Here’s A Yummy Marshmallow – Don’t Eat It Until You’re Married


The League of Young Voters is on a quest to educate people about abstinence-only programs and health care reform. And it’s hilarious.

What’s not funny? A provision to restore funding for abstinence-only programs was recently added to the current incarnation of the health care reform bill – funding that had been eliminated. The League of Young Voters is not happy. 

What is hilarious is the pubilc service announcement the League produced to make people aware of just how absurd abstinence-only programs are as sexual health education. The video parodies the well-known "Marshmallow Test", originally performed at Stanford and recently reprised, a sort of psychological test on self-control. The post-test analysis and follow up suggested that those children who were able to "save" the marshmallow for later "enjoyed greater success as adults." Whether or not that test had merit is debatable but the parody is a narrative on the virtues of resisting temptation, practicing self-control and patience, for greater rewards later on. 

You need to watch both videos to enjoy the hilarity of comparing marshmallows to sex – both are yummy and hard-to-resist, sure – but the larger point may be that we adults all know how wonderful sex is and yet all we do is throw it out there to young adults as, "Sure sex is fantastic/this marshmallow is delicious and sure you are a sexual being with sexual desires/you’re a human who cannot resist marshmallows, but don’t even think about having sex, your sexual desires, engaging in sexual activity/eating that squishy, sweet marshmallow. Wait, wait, and wait some more. And then you’ll find the pot at the end of the rainbow. When you’re married. Years from now."

Here’s the marshmallow test (the PSA parody is below that):

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  • anne

    The second video isn’t really a great parody of the first since it appears as though most of the small children were quite willing to wait so that they could have two marshmallows. Smart kids!

  • equalist

    It might not be a "great parody of the first" but it’s a good example of what ab only education gives children in regards to facts and the tools to protect themselves with.  Students don’t use safe sex practices, because they aren’t taught about them, and as such, put themselves at risk.  It’s why telling your children not to do something, and then only answering their questions of why with "Because I said so" doesn’t work.  As a parent, when my children question my instructions, I’ve found what works best is to explain it with reasoning they can understand.  I have never and will never tell my children to stay out of the road simply because I told them to.  I tell my daughters that they should stay out of the road because the cars can hurt them, but I tell them how to be safe when walking with me, holding my hand, staying on the sidewalk, etc.  Would any of you tell children simply to stay out of the road without giving reason or alternitaves, and then walk away and assume that your job is done the way abstinance only education teaches our children to avoid sex?

    Equal rights, equal responsibilities.

  • anne

    Using your example, in the first video, we don’t know for sure if the woman promising the second marshmallow explained why she was giving one and promising one later. What we do see, though, is that the majority of the children are really resisting temptation pretty well-in the hopes of being able to enjoy not just one, but two. I really think that makes a case for abstinence only. After all, these small children that one might think have less ability to resist temptation actually do a pretty great job of it. Why should we suppose then that teens, assuming they have been taught about how valuable their sexuality is from a young age, will not be able to also resist the temptation? Also, I don’t think that just because you tell kids they should wait until marriage means that you follow that up with, "because I said so!" It’s actually pretty easy to give alot of reasons why one should wait until marriage, such as: no risk of std, no risk of pregnancy, no risk of needing an abortion, no risk of side affects of contraception, no risk of a condom breaking, the concept that perseverence pays off(being able to say no and not cave to ‘pressure’), the opportunity to build one’s own character and self-respect (in leiu of worrying about pleasing someone else sexually), the opportunity to be able to share your sexuality with the one you will spend your life with, the opportunity to really get to see if people you ‘date’ are worthy of you (since you know they aren’t hanging out with you for sex)etc…….All great reasons to wait for the second marshmallow.

  • anne

    That chastity training from a young age and teaching about the miracle of human life from a very young age in my opinion would be the ideal abstinence-only education.  And there’s really no good reason why we cannot offer that to all children.

  • emma

    (and in different direction) – Marshmallows, when eaten in moderation as element of a healthy and nutritious diet, are perfectly acceptable foods.

     

    Being deprived of marshmallows may result in a craving for that food and a physiological drive to binge on marshmallows, and then purge them.

     

    Deprivation might have another effect: the deprived person may feel empowered by her ability to remain untempted. She may continue to feel comforted/empowered/numbed/whatever by refusing to give in to hunger. She may feel that she doesn’t deserve the marshmallows. She might then shrink to 75lbs and end up with a feeding tube in her nose.

     

    I’m just messing around, but even my scenarios are more reality based than abstinence only education peoples’ are.

     

    Those sugary, gelatinous blobs of marshmallowey goodness are more dangerous than sex. Be very afraid.

  • colleen

    What is ‘chastity training’?

    The only difference between the American anti-abortion movement and the Taliban is about 8,000 miles.

    Dr Warren Hern, MD

  • equalist

    It’s been proven time and time again that ab only doesn’t work. The statistics show higher teen pregnancy and STD rates in states which provide abstinence only are far higher than in states and school districts that provide a comprehensive sex education program.
    In addition sexuality is a natural bodily process, and repressing natural bodily processes always has bad results. Anorexia and bulimia anyone? Sexual repression leads to sexual dysfunction. Couples rushed into wedlock and sex with no education on the subject, and no experience, taught their whole lives that sex is something to be avoided, and then suddenly thrown into a sexually active relationship without being given the opportunity to grow into it gradually, can find that first experience traumatizing, and tears on the wedding night are not unheard of in these situations. Sexual repression can lead to confused feelings about sex, the natural urges conflicting with the lifelong teaching to avoid it, coupled with the sudden push that overnight it’s gone from a forbidden act to one that is encouraged and in some beliefs even mandatory despite the wishes of one party or the other. Girls experience shame and a sense that they’ve done something wrong when they have sex with their husbands, and young men feel an intense pressure to satisfy wives with no knowledge of women in general, and their own form of shame at doing something that their entire lives they’ve been taught to avoid, compounded by the possible trauma of having their first time with a crying wife and no idea how to comfort her. Not to mention, sexual compatibility is important for long lasting, fulfilling, healthy adult relationships, and by abstaining until after marriage, there is no way to ensure sexual compatibility with a partner that you plan to spend the rest of your life with.
    As for the comments on abstaining before marriage preventing STDs, unwanted pregnancy, etc, this is not always the case either, as should the partner you married when you were both virgins decide to cheat on his/her spouse, this automatically puts the spouse at risk for a myriad of sexual diseases that neither partner may be fully prepared to protect themselves from if they have had no education on the subjects. Unwanted pregnancies can occur even in a committed marriage if the timing isn’t right and both partners aren’t prepared for the stresses and costs of raising a child, thus putting these children in an even worse situation as a married couple who is expecting a child they cannot provide for is less likely to consider adoption or abortion to avoid bringing the child into a bad situation, and is more likely to attempt to hold a detrimental relationship together “for the sake of the children” thus possibly exposing the child to a family history of domestic violence, and misery on the part of one or both parents who would rather be in a more fulfilling relationship, which can then negatively affect the children the parents were staying together for in the first place.
    Now, about the marshmallow analogy. Sure, the very young children were able to keep from eating the marshmallows. But these are young children simply fighting their desire to eat marshmallows. But in the case of abstinence education, these are teenagers with raging hormones, immature senses of self control, peer pressure and influences, overwhelming and false sense of their own knowledge (how many teenagers do we know who think they know everything?), and we’re asking them to fight natural urges built into their bodies, not for a few minutes like the children in the video, but for preferably years, until they are financially, emotionally, and physically ready for the commitment, and stresses of marriage.
    There is a reason we start developing these urges at such a young age. In a much earlier time, when particularly women, who often died in childbirth, didn’t live past the age of 30-40 if they were lucky, it was beneficial to begin bearing children as young as possible, to ensure the maximum number of childbearing years utilized. Couples were married at the age of 14-16, and an unmarried girl of 18 was considered an “old maid”. This is no longer the case. Due to improved health care, we are living much longer lives. We no longer have a necessity for large families to ensure that there are enough surviving children to work the family farm after childhood diseases take most of the children at a very young age.
    In addition, abstinence only education can only work when the parents of all of the children have the time and are willing to consistently educate their children in this manner (which an overwhelming majority of parents are not willing to or able to), and when all parents involved hold to the same belief system and morals that sex should always be saved until after marriage, which is also not the case.
    Furthermore, abstinence only until after marriage education excludes homosexual and bisexual individuals, who depending on local laws at the time of their adulthood, may not have the opportunity to marry the mate of their choosing, and knowing this to be the case, may ignore the lessons taught altogether as they don’t apply.
    In short, there are far more arguments against abstinence only education than for it, and for every toddler you can show me avoiding eating a marshmallow for a few minutes, I can show you a hundred teenagers succumbing to their natural urges without the needed tools to be prepared for their decision.

    Equal rights, equal responsibilities.

  • anne

    Teaching a person how to live a chaste life.

  • jayn

    For one, because young kids generally don’t have horomones running through their bodies yelling "EAT THE MARSHMALLOW!"  Also, teens tend to want to feel grown-up–sex is an adult thing, so there’s another reason they might decide not to abstain.

     

    Really, there’s nothing in your post that is constrained to a abstinent-until-marriage mindset.  My comprehensive sex-ed program went over pretty much all of it, including not caving under pressure (they didn’t tell us to wait until marriage, but they did say wail until we’re ready).  But we also got plenty of information on how to stay safe when we do have sex–which lets face it, most everyone will unless they join the Church–and that information is still relevant to me today, over a decade later (and married, I might add).  This information will serve these kids for the rest of their lives–why should we short-change them the one chance we have to ensure they get complete, accurate information?

  • progo35

    Just some thoughts on sex ed:

    I was glad that we had sex ed in school because I didn’t have to deal with the embarassment of having a one on one conversation with my parents about it. It’s not that my mom didn’t talk to me about human reproduction, she did, but I was happy that when it came to the nitty gritty details, we were all sitting in a class, being embarassed together! Although, I don’t remember whether the education we recieved was “comprehensive” or “ab only.”

    Although, i don’t know about the marriage/sex/trauma thing. I personally just don’t want to have sex before marriage. Yes, it’s part of my religious beliefs, but it also has to do with a lot of practical considerations. The one time I came close to approaching a “sexually active” lifestyle was when I had an older boyfriend who was pressuring me to do things that I didn’t really want to do. I felt terrible afterwards, but I was also confused because people around me were telling me that at my age of 19, it was not normal to not want to “fool around,” with one’s boyfriend. Of course, perhaps the problem is that I wasn’t “in love” with this person and I wasn’t “in love” with my other boyfriend, either, so the desire just wasn’t there. Maybe if I were dating someone who I really, really loved, I would have a harder time abstaining from sexual activity. So, I really hope that I don’t end up crying on my wedding night, but I doubt that I will get much “practice” beforehand!

    "Well behaved women seldom make history."-Laurel Thatcher Ulrich

  • progo35

    P.S. What if you don’t like marshmallows?

    "Well behaved women seldom make history."-Laurel Thatcher Ulrich

  • anne

    You bring up alot of scenarios that are all possible and do happen.  I have experienced some of them myself.  I definitely don’t agree with a brand of ab-only which is a "sex is bad, don’t do it" and you’re on your own either way.  But, I do believe that if children were taught about the utter gift of their sexuality and all it entails from very young ages we could eleviate many of those scenarios you talked about.   I do not claim to have all the answers, but I think these things are important and should be taught to kids right along with all the other schooling they get.  I also don’t think that these urges we get from very young ages are something we should feel chained by if they aren’t acted upon, even though sex is natural, it doesn’t mean every time you get an urge you should feel obligated to act on it.   

  • ack

    Most people are perfectly capable of building their character and self-respect while simultaneously leading healthy sex lives. If there is coercion involved, that is obviously HIGHLY detrimental, but saying that teens and young adults who have consensual non-marital sex are somehow missing out on the chance to grow into great people is insulting. And I highly doubt that sexually active teens are worrying so much about pleasing their partners that they never do anything else.

    I advocate teaching young people about healthy relationships, and how sexual activity (from kissing to sex) can play a healthy or unhealthy role. They need to know about how to identify their boundaries and how to respect the boundaries of others. They need to understand what coercion is, and to identify when someone is attempting to use it to get what they want. What they don’t need are adults telling them what their boundaries should be and that they’re bad people if they disagree.

    You also seem to be assuming that marriage is a natural goal for everyone. It’s not. I know a lot of people who have no intention of ever getting married, so the idea of abstinence until marriage is ridiculous. Additionally, what exactly would you tell gay and lesbian teens? Unless you live in one of a handful of states, that message is not only irrelevant, it’s marginalizing. "Don’t have sex! Wait until you’re… ummmm…"

     

     

     

     

  • ack

    Progo, I’m very sorry that your ex-boyfriend pressured you; that’s a very difficult and unfortunately common situation. You’re not alone.

     

    I’m also disappointed that people told you that you weren’t "normal." As much as we need to reinforce that wanting sex is normal, we also need to teach people that it isn’t abnormal to NOT want it. People have the right to define their own sexualities, and that includes choices about when, where, how, and with whom they have it, as long as everyone is consenting. Ideally, every sexual decision should be a 100% yes situation for everyone involved, and in order to achieve that, people need to respect their partners AND their friends!

  • crowepps

    Checked for ‘chastity training’ and got all sorts of weird fetish sites.

  • colleen

    Don’t look on the Web!!

    Too Late! After Anne’s tautology disguised as an answer I did that search. Then I decided to filter it by putting in “chastity training” +Christian. I found two possible answers to what she may be talking about. One was training for Catholic Priests (which clearly isn’t all that effective) and the other, a publicly funded method of humiliating low income single mothers who need welfare. Now I’m depressed for the rest of the day.

    Except for the Priests and the fetishists none of the ‘chastity training’ was intended for human males of any age.

    The only difference between the American anti-abortion movement and the Taliban is about 8,000 miles.

    Dr Warren Hern, MD

  • crowepps

    The first evil inclination, the concupiscence of the flesh, seeks inordinately after all that gratifies the body, tickles the senses, and excites them to pleasure. Certainly the physical needs must be provided for and the sense activities must be exercised, otherwise life would not be worth living. But, how easily may the proper measure of enjoyment be exceeded, and thus that which might have been, according to St. Paul, a source of heavenly merit and for the greater honor and glory of God, is turned into a source of demerit, sin and punishment!

    If then, dear Christian mother, you do not want your child to become the slave of sensual and carnal pleasures, you must train it from its earliest years to self-restraint and self-denial, to application and industry, to order and cleanliness. Among other things therefore a prudent Christian mother will provide for a thorough ventilation of the living and the bed rooms, so that wholesome, fresh air may constantly fill them. She will provide for the children plain, nourishing food, sensible clothing, and a neat comfortable bed; on the other hand, she will withhold from them everything that merely indulges the sensual appetite or wantonly excites the nerves. Children must not be permitted to eat as much and as often as they please, but whatever their reasonable needs demand, should be granted kindly and graciously. Cookies and candies and other palate-ticklers should not be allowed too frequently, since experience teaches that excessive munching of sweetmeats is not only injurious to the teeth and stomach but also to the general health. Try to impress upon the minds of your little ones, Christian mother, that it is a good work occasionally to give up some creature comforts and enjoyments for the love of God, that God especially loves children who act that way and rewards them for it in body and soul. Performing such little mortifications with a good intention is a powerful means of obtaining many favors from God. But in these mortifications children should be supervised so that they may not overdo them.

    A Christian mother should let her children play much in the open air, even when the weather is somewhat cold and unpleasant. She should put them to bed early and in the morning also get them out early. They should be taught to get up immediately on the first call, to dress themselves quickly and to make their morning ablutions with cold water. Each child should have its own little daily work to do according to its age and strength, and a fixed time to do it. Dresses and coats, hats and caps, shoes and slippers, as well as playthings should not be allowed to be scattered around, and for everything that belongs to a child there should be a fixed place and it must be trained to put them in the proper places itself. Dirty hands and dirty faces as well as dirty clothes must never be tolerated.

    Children should always be cheerful not only at their games and recreations but also at their work and even in their little trials and hurts. As early in life as possible they should be taught that the afflictions and reverses of life, such as excessive cold or heat, slander or gossip, offenses and insults and abuse, sickness and wounds and death, are blessings in disguise and sent by God to wean us from the world and its attractions and arouse in us a greater love and desire for the eternal joys of heaven. They should also be taught to see in them a means which God provides, to atone for our sins, our faults and imperfections. Finally, they should be taught that Jesus Christ Himself was willing to endure the same or similar afflictions during His life here on earth, and that it is a mark of great love of Christ to be satisfied to live amid the same conditions as He did and to bear willingly what He was willing to bear.

    Many things are sources of pleasure to children. In the first place there are the things of nature itself. These captivate the eyes of children by their beauty and variety. Naturally, the child admires them, asks questions about them and is happy in knowing them. A Christian mother will not only call attention to their beauty and variety of arrangement, but she will also show how they are evidences of God’s goodness and love as well as proofs of His infinite wisdom and power. The parish church is another source of joy to the child: its majestic appearance, its length and width and height on the outside, and on the inside its altars and their ornamentation, its pews and pictures and statues, its pulpit and confessionals. Gradually, the mother should teach the child the purpose and meaning of them all, so that it may learn to appreciate them as the means by which the salvation of mankind is affected. The feasts of the Church should give the mother opportunities for explanations and stories from the life of Christ in order to instill a greater love of Christ into the heart of her child; when occasion offers she will also narrate stories from the life of the Blessed Virgin Mary, so that the child’s affection for our heavenly Mother may constantly grow and confidence in her tender mercy may increase. Again and again she will tell of the lives of different saints, of their zeal for their own salvation as well as for the salvation of the souls of others and of their love of God and His glory. All that was ever learned in Catechism or Bible History, in sermons or conference, in the Lives of the Saints or some other spiritual book, the Christian mother will impart to her little ones in such simple words that even the youngest may understand. Her efforts will surely be blessed by God and she will enjoy not only the pleasure of gladdening the hearts of her children by her story-telling but will also be rewarded by the earnest endeavors with which her children will try to imitate the virtues of Jesus and Mary and of the saints.

    Another species of joy is derived from home-life and the intimate associations of the family-members. Home, sweet home! Oh, that every home were so sweet and inviting, so pleasant and cheery, that neither father nor children would ever desire to be anywhere else but with and around mother! In such a home every say is the herald of new joys, and certain occasions such as the nameday or birthday of father, mother, brother, or sister and the anniversary of some joyous, important event, are celebrated in a festive manner with some innocent amusements and recreation and sincere testimonies of mutual affection.

    In this manner the children will be protected against the deceitful allurements of carnal and worldly pleasures which alas! are only too often the death of purity and innocence. Would to God that every mother at least realized her responsibility in this matter! It may be safely affirmed that the loss of the sense of shame and modesty, so noticeable among the youth of the present generation, is primarily due to the indifference of mothers in observing proper precautions in bathing, dressing and bedding her little ones. Other causes are frequently assigned such as the prevailing fashions of the day, the promiscuous gatherings of young people in dancehalls and amusement places and the modern dances themselves, but all these should be considered as contributing causes merely, since the seed of immodesty and shamelessness was sowed earlier in life.

