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» Hatrack River Forum » Active Forums » Books, Films, Food and Culture » Obama's budget kills funding for abstinence-only sex ed (Page 2)

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Author Topic: Obama's budget kills funding for abstinence-only sex ed
katharina
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quote:
In every sex-ed class, abstinence is always touted at the only 100% way. Even the ones that tell you what dental dams are.
Considering that is factually correct, that's a good thing.
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Puppy
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quote:
It might be prudent here to clarify that "abstinence only" education does indeed involve withholding various information, such as methods of birth control and disease prevention other than abstinence. I'm personally fine with advocating for abstinence as long as the other information is provided as well.
For the record, I'm in favor of abstinence as a practice, and get annoyed when people treat it as synonymous with "repression". But I'm definitely against "abstinence-only education". As a general rule, I don't think promoting ignorance is usually the best route to promoting responsible decision-making.
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scifibum
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quote:
Originally posted by Puppy:
quote:
It might be prudent here to clarify that "abstinence only" education does indeed involve withholding various information, such as methods of birth control and disease prevention other than abstinence. I'm personally fine with advocating for abstinence as long as the other information is provided as well.
For the record, I'm in favor of abstinence as a practice, and get annoyed when people treat it as synonymous with "repression". But I'm definitely against "abstinence-only education". As a general rule, I don't think promoting ignorance is usually the best route to promoting responsible decision-making.
Cool - I sort of expected you were making a point in favor of abstinence, not AOE, but wasn't entirely sure.
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Darth_Mauve
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There are two types of people who can teach children Sex Education.

There is the teacher armed with the facts.

There is the seducer armed with the lies.

Abstinence Only removes some of those facts from the teacher, making everything the teach says untrustworthy. That leaves the Seducer who has all the facts--they may be lies, but they are in abundance.

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Samprimary
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quote:
Originally posted by scifibum:
I've certainly heard of dental dams, but what I haven't heard is anyone say they've actually used one. Not that I've done any surveys on the topic.

I tried, once. They're ridiculous.

Which makes for a strange issue: there's no effective condom-like tool for oral sex, so it doesn't mean much to do 'just oral' for safety reasons.

Though a LOT of kids from more conservative regions of the US do it in an attempt to preserve their 'virginity'

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BlackBlade
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Samp:
quote:
Though a LOT of kids from more conservative regions of the US do it in an attempt to preserve their 'virginity'
I read in Dan Savage's "Savage Love" column a month or two ago that some Christian teens are engaging in anal sex in order to preserve their "virginity."

I also saw excerpts from a movie, "The Fat Girl" where a woman (the movie takes place in France I believe) is pressed by her boyfriend do that so she can still say she is a virgin when she gets married, and that all the girls are doing it these days.

I know it's selection bias, but I wonder how much that really goes on in today's society.

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Samprimary
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Haha it actually happens a lot, I guess. It's so retarded. A number of my friends from high school confessed that they were pretty much doing everything but vaginal sex because their church didn't want them having sex before marriage, yet the amount of communication to these teens about sexual practice was so minimal and stilted that it just stopped at "god is displeased with the sin of sex outside of marriage, and we will all be very disappointed in anyone who is not a virgin when they marry" so being teens they got involved in a ridiculous amount of oral sex and, yes, some anal.

in fact, from an ABC report on studies of sexual behavior in teens:

quote:
One recent graduate of a New England college said one of her classmates was a "hard-core" Catholic who was rumored to have engaged in risky behavior.

"She only had anal sex with her boyfriend until they were married because that technically kept her a virgin," said the 25-year-old who wanted to remain anonymous.

