Dear President Bush, Thanks For The STD!

One of George Bush’s educational mainstays beyond the nutty notion that bringing mediocrity to our schools via No Child Left Behind is good was “abstinence only” education. Of course, what does that get you? Apparently, uneducated kids with large amounts of STDs.

The first national study of four common sexually transmitted diseases among girls and young women has found that one in four are infected with at least one of the diseases, federal health officials reported Tuesday.

How much did it cost us to learn that abstinence education really is a flop (not unlike energy deregulation)?

“The national policy of promoting abstinence-only programs is a $1.5 billion failure,” Ms. Richards said, “and teenage girls are paying the real price.”

I suggest all teens with STDs who were forced into abstinence only courses send a nice post card to the Whitehouse and to George Bush saying “Thanks for the STD, Mr. Bush.”

46 Responses to “Dear President Bush, Thanks For The STD!”

  1. Jet Netwal Says:

    My biggest issue with this finding is that I’m not seeing anybody on the MSM talking about the BOYS.

    Unless, of course, No Child Left Behind has constructed a rampage of Lesbianism. Maybe the girls should send postcards saying “Thanks for broadening my horizons, Mr. Bush.”

  2. Marshall Gill Says:

    Sure, it is Bush’s fault. He could have attempted to spend billions of more tax dollars, that always works so well. Nothing inspires a teen to do something like authority.

    What ever happens, never, never, never blame the individual for their own actions. The fault of every wrong in the world is always the failure of government, or Bushilter. The bastard! He probably plans to have Haliburton build girl robots to replace these, or maybe space aliens!

    This could surely have been prevented by a few thousand more bureaucrats, possibly from either the Department of Motor Vehicles or the Post Office.

  3. Jet Netwal Says:

    Gee, Marshall. All this time I thought teaching about contraception and how to prevent spreading sexually transmitted disease was the answer. I mean, if Bush had been behind that instead of the proven defunct plan of abstinence…

    But hey, I had no idea they have girl robots in the wings! Our females are dispensible, so why bother teaching them about their bodies and health, right? I mean, it’s not like they matter.

  4. Jersey McJones Says:

    The problem, Marshall, is that Bush et al have been promoting an unsafe, incorrect, ideological-and-not-scientiftic sex education program. It’s far more than just Bush, but he is the figure head at the top of that pyramid of stupidity. It’s stupid, backwards, dumbass “conservatives” all over the country that are making these social ills worse. When you teach kids that condoms are ineffective (a lie), that “sex is bad, um-kay, so don’t do it” (as if kids won’t just do the opposite of what adults say anyway), and that perfectly natural and healthy - and safe - sexual experience is unnatural, unhealthy, and unsafe, then you are going to see a rise in STD’s and such.

    Get it, or is all this too much for you?

    JMJ

  5. Windspike Says:

    I love this comment JMJ makes:

    he is the figure head at the top of that pyramid of stupidity

    LOL.
    Marshal’s been smoking too long and hard on the GOP Geopolitical Crack Pipe that he thinks no bid contracts to friends of the Veep is a good thing for America (Halliburton would love to build girl robots, particularly if they could bill the American people and not be held accountable for any production whatsoever). But I digress.

    Sex and Health Education is a good thing. Any one who thinks teenagers won’t have sex has their head up their own ass for so long they can’t see straight. Knowing what we know about teen sex drives, not teaching them how to have responsible sex is…well, irresponsible. That’s what you get when you leadership by faith trumps leadership by fact. It’s time to let go of faith-based leadership. It got us wars we don’t need, spreading STDs, and a whole mess of other bad things like prescription drug benefits that don’t benefit but confuse our elders and a debt so large that China could call in our markers any day and crush our entire economy.

    Incidentally, I had the same question as Jet - what about the boys? I’m certain that there has to be another study coming out that will be a bigger percentage than one quarter of our entire female population.

  6. Craig R. Harmon Says:

    “What ever happens, never, never, never blame the individual for their own actions.”

    Never, ever blame the individual actor; always blame Bush because, like, rubbers are a deep, dark secret that no one would ever know about unless Bush told them (that they are available in every pharmacy and gas station men’s room in America) and, of course, everyone would use them if only Bush told them of the existence of rubbers (because rubbers add so to the pleasure of the act) and because, well, kids are just so responsible (that if Bush would just tell them about rubbers and how to use them) who could doubt that STDs would disappear, at last, from the face of the earth in a single generation?

    Of course it’s Bush’s fault that 14 year old girls are engaging in unprotected sex. I mean, how can you doubt it?

    \sarcasm off\

    And when did educating our nation’s kids about sex become the job of the President of the United States, anyway? I guess I missed that clause in Article II of the U. S. Constitution.

    Bottom line: typical liberal fare.

