Or just pray it doesn’t happen to you.

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136 Responses to Or just pray it doesn’t happen to you.

  1. Anonymous says:

    And the research backing this conclusion is where?

  2. autumnmist says:

    ROFL. Very timely.

  3. librarianwoes says:

    Timely indeed!

  4. Anonymous says:

    to counteract anon’s opinion and get the war going, let me just say i live in a fairly conservative state (OK). here, we have some of the poorest health in the nation, lowest wages, least comprehensive labor laws, high rates of meth production and addiction, high rates of other drug use, high rates of alcoholism, high rates of teen pregnancy, high rates of divorce, suicide, and poor mental health. but at least we have someone to watch out for us and put up billboards featuring teenage girls (no boys) with messages like “Abstinence: a message everyone can live with”

  5. evilsciencechick says:

    ha! reading the news today, I thought “this would make a good indexed.”

    anon – every diagram on this site has been thoroughly and extensively researched, and the results published in peer-reviewed journals. DIDN’T YOU KNOW???

  6. Jeff says:

    OMG is this the story of Sarah Palin’s pregnant 17 year old daughter?

  7. burnlikestars says:

    2 things.

    1. I love this site
    2. I still stand behind the message to abstain.

  8. Kathy says:

    bah, not funny. teaching contraception doesn’t stop unwanted pregnancies, it only increases abortion. doesn’t take a rocket scientist.

  9. katie says:

    teaching contraception doesn’t stop unwanted pregnancies, it only increases abortion. doesn’t take a rocket scientist.

    tell that to bristol palin.

    not only does teaching of safer sex practices stop unwanted pregnancies, it stops transmission of sexually transmitted diseases. like AIDS. wait, don’t tell me. only sinners get AIDS anyway so it doesn’t matter.

  10. badjoke says:

    Abstaining is fine. But do realize that kids will be kids and get into trouble.

    Teaching them how to stay safe isn’t necessarily encouragement.

  11. Liz says:

    anon:

    http://www.unicef-icdc.org/publications/pdf/repcard3e.pdf

    check out the U.S. vs other 1st world nations. we’re DEAD. LAST. =/ comprehensive sex education prevents unwanted teen pregnancy.

    page 2 of the report (page 4 of the PDF) gives a brief overview that’s pretty telling, although i highly recommend reading the whole thing.

  12. Liz says:

    kathy:

    http://www.unicef-irc.org/publications/pdf/repcard3e.pdf

    check out page 20 (page 22 in the PDF). most of the european countries on there have contraceptive based sex education and i wouldn’t really call their abortion rates “skyrocketing”. most countries’ abortion and pregnancy rates COMBINED still don’t even add up to the U.S. abortion rate.

  13. Dr. Awesome says:

    @liz
    Though I do agree with you, note the figures for Great Britain. We are a country that is very comprehensive in our contraceptive-based sex education and (while there is still a big difference) we have the second highest rates by far.

    Culturally, I’d say Britain is the closest to America out of all the countries on the list.
    So if we assume the education can answer for the difference between GB and USA (or most of it) – there’s something else pushing the figures up for these two countries. And that’s what politicians on both sides of the atlantic need to address.

  14. marc andré says:

    Just within Canada, teenage pregnancy rates are much lower in Quebec (around 16 per 1,000), where teenagers are more sexually active (I’ve never seen an abstinance campaign there!), than more conservative one like Saskatchewan or Manitoba (around 38 per 1,000).

  15. Jamandru says:

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/americas/7592636.stm

    when you knock up the daughter of a pro-life, nra, republican vice-presidential candidate… feel any pressure to marry the girl?!

  16. Anonymous says:

    @Dr. Awesome

    (hidden) poverty?

  17. Jeff says:

    burnlikestars said:

    “2 things.

    1. I love this site
    2. I still stand behind the message to abstain.”

    Advocating abstinence isn’t the problem. Hell, it’s not even a bad thing. Not teaching about safe-sex practices is, however, a problem.

  18. Kathy says:

    “When birth control “fails” (i.e. the woman gets pregnant), abortion is pushed as “back-up birth control”. Yet, in a Wall Street Journal letter to the editor in 1991, the International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF) U.S. Medical Director Dr. Louise Tyrer, made public the fact that two-thirds (2/3) of unplanned pregnancies are due to the failure of birth control. That is about 67%! These women are statistically much more likely to have abortions than those who were not using birth control when they unexpectedly became pregnant.
    –from http://www.physiciansforlife.org/
    content/view/522/56/

  19. Kathy says:

    Imagine going into a classroom, and instead of assuming they’re all a bunch of animals who can’t control their urges and pushing condom use, you tell them sex is special. You can avoid all the pain i.e. heartache, std’s, unplanned pregnancy, etc. by just waiting until you’re married. You have your whole lives ahead of you to worry about sex. Right now, focus on your education, your part time job, your friends.

  20. Frank Sands says:

    Kathy: that’s exactly what *not* to do. Really, you’re going to tell a hormones-filled teenager that he should wait at least 10 years to get some sex? That’s actually the most effective recipe for the “shotgun weddings” mentioned in the strip. What society should do is explain that sex is a normal activity, and explain the best ways to avoid doing something stupid while still being able to have sex. Knowledge is the only way to fight ignorance. Before anyone bashes me here, I’m not saying a 14 year old should have sex, but he should know how everything works.

  21. David H Dennis says:

    What I have read is that the younger Ms Palin was flashing her wedding ring and looking forward to both the birth and marriage.

    In which case this is a dead issue and this kind of joke’s not particularly funny.

    D

  22. Anonymous says:

    For the love of god, turn off comments on this post. The right-wing idiots are coming out of the woodwork. Duh, telling kids not to have sex doesn’t stop pregnancy when they do it anyway. Not exactly rocket science.

  23. PATCH says:

    Amazing, from the comments there also seems to be a strong positive correlation between being Republican and having no sense of humor.

  24. epplegacks says:

    Please keep comments open, this is comedy at it’s finest.

  25. Anonymous says:

    Kathy: by just waiting until you’re married

    How are you going to know who to marry if you don’t have sex first? Sexual compatibility is a major component of a successful marriage.

  26. Anonymous says:

    While I wish it were true that all teens would abstain, the reality is many won’t. Since that is the case, then why not provide teens with the information necessary for them to fully know the contraception options available to them and what the risks with each are?

    There have been several studies evaluating the effectiveness of various forms of sex-ed. For those that are interested here are some links calling into question the notion that abstinence only education has much effect on reducing pregnancy or sexual activity amongst teens.

    http://oversight.house.gov/features/politics_and_science/example_abstinence.htm

    http://www.mathematica-mpr.com/publications/pdfs/impactabstinence.pdf

    http://www.advocatesforyouth.org/publications/stateevaluations/index.htm

    But having said that — remember folks, this is just a cartoon on a blog.

  27. The Opinionated Bastard says:

    FYI, Sarah Palin is a member of “Feminists for Life” which strongly promotes contraception, they just don’t believe in abortion.

  28. Anonymous says:

    From http://www.feministsforlife.org/FAQ/index.htm#contraception

    What is Feminists for Life’s position on contraception?

    Feminists for Life’s mission is to address the unmet needs of women who are pregnant or parenting. Preconception issues including abstinence and contraception are outside of our mission.

