Hey you two, I was once like you, and I liked to do the wild thing

According to the good folks at the Guttmacher Institute, the notion that people used to wait to have sex until marriage back in the old days is nothing but a myth. Even in women born as far back as the 1940's, almost 90% of them did the deed before they walked the aisle (as in getting married, not in a Ric Flair sense). Which means that, yep, gammy was probably getting it on before she met granddad. Have fun getting that image out of your head. This certainly puts a chink in the armor of the Bush administration's baby, abstinence-only sex education.

The responses at the bottom of the article, however, show just how out of touch the Bush administration is with reality and how society works. An assistant secretary at the Department of Health and Human Services thinks the number could be correct, but hopes that "society will not look askance at those who wait until marriage".

First of all, no human uses the word askance (basically means look down upon, thanks Merriam-Webster Online), so learn to speak some normal English. Second, the problem people have with "abstinence-only" education is not the people that are abstinent. Heck, that's admirable that someone decides to wait that long.

The problem people have is that they don't feel it's appropriate for the government to push abstinence as a way of life. People have sex, and this study pretty much proves it. Instead of trying to change that (yeah, good luck fighting against the collective hormonal balance of 16-year olds), the government ought to be informing people of safe methods that would prevent the spread of diseases and reduce unwanted pregnancies. That would make sense, which is exactly why the Bush administraton doesn't want to do it.

Update below the fold...
Something else I just picked up. In his quote, secretary Long says that the hope of the abstinence-only program is that it will delay people's involvement in sexual activity, resulting in them having fewer partners. So basically, he's saying that the advertised aim of the program - to have people abstain from sex until marriage - is completely unrealistic.

I seem to remember that 60 Minutes did a piece on this issue sometime last year, in conjunction with a scary program that I think was called "The Ring Thing" or something else extremely dorky like that. Supposedly these programs actually do help in delaying a child's first sexual intercourse...by about 9 months. However, those who go through these programs are in the neighborhood of 60% more likely to not use proper protection, which they would know nothing about since it was never taught to them. And this doesn't even speak to whether they might engage in oral or other sexual activities (or ear sex at James Woods High School).

So the question becomes, is it worth delaying first experience by 9 months to a year if they don't know how to properly protect themselves from STD's or unwanted pregnancies? This I would like to see some more statistics on.

No comments: