Abstinence Ed

Discussion in 'Health and Lifestyle' started by GotZoom, Jun 16, 2005.

  1. GotZoom
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    GotZoom Senior Member

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    I'll go ahead and post the article - so we can all have a spirited debate over "just say no" or "just say proctection."

    But before that, I have a confession.

    When I read the headline, I thought they came out with a mascot: Abstinence Ed.

    I pictured some guy named Ed running around spouting the virtues of abstinence.

    I had the hardest time trying to figure out what he would look like.

    Anyway..After I read the first paragraph, I kind of figured it out.

    Ahem...oh well. Here is the article.

    Abstinence Ed says, "Discuss."

    Abstinence Ed May Change Kids' Views on Sex
    Thursday, June 16, 2005
    By Todd Zwillich

    Students who participate in one year of "abstinence-only" sex education classes are significantly more likely than those who don't to take a negative view of teen sex, an interim government report concludes.

    The report offers what experts called the first reliable, if early, evidence that controversial abstinence-only programs funded by the federal government are able to change attitudes about sex before marriage.

    But researchers stress that they do not yet have evidence showing whether the classes actually lead to any delay or avoidance of sexual activity later on or whether teens who choose to have sex despite the abstinence message use condoms or other contraception.

    "We know that there are a lot of youths who expect to abstain and do not, or vice versa," says Rebecca Maynard, one of the study's investigators from the University of Pennsylvania.

    The preliminary study looked at three federally funded abstinence-only sex education programs used in middle schools in Florida, Mississippi, and Wisconsin, as well as one elementary school program in Virginia. Researchers surveyed 952 students taking comprehensive sex education classes and 1,358 students who attended abstinence-only education.

    The abstinence programs differ in content and message, but all tell students that avoiding sex is the only foolproof way to prevent pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases. The classes also focus on building youths' self-esteem and improving communication skills but don't instruct students on the use of contraceptives.

    Overall, students enrolled in abstinence-only classes were 8 percent more likely to take a positive view of abstinence and 7 percent more likely to hold a negative view of teen sex. The differences were confined to two of the four programs, though the report's authors called the results "strong evidence" that the classes had altered student's attitudes about sex after one year.

    The programs "result in youths holding or supporting views that were more supportive of teen abstinence and less supportive of teen sex," says Maynard. The study was conducted by Princeton, N.J.-based Mathematica Policy Research and commissioned by the Department of Health and Human Services.

    Abstinence-only programs also appeared to convince more students that premarital sex carries potential consequences. But the study found that the classes had little or no additional impact on students' self-esteem or on their ability to talk about sex with their parents.

    Forty-seven percent of high school students reported having had sex at least once in 2003, down from 54 percent in 1991, according to the CDC. About 425,500 teenage girls gave birth in 2002, though teenage birth rates dropped sharply from 62 to 43 per 1,000 births since 1991, according to the agency.

    "Abstinence education has contributed to this decline," says Bridgit Maher, family and marriage policy analyst with the Family Research Council, a conservative group.

    Abstinence-only programs remain highly controversial among educators and health experts, though such programs have been eligible for federal funding since 1998. Some 900 abstinence-only programs are funded through a federal program called Title V, which spends $50 million per year on them.

    The programs are strongly backed by the Bush administration and conservative groups, who argue that educating students about contraception encourages early sexual experimentation.

    "Students in these programs are recognizing that abstinence is a positive choice they are making," Michael O'Grady, the assistant secretary for planning and evaluation at the Department of Health and Human Services, told reporters Tuesday.

    O'Grady called the report "the most rigorous evaluation of its kind."

    The study's results suggest that abstinence-only programs "seem to be moving in the direction that they want them to," Sarah Brown, president of the National Campaign to Prevent Teen Pregnancy, tells WebMD.

    The report also found "limited evidence" that abstinence-only classes increased some students' expectations to actually avoid sex until marriage.

    But Brown stressed that those attitudes may or may not translate to delaying or avoiding sex later on. "What we've always known is that attitudes don't necessarily match behavior. What people say and what they do is often at great variance," she says.

