prevent disease and unwanted pregnancy is the same sort of question as whether abstinence-only education helps prevent disease and unwanted pregnancy.

    I’m out of touch on this (as it were). Does anyone know the science on whether teaching kids about sex, birth control and STDs works to improve results with respect to disease and unplanned pregnancy?

  34. #34 Matt Heath
    December 29, 2008

    wish I could remember the Clinton administration official who ran an expensive anti-smoking campaign and found part-way through that it wasn’t working. He announced that and shut down the program to much ridicule. But to me what he did was brave and proper.

    See this is what I was talking about. Why won’t people running for election actually say up-front “If the information available changes I will change my mind. What’s more if the evidence supports the opposition’s programme I will steal their idea and I am not embarrassed”? Why do people still consider believing the same on Wednesday as you did on Monday no matter what happened on Tuesday still treated as a virtue?

  35. #35 Opie
    December 29, 2008

    Posted by: Sastra
    “Actually, the way the promoters look at this, it’s not true that “abstinence pledges don’t work.” On the contrary. They work 100% of the time — if you keep them.”

    Much like Ron Burgundy’s Sexpanther cologne – “They’ve done studies, you know. Sixty percent of the time, it works every time.”

  36. #36 Sam
    December 29, 2008

    “Charming. How much money has our country sunk into these ineffective sops to the controlling dimwits of the religious right?”

    I dunno–is it much more than what the Federal government has provided to Planned Parenthood? Eugenicist in founding and in current operations, and supportive of the rape of children, and which cleared a profit of $115 million last year. This profit, of course, is derived largely from the government’s largesse of $330+ million. How does that compare to what the government spent on abstinence education?

  37. #37 John Phillips, FCD
    December 29, 2008

    Wicked Lad, while we might not have had evidence from the US, we did have considerable evidence from countries that did practise comprehensive sex education, e.g. The Netherlands. Those countries have always had way lower teen/unwanted pregnancies and STD rates than countries that didn’t practise comprehensive sex education.

    As to your point about the Clinton Administration official, I totally agree with you. After all, that is the rational step to take and such a politician goes up in my estimation. If only because it is so rare. Unfortunately, the adversarial nature of politics and the media in much of the West, precludes many politicians from having the balls to take such action when necessary.

  38. #38 Crudely Wrott
    December 29, 2008

    I got sex-ed from essentially the get go. I was raised rural, organic, hands-in-the-soil farming and ranching. An inescapable consequence of which is animal husbandry, which is chiefly concerned with . . . well, you know.

    So mechanics were no problem. I was aware of numerous approaches to the act and a wide range of the equipment available to accomplish it long before my first pubic hair saw light.

    Instruction on the socially accepted “norms” of sex were very much absent in my youth. I can’t recall ever hearing a teacher teach anything about sex in any other than purely scientific terms, or as commentary on literature.

    My father taught me (made a good run at it, bless him) to be a gentleman, and to defer courteously to the ladies. And he never, perhaps purposely, put the moves on a honey in my presence. (He was no longer married by the time my memory starts.)

    So, I did what we all do.

    I waited. Until this girl came along. She didn’t want to wait and suddenly I didn’t either.

    It was three years before we made Jessica, and she was worth the wait.

    So. Sex ed by observation works as good as the abstinence only approach.

    chuckle

  39. #39 Alverant
    December 29, 2008

    I’m amused at how the abstinence only proponents try to defend their positions and cast doubt on their critics. It smacks of desperation. They just can’t admit they’re wrong. I think the “you shouldn’t have sex until your married” attitude should always be tempered with “but if you do, here’s how to protect yourself” speech. Teach the consequences of sex and how to avoid the bad ones.

    I recall a recent episode of Law & Order SVU that mixed a program like this with the “pregnancy pack” in a high school. I thought it did a good job of showing the results of those affected.

  40. #40 Pierce R. Butler
    December 29, 2008

    … view pledges as nonbinding…

    - just like the way all Republicans and most Democrats view the “uphold the Constitution” part of their oaths of office.

    Abstinence-only sex-ed is actually Intro to Applied PoliSci!

  41. #41 Crudely Wrott
    December 29, 2008

    My above amended:

    So, I did what we all many do.

    Sex ed by observation works as least as good as the abstinence only approach.

    ‘nother chuckle

  42. #42 Kelly
    December 29, 2008

    Sam, you said that Planned Parenthood is

    Eugenicist in founding and in current operations, and supportive of the rape of children,

    can you back this up?

  43. #43 Kelly
    December 29, 2008

    Sam, you said that Planned Parenthood is

    Eugenicist in founding and in current operations, and supportive of the rape of children,

    can you back this up?

