What else did you expect from horny teenagers?

Promises, promises. Since the New Years is a time for resolutions, we bring you news you already know about resolutions. News like this. Evolution has hard wired a drive to reproduce in young, healthy humans. That's how the species survives. Maybe you don't want them to have sex and maybe they even promise they won't, but biology is more powerful than parents or governments. A study published in the journal Pediatrics followed 289 teenagers who said in 1996 they took a virginity pledge and compared them with 645 non-pledgers, taking into account religious beliefs and attitudes to sex and birth control. This was done because previous studies didn't factor in the possibility that teens who pledge may be quite different characteristics that affect sexual behavior than those who don't. So this was an attempt to compare "like with like," the main difference being that one group had promised not to have sex while the other didn't. "Virginity pledges" are a prominent feature of the Bush administration's abstinence only sex education programs that didn't teach contraceptive practices.

Five years after taking the pledge:

  • 82% of pledgers denied ever having taken the pledge
  • Pledgers and matched non-pledgers did not differ in rates of premarital sex, sexually transmitted disease, and oral and anal sex behaviors
  • Pledgers had 0.1 fewer sexual partners in the past year but did not differ from non-pledgers in the number of lifetime sexual partners and the age of first sex (Jennifer Warner, WebMD News)

There was one significant difference between the pledge and non-pledge group, however. They were less likely to use condoms or any form of birth control when they did have sex.

You can't blame them. No one told them how.

More like this

Abstinence-only sex education is also a big part of Rick Warren's HIV-AIDS "outreach" in Africa, which Obama praised when explaining his selection of Warren to deliver the invocation at his inauguration.

did they really expect anything different??? How many times does this need to be rehashed before these people get a clue?!?!

"Bristol Palin says, "Teenagers need to prevent pregnancy to begin with." So I assume she supports effective sex education and birth control.

By Trin Tragula (not verified) on 02 Jan 2009 #permalink

The depth of delusion of right-wing theocratic shitbags is simply mind-blowing. The notion that these ignorant deranged pig-people can somehow be fruitfully integrated into the American polity is absolutely ridiculous.

C'mon Comrade PhysioProf. Don't hold back. Tell us what you really think!

I believe I'll get my mother-in-law to crochet that comment into a wallhanging for my office at the university.

It's not that abstinence doesn't work. It's that it has a different purpose than the stated one.

When you look at it as something that's intended to promote misogyny, male domination, and sexual self-hatred; distract rank-and-file fundamentalists from their economic woes; and funnel taxpayer money into the coffers of faux-Christian bigots and power junkies, it's a rousing success.

My resolution was not to weigh in on nonBF issues...but I can't refrain from saying, Trin hit the nail on the head.

I've said it before. We've kidded ourselves into believing taking our kids to soccer practice was all there was to parenting. There is much more to it. Setting examples, instituting and enforcing rules and the list goes on and on. And it's all about a "well rounded" upbringing. Not right...not left...but well rounded. You can't lock them in a reality free closet, but you can't let them experience everything life has to offer either. They'll get bored easily later in life.

I remember another quote I heard somewhere. I'll be my kids friend when he/she turns 18. Right now, I'm their parent.

We'll never stop kids from having sex. But I believe you can delay it a few years or perhaps give them tools to help them wrestle with difficult "sexual" decisioins by taking our responsibility as parents a bit more seriously. It may not change every kid's life, but I think it's much better than any other "touchy feely" stuff I've heard of or seen. It's hard WORK and it's not much fun. But I believe real parenting is the answer (with TWO parents who stand united in decision making). Before you envision me ruling with my conservative views, keep in mind...I said WELL ROUNDED.

You must keep your relationship with your spouse first, but you MUST balance that with making the children a priority. Too many broken homes...too many neglected kids looking for love in the wrong places.

I'm CONVINCED that "wild" girls are the product of fatherless homes (or loveless fathers). Those girls seek out the love of their father through other males. I've seen it time and time again.

Oh heck...while I'm rolling here...I might as well go all out. I'll go so far as to say this. I would much rather see a loving and disciplined WELL ROUNDED (not ultra left) gay or lesbian couple raise a child, verses a heterosexual couple that really doesn't get it. Surprised?

We've got a job to do and if we don't do it we'll pay for it in the long run. We need to be parentS (notice the emphasis on plural).

I'm CONVINCED that "wild" girls are the product of fatherless homes (or loveless fathers). Those girls seek out the love of their father through other males. I've seen it time and time again.

And what are "wild" boys the product of?

Too many slutty girls, I'm guessing? After all, if these little hussies stopped putting out, the boys would have to content themselves with circle jerks, Dungeons and Dragons, and so forth.

Kidding aside, although I agree with a certain amount of what you have to say, and accept that you mean well, your implication that this problem boils down primarily to the control of female sexuality is kind of bloodcurdling.