    How about this: I advise every girl who got an STD send a postcard to the President saying, “I should have listened to you!”

  7. Lisa Says:

    I think the blame should be more on how liberal we have become about sex that makes it more appealing to young teens and the role models many of them have especially when many of them are also born out of wedlock and to young parents themselves .
    I remember sex was looked down on if girls(mostly of course) were having sex Even in High School. Now it’s accepted and expected. Didn’t Jocelyn Elders promote safe sex? And wasn’t it also said that a BJ wasn’t considered sex?
    SO let’s teach kids how to have safe sex because you know by 12 years old they are going to be doing it anyway. Maybe we should start showing our kids how to use a condom at 8 years old.

  8. Melissa Says:

    Do you really think that it was Bush or even his Abstinence Only Education program that caused one in four females to get an STD? Come on. That is the most ridiculous thing I’ve ever heard. The real problem is that we have a generation of parents who have failed to teach their children values, morals, and restraint. While I question the effectiveness of teaching abstinence in school, saying that Bush caused one in four girls to have an STD is spurious. Last time I checked, a person can still get an STD even with condoms and birth control (I’m assuming you’re promoting that we teach about these things instead). When will we as a nation take responsibility for our own actions rather than throwing the blame on someone else?

  9. manapp99 Says:

    “Sex and Health Education is a good thing. Any one who thinks teenagers won’t have sex has their head up their own ass for so long they can’t see straight. Knowing what we know about teen sex drives, not teaching them how to have responsible sex is…well, irresponsibl e”

    Anyone who thinks you can teach any Jr. High or High School kid anything about sex these days has their head up their ass. Come on, do you think kids are just unaware of condoms or birth control unless the government teaches them about it? Go talk to any 14 year old about sex and see for yourself. Teenagers now as much about sex as you do. If not more.

  10. Jersey McJones Says:

    The point that you genius cons don’t seem to get is that STDs are back on the rise (as is crime, poverty, and a pile of other social ills) and that whether or not one “blames Bush,” our moron in chief, one certainly can’t say that he and his sleazy con cohorts have made anything any better!

    I know sleazy cons are too small of human beings to ever admit they were wrong, but at least you could be big enough to admit that Bush and Co have no helped any of this, even if you do not blame he and his insipid ideology.

    So what do we hear from you idiots? Let’s go back to the old days! You know! Back in the days when girls were the mere property of men and everyone still had sex when they were kids but no one spoke of it! Hey, let’s just pretend it doesn’t exist!. Or let’s teach kids hypocritical, subjective, authoritarian “values!” You know, because lord knows kids do everything their parents tell them, regardless of their natural biological urges!.

    Idiots.

    JMJ

  11. Jet Netwal Says:

    Teenagers now as much about sex as you do. If not more.

    Really? I think, if they knew as much about sex as I do, they wouldn’t be engaging in unsafe sex practices.

    I learned about how pregnancy occurs, contraception, how it works, what STD’s are and how they can harm my body and STD prevention in my heath and human development classes in my public school.

    In the 30 years I’ve been sexually active, I never had an unplanned pregnancy, or contracted syphilis, gonorrhea, chlamydia, or any of that crap. I practiced safe sex because I understood the risks and the benefits of doing so.

    I also think that sex is a normal, wonderful part of the human experience, and you can be damn sure my daughter and sons will be given all the information they need to enjoy a healthy human sexual life as part of their time on this earth.

    I’ll talk to my kids more than my mother did with me, but having a fact and science based area of coursework available to them as part of their education stood me in good stead and I wholly support it.

    Edited for clarity because Jersey jumped between this response and the comment responded to.

  12. Craig R. Harmon Says:

    Jersey,

    Nowhere did I proclaim Abstinence Only a smashing success. It isn’t. What you dismissed with “whether or not one “blames Bush,” our moron in chief”, was EXACTLY my point.

    As for policy preferences, I do not prefer, as you put it:

    Let’s go back to the old days! You know! Back in the days when girls were the mere property of men and everyone still had sex when they were kids but no one spoke of it! Hey, let’s just pretend it doesn’t exist!

    Excuse me but what bullshit. At least you had the sense not to put quote marks around that steaming pile of manure but to characterize any of our positions in that way is just crap, pure and simple.