  44. #44 apost8n8
    December 29, 2008

    You’re not fully informed on this subject unless you have watched the great B film TEETH (hint.. it involves a chastity group leader’s struggles and vagina dentata)

  45. #45 raven
    December 29, 2008

    Sam, you said that Planned Parenthood is

    Eugenicist in founding and in current operations, and supportive of the rape of children,

    can you back this up?

    Of course he can’t. Much Less that planned parenthood made a $115 profit. This is a fundie for cthulhu’s sake. They just lie a lot.

  46. #46 Richard
    December 29, 2008

    “This high rate of disaffiliation may imply that nearly all virginity pledgers view pledges as nonbinding,” Rosenbaum said.

    Well, aren’t the pledges nonbinding? I mean, no one is going to be sued or prosecuted for breaking them, right?

    -Richard

  47. #47 Fellow Traveller
    December 29, 2008

    The deep fear of Eugenics expressed by Christians indicates the real intent behind abstinence advocacy: its proponents don’t want to stop reproduction – far from it. They want as much reproduction as humanely possible among Christians so that alien populations (gene pools) don’t grow larger than their own. Eugenics policies would prevent Christians from breeding without limit as will wide use of contraception and abortion.

    Unlimited growth of the Christian population represents the real objective of their policy on sex.

  48. #48 Heh
    December 29, 2008

    Dan Savage (Savage Love, the Seattle -based sex advice column)talks about how these abstinence pledge thingamajigs / abstinence only education are/is actually increasing the rates of unprotected anal sex among pledgees, and causing more unprotected heterosexual sex among gay kids (cause of the shaming).

    He starts in the second paragraph of his reply to the first question http://www.thestranger.com/seattle/savage-love/Content?oid=880970

  49. #49 Naked Bunny with a Whip
    December 29, 2008

    can you back this up?

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Planned_parenthood#Controversy_and_criticism

    I assume that’s where the “supportive of child rape” comes from…an “experiment” (of questionable legality, IMO, given the recorded phone calls) performed by someone with an obvious agenda, which never got beyond a simple phone call. I’d probably say the same thing to her just to try and get her into the clinic and make sure she’s okay. But of course these types, as this entire post shows, don’t care about the health of children. They only care about their dogma.

  50. #50 kamaka
    December 29, 2008

    “Does anyone know the science on whether teaching kids about sex, birth control and STDs works to improve results with respect to disease and unplanned pregnancy?”

    Do we need science to answer this? Sure, but it’s safe to say that knowledge will get better results than ignorance.

    Something almost all the sex-ed programs (parents included) leave out:

    Sex is fun!

  51. #51 Naked Bunny with a Whip
    December 29, 2008

    Well, aren’t the pledges nonbinding?

    That depends on your own sense of ethics and honor. Of course, I don’t behave myself solely because I’m worried about being punished, nor would I raise my children to be like that, if I still had any.

  52. #52 Naked Bunny with a Whip
    December 29, 2008

    Sex is fun!

    While it’s true that no sex-ed program that I know of explicitly emphasizes this, the ones that include information on contraception at least acknowledge it indirectly, which is why they do better than the abstinence-only programs.

  53. #53 Allen N
    December 29, 2008

    Here in Christ Central (Colorado Springs), there is an annual “purity ball” (dance, that is) with fathers and daughters. What would Freud make of that I wonder.

    It serves to assure daddy that sonny boy will not be playing “hide the sausage” with his chaste daughter. She may provide a world class hand job or make wonderful music on the skin flute, but she’s not fucking!!

    This is what W.J. Clinton meant when he said he did not have sex with Monica. I’m given to understand this is not uncommon with many from the south. Good loophole. As Jimmy Buffett points out “It’s a fine line between Saturday night and Sunday morning”.

  54. #54 John C. Randolph
    December 29, 2008

    Back when I was in high school, there was much amusement over the fact that our school’s Teens Against Pregnancy chapter had multiple pregnant members.

    I was similarly amused by the fact that in my high school, the kids in the “National Honor Society” cheated on tests on a routine basis.

    -jcr

  55. #55 SC, OM
    December 29, 2008

    I’m out of touch on this (as it were). Does anyone know the science on whether teaching kids about sex, birth control and STDs works to improve results with respect to disease and unplanned pregnancy?