Indeed, another well-publicized 2005 study using data from the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health found that teenagers who take "virginity pledges" were more likely to engage in oral or anal sex than nonpledging teens and less likely to use condoms once they became sexually active.

http://abcnews.go.com/Health/Story?id=6428003&page=1
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Juxtapose
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quote:
Originally posted by katharina:
quote:
In every sex-ed class, abstinence is always touted at the only 100% way. Even the ones that tell you what dental dams are.
Considering that is factually correct, that's a good thing.
See, I think you have to factor in human error. In the same way that condoms sometimes fail when not used correctly (I bet two is even safer than one!) abstinence does too. And, according to statistics I've seen, about fifty percent of people who try to use abstinence fail at it. This doesn't, in my mind, make it a good method for birth control or STD prevention.
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Tresopax
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If a doctor tells you "Do X to be healthy", and then you decide not to do X, then it is wrong to come back to the doctor and say "Doing X failed at making me healthy".
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ElJay
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quote:
Originally posted by BlackBlade:
I know it's selection bias, but I wonder how much that really goes on in today's society. [/QB]

I had a boyfriend my sophomore year in college who he and his high school girlfriend had had exclusively anal sex to preserve her virginity. And that would have been 19+ years ago. They had both grown up in Oklahoma, which is where we went to school. I grew up in Minnesota, and when he told me I looked at him like he had two heads, for the idea that that "didn't count." If it was happening then, I have no doubt it's happening more now.
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ClaudiaTherese
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There is good reason why medical studies with "intent to treat" analysis are considered more rigorous and reliable than those without for the terms of general population recommendations, and -- in corollary -- why the reverse is considered shoddy analysis in that context.
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Samprimary
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quote:
Originally posted by Juxtapose:
quote:
Originally posted by katharina:
quote:
In every sex-ed class, abstinence is always touted at the only 100% way. Even the ones that tell you what dental dams are.
Considering that is factually correct, that's a good thing.
See, I think you have to factor in human error. In the same way that condoms sometimes fail when not used correctly (I bet two is even safer than one!) abstinence does too. And, according to statistics I've seen, about fifty percent of people who try to use abstinence fail at it. This doesn't, in my mind, make it a good method for birth control or STD prevention.
Yeap. Though I'm driving it into the ground, I always remember to refer to the controlled study.

In terms of keeping kids safe from accidental pregnancy and STD's, Abstinence Only education was worse than doing nothing and not educating kids at all about sex.

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lolcats
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They only kids who take abstinence-only sex ed seriously are the ones who are already getting that opinion drilled into them by their parents. Otherwise... not working, advocates something that's unnatural and takes away from real education on safe sex.
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Samprimary
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I dunno, even the ones getting that stuff drilled into them by their parents tend to be at risk. The majority of kids who make a virginity pledge, for instance, will still have sex before marriage but are less likely than other kids to use contraception.
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katharina
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I am very much in favor of education about everything our bodies are doing.

However, abstinence IS a 100% solution. If you have sex anyway and call it abstinence, that's not actually abstinence.

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ElJay
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Sure. But when kids say "We're going to be abstinent" and are sure, in their minds, they're going to be abstinent, and don't buy condoms, because they're abstinent, and don't go on the pill, because they're abstinent, and then take it too far one night and have sex, their plan to avoid pregnancy/STDs through abstinence has failed, same as if they'd planned to avoid it through condom use and didn't learn how to put one on properly.
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Javert
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quote:
Originally posted by lolcats:
They only kids who take abstinence-only sex ed seriously are the ones who are already getting that opinion drilled into them by their parents.

Or those of us who socially had no chance of ever having sex in their teen years. Much less depressing to claim it's a choice.
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katharina
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I said that I fully support and agree with teaching everything, including biology and birth control of all kinds.

However, you can't say that abstinence isn't 100% effective because sometimes people aren't abstinent. What isn't 100% effective is something like an abstinent pledge - actual abstinence still works just dandy.

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Christine
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The point that some are trying to make is that there is a difference between abstaining from sex and using the abstinence method of birth control.

Each time you choose not to have sex, the odds of that non-sexual encounter getting you pregnant is 0. That is the result of abstaining from sex.