    You want an admission that the Abstinence Only program has failed, see a few paragraphs above. You want a positive alternative? Fine! Kids should be taught about sex, STDs and prophylaxis. They should also be taught that condoms can and do break and, statistically, how often. They should be taught that, therefore, even using condoms they are not 100% safe from pregnancy or sexually transmitted diseases. It should be drummed into them that, therefore, it CAN happen to them any time they have sex and that, although condom failure is rare, they can never be sure. They should be taught that oral sex IS sex, that it can and does transmit sexually transmitted diseases, except that they effect them where it shows (on their face) rather than where no one but them and their doctor need ever know about. They should be taught that their partner may not be aware that he or she has an STD. They should be taught that even partners who KNOW they have an STD will not say so to their partner. They should be taught that their people will lie to their partner when asked whether they have an STD. They should be taught that, the more partners a person has sex with, the greater chance that they have an STD and that their partner will lie about how many partners they’ve had sex with or whether they used condoms or not. They should be taught that when he’s horny and has the slightest hope that he’ll get in her panties, a some guys will say ANYTHING to get what he wants, and that could include the dream-boat that they spend hours on the phone talking about to their girl friends. In short, they should be taught everything they need to know to make an intelligent and informed decision about whether, when and with whom to have sex of any kind. In short, while they should be taught that sex is fun and enjoyable, there is no 100%, fool proof method, other than abstinence, to be sure that they won’t come down with something that will make them regret for the rest of their lives that they spread their legs for Mr. Dreamboat.

    Jet,

    I don’t think having unprotected sex has anything to do with ignorance on the part of kids any more than having unprotected anal sex had to do with ignorance of HIV or condoms within the gay community. Condoms are seldom used because they are a nuisance that detracts from the sexual experience. They have unprotected sex because they think they’re indestructible, it won’t happen to them! They have unprotected sex because they trust their partner, surely he’d tell me if he had an STD! They have unprotected sex because they KNOW it’s dangerous (if Abstinence Only teaches them ANYTHING, it is this) to have unprotected sex and that very danger adds to the excitement of having unprotected sex. Having unprotected sex isn’t about ignorance or knowledge; it’s about the stupidity of youth. They know everything, they think, and we adults know nothing worth thinking about.

  13. Craig R. Harmon Says:

    Jet,

    There’s another explanation for why kids have unprotected sex. Some kids just don’t give a shit what happens to them. They feel worthless and unloved. They crave anything that feels like love and if that means risking STDs to have someone hold them, touch them, tell them they love them, they’ll do it.

  14. Jet Netwal Says:

    Some is far fewer than all, Craig. There are certainly some who are desperate for affection just as there are some who are genuinely in love for the first time and others who are simply curious. All three need factual information about their bodies, sexuality and STD’s.

    As for your other statement, “the stupidity of youth” is another convenient catchall. Teens do not behave in a uniform manner anymore than adults do. As individuals, we interperet, reason and decision make based on a spectrum of inflences, knowlegde base, and emotive reasoning. We’re human. Sex is a normal function of humanity, and giving teens info on it can’t hurt them as they develop and explore.

  15. Jersey McJones Says:

    Okay Craig,

    “They should also be taught that condoms can and do break and, statistically, how often. They should be taught that, therefore, even using condoms they are not 100% safe from pregnancy or sexually transmitted diseases.”

    Okay. What are the rates? What are the statistical differences? Do you know? They’re pretty friggin’ staggering, ya’ know.

    Sex is normal and natural. Just because it wasn’t commonly spoken of just a couple generations ago that does not mean that this is all something new. Just a couple more generations beyond that, it was common to be married at all of 14 years old. Do you suppose those 14 year olds were educated, abstinent and always free to make their choices? The fact is that our civilization has evolved faster than our species. We ask of kids to not do something that was normal for them to do at their age just a few generations ago - and for time immemorium before that, save for a few periods here and there (no pun intended). You’ll never win the sex-ed war by putting your uptight, Victorian fears into childrens heads. You have to just be honest and upfront - and objective and realistic - with them about this issue.

    JMJ

  16. Lisa Says:

    Jersey those generations also had a life span of 30 yeas old. Just because it was normal then doesn’t make it normal now especially when their allowance won’t even cover formula.
    You know you can be honest and up front about sex but still discourage it instead of encouraging it which doesn’t mean being uptight but being realistic.

  17. Lisa Says:

    You want to balme for this then he should ban all R rated movies and ban clothing ads that depict false images. There how would like that?

  18. Lisa Says:

    That last comment was supposed to look like this:

    You want to blame Bush for this then he should ban all R rated movies and ban clothing ads that depict false images. There how would like that.

  19. Craig R. Harmon Says:

    Jet,

    I was not attempting to apply any of my listed reasons to all kids. My intention, rather, was to give a non exhaustive list of the many reasons why kids engage in unprotected sex. So you are absolutely right. None of my reasons apply to all kids who engage in sexual activities that they know, intellectually, to be dangerous and if I gave that impression, I did not write carefully enough to fully communicate my meaning. But my main point is that kids today are not engaging in dangerous sexual practices because they are ignorant and I believe that to be the case because Abstinence Only instruction hits pregnancy and STDs heavily. Unless they are completely tuned out, they cannot claim ignorance of these subjects.

