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Posted by on Apr 15, 2007 in Health, Society | 21 comments

‘More Sex Please: We Are Americans!’

abstinence_ring.jpg
Research shows the US chastity programme, for which teenagers receive silver rings, has no influence on any future decision to have sex. Photograph: Jonathan Dyer/AP

Recent findings have undermined President George W. Bush’s ‘keep zipped up’ stance.

The Guardian reports: “It’s been a central plank of George Bush’s social policy: To stop teenagers having sex…The trouble is, new research suggests that it hasn’t worked. At all…

“More than $1bn of federal money has been spent on promoting abstinence since 1998 – posters printed, television adverts broadcast and entire education programmes devised for hundreds of thousands of girls and boys…

“Since his days as governor of Texas, George Bush has been a firm advocate of abstinence education programmes, which teach that keeping zipped up is the only certain way to avoid unwanted pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases, and that to deviate from the norms of human sexual activity is to risk harmful psychological and physical effects.

” ‘Abstinence hasn’t been given a very good chance, but it’s worked when it’s tried. That’s for certain,’ ” he said.

“But even in 1990s Texas, where Mr Bush spent $10m a year on abstinence education, the state had the fifth highest teen pregnancy rate in the US. Over the past six years he has stepped up the programme to more than $100m a year.

“He recently braved ridicule by extending it to adults aged 20-29, an age range in which 90% of people are sexually active.”

Click here to read more…
And here…

As President George Bush seems to be failing in implementing his policy stance – from sexual abstinence to Iraq war – may I suggest that he try the Hindu version of abstinence himself. The ‘ashrams’ (holy retreats) will welcome him.

“The Hindu tradition of Brahmacharya places great emphasis on abstinence as a way of harnessing the energy of body and mind towards the goal of spiritual realisation.

“In males, the semen (Veerja) is considered sacred and its preservation (except when used for procreation) and conversion into higher life energy (Ojas) is considered essential for the development of enhanced intellectual and spiritual capacities…”

For more please click here…

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Copyright 2007 The Moderate Voice
  • White Agent

    Swaraaj lol, considering the population of India, you say the Hindi’s have the secret to abstinence?

  • Lynx

    You could also compare the more religious US with secular Europe. The link says that kids lost their virginity at around 15. In Spain the age is around 17, as I recall, so it doesn’t look like greater religiousity or abstinence-only education (of which, outside religious private schools, there is none in Spain) helps that much. Then of course there’s this.

  • Robert Bell

    White Agent: If I read Swaraaj correctly, there is a twinkle in his eye when he is describing the Hindu philosophy. In any case, as far as I know India is by no means monolithic. I.e. birth rates differ based on income, education, urban/rural, the amount of reproductive choice a woman has, social class, etc much as they do in other countries.

  • Not that I like abstinence sex ed, but looking at it, the articles seem to say that abstinence sex ed has the exact same effect as regular sex ed at least in terms of disease. Isn’t it disingenuous to say it’s a failure when the staistic show it’s just as effective as regular sex ed.

    A proper control group would seem to be a group without sex ed. The way this was done, it seems to suggest the two end up equivalent (except for pregnancy, which I don’t see mentioned).

  • C Stanley

    Exactly, belli. This is one of those issues where both sides overstate their case. What’s wrong with abstinence + contraception education? That’s the best way to be morally neutral and allow parents of all stripes to teach their kids without state interference and to give kids an environment where it’s OK to say yes or no to sex. If the classes don’t explain that the only foolproof way to avoid pregnancy and STDs is to abstain, then they’re not telling the kids the whole truth anyway. And by telling the kids outright that “we know you’re going to do it anyway”, you really are putting some kids in an environment where their choices are limited to having sex before they’re emotionally ready or being a social outcast.

    All of that should be left out of the discussion completely. Just tell them the straight facts and let the parents and community do the part about what is healthy and moral.

  • Nobody

    Abstinence is simply a practical matter. It really should have no religious conotations.

    Having sex at 13 or 14 is plain stupid. Why? They are children. Incapable of making such potentially life changing decisions such as getting pregnant or contracting socially stigmatizing STDS.