Also, while it's true that teens from broken homes may "look for love in the wrong places," it's also true that, as Revere points out, teens from every sort of home look for sex, because they're human beings and that's what human beings do, for better and for worse.

Downplaying this fact, in order to fixate on some sepia-toned image of tarnished angels from single-parent homes, is no way to deal with the reality of the situation. It's a shame about the number of broken homes and relationships in crisis -- and the number of stable two-parent homes in which children are abused and miseducated and denied love -- but surely the fairly common cultural beliefs you've expressed here could have as much to do with that ongoing problem as with, say, "Hollywood values"?

Or is anyone who "defends marriage" automatically that institution's benefactor, by definition and regardless of any conceivable evidence to the contrary?

if pledgers were significantly less likely to use condoms, but had the same rate of sexually transmitted diseases, then a logical conclusion is that condoms don't reduce incidence of sexually transmitted disease.

Oh heck...while I'm rolling here...I might as well go all out. I'll go so far as to say this. I would much rather see a loving and disciplined WELL ROUNDED (not ultra left) gay or lesbian couple raise a child, verses a heterosexual couple that really doesn't get it. Surprised?

Yes, I am surprised. I am not sure why you insinuate that "ultra left" parents of whatever gender mix "don't get it." And what of "ultra right" gay/lesbian parents (not all glbt are liberal, you know.)

I'll go so far as to say this. I would much rather see a loving and disciplined WELL ROUNDED (not ultra left) gay or lesbian couple raise a child, verses a heterosexual couple that really doesn't get it.

but us ultra-leftists, we'd better not dare procreate, because we're just not "well rounded" enough for your standards, right?

i could tell you where to stick that sentiment; it's a fairly well rounded place.

By Nomen Nescio (not verified) on 02 Jan 2009 #permalink

The goal of abstinence-only sex education is not to reduce sex, but to ensure that if the young-uns have sex, then by golly they'll *pay* for it by having a kid and having to raise it, and find out just what kind of grief us parents have had to put up with for the past 16 years.

That is: it is an act of *spite*, directed at the young by the old. It's root is that the old resent and envy the young their youth.

31 years ago, as a 17 year old, whilst still at school, we studied Sex Education, once a week, for an entire year. Our Sex Education studies were clinically delivered, and were most informative. After the initial giggling at the nude bodies and body parts that flashed before our eyes, we soon realised that what we were being taught was a life lesson in survival. As we finished our lessons into human biology, I remember my initial horror of seeing the pictorial results of gonorrhea, syphilis, hepatitis B and C, genital herpes, genital wars, scabies,dedculosis public (public lice) etc on STD (Sexually Transmitted Disease) patients. We also discussed sexuality and all that it entails. Sexuality was a personal matter for each student. We had frank discussions on sex, sexual problems, positions, boredom and how to overcome it etc. etc..

How can teenagers be expected to make informed decisions about their OWN lives, if they are to given the tools with which to make those decisions. Sex education is now a matter of survival for teenagers - AIDS/HIV. Parents can no longer bury their heads in the sand, thinking that if they don't tell the kids won't do it. I read recently that some teenagers are so ill informed about Sex Education, that they contract gonorrhea of the throat - "It's not like we are having sex - going all the way - you know". Even informed some teenagers will make mistakes ie pregnancy, STD's etc, they will however, know how they got into the position that they are in, and they will know where to go to get the help that they need. The vast majority of informed teenagers, will make informed decisions about themselves. Informed teenagers are far less likely to make bad decsions about their OWN bodies. In this day and age it is a matter of survival.

My daughter, now 19, had a more advanced sex ed class in her 5th grade year than she did in her high school sophomore class. The difference? The Bush admin decided that kids having too much knowledge would want to have more sex and so the school was told not to teach anything about condoms, birth control, etc. Just abstinence. The birth rate in her high school jumped from maybe one teen pregnancy annually to over ten. A gigantic jump that was directly due to the ignorance being peddled by the so called moral majority.
Maybe with grown ups in charge this can be reversed.

Victoria - Not to put too fine a point on it, but since the Hep C virus was first identified in 1989, I'm doubting there was much discussion of that particular form of hepatitis in your sex-ed class 31 years ago. Having said that, I do agree that the sex-ed I got as a high school junior in the mid 60's was significantly more comprehensive that that taught today in most schools. That is not entirely (maybe even mostly) the fault of the Bush administration, but more as a result of the complaints from those promoting "family values" within the churches of our local communities. (Probably the same folks who complain that Johnny brings home too much homework and then wonders why Johnny can't read... or blames the school for it.)

You are a lot of old fashioned fuddy duddies aren't you.

This is the age of google and facebook. Just do a search "sex education" and get enough reading matter to fill a month of Sundays. (e.g. but not necessarily recommended:) http://www.scarleteen.com/

More to the point, the government should educate you oldies on search technology.