    Jersey,

    Okay. What are the rates? What are the statistical differences? Do you know? They’re pretty friggin’ staggering, ya’ know.

    According to Wikipedia’s article on condoms: “The perfect use pregnancy rate of condoms is 2% per year.” Use of spermicide can decrease this percentage but I will use that 2% as a proxy for “condom failure” of some sort. Even in combination, using all consistently and correctly, pregnancy can still happen. According to the same article:

    According to a 2000 report by the National Institutes of Health, correct and consistent use of latex condoms reduces the risk of HIV/AIDS transmission by approximately 85% relative to risk when unprotected, putting the seroconversion rate (infection rate) at 0.9 per 100 person-years with condom, down from 6.7 per 100 person-years.

    I’m not sure what that “person-years” means, exactly, but it seems to me that that puts the transmission rate of HIV with the correct and consistent use of condoms at just below 1%. Do you understand that differently?

    But of course, that is not to say that you can correctly and consistently use condoms safely 97 times before a failure results in pregnancy or transmission of some STD or another. That means that you’re playing Russian roulette with a gun with 100 chambers and a one or two chance in a hundred of getting shot. But that shot may come with the next pull of the trigger.

    I don’t know. Doesn’t sound like a game that I’d be particularly thrilled to have my child play. So However staggering you might find the numbers, I’m not impressed enough to tell my kid, “Heres what they are. Here’s how to use them. Use them consistently and carefully. Now, go have fun with dreamboat or Ms. Right” let alone any Mr. or Ms. that crosses your path. I consider the information that I listed above to be the minimum of information that kids today need to hear. And not just once. It needs to be repeated and reinforced. Kids need to be scared to death that the next pull of the trigger is going to result in something that will make them very, very sorry they pulled the trigger. 14 year olds are not equipped to be good judges of sexual partners. That 25% have STDs is perfect proof of same.

    This is the result of a culture that tells kids, sex is natural and fun. Follow a few simple rules and you can be confident that you can have as much fun with as many different partners as you want, safely. Party hardy”. Nyuh-uh. Nope. Bovine manure. Kids are entirely too trusting with those of their own circle. They need to be made to be skeptical of every word said to them which might be interpreted as an invitation to sex rather than ask, “Got a condom? Good. Let’s go find a bed!”

    Back when girls were getting married at 14, they were GETTING MARRIED. Back then, getting married was presumed to be a monogamous situation, not a “pass your body around” as a party favor.

    And, as I said, I was a virgin til 20. My first wife was a virgin until I lost my virginity with her so please don’t give me that “We ask of kids to not do something that was normal for them to do at their age just a few generations ago - and for time immemorium before that.” All I can say is, horse-hockey. It holds exactly no water with me. Abstinence isn’t something that people cannot do; it’s something they prefer not to do and our culture has let them down by telling them that condoms and the pill make sex okay to experiment with. Well, failure of birth control and STDs make it dangerous as hell to experiment with.

    As for honest and upfront, objective and realistic, if you aren’t telling them, in detail, everything I’ve listed above, youaren’t being honest, upfront, objective or realistic. You’re sending them out to get pregnant or worse.

    That’s my opinion.

    Craig R. Harmon

  20. Craig R. Harmon Says:

    Here’s the Wiki article I referenced above.

  21. Craig R. Harmon Says:

    Jersey,

    Thinking about that 0.9% per 100 person-years, that could mean that one person using condoms perfectly over a period of one hundred years, transmission might occur just under once but I’m still not sure what that means in real-world terms. I don’t think it means that one could engage in sex with an HIV infected person for one hundred years and be certain that one would not contract AIDS. Still the only way to guarantee that would be to abstain. I mean, one might love the HIV infected person enough to risk infection and I guess that’s fine for an adult to make that decision but a 14 year old isn’t an adult.

    The same article says:

    A 2006 study reports that proper condom use decreases [Me: though, note well, it doesn’t say “eliminates”] the risk of transmission for human papilloma virus by approximately 70%.[35] Another study in the same year found consistent condom use was effective at reducing [Me: again, not “eliminating”] transmission of herpes simplex virus-2 also known as genital herpes, in both men and women.[36]

    Although a condom is effective in limiting exposure, some disease transmission may occur even with a condom. Infectious areas of the genitals, especially when symptoms are present, may not be covered by a condom, and as a result, some diseases can be transmitted by direct contact.[37] The primary effectiveness issue with using condoms to prevent STDs, however, is inconsistent use.