    Good question. Regarding condom use, I just did a short review of the studies available online, and the short answer seems to be ‘Yes’. Interestingly, one US study found that what was important for boys was practical instruction in condom use, regardless of the type of sex-ed curriculum in which this information was embedded (presumably, this also leads to improved condom effectiveness). But a number of other factors play a role, and these differ for boys and girls. Some mentioned were, for boys, a positive parental attitude toward sexuality and the availability of condoms and of people with whom to discuss their use; among girls (Dutch study), “self-efficacy” (these authors recommended self-efficacy courses; I think self-efficacy should be part of the “hidden curriculum” more generally). Of course, I don’t know anything about the quality or representativeness of this research or whether I’m summarizing it adequately, so this is probably worthless. :) It would be interesting to see studies that followed people into adulthood… In any case, it’s basic health information that schools have an obligation to provide, and research has not shown that it encourages young people to have sex.

    Anyway, here’s one set:

    http://aappolicy.aappublications.org/cgi/content/full/pediatrics;107/6/1463

    As for “teaching them about sex” more broadly, I think the research has shown that it does, but again there are a number of other factors involved (and correlated with one another) and there are so many different types of programs that there’s probably a lot of variation. I’m sure a number of these curricula have been comparatively evaluated, but don’t have time right now to investigate.

    and which cleared a profit of $115 million last year

    Wow! Pretty good for a 501(c)(3)! Nutjob.

  56. #56 Jadehawk
    December 29, 2008

    “Charming. How much money has our country sunk into these ineffective sops to the controlling dimwits of the religious right?”

    I dunno–is it much more than what the Federal government has provided to Planned Parenthood? Eugenicist in founding and in current operations, and supportive of the rape of children, and which cleared a profit of $115 million last year. This profit, of course, is derived largely from the government’s largesse of $330+ million. How does that compare to what the government spent on abstinence education?

    i see that you do not understand the meaning of the words “eugenics” “rape” and “children”

  57. #57 Wicked Lad
    December 29, 2008

    SC, thank you for the American Academy of Pediatrics policy link. Good info, that.

  58. #58 Allen N
    December 29, 2008

    Sam @36

    I trust you will expand on just how Planned Parenthood practices eugenics as well as the charge of rape of children. Jadehawk, myself and others await your clarification. Unless you’re just a drive by troll.

  59. #59 SC, OM
    December 29, 2008

    You’re welcome, Wicked Lad. I’m still not fond of statements like this:

    Abstaining from intercourse should be encouraged for adolescents, because it is the surest way to prevent STDs, including HIV infection, and pregnancy. Adolescents who have been sexually active previously should also be counseled regarding the benefits of postponing future sexual relationships.

    I still don’t quite get this. I mean, it’s the surest way to prevent these things in adults, too, and it isn’t the focus of public-health efforts for that population. Sex is something people enjoy and which has benefits but which also, like a number of other behaviors (e.g., playing sports), carries risks. People should be informed of those risks and how to minimize them if they choose to participate in the activity.

  60. #60 Kermit
    December 29, 2008

    Britomart @31 – you have part of the explanation here. An overriding concern for these people is that *no sin goes unpunished. As long as the wanton girls get pregnant or an STD, then righteousness has been served.

    A sex ed program is a *failure if girls (who cares about the boys?) have sex and get away with it – even if they have less sex than the abstinence-only “educated” kids.

    They have a visceral response to suggestions that we teach kids how to sin without consequences. They would rather send thousands of girls to the altar or the grave prematurely than let one escape righteous wrath.

  61. #61 raven
    December 29, 2008

    Sam @36

    I trust you will expand on just how Planned Parenthood practices eugenics as well as the charge of rape of children. Jadehawk, myself and others await your clarification. Unless you’re just a drive by troll.

    Don’t wait up. Sam is probably busy planning the firebombing/threats for the next Planned Parenthood clinic terrorist act. Planned Parenthood clinics are frequent targets for the Haters, Liars, and Killers for jesus crowd and Sam is undoubtedly one of them.

  62. #62 Keanus
    December 29, 2008

    Sam is a troll and, like most, ignorant. Opponents of Planned Parenthood (PP) claim many things that are false. It’s the only shtick their got, the truth not being to their liking. I volunteer as an escort weekly at a PP Clinic, encountering our weekly protesters, and get to pick up literature and see signs that repeat lies endlessly. Examples are that “abortion causes breast cancer,” “condoms fail more than half the time,” “PP wants to get rid of all blacks,” “PP promotes adult-child sex,” “PP will infect patients with diseases,” “PP just wants your money,” variations thereof, and other similar sentiments. Seeing as I’m on the board of our local PP and have considerable knowledge of the operations both locally and nationally, I can say with certainty that all such claims are false. But that will never stop the ideologically driven from making them, again and again. Facts and honesty are not to their liking.