    I can only indicate the sowing of this seed by telling what a mother should not do. A Christian mother will never bathe a child while other children are looking on, nor will she bathe them together at the same time. She will never strip them entirely to change their underwear in the presence of others; she will always have separate rooms and beds for her boys and girls. She will earnestly reprimand even the least breach against modesty and, if repeated, she should severely punish the offender. True, the little one may not understand the indecency of its act, but it is important to impress upon it the gravity of the fault by the infliction of some punishment so that it may not in later life fall into sins which, more that all others, are the cause of eternal damnation. The girls in particular, should be trained in Christian modesty, which includes also decency in dress. Fashions change with the times, so that sooner or later we may expect some improvement in present-day styles; but a mother who today dresses her girls in fashionable décolleté and sleeveless undress, is surely not preventing the violation of the sense of modesty, and is, indeed, contributing to the moral laxity of her daughters.

    As the children grow older, the vigilance of parents must become more alert, so that the boys and girls may not become victims of vicious companions who are ever ready to initiate the innocent into the clandestine and sinful methods of sex gratification. As soon as parents observe in their boys and girls a curiosity regarding sex, it would be highly imprudent to conceal from them the desired sex-knowledge, because they will not content themselves with evasions, and the danger is lest they obtain that knowledge in a crude and sinful way. Tell them briefly and frankly what they desire to know, and at the same time warn them against speaking on such subjects with outsiders and encourage them to seek all sex-information from you only-the girls from mother and the boys from father. But also, according to the age of the children, admonish them to preserve their mind[s] and heart[s] pure and chaste through an earnest devotion to the immaculate Blessed Virgin, who is ever ready to help and protect us in all unprovoked dangers and temptations.
    Written by Sister Maria Philomena, M.I.C.M.
    February 25th, 2009 at 2:40 pm

    http://ihm.catholicism.org/2009/02/the-christian-training-of-children-combating-concupiscence-of-the-flesh/

  • frolicnaked

    It’s actually pretty easy to give alot of reasons why one should wait
    until marriage, such as: no risk of std, no risk of pregnancy, no risk
    of needing an abortion, no risk of side affects of contraception, no
    risk of a condom breaking…

    While I certainly agree with anyone who makes a personal choice to delay sexual activity until they feel they’re ready, your statement here makes some inaccurate assumptions about marriage. 

     

    First off, waiting until marriage does not contain "no risk of std." This doesn’t apply to all couples, of course, but marriages (about half?) do break up, and sometimes spouses within them do cheat. Additionally, because of crimes like sexual abuse and assault, even people who would choose abstinence for themselves sometimes have sex — and the risk of sexually transmitted infections — forced on them. As someone who’s a survivor of such an event, I find it’s something I can never personally discount. 

     

    Moreover, your statements "no risk of pregnancy, no risk
    of needing an abortion, no risk of side affects of contraception, no
    risk of a condom breaking" kind of assume that once a couple is married, they’ll want to have children: a) at all; b) without spacing them out. The idea that married women are at "no risk of needing an abortion" is at odds with the Guttmacher study that cites that 14% of abortions are obtained by married women. Also according to Guttmacher, 63% of married women worldwide use contraception, so more than half of married women are at "risk of side effects of contraception." As for married couples having "no risk of a condom breaking," well, my mom — who got pregnant with me right around my parents’ first wedding anniversary — frequently assures me that a broken condom was her ticket to a positive pregnancy test (and my parents’ careful and conscious choice was my ticket into the world). 

     

    I’m not suggesting that people shouldn’t wait. Like I said, I think the decision about becoming sexually active is one that should be approached thoughtfully and critically by individuals as they make that choice for themselves. But I do think it’s important to recognize that for a lot of people, waiting until marriage doesn’t remove the possibility of unwanted consequences from sex. 

  • paul-bradford

    crowepps,

     

    The ‘site you were visiting is hosted by the Sisters of the Slaves of the Immaculate Heart of Mary.  They’ve got a grade school in New Hampshire.

     

    My critique of their advice is that it runs to scrupulosity.  The advice about fresh air, and cleanliness and order bespeaks a difficulty accepting human imperfection.  Such an acceptance is the foundation for true spiritual advancement.  The advice about adolescent sexuality is completely ineffectual. 

     

    the vigilance of parents must become more alert, so that the boys and girls may not become victims of vicious companions who are ever ready to initiate the innocent into the clandestine and sinful methods of sex gratification.

     

    This is Sister Philomena’s oblique reference to masturbation.  I can assure her that the innocent can be initiated without the assistance of vicious companions.

     

    On the positive side, I liked her suggestion that mothers speak regularly to their children about the Feast Days and about the lives of the saints.  The advice shouldn’t just go to mothers, however.  I always took the lead in my family for those kinds of discussions.

     

    Finally, somebody should explain to Sister Philomena that a devotion to the Blessed Mother offers very little solace to a youngster who is disturbed by unchaste thoughts and behaviors.  I have, however, found that the administration of anti-psychotic medicines is useful in many cases.  Talk to a competent psychiatrist.

     

    Paul Bradford

    Pro-Life Catholics for Choice

  • anne

     I was thinking the phrase ‘chastity training’ sort of spoke for itself, that’s why I answered it that way.  I suppose training children to lead chaste lives may be a market cornered by Catholics, but I don’t think it is.  I know one thing-I do not want to turn this ‘conversation’ into some brawl with you regulars.  The original marshmallow video was, to me, an example of how we just might be able to give teens more credit on the side of being able to actually control themselves if they had the information that training in chastity would give them.

    I visit this site often enough to know that here, the Catholic religion is hated, women who had abortions and regret them are tolerated but frowned upon.  I know that anytime someone pays a visit here trying to shed a different light on things you typically throw them in a pot of boiling water.  Well go ahead and put the pot on for me….. I have lived it all.  Parents divorced, raised by single mom, raised on welfare, dad not in my life, fondled sexually by a few men and boys as a child, sexually active ‘by choice’ at 13, pregnant at 15, gave birth to that child, kept the child and married his father at 16 (he was 18). File for divorce at 19, move in with boyfriend, break up with boyfriend, find out I’m pregnant a month later, abort the baby.  Now officially divorced and raising my son alone.  Enjoying my sexual freedom.  Get two more abortions.  Meet the man who will become my husband, he is Catholic.  Doesn’t matter to me one way or the other, I am not becoming religious and he doesn’t ask me to.  BTW, we are sexually active quickly in the relationship, his Catholic self using condoms.  Later in the marriage he wants me to join the church.  I throw up to him a couple hundred times how he is a Cathoilic using condoms to screw his wife, and he doesn’t go to church anyway, no thank you-I don’t need to be Catholic.  I begin to ‘settle down’, have a daughter.  Begin to really think about my choices and where they took me.  Begin to really dig deep.  Decide to go through RCIA (information about the history and catechism of the Catholic church)  I still am not bought in-just open minded-I just know I want better for my kids than I have had.  I hear about Rachel’s Vineyard at RCIA.  I go to my retreat to ‘heal’ after my abortions.  I am shown, through Scripture in the Holy Bible, that Christ died for my sins and He forgives me, and my unborn babies forgive me……go ahead, call HYPERBOLE! HYPERBOLE!  Is the water at a boil yet ladies?   Here’s the thing……..I cried like a baby when I heard that Christ loves me and forgives me.   WHY????  It hadn’t really thought about it too much over the years, tried to forget it.  I did not even know the whole story of Christ let alone care if He forgave me.  Blah blah blah, I join the church and since I’m Catholic, by God my condom using husband ain’t using no condom on me anymore.  I start following lots of things to the T.  What I am finding is that it makes sense.  All of it.  Say what you want, throw me in the water (MARTYR! MARTYR!) I love my Catholic faith, the one so misunderstood and/or mistaught, the one with the gift of John Paul II’s ‘Theology of the Body’ which, if practiced on the whole would cure so many problems in our world.  Do yourselves a huge favor girls (and guys) Read the resources available on the Theology of the Body.  Have the courage to have open minds.  Read it in secret if it makes you feel any better.   I just don’t see what you have to lose. 

    OK, I’m brainwashed, a trifling troll, woman hating patriarchal loving hater of sex who just came here to prosthelisize and judge…would Christ judge??!!! The only moral abortion is my own!  Go ahead, we’ve heard it all before…..

  • pilar608

    It’s actually pretty easy to give alot of reasons why one should wait until marriage, such as: no risk of std

    Unless your spouse had premarital sex or is unfaithful.

    no risk of pregnancy, no risk of needing an abortion, no risk of side affects of contraception, no risk of a condom breaking

    Unless you’re a married person like me who doesn’t want kids, or someone like my friend Jill, who doesn’t want any more kids, or someone like my sister Jane, who doesn’t want kids yet. In which case, you’re still dealing with contraceptives or condoms, the risk of pregnancy, and what to do with an unplanned pregnancy (i.e., abortion or not).

    the concept that perseverence pays off(being able to say no and not cave to ‘pressure’), the opportunity to build one’s own character and self-respect (in leiu of worrying about pleasing someone else sexually), the opportunity to be able to share your sexuality with the one you will spend your life with, the opportunity to really get to see if people you ‘date’ are worthy of you (since you know they aren’t hanging out with you for sex)etc

    These are all things that people who have premarital sex can–and should–also accomplish. Everyone, regardless of their views on sex and marriage, should learn how to stand up to a partner who’s pressuring them to do things that they don’t want to, whether it’s having sex or paying for something expensive.

     

    People who get married do share their sexuality with the person that they spend the rest of their lives with. Sex organs don’t wear out, and sexuality doesn’t get tainted just because it’s been shared with someone else.

     

    Just because someone abstains doesn’t mean that they’re not going to get used or experience heartache, and every sexual relationship that doesn’t last forever isn’t necessarily a waste of time or just a sign that someone’s been used. Sure, some people use others just for sex. Some people also use others as a cover for their homosexuality, or for their money, or for their family connections, etc. Not to mention that premarital sex does not mean hopping into the sack with every guy, no matter who he is, how you feel about him, or how long you’ve been dating.

     

    I’m sorry that you seem to regret the life you led before; however, your experiences and lessons are not universal, nor are anyone’s religious views.

  • anne

    This has not alot to do with my regretting the life I led before.  I have happened upon some concepts that I think could benefit others if they would be explored.  Alot of the stuff that happened in my life was not by my own choosing, if that is what you are commenting on.  I just think that if EVERYONE had a better understanding of their sexuality and all it entails-there wouldn’t be all that ‘this could happen, that could happen, what about this’ to get all tangled up in.  You are forgetting that there are a lot of folks not as enlightened as you who actually have issues that could be avoided like the ones I mentioned.

  • pilar608

    I apologize for misinterpreting what you wrote.

     

    Then I think we’re at least agreed that children should early on be taught to respect their own bodies and to respect their own boundaries.  Of course, I doubt we’ll agree on the role of abstinence in that.  :-)

  • ahunt

    Not to worry, Anne. Everyone here is glad you have found your peace.

     

    I hope you can be equally glad for those of us who have found our peace outside of doctrines that define our personhood solely in terms of our reproductive aparatus.

  • grayduck

    "Most people are perfectly capable of building their character and self-respect while simultaneously leading healthy sex lives."

     

    Are you meaning to imply that abstinence among unmarried teenagers is unhealthy?

     

    "I know a lot of people who have no intention of ever getting married, so the idea of abstinence until marriage is ridiculous."

     

    How so?

     

    The reason I favor keeping sexual intercourse within marriage is because it provides an unambiguous way for women to withhold consent, for men to know that consent has been established, and for the criminal justice system to know whether a prior act of sexual intercourse (that occurred in private) was consensual. That is why I favor enforcing Minnesota’s adultery and fornication laws.

     

    https://www.revisor.leg.state.mn.us/statutes/?id=609.36&year=2009

     

    https://www.revisor.leg.state.mn.us/statutes/?id=609.34

     

    How can the five-day waiting period for obtaining a marriage license be such a burden? The waiting period even has a judicial bypass provision.

     

    https://www.revisor.leg.state.mn.us/statutes/?id=517.08&year=2009

     

    "Additionally, what exactly would you tell gay and lesbian teens?"

     

    The adultery and fornication laws only apply to heterosexual contact. I would favor creating other types of legal unions that included homosexuals. That would allow two unmarried heterosexuals to be able to legally engage in sexual intercourse with each other, permit homosexuals to have some state recognition for their relationship, and allow the state to limit homosexual contact to marriage.

     

    http://www.abortiondiscussion.com

  • ack

    I never said that abstinence among teens is unhealthy; I said that implying that teens and adults who choose not to abstain until marriage are somehow unable to develop a healthy sense of self-esteem is insulting.

    Messages that tout the benefits of abstinence until marriage are lost on those who never intend to marry; you attempt to condemn them to a life of celibacy. But it’s an irrelevant parameter for them, so they really don’t care.

    And I think you haven’t quite thought your “consent within marriage” argument through. Women and men ALWAYS have the right to withhold consent. Rape and sexual assault happen within marriages and committed relationships all the time, and being married does NOT mean that consent is a given. Spousal rape is rape. State laws were altered to reflect the fact that women aren’t property, and a ring on your finger doesn’t equal a yes in the bedroom.

    And are you seriously proposing making non-marital sex illegal? Wow. Just wow. How often are those laws actually enforced?

    I’d also like to point out an inconsistency: you say you’d favor creating other laws establishing unions between same-sex couples, then say that those laws would “limit homosexual contact to marriage.” So are you for same-sex marriage? I’m just trying to clarify how this proposed legislation would play out.

  • paul-bradford

    I’m a Catholic who has been posting on these threads for about a year and I can assure you that NO ONE has ever tried to drop me into a pot of boiling water.  (Everyone is afraid I’ll poison the water supply!)

     

    It was really great to hear your story.  I like it when people reveal a little bit about themselves.  This shouldn’t be a forum for people to bat around disembodied ideas about ‘Choice’ and ‘Life’.  We’re all people who have made choices and who have experienced life so we have the opportunity to share ourselves, not just our philosophies.

     

    You say, "The only moral abortion is my own!".  May I suggest that you take a break from worrying whether abortion is ‘moral’ or ‘immoral’ and look at it from the perspective of whether your behavior is based on being ‘connected’ with or ‘disconnected’ from other people.  Morality isn’t a competitive sport, it’s an indicator of whether or not we’re able to value and respect and care about the lives of others.

     

    As to whether or not Catholics are "woman-hating, patriarchal-loving haters of sex who come around to proselytize and judge"….  Well, I’m not going to say that that behavior doesn’t exist, but it doesn’t represent Catholicism at its best.  I think that the best way to be a Catholic is the same thing as the best way to be a human being — and that’s to honor all your relationships with people.

     

    Well, I hope you keep coming around.  Why not toss in a quote from JP2 every time you post?  :-) 

     

    Paul Bradford

    Pro-Life Catholics for Choice

  • anne

    When I said the ‘only moral abortion was my own’, I was saying that because the regulars here love to throw that out when women who regret their abortions tell their stories and then say they now don’t agree with abortion, and that nobody should get them based on their own bad experience or that they now realize it’s wrong.  I do not really believe "the only moral abortion is my own". And you know also that the pro-choice folks here do generally think all of those things about the Catholic faith.  Which I think is a shame, because it really is a wonderful faith when it is understood from a position of a love and belief in Christ.  

  • equalist

    "The reason I favor keeping sexual intercourse within marriage is
    because it provides an unambiguous way for women to withhold consent,
    for men to know that consent has been established, and for the criminal
    justice system to know whether a prior act of sexual intercourse (that
    occurred in private) was consensual. That is why I favor enforcing
    Minnesota’s adultery and fornication laws."

    This statement is assuming that men are incapable of raping their wives, or that all sex within marriage is concentual, which neither of these are true.  If you use marriage as a point of concent, then that gives a man free reign to rape his wife any time he likes because "she concented when she married him".  This is simply not the case, and leaves many women unprotected by law should they be victimized by their husbands.

     "The adultery and fornication laws only apply to heterosexual contact. I
    would favor creating other types of legal unions that included
    homosexuals. That would allow two unmarried heterosexuals to be able to
    legally engage in sexual intercourse with each other, permit
    homosexuals to have some state recognition for their relationship, and
    allow the state to limit homosexual contact to marriage."

     Should we have a state official in each and every bedroom to monitor this homosexual and heterosexual contact as well?   The state should not have the right to limit sexual contact between consentual adults.  Also in your statment, you say that unmarried heterosexuals should be able to legally engage in sexual intercourse with each other, but the state should limit homosexual contact to marriage.  Can we say double standard?  The state should stay the hell out of bedrooms unless consent is absent.  What two concenting adults do in the privacy of their own homes and bedrooms is between them, and honestly is none of your or anyone else’s business.

    Equal rights, equal responsibilities.

  • equalist

    that every time you feel an urge you should act on it.  What we’re saying is that teens and young adults shouldn’t be taught to always ignore their urges.  It’s like ignoring the urge to eat.  Yes, sometimes this urge can lead to overindulgances, over eating and weight problems.  But ignoring it consistantly can lead to anorexia, malnutrition, and a host of medical problems on its own.  The key is moderation, just as with sex and everything else in life.  Going too far in any one direction is never healthy.

     

    Equal rights, equal responsibilities.

  • equalist

    with choosing to wait until the wedding night to have sex if that is what you decide, and anyone who tells you it’s wrong to wait needs to get their facts straight.  It’s also not wrong to choose to have sex befrore marriage, again if it’s your choice, and you’re comfortable with that decision. 

    Equal rights, equal responsibilities.

  • anne

    I was referring to teens who have not yet had a sexual experience with another person.  Not anything that could occur after marriage.  The arguments you bring up -I get what you’re saying-but in a case where there is a whole sexual training of a young person, those things are addressed and I think those issues could be lessened in our society if there was such training.  Yes, std can happen with a sexual assault but that’s not what I was referring to.  I am also sorry that you had to endure that in your life.

  • anne

    but then why portray the teens in the second video as a bunch of animals who have no control?  They were being made out as unable to control themselves, and unable to take any instruction/advice/suggestion from an adult.  What message is being conveyed when a video like this is put together for the purpose of telling these kids that they should use contraception and have the marshmallow-even though we clearly don’t think they’re mature enough to make the decision?  I think putting a parody out there like this is pretty irresponsible, actually.

  • equalist

    Only speaking of teens who have not yet had a sexual experience with another person.  Nothing that could occur after marriage.  If no one involved in the relationship is sexually assaulted.  If there is no infidelity in the marriage, and on and on and on.  When you ignore or invalidate the facts that don’t support your point of view, of course the remaining ones support it.  

     

    Equal rights, equal responsibilities

  • equalist

     

    • make a spoof of or make fun of
    • a composition that imitates or misrepresents somebody’s style, usually in a humorous way
    • spoof: make a parody of; "The students spoofed the teachers"
    • humorous or satirical mimicry

    I think the second video did a good job of that.  Or are you expecting us to treat teenagers as toddlers, carefully explaining to them every detail of the obvious, and then portray them having to take the time to seriously consider the unneeded explanations they’ve been given?  Teenagers are not toddlers and to treat them as such is insulting and unnecessary.  As for your misunderstanding of the word parody, the point of a parody is to be over the top, and the purpose of the parody was to point out the failures of abstinence only education, not as a tool for showing teenagers how to use contraception. 

     

    Equal rights, equal responsibilities.

  • frolicnaked

    Anne,

     

    By not "referring to" situations that represent the complexities of everyday life for no small amount of people, it feels like you’re ignoring the realities of those people. Certainly your recommendations could work for a narrow subset of people — who plan on marrying, who will only have one successful and wholly monogamous marriage, who won’t feel the need to space out childbearing, etc. — but that’s leaving an awful lot of people to fall through some very large cracks. 

  • ahunt

    Crowepps, please put a check in the mail…amount should be sufficient to cover the costs of monitor wipes and a keyboard.