The results of the abstinence method of birth control, however, are not nearly so good.

It's interesting to talk about typical use vs. perfect use when it comes to the different forms of birth control. The abstinence method has the widest gap, although I submit that even with perfect use, the chance that a woman might be raped will bring the odds down below 100%. That isn't an error on the part of the woman.

Of course, the real problem is just what people are saying...one night, go to far, and that's it. You weren't using the pill, you didn't bring a condom, because you weren't going to have sex. But you did. Now what?

Now we get into some of the "it can't happen to me" myths that are so common for teens and young adults. Somebody else might succumb to a moment of weakness, but it would never happen to me.

Maybe not. But most people do not end up abstaining from sex until marriage and the ones who were so sure that it wouldn't happen to them are far less likely to have protection the first time.

So I don't buy that the abstinence method of birth control is 100% effective at anything because I don't think it's fair to rule out basic human nature from the equation.

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Rakeesh
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quote:
The point that some are trying to make is that there is a difference between abstaining from sex and using the abstinence method of birth control.
I have to admit this baffles me.

What is the difference between 'abstaining from sex' and 'the abstinence method of birth control'? Aren't those synonyms?

quote:
So I don't buy that the abstinence method of birth control is 100% effective at anything because I don't think it's fair to rule out basic human nature from the equation.
It sounds to me like you're saying you don't buy that the 'abstinence method' of birth control works because...once a couple stops using the abstinence method, it stops working.

Can't the same thing be said for condoms, the pill, etc.?

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Rakeesh
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quote:
Clearly, you didn't read my whole post. I don't see the point in repeating myself.
No need to get snippy. It was an honest question. I don't see the difference between the 'abstinence method of birth control' and 'abstaining from sex'. It sounds to me like a pretty artificial distinction.

Also, your rejection that the 'abstinence method' is 100% effective because of human nature falls flat as well. Unless you're going to factor human nature into condoms, the pill, etc., which it does not appear you're doing.

Edit: Well, this looks out of place now.

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Christine
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Sorry about the snippyness. I actually deleted it right before you reply because I decided I could possibly clarify a bit.

Let me try it this way: I don't think you can compare abstinence to other methods of birth control very easily because other methods of birth control assume you're going to have sex. Abstinence assumes you're not.

So I was trying to distinguish between the effectiveness of the act of not having sex and the effectiveness of planning not to have sex. (This is what I was calling abstaining from sex vs the abstinence method of birth control.)

If you want, I can talk the same way about condoms, birth control pills, etc. I actually think condoms are a terrible method of birth control because it doesn't feel as good and human nature would dictate that people will stop using them for that reason. Unfortunately, they are the only thing at the moment that can protect in any way from STD's, so I think people should use them, I just recognize that they aren't very effective due to human error and lack of willingness to use.

But in the post you were referencing, I wasn't talking about other methods of birth control, I was just talking about abstinence. If you want to get into them all, I can go down the list. I've done quite a bit of research on the topic and have to say that there really aren't any great options out there, certainly no perfect ones.

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katharina
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quote:
Abstinence assumes you're not.
Abstinence doesn't assume that you are not having sex. Abstinence is actually not having sex. If you are having sex, then you are not abstinent.

Unless there is rape, there is a mutual decision to have sex in there. Generally, people who truly intend on staying abstinent don't take off their clothes with each other. The decision point isn't that last second - it's way before, when both people take their pants off.

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theresa51282
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I think it makes sense to think of abstinence as being difficult to use in the same way that remembering to take the pill at the same time every day is difficult for some. For me, I found condoms difficult to use in that they just weren't very convenient. In the heat of the moment, I simply didn't care to use one. For that reason, I don't rely on them.