  63. #63 Sam
    December 29, 2008

    “Planned Parenthood is the largest abortion provider in America. 78% of their clinics are in minority communities. Blacks make up 12% of the population, but 35% of the abortions in America.”
    http://www.blackgenocide.org/planned.html

    Margaret Sanger, in The Pilot of Civilization, 81-82:
    “Small as the percentage of the imbecile and half witted may seem in comparison with the normal members of the
    community, it should always be remembered that feeble mmdedness is not an unrelated expression of modern civilization’s roots strike deep into the social fabric. Modern studies indicate that insanity epilepsy criminality prostitution, pauperlsm and mental defect are all organically bound up together and that the least intelligent and the thoroughly degenerate classes in every community are the most prolific. Feeble mindedness in one generation becomes pauperism or insanity in the next. There is every indication that feeble mindedness in its protean forms is on the increase that it has leaped the barriers, and that there is truly as some of the scientific eugenicists have pointed out a feeble minded peril to future generations-unless the feeble minded
    are prevented from reproducing their kind.”

    Margaret Sanger, “Birth Control and Racial Betterment,” in Birth Control Review, February 1919, p. 11:
    “Like the advocates of Buth Control, the eugenists, for instance, are seekmg to assist the race toward
    the eliminatlon of the unfit. Both are seeking a single end
    but they lay emphasls upon different methods.”

    See also Angela Franks’ book, Margaret Sanger’s Eugenic Legacy (2005) http://www.amazon.com/Margaret-Sangers-Eugenic-Legacy-Fertility/dp/0786420111

    See also the article “The Eugenics Conference” in Birth Control Review, November 1921, p. 7 (Margaret Sanger, ed.).

    Planned Parenthood’s Annual Report, 2006-2007 (the latest that I could find). Financial statement on p. 14.
    http://www.plannedparenthood.org/files/AR_2007_vFinal.pdf

    Planned Parenthood covering up rape of a teenaged girl:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hTxsWZz9whg
    And is being investigated by the Indiana Attorney General:
    http://www.wthr.com/global/story.asp?s=9524227

  64. #64 Guy Incognito
    December 29, 2008

    I was raised in a Catholic school, but come sex-ed time they actually told us about condoms and IUDs and diaphrams.

    Really? I attended a Catholic high school in the late 90s, and the only sex/birth control education we received was a period on the rhythm method and cervical mucus monitoring taught during biology. The only mention made of condoms and the like was that the Church was supposedly opposed to the use of anything unnatural to prevent pregnancy, or any method that causes ejaculate to be wasted, such as anal sex or the withdrawal method. I was tempted to ask why it was OK to waste sperm by ejaculating into a non-ovulating woman, but my instructor preempted that question by explaining it wasn’t really wasted since there was still a chance the woman could be impregnated by it. The reliance on loopholes reminded me so much of Jewish dietary practices that I silently dubbed it kosher birth control. Anything is OK so long as you do it in a tedious way approved by a guy wearing a funny hat. Of course, no mention was made of how monitoring cervical mucus would prevent STDs.

  65. #65 Somnolent Aphid
    December 29, 2008

    We aphids have made the observation before that abstinence pledges are a good example of a self replicating meme. No matter how untrue it is, it tends to work in favor of populations that promote it. Parents that tell their kids that abstinence is good will end up having more grandchildren sooner (because their kids will have more unprotected sex), expanding the population of believers. The aphid kids on the other hand, while sexually active, are all birth controlled up. And so the rational aphids will tend to diminish over time as a percentage of the overall population.

  66. #66 Benjamin Geiger
    December 29, 2008

    Jadehawk @ #56:

    Obviously he doesn’t understand “profit” either.

    (For starters, Planned Parenthood doesn’t *have* profit. Its “profit” is a budget surplus, which (AFAIK, IANA Accountant or Lawyer) gets rolled over into next year’s budget.)

  67. #67 Benjamin Geiger
    December 29, 2008

    Somnolent Aphid @ #64:

    So basically what happens at the beginning of Idiocracy. (GET YOUR HANDS OFF MY JUNK!)

  68. #68 Rey Fox
    December 29, 2008

    “Sam is a troll and, like most, ignorant.”

    Judging from your comment on the activities of anti-PPers, it seems more likely that he’s a malicious liar.

  69. #69 akshelby
    December 29, 2008

    Speaking of teen pregnancies guess who had their son and named him, Tripp Easton Mitchell Johnston?
    (hint: related to Trig P.)

    Tripp?

  70. #70 Crow
    December 29, 2008

    “Title V, Section 510 Abstinence Education Program – $50 million annually for programs that teach abstinence from sexual activity outside of marriage as the expected standard for school-age children. Under the matching block grant program administered by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS), states must match this federal funding at 75 percent, resulting in a total of up to $87.5 million annually for Title V, Section 510 abstinence education programs.”