    And that’s the thing. Do you trust a 14 year old to be consistent with condom use? Particularly, kids who are partying and being promiscuous and subject to pressure by a guy to not use a condom? I have a little more skeptical view of human behavior than to trust to that. Guys want what they want and some are willing to lie and deceive and use pressure to get it. All it takes is one time a girl saying, “Well, just this once; after all, he loves me” and that could be all she wrote.

  22. Craig R. Harmon Says:

    But seventy percent of transmissions of Herpes simplex-2 occurs while infected partners are asymptomatic. If the virus shows up where the condom does not cover, it won’t protect from transmission. While herpes is not fatal, it is a life-time son-of-a-bitch nuisance that no sufferer with a functioning moral compass will want to give to another, especially to someone they love. But, unfortunately, not every sufferers’ moral compass is fully functioning. They don’t always inform their partners. To fail to give kids this kind of information is to leave them without the kind of information they need to make informed decisions. You may call it uptight, sexually repressed garbage; I call it full disclosure. Under the right conditions, sex can be wonderful. Such as when both partners are sure that the other is STD-free and both have bound themselves into a relationship of promise to remain faithful (monogamous marriage); anything else is a crap-shoot with unloaded dice.

  23. Craig R. Harmon Says:

    Let me explore what I THINK 0.9 transmissions per 100 people-years means with some numbers. Suppose we track 100,000 HIV infected people using condoms consistently and properly for one year. I THINK that would be 1,000 people-years. IF that’s the case, one would expect, statistically speaking, 9 transmissions of the virus within that year.

    That’s what I think 0.9 transmissions per 100 people years means in real life.

  24. The Hermit Says:

    From some of the posts here, I think we can conclude that the ever wrong right- wing-nuts are acting a bit like white blood corpuscles dashing to the source of even a hint of reality infecting their putrefied world view.

    All of the hysteria in the comments about morality (the prejudices you received along with your mother’s milk) miss the point that despite wasting billions of dollars trying to pretend that children are not sexual beings, and pushing insanities like an 18 year old age of consent and faith based “abstinence only” sexual education, the USA has a child pregnancy and STD rate that looks like that of an impoverished third world nation with a 30 year life expectancy might look on VIagra.

    Meanwhile other industrialized countries where kids quite legally make like rabbits, after having received thorough education early enough to make a difference, don’t seem to suffer from these issues. Which means that no matter whether you blame the government, the parents, or as some above seem to, the children, that this area is one where the USA with its insane levels of religiously inspired insanities is not doing very well at all.

    I have a new suggestion for “where to place the blame.” Would the faithful replying here kindly ask themselves, “Why is god punishing this belief riddled society with STDs where all the largely non-believing nations don’t seem to have these problems to the same extent?” Perhaps it is the belief systems themselves which are at fault.

  25. Jersey McJones Says:

    Lisa,

    “Jersey those generations also had a life span of 30 yeas old.”

    No, they didn’t. Infant mortality was much higher back then. The life span mean was much higher than that.

    “Just because it was normal then doesn’t make it normal now especially when their allowance won’t even cover formula.”

    Back then, Lisa, families operated as extended but close-knit units. Families were larger and more interdependent. Perhaps that’s now why we discourage the behavior. But we should at least recognize it objectively, rather than lie to our kids.

    “You know you can be honest and up front about sex but still discourage it instead of encouraging it which doesn’t mean being uptight but being realistic.”

    Discourage sex, huh? Yeah. That sounds really healthy. Jeez. What we need to do is educate about sex, not discourage it. You religious types fuck kids up more than you’ll ever know. I wonder how many marraiges have failed over the millenia thanks to goofball, uptight, religious, arbitrary, subjective, insecure, projectile morality.

    Craig,

    I thank you for the intensive research, but without the spin the result is the same - safe sex is safer than unrealistic sexual morays.

    JMJ

  26. Craig R. Harmon Says:

    Sexual morays? Well, I guess eels are sexual, too. I would think that sex between morays would be electrifying. :-)

    Anyway. That’s all for me on the subject. Toodles.

  27. The Hermit Says:

    Craig, I suspect we agree on many things, but your definition of “life span” is not one of them. Unless carefully restricted to, e.g. Male adults, lifespan relates to the lives of everyone, one reason lifespans improved as dramatically as they did in the 20th century. A more explicit measurement is “life expectancy at age” which removes much of the potential for misunderstanding.