  • crowepps

    The Muslim innovation called ‘misyar marriage’ allows men to pay the family for the right to marry a daughter ‘on paper’ for a few weeks so that they can have sex with each other ‘morally’, and then divorce when the vacation is over.  Perhaps instead of ‘prostitution’ Las Vegas could come up with a similar type of ‘temporary marriage’ where for payment of a fee people could have ‘legal sex’.  Personally, I think that’s hairsplitting, but I guess those who feel society has a right to grant or withhold ‘permission’ for others to have sex might be satisfied.

     http://www.answering-islam.org/Index/M/misyar.html

     

  • crowepps

    but in a case where there is a whole sexual training of a young person, those things are addressed and I think those issues could be lessened in our society if there was such training.

    I’m not sure how you can describe as ‘whole sexual training’ admonitions that all sexual activity of any kind is forbidden and that only married people should be given the necessary information.

  • paul-bradford

    it really is a wonderful faith when it is understood from a position of a love and belief in Christ.

     

    It’s also a wonderful faith if you’re sick and you happen to live in a village in rural Africa and there’s no government or private health clinic within a hundred miles — but there’s a clinic run by the Church you can walk to.

     

    Paul Bradford

    Pro-Life Catholics for Choice

  • crowepps

    Finally, somebody should explain to Sister Philomena that a devotion to the Blessed Mother offers very little solace to a youngster who is disturbed by unchaste thoughts and behaviors.  I have, however, found that the administration of anti-psychotic medicines is useful in many cases.  Talk to a competent psychiatrist.

    I may be reading too much into this, but it almost sounds as though you believe the correct prescription for feeling guilty about masturbating is anti-psychotic medication rather than simply being advised of the truth, that masturbation is normal and most people do it at least occasionally.  The youngster is not going to be ‘disturbed by unchaste thoughts and behaviors’ unless some idiot is telling him or her that those thoughts are ‘disordered’ instead of perfectly normal. 

  • crowepps

    I particularly liked the parts about how "life would not be worth living" without enjoyment but that its wrong that "the proper measure of enjoyment be exceeded" and so children should be ‘trained’ by being kept in cold, drafty rooms, fed insufficient boring food but not too much of it, and disallowed luxuries like washing in warm water because God is pleased by "little mortifications" and deliberately inflicts kiddies with excessive cold or heat, slander or gossip, offenses and insults and abuse, sickness and wounds and death so that they can achieve ‘perfection’.  Frankly, if I were being raised in this abusive manner, AND being required to be ‘cheerful’ about it, I would certainly be absolutely EAGER to drop dead.

  • crowepps

    It sounds to me like you’ve had a pretty tough life. To me, however, it doesn’t logically follow that the root of all those evils was sex although I’m sure everything that happened seems more manageable once an ‘evil thing’ is identified on which to place all the blame.

  • paul-bradford

    The only way that waiting to eat a marshmallow will get you two marshmallows is if some person who controls the flow of marshmallows sets things up that way.

     

    Sex is different.

     

    One of the possible outcomes of coitus is the commencement of human life.  No one is in control of that connection so there is no one you can appeal to.  You may wish to have coitus, and you may wish that no life result from that coitus, but there’s no authority who can immunize you from that possible consequence.  We’re dealing with the unyielding laws of science here.

     

    If you don’t want your child’s life to be terminated by abortion, and you don’t want your child to be born without the benefit of two parents who are prepared to do a good job of raising her/him, you can easily see how waiting until marriage to have sex and waiting until you’re ready to have children to get married will be the safest way of going about things.

     

    Everything depends upon your willingness to risk the possibility that you’ll have to upend your life and make hasty arrangements for the arrival of your child.  Contraception lowers the risk, but it doesn’t eliminate it.

     

    If you can justify abortion, the benefits of sex outside of marriage outweigh the risks.  If you can’t justify abortion, the risks of pregnancy outweigh the benefits of extramarital sex.  This is not religious dogma — this is a fact of life.

     

    Paul Bradford

    Pro-Life Catholics for Choice

  • ahunt

    I sent it around to our boys, apologizing for my failures as a mother.  The DIL’s are having a field day…

     

    A good time is being had by all. Thanks, Crowepps.

     

    I am unable to write a response, because I lack your graciousness and I’m not about being mean/instigating meanness.

  • crowepps

    The meanness quickly dissolves when you understand that this poor woman actually BELIEVES all of this. Then you just feel really sad for her and for any children over whom she holds power.

  • katwa

    It’s actually pretty easy to give alot of reasons why one should wait until marriage, such as: no risk of std, no risk of pregnancy, no risk of needing an abortion, no risk of side affects of contraception, no risk of a condom breaking,

    Huh???? I don’t think I understand this. You’re saying a wedding ring prevents STDs and works as contraception (but with no side effects)? I think you need some sex education…

    the concept that perseverence pays off(being able to say no and not cave to ‘pressure’),

    Who do you think is being pressured? I happen to like sex with my partner, and I don’t ever plan on marrying. I don’t think he’s pressuring me. And can’t married couples pressure each other? I think the pressure would be even harder to resist then…

    the opportunity to build one’s own character and self-respect (in leiu of worrying about pleasing someone else sexually),

    Huh? You jsut aren’t making sense. You don’t worry about pleasing your spouse sexually? People who have sex and aren’t married don’t have character or self-respect?

    the opportunity to be able to share your sexuality with the one you will spend your life with,

    Becuase marriage is for life… right. And also cuz once you share your sexuality with one person, you won’t be able to share it with your spouse. (cuz it’s gone, or what?)

    the opportunity to really get to see if people you ‘date’ are worthy of you (since you know they aren’t hanging out with you for sex)

    Well how do you know they aren’t hanging out with you for some other reason, and don’t actually like you? Maybe they just want money. Or free dinner and movies. Or marriage, or kids. Or is that ok, only sex is not?

    I’m still laughing at the idea that marriage is a 100% effective, side-effect free contraceptive, that you can supposedly turn off when you want kids. Where did you learn this shit? Abstinence only ed must be getting worse!

  • anne

    I never said it was.  Sex can be used in sinful/evil ways, a great example of this is rape.  In my experience, a few boys and men used sex on me in an evil way, and it had sort of a corrupting affect on me. And it’s not like I had the best guidance nor did I have an understanding there there was a greater meaning to sex so I began to believe that I was meant to be a man tool, that’s it.  Sex between spouses can be sinful if we are merely using each other to ‘get off’….I remember recently, on this site I believe, someone was poking fun at a couple that had a prayer they said before sex to basically help them keep it pure.  Well, I get the concept because isn’t it real easy to begin seeing people, even our spouse that we love, as an object for our own gratification.  That is NOT to say that sex should be enjoyed and pleasurable, because it should be.  Catholic=sex hater =believe sex is evil is not true in my case.  Woman with icky past tends to blame problems on evil sex=maybe true for some=I do not have that belief.

  • crowepps

    My point was that abstinence education, which assumes that only married people need accurate scientific information about coitus and birth control and which therefore withholds it from teenagers and substitutes instead only dire warnings about ‘say no’, is not likely to include enough information to enable teens to make good choices. 

     

    Your assumptions contains too many ‘ifs’ to be useful:

    "If you don’t want your child’s life to be terminated by abortion"

    Assumption that most people have objections to abortion for themselves

    If "you don’t want your child to be born without the benefit of two parents who are prepared to do a good job of raising her/him"

    Big assumption that marriage is a guarantee of ‘two parents who are prepared to do a good job’

    Everything depends upon your willingness to risk the possibility that you’ll have to upend your life and make hasty arrangements for the arrival of your child.

    HUGE assumption that pregnancy means ‘upending your life and making hasty arrangements for the arrival of a child’ before marriage but does not have that effect during marriage.

    Contraception lowers the risk, but it doesn’t eliminate it.

    Nobody said it did.  Even sterilization isn’t a 100% guarantee.  However marriage itself doesn’t lower the risk at all, but instead increases it, since married people are likely to have sex more often.  Unless, of course, one makes the ENORMOUS assumption that all married people want to have children.

     

    If you can justify abortion, the benefits of sex outside of marriage outweigh the risks.  If you can’t justify abortion, the risks of pregnancy outweigh the benefits of extramarital sex.  This is not religious dogma — this is a fact of life.

    No, these are not ‘facts of life’, these are assumptions based on personal ethical position.  Lots of people who have sex outside of marriage are very careful about birth control, never get pregnant and never have to deal with the issue.  Lots of married people who have exclusively marital sex but who don’t want children or don’t want more children have abortions.  And of course there are apparently lots of people who have sex outside of marriage and who ‘can’t justify abortion’ but who when they get pregnant have abortions anyway, since humans are really, really good at making special exceptions for themselves.

     

    It’s amazing how the ‘facts of life’ and religious dogma can be coaxed into alignment by simply picking and choosing.

     

    "…he is a barbarian, and thinks that the customs of his tribe and island are the laws of nature."  George Bernard Shaw

  • ahunt

    when you understand that this poor woman actually BELIEVES all of this.

     

    Now see, crowepps…this where I let wiser, cooler, more compassionate minds prevail.

     

    Half a century + 1 as of last Monday, and  my patience for adult conduct that "sadly" impacts children is limited. Better to quiet the viper in my soul…and relearn the lessons of early motherhood.

     

    Which also explains why I haven’t ripped Paul a new one for his sneaky snark over in Guttmacher.

  • anne

    Accuse me of being stupid but at least actually read my whole post.  I was referring to a TEEN ONLY and referring to THE TEEN’s sexual training to A TEEN who has not been sexually active yet, a teen who is not married YET….do I at least make partial sense to you now???? I know everyone wants to jump way ahead into that poor teen and their std they got from one of their five husbands, but can we focus a little here people…

  • anne

    It’s a public service announcement, though, one that portrays teens in an unfavorable light like they’re idiots who can’t control themselves.  I think teens can control themselves, and would be able to even better if they had training about their whole sexual being from the time they are small children.  You are not showing them how to use contraception, but it can be perceived that whoo they better be learning how to because they won’t be able to control the urge.  Not just a parody, but a public service announcement (and-not sure-but when showing it as a PSA, are they showing it along with the first video?)

  • jayn

    Why are you so focused on teenagers?  Sex-ed isn’t just about teens–it’s about teens who will become adults who will eventually become sexually active.  They NEED this information, if not now then later.  And if they don’t get it now, there’s no guarantee they ever will.

  • crowepps

    It’s my understanding that comprehensive sex education makes available biological, psychological and sociological FACTS about human reproduction. It doesn’t do ‘sexual training’. There are lots and lots of OTHER things that teens are taught with the idea that they might need to have that knowledge later in life — civics, economics, history, algebra. Abstinence Ed is equalivalent to not teaching them about, for instance, civics because they’re not old enough to vote, or refusing to tell them about economics unless they have jobs, checking accounts and investments.

    The assumption that teens who are not yet sexually active don’t know that sex happens isn’t accurate, since in our highly sexualized culture it’s not exactly a secret. The true facts seem like a useful balance to the unrealistic portrayals in popular culture. Would it be okay with you if the teens who are no longer virgins participate in comprehensive sex ed, since they actually NEED the information and their parents want them to have it?

  • crowepps

    Do you think the point of the original video was to show that children are idiots who can’t control themselves?  Or might you just be a teensy bit hypersensitive because this was about teen sex which for you apparently is a real hot-button issue?

  • equalist

    I have never seen anyone I’ve had sex with as an object.  It may be easy for you to do so, but not most people.  Sex is a bonding experience, and even if procreation is not the final goal, and the couple is not married, or even in a life long romantic relationship, it’s still something enjoyable, and a normal part of healthy adult romantic relationships when both parties are in agreement.  It’s something that brings people closer together as a couple.  I’ve had moments during sex that were so touching and heartfelt I cried.  I’ve had times during sex when my partner and I nearly had to stop for laughing so much.  My current boyfriend and I commonly use sex as a comfortable way to re-establish connections after an argument (though those are few and far between).  Sex can be used as a tool to get to know someone you’re already close to even better, and to really get to know what makes them tick.  Yes, sex is an enjoyable experience, and yes, sex can create children under certain circumstances, but to be completely honest, I have a hard time seeing those two reasons as the entire reason for having sex in a relationship, and if those are the only reasons your’e having sex, I have to say, you’re really missing out.

    Equal rights, equal responsibilities.

  • equalist

    …of their sexuality, wouldn’t comprehensive sex ed be a must?  You expect young adults and teens to understand their sexuality without being given any information on sexuality in general.  Are they just supposed to magically come by this information on their own?

     

    Equal rights, equal responsibilities.

  • paul-bradford

    masturbation is normal and most people do it at least occasionally.

     

    crowepps,

     

    You’re exactly right.  Most people do it occasionally — but some people do it so much that it becomes a problem.  Teenage boys who masturbate twenty or thirty times a week often grow up to be men who are addicted to pornography, who spend most of the day fantasizing and who have trouble developing healthy relationships with women.

     

    I deal every day with people who struggle with compulsions and disorders — alcoholism, drug addiction, bulimia.  Proper medication can bring substantial relief.  Some people (the overwhelming percentage are men) struggle with some form of sexual addiction and virtually all of them are compulsive masturbators.

     

    For some reason, people with this problem think its a good idea to discuss it with a clergyman — but clergymen are ill equipped to deal with it.  Some lay heavy guilt trips, some take your attitude and say it’s "normal", some suggest prayer or meditation.  I’ve never seen those methods do any good at all.

     

    Addictive or compulsive behavior is generally linked to an imbalance in brain chemistry.  That’s why so many people see their symptoms reduced when they are properly medicated by a psychiatrist trained to deal with their issues.

     

    Youngsters don’t have to rely on ‘some idiot’ to tell them what’s disordered and what’s perfectly normal.  They can talk about their behaviors with somebody who actually knows what s/he’s talking about. 

     

     

    Paul Bradford

    Pro-Life Catholics for Choice

  • progo35

    Thank you, ack and Equalist, I appreciate your wise words. :)

     

    "Well behaved women seldom make history."-Laurel Thatcher Ulrich

  • anne

    You all are making alot of them about my sex life.  I never said that I only use objectifying sex and it’s easy for me to do.  I also never said that the only reason I have sex is to procreate.  Talk about Catholic stereotypes!  When I talk about using a person as an object for sex, I am not so much referring to the type of relationship that Equalist is talking about-which sound very healthy(except maybe for the part where "it can be used for a tool-I see where you could find out what makes a person tick through sex, but I don’t know how I feel about it being used as a tool…).  However, treating someone as an object in a healty/unhealthy relationship can be a s simple as this: having a sexual encounter with that person for the sake of having an orgasm only, for satisfying yourself only, and if the other person gets off too, well, bonus!-not concern for the other person "sharing a whole sexual encounter"…I hope I’m articulating what I mean.  In other words, we can think of this objectifying more easily in terms of a one night stand, but it certainly isn’t limited to that kind of sexual encounter.  Now, as far as the fact that I am a fertile married Catholic woman, that DOES NOT mean that I shell out babies like I am a frickin’ rabbit.  I am a human being.  My husband and I use NFP, and at this time we really do not want another child.  It would not be a healthy thing for our family for many reasons at this time, SO…when I trach my fertile time every month, we abstain from intercourse during that time…INTERCOURSE…that does not mean that we have to barricade ourselves from each other, but it is a good time to be together and explore each other and achieve an intamacy that does not include intercourse.  Also, because we really do not desire a pregnancy at this time, I tend to add a few days before/after my charted fertile time as a buffer, so that the chances of me getting pregnant are even slimmer.  This works for us, and the Catholic church is all for it.  Contrary to what many people falsley believe, the church insists that you are OPEN to new life, always….BUT you can avoid sex on the woman’s fertile days, which can absolutely be tracked.  The catch, if there is any, is that IF you were to become pregnant ANYWAY, you would welcome the new life as a gift from God.  MANY, MANY, MANY, MANY Catholic families have had large, small, middle sized families for years and years.  Yes, even Catholic families that you see where there are only two children, even they have DISCERNED for themselves that two is enough for reasons they have taken to God through prayer, discussed as a healthy couple, and use NFP to achieve.  In fact, the Church expects us to discern for ourselves as married couples how many children we are able to handle, for all reasons like finances, HEALTH OF THE MOTHER, both physical and mental, etc. to discern HOW MUCH LIFE WE CAN WELCOME.  Some encyclicals and Pontifical Council Documents that can be used for instruction on human sexuality in Catholic families are available from RELIABLE resources such as http://www.vatican.va/roman_curia/pontifical_councils/family/documents/rc_pc_family_doc_08121995_human-sexuality_en.html  which is a link to a PCD called "The Truth and Meaning of Human Sexuality"  and also http://www.vatican.va/roman_curia/congregations/ccatheduc/documents/rc_con_ccatheduc_doc_19831101_sexual-education_en.html  which is by The Sacred Congregation for Catholic Education tiltled "Education in Human Love : Outlines for Sex Education."  The Church views married sexual love as total and complete gifting of yourself to your spouse.  Total includes your fertility.

  • anne

    on another relavant post about NFP:

     

    from Humanae Vitae, a real Catholic Encyclical by a real Catholic Pope:

     

    Recourse to Infertile Periods

    16. Now as We noted earlier (no. 3), some people today raise the objection against this particular doctrine of the Church concerning the moral laws governing marriage, that human intelligence has both the right and responsibility to control those forces of irrational nature which come within its ambit and to direct them toward ends beneficial to man. Others ask on the same point whether it is not reasonable in so many cases to use artificial birth control if by so doing the harmony and peace of a family are better served and more suitable conditions are provided for the education of children already born. To this question We must give a clear reply. The Church is the first to praise and commend the application of human intelligence to an activity in which a rational creature such as man is so closely associated with his Creator. But she affirms that this must be done within the limits of the order of reality established by God.

    If therefore there are well-grounded reasons for spacing births, arising from the physical or psychological condition of husband or wife, or from external circumstances, the Church teaches that married people may then take advantage of the natural cycles immanent in the reproductive system and engage in marital intercourse only during those times that are infertile, thus controlling birth in a way which does not in the least offend the moral principles which We have just explained. (20)

    Neither the Church nor her doctrine is inconsistent when she considers it lawful for married people to take advantage of the infertile period but condemns as always unlawful the use of means which directly prevent conception, even when the reasons given for the later practice may appear to be upright and serious. In reality, these two cases are completely different. In the former the married couple rightly use a faculty provided them by nature. In the later they obstruct the natural development of the generative process. It cannot be denied that in each case the married couple, for acceptable reasons, are both perfectly clear in their intention to avoid children and wish to make sure that none will result. But it is equally true that it is exclusively in the former case that husband and wife are ready to abstain from intercourse during the fertile period as often as for reasonable motives the birth of another child is not desirable. And when the infertile period recurs, they use their married intimacy to express their mutual love and safeguard their fidelity toward one another. In doing this they certainly give proof of a true and authentic love. —————

     

    I encourage you all to read the whole thing, it really is quite beautiful.  Also, JP II’s ‘Theology of the Body" that I mentioned earlier is a responese to Humanae Vitae (which I believe was written in 1968, FYI)

     

     

  • paul-bradford

    crowepps,

     

    You did a good job of shredding my arguments which was just as well since the post wasn’t very good.  Give me a second chance to make my point.

     

    When a child waits for an extra marshmallow s/he’s doing what children are supposed to do, which is to obey the orders of grownups.  Naturally, by the time you’re old enough for sex to be an issue, one would hope you’ve advanced past the phase of blind obedience.