In the same way, teens need education on other forms because sometimes in the moment abstinence is not appealing despite intentions and then consequences happen. I would encourage my daughter not to have sex until she was in a relationship that she was willing to raise a child in because that is always a possibility with any method of birth control. But I recognize that teens are not always the best judge of when to have sex so teaching them safe ways to have sex only seems prudent.

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Puppy
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quote:
I don't think you can compare abstinence to other methods of birth control very easily because other methods of birth control assume you're going to have sex. Abstinence assumes you're not.
I think they all equally assume that you might have unsafe sex, and that therefore, you need to make a choice that prevents that outcome.

It's easy for people who intend to use the abstinence method to screw up. It's also easy, like you said, for people who intend to use other methods to screw up as well (not bringing a condom, missing a few days of pills), which puts them in the exact same position as the absintence people — wanting to have sex, but finding that their only safe choice is to NOT have it. At which point, there's the chance that they'll decide, in the moment, to have sex anyway.

The distinction you're making is illusory.

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Christine
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quote:
Originally posted by Puppy:
quote:
I don't think you can compare abstinence to other methods of birth control very easily because other methods of birth control assume you're going to have sex. Abstinence assumes you're not.
I think they all equally assume that you might have unsafe sex, and that therefore, you need to make a choice that prevents that outcome.

The distinction you're making is illusory.

Probably, but it seemed important at the time. [Smile]
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Mucus
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quote:
Originally posted by Rakeesh:
quote:
So I don't buy that the abstinence method of birth control is 100% effective at anything because I don't think it's fair to rule out basic human nature from the equation.
It sounds to me like you're saying you don't buy that the 'abstinence method' of birth control works because...once a couple stops using the abstinence method, it stops working.

Can't the same thing be said for condoms, the pill, etc.?

I think it could be consistent here because for most contraceptive methods, AFAIK, they usually track two numbers "perfect use" and "typical use." (typical use includes the possibility that a couple stops using contraception because its too hard to use, how effective it is when not properly used, etc).

For example:
quote:
This review provides an update of previous estimates of first-year probabilities of contraceptive failure for all methods of contraception available in the United States. Estimates are provided of probabilities of failure during typical use (which includes both incorrect and inconsistent use) and during perfect use (correct and consistent use). The difference between these two probabilities reveals the consequences of imperfect use; it depends both on how unforgiving of imperfect use a method is and on how hard it is to use that method perfectly. These revisions reflect new research on contraceptive failure both during perfect use and during typical use.
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov.proxy.lib.uwaterloo.ca/pubmed/15288211

So while you can theoretically say that abstinence is just short of 100% effective in the perfect use case, measuring the typical use rate would give a much lower percentage due to incorrect and inconsistent use.

http://www.guttmacher.org/pubs/tgr/06/5/gr060504.html
This gives a chart contrasting the two sets of numbers for normal contraceptives.

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ClaudiaTherese
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quote:
Originally posted by Rakeesh:
What is the difference between 'abstaining from sex' and 'the abstinence method of birth control'? Aren't those synonyms?

It is the difference between the particular and the general. You could reframe it as the difference between a single choice at one given time and place to abstain from sex of any sort whatsoever and a plan to always abstain from sex of any sort under all circumstances and contexts.

General plans are made up of multiple small events. The odds of a general plan working out as anticipated are harder to anticipate and control than similar single choices, and so there is a higher rate of failure for general plans.

Say, for example, my general plan for the next 5 years is: I will never use any motorized vehicle for any travel, relying on my feet and my bicycle alone. I probably have a pretty good shot at holding to it on the first day, and the second, and actually for any given single day. But there will probably be single days every so often when:

1. I am sick and need to go to the doctor, or
2. I am invited to a wedding in France that I really really want ot go to, or
3. My husband is hospitalized on a trip to Quebec, or
4. I have a perfect job offer, only I have to interview in New York,
etc.

It's going to be really, really tempting -- and maybe even impossible to resist -- some of those days. And if all it takes during those 5 years is one time I make an exception, then I might be in trouble.

