Saturday, May 23, 2009

Grinding the Abstinence Axe

abstinence, education, religion, institute, research, evaluation, onenewsnow
Onenewsnow, your source for a great many things that are not news, offers a defense of abstinence only education, fantastic failure that it is. Oddly, the very title of the article proves my point, or someone just doesn't understand the proper use of sarcastiquotes.

Abstinence ed "outperforms" comprehensive sex ed. (That's exactly how the title appears on onenewsnow.) The article is the usual hysterical complaints about teens having sex !!1!!!eleventy!!! and condoms spread disease !!1!!!eleventy!!!, but it includes a link to a study that purports to show that abstinence ed is, in fact, effective, and much more effective than sex ed. I always ask myself in these situations, "Who performed the study, and do they have an axe to grind?"

It was an excellent question in this case. The study was performed by the Institute for Research and Evaluation, which includes information about AEGIS International, the Character Education Company, whose program is represented by the following picture:

I don't know about you, but it seems to me that the Institute for Research and Evaluation might have a vested interest in proving that abstinence education works. Considering the billions of dollars spent on abstinence education over the last decade, they may have a quite large interest in proving that abstinence only works.


  1. I love the logic behind abstinence education. "We are going to have, teachers explain to kids why they shouldn't have sex. Then the kids won't do it."

    That worked so well for all of those anti-drinking, anti-drug lectures. Teachers can't stop kids from running in the halls, yet they are magically able to make them stop having sex.

    The advantage of conventional sex ed is that teenagers want to follow it. Most teens don't want babies or diseases. There are a few who want to get pregnant but I don't see abstinence only helping them either.

    Telling them don't have sex, is a teacher or parent telling them no about something they really want to do. Regular sex ed is telling them how to do it safely, which is going to work?"

    I don't mean there is no place for abstinence. I am raising my kids in a way that I hope will have them hold off until they are emotionally ready if not longer. I am teaching them self respect and valuing their own opinions over their friends. I am making them feel loved and respected. I am letting them know that they have the power to say no. As they get older I will put these values in to the context of things like sex and drugs. As a parent this is what I am supposed to do. A teacher is just there to provide instruction. "Sex is bad M'kay" is not instruction kids are likely to listen too.

  2. Ah yes, lets not tell them about STD's and just hope they don't sin.

    My niece is 11, and in grade 6... she didn't know what AIDs was or how one got it. I had to tell her that you can get diseases from sex. I can't believe no one told her about it.

    I think I may have a few more chats with her, since my sister apparently hasn't.

  3. Who needs studies when one has Bristol Palin? How many times did she hear the abstinence shit growing up in a pentecostal home and attending church regularly?

    She can hardly claim nobody told her she should be abstinent. But hey, she's got hormones like anyone else.

    As for those studies, it really sounds suspicious.

  4. We also have to realize, their little bodies are practically demanding they have sex. We have to teach against that demand and realize their hormones might win. So we better give them ALL the information, just to be safe, otherwise we’re just being ignorant thinking “Mother Nature” won’t put up a fight against what we consider as adults to be common sense. Kids don’t get “common sense” till they’re about 25, and that’s a scientific fact.

  5. Science always sounds suspicious ;) here's a clip off the internetz to back me up...

    researchers found that when processing emotions, adults have greater activity in their frontal lobes than do teenagers. Adults also have lower activity in their amygdala than teenagers. In fact, as teenagers age into adulthood, the overall focus of brain activity seems to shift from the amygdala to the frontal lobes.

    The frontal lobes of the brain have been implicated in behavioral inhibition, the ability to control emotions and impulses. The frontal lobes are also thought to be the place where decisions about right and wrong, as well as cause-effect relationships are processed.

    Little bit more for ya

    The results from the McLean study suggest that while adults can to use rational decision making processes when facing emotional decisions, adolescent brains are simply not yet equipped to think through things in the same way.

    And we all trust wiki right, it says "The frontal lobe reaches full maturity around age 25, marking the cognitive maturity associated with adulthood."

    So there is some science to back this up... but thanks for giving me the reason to look further then Dr. Phil *LOL*

  6. The article says "they continually site a federal study", but it doesn't say where they site it. Oklahoma? Timbuktu? Wasilla? Inquiring minds want to know.

  7. When it gets right down to it, comprehensive sex ed freaked me out about having sex. The idea of getting a girl pregnant, or getting herpes, or chlamydia, or gonorrhea, or, y'know, any of those hundreds or thousands of other things was just too much.

    Sex might be great, but sex is also really scary. The more education kids have about it the more potential they have to be scared of what can go wrong. It's not like those kids who are just like, "Really? How did THAT happen?"

  8. I don't know why, but I took the time to read one of the two "peer reviewed studies" (both by the same people) this article was based upon. In brief: the title "Abstinence ed "outperforms" comprehensive sex ed" is simply a lie. The "study" simply shows that "abstinence ed" outperforms "nothing". Not terribly surprising: the performance or the lying.

  9. You only have to look through sites like FSTDT, where you get people asking if they can get pregnant from blow jobs and such, to know that 'abstinence only' is just another way of promoting ignorance over knowledge.

  10. "people asking if they can get pregnant from blow jobs"

    you'd think that the media, that movies *alone*, would be enough to prove this one...

  11. LOL I guess the questioner swallows... sorry couldn't resist that one


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