  29. Ronald says:

    According to the National Organization of Reproductive Abstinance (NORA) in rural areas (urban was not included in this poll) a 56 percent increase in abstinance only education results in a 69 percent increase in shotgun weddings.

    It are a fact. I know because of my learning.

  30. Anonymous says:

    according to a scientist I know, rocket science isn’t actually that hard. We need a new metaphor …

  31. Anonymous says:

    Anon wanted some research? Here’s some research: http://mediagirl.org/node/1154

  32. Chad Myers says:

    @Frank: Perhaps the problem is that everyone is focused on sex and not necessarily relationships, long term love, compatibility, etc.

    The Catholic Church is one of the premiere promoters of abstinence and they have all the backing support to go with it. Most parishes require engaged couples to go through an extensive program of training, evaluation, consideration, etc before the Priest will agree to marry them. The Church is interested not just in their sexual lives, but also in their long-term commitment to each other and society.

    There’s nothing necessarily religious about this philosophy (Atheists and Agnostics get married, too, after all) and I think it should be applied wherever abstinence is taught.

    If you just tell kids not to have sex because it’s risky, you’re right, they probably will anyhow. If you instruct them about the whole cycle of life and the merits of a deeper, more rewarding life-time of love, they’ll be more likely to hold strong. This is why, IMHO, religious abstinence programs are generally more successful (empirical evidence only, though I could probably find some studies).

    It’s probably also why marriages between active religious people tend to last longer and have a lower rate of divorce — It’s not necessarily that they’re religious, it’s that they were taught to have a deeper understanding of lasting love and relationships.

    I don’t see any reason why we couldn’t/shouldn’t teach about loving, long-lasting, equal-footing relationships along with discussions on sex. If you’re just teaching kids about sex and not relationships, it’s going to fail more often than not.

    The only reason abstinence programs aren’t dismal failures right now, I believe, is because there’s a parent or two filling in the gaps the school is leaving.

  33. Anonymous says:

    It’s been said already, but it warrants saying again: education is the most effective way to prevent accidents of all kinds.

    Do we not tell our kids not to mix electricity and water? Not to microwave canned goods? Not to skate on thin ice? How is it different to tell them if they have unprotected sex they could wind up being parents before they’re ready to be, or they could catch a serious disease like AIDS?

    Educating kids as to the possible consequences of the activity isn’t condoning it, in fact knowing what the consequences may be might just act as a deterrent.

    If people want to abstain – good for them. It’s not what I’d choose, but then people have to make their own decisions. Leaving kids alone with their natural animal instinct to have sex and not educating them as to the possible outcome is just irresponsible.

  34. dt says:

    For added fun consider that the Palins celebrate their wedding anniversary seven months before their eldest child’s birthday….

    Sex before marriage? I thought the bible was against that sort of thing.

  35. jenjen says:

    Let’s make premarital teen sex illegal. That’ll work, just like it works to prevent teen drinking.

  36. Anonymous says:

    @Dr. Awesome

    Both countries speak English.

  37. Michael says:

    @anonymous, who said:

    “How are you going to know who to marry if you don’t have sex first? Sexual compatibility is a major component of a successful marriage.”

    As a man who was taught both safe sex practices and abstinence, I chose the latter…and married a woman who did the same as me.

    We dated for 3 years; did not have sex ONCE. No nothing outside of making out.

    We’ll be married 9 years later in 2008; our sex life couldn’t be better.

    To say that you can’t know how “compatible” you will be with a mate because you don’t have sex first is garbage and completely untrue.

    Like it was said earlier; humans aren’t animals. We can make choices. I’m all for teaching both safe sex and abstinence and letting the student (at the proper age) decide. The emotional bond I have with my wife is one I wouldn’t dream of sharing with anyone else, and that bond only intensifies in the bedroom.

    All that to say that the statement made by one of the anonymous posters is total garbage. In my, and probably many others’, opinion(s).

  38. Harry Wyckoff says:

    @Chad Myers

    I really don’t think bringing up the Catholic Church is a very good idea. They may preach abstinence, but they sure do have a thing for alter boys:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Roman_Catholic_sex_abuse_cases_by_country

    But then, I guess there’s little risk of unwanted pregnancy there, eh?

  39. akronnick says:

    Abstinence only sex-ed is like abstinence only flight training.

    Because the only way to be sure that you won’t crash is to never take off in the first place.

  40. huxley says:

    It’s probably also why marriages between active religious people tend to last longer and have a lower rate of divorce

    yeah, that’s not so true. If your income, education level, and occupational attainment are high, you’re less likely to divorce. Religiosity has little to no effect (except occasional evangelicals have a much higher divorce rate than anyone else).

  41. Kathy says:

    @Anonymous who said:
    “Do we not tell our kids not to mix electricity and water? Not to microwave canned goods? Not to skate on thin ice?”

    Good point, but follow through on that. I *would* tell my kids NOT to do all those things b/c I want to keep my kids safe. In your line of thinking, I should tell them. “don’t mix electricity and water but if you do, make sure you wear rubber soled shoes.” Or “Don’t skate on thin ice, but if you do, make sure you have a friend nearby ready to call 911.”

    Kids will not die if they don’t have sex. It’s okay and good for them to wait. Why is it that the vast majority of you think it’s a right everyone should have? It’s meant to bond a husband and wife and to make babies. Something no teen needs to be worrying about.

  42. Derek says:

    @Michael wrote:
    “Like it was said earlier; humans aren’t animals.”

    Except that we are. Mammals, more specifically.

    And since we’re a variety of mammal that practices recreational sex (face it, we do: animals that do it purely reproductively have females who go into heat, which humans don’t), I think it’s worthwhile to have some sexual experience before you get married. Especially now that contraception is relatively reliable.

    The span of human history and prehistory, and the statistics of human sexual experience, seem to indicate that most people would agree, even if they’re usually not thinking about it much.

    Great cartoon, by the way.

  43. Anonymous says:

    @ Kathy,

    You just quoted someone stating statistics ~17 years ago as though those same statistics were accurate. Did I miss something?

    It seems that in the course of 17 years something has likely changed, perhaps the percentage of abortions by those using birth control have gone up, or perhaps the percentage of abortions by those not using birth control have gone up. Either way, I doubt the statistic of a social behavior related to sex has remain unchanged in nearly 20 years.

    Thus, while you point could still be true, your evidence cited does not substantiate it.

    Now, to broaden the debate:

    Consider that abortion is not the only measurement of a failed program. Part (not all) of the divorce rate and part (not all) of the domestic abuse rate, as well as several other social statistics, are also related to unwanted pregnancies.

    Point of curiosity:

    PREMISE – If the entire population of the United States was more conservative in their sexual behavior the abortion rate potentially decrease.

    FACT – A large enough portion of the population of the United States is unlikely to become conservative enough in their sexual behavior to affect the abortion rate in this way if granted knowledge of birth control.

    FACT – Abstinence only education relies primarily on, and is defined by, not providing information about or access to birth control methods.

    QUESTION – Are we to understand that denying knowledge leads to better judgment than providing knowledge?

    FOLLOWUP:

    If yes – Please explain.

    If no – Then ‘Abstinence Only’ education appears to be a bad option since it logically excludes knowledge of any other birth control option, where as the other forms of birth control education do not exclude abstinence.