Of course it's not just a question of "information" but also of having conversations. Real conversations don't happen with scripts and censoring.

My two older daughters, now 20 and 22, had very "well rounded" sex education, including the abstinence education at the Methodist youth group meetings. Parts of abstinence education are quite useful, especially the parts that discourage dating and going steady, encourage teens to socialize in groups and to construct social events that don't rely on drugs and alcohol as icebreakers. In our community, you don't even need a date for the prom, you just go to hang out with friends.

But, their well rounded sex education also included riding in the back seat while my mother told me all about her latest adventure as a Planned Parenthood volunteer, hanging out in singles bars giving demonstrations on how to use a condom. Well rounded also included my construction worker husband giving them tips on self defense and how to handle a horny guy who claimed to be suffering from blue balls. ("Tell him to go home and jerk off!") There was a lot of frank talk about sex whenever the opportunity presented itself, everything from watching insects and farm animals mate to going to midwife appointments when I was expecting their sister.

None of this would have meant much if they weren't also given opportunities to make decisions and live with the results from an early age. Sometimes they forgot their lunch and went hungry. Sometimes they didn't get their homework done and got in trouble. Sometimes they tried to bathe cats or tease the rooster and got what was coming to them. No bailouts here.

There's nothing wrong with abstinence education. Sure, our human genes are anxious to replicate themselves. So are the genes of the 250-plus sexually transmitted infections. You gotta think about which team you're rooting for and act appropriately. My problem is with the "only" part. Kids are curious about everything, so we need to talk about everything.

Susan: Nothing at all wrong with abstinence education. Many people are fine not having sex and that's their choice. The problem is abstinence only eductation, and that's what is involved here.

For those of you who questioned me:

1. It's my opinion that girls "act out" more SEXUALLY in response to unloving or absent fathers. It may have something to do with female emotional needs or their ability to express. Boys act out in more violent ways, sometimes through deviant sexual behavior, like rape but more often in violence like fighting, gang activity and so on. I wasn't try to curdle any blood. That's simply the way I see it.

2. It's my opinion that ultra left or ultra right wing parents are not a particularly good influence on children. In fact, if I had a choice, I tend to think that ultra right wing parents are perhaps worse (if I must catagorize it), because they don't give them the autonomy that they need to "find their own way". Even the Amish allow kids to make a choice at some point. I'm keenly aware of the rebellion that can take place in very conservative homes. I saw it often in college.

3. Generally, I've found MOST (but not all) gay and lesbian couples are very left leaning. I'm sure I would be too. I didn't say ALL of them were ultra right wing, but some are. I don't think that is a good environment to raise a child any more than an ultra conservative one is.

4. I know it's a deep wound with the broken homes of today, but I stand by my belief that married, man/woman families with well rounded beliefs and values raise kids that make smarter decisions. Hormones are controlled by Bible verses and aren't stoked by thoughts of gay sex. But giving a kid solid footing can get them started down the right path as the hormone surge takes over.

I have more...but I'm really trying.

if teenaged hormone surges aren't stoked by thoughts of gay sex, then you know you're dealing with a heterosexual teenager. simple as that, babble verses have nothing to do with it.

By Nomen Nescio (not verified) on 05 Jan 2009 #permalink

I wish I could edit after posting..lots of mistakes in that one. I was caught between tasks when I penned that post.

In #4, I meant to say, "Hormones are NOT controlled by Bible verses and they are NOT stoked by thoughts of gay sex."

Good catch Nomen.

#3 wasn't written well either. Should be "I didn't say ALL of them were ultra left wing, but some are."

Patch, well I'm glad you re-posted the edit changes-- rather provocative don't you think in their original incorrect state!?!

Patch, "[In] response to unloving or absent fathers... Boys act out in more violent ways, sometimes through deviant sexual behavior, like rape... gang activity and so on."

I must say Patch, I was on the receiving end of "mob psychology" back in the late 90s (only a very few family members and friends will acknowledge it -- see Jim McGinty email response below --, all others exhibit "denialist behavior" acting as if I were dead and don't exist).

Try to picture a woman of Madonna's independent character being woken by two twenty-something male cops banging on her front door on New Years Eve 1997 going into 1998!?!

Okay, she walks down the hallway and opens the door to be "greeted" with skin-crawling looks from the men. Violent looks which indicate she is a truly bothersome "inferior" who will be forced to learn her place in life -- beaten down on her knees worshipping "powerful and superior" penis. In other words, two government employed sexual deviant sadists are attempting to infantalize an independent women on the doorstep of her own home.

What does a woman with Madonna's character do!?! She says, "Go away, or I'll call the real cops!" and closes the door. This strong woman (who is 100% Lesbian) then phones an independent gay and lesbian liason officer... Then, a little while later, she is sitting on the computer and hears a crash as her front door is kicked-in by a large group of cops...

