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Should sex education just consist of telling teenagers to abstain?

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Should sex education just consist of telling teenagers to abstain?

Post by Ivan on Sun Oct 30, 2011 1:02 pm

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Bigots and reactionaries are like small children, in that when they ask a question over and over again, it's usually because they don't like the answer. "How do we stop teenage girls having sex?" is one of these questions. The answer that “we can't" is unacceptable to those moral crusaders and religious freaks who become incensed when any policy is proposed that appears to prioritise young girls' safety over those old failed methods of preventing teenage pregnancy - shame and ignorance.

Those on the religious right treat sex as a sin. They act as if their god created the torso, head, legs and arms, but the devil slapped on the genitals. They would rather their children be taught superstitious mumbo-jumbo about the creation of the world than Darwinian proof that the world has evolved over 4.6 billion years, and they are determined that schoolchildren should remain ignorant of sex. They prefer it if children draw pictures of babies coming from the clouds or from under cabbage leaves. Yet all the evidence is that the girls who are ignorant of family planning, and are in that sense “innocent”, are the ones who end up getting pregnant in their teens. People who believe that abstinence-only sex education works have a perfect example of its failure in Sarah Palin's daughter.

A scheme piloted on the Isle of Wight has allowed girls as young as thirteen to have access to a month's supply of the contraceptive pill over the counter in pharmacies. ‘The Daily Mail’ went berserk at the idea, which might seem surprising given the suggested attitudes of its readers both to teenage pregnancy and to abortion. All becomes clear, though, when one understands that the greater social evil is teenage girls having sex at all. That must be stamped out by any means necessary, as long as those means don't involve actually providing useful sex education.

Simply perpetuating the fear of pregnancy by making contraception harder to access will not stop teenagers copulating. For some, the main objection to contraception being made available in pharmacies is that it means that young girls will be able to access condoms without first talking to their parents, who are of course the proper gateways for all teenage sexual behaviour. Of course parents are the last people with whom most teenagers want to discuss sex.

There are others, including Stephen Fry, for whom the entire concept of females being sexually active of their own volition is incomprehensible, much less young girls. Surely they should be satisfied with being passive objects in a culture that surrounds us with images of adult women posing as schoolgirls in order to make men excited? Surely actual pleasure doesn't register on the radar of these creatures, who are, as we know, comprised entirely of sugar and spice and all things morally circumscribed?

Then there are those who believe that shame and the fear of pregnancy should be enough to keep girls from saying yes. Nobody seems to have any problem with the idea of teenage boys having sex, although several recent studies have shown that in nearly all cases of underage pregnancy, a male was involved at some stage. There has been no outcry about young boys buying condoms, which can and does occur at every chemist in the country. Teenage boys who buy condoms are responsible, teenage girls being allowed to have control over their own fertility is an outrage and morally wrong.

There are, unfortunately, other reasons why some very young women might need access to contraception. Some will be being pressured into sex they don't want to be having. Some will be the victims of violently coercive as well as statutory rape. And some will be being sexually abused. Approximately 15-25% of women, alongside 5-15% of men, are sexually abused as children, usually by family members or family friends, another valid reason for some young girls not wanting to ask their parents for the pill. ‘The Daily Mail’ and other moral tub-thumpers have lots to say about paedophiles and playground perverts, but nobody wants to talk about the even more uncomfortable fact that sexual and physical abuse of minors by the people who are meant to be responsible for them is endemic in our society. So far, our only comprehensive response to this architecture of abuse has been to heap shame upon the sexuality of women and children, as if it were somehow all their fault.

Objecting to young girls having easier access to the pill is part of frantic cultural paranoia about female sexuality in general, particularly developing female sexuality, which is treated as a horrifying disease rather than a natural part of growing up. If we really wanted to protect the "innocence" of young women and girls, we would stop trying to shame them and reserve our outrage for the adults and young men who rape, intimidate and abuse them as a matter of routine. It is about control, and nothing else.

On 4 May this year, Tory MP Nadine Dorries proposed a bill to require that sex education in schools should include content promoting abstinence to girls aged 13 to 16. While sex education already mentions the option of abstinence (but this is placed in the context of young people’s choices and no judgement is passed), this bill would require active promotion of abstinence to girls, with no such requirement of the education provided to boys. Dorries said: “Some of the evidence I have heard is that if a stronger ‘Just Say No’ message was given...there might be an impact on sex abuse. When sex abuse takes place [the girls] don’t realise that that was a wrong thing to do”. The bill passed its first reading and will be read again in January next year.