So abstaining from car travel one time or one day is one assured way of not being a passenger in an accident. A general plan of abstaining from car travel for 5 years is a lot harder to predict the results of, given that I may not always follow the general plan (and given how much I cannot anticipate in my future life and decision-making options). It may work, it may not. But the odds are not the same.

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katharina
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Abstaining from sex isn't the same thing as not using a vehicle for transportation - we don't live in an age or a society that makes the second possible. It is definitely possible to go without sex, especially if you don't get into romantic situations with people who will expect you to. If you do choose to get into romantic situations where you can be pretty sure sex will being a constant request or possibility, then you've kind of decided on abandoning abstinence.
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ClaudiaTherese
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quote:
Originally posted by Rakeesh:
It sounds to me like you're saying you don't buy that the 'abstinence method' of birth control works because...once a couple stops using the abstinence method, it stops working.

Can't the same thing be said for condoms, the pill, etc.?

A plan to use a condom every time one has sex may have less of a failure rate (as a plan, ie.e., as reliance in calculating now how this will work in practice later under unexpected and complicated circumstances) than a plan to always abstain.

The trouble is, when we talk to young adults about sex, we don't talk to them right there every time there might be a temptation to have sex. We aren't standing over them on their dates or at their parties, individually, with a pointer and a chalkboard. We talk to them once, twice, or even thirty times, but we talk to them in terms of making general plans. And general plans may have different failure rates and overall outcomes than single decisions (plans are dicier, vaguer, less reliable and predictable than single decisions), so we should use the appropriate analysis.

Intention to treat analysis remains a relevant topic.

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ClaudiaTherese
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quote:
Originally posted by katharina:
Abstaining from sex isn't the same thing as not using a vehicle for transportation ... [etc etc]

I'm not saying they are. I am comparing decision trees, not content.

I'm also pretty sure we are on such different wavelengths about analysis that we will talk past each other for years to come, and I'm on my way out the door.

So I wish you well, but I'll leave my response to your comments at that and drop it.

---

Added: All such frustrating interactions should be so easily nipped in the bud. [Smile] Carry on without me, please.

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katharina
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Yeah, there's no point in talking with you if you don't want to discuss it.
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dkw
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Many things have been posted since I started writing this, but here is my attempt to answer Rakeesh's earlier question:

When calculating "actual use" failure rate of birth control pills it includes women who forget to take it that morning. That's the difference between "ideal use" and actual use. If the failure rate of birth control pills as a method of pregnancy prevention includes people who don't actually take them, then the failure rate of abstinence as a method includes those who don't actually abstain.

It's an important thing to figure in when deciding on a from of birth control. I know that the pill would never work for me because there's no way I'd remember to take it at the same time every day. I'd be one of the people that creates the gap between the ideal and actual rates. Other people know that they are very organized and precise with medicines and that their risk will be closer to the ideal rate. If you're using abstinance as your method of birth control it's important to remember that it's only 100% effective if you use it properly 100% of the time. There are people who are confident in their decision, have strong reasons for it, and plan to avoid situations that they might be tempted to act otherwise. They will probably be at or close to the ideal rate for using abstinence as a method of birth control. There are other people who don't have strong reasons for abstinence other than "don't want to get pregnant" or "my parents would kill me if they found out" who will flirt with the line, who will get naked together without intending to "go all the way" and might slip up and cross the line someday. Or even engage in "not quite sex" activities that have a slight, but not zero, chance of pregnancy. Those people probabably shouldn't be relying on abstinence as a method of birth control.

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Vyrus
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quote:
Originally posted by Belle:

I am not an abstinence-only advocate...but I still think we should always emphasize that abstinence is the only way to have 100% disease and pregnancy prevention.

There is no way to completely prevent disease or pregnancy. Some less severe STD's can still be acquired through unsanitary living conditions, or even contact with those who have STD's without a prior knowledge. And, while it's morbid, you can always be raped, so, unless you can convince your attacker to use a condom, there's a chance you might get pregnant.

