In the United States, only 22 states require that sex education should be taught in their schools. Of those, only 13 insist upon medical accuracy. There is no federal standard. As a result, classroom lessons that teach purity culture – the idea that virginity is a state of moral accomplishment – are pervasive. John Oliver's Last Week Tonight covers Sex Education in America. (NSFW) The end of the segment features a modern sex education video created by LWT, narrated by several celebrities (including Laverne Cox, Nick Offerman, Jonathan Banks, Kristen Schaal and Aisha Tyler) that touches on topics outdated lessons may be ignoring. [more inside]
A bioethicist, at her son's request, sat in on his public high school sex-ed class -- which taught "abstinence only" -- and livetweeted it. [more inside]
"Dying to be free : there’s a treatment for heroin addiction that actually works. Why aren’t we using it?" -- A long-form article, focusing on heroin addiction and its "treatment" in Kentucky, by Jason Cherkis. (Huffington Post Projects) [more inside]
The Star Wars Holiday Special edited down to just over 5mins so you can actually watch it (well the low-lights) without too much pain. After than you might want a Star Wars free year.
A new study of middle schoolers found for the first time that abstinence-only education can help to delay [the students'] sexual initiation. While the evaluation adds important new information to the question of “what works” in sex education, the evaluated program was not a rigid "abstinence-only-until-marriage" program of the type that, until this year, received significant federal funding, leaving intact existing evidence that abstinence-only-until-marriage programming that met previous federal guidelines is ineffective.
In a strangely compelling interview with Fox New's Greta Van Susteren, Bristol Palin weighs in on teen pregnancy, abstinence, tabloid news and at 18 years old who gets to make the decisions. From the Huffington Post.
"Some Florida teens believe drinking Mountain Dew or smoking marijuana will prevent pregnancy and that swallowing a capful of bleach will prevent HIV/AIDS."* As a result, lawmakers are pushing "for an overhaul of sex education in the state. State lawmakers said the myths are spreading because of Florida's abstinence-only sex education"* "On Tuesday, a bill that would 'require a more comprehensive approach' to sex education narrowly won approval from a state Senate committee."*
The Day of Purity is a day when youth can make a public demonstration of their commitment to remain secularly pure, in mind and actions. ... When you stand up for sexual pruity you send a message to parents, churches, communities, legislators, and the media that you want a better world. Be politically incorrect! Sponsored by Liberty Counsel. (via)
Abstinence: 98% effective in preventing HIV/AIDS, STDs and pregnancy (when used consistently and correctly) "If you're having sex, thinking about having sex or trying not to think about having sex, try Abstinence....the condom."
Mathematica Policy Research Inc. released the findings of their study on government funded abstinence programs. The results? Not so great for the abstinence programs, or the federal & state governments which combined spend $80+ million funding the programs. The major findings were that the abstinence programs they studied had no correlation with a decreased level of sexual activity in the population of teens they surveyed. Interestingly, one of the programs they studied was a voluntary after school program consisting of daily 2.5 hour sessions with enrollment beginning at grade 3 and continuing into the 8th grade, and even that program didn't produce a significantly higher number of abstinent teens. The study was ordered by Congress. You can read the full study here (pdf, 164 pages.)
BULLSHIT! Penn & Teller present their rational, libertarian bent views on diverse subjects, now available for free download on Google Video ::: profanity; creationism; alien abductions; conspiracy theories; recycling; gun control; endangered species; religion; the bible; family values; the apocalypse; signs from heaven; the occult; 12-step recovery programs; exercise v. genetics; environmentalism; hypnosis; ghosts; the war on drugs; feng shui / bottled water; college; PETA; and abstinence.
The new lies about women's health (image slightly NSFW) according to Glamour. More on why every egg is sacred to the Bush administration. [via Wired's Sex Drive Daily]
"These are just slush funds for conservative interest groups" --The Compassion Capital Fund ($148 million of our money), and the Community-Based Abstinence Education grant program ($391.7 million of our money)--just 2 of many new programs. ...The distribution of new money to conservative organizations is a small part of an estimated flood of $2 billion a year in federal grants to religious and religiously affiliated organizations.--except it's only to organizations who have policies that agree with Bush and the GOP agenda on social issues, and not about need.
Abstinence splained. (NSFW)
(Or the new Pope)
(Or the new Pope)
Bush Seeks Money for Abstinence Education President Bush's re-election insures that more federal money will flow to abstinence education that precludes discussion of birth control, even as the administration awaits evidence that the approach gets kids to refrain from sex. Congress last weekend included more than $131 million for abstinence programs in a $388 billion spending bill, an increase of $30 million but about $100 million less than Bush requested. Meanwhile, a national evaluation of abstinence programs has been delayed, with a final report not expected until 2006.
The CDC recently issued new HIV prevention guidelines that would mandate all organizations that get any federal funding to submit all surveys, curricula, web materials, posters, ads, brochures, etc. to new community-based Policy Review Panels. Politically appointed censors rather than health officials will now decide what's acceptable in terms of HIV prevention and education. Materials must promote abstinence and include a message about the ineffectiveness of condom use in preventing the spread of HIV and STDs. There is a period of public comment on the new regulations until August 16. - more inside -
Bad news for American
Taliban abstinence supporters... A survey commissioned by the CDC (I'm surprised the admin didn't bury this one) shows that "The Virginity Pledge" has an 88 percent failure rate. On average, pledgers do delay sex longer and have 'less' partners, and have 'statistically-insignificent' lower STD rate. Choose among Reuters story, New York Times story, Miami Herald, AP via MSNBC (can't find it at FoxNews or the New York Post yet). Let the spin begin: sex education advocates say: "See?", radio talk show host cries BS.
Half of young Americans to get STDs - so say several collected studies by the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention and others. Can the Bush administration's plan to double abstinence-only spending solve this problem? Or can the argument be made that keeping condoms out of the classrooms causes more STDs than prevents?
The absence of sexual desire. We often discuss the frustrations of excessive sexual desire but rarely touch upon its absence. A woman who was a virgin before her marriage discusses the adjustments she had to make before she started desiring or even feeling comfortable about having sex with her husband.
An Orgy of Abstinence. "Questions plant ideas," warns Peter Brandt, director of issues-response for the conservative Christian group Focus on the Family. Well we wouldn't want things like questions or ideas in our schools, now would we?
Bush's Surgeon General Advises Common Sense Approach to Sex Ed. Be still my heart - the SG swims against the abstinence currents and addresses sex education with rational and realistic guidelines.
Government gives money only to Sex Ed programs that teach not to have sex at all. Very disturbing article. Basically the teachers teach abstinence. No words about STDs or even contraception; or they'll lose their money.
House Adds $50,000,000 to Abstinence-Only programs Under Labor, HHS, Education Bill.
What's next, funding for the Easter Bunny?
What's next, funding for the Easter Bunny?