According to Wikipedia, in 1996 the USA had by far the highest combined rate for teenage pregnancies and abortions among western countries (at over 80 per 1,000 girls), and the liberal Netherlands the lowest at 11.6. A recent study showed that teen pregnancy and STD rates rose sharply in the USA during George W. Bush's presidency. Can abstinence-only sex education ever be taken seriously? Teens weren't having more sex, they were just dismally educated about how to handle its natural risks. One obvious problem with an abstinence-only education approach is that it ignores both biology and the emotional pressures of adolescence. On balance, isn't it far better to teach children how to protect themselves and how to have safe sex?

Your body tells you to procreate from an early age, and all society can hope to do is teach people how to deal with it without denying it. A child given a frank education on sex and relationships may be more likely to have sex, but they are also more likely to approach it in a mature manner, with regards to pregnancy and STDs. Consensual, over-age sex is not unhealthy; it's only "wrong" in the warped minds of certain religions. The best we can hope to do as adults is to help children manage those risks effectively. That probably means just saying no - to the priests, pastors and Nadine Dorries.

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Re: Should sex education just consist of telling teenagers to abstain?

Post by dimsum on Wed Dec 21, 2011 10:00 pm

oftenwrong wrote:It's just possible that some Priests find their oath of celibacy to be more difficult to maintain than do others.

This is no about celibacy this is about pedophiles who targeted children. If a Priest had issues with celibacy he would of turned to an adult not a child. I wish people would stop making excuses for these men who hurt so many and did so much damage. That does not even include what the churches minitries did to the natives which is horrible in itself. No excuses they damaged children no excuses IMO>

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Re: Should sex education just consist of telling teenagers to abstain?

Post by oftenwrong on Wed Dec 21, 2011 10:34 pm

That's often written as IMHO.

Less confrontational at the season of goodwill, and there aren't many teenage clerics anyway.
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Re: Should sex education just consist of telling teenagers to abstain?

Post by ROB on Thu Dec 22, 2011 1:12 am


Dimsum,

First things first; “IMO” is easier to quickly comprehend than “IMHO”, IMO, so that’s a dead issue, IMO.

Priest who molest, sexually assault, and rape young boys are whatever they are prior to becoming priests. Those who vet potential employees and volunteers for youth-serving organizations know that certain positions attract that type of person like honey draws poo-bear. Neither Sandusky nor the teachers and community service employees volunteers who are prosecuted for child molestation, sexual assault, and rape are Roman Catholic priests.

As for at least one “grouping” of Native American religions, Aztec/Mayan (and perhaps Toltec/Olmec) in pre-conquistadors Mexico/Central America, Roman Catholicism was a huge step up from mandated sacrifice of young virgin women via rape and incineration.
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Re: Should sex education just consist of telling teenagers to abstain?

Post by oftenwrong on Thu Dec 22, 2011 9:50 am

Odd how some things really capture the imagination.
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Re: Should sex education just consist of telling teenagers to abstain?

Post by Shirina on Thu Dec 22, 2011 3:14 pm

It's even funnier how it seems like one cannot talk about anything sexual without religion being included.
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Re: Should sex education just consist of telling teenagers to abstain?

Post by Phil Hornby on Thu Dec 22, 2011 5:20 pm

I knew this nun once who went like the clappers..... Embarassed
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Re: Should sex education just consist of telling teenagers to abstain?

Post by oftenwrong on Thu Dec 22, 2011 5:26 pm

But you knew that the photo was a gamble, didn't you, Phil?
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Re: Should sex education just consist of telling teenagers to abstain?

Post by Phil Hornby on Thu Dec 22, 2011 6:48 pm

You'd be amazed how good I look in sepia...
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Re: Should sex education just consist of telling teenagers to abstain?

Post by astra on Thu Dec 22, 2011 7:19 pm

I knew this nun once who went like the clappers




But only when 'Sweetbreads' were on the Transport Cafe' menu!! cheers
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Re: Should sex education just consist of telling teenagers to abstain?