    Researchers say they are now evaluating the same group of students to see if abstinence programs affect the likelihood of engaging in sex or using contraception as children reach 16 years of age.
     
  2. 5stringJeff
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    5stringJeff Senior Member

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    Imagine that. Eat your heart out, Masters and Johnson.
     
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  3. Mr. P
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    Mr. P Senior Member

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    Ya know, this abstinence stuff is really a joke...
    Who really believes it's changed? Don't fool yourselves it's still happening ALL the time. Abstinence for teens and young adults, yeah when pigs fly!
     
  4. Gabriella84
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    This is total bullshit. Provocative advertising encourages early sexual experimentation. Prime time television programs that include sex encourage early sexual experimentation. The emphasis on sex in every aspect of society encourages early sexual experimentation.
    Most of all, creating a mythical, forbidden aura encourages early sexual experimentation. Because kids will always want to rebel in the most shocking way possible. If sex is considered taboo and forbidden, kids are going to want to try it.

    The best way to slow down the rate of teenage sexual activity is to educate teens about the risks and liabilities. One program that is enormously successful is school is forcing teen girls to "care for" one of those lifelike babies for two weeks. The "baby" can sense when it goes uncared for and reacts. Once young get past the overly romanticized nature of having kids and realize the 24/7 demands of children, they are less likely to want them, or risk having them.

    Merely telling kids not to have sex doesn't work. They are going to do it anyway. It's like putting a cookie on the counter and telling a kid he can't have it. The kid will either eat while you are not looking, or go someplace where somebody doesn't mind giving him a cookie.

    Anyone who thinks the "problems" of teen sex are going to disappear is incredibly naieve. Educators need to shift from saying "no" to saying "how." Because it is going to happen, whether you want it to or not.
     
  5. manu1959
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    manu1959 Left Coast Isolationist

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    :bsflag: this is a parenting issue....do not blame others or assign responsibility to others
     
  6. Gabriella84
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    Gabriella84 Guest

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    If this is a "parenting issue," why do so many parents refuse to deal with it?

    I am a guidance counselor for at-risk teens. Your kids are more likely to talk to me than they are to you.
     
  7. GotZoom
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    GotZoom Senior Member

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    You know......a guy running around with a goofy looking mask carrying a sign that says..

    "Hi, I'm Abstinence Ed. I'm going to wait until I'm 30 to have sex."

    Anyone...ha ha...anyone..

    Bueller....Bueller...
     
  8. Trinity
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    Trinity VIP Member

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    Have to agree here this is a parenting issue, and one I take very seriously.

    I have already had a pretty in depth conversation with my nine year old, and yes I am sure some of you are saying what NINE?, he actually came to me right after he turned seven and asked me what is sex?

    I asked him well what do you think it is, and he proceeded to tell me, needless to say I was quite shocked :shocked: that he knew so much, considering I am pretty careful about what I let my kid's watch.

    So I sat him down and we had a very long talk about how it is very important that you wait till you are married, because of all the disease's that you could catch and unplanned pregnancies.

    However this was not a one time talk, we talk about this subject pretty regularly. I anticipate having this same converstaion with my soon to be 7 year old in about 3 or 4 more months.

    I think some of the problems arise because parent's are to scared or nervous about discussing this subject with their kids.

    I personally think when they come to you asking questions find out what they know first, ecspecially if they are 7, don't want to give them more then they can handle, but if you talk about it regularly, I think it is much easier to deal with when they hit those teen years. :huh:


    I'll get back with you on that in about 8 years!
     
  9. GotZoom
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    GotZoom Senior Member

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    "Hi, I'm Abstinence Ed."

    Commercials on TV.
    Billboards.
    He will have his own jingle:

    (sung to the Mr Ed song)

    My name is Abstinence Ed of course,
    And I'm waiting to have intercourse
    Right now I'm young
    (and not very hung)
    That's Me, I'm Abstinence Ed
     
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  10. Mr. P
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    Mr. P Senior Member

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    Nothing new there..Kids will, and have always talked freely to "other" people before their parents.
    I have a question, what is an "at-risk teen"? How is "at-risk" defined? Aren't all teens at-risk?
     

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