I think these are extremes and, God willing, unlikely, but I don't like how many pushers of abstinence preach that it's the only way to completely prevent something. There's no way to completely prevent anything. Just by going abstinent, this doesn't guarantee you a safe, healthy life.

I feel you need to show both sides of the story in order to be comprehensive.

I'm morally opposed to the govt. taking a viewpoint on what's moral as far as sex goes. I believe our right to these decisions should be protected, and we should be educated accordingly. I only promote sex at an age and maturity level when you're ready to accept all of the implications that come along with it, including pregnancy. However, we live in a democracy, and people have their rights protected, both the right to make "good" decisions, as well as "bad" ones.

I also don't like "faith-based" education, as that Bill states "faith-based" initiatives. I believe many churches have heavily influenced the moral code of America, often for better, but she shouldn't have religious proponents in any Bills.

But, I do think we need to show both sides of the story. We should have an (comprehensive) abstinence-only plan, and also comprehensive sex education, to allow the children a chance to decide for themselves, along with their beliefs.

I dont' think it should be taught at too young of an age. I think we need to get rid of this stigma we have about sex, but I also don't want to go into details with children that are too young to understand it. I know children are finding out earlier and earlier these days, often with misinformation. But, I'm old school.

I didn't even know what sex was until I was twelve. I had heard of sex, and I knew it was physical contact involving the genitaelia [sic?} but I had no idea what it actually consisted of until then. I have a suspicion many young kids today are the same. This should be taken into consideration.

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scifibum
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quote:
Originally posted by Puppy:
quote:
I don't think you can compare abstinence to other methods of birth control very easily because other methods of birth control assume you're going to have sex. Abstinence assumes you're not.
I think they all equally assume that you might have unsafe sex, and that therefore, you need to make a choice that prevents that outcome.

It's easy for people who intend to use the abstinence method to screw up. It's also easy, like you said, for people who intend to use other methods to screw up as well (not bringing a condom, missing a few days of pills), which puts them in the exact same position as the absintence people — wanting to have sex, but finding that their only safe choice is to NOT have it. At which point, there's the chance that they'll decide, in the moment, to have sex anyway.

The distinction you're making is illusory.

No, I don't think so. Planning to have sex can help train a mindset that anticipates and controls circumstances leading up to it in ways that planning to be abstinent does not.

Perhaps I should put it this way: planning to "just" make out in your underwear is something that is far more likely to occur to people who aren't planning to have sex, and it's that sort of thing that leads to the crisis moment of "I know I shouldn't but I don't care any more."

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katharina
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quote:
Some less severe STD's can still be acquired through unsanitary living conditions
Do you have some evidence for this? It goes against everything I've heard, and it sounds like an excuse for someone to give to their signifigant other when the tests come back positive for gonorhea.
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dkw
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quote:
Originally posted by Vyrus:
I didn't even know what sex was until I was twelve. I had heard of sex, and I knew it was physical contact involving the genitaelia [sic?} but I had no idea what it actually consisted of until then. I have a suspicion many young kids today are the same. This should be taken into consideration.

I think this is a big problem. And the reason I think that is because I know girls who were having sex before they knew that that's what they were doing. They knew that they weren't supposed to have sex, but their (considerably older) boyfriends used euphamisms for what they were doing and the girls didn't connect the dots. So I think sex ed needs to be at a young enough age that kids know what it is before there's any possibility that they'll have the choice to engage in it.

We read our son a book about "How babies are made" with anatomically correct paper cut-out illustrations when I was pregnant with his younger brother. He was 1 1/2 years old. I don't think that's too young. We will wait until he's a bit older to get into the "it's also a fun activity that feels really good" aspect of it, however.