  44. Stephen Touset says:

    @Kathy:

    2/3 of unplanned pregnancies may be due to failure of birth control. That means that 1/3 of pregnancies are due to _lack_ of birth control.

    Alone, those numbers are meaningless. What is needed to put these numbers into context is the rate of use of birth control.

    Imagine, for the sake of argument, that 90% of sexually active persons use birth control. If that’s the case, they are severely under-represented. On the other hand, the 10% who do not use birth control would be responsible for 33% of all unplanned pregnancies.

    The numbers are made up, but I hope I’ve shown that without context, the proportion of unplanned pregnancies from birth control vs. none is meaningless.

    Plus, a reasonable person can assume that a significant number of the birth-control-related pregnancies are due to user error. Condoms can fail due to using multiples, not putting them on correctly, or re-use (all of these aren’t as rare as you’d likely believe). Pills can fail when people forget to take them.

    If you decrease the number of mistakes when using birth control, and let people know how to overlap multiple forms of birth control effectively, rates of pregnancy would decrease dramatically.

  45. geo says:

    @Kathy (7:18): LOL! Now it all makes sense! Great research. So if 2/3 of unplanned pregnancies are due to contraception failure, that must mean that 1/3 of unplanned pregnancies are due to… what?

    The article continues to list another couple irrelevant statistics and concludes, “In other words, the birth control methods may “fail” to stop pregnancy the majority of the time.” Wow, glad those “physicians” helped “clear” that one up. A lot of us must have been really “confused.”

  46. Kathy says:

    @anonymous

    It’s a question of what knowledge we are handing out. Why not tell these kids the bad vs. good. Sure seems like there’s a lot more bad things that can happen to them by having sex now then there are good things. Abstinence is a good thing and the ONLY thing that keeps them safe.

    Here’s a more current source and excerpt.
    http://www.guttmacher.org/pubs/
    fb_induced_abortion.html

    CONTRACEPTIVE USE

    • Fifty-four percent of women who have abortions had used a contraceptive method (usually the condom or the pill) during the month they became pregnant. Among those women, 76% of pill users and 49% of condom users report having used their method inconsistently, while 13% of pill users and 14% of condom users report correct use.[9]

    • Forty-six percent of women who have abortions had not used a contraceptive method during the month they became pregnant. Of these women, 33% had perceived themselves to be at low risk for pregnancy, 32% had had concerns about contraceptive methods, 26% had had unexpected sex and 1% had been forced to have sex.[9]

    • Eight percent of women who have abortions have never used a method of birth control; nonuse is greatest among those who are young, poor, black, Hispanic or less educated.[9]

    • About half of unintended pregnancies occur among the 11% of women who are at risk for unintended pregnancy but are not using contraceptives. Most of these women have practiced contraception in the past.[1,10]

  47. Anonymous says:

    Steve_C

    NIce manipulating of the statistics. Abstinence only sex education doesn’t work. Knowing how to use contraception effectively does.

    So you statistics only show that people who have sex are more likely to get pregnant…

    DUH.

    Waiting for sex before more marriage is a stupid and morally pointless idea. There’s nothing wrong with sex if you’re mature, prepared and educated to hand it.

    Promise Keepers behave in MORE reckless ways than those who haven’t taken the promise, they engage in more oral and anal sex with more partners. They have more stds than those who have intercourse and use protection. But at least they’re still “virgins” right?

  48. Anonymous says:

    Folks, it’s been shown that virginity-pledge makers, when they eventually break that pledge, are less likely to use contraception than non-pledge makers. Probably because they have been taught implicitly through the pledge that sex is taboo so they have to pretend to themselves that they were “swept up” to alleviate the guilt. This is desirable?

    One hundred years ago when much of America was rural and agrarian, people typically got married in their mid to late teens. Slowly the average age of marriage has crept up till now the average age for men is 26. Is it realistic to ask men and women to put off having sex for 10 years? Could you right now pledge not to have sex for 10 years? How realistic of a program is this?

    Sorry but making something forbidden and taboo only heightens fascination for that thing. Europe is much better, say, with alcohol, allowing teens to have wine with meals. That removes the taboo element and normalizes it so kids are less likely to pursue it as a token of rebellion. And it also acknowledges impending adulthood. Sex as well should not be cast as some forbidden thing, artificially separated from the human condition. Acknowledging an adolescent’s sexual identity and desire is part of acknowledging his or her whole identity as a person. Attempting to culturally neuter adolescents is just another way to shirk responsibility as a parent.

    It’s bizarre that these abstinence programs are put in place of educating kids about sex. How neurotic is it for adults to withhold fundamental facts from adolescences about their own body and to believe that this is done for the adolescence’s own good.

    And another thing: since 30,000 people die every year in auto accidents in America, where is the outcry among the abstinence movement for auto abstinence over driver education as being the only way to ensure adolescent safety from the risks of driving? Hmm?

  49. geo says:

    Those statistics merely prove that contraception is not 100% effective—particularly when you don’t do it properly. The fact that this sample is a group of women who are having abortions is absolutely irrelevant.

    Regardless, what I remember from high school was that the daughters of religious parents were always the wildest in the sack.

  50. Anonymous says:

    So basically, the left can’t hit at McCain for not understanding the middle class, his VP _is_ the middle class.

    And for those of you attempting to turn this into some sort of issue, shame on you… Perhaps you should vet Obama in the same way, if you really want to get into hypocrisy.

  51. Derek says:

    Sex columnist Dan Savage has an interesting take on this:

    http://slog.thestranger.com/2008/09/knocked_up

    “…if abstinence education can’t keep the daughter of the evangelical governor of Alaska off the c*ck, what hope is there for the daughters–and sons–of average Americans?”

  52. Anonymous says:

    @ Kathy.

    As a teenager who has been taught a sex ed course in Canada, I feel like there’s something I can say of value. The course that I participated in was informative, focused on safe sex, risks, emotional impact of sex and covered the benefits of abstinence. I thought it was informative, factual and objective. I go to public school and while I feel that parents should be educating their children about the world (and that includes how people have – or don’t have – babies) I know that most parents aren’t telling their kids much.

    Sex education is extremely important not so that the kids have a how-to reference, but so that they understand. We are surrounded by sex in the media, in conversation and in high school. As a teenager who knows the basics and biology of it, I still don’t know what to believe about it sometimes; I know that I would not be less confused about sex if I had less information.

    I will never understand the belief that ignorance could be positive or empowering. Knowledge will always trump a censored world-view and pretending that sex isn’t part of growing up will do nothing to reduce its impact on teenagers.

    Also, what about those who have sex only after they’re married? They need information as well, don’t they? Perhaps a couple who has waited until they were 24 and married to have sex don’t want kids right after; shouldn’t they have the information about contraception? At some point, people have to be educated and I think that point is when it becomes an issue (a.k.a. puberty). If left to their own devices, teenagers in love for the first time and falling head over heels will do what their instincts tell them to do; of course, this impulse can be dulled by teaching, religious beliefs, and knowledge of concequences, but what I’m saying is that once the impulse is there, something has to be done about it. Teenagers have to be taught, or they will figure it out for themselves – usually by trial and error.

    Also, teaching kids about STDs definitely doesn’t make sex more attractive, I promise you. It makes them more informed, that’s all, and teaching teenagers how to prevent STDs is just plain responsible.

    In our world, we can’t pretend that sex is always going to mean the same thing to everyone, even to two people having it together. This means that we can’t teach youth on the basis of how religion treats sex; science is the only way that everyone is on equal footing because the hooker and the nun may disagree on where/when/why but the the very essentials of how are harder to dispute. Therefore, teach the kids what sex is and the many ways that it can be made safer (including not having it at all) and allow the teenager to make an informed decision. If you can vote, you should be able to determine what to do with your own body, right?

    (Also, the fact that the majority of women who have abortions were using contraception at the time isn’t surprising. If they’re using contraception, they obviously don’t feel ready for the responsiblity of a child and are taking measures against this, but when the measures fail, they still feel unready for a child.)

  53. Derek says:

    Leave it to the teenager to put the rest of us flame-baiters in our place with a cogent and rational argument. Kids today, I tell ya.

  54. Troy says:

    Sex before marriage? I thought the bible was against that sort of thing.

    Actually the laws of the Israelites as presented in the bible were rather interesting:

    1) If a unmarried man gets it on with a virgin woman, he owes the father a dowry and marry; tho the marriage part is only on approval of the father.

    2) If a man rapes a virgin woman, he owes the father 50 shekels, must marry her, and cannot divorce her.

    3) If a man rapes an engaged woman, that’s the death penalty.

    4) If a non-virgin woman does not disclose this fact and takes the dowry, that’s a stoning.

    5) There’s also a section about being able to try the goods with captive women before marriage.

    And as for the oh! no! abortion! people, there’s not a damn bit of practical or moral difference between birth control like a condom and abortion within the first month or two. Both are ending the potential to become a human with rights, nothing more, unless you want to bring in the debate about when the magical human soul appears in a human, which of course is religious dogma that has no place in civil law any more than what the tribes of desert goatherds 2500 years ago thought the punishment for rape should be.

  55. mjharper says:

    @anonymous

    “Is it realistic to ask men and women to put off having sex for 10 years?”

    Well why not? After all, we are talking about a country where alcohol is illegal until 21. In Germany you can drink beer legally at 16. Guess what? No 18 year-old has illegal ID. And it’s a country where Intelligent Design is striving for an equal footing with evolutionism, instead of, quite frankly, a joke.

    So what has ‘realism’ got to do with it?

    The problem is that such people ultimately believe that reality is bad. Reality is a temptation to sin. Only if you withstand the temptation to sin will you be saved.

    Abstinence-only is fine, because it isn’t really an attempt to deal with the problems of society. It’s an attempt to grant the the chosen few passage to heaven.

    Idealism like this is indistinguishable from nihilism.

  56. Maverick says:

    Great post as usual. Funny how some of these things generate some sort of bizarre controversy where there really is none.

  57. Anonymous says:

    “I will never understand the belief that ignorance could be positive or empowering.”

    Amen.

  58. Tony Sidaway says:

    It Ain’t Necessarily So
    “In general, higher rates of belief in and worship of a creator correlate with higher rates of homicide, juvenile and early adult mortality, STD infection rates, teen pregnancy, and abortion in the prosperous democracies (Figures 1-9). The most theistic prosperous democracy, the U.S., is exceptional, but not in the manner Franklin predicted. The United States is almost always the most dysfunctional of the developed democracies, sometimes spectacularly so, and almost always scores poorly. The view of the U.S. as a “shining city on the hill” to the rest of the world is falsified when it comes to basic measures of societal health. Youth suicide is an exception to the general trend because there is not a significant relationship between it and religious or secular factors. No democracy is known to have combined strong religiosity and popular denial of evolution with high rates of societal health. Higher rates of non-theism and acceptance of human evolution usually correlate with lower rates of dysfunction, and the least theistic nations are usually the least dysfunctional. None of the strongly secularized, pro-evolution democracies is experiencing high levels of measurable dysfunction. In some cases the highly religious U.S. is an outlier in terms of societal dysfunction from less theistic but otherwise socially comparable secular developed democracies. In other cases, the correlations are strongly graded, sometimes outstandingly so.”

  59. Anonymous says:

    Abstinence + no protection = shotgun weddings
    Disappointing that Palin is all happy and proud. Not everyone is governor, for some people is a BIG problem. If you can’t bring food to the table don’t bring a baby either, it’s that simple.
    She just won’t admit her child did wrong, thats a bad omen.

  60. Tony Sidaway says:

    In view of Palin’s stated opinions, I’d say that the fault lay with the mother and not the daughter in this instance. Sex education doesn’t stop kids having sex, but it does make them better prepared and able to take precautions.

  61. Anonymous says:

    Here in NZ, we have teen pregnancy rates that are unbelievably high. As sex education has increased, so has the teen pregnancy rate. The problem is that telling kids it’s safe to have sex when done right tends to make them think it’s fine to have sex when they might very well otherwise have not. Sadly, the results of having sex are not trivial – they’re MASSIVE, as my own nephew found out to his cost 11 months ago. Not only is there a significant emotional cost, but if a baby is conceived, well, we all know the rest.

    Sex education has been shown to fail over and over again. It simply tells kids it’s okay to have sex, and they do, but at increased rates. And increased rates means more contraception failures amongst the population of sexually active teens.

    The smart thing is to advise against sex until older, while explaining the how toos of contraception. Teens aren’t stupid, they get contraception and don’t need it rammed down their throats.

    Cheers,

  62. Anonymous says:

    Kids having sex is totally fine. They’ve been doing it for millions of years.

    I know I wanted to when I was a kid.

    People should be able to do what they want if it doesn’t hurt other people.

    Crazy conservative christians should go away.

  63. Anonymous says:

    Sex education has been shown to fail over and over again. It simply tells kids it’s okay to have sex, and they do, but at increased rates.

    That’s NOT proper sex education. Simply telling kids it’s OK to have sex is just as stupid as telling them it’s not OK to have sex.

    Have you ever been a teenager? Do you remember how you felt?

    Teens want to experiment. With sex, drugs, rock’n’roll, you name it. And they will. So prepare them for that. Inform them. Make them strong.

  64. Tony Sidaway says:

    Here in NZ, we have teen pregnancy rates that are unbelievably high. As sex education has increased, so has the teen pregnancy rate.

    When was sex education introduced, anonymous? These NZ government statistics seem to show that the Kiwi teen pregnancy rate rose rapidly until 1980 but has remained stable since then (up to 2002, the last date for which statistics are given).

    Also the report gives the equivalent figures for the UK and US. The US rate is considerably higher and the UK rate is a little higher than New Zealand. Sex education in the US is a bit of a joke, but it is on the national curriculum in the UK and it is honest-to-goodness proper sex education.

    “The New Zealand teenage fertility rate in 2001 (27.7 per 1,000) was the third highest, behind the United States (45.9) and England and Wales (29.2). It was almost four times the latest rate recorded in France, Japan, the Netherlands and Sweden.”

    This Wikipedia article suggests that France, Japan, the Netherlands and Sweden all have sex education in schools.

  65. Bilbo says:

    Just say “No!” to hormones!

  66. PKM says:

    “Abstinence only sex education” is an oxymoron in the same way that “subtraction-only maths education” is.

    It isn’t education.

    Education involves informing people in an objective and unbiased manner what is what and letting them think out issues for themselves. If you want to promote abstinence, do it, but if you don’t teach about contraception and STDs you are NOT TEACHING SEX EDUCATION.

    /rant

    teaching contraception doesn’t stop unwanted pregnancies, it only increases abortion.

    I’m sorry, did you miss the part where properly used contraception prevents unwanted pregnancies and therefore lowers the incidence of abortion? Don’t confuse “abstinence-only education = lower abortions” with “conservative christian upbringing = lower abortions”.

  67. Anonymous says:

    At least Bristol is doing the right thing and having her baby. She could have taken the easy, gone to Planned Parenthood way and killed her unborn child but she gets points for deciding to keep her baby.

  68. Tony Sidaway says:

    She’s living in one of the last beautiful wildernesses, her parents are well off. Of course abortion isn’t necessary here. But her mother wants to take that choice away from other women.

    I think it’s wrong to take that choice away. It’s especially wrong when she herself has demonstrated the abject folly of praying that your daughter won’t engage in sex as a teenager.

  69. Anonymous says:

    I think it is important to understand that teaching abstinence to teenagers has nothing to do with the wellbeing of those teenagers it has everything to do with control of the society over the individual teenager and the morals of that society . Making teaching Abstinence as sex education a blatant lie.

  70. Anonymous says:

    Sex is still a *good* thing, if it helps them stay away from alcohol, drugs and violence they can have all the sex they want.

  71. Anonymous says:

    You could change the Axis to read “legalized abortion” and “murdered babies” and have the same graph.

  72. Anonymous says:

    Anon Said “Do we not tell our kids not to mix electricity and water? Not to microwave canned goods? Not to skate on thin ice?”

    Kathy Said: Good point, but follow through on that. I *would* tell my kids NOT to do all those things b/c I want to keep my kids safe. In your line of thinking, I should tell them. “don’t mix electricity and water but if you do, make sure you wear rubber soled shoes.” Or “Don’t skate on thin ice, but if you do, make sure you have a friend nearby ready to call 911.”

    We don’t say “Don’t mix electricity and water” and leave it at that, we explain why not to, what the possible implications are, and what situations you may find yourself in where that could be a problem. “Don’t warm your curling iron up on the side of the tub while having a bath, or you may electrocute yourself and die”.

    Simply saying “abstain from sex until after you’re married” without qualifying why you may want to do that, what may happen if you don’t, and how to protect yourself in the event you decide not to is just responsible parenting. Saying “Don’t do that – trust me” is simply not.

  73. Good Submission says:

    shotgun weddings increases with abstinence only education .. this is not funny (

  74. shoshi says:

    @kathie:

    Statistics in western Europe show that most abortions are performed on women who
    1) were not taught about contraception
    2) come from an environment where “honor” is important and where it is “impossible” to be pregnant while single, mostly from observant muslim families.

    Historic statistics seem to prove the same point: as long as western european coutries were very restricitve as far as “sexual morale” was concerned, there were more abortions than nowadays.

    So, paradoxically, preaching abstinency seems to boost abortions.

    I also heard about a jewish-orthodox case, where a divorced, haredi woman got pregnant and was considering an abortion because
    1) she taught in a frum school and was afraid of loosing her job.
    2) she was afraid that it would make shidduchim for her daughter (than nine years old) more difficult.

    Most haredi people I asked confirmed that they would dismiss a pregnant teacher who is not married (although in most countries, this would go against labour laws), since this would be “a bad example for the children”.

  75. shoshi says:

    About catholics:

    There is a deep divide between theory and practice…

    In rural Austria, catholicism is very strong, and still 50% of the firstborn children are conceived out of wedlock, sometimes even the second children. (that’s the kind of intersting data you can gather from geneological research. Very treacherous!)

    There seems to be a contradiction between local custom and catholic teachings.

    Local custom seems to say that one has to see whether the woman can get pregnant before marrying her (but you should marry her once she is).

    On the other hand, catholicism is pro-abstinence.

    So older people preach abstinence, while most of them were not when they themselves were young.

  76. luther blissett says:

    You could change the axes to ‘anonymous commenters’ and ‘asshole comments’, too.

  77. Grover Saunders says:

    I am pro-sex education, but everyone salivating over this news is a fucking vulture.

  78. shoshi says:

    @michael:
    I think this is a question of individual preference.

    It’s OK to be abstinent if you wish. Your example shows that it can result in magnificent marriages.

    On the other hand, the contrary can also be true.

    So I think you should let people behave according to what they want, without forcing anything on them.

    I think originally marriage was there to protect women: before we make a child, the man has to ackowledge that it is his.

    But than it was turned the other way round, into a moral obligation, and pregnant single women were rejected.

    Why don’t the single or non-existent fathers suffer the same kind of rejection?

  79. Jo says:

    It’s laughable that people are actually questioning this. I could post links to research proving that ab-only education DOES NOT WORK, but there are so many, it would take all morning.

    Check Guttmacher, the UN, SIECUS, the WHO, etc. Just Google it, for Pete’s sake. Or read the Waxman report about how ridiculously misleading and incorrect most of the federally funded Ab-only programs are.

    It’s without a doubt a disgusting use of taxpayer money.

  80. Martijn says:

    “The five countries with the lowest teenage birth rates are Korea,
    Japan, Switzerland, the Netherlands and Sweden – all with teen birth
    rates of fewer than 7 per 1,000.”

    I’m from the Netherlands and have never in my life seen an abstinence campaign. Everybody I know or have heard of are sexually active. The only campaigns related to sexual activity you can see here is the governments promotion of contraception. It just works.

  81. wilmcdaniel says:

    I am not going to read all of the comments to see if this has been stated, but I love the picture that this little graph illustrates if turned 45º to the east.

  82. rit kal says:

    81 comments? i usually read them, but you’re too popular now!

  83. Clark says:

    @shoshi

    Re: “So older people preach abstinence, while most of them were not when they themselves were young.”

    Exactly! Could it be that they did it, learned from their experiences that they shouldn’t have done it, and now try to keep young people from making the same mistakes? They aren’t necessarily hypocrites.

  84. relgion is a scam says:

    @chad

    Before praching about how awesome catholic family values are have a look at this:

    http://www.religioustolerance.org/chr_dira.htm

    Atheists have the lowest divorce rate …

  85. Anonymous says:

    If only the bible had something to say about the risks of Down Syndrome and over 40 pregnancies.

  86. Kathy says:

    @religion is NOT a scam

    more Christians tend to marry vs. shack up so therefore they have more divorces. atheists and agnostics are more like to not “need the paperwork” so therefore no need for divorce.

  87. Anonymous says:

    Do you suppose it would be a fair trade to teach “abstinence only” in sex ed as long as we had “evolution only” in science class?

  88. Anonymous says:

    Anonymous: “…she gets points for deciding to keep her baby.”

    Oh, well if she gets points, then I guess having a kid in high school is a great idea…

    Also, not that I support abstinence-only education, but to blame a specific pregnancy on the sex education the couple received assumes a lot. For all we know, her boyfriend’s condom may have broke.

  89. Religion stops common sense says:

    @kathy

    The numbers are percentages. To make it clear: Out of 100 Atheist/Agnostic marriages 21 one are divorced. Out of a 100 Christians marriages 24 are divorced.

    I have nothing against the principle ideas of religion, like being compassionate. But I don’t need a God to tell me that. Common sense and critical thinking (which seems to be completely outdated these days) suffice. And some food for thought. How many lives do you think where killed in the name of some Religion?

  90. Anonymous says:

    Hi,

    Love the site.

    One quip, I think the graph should be exponentially increasing rather than linearly increasing.

    The children who inspired shotgun weddings will learn abstinence only education from their parents, inspiring additional shotgun weddings, who in turn educate their children the same.

    Best Wishes,
    Philip

  91. MacBigot says:

    We (schools/government/etc.) can’t teach relationships — that would lead to talk about responsibility.

    We can’t talk about abstinence — that would mean that there is some responsibility required.

    We can’t hope that teenagers would put the brakes on their hormones; that would mean that we hope they can rise to a level of responsibility.

    We can’t put BOTH abstinence and condoms on the table, and expect kids to understand and utilize each as the tools they were meant as because having them make that CHOICE would entail some RESPONSIBILITY…

    Yeah, those damn religious freaks have no clue.

  92. Anonymous says:

    This is what religion does to people. It renders them unable to comprehend facts and unable to abandon obviously erroneous beliefs and ineffectual practices. Abstinence programs are nothing more than ignorance inflicted on the uninformed to make the pious feel good about their irrational beliefs concerning the filthy nature of sex with a heaping helping of misogyny for good measure. And they won’t get brutalised in the press for their stupidity because they hide behind the (also erroneous) idea that religious ideals can’t be criticized because that shows a lack of respect ages old tradition and opinion.

    Is it any wonder that the US has setup a system where the most ridiculous religious nonsense gets automatic respect, and intelligence is considered detrimental to leadership?

  93. jerry says:

    I am pro-choice and will be making sure my kids get comprehensive sex ed, know how and where to get birth control, and will be encouraging them nonetheless to understand that abstinence is a choice, and a choice about power to boot.

    Please keep the comments open as so far, this is not “right wing trolls coming out of the woodwork”, but an actually interesting conversation about the roles of comprehensive sex ed vs. abstinence and the various forms of evidence and arguments for each.

    Can’t we have conversations and dialogs anymore without everyone having to call people who disagree with them trolls? Why not call them japs, nips, or huns and just shoot the bastards when we meet them on the street? Are our arguments so weak that we must enforce speech and thought control?

  94. Chris B says:

    The odds of this child marriage working out over time are VERY poor. It is difficult enough when one has maturity and resources. These poor kids have no idea what they are in for.

    The Palin’s are living out the consequences of their beliefs. When one does not beleive in contraception (even for married couples) then one is much more likely than most to have a child with Down syndrom at 44 and a pregnant teenage daughter.

    Let’s see if we can envision the future…. Daughter is divorced at 20, with no colege education. Mom and dad can’t help much cause they are spending lots of time caring for their special needs child.

    Oh, and electing Palin and McCain will give you the opertunity to live some of their live too when abortion is illeagal or unavailable and effective sex education is discouraged.

    They are welcome to whatever life they want but I refuse to forced to live theirs.

  95. Cheryl says:

    wow, jessica! You’ve touched on a nerve here. I didn’t read everyone’s comments because frankly I don’t care. Teenagers have been having sex for years and years and years! I doubt it’s ever going to stop.

    Raging hormones and “THINKING” you’re in love…. aw, the good ole days.

  96. Anonymous says:

    For this just joining us, let me summarize. There are two perspectives:
    1. abstaining from sex is a very effective way to prevent unwanted babies and STDs.
    2. abstaining is hard, and we can’t expect people to make rational decisions that go against their teenage hormonal desires.

    …losing faith in humanity.

  97. Judith says:

    Magnificent!

  98. Anonymous says:

    Here is how we get the message across in Virginia…

  99. Anonymous says:

    I think we ought not to forget, when looking at these statistics about unplanned pregnancies among women who used contraception, that failure to use protection isn’t the only consequence of a lack of sex education. Ineffective use and misuse of otherwise effective birth control methods also result.

  100. Anonymous says:

    You know, the Virgin Mary abstained. That’s why they call her a Virgin, after all. And she *still* got knocked up.

  101. Mike says:

    Crap! I was going to try and be comment 100. Missed it by || THAT much.

  102. Sam says:

    Kids, you don’t HAVE to get married if you knock someone up.

    Palin is a member of the NRA, thus exemplifying the term “shotgun wedding.”

  103. natatomic says:

    Good Lord, how do we know that Britol Palin DIDN’T have safe-sex education? Sure her mother is for abstinence only ed, but that doesn’t mean that the school Bristol attends teaches it. She could have found out all about condoms and thought that 99% rate sounded pretty good.

    We don’t have all the information, thus you CAN’T equate Bristol’s pregnancy to a failed example of abstinence only education.

  104. Anonymous says:

    STDs are the only filthy thing about sex. Do any of you recall that study published earlier this year, 1 in 4 teenage girls in the United States have an STD? No one can deny that safe sex practices decrease the risk of getting an STD, likewise, no one can deny that while they decrease the risk, they *do not* eliminate it. Neither do safe sex practices absolutely prevent unwanted pregnancies, even though they most certainly decrease the risk.

    I think sex education should present all the facts. Teaching safe sex practices is like teaching kids to brush their teeth. It is really not worthwhile for children and teenagers to learn “the hard way” the consequences of not brushing their teeth, and neither is it worthwhile to make them have to relearn many of the other lessons humans have learnt and relearnt again and again over the past several thousand years (the need for safe sex practices is one such lesson).

    Above of all this simple fact remains, nothing short of abstinence–by definition–can stop the transmission of STDs. Some STDs such as herpes and AIDS are not worth a romp in the sack. And no, unless you are Al Gore and have safe sex in a clean room on opposite sides of plate glass, no number of condoms or cervical caps can prevent the transmission of herpes simplex virus.

    Oh and humans are animals, but we are also unique in our self-determination to rise above this base reality.

  105. Sylvia says:

    What’s really amusing is that they are asking people to respect their privacy. That’s exactly what Roe v. Wade was about! :D Alas, those who create irony are blind to it.

  106. MacBigot says:

    Somebody help me out here — I know Palin is an ‘abstinence’ fan; but where is her interpretation of that written out so I can digest it?

    I’m a right-wing religious-conservative gun-rights fanatic; yet I don’t yet know a single parent (Christian or otherwise) who teaches abstinence to the EXCLUSION of all other information. That’s the dumbest thing I’ve ever heard. Yet everyone on the Left that seems to ‘know all about this situation’ is trumpeting that Sarah has taught her children to keep their pants on and nothing else.

    If I just haven’t found where she explains this to be true, then somebody point me to a URL…

    Otherwise, I’m having a hard time believing that the Left (admittedly, my own classification for those who are ‘all-accepting’, so long as you believe exactly as they do) is reading Palin correctly — and perhaps the vast majority of Christian parents.

    Of course, if *I* am wrong, then my own kids will be the only Christians carrying condoms (AND hopefully keeping their pants up)… but at the moment I’m getting a little perturbed to see how simple-minded those non-Christians think we Jesus Freaks are.

    I tried to form this into words earlier today at my own blog; but I must be missing something here…

  107. PRW says:

    Excuse me, but every one here seems to assume that this pregnancy IS unwanted. Its possible that, despite the inconvenience to her mother, that the pregnancy was wanted, or, even, planned.

  108. MacBigot says:

    Sylvia opined: What’s really amusing is that they are asking people to respect their privacy. That’s exactly what Roe v. Wade was about! :D Alas, those who create irony are blind to it.

    I hope you’re open to hearing a differing opinion; but I believe that Roe v. Wade was about whether the act of ending a life was something that the State (by that I mean any government entity at any level) could define the ending of a life in pre-birth stages as murder/manslaughter/killing. In order for the State to intervene with that definition, it would have to equate the unborn’s rights with that of the mother’s — in which case the mother’s preference would no more justify the ending of the baby’s life than my anger might justify a homicide.

    But as things stand at the moment, the baby does not have equal rights as the mother, due to the vagueries of where ‘life’ can be defined as beginning (at conception? at birth? in the 7th month?). Since our 50 states do not agree, and since the definition of murder is created at the state level, the federal government HAS NO RIGHT to tell the states how to handle this.

    If Roe v. Wade really were as simple as a privacy issue, we’d be talking about whether it’s ‘more OK’ to commit a crime if it’s in private. But since abortion is not considered a crime, the privacy issue is only a component of the law, not a reason for it.

  109. MacBigot says:

    PRW noted: Excuse me, but every one here seems to assume that this pregnancy IS unwanted. Its possible that, despite the inconvenience to her mother, that the pregnancy was wanted, or, even, planned.

    Wow. You’re right — we armchair quarterbacks have been chugging along, thinking we know enough to decide this FOR the Palin family… well said, PRW.

  110. Tikabelle says:

    Before the 1800’s, Americans were regularly pregnant before getting married. Betrothal was considered good enough to start boning, and I’m fairly certain many a betrothal was post-hymen anyway – although that would be harder to prove. Throwing Victorian sensibilities in our faces like it’s always been this way is ill researched, disingenuous and ignorant.

    Telling me that teaching kids about sex is tantamount to teaching kids to have sex is never, ever going to make me see anything but red. I can think of no situation in which well thought-out, well-researched education is a bad thing.

  111. Tikabelle says:

    @macbigot

    My guess is that people’s claims of Palin teaching her children nothing but the penny-between-the-knees trick comes from 2 things:

    1) Alaska teaches abstinence-only education
    2) Palin supports #1.

    Now, I’m extrapolating and don’t have a URL, but NPR has been talking about this issue a lot today and I’m sure they have some info on it. Also for the record, I went to high school in Alaska 10 years ago and I was definitely taught to put a condom on a banana, so I don’t know when the eff things went so downhill. Sigh.

  112. Anonymous says:

    Its possible that, despite the inconvenience to her mother, that the pregnancy was wanted, or, even, planned.

    You cannot SERIOUSLY believe an unwed high school girl PLANNED FOR a pregnancy.

  113. Miguel Cordas says:

    Palin’s daughter “incident” is a living proof that abstinence-only sex-ed is naive and leads to failure.

    In a certain way, it’s as naive as communism : being persuaded that it’s sufficient to motivate people to make them think and act as you wish them tooo.

    It’s as stupid as thinking that death penality prevents crime… Just look at the stats and the facts !

    Be realistic ! Bad thoughts come from INSIDE, not from outside… Taboos never helped fix any situation…

    And if you don’t talk to kids about sex, where will they find information ? Internet… porn movies they share on they mobile phones… This IS reality, even if parents don’t like these ideas.

    So… Teens NEED to be informed, in a factual and objective way.

  114. Anonymous says:

    Yow. Touched a nerve, have we?

  115. MacBigot says:

    Tikabelle helped with: My guess is that people’s claims of Palin teaching her children nothing but the penny-between-the-knees trick comes from 2 things:

    1) Alaska teaches abstinence-only education
    2) Palin supports #1.

    —–
    OK, I’ll try to be more clear — I’m having a hard time grasping that those teaching ‘abstinence only’ really DON’T COVER the issues of STDs, etc. and DON’T EVEN MENTION that contraceptives exist. I can easily believe that they don’t recommend condoms as preferred options. But if I hear one more person in the ‘educated media’ parrot that Bristol had never heard of condoms because of some Nazi vendetta her mother has, I think I’ll blow a head gasket. :-)

    I come from an educated (BUT) Christian Conservative background, which preached abstinence (before it was called that socially/politically — I’m old) but understood that contraceptives are a normal part of family planning (obviously, we are not Catholic). Perhaps the Left is confusing Catholics with Christians — one does not necessarily mean the other.

    My point is that the word ‘abstinence’ is a hot one that tends to throw debaters to extremes — both ends of the spectrum completely unable to see the other’s point of view.

    To explain a bit of the background of the ‘abstinence movement’, you have to understand that increasing municipalities are removing parental choice from the education of their children — and that is driving a wedge into the issue. The most worrisome example might be the ‘Little Black Book for Girlz’; you see, if parents felt they the right to decide what their children are taught, they might not fight so hard against the school doing it for them — but you can easily see how a book like that treads on controversial territory, and it has been distributed in school systems with no prior warning to the parents. It’s no wonder Christian parents choose ‘less education’ over options like that.

    The other problem, from the Christian families’ perspective, is the age at which sexual subjects are brought into the classroom. Though we may talk quite frankly about homosexuality, ‘alternate’ forms of sexual activity, bestiality, and BDSM, there are elementary schools that are now introducing these topics to 2nd- and 3rd-graders. True, these may be exceptions — but at what percentage will they no longer be considered ‘exceptions’? And at what point does a parent raise all holy hell to put a stop to it in their own school system — since from accounts over the last ten years, parents only find out about it the day after their children have been ‘educated’?

    I know none of this is going to convince you if your mind is already made up; but I hoped to provide a glimmer of why some Christian parents are mustering the troops on this issue — there may have been some room for negotiation before; but when the 9th circuit court in CA decided to rule that parents have absolutely no say over what their children are taught in school, and that school boards are not required in any way to provide parents with details beyond an annual syllabus, there’s a war brewing.

    —–
    One other commenter brought up their incredulity at my comment suggesting that Bristol didn’t ‘accidentally’ get pregnant — yes, girls do sometimes do this on purpose (don’t you get ‘Dr. Phil’ in your area?).

  116. Anonymous says:

    Palin’s daughter “incident” is a living proof that abstinence-only sex-ed is naive and leads to failure.

    *chokes*

    wow, that’s…. scientific of you… a sample of one data points, know wonder this debate is so hot for going no where.

  117. self righteous brat says:

    @anonymous
    Scientific? Like you picking the comment that illustrates your point. How about the comment about the lowest teenage birthrate in the Netherlands/Switzerland/Korea which never ever had such a ridiculous Idea ass teaching abstinence only. And here some non anecdotal evidence for you:
    http://www.bmj.com/cgi/content/extract/335/7613/217

  118. Anonymous says:

    it cuts off the url so last try:
    link

  119. Joshua says:

    The very fact that so many people want to teach any position at all in schools shows the lack of parental guidance in this country. Seriously, if you talk to your kids about either position, what do you care if they don’t talk about sex in school. This is not the kind of thing that belongs in schools anyway. This is a purely moral issue. And, I don’t mean just having a talk with your kids when they reach that age. I mean an ongoing discussion of the issue from the first time they ask you about it.