    “In 2000, Congress increased funding of abstinence education through a federal earmark known as Community Based Abstinence Education (CBAE)… CBAE funding…is provided directly from the federal government to community-based programs.”
    “In FY 2007, 167 grantees received funding totaling $92.8 million.”

    “In fiscal year 2005, the Office of Adolescent Pregnancy Programs awarded about $13 million in Title XX grants to 58 public and private community organizations for projects that specifically promote several abstinence programs for adolescents (DHHS 2006).”

    aspe.hhs.gov/hsp/abstinence07/ch1.htm
    http://www.acf.hhs.gov/programs/fysb/content/abstinence/community.htm

  71. #71 raven
    December 29, 2008

    CALIFORNIA CLINICS BURNED

    On October 9 at 3:30 a.m. the Chico Planned Parenthood clinic was the target of an arson attack. Approximately one hour later the Redding Feminist Women’s Health Center experienced a similar attack.

    The Chico Planned Parenthood clinic has sustained over $100,000 in structural damages, combined with the lot revenues while they rebuild, their total losses are estimated at $250,000.

    Sam is an evil xian terrorist or a sympathizer.It is hard to get statistics on bombings, arson, and murders at Planned Parenthood by xian wingnut terrorists. In the last several decades around 250 clinics have been bombed or set on fire. Not all were Planned Parenthood clinics but many were. Seven MDs have been assassinated, while around 200 health care people have been wounded, some seriously.

    So Sam, what are doing for jesus. Bombings, arson, or murder. Or are you just a white powder hoax death threat kinda terrorist?

  72. #72 raven
    December 29, 2008

    We will find you, we will try you, and we will execute you. I mean every word of it.

    [Randall Terry, founder of Operation Rescue, at the Aug 8, 1995 U.S. Taxpayers Alliance Banquet in Washington DC, talking about doctors who perform abortions and volunteer escorts
    My note. Terry’s sympathizers have, in fact, murdered more than a few health care workers.

    Got a real life Liar, Hater, and killer for jesus here. Randall Terry is one of the leaders of the anti-family planning clinic wingnuts. He threatened to kill MDs and other health care workers. Since then, 7 have been murdered in a series of inept but often bloody attacks leaving a lot of wounded.

    The USA has a special place for xian terrorists. They go to jail unless they get caught in Florida. Paul Hill was executed there for murder.

  73. #73 marilove
    December 30, 2008

    Sam:

    “”Planned Parenthood is the largest abortion provider in America.”

    Of course they are. They are one of the few clinics that provide it, and make it so you don’t have to go through 8 million hoops to get an abortion if you need or want one. Also, people seem to forget the many other services they provide. I’ve actually only been in one actual PP that HAD an abortion clinic on site. Most don’t.

    “78% of their clinics are in minority communities. Blacks make up 12% of the population, but 35% of the abortions in America.”

    Planned Parenthood provides reproductive medical care for those who don’t have insurance or otherwise can’t see a regular doctor. So it’s no surprise that the majority of people obtaining abortions are minorities, seeing as minorities make up the majority of the underprivileged. And the reason minorities make up the majority of the underprivileged has nothing to do with eugenics.

  74. #74 Kel
    December 30, 2008

    I wonder if Sam even knows what eugenics is.

  75. #75 raven
    December 30, 2008

    I wonder if Sam even knows what eugenics is.

    You are asking a homicidal moron? He could care less. You would note that he is quoting something from a century ago, like nothing has changed since then.

    He is also making a category error. If someone in PP screws up, they all screw up. Using that logic, all fundie xians are murderers, since some, do in fact, kill for jesus.

    Guys like sam are beyond hope. They are in the fundie perversion of the xian religion for the hate, lies, and killing. Nothing else matters.

  76. #76 gwangung
    December 30, 2008

    Sam is one of these twits who claim others are racists to cover up the white sheets in his or her own closet. It’s patronizing racist love, assuming minorities need to be taken care of, because they aren’t smart enough to defend themselves.

    Being the target of such for decades, I can smell their ilk a mile away…

  77. #77 Jadehawk
    December 30, 2008

    I was right, the guy doesn’t know the definitions of those words (and “profit” as well, I hadn’t noticed that). but then, I’m a degenerate European and don’t consider teenagers to be children

  78. #78 Corey Mondello
    December 30, 2008

    What I find amazing is how stupid NeoConas and Mrs. Bush are that state President Bush has helped Africa so much with all the AIDs money sent….while forgetting to mention he wants ONLY abstinent-only taught, and the countries that refused this, were denied millions of dollars allowing literally million of more people; infants, young people and adults, to be infected with HIV.

    We must remind the morons who believe President Bush is a “good-guy” that they are idiotic if they do not also say that he will only be a “good-guys” only to those that follow his fundamentalist Christian beliefs he is trying to spread all over the world, under the guise of “humanitarianism” is actually immoral, inhumane and cruel.