    In the early 1900s, Black men lived to age 33. Black women to 34. For white men it was to 47 and white women to 49. (Refer http://www.elderweb.com/home/node/2838). In addition, men tended to be much more married than women. (Refer /www.elderweb.com/home/node/2899). And BTW, look at what the flu did in 1918 http://www.demog.berkeley.edu/~andrew/1918/figure2.html

    This might surprise you given that men tended to go out to work and wage war and so were logically more prone to early deaths, but until mid-last-century and the advent of sulfa drugs and antibiotics, children died in droves, as did women. Children of injuries and “normal” childhood diseases both easily treated today. Women often of complications of childbirth. Worth remembering that even into the early 1900s, American hospitals were still run by doctors who agreed with the professionals who killed Semmelweis because he argued that Obstetricians were killing their patients (by introducing bacteria). Semmelweis was of course quite correct.
    =============================================================
    Lisa said, “I think the blame should be more on how liberal we have become about sex that makes it more appealing to young teens and the role models many of them have”

    Lisa, When you live, as most Americans did prior to the 1940s, surrounded by animals you understand sex, birth and death through having watched it all your life. Indeed, if I remember correctly, Kinsey found that in the 1950s more than half of all American men had experienced sex with animals, so for some the knowledge was more intimate than pure observation can yield.

    When your learning comes from your family it can become more complicated. For example, many American fathers in the late 1800s would take their children to a whorehouse at what was seen as an appropriate age (12-18 depending on state) (and given the exorbitant cost of “skins” (actually usually lamb or pig intestines) they probably didn’t use condoms). Contemporaneously, children were being circumcised - at Kellog’s recommendation - to prevent the mind-threatening disease of masturbation, while their mothers were receiving frottage from their doctors to prevent fainting fits. Meanwhile, in London, there was at least one prostitute per 6 men - not including all the servant girls who would often take a lover for a fee to pay the rent but didn’t make their living that way and an 8 year old London whore could be had for “the price of a mince pie” (a quarter penny or farthing). As late as the 1930s the Hansard of the Indian Parliament shows that members were still arguing that the loss of virginity at age 5 or 6 to one’s brothers or uncles was not only the way nature intended things to happen, but preferable, being kinder and gentler as everyone knew everyone else.

    Today, even while the age of menarche has become earlier by 3 months per decade since the early 1800s, so the age of consent has gone the other way, and children exploring their sexuality at the age many children do (10 - 16) are possibly more at risk from society than from STDs. As are their parents. A mother in Wisconsin who discovered her child was already engaging in unprotected sex provided him with condoms - and was later charged for endangering a minor.

    So your sensible comment “let’s teach kids how to have safe sex because you know by 12 years old they are going to be doing it anyway.” should undoubtedly be adopted by society. Perhaps we could wait a little later than your suggestion, “Maybe we should start showing our kids how to use a condom at 8 years old,” but 12 is definitely too late.

  28. Craig R. Harmon Says:

    Hermit,

    I’ve said nothing about life span nor have I attempted to define it in any way. I believe that that was Lisa. While both of us are conservatives we are not actually interchangeable. ;-)

    Anyway, I’ve said my piece on the subject. Welcome to BIO! by the way. Despite our differences, I welcome other viewpoints.
    Ciao!

    Craig R. Harmon

  29. The Hermit Says:

    Thank-you for the welcome and my apologies for the confusion Craig.

    I saw the letter from Jersey McJones, on March 13th, 2008 at 7:34 pm Wherein was said: “Lisa, “Jersey those generations also had a life span of 30 yeas old.” and then a bit latter, where you were addressed, I read it as a signature.

  30. Lisa Says:

    Hermit and Jersey-If you want pull out all the pages to support your arguments about 10-16 year olds sexuality go right ahead but it still doesn’t justify trying to discourage it at that age being today it is more important to get an education and more importantly having control of how your body is used and to have respect for yourself and yes that means discouraging it because today’s 12 year olds aren’t mature enough to handle it.
    And for the record I am not religious. What’s the matter you can’t have morals without being religious?

  31. Lisa Says:

    I meant pull out all the pages of history. Left that out in my first sentence.

  32. Craig R. Harmon Says:

    Hermit,

    You’re welcome and no problemo.

  33. Craig R. Harmon Says:

    Whoa! I just reread something I wrote above, namely:

    According to Wikipedia’s article on condoms: “The perfect use pregnancy rate of condoms is 2% per year.” Use of spermicide can decrease this percentage but I will use that 2% as a proxy for “condom failure” of some sort.

    This (the bolded portion) just will not do. To say that pregnancy results in 2% of the perfect use of condoms and that 2% is a proxy for condom failure assumes that pregnancy results every time a condom failure occurs. This, of course, is illogical. Pregnancy does not occur every time two fertile people have sex and condom failures result typically in less semen spillage than results from sex where no condom is used so, logically, condom failure results in pregnancy less frequently than non condom use. Right? So the frequency of condom failure must be much higher than 2%.

  34. Jersey McJones Says:

    Craig, that sounds like total and complete nonsense to me. Teach kids bullshit like that and you can be guarenteed they’ll use it as an excuse for usfae sex and the STD rates will rise.

    Lisa, if you’re not religious then I’m the friggin’ Pope.

