Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Stop! In the Name of Love

Here's news from the AP that's sure to get conservatives all hot and bothered:

Democratic lawmakers have introduced legislation promoting comprehensive sex education instead of abstinence-only curriculum. They want to send money to schools that stress abstinence while also instructing students about the health benefits and side effects of contraceptives.

So they want to suggest that abstinence is a good idea, but if you are going to have sex, know how to be safe? Geez, that's just more evidence how the Democrats always go off half-cocked. While abstinence-only education tumesced "17-fold — from $10 million in 1997 to $176 million this year — when the Republicans controlled Congress," that federal gravy train may have shot its wad.

The abstinence groups, however, won't take it lying down.

Valerie Huber, executive director of the National Abstinence Education Association, said the group's formation is not a response to Democrats taking control of Congress.

"It really has nothing to do at all with any current political climate, just the evolution of the field of abstinence education," she said.

"Not that we believe in climate change or evolution," she quickly added.

While a quick Google didn't help me find the National Abstinence Education Association (maybe they don't want to include their information in a medium that also features porn sites that might give teens the idea they have bodies), I did come across the Florida Department of Health's It's Great to Wait (and it even rhymes) site. It might be premature of me to blast the site so quickly, but any education plan that stresses it's wise to "teach that sexual activity outside of the context of marriage is likely to have harmful psychological and physical effects" has a funny sense of what likely means.

The site also offers suggestions about how parents can help their teens keep a lid on the old id:

Parents - talk to your kids!

  • Be available to talk to your teens; treat each other with respect and trust.
Indeed, too often a father will fall asleep immediately after having sex with a child. (Oh, wait, this is Florida, not Mississippi, my mistake.)
  • Ask your teen questions about their opinions, friends, schools or movies, but let your teen tell his or her story.
Afterward be sure to tell them a "story" or two, too, like how you and your spouse never had sex until your honeymoon. It's best to practice this "story" so you can tell it without giggling.
  • Try asking open ended questions such as “What was the best part of your day?”
If young Billy answers, "When Susie gave me that blowjob in study hall," you know you have a problem. After all, now Billy owes Susie one.
  • Support their goals. Ask what your teen’s goals are, both for the long range and for the short term and share your support.
Be sure to stick to sports metaphors other than baseball, however. Goals--good. Sliding into home head first--bad.
  • Encourage, educate and empower your teen to make healthy choices.

For instance, buy them these Healthy Choices penis puppets--no one will have sex with your son once he slips one of these babies on. (P.S. Be sure to begin the Junior's Later-Years Psychiatrist Fund at the same time.)
  • Give your teen the guidance, information and skills to be successful.
Just be sure to give them no real information beyond sex will make them pregnant/blind/dead, not necessarily in that order. You don't really need to give them skills, either. The ability to be a great sex partner immediately fills up a bride and groom upon the sacrament of marriage, but only if the married couple is trying to have children. That we've come to a time when non-potentially procreative sex isn't thought of as an abomination makes me want to shudder and scream.

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Blogger Mike said...

Funny stuff, George.

"It's Great To Wait." Damn right, if little Johnny has any hope of keeping his hot new girlfriend around after their first "successful" date!

11:49 AM  
Blogger Trekking Left said...

Great post. I would like to add that statistcs show teenagers who take abstinance only pledges tend to engage in more "risky" sexual behavior. And when they do have sex, they tend not to use protection. Al Franken has a great section in his book "Lies and the Lying Liars Who Tell Them" where he talks about writing a book called "Savin It" where he sends letters to all these conservative politicians asking them to tell their abstinence stories. Funny how no one responded.

12:39 PM  
Blogger Marty said...

You've licked the tip of the whole sick iceburg: Google "Purity Balls":

One of the most memorable highlights of the ball is when the fathers stand in the middle of the ballroom and form a circle around their daughters standing all aglow in their lovely ball gowns. The fathers place their hands on their daughters, and together we pray for purity of mind, body, and soul for generations to come.

12:41 PM  
Anonymous Bryan said...

I highly recommend the documentary film The Education of Shelby Knox. It deals with this very subject in great detail, showing that now matter what the statistics show, the Christian Right wants to stick to it's abstinence only policy at all costs.

Odd, as normally the Christian Right are pretty reasonable people... [cough] Jesus Camp [cough]....

12:53 PM  
Blogger Queen Whackamole said...

I almost used this headline yesterday--that, or "when the rubber hits the road" which could have worked for you too.

Then I was considering not leaving this comment, but couldn't fight the urge.

WV: tymbo


1:46 PM  
Blogger George said...

Dear Queen--you never were one for abstaining. But at this blog, the rubber won't hit anything.

Marty--I thought I'd bit off more of the iceberg than I could chew in an earlier entry, but it turned out to be just a passing mention of purity balls. As for the poor young women, generally it's best not to be in the middle when the men ritualistically circle-up.

That Shelby Knox doc looks very interesting.

Mike and Trekking Left--
As regular commenters, I knew you'd have my abstinent back, as it were.

3:11 PM  

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