    This should not be a religious issue it should be a common sense Issue. We don’t let kids drive till they are 16. Why rejoice as I get the feeling the left is doing in response to another Smack down of George Bush’s agenda. Why Rejoice when 13 year olds are having sex?

    Man is a sexual animal, I will grant you that. He is also a responsible one. What happened to personal resposibility?

  • kritter

    Actually, I agree with you Nobody. But as the parent of a teen, it is also a time when hormones battle common sense, and the peer group overtakes parental control. No matter what they are taught in church, home or sex-ed class, many teens just simply lack the judgement to tie their behavior in the present with consequences in the future. As a parent, it is a constant battle with your values versus the real world’s influence.

  • Sam

    Telling teenagers not to have sex is about as effective as telling adults not to have sex, with a similar response. BLOW IT OUT YOUR ASS. Its a really strange form of hypocrisy.

  • DLS

    >Why rejoice as I get the feeling
    > the left is doing in response to
    > another Smack down of George
    > Bush’s agenda.

    You answered it:

    > What happened to personal responsibility?

    That’s what the Left has been smacking down along with related things like values and virtue, the concept of right and wrong, standards of conduct, standards of any kind, etc., since the mid-1960s. It’s part of the radicalization of liberalism in modern times. People should be able to do whatever they want, particularly if it has been considered improper or outright wrong in the “obsolescent, evil” past; we frequently see sympathy for what is bad and contempt or outright hatred for what is good by the Left.

    Hey, at least the anti-family, anti-parent “children’s rights” radicals weren’t deeply involved this time, were they?

  • DLS

    K. Ritter said:

    > As a parent, it is a constant battle
    > with your values versus the real
    > world’s influence.

    The problem is that some radicals want to battle against your values. It’s good that you haven’t neglected your role and responsibilities.

    > No matter what they are taught
    > in church,

    “I’ll be forgiven!” (R)

    > home or sex-ed class, many teens
    > just simply lack the judgement to
    > tie their behavior in the present
    > with consequences in the future.

    True, and those in most need of contraception cannot even spell that word.

  • NitrogenNick

    C Stanley, I’m not sure of what sort of “compromise” you’re advocating here. I don’t know of any non-abstinence program that does not also say, “The only 100% guarantee against STDs and pregnancy is abstinence.” I think the left is perfectly willing to say that, because they’re not in the business of denying facts (at least not on this issue). It’s the religious right that insists, contrary to fact as this study shows, that simply giving kids the factual information they need does not put them on the path to promiscuity.

  • Ya sure

    I’m wondering when Swaraaj will do a report on the staggering rate of incest and rape within Indian society.

    You know – the whole – values thing he seems to enjoy saying we do not have.

  • kritter

    I don’t think the left is in favor of promoting promiscuity- our culture and mass marketing promotes it -sex sells, and abstinence is boring. They do not even sell modest dresses for teens in the stores anymore and the bathing suits are all teeny weeny. Of course parents shouldn’t abdicate their responsibility for what their teen wears or watches, but it definitely is a challenge as no one can be with their child 24/7- especially by 15 or 16.

  • Ya sure says: I’m wondering when Swaraaj will do a report on the staggering rate of incest and rape within Indian society. You know – the whole – values thing he seems to enjoy saying we do not have.

    Which society does not have rape, incest and crime?

    I am basically a news person and, now a blogger, and whenever there is hard news to comment on I respond to that. I am not a researcher but react to hard/readable news that is published.

    I am not commenting on the value system as it exists per se, but as it is revealed through news stories in the media. Now the story above regarding abstinence…it makes hard and interesting news with topicality (a basic ingredient in any good news story).

    There is a difference between an essay and a news story.

    In the story above, I am just quoting from well-known newspapers and sharing with others…a routine job of a blogger. I am not making up these stories.

    Moreover this blog is more about America…so when I do stories related to America does not mean that I am shying away from reporting ‘low’ stories from India.

    I am happy that TMV readers are interested in stories related to India. This fact is not revealed in the coverage India, or the developing world, gets in the newspapers/blogs in the West, especially the US.

  • DLS

    > They do not even sell modest
    > dresses for teens in the stores
    > anymore and the bathing suits
    > are all teeny weeny.