    JMJ

  35. Jet Netwal Says:

    I’m gonna go out on a limb here and say that I’m pretty sure Jersey ain’t the pope….
    :-D

  36. Craig R. Harmon Says:

    Jersey,

    No doubt it does. But first of all, nothing I’ve written is bullshit. It happens to be the truth as you must acknowledge since you’ve written nothing proving that anything I’ve written is not true. Therefore you are saying that telling kids the truth is bullshit…which, I say, is bullshit. Kids need true and accurate information, as much as necessary, to make as wise a choice as they can.

    Besides, you seem to have missed when I said that kids should be taught about sex, STDs and prophylaxis. What part of that reads like I’m not for telling all about condoms, their proper use, and the benefits of their use over non use? In short, I’m for giving them all the information you are for giving them. You just seem to want to withhold true information that will, likely, wind them up a statistic among the 25% when their condom fails and they come to you and say, “But you said that if we used a rubber we’d be safe”. What do you say to them when they discover that you knew rubbers failed and you refused to tell them because such knowledge is, to use your word, “bullshit”?

  37. The Hermit Says:

    Lisa
    Faith, derived from fides, or trust, means to accept on trust that which is given to you. It does not have to derive from religion although it often does. Ontologically speaking, morality is based in conformity to the norms of the particular community referenced, or more simply, whether or not you acknowledge this, morals are merely prejudices learned early and long reinforced though rationalization, e.g. “today’s 12 year olds aren’t mature enough to handle it” (a self-fulfilling prophesy if ever I saw one). In other words, morals are indeed “faith based” unless you are claiming that your morality has been independently achieved through careful inspection and rational consideration of the herd; whereupon, rather than mere morality, or arbitrary, socially enforced, rules of thumb, you would be discussing ethics, an altogether different animal. But you might have a hard time persuading anybody else that this is indeed the mechanism through which you came to an ethical stance if your assorted prejudices match those of the community in which you live.
    If only because it is easy to look to the diversity of geographic and temporally dispersed communities of mankind to find antipathetic examples of practically every moral imperative ever enunciated; which necessarily invalidates claims to those moral stances being rational achievements.

  38. windspike Says:

    I think the conversation has been slightly diverted here. The main point I’m trying to make by raising this post was that we all know that President’s have the ability to shape how our money gets spent. This current incarnation of a President Mr. Bush has decided that “abstinence only” education was the way to go for publicly funded health education. When you are making decisions about how to spend public money on public education, you have a responsibility to ensure that it actual does good. This article clearly spells out that abstinence only education is a miserable flop.

    Instead of diverting existing funding to a failed (or at least unproven at the time) program, Mr. Bush could have bolstered health education to include very good conversations that address the very fact that kids will have sex and arm them with good knowledge about contraception and the like. Bush went the wrong way. It’s his fault the program went that way. The money could have been better spent and perhaps (and I say perhaps intentionally because we will never know until Bush’s policy changes) more informative sex ed could have helped reduce the STD rate, not increase it.

    So, in the grand scheme of things, was abstinence only education successful and a productive use of taxpayer money? Based on the article in the main post, nope.

  39. Jersey McJones Says:

    Damn, Jet figured me out! ;)

    Craig,

    “You just seem to want to withhold true information that will, likely, wind them up a statistic among the 25% when their condom fails…”

    Nonsense. Utter and complete nonsense. I wouldn’t withhold anything. I would tell them the truth. Read the Jama HSV2/Condom study (just google it). If you teach kids about lesions and proper condom use, those numbers only go down. Sexual education must be approached wholistically - not just condoms v abstinence. There’s much more to all this than you are acknowledging.

    Hermit hits all this right on the head. We must anoid the self-fulfilling prophesy and we must teach sexuality objectively and without arbitrary morays.

    Lisa, if you believe in the God of Abraham then you are religious. Period.

    And Windspike makes the point - Bush’s initiative in regards to sexual education has failed. Period.

    JMJ

  40. Craig R. Harmon Says:

    Jersey,

    “I wouldn’t withhold anything. I would tell them the truth”

    I say it again, bullshit. Either you lied when you said that telling kids the true information that I mentioned about condom failure was bullshit that was too dangerous for kids to know because they would inevitably use it as an excuse to not use condoms or you’re lying now. Which is it?

    I mean, honestly, there’s no point going on if you can’t keep your story straight from one comment to the next.

    For future reference, if you want me to read something, post a link. Otherwise, don’t bother.

    Craig R. Harmon

  41. Paul Watson Says:

    Craig,
    I don’t think anybody here is saying that kids should be given condoms and told to get a rutting. Obviously, abstinence is the absolutely most effective way of preventing pregnancy and other STDS. However, if teenagers (or adults, because let’s face it they often have just as little idea as teenagers) are going to have sex, it is better and safer (not safe because nothing is 100% safe. Even abstinence [just ask Mary ;-)]) that they use condoms. And parents should discourage, teachers should inform. At least in my opinion.