     

    My point was that, for those of us who think that abortion is morally repugnant, sex outside of marriage is very risky behavior.  If you don’t want your child’s life to end in abortion, and you don’t want to leave your child in a bad way, you have to figure out some way to coordinate child care responsibilities with your partner.  If you’re not married to your partner this stipulation can make your life very difficulty.

     

    Safer to wait for marriage. 

     

    Paul Bradford

    Pro-Life Catholics for Choice

  • heather-corinna

    Before I say anything else, Paul, I do want to say that I have often appreciated some of what you have said at RH and the way you say it: they’re often very different from mine, but all the same.

     

    However, when you say this:

    My point was that, for those of us who think that abortion is morally
    repugnant, sex outside of marriage is very risky behavior.  If you
    don’t want your child’s life to end in abortion, and you don’t want to
    leave your child in a bad way, you have to figure out some way to
    coordinate child care responsibilities with your partner.  If you’re
    not married to your partner this stipulation can make your life very
    difficulty.

     

    Safer to wait for marriage. 

     

    …I need to say that just doesn’t jibe with reality. Based on the data we have of who has abortions internationally (and certainly what I have seen working in an abortion clinic), marriage alone — rather than the quality of a marriage, if one or both parties in a marriage want a child or pregnancy at the time, the dynamics of a family and a couple, availibility of reliable contraception in marriages, individual fertility, economics, how married couples feel about abortion, etc. —  seems to create a decreased chance of abortion by only around 10%.  For sure, that is a slimmer margin, and thus, technically less likely to result in abortions,  but not by very much, and not enough, I’d say, to validly frame it as you are here.

  • anne

    You said it in a different post, that ab-only might work if parents were willing to put in the time and effort.  BINGO!  Isn’t THAT something we can all agree with.  Given my history, and that I certainly do not want that same history repeated with my girls, I am trying to teach them about the miracle of life and what their sexuality means and how it is not something to just hand out.  Keep in mind, I am a Catholic and the training I provide them is based in that faith.  But-I really don’t see why the same concept cannot be used for other children who have a faith, or don’t.  Anyhow, I have a 5 yr old and toddler, both girls.  Obviously, my pregnancy with the baby was a great way to start the ball rolling, talking about all things baby. I found a great dvd called "You are a Masterpiece" from the Human Life Resource Council, for ages 5-7 and it walks this age group through their entire life in the womb.  It does not have any references to God, or a faith, just what is scientifically and biologically happening in the womb.  My 5 year old LOVES to watch it.  (I have more on this but-I gotta go for now:)

  • crowepps

    And yet obviously the ‘problem’ here is the brain chemistry that causes addiction and compulsion, not the masturbation itself. The person would need just as much help if their addiction or compulsion was being unable to ‘correctly’ enter doors or climb steps.

  • crowepps

    Receiving needed medical care is a wonderful thing no matter who is providing it, unless, of course, for ideological reasons the Catholic clinic won’t provide all the medical services wanted by the villagers (like birth control or sterilization), resulting in the people in the village receiving substandard care.

  • crowepps

    My point was that, for those of us who think that abortion is morally repugnant, sex outside of marriage is very risky behavior. If you don’t want your child’s life to end in abortion, and you don’t want to leave your child in a bad way, you have to figure out some way to coordinate child care responsibilities with your partner. If you’re not married to your partner this stipulation can make your life very difficulty.

    Being married to your partner in NO WAY decreases the difficulties unless you and your partner are MATURE and RESPONSIBLE and both want children. Since I spend a great deal of time working on domestic violence, divorce and child abuse cases, I can assert from my own knowledge that there is nothing whatsoever about the act of ‘getting married’ which confers maturity, responsibility or morality on people who don’t have those qualities before the ceremony is held and it absolutely does not make it easier to ‘coordinate child case responsibilities’ but instead can exacerbate any disagreements between the parents.

  • princess-rot

    Yes. This. I hunger for the day the human race as a whole will drop this sickly mentality that marrying and/or procreating somehow automatically makes one a good person. If you were a shit before, you’ll be a shit after.

  • crowepps

    You said it in a different post, that ab-only might work if parents were willing to put in the time and effort.  BINGO!  Isn’t THAT something we can all agree with. 

    The problem, though, is that the majority of parents don’t WANT to use ab-only.  The majority of parents believe ab-only is insufficient.  The majority of parents prefer ab-plus/comprehensive.  The disagreement here is not with the idea that you personally would refuse to give permission for your own children to attend ab-plus/comprehensive or with you personally preferring ab-only but with the idea that YOUR preferences are normative and should overrule those other parents and keep them from allowing their children to be provided with what they want provided.  While I’ll agree with you that certainly parents who are very, very committed to their religious beliefs have a right to control what their children are taught, I don’t see why that religiosity would confer on them any special rights to control the decisions of other parents or act as censor of the education of any children besides their own.

  • anne

    the focal point of the Marshmallow post?  I am commenting on teens because I thought that’s what the whole thing was about. 

  • anne

    might just mean ‘people who aren’t really paying attention’, either.  I am not marching into schools demanding that ab only be taught, my way no less.  I can’t really say that I have some supreme answer or any answer for that matter.  I am just a parent, who has a big concern not only for my children-who are my priority, and the ones that I am ultimately responsible for-but for all children and tees who eventually grow up, many of which will procreate.  I want this country to be a happy healthy one, and I think I can safely say that most of the folks who comment here feel the same way, though our stances may be very different.  I do not have the attitude of my way or the highway, I just think everyone has an opinion and many of us bring different life experiences to the table.  They ALL matter and ALL contribute-even Catholic converts.

  • crowepps

    Overall, however, your string of posts is about how ALL children should be given ‘chastity training’, about how NO children could be healthy and have self-respect if they receive comprehensive sex-ed and/or become sexually active, and now, of course, you assert that anyone who doesn’t agree with you ‘must not be paying attention’. Actually, a lot of people who are paying attention just plain think your point of view is wrongheaded.

     

    It doesn’t have anything to do with whether you are a Catholic convert, although when the basis for your position is in effect ‘it’s the Catholic way and so it must be right’ the effectiveness of the argument is seriously undercut. Most of those children and teens in question aren’t Catholic, and their parents aren’t Catholic, and they’re not in Catholic schools, and so how Catholics do or want to do or think about things is pretty irrelevant to them. By the way, Catholic schools do not push ‘creationism’ but instead teach evolution as completely compatible with the faith.

     

    I totally understand that it’s a basic tenet of your faith that the Pope has some special literally God-given insight into life and how to live it and has the job of making final pronouncements about morality, but the rest of us who are not Catholic don’t agree with you. Quoting the Pope to non-Catholics is kind of like quoting the Dahli Lama to non-Buddhists or holding up Reis Ceric as a universal moral authority without recognizing that only Islamic Muslims think what he says is important.

     

    This is in no way a lack of respect for your absolute right to whatever religion you choose to follow, and I certainly don’t argue that you shouldn’t include your religious views while discussing public policy questions. The fact that they are clearly religiously based views, however, makes them LESS persuasive, rather than more, because as ‘faith’ positions they are by definition based in an inherent lack of facts, in a ‘belief’ system which everyone else is completely free to disregard simply because they also have the right to ‘believe’ differently.

  • crowepps

    If you would go up to the FIRST post about the children, the one on which they parody was based, you might be able to see that the point of THAT post is not to denigrate or be disrespectful of the children but instead a sociological experiment to explore the children’s actions which was shared because the children’s action are funny.  The parody was also widely viewed because it is also funny to most people, because most people think abstinence ed is silly.

  • colleen

    Happy Birthday, Ahunt and thank you for your thoughful contributions on this blog.

    Which also explains why I haven’t ripped Paul a new one for his sneaky snark over in Guttmacher.

    Paul? Passive aggressive? Who knew.

    The only difference between the American anti-abortion movement and the Taliban is about 8,000 miles.

    Dr Warren Hern, MD

  • equalist

    Natural family planning can be very unreliable, especially in cases like my own where my periods (and times of fertility) are harder than normal to predict as they tend to be highly irregular, not following a normal 28 day cycle, but anything ranging from a 15 day cycle, to at times a 45 day cycle.  In my case, natural family planning would not work.  In my case, the only time I have a regular predictable cycle is when I am on the hormonal pill.  I’m sure I’m not the only one out there.  So what are women in my circumstance to do?  Avoid having marital relations with their husbands at all when they aren’t ready to have children?  Or with no reasonable manner of determining when a woman is actually fertile, risk conceiving a child at any time of the month?

     

    Equal rights, equal responsibilities.

  • equalist

    This is absolutely true… Too often I think people assume that raising a child will create responsibility in the parents where there is none.  This is where I think the idea of forcing pregnant teens to give birth to and then raise the child with minimal familial help as a punishment for their "immorality" does such a disservice to the teens and children affected by this.  The fact is, all this does is put the innocent children raised by those who aren’t prepared, or of the right mindset to be raising children at a severe disadvantage.

     

    Equal rights, equal responsibilities.

  • equalist

    here is that there are many more parents out there who aren’t willing or able to teach their children all the necessary information about their sexuality than those who are both willing and able to do so.  There are the parents who can’t be bothered to take the time with their children to do this, there are the parents who find the subject too uncomfortable to breech, and as such simply wait for someone else to do the teaching for them.  There are those who don’t believe that if their children were to be taught that there are other options out there, the children would then go against all their parents have ever taught them in favor of these other options regardless.  There are those who don’t think children should be taught anything about sexuality at all and just expected to live happy, healthy, normal adult lives with no education on the subject.  There are the parents who wich their children to have a good education on the subject, but either don’t have enough information themselves, or are unable to spend as much time with their children as they’d like (such as single parents working multiple jobs) to talk to them about these subjects, and those who have more than enough time to teach them, but no desire to do so.

    If parents had all the time and all the desire to teach their children what they need to know, then comprehensive sex ed in schools would not be a necessity, and as it is, it isn’t as much of one for children of involved, parents who are active in their lives, and have the time and willingness to teach them everything they need to know on the subjects.  The the fact still stands that parents aren’t perfect, and not all of them are capable or willing to teach their children what they need to know, and the question to ask is should those children suffer a lack of education because their parents can’t or won’t educate them the way other children’s parents can and will?

     

    Equal rights, equal responsibilities.

  • katwa

    no… that makes even LESS sense…You said you wouldn’t need to worry about contraception if you wait til you are married.. So your saying if a TEEN marries they won’t need to worry about contraception??

    95% of American women use birth control at some point in their lives. It doesn’t matter if you are married or not. In fact, if you have a healthy sex life in your marriage you probably have MORE need for it. I didn’t even use birth control when I was single!

     

    And who said anything about 5 husbands? I know a young couple who didn’t have sex until marriage, and were faithful to each other, but still contracted an STD. How? She was raped when she was younger. Symptoms weren’t present until after the marriage. She didn’t think to say anything because she didn’t want him to think she wasn’t a "virgin".  Neither knew STDs could go with no symptoms for years, and they both thought the other cheated on them! They both had parents who opted them out of sexual education, and really didn’t know much until this situation forced them to face reality.

     

    Would education have harmed them if they got it before they were having sex? Why would you want to teach people AFTER they’re already having sex? That’s why teens need it. Even if they wait until marraige, they need education on contraception and such for when they DO get married. As an adult, I use everything I learned as a CHILD, that I certainly didn’t need then, to take care of myself, have a job, etc. Isn’t this common sense? Isn’t this why we send our KIDS to school? To prepare them for adulthood? Teach them what they’ll need to know to have a job? We don’t wait until they’re adults to send them to school do we?

  • katwa

    Not to mention it’s a horrible comparison – something that requires animals to die for you to enjoy to something that can create new life when you enjoy it!

  • anne

    to know what most people think. 

  • anne

    Crowepps, I think I understand what you’re getting at as far as religion is concerned.  I understand that many religions, particularly Catholicism, has this history of being these rigid pleasureless, do-what-we-tell-you-to-do-mindlessly organizations.  Remember, I have not always been a Catholic and I was not raised in any faith.  I argued against ANY organized religion for many years, and argued with my husband against becoming a Catholic like him just so I could put a title on myself and not ‘follow’ the religion anyway(like he was).  I never saw the point in that, and I still don’t.  So-I really DO get what you are saying.  I feel blessed, though, because my route in my faith is NOT taking the shape of thet restrictive ‘believe because these old men tell you to’ kind of thing.  That is why I keep talking about "Theology of the Body", and yes, it came from a pope, but the message in it does not have to be rejected by you simply because it came from a pope and you don’t agree with the faith.  TOB goes directly against your statement: "because as ‘faith’ positions they are by definition based in an inherent lack of facts."    You know, it’s one thing to have the facts about something and reject it based on the facts, and another to be rejecting something based on alot of misinformation.  I see that type of thing all the time on this site about the Catholic faith.  I am not here trying to piss people off, I am like you who want people to have facts.  I also get that comprehensive sex ed would like a great big blanket cover everyone for every reason and since the polls show that the majority of people want it then well there you have it.  See, in my opinion, there is nothing different about that stance as one of pushing a religious based view.  Just because you are eliminating the word religion, that view is still one of an organized attempt to cram something down people’s throats ‘for their own good’.  I am interested in teaching children (who will grow into teens, who will grow into adults) about the miracle of life, biology of life, science of life, whatever you want to call it, and coming up with something that does not inherently say to them, "but if you find that you have no control over yourself, take this pill or use this condom etc etc and have all the pleasure you want no matter the consequence".  I relly believe that if people are trained to have control over themselves-their sexuality, their emotions, etc., and the reasons why they should have control it would help.   I do not believe that the only consequence to pleasurable sex with another human is an unwanted child, a wanted child, or two people who are so tweaked out afterwards they want to light up. There are other consequences to the whole person-sex alters the person, and again I am focussing on teens and children here because they are the ones who grow up to be adults with the issues that influence future bad choices.  There has to be a compromise, just like with everything.  BTW, alot of my interest in TOB came when I found out that pope JPII in his talks about human sexuality said that the husband should learn the art of self control and make sure that the woman climax before the man……I am paraphrasing….but that is the gist of what he said.  Sounds promising to me!

  • equalist

    Is not at the teenagers who have no control over what they’re taught in school.  The video is aimed at voters who have control through reprisentatives over what subjects are taught, and was created by young people to point out that ab only education isn’t working, and even the children taught using this method agree that it doesn’t work, and what the results are.

     

    Equal rights, equal responsibilities.

  • grayduck

    ack on October 15, 2009 – 2:06am: "I never said that abstinence among teens is unhealthy; I said that implying that teens and adults who choose not to abstain until marriage are somehow unable to develop a healthy sense of self-esteem is insulting."

     

    That was your main point, but you also used the phrase "healthy sex lives" to describe sexual behavior among unmarried teenagers. In the context of the discussion, the phrase seems quite susceptible to the interpretation that you believe abstinence among unmarried teenagers to be unhealthy. Otherwise, why did you use that phrase?

     

    "Messages that tout the benefits of abstinence until marriage are lost on those who never intend to marry; you attempt to condemn them to a life of celibacy."

     

    Just because someone does not "intend" to marry does not mean that the person cannot marry. The only requirements for marriage are obtaining a marriage license for $110, waiting for five days, and then undergoing a brief solemnization procedure. A life of celibacy is also hardly equivalent to a sentence. Expecting people to choose between those two options seems reasonable to me.

     

    "And I think you haven’t quite thought your ‘consent within marriage’ argument through. …being married does NOT mean that consent is a given."

     

    I can assure you that I have considered these issues carefully. I fully realize that rampant rape, incest, adultery, and fornication have reduced marriage to a mere living arrangement. That, and other reasons, are why I favor statutory changes that allow for sex outside of marriage but within state-sanctioned unions and, possibly, allow for marriages that do, or do not, imply consent. But a number of factors need to be considered when making decisions about these issues. First, changing statutes or constitutions is more difficult than merely enforcing existing law. We- at least in some states- have laws barring adultery and fornication. We do not have laws requiring that consent be verifiable. (Although I have advocated such a law.) Second, rape laws have become extremely difficult to enforce despite the development of advanced forensic techniques. Only two percent of rapes result in the perpetrator being sentenced to jail; the rate is probably much lower for marital rape. Third, rapes will be much more difficult- and less common- if the perpetrator is forced to marry his intended victim. Fourth, a public policy does not need to solve all problems to be useful. Just because adultery- and fornication-law enforcement does not stop marital rapes hardly means that we cannot use it to stop other forms of rape. Fifth, marital rape is more about abuse than rape. If states went back to treating marriage as implying consent, they could still prosecute abuse- including forced sex.

     

    "State laws were altered to reflect the fact that women aren’t property, and a ring on your finger doesn’t equal a yes in the bedroom."

     

    That comment misstates the issue. If a woman has already agreed to engage in sexual intercourse, and has been given consideration for that agreement, the man has every right to expect that she carry out the agreement. The issue of whether marriage should be considered consent to sex has nothing to do with whether women are considered property. Remember that you are the one taking the position that lifetime abstinence is equivalent to a sentence.

     

    "And are you seriously proposing making non-marital sex illegal?"

     

    Non-marital sexual intercourse is already illegal in my state. See the links that I posted. I am advocating that the relevant laws be enforced.

     

    "So are you for same-sex marriage?"

     

    I should have written "limit homosexual contact to state-sanctioned unions or interactions." Such state-sanctioned unions could include marriage if the adultery and fornication laws were re-written to include homosexual conduct. (I do not have strong or well-researched opinions about how other considerations affect whether homosexual marriage should be legalized.)

     

    http://www.abortiondiscussion.com

  • paul-bradford

    I think we’re in agreement, and we both dispute Sister Philomena’s contention that the best way to alleviate the suffering of sexual compulsion is with a devotion to the Blessed Mother.

     

    Paul Bradford

    Pro-Life Catholics for Choice

  • paul-bradford

    I haven’t ripped Paul a new one for his sneaky snark over in Guttmacher.

     

    ahunt,

     

    By now, I would hope that you realize that you can get my attention without ‘ripping me a new one’.  I’m interested in what you have to say about the Guttmacher report.  Have you read it?

     

    I’m dying to know what you mean by ‘sneaky snark’.  :-) 

     

    Paul Bradford

    Pro-Life Catholics for Choice

  • paul-bradford

    unless, of course, for ideological reasons the Catholic clinic won’t provide all the medical services wanted by the villagers

     

    crowepps,

     

    From what I hear, the health workers ‘on the ground’ are generally more interested in tending to the needs of the people than they are in worrying about the opinions of the bishops.

     

    If you surrender yourself to an impulse for compassion, you start to find work-arounds for little obstacles like ‘ideology’ and ‘authority’.

     

    Paul Bradford

    Pro-Life Catholics for Choice

  • grayduck

    Equalist on October 15, 2009 – 12:03pm: "If you use marriage as a point of concent, then that gives a man free reign to rape his wife any time he likes because ‘she concented when she married him’."

     

    If all I accomplished was getting my county prosecutor to charge people with adultery and fornication when the crime was obvious (like cases of rape in which the perpetrator claims the sex was consensual and refusal to pay child support), then marriage would not be treated as implying consent. But see the points that I made to ack. And read carefully, please!

     

    "Should we have a state official in each and every bedroom to monitor this homosexual and heterosexual contact as well?"

     

    No, and that is an important point. The only acts of adultery and fornication that would be provable would be cases in which a man tries to avoid a rape charge by claiming the sex was consensual or tries to avoid paying child support by claiming that the child is not his progeny. Genuinely consensual, responsible, honest sexual behavior would only be tangentially affected by the enforcement of adultery and fornication laws.

     

    "The state should not have the right to limit sexual contact between consentual adults."