    Believe it or not, my goddaughter complained about this as well as the promiscuity and drug abuse she encountered in high school. (I admire her strength not only to resist the temptations but that she actually had contempt for the misbehavior and those who were self-indulgent.)

    That was a big change from when she was younger and listened to popular “artists” at the time such as Madonna and didn’t realize the whole meaning of the lyrics she would sing aloud(!).

    While the Left does try to push back when not destroy limits on personal conduct, the marketing thing is also at fault, as you say, K. That’s true for rap “music” and other things, not just the state of girls’ fashions (including pre-teen and earlier years).

  • Ya sure

    >In the story above, I am just quoting from well-known newspapers and sharing with others…a routine job of a blogger. I am not making up these stories.

    >Moreover this blog is more about America…so when I do stories related to America does not mean that I am shying away from reporting ‘low’ stories from India.

    I guess societal, inter-family destructive stories about India constitute a ‘low’ bearing. And what I said was – “Staggering levels” – they can be found in the same newspapers and online sources you proclaim your sources to be.

    Which also explains the plentiful stories you post about Pakistan. It is what it is, you blog what you blog. Whatever one may think of the other co-bloggers here. They do not hesitate to say what’s wrong with their own country in addition to other countries.

    I have not seen that from your own writing.

    >I am not a researcher but react to hard/readable news that is published.

    What? Said the blind man to his deaf wife.

    Yeah – with one eye closed. India has and has had, and continues to have severe issues that impact the world – and will continue to impact at a greater degree for decades to come.

    Of course you knew that. The other disappointing thing is you can write well. If only it has the level of integrity to support it.

  • DLS

    > I am happy that TMV readers
    > are interested in stories related
    > to India. This fact is not revealed
    > in the coverage India, or the
    > developing world, gets in the
    > newspapers[ and ]blogs in the
    > West, especially the US.

    The news about India normally doesn’t affect us as does news in places with, say, crucial petroleum supplies. That’s just the way things are. In the US’s case, a lot of people don’t care about what happens elsewhere, even where events will affect them(!).

  • DLS

    Ya Sure said:

    > I’m wondering when Swaraaj
    > will do a report on the staggering
    > rate of incest and rape within
    > Indian society. You know – the
    > whole – values thing he seems
    > to enjoy saying we do not have.

    What about family killings, suttee by one’s relatives (not merely by one’s own hand), and such? Or selling one’s children to others?

    > I guess societal, inter-family
    > destructive stories about India
    > constitute a ‘low’ bearing. And
    > what I said was – “Staggering
    > levelsâ€? – they can be found in the
    > same newspapers and online
    > sources you proclaim your
    > sources to be.
    >
    > Which also explains the plentiful
    > stories you post about Pakistan.

    The “South” and especially one’s own country there gets a free ride, while it is politically correct to bash the West, Israel, and most of all the USA, particularly with Bush currently in office. I’ll support India (and I’ve enjoyed the friendship of people from India in one place I have lived), so don’t accuse me of India-bashing, anyone.

  • It might just be me, and I say this even though I find very little in swarraj’s stuff to agree with in general, but it seems in ungodly poor taste to call him out on what is essentially an unrelated issue to US sex ed. Shameful, in fact.

    Disagree on the article if you will, but to attack the author needlessly is just inappropriate, and quite immoderate.

  • DLS says: “The other disappointing thing is you can write well. If only it has the level of integrity to support it.”

    Sorry, but I don’t get into a discussion/argument about issues such as integrity with those who like to hide behind the screen of anonymity/pseudonyms, and like militants/terrorists come out at regular intervals with car bombs.

    If you have any guts…introduce yourself first. Let me know who you are. And then we can have a discussion.

    Otherwise please carry on with your one-sided litany of complaints. Good luck to you DLS and Ya sure.

  • kritter

    DLS- Is that a lefty trait, a libertarian trait or a free markets trait? Most people I know, whether R or D’s are just trying (unsuccessfully at times) to keep the stuff out of their homes. The families that we know that allow it don’t seem to do so on the basis of political allignment. In other words, I don’t think its a L or R issue to be honest. The RR does rail against it, but they are just a fragment of the right.

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