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Christine
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dkw -- I agree completely. I especially don't think any age is too young if the kids are asking questions. I have a general ask-tell policy when it comes to just about anything. If they're old enough to ask, they're old enough to hear the REAL answer. I also use the correct names for all body parts.

Even if they don't ask, though, I'll have a sex talk with bot of my kids well before adolescence. I don't want them to get caught off guard.

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rivka
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quote:
Originally posted by scifibum:
planning to "just" make out in your underwear is something that is far more likely to occur to people who aren't planning to have sex

Correction: to some people who aren't planning to have sex. To others, that is already WAY over the line.
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scifibum
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"Correction: to some people who aren't planning to have sex. To others, that is already WAY over the line."

I did use the word 'likely' in there. [Wink]

But yes, it's people who don't exclude sex-like activities from the menu who seem to have the problem of suddenly changing their minds.

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Rakeesh
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quote:
A plan to use a condom every time one has sex may have less of a failure rate (as a plan, ie.e., as reliance in calculating now how this will work in practice later under unexpected and complicated circumstances) than a plan to always abstain.
I can dig that, and even agree now that the appropriate qualifiers and whatnot are being used.

It's just that I think (not addressing this to you specifically, CT, just to the discussion in general) that accuracy is pretty important. That's why I objected to Christine's remarks initially. Abstinence is effective. 100% effective. It never fails. What fails is the people involved, and we should as a society certainly take that into account and plan for it, and have a system in place to cope with that certain failure.

So, in service of accuracy, we should say that. That's the best way to have any sex-education policy taken seriously by the people it's taught to, to be accurate. Instead of saying, "Abstinence as a plan is bad or ineffective," it seems to me a more accurate thing to say is, "Abstinence only as a plan is frequently very tough, too tough for most people. So in the quite-likely event that you kids don't adhere to the 100% effective plan, here's some other plans too."

I realize that's pretty much what other folks have been saying-I'm just finishing up the brief disagreement with Christine is all.

--

Katharina,

quote:
Abstaining from sex isn't the same thing as not using a vehicle for transportation - we don't live in an age or a society that makes the second possible. It is definitely possible to go without sex, especially if you don't get into romantic situations with people who will expect you to. If you do choose to get into romantic situations where you can be pretty sure sex will being a constant request or possibility, then you've kind of decided on abandoning abstinence.
Of course it's possible. Look at the Amish. They live in our age, and though they don't live in our society they've certainly made and maintained one that makes abstaining from motor vehicles perfectly possible.

The discussion isn't about what's possible, I thought. After all, it's possible that every kid in PE in junior high will become an olympian athlete. But we don't put in the Olympic size swimming pools and treat everyone like Michael Phelps either.

quote:
Yeah, there's no point in talking with you if you don't want to discuss it.
That's...not quite what CT said.
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rivka
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quote:
Originally posted by scifibum:
I did use the word 'likely' in there. [Wink]

But yes, it's people who don't exclude sex-like activities from the menu who seem to have the problem of suddenly changing their minds.

As someone who grew up (and who is raising her kids) with the idea that you absolutely do not spend time secluded with a member of the opposite sex to whom you are not related, the idea of getting half-naked with one and expecting it to go no further than your original plan strikes me as incredibly foolish. So no, not "likely" -- for some of us.
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Scott R
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quote:
Abstinence is effective. 100% effective. It never fails.
On the contrary: it failed once, around 2000 years ago.

But that kid turned out really, really well...

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Rakeesh
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quote:
On the contrary: it failed once, around 2000 years ago.
For a given defintion of 'failure', yeah;)
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kmbboots
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quote:
Originally posted by dkw:


We read our son a book about "How babies are made" with anatomically correct paper cut-out illustrations when I was pregnant with his younger brother. He was 1 1/2 years old. I don't think that's too young. We will wait until he's a bit older to get into the "it's also a fun activity that feels really good" aspect of it, however.