     

    Enforcing the adultery and fornication laws would not limit consensual sexual conduct. Rather, it would place reasonable regulations on it to ensure that laws against non-consensual sexual contact were enforceable.

     

    "Can we say double standard?"

     

    See my comment to ack.

     

    "The state should stay the hell out of bedrooms unless consent is absent."

     

    But how would a prosecutor prove that consent was absent? If the only evidence was one person’s testimony and the defendant testifies to the contrary, how could a conviction be obtained?

     

    http://www.abortiondiscussion.com

  • paul-bradford

    I’m glad we’re talking about this.  It isn’t as if there are ‘black and white’ answers.

     

    I do not believe that marriage is the panacea for reproductive headaches.  I do, however, believe in challenging unmarried, childless young men to think with their ‘gray matter’ as well as their ‘pink matter’.

     

    I want men to ask themselves this question, "What kind of father do I want to be?"  Maybe then men would think twice about some of their sexual conquests.  I want it to be ‘cool’ for young men to aspire to be a good father, not just a good lover.

     

    It seems to me — and I’m more than eager to learn from you — that the man who wants to be a good father is likely to look for a woman who he thinks would be a good mother and (assuming she looks pretty good in a slinky dress) then marry her.  My tiny little patriarchal, conservative, religious brain runs to the thought that a man’s decision to marry before fathering children is a sign of respect to his future children.

     

    Can you have contracepted sex before marriage and ‘get away’ with a little extra booty?  Naturally, you can — but you can also get caught.  Rather than thinking about premarital abstinence as an effort of self-denial (coinciding with the ludicrous hope that someone will present you with a ‘reward’ for your ‘good conduct’), you can think about it in terms of insuring yourself against the heartache of losing a child to abortion (or finding yourself raising a child with someone you don’t want to share a life with). 

     

    Paul Bradford

    Pro-Life Catholics for Choice

  • grayduck

    Heather Corinna, Scarleteen.com on October 16, 2009 – 5:00pm: "…marriage alone…seems to create a decreased chance of abortion by only around 10%."

     

    Where on that web page did you find that figure?

     

    I think using an international study from a decade ago is inappropriate for this purpose. That study showed that in all the English-speaking countries- and quite different from the situation in many other countries- abortion is overwhelmingly a phenomonon among unmarried women and women who engaged in adultery. Because we are all speaking in English and sexuality education policy is set predominantly at the state or national level, the situation in Kazakhstan or Bangladesh seems inapplicable.

     

    (By the way, how do put quotes in that light-brown background?)

     

    http://www.abortiondiscussion.com

  • paul-bradford

    crowepps,

     

    I wish you had enough regard for my good sense to assume that I already know that a marriage ceremony doesn’t confer maturity, responsibility, morality and a desire to have children on couples who don’t already have those qualities.

     

    I’m not arguing that unmarried people should get married.  I’m arguing that unmarried people should consider the possibility that it’s to their advantage to refrain from having sex. 

     

    Paul Bradford

    Pro-Life Catholics for Choice

  • paul-bradford

    Princess,

     

    It makes me happy to find a point that you and I can emphatically agree on.

     

    Not everyone should marry, and DEFINITELY not everyone should procreate!  As to whether a shit remains a shit forever — well, what’s your opinion on redemption? 

     

    Paul Bradford

    Pro-Life Catholics for Choice

  • grayduck

    Equalist on October 17, 2009 – 1:41pm: "…ab only education isn’t working…"

     

    Please comprehensively present your evidence for that assertion.

     

    http://www.abortiondiscussion.com

  • grayduck

    Jayn on October 15, 2009 – 9:42pm: "Sex-ed isn’t just about teens–it’s about teens who will become adults who will eventually become sexually active."

     

    I think that is a good point. By why not wait until senior year to teach it, then? And why not emphasize that waiting until marriage is the expected behavior? Why not teach that fornication and adultery are illegal and about how to get married?

     

    http://www.abortiondiscussion.com

  • jayn

    "By why not wait until senior year to teach it, then?"

     

    Because not all students will wait until senior year to have sex (not to mention some students have dropped out by then).  I’m sure we’ve all known a girl or two, at least, who’s been a mother by graduation, regardless of what kind of sex-ed we were given.

     

    Also, part of sex-ed is about healthy relationships.   Unless you think teenagers shouldn’t date either…

  • anne

    can be more tedious to track when you are first starting NFP.  Of the ones I am familiar with, The Creighton Model is one that is mucous based and is very detailed as far as determining what mucous you see.  This makes it possible to find out when you are fertile.  Even though some woman have irregular cycles, it is very possible to still track fertility based on mucous.  This is because fertile mucous is very obviously different from infertile mucous, and, it only sticks around for a very short period of time.   Of course it takes a few cycles to really get to know what you’re looking at and how to record it, and that can be frustrating.  But, lots of Catholic couples do it because of their faith and I know that many of them are dealing with irregularity also.  A trained and certified instuctor helps you through the process. 

  • anne

    is just supposed to be an analogy for how everyone keeps taking us from teen to adult with every single episode or problem that could happen in adulthood.  I apologize for for not being able to come across as humorous when I intend to.  What I am saying that I don’t think you’re seeing, is that I DO VERY MUCH believe that teens, and yes, CHILDREN even should be taught about their sexuality and about the miracle of life, in an age appropriate, ongoing way, one that builds upon prior education, just like math and science and language.  I am AGREEING with you when you say that you use information from your childhood NOW, in your adult life.  YES!!!  We agree.  What we do not agree on is that the teen should be taught methods of contraception just in case they cannot control their sexual urges.  I believe that if there was this kind of ongoing training, a TOTAL PERSON training, the need/want for contraception/abortion would greatly diminish even if they all remained legal forever. And yes, I tend to believe that that is also good advice for a person who will marry or not marry. (and I need to add that based on my faith I do not agree that unmarried people should be having sex-but I realize that I do not control the world or other people nor do I want to  :)  I am just here to share a viewpoint and hear others.  :) )   I hope that last statement will keep me out of a pot of boiling water with the reg’lars.

  • jayn

    I think your choice of words is confusing people and making you harder to understand. Talking about ‘chastity training’ the way you do comes way too close to the kinds of things we hear from ab-only advocates. Trying to tease out your point is difficult, because the language you’re using, unfortunately, has a fair amount of religious baggage to it.

    Also, I think that by talking about chastity and sexuality, you’re skipping past the larger issues of self-respect and bodily autonomy. These are just smaller sections of larger issues that kids need to learn about. Students with ideologies similar to yours may take it towards the ‘wait until marriage’ side, while others may decide they’re ready for sex now, and both are valid choices. The important thing for both circumstances is that people make that choice because they want to, not because they think that’s what’s expected of them. A person’s sexuality is just part of who they are, and if we teach them self-respect, then they can make those choices from a healthier mindset.

    Along those lines, we also have to show them some respect, which is something that ab-only advocates seem to completely miss. They want to treat teens as children, and they’re not and can’t be expected to behave like children.

  • princess-rot

    The desire to change from "shit" to "good" had to be there already – conciously or subconciously – the unexpected pregnancy just provided a catalyst, the motivation to do something. That is a huge leap toward change, but it does not mean that procreating = instant ticket to maturity, as society seems to see it. Its that mentality that allows entitlement to flourish, and the attitude that though you may be accomplished and successful in all other areas of your life, if you have not procreated, its all for nothing and you’re a terrible person.

  • heather-corinna

    Amidst all the figures on it and the summary which explains — a number which is consistent with what we see in clinics and other figures on abotion — that around 40% of abortions are/have been for married women.It’s not obtuse: it’s quite clearly stated.

     

    I don’t think that page, talking about the whole world, and Guttmacher’s information on abortion demographics are unreliable or inappropriate for this purpose at all.  And I can’t speak — nor did any of those figures — for which of those abortions for married women were due to extramarital sex (though looking at the countires where the rates of abortions of married women where highest, I think you can see that extramarital affrais were far less likely the issue than women simply having more children than they can already afford or handle, one of the most common reasons for abortion for all women), but that’s irrelevant here.  Paul was stating marriage, all by itself, makes it far less likely for abortion to occur.   Looking at those figures and others (as well as the clients those of us who work in abortion see and know), less likely?  Yes.  But not by very much. 

  • heather-corinna

    By all means, I’m always glad to see people — especially men — address the male part of the equation in sex, pregnancy and the prevention of pregnancy.  And I think the aspirations you suggest would be great as "cool" for young men would be great, too, for those who intend and want to parent.

     

    But the thing with your response is that a) men are not the whole picture and plenty of women either don’t want to be mothers or pregnant, or don’t want to mother more children than they have already or remain pregnant, b) plenty of men and women alike who have sex together don’t want to become parents at a given time, or want to have sexual relationships that aren’t about families, long-term partnerships or marriage c) this isn’t just ABOUT pregnancy or unwanted pregnancy, or even always about opposite-sex sexual partnership at all, and again, d) marriage in and of itself does not solve the problem of unwanted pregnancy.  Additionally, not everyone wants to be married or get married, and while I understand that from the standpoint of your religious views, sex outside of marriage is an issue unto itself, not everyone shares those traditions, politics, beliefs or that life goal.

     

    I also feel the need to tell you that while I recognize the limited merits of anecdotal information, I have never been married, will never choose to marry and have been very sexually active throughout my life, to a degree far higher than your average Joe or Jill.  The more of my sexual partners have been male than female.  While I have had one abortion in my life, I have had married clients at the clinic I work for part-time who have been both younger than I, less sexually active than I, married (including some who were not sexually active before marriage) and who have had more abortions than I have, some substantially more. 

     

    Again, my issue with your statements here is not only that this whole issue isn’t just about unplanned or unwanted pregnancy, nor about abortion, but also your suggestions that marriage (for those to whom it is even available as an option, let alone wanted) is a "panacea for reproductive headaches."  I hear you saying here you don’t believe that, but many of your statements make it sound as if you do.

  • heather-corinna

    I believe that if there was this kind of ongoing training, a TOTAL
    PERSON training, the need/want for contraception/abortion would greatly
    diminish even if they all remained legal forever.

     

    Yet, the kind of "training" you have been suggesting has been tried, at more than one time in history, by more than one group/nation, and without netting those results.

     

    What we do not agree on is that the teen should be taught methods of
    contraception just in case they cannot control their sexual urges. 

     

    I think some of the reason we don’t agree is that that kind of mindset is not how contraceptive and sexuality educators like myself get from Point A to Point B.  By all means, if that’s what we thought, teaching anyone contraception at all, at any age, would make limited sense.

     

    But that’s not what we think.  We don’t think of sexuality as "urges" that are either in control or out of control, for people of any age. 

     

    Rather, what we think and know is that currently and through all of human history, human beings have clearly felt the desire to express their sexuality, to be touched and to be physically affectionate with partners.  Based on what we know and have read, that desire is physiologically, psychologically and socially normative and healthy as well as exceptionally widespread. History and the current time shows us that the age where most people tend and have always tended to start having those desires for shared expression are in the teen years, and historically and currently, married or not, the majority will begin to do so to some degree or all degrees with partners in their teens or early twenties. The process of sexual development and whole-life development being what it is (especially when you bear in mind that American youth start a lot of practical adulthood later in the last 100 years than teens anywhere else), that’s hardly surprising.

     

    As well, many of those partnerships will be opposite-sex, and many people in them will want to be sexual together and also do what they can, either throughout their lives or at one time or another, to prevent unwanted pregnancy and/or to limit family size.  And generally, we can be our most effective in helping with this when we provide that information before someone becomes sexually active (and many people express they would prefer — or would have, if they didn’t get it — having that information in advance, as well).  Additionally, knowing what things like contraception entail and require can help people to assess when they are and are not prepared for sexual partnership, to it is one thing that can aid in sound sexual decision-making.

     

    Now, you still may not agree with that approach, but perhaps it is easier to understand why we get to that knowing how different our mindset is than your own.

  • paul-bradford

    I understand that from the standpoint of your religious views, sex outside of marriage is an issue unto itself, not everyone shares those traditions, politics, beliefs or that life goal.

     

    Heather,

     

    Apparently, I haven’t been making myself clear.  I’m not a big proponent of people abstaining from extramarital sex ‘on religious grounds’.  I believe that the decisions one makes with regard to ones sexual behavior ought to be rooted in respect and reason.  That’s why I believe it’s possible for people of different "traditions, politics, beliefs and life goals" to have meaningful discussions about sexual behavior — as long as everyone involved believes in respect and reason.

     

    Let’s take the case of "Carol".  Carol goes to church and the people at her church tell her that, because she’s unmarried, she shouldn’t have sex.  The people at her church also tell her that abortion is a terrible sin.  Carol isn’t a particularly deep thinker so these precepts remain at the surface of of her consciousness.

     

    Because she’s unmarried, and because she accepts the teachings of her church, Carol makes no effort to obtain or to learn about the various methods of birth control — except, of course, the infallible method of abstinence.

     

    Carol has a lot of friends, both male and female, who don’t go to her church — and they tell her there’s nothing wrong with having sex before you get married.  The more time she spends with her friends, the more persuasive their reasoning becomes.  She starts to wonder whether or not she should do what her church tells her to do or what all her friends are doing.

     

    Carol’s got a problem and she doesn’t even realize it.  Her problem is that her thinking is ‘black and white’.  She’s thinking about ‘right’ and ‘wrong'; ‘good’ and ‘bad'; ‘permitted’ and ‘forbidden’.  What she’s not doing is caring about the needs and vulnerabilities of the child that might result from her sexual behavior.

     

    Carol’s old enough to have a child, but she’s still thinking like a child.  She’s not asking herself, "who, beside me, will be effected by my behavior?"  She’s only asking "what may I do?"

     

    My gripe with abstinence education is that it encourages young people to keep thinking like children at a time in their lives when they ought to start thinking like adults.  If Carol can’t get her head around the idea that she has a responsibility to respect a child she hasn’t even conceived she’s almost certain to follow in Bristol Palin’s footsteps and give birth to a child whose parents aren’t mature enough to raise her/him properly.  That’s exceedingly disrespectful, but Carol isn’t thinking about the disrespect she’s showing to someone whose life prospects will be greatly determined by the circumstances s/he is born into, Carol is concerned about being a ‘good girl’ — the kind of girl who waits to eat candy until her mother gives her permission.

     

    If only Carol could learn to start thinking like an adult!  If she did she would think about sexual restraint in terms of respect for others instead of being an obedient little child waiting for her big pile of marshmallows. 

     

    Paul Bradford

    Pro-Life Catholics for Choice

  • heather-corinna

    Paul: I absolutely hear you on this, and there’s a core of what you are saying I’m in complete agreement with.

     

    The big place where I diverge, though, is where so much emphasis — or all the emphasis — is put on thinking about a potential child.  In sexual partnerships or kinds of sex where pregnancy is a possibility, I agree that along with thinking about one’s OWN life, goals, wants and needs, that is important.  However, not everyone is heterosexual, and not all sex, even between those of the opposite sex, presents a risk of pregnancy, and abstinence-only education is given those those/we folks as well.  Too, a person can have negative or unwanted outcomes with sex — or even just a sex life that isn’t a core place of pleasure and well-being for themselves and partners — even when pregnancy does not occur.

     

    So, this isn’t just as issue pertaining to contraception, pregnancy and/or abortion for me, neither as a person nor as a sexuality educator.

  • paul-bradford

     

    However, not everyone is heterosexual, and not all sex, even between those of the opposite sex, presents a risk of pregnancy, and abstinence-only education is given those those/we folks as well. 

     

     

     

     

    Paul Bradford

    Pro-Life Catholics for Choice

  • crowepps

    I think that is a good point. By why not wait until senior year to teach it, then?

    Because the average age of first intercourse for a large number of teens is earlier than that.

    [1998] The median age of first sexual intercourse was 16.4 years. Approximately 5% of students initiated intercourse by age 12, 10% initiated by age 13, 17% by age 14, 28% by age 15, 43% by age 16, and 59% by age 17. Among sexually experienced youth, adolescents who were early initiators (age 13 or younger) compared to adolescents who were later initiators (age 16 or older) were less likely to use a condom at last intercourse (50% vs. 60%) and more likely to have multiple sexual partners in the past three months (47% vs. 11%).
    http://gateway.nlm.nih.gov/MeetingAbstracts/ma?f=102228605.html
    [Update showing similar figures in 2004]
    http://74.125.155.132/search?q=cache:NRPeNSfb0e8J:www.newstrategist.com/productdetails/Sex.SamplePgs.pdf+average+age+first+intercourse+united+states&cd=2&hl=en&ct=clnk&gl=us

    And why not emphasize that waiting until marriage is the expected behavior?

    Because this is a minority religiously based view.

    71 percent of young adults condone premarital sex (peaking, as noted, at 76 percent of young singles).
    Seniors are least likely, by far, to agree.
    Yes, Premarital sex is okay
    18-29 years old 71%
    30-39 years old 60%
    40-49 years old 69%
    50-64 years old 60%
    65 plus years old 30%
    http://a.abcnews.com/Primetime/PollVault/Story?id=156921&page=2

    Why not teach that fornication and adultery are illegal and about how to get married?

    Most places in the United States, fornication isn’t illegal.

    Later, some jurisdictions, a total of 16 in the southern and eastern United States, as well as the states of Wisconsin[5] and Utah[6] passed statutes creating the offense of “fornication” that prohibited (vaginal) sexual intercourse between two unmarried people of the opposite sex. Most of these laws either were repealed, were not enforced, or were struck down by the courts in several states as being odious to their state constitutions.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fornication#Jurisdictions_within_the_United_States_of_America

    Adultery is technically illegal in about half the States, but the laws are rarely and unevenly enforced.

  • paul-bradford

    However, not everyone is heterosexual, and not all sex, even between those of the opposite sex, presents a risk of pregnancy, and abstinence-only education is given those those/we folks as well.

     

    Heather,

     

    It’s actually pretty hard to get me worked up about the kind of sex that doesn’t present a risk of pregnancy.  I get concerned about heterosexual coitus because, in addition to being a concern for the sex partners, a third individual can come into the situation whose interests may be radically different than the interests of the other two.

     

    Sex is a private matter.  Procreation is a public concern.  Reproductive sex is sometimes tantamount to child endangerment.  You’re concerned about whether people are happy between the sheets — that’s your calling in life.  I’m concerned about whether people are going to stay alive.

     

    I’m actually not very interested in other people’s sex lives, nor am I particularly concerned that other people’s sex lives are satisfactory.  The only part of this business that concerns me is the social justice angle.  Sex happens to be the cause that puts a human being inside a woman’s uterus — other than that, the sex is no business of mine.  I make it my business, though, to see that the people who are living inside of uteruses are safe.  They’re not going to be safe, however, if people keep using discriminatory language to describe them.

     

     

    Paul Bradford

    Pro-Life Catholics for Choice

  • crowepps

    Sorry for the double post

  • crowepps
  • heather-corinna

    You’re concerned about whether people are happy between the sheets —
    that’s your calling in life.  I’m concerned about whether people are
    going to stay alive.

    Actually, I am, and have always been, concerned about both, and see them as quite interrelated.  And I also consider much of the work that I do to be social justice work.

  • crowepps

    I’m not arguing that unmarried people should get married. I’m arguing that unmarried people should consider the possibility that it’s to their advantage to refrain from having sex.

    Which is, frankly, extremely unlikely isn’t it? It may seem like a nifty concept and an easy solution to someone on the shady side of 50 whose juices are running thin, but it’s going to be a very, VERY hard sell to young men whose testosterone level is high and who are full of youthful vigor. I haven’t seen many young men in this forum, so I hope you have another venue where you can attempt to sign them on to your concept.

