Abstinence Only?

Discussion in 'Education' started by liberalogic, Jun 2, 2006.

  1. liberalogic
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    liberalogic Member

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    Teens' Virginity Pledge: Guess Who Lied?
    Most teenagers who take the so-called "virginity pledges" are liars. Either they took the pledge and lied about previous sexual activity or they take the pledge as a virgin and then lie about ever having taken it when they have sex at a later date, according to a new study from Harvard University in Cambridge, Mass.

    Reuters reports that the end result is those who take virginity pledges often provide researchers with unreliable data, which in turn makes it impossible to judge the effectiveness of abstinence-based sex education programs. There is a very real risk to the teenagers themselves since they tend to underestimate their risk of exposure to sexually transmitted diseases. "Teenagers do not report their past sexual activity accurately, with virginity pledgers giving more inaccurate reports of their past sexual activity," study author Janet Rosenbaum told Reuters Health. For this study, she evaluated the retractions of virginity pledges and reports of sexual histories among a nationally representative sample of seventh- through twelfth-grade students who participated in the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health.

    The surprising results:
    --In the initial survey in 1995, 13 percent of the teens said they took a virginity pledge. In the follow-up one year later, more than half of this group said they never took such a pledge.
    --Those who were sexually active in 1996 were more than three times as likely as the others to deny they had ever taken a virginity pledge.
    --Teens who later denounced a born-again Christian identity they once held were twice as likely to say they had never taken a pledge of virginity.
    --28 percent of those who had been sexually active in 1995 and later took a virginity pledge retracted their sexual past when they were surveyed in 1996.
    The study findings were reported in the American Journal of Public Health.

    http://webcenters.netscape.compuserve.com/menu/index.jsp

    This is just another indication of why an abstinence only policy is ridiculous. Kids are going to have sex, they should at least know how to do it safely. If you support abstinence only curricula, then you are only doing an injustice to your pro-life stance.
     
  2. 5stringJeff
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    5stringJeff Senior Member

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    The link went to a portal page, not to a story or study link. I'd be interested to read the actual study.

    As to your conclusion, I think it is insulting to teens to say that "they're just going to have sex." Do you really think that teenagers can't be disciplined/persuaded into not having sex? It's also ridiculous to think that public schools should teach teens that anything besides abstinence will always prevent pregnancy and STDs.
     
  3. Hobbit
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    Hobbit Senior Member

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    I've made it to 23 without having sex, and not for lack of opportunity. I find it insulting to say that kids will just have sex anyway. Sure they will, if you never discipline them and are afraid to just slap them upside the head when they say things like, "It's my life. You can't tell me what to do."
     
  4. Nienna
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    Nienna Senior Member

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    Did they poll the kids anonymously? If not, of course the data is less likely to be accurate; it's sensitive subject material. Most pollsters know that the more sensitive the subject material, the less accurate the info.

    Reuters states that data for abstinence education is unreliable. Based on this, how did you arrive at the conclusion that abstinence education is ineffective?

    Also, in order to claim that abstinence ed is less effective than safe sex ed, you can't just claim that ab ed kids are liars; you must compare statistics for ab ed kids with stats for safe sex kids.
     
  5. Said1
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    Said1 VIP Member

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    They probably just polled the kids from Laguna Beach.

    Does anyone watch that? It's about real people and the drama and stories are real. :laugh:
     
  6. liberalogic
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    liberalogic Member

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    I'm sorry about the link-- it was part of the news webpages that appear when I sign onto the internet. But I did not change anything-- I copied and pasted it as it is.

    I completely understand that abstinence is the only 100% way to avoid the mess that can come after sex. I am completely for teaching and emphasizing abstinence in health classes. But I've heard the president say on numerous occassions that "abstinence only" should be the policy in health classes. That is what I vehemently disagree with.

    People have different opinions regarding sex. Personally, I don't believe that marriage is the only venue for it. Others, often those who are religious, believe that it is a sacred bond and should occur within the confines of marriage. But that's besides the point.

    I'm a freshman at college and I can tell you that premarital sex is something that occurs all the time. I graduated from HS a year ago, and again, I can tell you that premarital sex occurs quite often. I've done it, I've seen it, and oh boy have I heard it. It's not a myth, it's the truth-- many teens have sex.

    If we just teach abstinence, then we are fostering a breeding ground for STDs and unwanted pregnancies (many of which will end in abortion-- something you guys don't want). We need to look at it realistically, not morally or idealistically.

    Again, abstinence first, safe sex second. There should be room for both in all HS health classes.
     

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