    Religion should be removed from ALL politics; this is the number one threat to America and the world!

    Please support the following organizations to assure America does not become a theocracy, by keeping religion and politics separate, which will help end hatred, racism, oppression and stop the destruction of this great country Fundamentalist Christians have been trying to destroy !!!

    American Humanist Association – http://www.AmericanHumanist.org/

    American United for Separation of Church & State – http://www.au.org/

    Council for Secular Humanism – http://www.SecularHumanism.org/

    Freedom From Religion Foundation – http://www.ffrf.org/

    Friends Committee on National Legislation – http://www.fcnl.org/

    Interfaith Alliance Foundation – http://www.InterfaithAlliance.org/

    Military Religious Freedom Foundation – http://www.MilitaryReligiousFreedom.org/

    Secular Coalition For America – http://www.secular.org/

  79. #79 Michael X
    December 30, 2008

    Sam here’s a bit you missed in your link to PP. I put the important part in bold.

    The IRS classi?es the Planned Parenthood Action Fund as a 501(c)
    (4) not-for-pro?t organization.

    Slightly hard to make a profit there, no?

    Looks like you’ll have to find another way to denigrate the modern emancipation of women. I know, quote me something from 1912!

  80. #80 Michael X
    December 30, 2008

    Actually Sam, don’t even worry about the quote. I’ve got one for myself.

    “The great and rapidly increasing army of idiots, insane, imbeciles, blind, deaf-mutes, epileptics, paralytics, the murderers, thieves, drunkards and moral perverts are very poor material with which to “subdue the world,” and usher in the glad day when “all shall know the Lord, whom to know aright is life everlasting.” There are hundreds and thousands of men and women today to whom in the interests of future generations, some rigid law should say, “Write this one childless.” Men and women whose habits of life are such as to curse their offspring, should be prohibited from marrying.”

    Oddly, this quote was made by one, Mary E. Teats, who was a leader in the Womens Christian Temperance Movement. Fancy that? I always knew christian women were just eugenicists at heart, but now your logical method has allowed me to finally condemn them all without any further study.

  81. #81 Allen N
    December 30, 2008

    Sam @63

    Good to see you decided to come back. As to the clinic worker – she was fired, no? You have anything other than this one-off to show that it is the policy/goal of PP to shield criminals? Of course, well all know that in the pro life movement, any violence is not the policy of any organization, right?

    As for the larger percentage of abortions, I’d have to say that as a method of eugenics, it appears to be markedly unsuccessful. Despite claims by the web site you linked, the black population in 1996 was about 33.9 million; in 2002 36 million. While it is true that blacks may become the second largest minority with the increasing hispanic population, that is not the result of any eugenics plan.

    Finally, You go back to statements that are nearly a century old. As #79 points out, that was a time in which eugenics are not a totally unacceptable concept. But what, really was Sanger’s goal? She was working to overturn the Comstock law that prohibited birth control.

    Here’s a quote for Ms. Sanger…

    “It is a vicious cycle; ignorance breeds poverty and poverty breeds ignorance. There is only one cure for both, and that is to stoop breeding these things. Stop bringing to birth children whose inheritance cannot be one of health or intelligence. Stop bringing into the world children whose parents cannot provide for them.” Note that in context, “things” refers to ignorance and poverty, not race.

    I’d suggest you find more objective sources than a site that is using race and fear to promote the real, pro life agenda.

  82. #82 Rev. BigDumbChimp
    December 30, 2008

    Sam is one of those cut and paste trolls. Couldn’t argue a point if his wubby comfort blanket depended on it. Just relies on highly biased and distorted sources.

  83. #83 Amanduh
    December 30, 2008

    I took one of those pledges, at 13. Signed the card and everything. I broke out of that life in the church at 19 and out went the pledge! LOL. Funny, I was taught how terrible premarital sex was, but I couldn’t be happier. :D

  84. #84 Sam
    December 30, 2008

    “Malicious liar”
    “Evil xtian terrorist or sympathizer”
    “Homicidal moron”
    “White powder hoax death threat kinda terrorist”
    “one of these twits who claim others are racists to cover up the white sheets in his or her own closet”

    How I do love this site! The reactions are so delightfully predictable, almost to the point of being choreographed. Gotta love this rational, free-thinking kind of site.

    The principal question at hand was the amount of federal funding. The latest figure from PP was approximately $336 million, which far outweighs the amount for abstinence education cited by Crow #70. For an organization with a budget surplus (my thanks for clarifying the terminology) of over $100 million, is that something that we need to support? One that undercover investigations have found to have shady practices (several cases of not wanting to hear about statutory rape, cases of accepting donations with the specific intent of reducing the numbers of blacks). And, with that size of a budget surplus, why should they request even more funding in the next year?