  • grayduck

    Jayn on October 17, 2009 – 9:06pm: "…not all students will wait until senior year to have sex…"

     

    But what goals do you want schools to achieve when teaching about sexuality to minors?

     

    Do you want them to suppress teenage births? Why? Many people argue that teenage girls are actually more capable, in many ways, to bear and raise healthy children. Examples are Melinda Liszewski, who had a baby at age 15, and Heather Corinna. They both argue that "…many of the troubling statistics that we have on teen pregnancy and parenting aren’t around the pregnancy or parenting itself, or the age of a parent, but instead, arise from many inequalities young people suffer because we have set things up so that they do."

     

    http://womensforumaustralia.org/news/June08/june08.html

     

    http://www.scarleteen.com/blog/heather/2009/05/22/preventing_teen_pregnancy_three_words_most_likely_to_make_my_blood_boil

     

    Do you want them to suppress abortions? Fewer than five percent of abortions occur among minor girls. The biggest problems among that age group with regard to sex appear to be rape, sexual abuse, coercion for sex, the use of drugs and alcohol to reduce inhibitions, dating violence, domestic violence, poverty, divorce, paternal abandonment, and inadequate parental supervision. My concern is that teaching children about contraception exacerbates many of these problems by conferring societal acceptance of many unhealthy forces impelling sexual behavior. If a twelve-year-old girl is being raped every night by her father, she- not to mention the father and rest of the family- hardly needs to be told that the sexual activity is normal.

     

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Teenage_Pregnancy#Causes_of_teenage_pregnancy

     

    http://www.abortiondiscussion.com

  • grayduck

    Heather Corinna, Scarleteen.com on October 18, 2009 – 10:17am: "…around 40% of abortions are/have been for married women."

     

    I was asking about the ten percent figure, not that figure.

     

    "I don’t think that page, talking about the whole world, and Guttmacher’s information on abortion demographics are unreliable or inappropriate for this purpose at all."

     

    But again, we are talking about sexuality education for teenage minors. Why would we base the public school curriculum in Washington or Minnesota on abortion statistics in Africa or Asia that are quite different from the equivalent statistics in those two states?

     

    http://www.abortiondiscussion.com

  • heather-corinna

    Would that we WERE talking about sexuality education for minors.   Wouldn’t that be a great comnversation to actually be having?  I sure think so.  But, lo. 

     

    I was responding to the conversation being had about abortion and marriage as the answer to abortion.

     

    I got that 10% because if 40% of the women having or who have had abortion have been married, then 60% have not been married: you either are/have been or you are not and haven’t been, after all if one is stating marriage, in and of itself, prevents abortion.

  • jayn

    "But what goals do you want schools to achieve when teaching about sexuality to minors?"

     

    Reducing the spread of STDs would be a good start.  Also, issues like consent and sexual abuse really need to be covered–I think that we can all agree that a person being pressured into sex when they’re not willing is a Bad Thing.  Beyond that, it really comes down to giving teens the ability to make their own choices.  Their sexuality belongs to no one but themselves, and they need to be given this information so that they can be fully empowered to manage it themselves.

     

    Sex isn’t a toy–parents can’t hold it back until they think their kids are old enough.  They can encourage teens towards certain behaviours, but ultimately the teen is the one who has the final say on this issue.

  • crowepps

    yes, it came from a pope, but the message in it does not have to be rejected by you simply because it came from a pope and you don’t agree with the faith.

    My point wasn’t that it SHOULD be rejected because it’s religiously based but rather that people who don’t believe in the religion are LIKELY to reject it because they have no reason to consider the person making the pronouncement as a relevant authority.

    I also get that comprehensive sex ed would like a great big blanket cover everyone for every reason and since the polls show that the majority of people want it then well there you have it. See, in my opinion, there is nothing different about that stance as one of pushing a religious based view. Just because you are eliminating the word religion, that view is still one of an organized attempt to cram something down people’s throats ‘for their own good’.

    The difference is that in the case of ‘abstinence-plus with BC’ one is hopefully teaching people FACTS and in the case of religion you are instead teaching PHILOSOPHY – opinions about what those facts mean and ‘what God wants’. Having exposed someone to facts, they then are free to apply their own religion/philosophy (or that of their parents). When the point at which you start is instead one particular religious opinion, all the facts that don’t get taught.

    There are other consequences to the whole person-sex alters the person

    This statement sounds to me like philosophy — people are DAMAGED if they have sex because people have more VALUE if they are chaste — people who have sex become impure and contaminated — and that’s an opinion about their social/spiritual worth rather than facts.

  • grayduck

    Jayn on October 18, 2009 – 7:20pm: "Reducing the spread of STDs would be a good start."

     

    Are sexually-transmitted diseases prevalent among children in the thirteen- to sixteen-year-old age range? Does empirical evidence exist showing that instruction on contraceptive use suppresses the prevalence of STDs among people in that age range?

     

    If much of the sexual activity among children in that age range results from rape, why would instruction on contraceptives aid in reducing the spread of STDs? Do you expect that the girls will be able to get their rapists to use condoms?

     

    "Also, issues like consent and sexual abuse really need to be covered–I think that we can all agree that a person being pressured into sex when they’re not willing is a Bad Thing."

     

    Agreed. If abstinence-only education does not discuss rape, incest, undue coercion for sex, and related issues, I am against it.

     

    "…ultimately the teen is the one who has the final say on this issue."

     

    If children are mature enough to make good decisions, why do they live with their parents?

     

    http://www.abortiondiscussion.com

  • grayduck

    Heather Corinna, Scarleteen.com on October 18, 2009 – 7:13pm: "I was responding to the conversation being had about abortion and marriage as the answer to abortion."

     

    But that conversation was in the context of a discussion about abstinence-only education. And, in any event, most other forms of abortion policy are also set at the state and national level as well.

     

    "I got that 10% because if 40% of the women having or who have had abortion have been married, then 60% have not been married: you either are/have been or you are not and haven’t been, after all if one is stating marriage, in and of itself, prevents abortion."

     

    The relevant figure is the abortion ratio. Unmarried women are about six times as likely to abort any particular pregnancy than are married women. ("The abortion ratio for unmarried women (485 per 1,000 live births) was 8.4 times that for married women (58 per 1,000).")

     

    http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/ss5713a1.htm?s_cid=ss5713a1_e

     

    http://www.abortiondiscussion.com

  • ahunt

    Thanks Colleen…a good time was had by all.

  • ahunt

    What struck me was the nearly twenty million women worldwide who choose to undergo abortion in dangerous conditions…every year that statistics have been reliable.

    My guess is that the real choice is between death and death for the majority of these women…and that pisses me off, Paul.

     

    Sneaky Snark? In your critique, you suggest that the gender of the authors is a factor in the failure of the report to address your concerns regarding WCT, and that"my spirit" is representative of intent.

     

    You mis-estimate me, Paul, and you fault the study for the lack of inclusion of your concerns. Permit me to point out the "your concerns" were not the purpose of the study.

  • equalist

    The next question is how would you go about enforcing such laws?  Would any woman who becomes pregnant without being married and without filing a rape charge be automatically guilty?  If someone suspects a woman or a man for that matter of having sex outside of wedlock, what kind of evidence do you suggest be brought against them?  Are you suggesting mandatory virginity checks of women to prove that they’re having sex outside of wedlock?  What if a woman loses her hymen to something as innocent as horseback riding, bike riding, a fall, or is even born without one?  Is she automatically guilty of sex out of wedlock at that point because it cannot be proven that she’s a virgin?  And how would you determine if a man is having sex outside of wedlock?  There’s no hymen to be checked for.  For laws such as these to be enforced at all, there would have to be some pretty heavy human rights violations involved just to prove whether or not sex actually occurred.  Realistically, it’s impossible to prove that sex has actually occurred between two consenting adults behind closed doors.  Unless you’re planning on going the route of the stricter muslim countries and making it illegal for women to associate with men at all other than their husbands and men that they’re related to.  

     

    Equal rights, equal responsibilities.

  • grayduck

    Equalist on October 19, 2009 – 3:09am: "…how would you go about enforcing such laws?"

     

    I would have prosecutors charge individuals with adultery or fornication when they attempt to defeat rape charges by claiming that the relevant sex acts were consensual. I might also have prosecutors charge individuals with adultery or fornication when they try to avoid paying child support by claiming that the relevant children are not their progeny.

     

    "Would any woman who becomes pregnant without being married and without filing a rape charge be automatically guilty?"

     

    No. The authorities would not know about all pregnancies, so they could not enforce the law equitably in that situation. Furthermore, they would not be able to prove whether the sex act was adultery or fornication or, even, if sexual intercourse occurred at all (artificial insemination may have been used).

     

    "If someone suspects a woman or a man for that matter of having sex outside of wedlock, what kind of evidence do you suggest be brought against them?"

     

    I would only advocate that prosecutors charge defendants with adultery or fornication in the situations I described above.

     

    "Are you suggesting mandatory virginity checks of women to prove that they’re having sex outside of wedlock?"

     

    No.

     

    "And how would you determine if a man is having sex outside of wedlock?"

     

    Again, I would charge him with adultery or fornication if he tries to defeat a rape charge by claiming that the relevant sex act was consensual. Such a claim would constitute irrefutable evidence. Charging men in that situation would have the secondary benefit of forcing rapists to choose between another- and possibly weaker- defense to the rape charge or admitting to a sex offense. I would also charge a man if, and when, he tries to avoid paying child support by claiming that the child is not his progeny. Prosecutions in that case would have the secondary benefits of helping to compel a paternity test and helping to compel compliance with child support orders.

     

    "For laws such as these to be enforced at all, there would have to be some pretty heavy human rights violations involved just to prove whether or not sex actually occurred."

     

    How so? If a man admits to an act of sexual intercourse as part of a defense to a rape charge, what heavy human rights violations would need to occur to prove whether or not sex occurred?

     

    http://www.abortiondiscussion.com

  • grayduck

    Heather Corinna, Scarleteen.com on October 18, 2009 – 11:50am: "…we can be our most effective in helping with this when we provide that information before someone becomes sexually active…"

     

    But why does that information need to be provided to students in their early teenage years? As I pointed out to Jayn in my October 18, 2009 – 6:42pm post directed at her comments, sexual activity among early teens appears to be impelled by factors like rape, sexual abuse, coercion for sex, the use of drugs and alcohol to reduce inhibitions, dating violence, domestic violence, poverty, divorce, paternal abandonment, and inadequate parental supervision. Teaching children about contraception would seem to exacerbate many of those problems by conferring societal acceptance of the choices that cause those problems.

     

    http://www.abortiondiscussion.com

  • heather-corinna

    Understand that if you are asking me, personally, that my educational philosophy is grounded in Montessori and other methods and educational theories like Montessori: that’s most of the way I have been working as en educator for going on 20 years, before I worked in sex ed at all.  What that means is that as an educator, I look for what we call "windows of absorbency." When a student shows us, either through observation (which is part of our practice as a constant), or by asking us directly, that they are ready for and open to learning (thus, absorbent) about something and that’s when we present whatever that is at the level we thoughtfully assess the student to be at.

     

    So, for me, and with the way I have built my models for sex education, I give young people the information I do when that is what they are asking me for.  Or, if they don’t ask me, they get it by expressly seeking it out themselves at my website or through other resources I provide for them.  In my work, sometimes when they ask (I don’t work withanyone under 13), they’re 13 or 14, other times 17, other times (especially many of our users from places like India or China) they’re in their twenties.

     

    But yes: in the early-to-mid teen years, in general, many teens will tend to start asking for or seeking out various information about partnered sex, including information on sexual safety, sexual health and contraception. I disagree that teen sexuality — mind, when I say sex, I am not just talking about intercourse or even partnered sex: most young people don’t go from zero to intercourse, after all — is primarily compelled by the factors you claim it is.  By all means, that CAN be an issue, and is enough of one that we should all be addressing it.  But we can’t do that with silence.  And no one can know what sexual coerscion or abuse looks like if we don’t talk to them about what the inverse looks like.  They can’t know what unhealthy relationships are if we don’t talk to them about healthy and unhealthy relationships.  And even though, by all means, some students will be isolated from families, from abusive families or poor, I can’t figure for the life of me why you think comprehensive sexuality education would make those conditions worse: pregnancy in the teens, for instance, is known very clearly to compound poverty.  I also strongly disagree that making sound, informed sexual and relationship choices lead to those outcomes or that knowing about, say, contraception, consent or healthy relationship dynamics leads to those outcomes.  In fact, with some of them — DV, for instance, or unwanted pregnancy — it’s very clear that NOT having this kind of information or education has played a very big part.

     

    And as I mentioned, having information in ADVANCE of needing to use it isn’t something most people will argue with, save when it comes to sex.  For those of you who drive, for instance, and have teenagers of your own, you usually support them having education and training in advance of when they get in the car, which is certainly sound.  This is no different: ideally, we want young people to have the information they need in advance of making sexual choices (so they have it to make those choices with), and in advance of situations where they will need to apply that information. As someone who more often has teens find her and her services AFTER they needed the information, or right in the moment of needing it,  I think I can speak with some authority about how much better things would be had they had it in advance.

     

    Lastly, the idea some of y’all seem to have that giving this information, and doing so with endlessly clear and consistent messages that all of this is about choices and decision-making, and about making the ones that an individual deems most in alignment with their wants, needs and life goals is interpreted as "Let’s all go out and screw everything that moves, do it without using any birth control or safer sex practices, and without consideration for partners now!" is just plain bizarre.  It’s akin to suggesting that if we teach young people how to eat in a healthy way, but also make clear there are no eating-police, so their dietary choices are their own to make,  their takeaway from that will be how to eat like crap. It appears you’re suggesting that they will somehow take away messages that are directly counter to what we are teaching. 

     

    For the record, I have a real issue with calling teenagers children.  Someone who is 16 years old is not a child, though they may be (as we all are) someone’s child, and though, in some areas (the U.S. being one of the few) they are legal minors.  While obviously maturity varies from individual to individual, if we’re talking about sexual development, know that for the most part, the physical body of many young women at 16 is no different from those of 18, who, I presume, you would suddenly call adult.  Adolescents — as most doctors, sociologists, and other folks in the know will agree — may not always yet be full-fledged adults, but they aren’t children, either.  An adolescent is far closer to an adult, for instance, than they are to a toddler, or to someone who is 7 or 8.  That’s why we have different terms for them, and the overarching term "children" isn’t, IMO, a good one.  It often seems to be what a lot of people like to call teens when trying to suggest they shouldn’t be sexual or get sexuality education: it makes it sound so much creepier that way, as I think you know.

     

    I do just want to do a check-in with folks like you and Anne to be sure you ARE aware of what content most ab-only programs contain, and also what comprehensive programs contain.  Do you?  And I’m not talking about educators like me, but about what you’ll find in schools.  Because I keep getting the impression some of you really haven’t appraised yourself with what is in these different kinds of programs.  If you have not, I’d really suggest you do, because I think what you’ll find in each may surprise you, and you may not be as stoked about the ab-based stuff as you’d think (especially if you have any attachment to medically accurate information, or if you’re not a fan of perpetuating some abuse dynamics), nor as disapproving of the comprehensive.

     

  • jayn

    "If children are mature enough to make good decisions, why do they live with their parents?"

     

    This isn’t about whether or not teens are mature enough to make good decisions, because this is one decision that we can’t prevent them from making and they know it. Seriously, how do you prevent a teen from having sex without locking them up until they’re 18?  We can try and encourage certain behaviours, but we can’t control their sexuality for them because it’s a PART of them.  I might as well try to control what my husband says at work.

  • heather-corinna

    If children are mature enough to make good decisions, why do they live with their parents?

     

    In addition to what Jayn replied, not all teens DO live with their parents. American teens actually often stay the longest, or, in areas where adults tend to live with extended families, live at home the longest AS children.  As well, not everyone in their teens, period, lives with parents, for a host of reasons.

     

    But for those who do…  If parents simply treated their children and teens AS children until the minute they left home then thrust them out into the world, figuring they’d just BE adult and THEN learn to make sound choices, all in one fell swoop, I’d call that utterly craptastic parenting.

     

    Growth from childhood into adulthood is a gradual process, and one people doing sound parenting recognize, gradually giving their chilrden and teens more and more freedoms and responsibilities in alignment with their development.  For instance, many parents let their teens drive a car, one of the most dangerous thing any of us can do in the world, but that tends to be a gradual process, and one parents aid in letting their teens learn and do a little at a time, seeing how they do with it.  same with things like part-time jobs, or independent travel.

     

    But as Jayn said, sexuality is a bit different  because it is a part of all of who we are.  And parents do not own their teenagers sexuality, however much some want to.  And for those teens over the age of consent in their area, parents also have no legal rights to keep those teens from consensual sex they may choose to engage in.

    If abstinence-only education does not discuss rape, incest, undue coercion for sex, and related issues, I am against it. 

    Just for the record, most of it does not, and most of those curricula also tend to include many attitudes many of us recognize as enabling things like rape and coercion. How about doing some homework of your own and checking out some of those curricula before talking about it more?

     

    As well?  Discussion and address of safer sex tends to go hand-in-hand in comprehansive programs WITH contraceptive education.  It also tends to go hand-in-hand with talking about consent to help teens have a better sense of who is and who is not likely to be safe from them.  When we’re talking about rape and teens when the rapist is the same age (bear in mind that the youngest rape victims are usually victimized by neighbors, friends of family, family members, etc: by older adults), we’re usually not talking about forcible rape, but date rape.  So, giving young people skills to a) understand what consent really is and is not (bearing in mind we are also educating those who may rape, not just who may be victims of rape), and b) giving young people assertiveness skills when negotiating sex, dating, etc. we can help reduce rape, and do better to assure sex is consensual when yes, understanding safer sex and contraception matters a whole lot.

  • anonymous99

    Modern American life makes it nearly impossible for teens to move out of the house.  You need $ and young people usually don’t make much.  Thus you stick it out until you can free yourself.  That’s what I did.  "But for those who do…  If parents simply treated their children and teens AS children until the minute they left home then thrust them out into the world, figuring they’d just BE adult and THEN learn to make sound choices, all in one fell swoop, I’d call that utterly craptastic parenting." YES!  "And for those teens over the age of consent in their area, parents also have no legal rights to keep those teens from consensual sex they may choose to engage in."  Do parents of underage teens have any legal authority to stop their kids from having sex (other than turning your kid’s partner in for stat rape possibly)?  And I thought date rape was forcible rape.  What exactly is date rape?

     

  • equalist

    I’m sorry, I was under the impression that tools were good things.  Have you ever tried carpentry or mechanic work without some, and how did that work out for you?  I fail to see where the sex as a tool thing is such a bad thing.  Sex is a useful tool for bonding in a relationship, but so is verbal communication and touch.  I use the word tool because it’s an accurate description of the manner in which sex can be utilized in a healthy relationship.  It’s a phrasing used by professionals in regards to counseling techniques.

    As for using a person as an object for self gratification and not offering the same satisfaction in return is wrong in any circumstances, but this is not something you see in a healthy sexual relationship.  The very act of this kind of behavior makes a relationship that is otherwise healthy, an unhealthy one.  It shows a lack of respect towards the other person in the relationship, and respect is always important in a healthy relationship.