The one by Schepp and Andry? A classic. I remember when my mother handed it to me. Had my mother read it to me when I was 1 1/2, it would have saved me an embarrassing* argument with one of my classmates.

*Because I had to admit I was wrong. I hate that. In fact, the entire incident is remembered less because of the interesting new information and more because of my chagrin at losing an argument on the facts.

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Tresopax
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quote:
The trouble is, when we talk to young adults about sex, we don't talk to them right there every time there might be a temptation to have sex. We aren't standing over them on their dates or at their parties, individually, with a pointer and a chalkboard. We talk to them once, twice, or even thirty times, but we talk to them in terms of making general plans. And general plans may have different failure rates and overall outcomes than single decisions (plans are dicier, vaguer, less reliable and predictable than single decisions), so we should use the appropriate analysis.
This is why parents need to keep an eye on their kids, especially if they know their son or daughter is particularly impuslive. It's why trips without chaperones are generally frowned upon, etc. It's why parents should have a general idea of what their kids are doing and what temptations might be arising - moreso for younger kids with less self control - even if their child is one who has openly decided to abstain.

But still, telling teenagers that abstinence is not 100% effective would be extremely misleading if all you meant by that is that abstinence doesn't work if you don't do it.

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scifibum
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rivka:

"So no, not 'likely' -- for some of us."

I feel misunderstood. [Smile] I never expected my comparison between two broad groups to apply equally to each individual or sub group within those groups.

Just as if I said "United States citizens are less likely to be bilingual than Japanese citizens" I wouldn't expect that comparison to hold for every demographic within the U.S.

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rivka
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You're talking about plans and decisions, not sociological data.
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Mucus
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quote:
Originally posted by Rakeesh:
quote:
On the contrary: it failed once, around 2000 years ago.
For a given defintion of 'failure', yeah;)
... Callisto, Laozi, Danae, Bhuddha ...
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Christine
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quote:
Originally posted by Rakeesh:
quote:
A plan to use a condom every time one has sex may have less of a failure rate (as a plan, ie.e., as reliance in calculating now how this will work in practice later under unexpected and complicated circumstances) than a plan to always abstain.
I can dig that, and even agree now that the appropriate qualifiers and whatnot are being used.

It's just that I think (not addressing this to you specifically, CT, just to the discussion in general) that accuracy is pretty important. That's why I objected to Christine's remarks initially. Abstinence is effective. 100% effective. It never fails. What fails is the people involved, and we should as a society certainly take that into account and plan for it, and have a system in place to cope with that certain failure.

So, in service of accuracy, we should say that. That's the best way to have any sex-education policy taken seriously by the people it's taught to, to be accurate. Instead of saying, "Abstinence as a plan is bad or ineffective," it seems to me a more accurate thing to say is, "Abstinence only as a plan is frequently very tough, too tough for most people. So in the quite-likely event that you kids don't adhere to the 100% effective plan, here's some other plans too."

That is basically what I thought I was saying. I guess my wording wasn't 100% effective. [Smile]

quote:
Originally posted by Tresopax:
quote:
The trouble is, when we talk to young adults about sex, we don't talk to them right there every time there might be a temptation to have sex. We aren't standing over them on their dates or at their parties, individually, with a pointer and a chalkboard. We talk to them once, twice, or even thirty times, but we talk to them in terms of making general plans. And general plans may have different failure rates and overall outcomes than single decisions (plans are dicier, vaguer, less reliable and predictable than single decisions), so we should use the appropriate analysis.
This is why parents need to keep an eye on their kids, especially if they know their son or daughter is particularly impuslive. It's why trips without chaperones are generally frowned upon, etc. It's why parents should have a general idea of what their kids are doing and what temptations might be arising - moreso for younger kids with less self control - even if their child is one who has openly decided to abstain.

But still, telling teenagers that abstinence is not 100% effective would be extremely misleading if all you meant by that is that abstinence doesn't work if you don't do it.

And then they go to college...
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