    Of course, if effectiveness is the principal determinant of funding, than by all means, Planned Parenthood is much more effective than abstinence training–something over 289,000 abortions in FY 2006-07. That’s a lot of killing. Oops, sorry–a lot of tissue blobs removed that might or not become human anyway. Let’s make sure that we get rid of as many as possible, eh?

    And of course, no one here would ever make the rash assumption that we can base our assessment of an existing institution or organization based on the actions of members from decades or even centuries ago. Correct?

  85. #85 Nerd of Redhead
    December 30, 2008

    How I do love this site! The reactions are so delightfully predictable, almost to the point of being choreographed. Gotta love this rational, free-thinking kind of site.

    As if your reflexive godbotting antichoice comments are not reflexive? Start thinking. Maybe you will shed the confines of your religious blinders.

  86. #86 raven
    December 30, 2008

    Sam the xian terrorist troll lying some more:

    The principal question at hand was the amount of federal funding.

    Wrong. The title of this post was about how abstinence only sex ed doesn’t work. With additional comments that fundies don’t care if it doesn’t work. It is OK in their warped minds to wreck two (or three) lives, the girl’s, boy’s, and the babies, as long as the heinious sin of premarital sex is punished. Never mind that children don’t make good devices for punishing people, seeing as how they have lives and feelings and grow up eventually into….adults.

    Talking about predictable, you ignored the well known facts that family planning clinics are frequent targets of xian terrorists. Roughly 250 have been bombed or burned down in the last few decades. 7 MDs have been assassinated with 200 health care workers wounded in bloody attacks. Lies and violence are never far below the surface of fundie so called xians.

    The difference between xian and moslem fundies is….nothing. Historically the xians are way ahead on body counts although the moslems are making an impressive effort to catch up.

  87. #87 Nerd of Redhead
    December 30, 2008

    DOH! First sentence in my post # 84 should end with ..not reflexive predictable?

  88. #88 raven
    December 30, 2008

    The principal question at hand was the amount of federal funding. The latest figure from PP was approximately $336 million, which far outweighs the amount for abstinence education cited by Crow #70.

    What is wrong with federal funding for family planning? The USA has been doing this for decades. All sane responsible adults plan their families. The Catholic birth rate in the USA and Europe is identical to the national averages.

    The fundie leaders do so too. Robertson has 3 kids, Dobson 2, Bush 2, Cheney 1 and so on. A healthy woman can have 10 or 20 kids with modern medical care. Evidently they have better things to do with their time and money.

    They don’t care if the trailer park people breed like rabbits. More cheap, ignorant, unskilled labor and cannon fodder for the endless wars.

    The fundies are always trying to cram their wingnut ideology down other people’s throuts. Fortunately, in a democracy those other people can and do have the right to tell them to take their ideology and shove it. Polls show that the majority of the US population, mostly other xians are sick and tired of them.

  89. #89 marilove
    December 30, 2008

    “The principal question at hand was the amount of federal funding. The latest figure from PP was approximately $336 million, which far outweighs the amount for abstinence education cited by Crow #70.”

    Yeah, and guess what? FAMILY PLANNING WORKS! Abstinence-only education DOES NOT!

    And, as raven asked, what is wrong with giving funding to family planning?

    Sam, Planned Parenthood provides many more services other than abortions. MANY MORE. You keep ignoring this huge fact.

    Toll harder.

  90. #90 marilove
    December 30, 2008

    And, Sam, let me remind you that abortions would still happen, legal or not. Having a safe place for abortions to happen is logical. To be for making abortion illegal is illogical and anti-women. Period.

  91. #91 Natalie
    December 30, 2008

    Sam:

    Of course, if effectiveness is the principal determinant of funding, than by all means, Planned Parenthood is much more effective than abstinence training–something over 289,000 abortions in FY 2006-07. That’s a lot of killing.

    Man, the veneer is mighty thin on Planned Parenthood-haters. It only took three posts for Sam to cop to his actual agenda, which is criminalizing abortions.

    Hey Sam, I have a little tidbit of knowledge for you: abortions make up only about 3% of clinic services performed by Planned Parenthood in any given year. That’s fucking miniscule. Most of the $300 million you claim to be so irritated about is providing birth control and birth control counseling, Pap smears, and STD testing and treatment, and other services that are NOT ABORTIONS. Since you consider abortion to be killing, why not support an organization that probably does more to prevent abortions than any other single organization in this country?

  92. #92 marilove
    December 30, 2008

    “Since you consider abortion to be killing, why not support an organization that probably does more to prevent abortions than any other single organization in this country?”