Post by dimsum on Thu Dec 22, 2011 7:46 pm

Decision to pay $166 million in damages is the largest ever by a Catholic religious order such as the Jesuits.... The Pacific Northwest chapter of the Roman Catholic Church's Jesuit order has agreed to pay $166 million to settle more than 500 child sexual abuse claims against priests in five states, attorneys have said. The decision on Friday compels a payout by the Society of Jesus in the Oregon Province, and is part of an agreement to resolve its two-year-old bankruptcy case. Lawyers for the victims said it is also the largest ever payout by a Catholic religious order such as the Jesuits. The Oregon Province is the Northwest chapter of the Rome-based Jesuit order and covers Oregon, Washington, Alaska, Idaho and Montana. The victims, most of them Native Americans from remote Alaska Native villages or Indian reservations in the Pacific Northwest, were sexually or psychologically abused as children by Jesuit missionaries in those states in the 1940s through the 1990s, the plaintiffs' attorneys said. ... "No amount of money can bring back a lost childhood, a destroyed culture or a shattered faith," Blaine Tamaki, a lawyer, who represents about 90 victims in the settlement, said in a statement.

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I thought maybe this should be posted because someone said that the church helped the Natives and this is how....they helped them..Horried horrid horrid

I do not trust org. religion.
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Re: Should sex education just consist of telling teenagers to abstain?

Post by ROB on Thu Dec 22, 2011 8:43 pm


Dimsum,

Interesting post, even though the general information is old, given that Roman catholic dioceses, archdioceses, and orders have paid out multi-million dollar settlements nationwide since at least 1994, the year I ceased giving to Catholic Charities for fear that my contributions might be diverted by the need to pay damages.

What you seem to intentionally miss are the precise details. Here they re.

Aztec priests, with the approval of, at the direction of, and by mandate of political/religious Aztec authorities whose word was law, raped and then incinerated young virgin women. No one hundred sixty-six million dollar judgments were awarded to any victim or to any family of a victim of rape and incineration by Aztec priests. The Roman Catholic Church saved every young virgin woman that deposed Aztec priests had not yet victimized at the time of conquest from being raped and then incinerated.
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Re: Should sex education just consist of telling teenagers to abstain?

Post by astra on Thu Dec 22, 2011 9:34 pm

Have a look at the children, orphans - one and all, from UK, AT THAT SAME TIME, (1950 -1975!!) who were foisted off to Australia by the RC Church

Lesley Pearce was the author of a very descriptive book on that sad subject
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Re: Should sex education just consist of telling teenagers to abstain?

Post by dimsum on Thu Dec 22, 2011 9:38 pm

So because they saved some back in the Aztec times they should be excused from what the Church condoned since then? I think not. They should be made to pay damages for all the children that were damaged under their noses. They have done horrible things to many and hid the guilty. No sympathy from me.
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Re: Should sex education just consist of telling teenagers to abstain?

Post by ROB on Thu Dec 22, 2011 10:56 pm

dimsum wrote:
So because they saved some back in the Aztec times they should be excused from what the Church condoned since then?

Beats me. I haven’t spoken to that, and I’ve no intention of speaking to that.

dimsum wrote:
So because they saved some back in the Aztec times they should be excused from what the Church condoned since then?

So because they saved some back in the Aztec times they should be credited with saving some back in the Aztec times.

Credit given where credit is due. Apparently, you are either unwilling or unable to give credit where credit is due.

dimsum wrote:
… what the Church condoned since then?

What does “the Church”, whatever imprecise entity that might be, condone “since then?”

dimsum wrote:
I think not.

You may think whatever you wish to think in my country. Your Creator-endowed rights to freedom of thought and freedom of speech are constitutionally guaranteed.

dimsum wrote:
They should be made to pay damages for all the children that were damaged under their noses.

Absent a precise antecedent, I’m left to assume that “they” refers to Roman Catholic officials, both real and legal persons. If so, “they” have already been made to [ay damages hordes of children that were damaged, whether “under their noses” or elsewhere.

Additionally, individuals who are “reachable” under law have been made to pay criminal penalties for molesting, sexually assaulting, and raping young boys.

dimsum wrote:
They have done horrible things to many and hid the guilty. No sympathy from me.

Once again, absent a precise antecedent, I can only assume that “they” are Roman Catholic priests. If so, of course they have.

dimsum wrote:
No sympathy from me.

As sympathy doesn’t compensate anyone for damages, I don’t care.
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Re: Should sex education just consist of telling teenagers to abstain?

Post by Phil Hornby on Tue Feb 28, 2012 7:43 pm

I heard on Radio5Live this afternoon that the number of teenage pregnancies has fallen in Britain since 2010.

Clear evidence - if it were needed - that a Tory Government even puts young people off sexual activity. How much worse can it get...? Very Happy


Last edited by Phil Hornby on Wed Feb 29, 2012 7:53 am; edited 1 time in total
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Re: Should sex education just consist of telling teenagers to abstain?

Post by oftenwrong on Tue Feb 28, 2012 7:57 pm

But you don't know what ELSE they're getting up to instead!
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