    I say the schools should teach nothing and you should do more than just have “that talk” with your kids. I think that most “abstinence” families have no problem with the schools teaching nothing at all but, do have a problem with the government trying to force their children to adopt different morals than what they were raised with. I think most “safe-sex” parents probably feel a similar way.

  120. Sylvia says:

    Response to MacBigot:

    Roe v Wade overturned abortion laws on the grounds that they violated the constitutional right to privacy (14th amendment).

  121. Miguel Cordas says:

    Anonymous said…

    *chokes*

    wow, that’s…. scientific of you… a sample of one data points, know wonder this debate is so hot for going no where.

    Well, ok, let’s say it’s a “particularly good example”. We can be sure that Palin Jr has heard a lot in her childhood about the benefits and blessings of abstinence…

    She’s an human being, like every teen ! And they do not *always* do the choices the society or the parents would like them to.

    So what’s more important ? To be satisfied never to have talked about sex, condoms, STD, etc ? Or to keep teens from having one day to choose between abortion and almost forced mariage ?

    Again, I agree that 14 is way to young to be sexualy active. Even 16. But let’s be REALISTIC…

  122. MacBigot says:

    Sylvia responded to my previous comment about the pivotal points to ROE:

    “Roe v Wade overturned abortion laws on the grounds that they violated the constitutional right to privacy (14th amendment).”

    Partially true; but if you are attempting to say that this nullifies my earlier point, let me counter with an illustration:

    The basis for an individual’s rights in this country are that your privileges/freedoms/rights extend in all directions to infinity — or until your actions, wants, or needs conflict or infringe upon the rights of others.

    So let’s say we live in a world in which the State has not defined an early unborn child as a person (which is exactly where we are). In that case, it is an issue of whether the State can tell a mother what to do with the ‘thing’ growing inside her — that part of her person is hers alone to decide upon, the State has no business intervening or interfering.

    IF, HOWEVER, the State ever decides to re-define an early-stage fetus as a ‘person’, then we have a problem. Because at that point, it is no longer a private matter — the pregnant woman’s rights extend only until her actions infringe upon the rights of the person inside her — the other human being.

    And yes, between receiving your comment, and making this reply, I did go back and re-read the entire position for ROE, just to be sure I was remembering it correctly. It’s available quite easily to anyone who can Google.

    —–
    OK, so now that I’ve alienated or pissed off almost everyone reading, let me say this (and really throw you for a loop): I am a hard-right Christian, and strongly against abortion. BUT I also believe that the government has no business intervening here (and most other places). So if ROE is ever overturned for the above reasons, I’m hoping that there will be other restraints by then to keep the government from sticking their nose in what is family, medical, and moral business. None of those areas are what government exists to manage.

    Perhaps if abortion is not right for you and your conscience (as it wouldn’t be for my family), your religious or moral convictions should be the only barriers necessary. Your mayor, governor, and president may or may not share your convictions — and they cycle in and out much more regularly than your personal code of ethics. Even judges can vacillate with the winds of social mood swings.

    So despite the shaky grounds it stands on, America needs ROE to stand for just a bit longer.

    P.S.: I’m also against seafood, acid rock, and anyone who sings off key — but the government has no more right to step in and outlaw them than I would have to shoot someone playing Hootie while eating takeout from Red Lobster.

  123. Anonymous says:

    Kids will not die if they don’t have sex. It’s okay and good for them to wait. Why is it that the vast majority of you think it’s a right everyone should have? It’s meant to bond a husband and wife and to make babies. Something no teen needs to be worrying about.

    Kathy, do you even remember what you were like as a teen, or what other people were like? Teens are not *worrying* about having sex, they’re trying as hard as they can to have it!

    Abstinence is counter to Human nature, so if teens are going to find a way to have sex anyway, let’s be a little pragmatic and teach them how to do it safely. It might not be what their parents want, but at least fewer girls will be left literally holding the baby after a brief fling with a boy they don’t like any more.

  124. Anonymous says:

    “And the research backing this conclusion is where?”

    It’s in Bristol’s uterus.

  125. Dan says:

    Just because you give someone a life jacket, doesn’t mean they’re going to jump into the sea.

  126. Rebecca says:

    Love it.

    Also, people, this is a correlation between shotgun weddings and sex ed. Even those who choose to wait until marriage may just marry quicker and earlier in order to get on with it!

    P.S. Palin opposes comprehensive sex-ed, and studies have proven that abstinence only education does not change the frequency of pre-marital sex, but it does increase the likelihood of pregnancy. Good sex-ed includes abstinence, but also birth control methods.

    Love,
    An Alaska
    (Who didn’t vote Palin for Gov, either)

  127. Anonymous says:

    how hard is it to read a condom package, or read the instructions that come with birth control?
    sadly the people who cant comprehend this extremely difficult task only continue to add keep pooring into the gene pool

  128. Crack Whore says:

    Reading a condom package requires knowing what a condom is, or what a penis and vagina do.

    I hear in Kansas they teach stork theory. If you’re taught that than why would you ever need to worry about condoms?

  129. MacBigot says:

    OK, now you can all cease and desist:

    Palin has been on record during her gubernatorial run in 2006 as saying, “I’m pro-contraception, and I think kids who may not hear about it at home should hear about it in other avenues. So I am not anti-contraception. But, yeah, abstinence is another alternative that should be discussed with kids. I don’t have a problem with that. That doesn’t scare me, so it’s something I would support also.”

    http://www.latimes.com/news/politics/la-na-sexed6-2008sep06,0,3119305.story

    Y’all have ASSUMED that she was pro- ‘abstinence-only’, except it’s only been the blogosphere (and a bunch of Left-leaning ‘news’ sites) that back up that assumption.

    You have no way of knowing that the boyfriend wasn’t really using a condom (you know, they do break sometimes, when the users are, well, VIGOROUS… :-)

    You have no way of knowing whether Palin had a family rule that her kids were not to have access to condoms (though that seems silly considering her stance, above); yet you swear up and down that is what she ‘must be doing’ and that she would promote that thinking in schools, etc.

    You have taken the fact that she is a Christian and has belonged to a ‘weird’ church to extrapolate that she must have a right-wing view that you have associated with ultra-right Christian Conservatives.

    You are oh-so-willing to castigate this person and her family when you have no real idea what she said — and when the truth comes out, you do not exercise the same vigor in clearing up the confusion YOU helped cause.

    You can all go home now… nothing to see here.

    I’m really impressed.

  130. MacBigot says:

    (P.S. that is not to take away from Jessica’s graphical interpretation of the chatter… she always nails a concept graphically better than anyone I’ve ever seen…)

  131. Anonymous says:

    teens have sex.
    i know, i am one and i hang around with them.
    no matter what you teach, they will have sex.
    If my mother hadn’t sat down and told me what a condom is, how it works, and why to use one, my girlfriend would probably be pregnant right now.

  132. Ali says:

    How about we teach abstinence and birth control? We tell them not to have sex, but teach them how to protect themselves if they do.

  133. Marten Reed says:

    @Kathy

    Sorry, I’m sure this has been addressed at least a hundred thousand times already…

    Two thirds of the people who got abortions did so because of failed birth control.

    Wow, people who don’t want to have babies get abortions?

  134. J says:

    Will everybody just stop all this bickering. Comedy is supposed to bring people together, not tear them apart. I don’t care if your a Democrat, Republican, (I don’t even care if your a Communist). Just enjoy the jokes.

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