Patch, were you aware Australia is the only democracy in the world without human rights protection. I viscerally know this from firsthand personal experience. For over ten years, homophobic West Australians (gay, bi, and hetero) in positions of state gov medico-legal employment have used me as a "punching bag" -- staff at WA FOI are bullies (see the Tim Kennedy 2006 email excerpt below) and yet, Jim McGinty (former WA health minister) is suggesting I again interact and engage with these West Australian government employees who do what they do because a lack of Oz human rights protection allows them to behave like vicious schoolyard tyrants (see below):

So, why not click into the GetUp Australia website via the attached link and tell the Aussie Government it's time for an Australian Human Rights Act @ http://www.getup.org.au/campaign/rights/407

Cheers Then:*) Jonathon


Excerpted email response, prior to the September 2008 West Australian state election, from former MLA ATTORNEY GENERAL, MINISTER FOR HEALTH; ELECTORAL AFFAIRS FOR WESTERN AUSTRALIA [OurRef: 22-015231]

28 MAY 2008

Dear Mr Singleton

Thank you for your e-mail dated 22 May 2008.

I have noted the matters in your e-mail, including your reference to our previous correspondence; namely, my e-mail to you of 18 January 2006 (Ref: 22-3366) as well as your concerns regarding the treatment of yourself and other gay men in Western Australia. In relation to those matters, the following comments are provided.

First, as I trust you will be aware, I have (both as a Minister and a parliamentarian) consistently supported endeavours to strengthen and extend the rights and protection of gay and lesbian persons in our community...

Third, your e-mail appears to indicate that you may have been the victim of discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation. For example, your e-mail states that you "used to have a home but [were] forced out of it"...

Finally, your letter appears to allege that you have also been sexually assaulted. For example, your e-mail refers to a "violent medico-legal rape" and that you were "'raped' by taxpayer funded cops". As you may be aware, such assaults may constitute serious criminal offences. If you have any supporting evidence, you should make that evidence available to the appropriate prosecution authorities, for example, the WA Police Service and the WA Director of Public Prosecutions. If the allegation concerns WA Police then you may wish to provide that evidence (including any written statement that you may have prepared outlining the relevant facts and circumstances) to the internal investigation section of the police service.

Thank you for informing me of your views and concerns and I trust that the above is of
assistance to you.

Yours sincerely, JIM McGINTY


Subject: RE: Gloria Allred -- Your legal inquiry [Quest 4our Justice

Thursday, October 5, 2006 7:40 PM

Email From: "Tim Kennedy"

Email To: "jon singleton"

Thanks John. Good bye. You are off too my spam list.

Subject: RE: Gloria Allred -- Your legal inquiry [Quest 4our Justice

Email To: "Tim Kennedy"

Friday 6th October 2006

Howdy Tim,

You write, "Hey John, do me a favour, take me off your distribution list, please. Your email is of a personal nature which I do not wish to receive."

Actually Tim, the emails you are referring to are of a (((LEGAL))) nature, clearly demonstrating that the poverty I'm now experiencing is due to the homophobic bigotry and violence of certain Perth, WA gov and medico folk, spanning a decade...

It's now 2006 and WA FOI have (((FAILED))) to release highly relevant documentation (eg. toxicology report) and the documentation I do have has been censored to protect the identity of those police officers who acted illegally by falsifying charges and behaving in a violent, unprofessional and bigoted manner toward myself..."

By Jonathon Singleton (not verified) on 05 Jan 2009 #permalink

You're fine Patch, there are certain commenter's that leap at any word or words to cut asunder one another. Yeah, I know, it's allowed.

Thanks Lea...I couldn't agree more. Sometimes in spite of the posts real intent.

Lets face it, we all of us have choice. It is a persons choice to choose to have sex. This should not be blamed on the school or on an administration. The fact remains abstaining from sex is the best way of protecting ones self S.T.D and pregnancy. So why not let children now this? It's not fair to say that preaching abstance only, is wrong. Come on ! every were you turn there are messages about all the differnt contraceptives there are .A teenager must be living under a rock not to know the other options to abstainance. Lets be realistic alot of these children a down right careless. Schools should not be blamed for childrens reckless behaviour!!

By christina (not verified) on 06 Jan 2009 #permalink

Apparently, another study was done where they found out that the famous pledge didn't prevent horny girls in college from having sex but instead changed what kind of sex they had. The girls who took the pledge reported no vaginal sex but they were 6 times more likely to do oral and 4 times more likely to do anal. Therefore, from the point of view of a college male such as myself, the pledge had only positive outcomes. We must verify if the above ratios hold in general and to do so, the pledge should be brought to every college, especially mine.