    The issue I find most disruptive in NFP is that intercourse can be an important bonding experience in a relationship.  My boyfriend and I have found that in our relationship, when we make time to have sex at least once a day in addition to our normal routine in our relationship, our stress levels are lower, our relationship is healthier, and we have a closer bond than we do at times when we remove this part of our routine and allow our intimacy to lapse in this area.  If you make it a necessity to avoid sex at particular times during a woman’s cycle, (in your case adding a few days before and after just to be safe) going from the average information on fertile periods in a woman’s cycle, you’re removing at the least a full week from available bonding time in this manner.  I’m not saying that sex is the only bonding activity to be used.  My boyfriend and I bond in many different ways.  Performing household chores together such as cooking and cleaning, outings with our girls, watching movies together on the couch after the girls go to bed, making time to talk about our day when I get home from work, cuddling together, laughing together, and a lot of communication.  All these things can be important parts of a healthy relationship.  A healthy romantic relationship should not be based on sex alone, but neither should sex be removed from it.

    You also mention that any pregnancy should be regarded as a gift from god and be welcomed as such, but there are instances where a woman becoming pregnant could be severely detrimental to her health or even fatal. Should she have to put her health at risk in order to enjoy a natural and healthy part of her relationship, or should she avoid this part of her relationship at all in order to protect her life and health?  In my opinion, this is asking far too much.

    Equal rights, equal responsibilities.

  • heather-corinna

    Do parents of underage teens have any legal authority to stop their
    kids from having sex (other than turning your kid’s partner in for stat
    rape possibly)?  And I thought date rape was forcible rape.  What
    exactly is date rape?

    My choice of language was poor there: my apologies for that. (My queendom for us to have better, more clear terms for sexual violence and abuse, period.) To clarify: date rape — where someone is on a date, or already partnered with/dating the person who rapes them —  could be forcible (with physical force or violence).  It could also be via verbal coercion or manipulation, etc.  What makes it "date rape" is that it is not stranger rape, nor just a rape where the rapist is generally known to the victim (often called acquaintance rape), but where he or she was either an existing or potential romantic and/or sexual partner (though not a spuse, as then we’re talking spousal rape: again, my ugh on all these terms).

     

    In terms of the rights of parents and underage minors having sex, it really depends.  In many states and areas, even if a young person is under the AOC, there is a window for legal sexual consent on their part with same or similar age partners. If they are within that window, then no, there is nothing parents can do by legal recourse to stop that sex, though there are obviously things parents can do within the law to make it very difficult for those teens to have sex that is both lawful and consensual for them to be having.

     

    If the partner of a minor who is under the AOC is NOT, however, within that window of acceptable age (per the local statutes where they are), then they can certainly report the statutory rape and press charges. And not just parents either: anyone could make that report, teachers, neighbors, siblings, what have you.

  • crowepps

    Seriously, how do you prevent a teen from having sex without locking them up until they’re 18?

    Isn’t that precisely the purpose of all-male military school, all-girls closed-campus school, wilderness programs and ‘residential treatment facilities for troubled teens’?

  • crowepps

    Because their job is to gather facts about what is actually happening and describe what is actually being done in the real world and hopefully identify the results of those actions. (i.e., a rise in the availability of contraceptives makes abortion rates go down.) Faulting an organization that gathers accurate statistics for being neutral does seem kind of a stretch. It is, however, very consistent with Paul’s usual method of devaluing the other person’s opinion on the basis that, for instance, they must have a toothache.

  • crowepps

    But why does that information need to be provided to students in their early teenage years? As I pointed out to Jayn in my October 18, 2009 – 6:42pm post directed at her comments, sexual activity among early teens appears to be impelled by factors like rape, sexual abuse, coercion for sex, the use of drugs and alcohol to reduce inhibitions, dating violence, domestic violence, poverty, divorce, paternal abandonment, and inadequate parental supervision. Teaching children about contraception would seem to exacerbate many of those problems by conferring societal acceptance of the choices that cause those problems.

    If early teens are at risk of rape, sexual abuse, coercion for sex, the use of drugs and alcohol to reduce inhibitions, dating violence, domestic violence, poverty, divorce, paternal abandonment, and inadequate parental supervision just how are all those factors LESSENED by keeping away from those early teens information which could prevent them from ALSO having to deal with unwanted pregnancy? I’m sure not aware of anything about contraception that implies that rape is okay, that sexual abuse is okay, that coercion or violence is okay.

    Is it your assumption that the PERPETRATORS would argue the use of contraceptives makes their behavior okay? Considering that the perpetrators are usually older, they ALREADY know about contraceptives. The only person who would continue in ignorance is the VICTIM.

  • crowepps

    Are sexually-transmitted diseases prevalent among children in the thirteen- to sixteen-year-old age range?

    25% of sexually active teens get STDs. I would say that STDs are prevalant among children in the thirteen to sexteen-year-old age range who are sexually active.

    Does empirical evidence exist showing that instruction on contraceptive use suppresses the prevalence of STDs among people in that age range?

    “U.S. teenagers have higher STD rates than teenagers in other developed countries—for example, England, Canada, France and Sweden—because they have more sexual partners and probably lower levels of condom use.”
    http://www.guttmacher.org/pubs/fb_teens.html

    If much of the sexual activity among children in that age range results from rape, why would instruction on contraceptives aid in reducing the spread of STDs? Do you expect that the girls will be able to get their rapists to use condoms?

    Where ever did you get the idea that ‘much’ of the sexual activity results from rape? The highest figure that I have seen is that about 10% of girls report their sexual contact was involuntary. And, yes, quite often rapists can be talked into using condoms if their potential victim reminds them that they can be identified by their DNA if they don’t use a condom.

  • heather-corinna

    25% of sexually active teens get STDs.

    Just a quickie on that stat: that rate is so for all young adults from the ages of 15-24, not just teens.

     

    And to give perspective, that accounts for about half of all STIs for all people every year:

    More than half of all people will have an STD/STI at some point in their lifetime. [1] The estimated total number of people living in the US with a viral STD/STI is over 65 million. (http://www.ashastd.org/learn/learn_statistics.cfm)

  • equalist

    "sexual activity among early teens appears to be impelled by factors like rape, sexual abuse, coercion for sex, the use of drugs and
    alcohol to reduce inhibitions, dating violence, domestic violence,
    poverty, divorce, paternal abandonment, and inadequate parental
    supervision."

    Addressing each of these things in turn: 

    Rape: Teaching children about contraception will not help them avoid becoming rape victims, but teaching them ways to protect themselves (safety in numbers, avoiding risky situations and people), which are often taught in comprehensive sex ed classes (or at least they were in the one I had in fifth grade) will help them avoid this.

    Sexual abuse: We already have a legal system to combat sexual abuse of children and teenagers.  Granted, it could stand some strengthening at times, and the public can help by bringing sexual abuse to attention when they are aware it is happening, but again, this is something that should be addressed in a fully comprehensive sexual education.  Bad touch/good touch, children should be taught that it is perfectly okay to tell another adult if someone touches them inapropriately or tries to get them to do something they aren’t comfortable with, or if someone hurts them.  Sexual education isn’t only abstinance or contraception, or even both.  It should be a full education.

    Coersion for sex: This falls under the category of sexual abuse, and children should be taught how to recognize and report it to the correct authorities.

    The use of drugs and/or alcohol to reduce inhibitions to sex: Again, this is something that should be addressed in the coersion and abuse section.  Children can be taught necessary information on avoiding using drugs and alcohol to the level that they’re prevented from making responsible choices about their bodies, taught to avoid leaving themselves open to be drugged against their will (leaving a drink unattended at a party or club, or any situation where there is risk of someone putting something into it)

    Dating violence: Again, falls under the categories of coersion and abuse.  Both girls and boys should be taught how to recognize the signs of an abusive relationship, how to avoid them, or get out of one they find themselves in, and ways to avoid becoming an abuser themselves.

    Domestic violence:  This falls under the same category as dating violence.  The two tend to go hand in hand, and teaching the tools to prevent one, will help in teaching the tools to prevent the other.

    Poverty: Something that can’t be avoided or taught against in any means.  The best that can be done to counteract poverty is to give children the tools to support themselves as adults, and should that be lacking, encourage assistance programs to combat poverty on all levels.

    Divorce: This is something that children have no control over.  The best we can do as a society, and as parents is to teach children to deal with situations like divorce in the best way possible.

    Paternal abandonment: Again, not the child’s fault.  You mention social acceptance as being part of the problem, but here’s the kicker.  If we encourage birth control and responsibility in sexual matters, then the children learning these things won’t be as likely to create children to abandon in the first place.  The trick is to discourage social acceptance of paternal abandonment, and to discourage the mindset that it is "manly", "macho", or "cool" to get as many women pregnant as possible and then abandon the children born to those women, but also to give children the tools and the knowledge to avoid creating those children in the first place.

    Inadequate parental supervision: Yet again, not the child’s fault, and more importantly, are you expecting parents who are inadequately supervising their children and allowing them to have sex at a young age to spend the time and effort required to properly instill an abstainance only mentality in those children, and ensure that an abstinance only education would work?  These children in particular are the ones that need a comprehensive sexual education in school the most because they’re not getting a sexual education at all from home.  They’re learning it from peers who are giving them false and incomplete information that doesn’t protect them from the consequences of the choices they are left to make on their own.

     

    Equal rights, equal responsibilities.

  • equalist

    "Just because someone does not "intend" to marry does not mean that the
    person cannot marry. The only requirements for marriage are obtaining a
    marriage license for $110, waiting for five days, and then undergoing a
    brief solemnization procedure. A life of celibacy is also hardly
    equivalent to a sentence. Expecting people to choose between those two
    options seems reasonable to me."

    To you it might seem reasonable, but not to the majority of people.  Forcing lifestyle choices on others might seem just fine and dandy to you, but the rest of us would prefer to be allowed to make our own decisions.  Just as you would not want someone to force you to conduct your relationships by their rules, the rest of us have our own ideas of how our relationships should progress, and while your decisions are up to you to make, our decisions are not.

    "We do not have laws requiring that consent be verifiable. (Although I have advocated such a law.)"

    The question here is what kind of verifiable consent would you require?  Something in writing?  Should I and my boyfriend have to sign written consent forms each and every time we have sex simply so some outside party who has nothing to do with our relationship can prove that any sex had was consentual.  The next question is, how long should we keep this verifiable consent around?  Should we put a file for the consent forms next to income taxes and our children’s school records in the file cabinet?  Seriously though, the whole idea of enforcing a requirement for verifiable consent is far too difficult and too invasive to be feasable.

    "Second, rape laws have become extremely difficult to enforce despite
    the development of advanced forensic techniques. Only two percent of
    rapes result in the perpetrator being sentenced to jail; the rate is
    probably much lower for marital rape."

    This statistic is not due to a lack of proof of consent, this is in large part due to a lack of rapes being reported, and of those that are reported, the common practice of shaming rape victims and going to extreme lengths to discredit them on the stand when a rape case does go to trial, are a large part of the cause.  Victims choose not to report their rapes because they don’t want to be put on trial themselves, and this is not their fault, but society’s fault for the blame the victim mentality that passes as acceptible.

    "Third, rapes will be much more difficult- and less common- if the perpetrator is forced to marry his intended victim"

    And what about the victim who is forced to marry her rapist?  Have you even considered her at all in this wonderful idea of yours?  Has the type of trauma this will create for her even crossed your mind, or does she no longer matter because at that point she is "damaged goods" anyway?  Further, would you support bigamy when a victim is raped by multiple perpetrators?  Would they all have to marry her, or would you have some sort of provision put in your law for this kind of case?

    "Fourth, a public policy does not need to solve all problems to be
    useful. Just because adultery- and fornication-law enforcement does not
    stop marital rapes hardly means that we cannot use it to stop other
    forms of rape."

    The problem is, the type of policy you suggest implies that not only will it not stop marital rape, but will excuse it, as a lack of marriage would constitute a lack of consent in a rape case, but in a marital rape case, the argument could be made that because a lack of marriage is evidence of guilt that proof of marriage is evidence of innocence.

    "Fifth, marital rape is more about abuse than rape. If states went back
    to treating marriage as implying consent, they could still prosecute
    abuse- including forced sex."

    All rape is about abuse and control more than sex.  If rape was about attraction we would see much lower rates of rape where the victim is elderly, homely, or otherwise "unatractive".  Rape is not about pleasure, or sexual gratification, it’s about taking control of the body of another and doing with it as you please.  It’s about causing trauma to the victim.  In the context of marital rape, it’s another means for an abusive husband to keep his wife terrified and under his control.  In addition, if a marriage certificate iimplies consent, then no sex within the marriage can be legally viewed as forced or as rape because she consented when she signed the certificate.

    "That comment misstates the issue. If a woman has already agreed to
    engage in sexual intercourse, and has been given consideration for that
    agreement, the man has every right to expect that she carry out the
    agreement. The issue of whether marriage should be considered consent
    to sex has nothing to do with whether women are considered property.
    Remember that you are the one taking the position that lifetime
    abstinence is equivalent to a sentence."

    If a woman agrees to sexual intercourse, and then changes her mind due to stresses, pain, or other reasons, it is ABSOLUTELY her right to do so, and it is the man’s duty to respect that right, and end the sex act immediately.  The same goes for a woman if a man changes his mind and she is in a position of control over the act.  No one has the right to do anything to or with the body of another without their consent, even if that consent has been granted at some point in the past and then withdrawn.  Once consent is withdrawn, the act is no longer consentual, and should the other party continue the act, this constitutes rape and should be treated as such.  When you give consent, you do not also relinquish your right to change your mind at a later time. 

    "Non-marital sexual intercourse is already illegal in my state. See the
    links that I posted. I am advocating that the relevant laws be
    enforced."

    I still have yet to see how you plan that those laws be enforced without violating various human rights laws in the process.

    "I should have written "limit homosexual contact to state-sanctioned
    unions or interactions." Such state-sanctioned unions could include
    marriage if the adultery and fornication laws were re-written to
    include homosexual conduct. (I do not have strong or well-researched
    opinions about how other considerations affect whether homosexual
    marriage should be legalized.)"

    Please, define state-sanctioned interractions.  You mention state sanctioned unions, so obviously this interraction is not a union, what kind of interraction is it?  Are you honestly suggesting that adults be required to obtain permission from the state before engaging in private acts within their own homes and bedrooms that truthfully don’t affect you in the slightest? 

    As far as your consent laws are concerned, my boyfriend and I plan to fornicate at some point later tonight.  You might want to write that down in case you doubt consent later.

    Equal rights, equal responsibilities.

  • anonymous99

    Thanks for the clarification Heather.  You (and others on rhrc) and I have disagreed on the verbal coercion or manipulation thing before.  Certainly I can understand using the word "rape" when there are verbal threats.  IMO using the word "rape" for "sweet talking" is overreaching but I’m done being so confrontational on this and we’ll just have to agree to disagree.  I’m wondering if you ever get questions from parents of teens?  I have a preteen daughter who is rapidly closing in on teenager and I can tell you the whole dating/sex thing is a tough one (I’m sure you already knew that :o)).  Some of the Dads I know are already restricting their daughters from public gatherings because boys are there (6th grade boys that is)!  I want to respect her "space" and I’m realistic about teen sexual desires.  But I do fear the "difficult" relationship.  I remember when I was a kid one of the Dads in my neighbohood tried to interfere with his daughters relationship and he just drove her away.  Seems like parents can (and often) just make a bad situation worse by intervening (or the way they intervene, legally or not).  Obviously there are physical warning signs that parents should be watching for but are there any other basic things parents should be doing/saying/watching out for that give them a clue they should be intervening?  Thanks and keep up the good work.

  • equalist

    "No, and that is an important point. The only acts of adultery and
    fornication that would be provable would be cases in which a man tries
    to avoid a rape charge by claiming the sex was consensual or tries to
    avoid paying child support by claiming that the child is not his
    progeny. Genuinely consensual, responsible, honest sexual behavior
    would only be tangentially affected by the enforcement of adultery and
    fornication laws.
    "

    Define tangentially please.  When you enforce laws regarding human behavior, particularly in regards to sexuality, all kinds of people get caught up in this kind of net.  You open doors for overagressive enforcement by police and prosecutors who have differing beliefs from those they are here to protect.  Using my boyfriend and I as an example.  We live together, and yes, we have sex regularly.  An overenthusiastic social worker, or other government employee could see that we are a man and a woman, unrelated, and unmarried occupying the same household (as noted by the same living and mailing addresses on our government forms).  He/she could then conclude on his/her own that we are likely having sex.  Feeling morally and legally allowed to do so, she could then report this suspected fornication to the authorities who would then be granted a warrent to search my private residence, under plausable cause, for evidence of this fornication, and then charge my boyfriend and I with this crime when in actuality, we have done nothing morally wrong according to our beliefs and the beliefs of society in general.  In addition, should this officer be of the same moral inclinations as the government official who reported this, he would be within his rights to have us held for this crime and our children taken into the system, thus traumatizing my two young daughters.  Further, should the prosecutor also be of the same mindset, my boyfriend and I could then be charged to the fullest extent of the law you advocate, and if the case is heard under a similarly inclined judge, we could then be sentanced as such, with my children further kept in the system.  At best?  In this scinario, at the least our privacy would be violated by the officers searching our home, and the already thinly stretched law enforcement agencies would be wasting their time on the victimless crime of consentual sex between two adults when there are far worse issues to deal with in our area (we live in the ghetto, and gunshots are a frequent background noise around here).  At worst, my boyfriend and I would be punished for an act that is normal and natural in an adult, romantic relationship, my children would be handed over to either their highly abusive biological father, my mother, who is currently fighting breast cancer, and is unable to chase after two active toddlers, or thrown into the system where children are frequently abused by foster families, leading to suffering for me, my boyfriend, our children, and our extended families at having to fight such a violating charge.  You advocate these laws as a means to combat rapists, but in actuality, you are advocating laws which violate innocent citizen’s rights to privacy, and security in their own homes and bedrooms.

    "Enforcing the adultery and fornication laws would not limit consensual
    sexual conduct. Rather, it would place reasonable regulations on it to
    ensure that laws against non-consensual sexual contact were
    enforceable."

    The point is that sexual conduct between two consenting adults should not be regulated in the first place.  Haven’t you heard of the famous Ben Franklin quote: "that it is better one hundred guilty
    Persons should escape than that one innocent Person should suffer."  The laws that you advocate would instead cause countless innocent persons to suffer to prevent one guilty person from escaping the law, and that my friend goes against everything this country stands for.

    "But how would a prosecutor prove that consent was absent? If the only
    evidence was one person’s testimony and the defendant testifies to the
    contrary, how could a conviction be obtained?"

    On that note, how could a defense lawyer prove that consent was given?  If the only evidence was that there was no marriage certificate granting consent, and two consenting adults were caught in the act of fornication (someone walking in on them in their home, being reported by an overzealous worker at a cheap motel, etc), this is still according to your law more evidence than both parties announcing in court that consent was granted, and thereby is evidence that both parties are guilty.

     

    Equal rights, equal responsibilities.

  • equalist

    A situation came to my attention the other day regarding one of the neighborhood kids that comes over to my house as a place to get off the streets and stay out of trouble.  This boy of fifteen was discussing his girlfriend with my boyfriend, and mentioned that they are sexually active.  When my boyfriend commented to him on the risks of the behavior, he stated that he knew he would not get her pregnant because a woman cannot get pregnant if the sex is anal or if the man pulls out.  He also knew little to nothing about sexually transmitted infections and diseases or what kind of risks are involved.  These comments are coming from a young, sexually active teenager.  This is an obvious example of why abstinance only education does not work.  This boy does not have the needed information to protect himself or his girlfriend from a lifetime of consequences, and is engaging in behavior that puts them both at risk for these consequences without any knoledge or education on the facts.  Instead, he is relying on information he has heard from other adolescents who know no better than he does and which is nothing more than wives tales and hearsay.  This is a fifteen year old boy who, continuing on this path of ignorance of the facts, will very likely find himself as a father, and personally, knowing this particular fifteen year old boy and his maturity level, no offense to fifteen year old boys anywhere, but I wouldn’t trust this kid to properly raise a pet rock.

