Friday, March 18, 2005

Abstinence: Less fun than it sounds

Ok, actually, this doesn't have much to do with how much "fun" abstinence is, but I thought it was more polite than titling this "Abstinence gets reamed" which was my first impulse (though now I get to have it both ways by talking about it).

In what would be a jolt to the non-reality-based community if they cared about reality, an 8 year study concluded that teens who take abstinence pledgers are more likely to engage in high-risk sexual behaviors. About 70% overall end up breaking their pledge anyway.

But in order to avoid breaking their pledge (in their weird little minds), as compared to the "Just 2 percent of youth who never took a pledge said they had had anal or oral sex but not intercourse, [...] 13 percent of "consistent pledgers [engaged in one or both of these activities]."

Ah! Apparently, when you vow "Believing that true love waits, I make a commitment to God, myself, my family, those I date, and my future mate to be sexually pure until the day I enter marriage," you may end up viewing anal sex as sexually pure in order to avoid breaking the pledge by having "real sex." Or, put another way, I guess since purity is at stake here, the only type of sex that is "dirty" is vaginal -- everything else, pure as driven snow. (What does "pure as driven snow" mean anyway? Is driven snow particularly pure for some reason? Ok, ok, I have too many thoughts.)

This adds to the growing pile of evidence that abstinence-only-based programs and their ilk don't work as well; at the very least, it's been said, there's no scientific evidence they do work, and there IS evidence non-abstinence-only programs DO work. In fact, in a particularly heinous bit of information distortion, practically worthy of the "Bush as Kim Jong-Il" meme, the House Democrats page linked to above points out that the Center for Disease Control, until recently
"identified sex education programs that have been found to be effective in scientific studies and provided this information through its web site to interested communities.[8]
In 2002, all five “Programs That Work” provided comprehensive sex education to teenagers, and none were “abstinence-only.”
In the last year, and without scientific justification, CDC has ended this initiative and erased information about these proven sex education programs from its web site.[9]"

Ref. [8]: CDC, Programs That Work (archived version online at
Ref. [9]: Programs That Work (online at (“Thank you for your interest in Programs that Work (PTW). The CDC has discontinued PTW and is considering a new process that is more responsive to changing needs and concerns of state and local education and health agencies and community organizations”).
But I strongly recommend you also read the original article these are from, presented by the J Continuum's contuining largely unsong House Hero, Congressman Henry A. Waxman, who has been coming through in his position on the Government Reform Committee with reports about substantive lies about WMDs, the environment, and now this. Does he not get the mad mainstream news props because his message is too "radical", or because he doesn't seek it out enough? Whatever the case, we need more of him. Write him and tell him so!

Related to this nonsense is Bill Frist and his continuing, well, frankly, idiocy.

To the record:

In December, on ABC's "This Week With George Stephanopoulos," he repeatedly declined to say whether he thought HIV-AIDS could be transmitted through tears or sweat. A much-disputed federal education program championed by some conservative groups had suggested that such transmissions occur.
After numerous challenges by Stephanopoulos, Frist said that "it would be very hard" for someone to contract AIDS via tears or sweat. The Web site of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says: "Contact with saliva, tears, or sweat has never been shown to result in transmission of HIV."

Yes Bill, very hard. In fact, there's no recorded cases, as pointed out. Air America Radio at the time rightly ridiculed this acclaimed doctor of the Senate.

Any conservative readers of J (all none of you), please remember this should Frist follow through on expectations to run in 2008. (Well, not to mention remembering all sorts of other bad things about Republicans, and frankly, centrist Democrats, but let's take this slowly, shall we?)


J said...

J, in his pretentious 3 person singular mode, would also point out that he knew someone who used this particular logic of, to put it crudely, "I'm still a virgin if it's in the butt." This, along with her getting it on while her roomates were present, and with (WARNING WARNING TOO MUCH INFORMATION ALERT) some infamous story where I think her partner threw up and afterwards, she was like "Thats ok, let's keep going" she had quite a rep, ya know? Imagine that.

J would also like to congratulate himself on at no point bringing new J-Girlfriend into any of this talk, even though many many inappropriate jokes really really wanted to be told.

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