    Of course, teenagers won’t give a monkey’s about any of the facts as they’re teenagers and are consequently a) always right and b) immortal and invulnerable. But Sisiphian tasks are what we expect from parents and teachers with regard to their charges.

    ABC works fine, as long as people remember that A, B and C are pretty much equally important. The problem is that, as I understand it, C is currently being given much less importance and often eliminated altogether.

    Incidentally, condom failure rate varies between 3.39% and 4.5%, depending on the study. And all that means is that you then have the same risks you’d have without the condom. The 2% rate you quoted is for perfect condom use. The ‘typical’ figure (which includes the fact that people don’t always use condoms when they should, is about 13%.

  42. Craig R. Harmon Says:

    Paul,

    I agree. Honest I do. And I’m all for telling kids that sex with condoms, STD-wise, is much safer than sex sans condoms. I’m just also for telling them that “safe-sex” is relative, not absolute. I’m for telling them, so that they will know before going off and doing something stupid, that condoms fail from time to time. That, even when they don’t fail, STDs like herpes can be passed because they can show up in places that condoms don’t cover and can be spread even though no outward symptoms are visible in one who is infected. I’m for telling them that people lie about their health, about their true feelings about their potential sex partner, about their past sexual history, about many things and that they, therefore should not take “Dreamboat” at his word when he says she’s his first so he can’t have an STD, etc. Well, no need to repeat myself. You can read all I’ve written. Point is, I’m not blind to the fact that kids are having sex today or that they’re not going to stop just because I give them all the facts as I’ve laid them out and, since I know many are going to have sex, I want them to be as protected as possible, which means, I want them to use condoms. But here’s the thing. Hiding the facts about condom failure is silly. All they have to do is read the packaging that condoms are sold in to learn that condoms are not 100% reliable so why hide that fact from them?

    You’re last paragraph is particularly interesting, to me. Yes, I quoted the perfect use rate to show that even perfect use results in failure to protect. My implicit point, which I didn’t really think needed to be made explicit, was that nobody uses perfect use of condoms consistently because sex is, by it’s very nature, inimical to clear thinking, methodical practice, and immediate withdrawal and, therefore, in actual, real life practice, the rate of problems will be higher than 2%. Thanks for making that explicit.

  43. Craig R. Harmon Says:

    I do wonder, Paul, about your ‘teachers should teach; parents should warn’ statement. In a perfect world, yes, I think that’s true. But then, in a perfect world, parents would impart sex ed to their kids and teachers could teach reading, writing and arithmetic etc. Thing is, not all kids have parents who will do due diligence even when it comes to the warning part so, it seems to me, by the same argument that places the burden of sex ed on schools and teachers should also place the warning burden on teachers.

  44. Lisa Says:

    Jersey the only time I am in a church is when I donate a meal once a month to a friend’s church. I go in the side door drop it of and leave.

  45. Paul Watson Says:

    Craig,
    I wasn’t trying to correct you or anything with that last paragraph, just I’d gone looking for the figures as I’m a stats geek and thought they’d enhance on your point.

    A comedian over here said to keep the phrase ‘death or babies’ in mind when it comes to sex. Of course, he went on to say that it didn’t really matter what was in your mind as your hips would be going ‘override’, but still… That would probably work well with teenagers. It’s crude but funny and might get the message across better than a lecture from authority.

    As for the parent/teacher thing, that’s because I can easily see getting involved in discussing the whethers of sex is going to put a large wedge between teachers and parents. I mean, there are enough people who get angry that their children are even being taught about sex because that’s something the parents should deal with. If the student actively wants to talk to the teacher about it, that’s different, but in general, I think it’s too risky for the teacher’s relationship with the parents. (And I admit that there’s a certain amount of idealism in much of my politics and societal thinking. I blame the parents.)

    But I’m glad we’re agreeing. To be honest, I didn’t think we weren’t, so if you thought I id, I need to be clearer next time.

  46. Craig R. Harmon Says:

    “Death and babies”. Yeah. Reminds one to do due diligence in relationships. I could never understand the attitude that couples who have basically just met having sex in order to see if they’re compatible. It seems to me, the way to find out if you’re compatible is to avoid sex and, well, you know, talk about everything. Do all sorts of things together without the entanglement of sex. See how long it is before you get on one another’s nerves, how you resolve that, whether you like one another before getting hot, naked and sweaty. But then I’m one of those Christian prudes. ;-)

    On the other hand, I’ve never had an STD, either! :-D

    Anyway, thanks for jumping in.

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