    Because they don’t want to stop abortions so much as control women and women’s sexuality. Innit grand?

  93. #93 Janine, Vile Bitch
    December 30, 2008

    Posted by: Sam | December 30, 2008

    How I do love this site! The reactions are so delightfully predictable, almost to the point of being choreographed. Gotta love this rational, free-thinking kind of site.

    ‘Tis a pity we are not so free thinking that we accept with comment statements that have no connection to reality. So, Sammy boy, do you have a problem with contraceptives?

  94. #94 Allen N
    December 30, 2008

    Sam @83

    Since you perhaps have figured out what eugenics is, it’s time to address the point of institutional change over time. Consider the Catholic church. They have changed, at least somewhat over time. At least there is no inquisition today. They appear to have changed their stance on slavery as well.

    What about the Mormons? Not so long ago, their leader had a revelation that it WAS O.K. for blacks to be priests. In fact, modern revelation is central to their beliefs.

    If large organizations such as churches can change perspective, why is that so hard to believe of organizations? So – in answer to you rhetorical question – no, we should not evaluate based only on what was true – more or less – decades or centuries ago.

    Finally – why are you so focused on the abortion aspect of PP? Abortions are only a small part of what the organization is about. Do you take the stance that all birth control is bad? STD testing? check Natalie #90. BTW – don’t expect kid glove treatment when you start your discussion with what are either examples of willful misstatement or a lack of basic information.

  95. #95 Kseniya
    December 30, 2008

    This is better than TV!

    So, Sam, you say these reactions are “so delightfully predictable, almost to the point of being choreographed.” You seem to have some aptitude for pattern recognition. Why not take it to the next step, analyze what the pattern suggests?

    What’s also predictable is your focus on the more insulting personal descriptions while ignoring many of the subtantive responses. Ho-hum.

  96. #96 SaynaTheSpiffy
    December 30, 2008

    (RE: Denying that they took a virginity pledge.)
    I think I know of a reason for this. I deny that the pledge I took in the DARE (Drug Abuse Resistence Education)to never do drugs counted as a real pledge. I was only in elementary school at the time. I had no idea why people would ever do drugs, and no empathy for those who did. I thought that they were bad people. I didn’t stop to consider that maybe they were seeking pleasure or trying to escape pain. I remember DARE teaching kids to use critical thinking about advertising and peer pressure, but I hadn’t ever thought about criticizing the “War on Drugs” before. I knew the anti-drug propaganda but I didn’t know the reality or the other side of the issue.

    I think it’s the same with kids who take abstinence pledges. Many of the girls who participate in Purity Balls are well under the age of puberty and have no understanding of sexual desire. It’s easy to see sex as disgusting and wrong when you don’t have a sex drive! On top of that, they have had little to no sexual education. And frankly… when you grow up in a family where you pledge your sexuality to your father, I doubt that you’ve been taught anything at all about sexual equality or autonomy. So of course these girls develop a libido and start understanding what it is to desire sex. In the best-case scenario, they realize that their pledge wasn’t valid because they weren’t fully informed and go on to lead happy, healthy sex lives in egalitarian relationships. In the worst-case scenario, they go out and have sex with no protection and no understanding that they have a right to say no (or yes). Think about it: when you’re taught from an early age that sex is a commodity that women have and men seek, you’re not exactly going to have healthy, egalitarian relationships.

    RE: Planned Parenthood
    As others have said, they are a non-profit organization and the vast majority of their work is based on prevention of unwanted pregnancy, general reproductive and sexual healthcare (ie pap smears), comprehensive sex education, and the prevention and treatment of sexually transmitted disease (I’m glad to see a blog where I’m not the first to point this out for once!).

    Frankly, Planned Parenthood will do more to prevent abortion in a single day of giving out low-cost and no-cost contraception than their opponents will do in a lifetime of screaming at and lying to women outside their clinics. (Same goes for the ones who do it on blogs and forums!)

  97. #97 marilove
    December 30, 2008

    And sometimes, SaynaTheSpiffy, beer and whiskey is hard on our tummies and livers, and we prefer a fat spliff after work instead! :)

    And to the rest of what you said: Word. Word times a million.

  98. #98 Sili
    January 1, 2009

    As for the supposed 100 mio surplus, presumably a lot of that is carried over and used to pay for rebuilding sabotaged clinics, securing the families of murdered doctors and so on.

    They want as much reproduction as humanely possible among Christians so that alien populations (gene pools) don’t grow larger than their own.
    Fellow Traveller | December 29, 2008 2:36 PM

    Typo there. The crazies couldn’t care less about what humane. For women. Now blastocysts on the other hand …

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