     

    Equal rights, equal responsibilities.

  • equalist

    I already have, on numerous occasions.  If you’d read my previous posts in entirety, you would see that, although I did just a few minutes ago post a particularly telling one regarding one of the neighborhood kids that comes to my house often when he has no where else to go.  If I recall correctly, the post is on page three and entitled "the content of ab only education".  I think this particular incident is a quite telling example of how and why this type of education doesn’t work.

     

    Equal rights, equal responsibilities.

  • equalist

    "I would have prosecutors charge individuals with adultery or
    fornication when they attempt to defeat rape charges by claiming that
    the relevant sex acts were consensual. I might also have prosecutors
    charge individuals with adultery or fornication when they try to avoid
    paying child support by claiming that the relevant children are not
    their progeny"

    While the first intention you describe is admirable, it leaves no recourse for men charged with rape in the case of actual consentual sex when the woman cries rape to avoid gaining an image as a "slut", to avoid the anger of a jealous husband or boyfriend when she’s been caught cheating, or just to cause some poor fellow misery.  As for men trying to avoid paying child support by claiming that the child is not theirs, we already have DNA testing for this, so truthfully what would this law do in addition other than punish the mother seeking the child support as well, since she participated in the act of fornication?  In addition, this would likely cause struggling single mothers to avoid going after needed child support enforcement out of fear of being charged by your fornication laws in the process.

    "No. The authorities would not know about all pregnancies, so they could
    not enforce the law equitably in that situation. Furthermore, they
    would not be able to prove whether the sex act was adultery or
    fornication or, even, if sexual intercourse occurred at all (artificial
    insemination may have been used)."

    The authorities would have access to any and all birth records, as birth certificates are a matter of public record, and any woman who puts down a father with a different last name than her own, or fails to put down a father at all would send a red flag through the system and at the very least trigger an investigation.  Unless you misunderstand the meaning of the word fornication, or are simply using the wrong word for some other meaning you have in mind, any single woman who bears a child without artificial means would be guilty of violating this law.  As for cases of IVF or other artificial impregnation technology, an investigation into a fornication charge could require the supoena of medical records regarding the procedure, at the very least in the woman’s defense to prove her innocence of the charge at hand.

    "I would only advocate that prosecutors charge defendants with adultery or fornication in the situations I described above."

    But what kind of safeguards would you have built into this law to ensure that only the situations you have described would fall under it?

    "Again, I would charge him with adultery or fornication if he tries to
    defeat a rape charge by claiming that the relevant sex act was
    consensual. Such a claim would constitute irrefutable evidence.
    Charging men in that situation would have the secondary benefit of
    forcing rapists to choose between another- and possibly weaker- defense
    to the rape charge or admitting to a sex offense. I would also charge a
    man if, and when, he tries to avoid paying child support by claiming
    that the child is not his progeny. Prosecutions in that case would have
    the secondary benefits of helping to compel a paternity test and
    helping to compel compliance with child support orders."

    Child support orders already require proof of paternity, (either the mother was married at the time and her husband is automatically assumed to be the biological father, or a paternity test is required) otherwise, having no father named on either of my daughters’ birth certificates, I could file a child support charge against Bill Gates in order to claim a hefty sum even though I’ve never actually met the man. 

    In regards to rape cases, this still leaves a vulnerability in that men falsely charged with rape would also be charged with fornication, whether or not the sex act actually happened, and regardless of whether the act was consentual or not.  Documented evidence of guilt (such as the lack of a marriage certificate) trumps spoken evidence in court (such as witness testimony that the act was consentual) and you wind up with the consequence of sentancing an innocent man.  

    Then there is the matter of women in regards to this law.  You have yet to mention how this law would affect women.  Assuming that gender is not an excusal from the law, this would mean that any woman bearing a child out of wedlock (easier to prove than who fathered the child in question) and any woman claiming to have been raped when consent is in question, or any rape victim when the perpetrator is not convicted, would be charged with the crime of fornication.  None of these circumstances are ethical by any means.

    "How so? If a man admits to an act of sexual intercourse as part of a
    defense to a rape charge, what heavy human rights violations would need
    to occur to prove whether or not sex occurred?"

    How would you prove that sex occurred if one or both parties is not willing to admit to it and there are no witnesses?  If a woman is known to be a virgin before the act supposedly occurred, and she is accused of fornication, and is not pregnant at the time of her accusation, the way to prove it would be through medical examination to determine whether or not she has had sex.  This would be a human rights violation in that in order to prove her innocence of the crime, she would have to be subjected to an unwanted, and possibly (for her) embarrassing medical procedure.  It is well known that in this country, you cannot force someone to endure medical treatment or testing without their consent.  This should be obvious based on the number of forms that have to be signed each time you enter a hospital to be seen or begin seeing a new doctor. However, enforcing these types of laws causes that consent to be coerced, in that a woman would have to choose between being charged with a crime or undergoing the medical procedure, which is highly unethical.

    Equal rights, equal responsibilities.

  • equalist

    And how is this education only being available senior year going to help students who have had sex at an earlier age (I was in my junior year the first time), or who drop out before that year in school?  Are these students simply to be left to fend for themselves and the children they create or diseases they contract?

    "And why not emphasize that waiting until marriage is the expected behavior? Why not teach that fornication and adultery are illegal and about how to get married?"

    Starting with the fornication and adultery being illegal issue, it’s been stated multiple times that this is an unenforceable law for various reasonings, and this fact makes it a moot point.  As for how to get married, in my state, homosexual marriage is illegal, so how exactly would that particular lesson assist individuals who identify as homosexual, which by senior year sexual orientation is usually fairly clear to the individual.

    Equal rights, equal responsibilities.

  • equalist

    I thought the purpose of all male or all female schools was to encourage homosexual experimentation when heterosexual experimentation is unavailable.  At least that’s what all my friends who have been put in them or dated anyone who was put in them tell me…

     

    Equal rights, equal responsibilities.

  • equalist

    For posting some stats Crowepps.  I always have a difficult time finding exactly the studies I’m looking for, and it’s always appreciated when someone else is able to track down these kinds of figures.  I also was not aware that so many of the laws against fornication had been repealed.  I was under the assumtion that they had gone the way of laws you hear about such as walking your cow down a main highway, or spitting on the sidewalk on Sunday.  Still on the books, but simply ignored and not enforced.

     

    Equal rights, equal responsibilities.

  • heather-corinna

    I think that’s a much bigger discussion than there is room for here, but I’d be glad to talk with you about it, and/or to suggest some books written for parents that I really appreciate on the subject.

  • grayduck

    Heather Corinna, Scarleteen.com on October 19, 2009 – 11:26am: "I disagree that teen sexuality — mind, when I say sex, I am not just talking about intercourse or even partnered sex: most young people don’t go from zero to intercourse, after all — is primarily compelled by the factors you claim it is.:

     

    My intent was to refer specifically to sexual intercourse. Do you have any empirical evidence that sexual intercourse among thirteen-year-olds is primarily motivated by "…the desire to express their sexuality, to be touched and to be physically affectionate with partners." (Off-topic side question: why did you not put a comma after the "to be touched?" Was it to indicate that the last two "list items" are to be grouped?)

     

    "But we can’t do that with silence.  And no one can know what sexual [coercion] or abuse looks like if we don’t talk to them about what the inverse looks like.  They can’t know what unhealthy relationships are if we don’t talk to them about healthy and unhealthy relationships."

     

    I am not meaning to imply that silence is a superior alternative. But if a thirteen-year-old girl from a broken family is being  pressured for sex by her seventeen-year-old boyfriend and being molested by her grandfather, how can a school take her away from learning math and writing and science to learn how to use a condom without implying that the manipulation by the rapist is not abhorrent? At the very least, I would think that balancing such instruction with messages about legal versus illegal sexual conduct, marriage, family, procreation, the responsibilities involved in raising children, commitment, self-esteem, accurate contraceptive failure rates, how to extricate oneself from dangerous situations, self-control, the value of delaying sexual activity, and the meaning of consent would be needed to avoid that inference by the students. Liberal sexuality educators do not have a reputation for providing all of that information. Maybe school districts should retain both abstinence-only and liberal educators in order to provide a more robust set of messages.

     

    "I…strongly disagree that…knowing about, say, contraception…leads to those outcomes."

     

    I think it depends on exactly what type of information is provided. If introductory and conceptual messages are provided like those in the first link below, students would have broadly-useful information that they would remember long afterward. If, alternatively, the instruction is very mechanical and specific like that in the second link, the knowledge will probably be quickly forgotten unless it is reinforced with practice. As such, giving such mechanical and specific information conveys the assumption that the recipient will use the information soon afterward. Otherwise, why provide such mechanical and specific information rather than giving them the ability to find such instructions whenever they are needed?

     

    http://www.scarleteen.com/article/advice/is_birth_control_safe_are_certain_brands_best

     

    http://www.scarleteen.com/article/boyfriend/condom_basics_a_users_manual

     

    "In fact, with some of them — DV, for instance, or unwanted pregnancy — it’s very clear that NOT having this kind of information or education has played a very big part."

     

    Please explain.

     

    "And as I mentioned, having information in ADVANCE of needing to use it isn’t something most people will argue with, save when it comes to sex.  For those of you who drive, for instance, and have teenagers of your own, you usually support them having education and training in advance of when they get in the car, which is certainly sound."

     

    But they do not need to know all the details of traffic laws and vehical operation at age thirteen. Likewise, I question whether most thirteen-year-olds do not need to know the exact details of sexual techniques or the steps involved in using birth control.

     

    "…I have a real issue with calling teenagers children.  Someone who is 16 years old is not a child… While obviously maturity varies from individual to individual, if we’re talking about sexual development, know that for the most part, the physical body of many young women at 16 is no different from those of 18…"

     

    The factor that I think is more important is that minors lack the autonomy to make decisions without being heavily influenced by their parents and other environmental forces which they cannot avoid.

     

    "I do just want to do a check-in with folks like you and Anne to be sure you ARE aware of what content most ab-only programs contain, and also what comprehensive programs contain.  Do you?"

     

    Not in any great detail, no. Can you point to good resources? Note, however, that I have never advocated abstinence-only programs or categorically opposed so-called comprehensive sexuality programs.

     

    http://www.abortiondiscussion.com

  • grayduck

    Jayn on October 19, 2009 – 3:26pm: "This isn’t about whether or not teens are mature enough to make good decisions, because this is one decision that we can’t prevent them from making and they know it."

     

    What, exactly, should schools teach students about condom use? Are you advocating that very mechanical, specific information be taught with the aim of making thirteen-year-olds proficient condom users? If so, how could they absorb the information without practicing the new skills soon afterward? In other words, if a student is taught, say, long division he or she will need to practice doing long division soon after the lesson is delivered or he or she will forget what is taught. Likewise, I would think that students would need to go actually engage in sexual intercourse with condoms within a week of the lesson or the lesson would be forgotten. As such, I would think that very mechanical and specific lessons about how to use condoms would either be too early or too late for the vast majority of students. Introducing students to concepts surrounding condoms and explaining those concepts, on the other hand, would seem to be more widely applicable and have fewer negative repercussions.

     

    "Seriously, how do you prevent a teen from having sex without locking them up until they’re 18?"

     

    Here is a quote from you that formed the context for my question: "…it really comes down to giving teens the ability to make their own choices." How can you reconcile the idea that teenagers need to be given the ability to make choices with the notion that teenagers cannot be stopped from making choices?

     

    Are you assuming that teenagers are, or are not, influenced by lessons taught in school? If they are influenced by messages from teachers, why would you assume that conveying an expectation of imminent sexual activity by the child would not influence that teenager? If teenagers are not influenced by what they are taught, then what would be the point of teaching anything about sexuality? In other words, if they cannot be discouraged from sexual activity, how can they be encouraged to use condoms?

     

    http://www.abortiondiscussion.com

  • grayduck

    Heather Corinna on October 19, 2009 – 4:16pm: "If parents simply treated their children and teens AS children until the minute they left home then thrust them out into the world, figuring they’d just BE adult and THEN learn to make sound choices, all in one fell swoop, I’d call that utterly craptastic parenting."

     

    In the line of discussion to which you are replying, Jayn was assuming that instructions on condom use need to be taught substantially earlier than when students become adults and that teenagers need to be given the ability to make choices. Your response relaxes both assumptions. The line of discussion depended on the first assumption. The line of discussion also assumed that we were talking about educational curricula, not parenting.

     

    I agree that parents and schools should not assume that teenagers will make good decisions without being given the information needed to make those good decisions. But I also think that certain messages can mislead students if given at the inappropriate times or without the necessary context. For example, I think they need to be taught that fornication is illegal in Minnesota But, do you really think that Planned Parenthood is teaching teenagers that fornication is illegal?

     

    Moreover, the school day is of finite length, so teaching one lesson will deprive students of learning another one. Therefore, all lessons need to be very useful to a large number of the students to justify the opportunity cost.

     

    "How about doing some homework of your own and checking out some of those curricula before talking about it more?"

     

    There you go again with that brown background that you refuse to explain how you create! You are very unkind in refusing to divulge the secrets of brown font backgrounds.

     

    I would welcome useful information and resources about abstinence education. But, note that my comments and questions were very specific and did not specifically endorse abstinence-only education.

     

    I did not fully understand your last sentence, at least as it related to contraception.

  • jayn

    I can’t respond at length right now, but quickly–

     

    1.  How many sex-ed programs are one-day only?  Honestly curious, as mine wasn’t.  I was learning about this stuff from ages 11 to 15, with a day or two used each year on it.  Trust me, I remembered how to use a condom years later when I needed to.

     

    2. The ‘mechanics’ of using a condom that kids need to know is how to put one on.  A banana will suffice for teaching that.

     

    3.  Teens are the only ones who can make the choice on if they will have sex or not, but we can encourage them to make good choices.  Will all of them?  No, but more than would if left ignorant.

  • grayduck

    Equalist on October 19, 2009 – 11:12pm: "Forcing lifestyle choices on others might seem just fine and dandy to you, but the rest of us would prefer to be allowed to make our own decisions."

     

    Purchasing a license is hardly a "lifestyle choice." Is the state imposing lifestyles on people when requiring them to obtain licenses to operate motor vehicles or practice medicine?

     

    "The question here is what kind of verifiable consent would you require?"

     

    I have a number of specific proposals for ways of expressing consent, but any mode of indicating consent must have two characteristics. First, a record of the agreement would need to be saved persistently and immutably for later retrieval. Second, the agreement would need to be witnessed to ensure that the assent was genuine.

     

    "…the whole idea of enforcing a requirement for verifiable consent is far too difficult and too invasive to be feasable."

     

    I disagree. To avoid it being invasive we could allow women to officially specify whether they are willing to confer non-verifiable consent. That way, if a woman does not want the protection it would provide, she could opt out.

     

    Why would it be difficult? Most acts of sex are probably within ongoing relationships and would therefore not require a new consent document for every sexual act. Many other acts of sex are premeditated. Realistically, how often do women offer sex to strangers or acquaintances without a willingness to wait the time it takes to execute a written agreement? Even sex with a prostitute must be negotiated (presumably).

     

    "This statistic is not due to a lack of proof of consent, this is in large part due to a lack of rapes being reported, and of those that are reported, the common practice of shaming rape victims and going to extreme lengths to discredit them on the stand when a rape case does go to trial, are a large part of the cause."

     

    Those explanations beg the question. The reason many rapes are not reported and the reason victims are vulnerable to discrediting is because of the difficulty of proving lack of consent. Women see no reason to put themselves through a rape kit examination and trial without a good chance of victory. Not having a way to prove that consent was never issued severely undermines the chance of obtaining a conviction without a tumultuous trial.

     

    "And what about the victim who is forced to marry her rapist?"

     

    I said nothing about forcing rape victims to marry their rapists. I said that rapists should be forced to marry their intended victims. The victim would have the right to refuse to consent to the marriage- that is why rapes would be much more difficult if the perpetrator was forced to marry his intended victim.

     

    "…if a marriage certificate iimplies consent, then no sex within the marriage can be legally viewed as forced or as rape because she consented when she signed the certificate."

     

    Nonsense. Consent to sex is not consent to assault, battery, or false imprisonment.

     

    "If a woman agrees to sexual intercourse, and then changes her mind due to stresses, pain, or other reasons, it is ABSOLUTELY her right to do so, and it is the man’s duty to respect that right, and end the sex act immediately."

     

    I agree, but that is not what we were talking about.

     

    "I still have yet to see how you plan that those laws be enforced without violating various human rights laws in the process."

     

    See my October 17 6:05 PM post and my October 19 7:11 AM post.

  • grayduck

    Equalist on October 19, 2009 – 11:44pm: "Define tangentially please."

     

    As a result of adultery- and fornication-law enforcement, men would take more precautions to verify that their sexual behavior was consensual, that they were treating their sexual partners well, and that they were fulfilling their responsibilities to the woman and possible offspring. Women would need to take more responsibility for many of their sexual actions because more of them would need to occur within marriage.

     

    "You open doors for overagressive enforcement by police and prosecutors who have differing beliefs from those they are here to protect."

     

    Prosecutors in Minnesota already have the right to charge people with adultery and fornication but are not doing so. Why would they suddenly start prosecuting excessively when they are currently refusing to prosecute even violent serial rapists for adultery and fornication?

     

    "…who would then be granted a warrent to search my private residence, under plausable cause, for evidence of this fornication…"

     

    In Minnesota as elsewhere in the United States, probable cause is required to obtain a search warrant, not plausible cause.

     

    "…we have done nothing…wrong according to…the beliefs of society in general."

     

    Not true; by enacting the adultery and fornication laws the people of Minnesota have expressed the opinion that sexual intercourse should occur between a man and woman who are married to each other.

     

    "In addition, should this officer be of the same moral inclinations as the government official who reported this, he would be within his rights to have us held for this crime and our children taken into the system, thus traumatizing my two young daughters."

     

    He would have no cause for holding you or committing the children. Even if your boyfriend was convicted he probably could not have his children taken from him because the crime is only a misdemeanor.

     

    "The laws that you advocate would instead cause countless innocent persons to suffer to prevent one guilty person from escaping the law, and that my friend goes against everything this country stands for."

     

    No; enforcement of the laws would slightly inconvenience a small number of people- mainly rapists- to prevent many rapes. Rapes have a devastating impact on the victims and on many other people who are indirectly affected. According to a report by the Minnesota Department of Health, the economic impact of sexual assault in Minnesota was about $8 billion in 2005. At worst, it would cause some people to run down to the county service center and pick up a marriage license. Why is that so burdensome?

     

    http://www.health.state.mn.us/news/pressrel/cost071707.html

     

    "On that note, how could a defense lawyer prove that consent was given?"

     

    Defense lawyers do not need to prove anything to obtain an acquittal; they only need to show reasonable doubt. A claim by the alleged victim that she was not raped would almost certainly be viewed as reasonable doubt in most cases.

     

    http://www.abortiondiscussion.com

  • grayduck

    Equalist on October 20, 2009 – 12:00am: "This boy of fifteen was discussing his girlfriend with my boyfriend, and mentioned that they are sexually active."

     

    How the two of them learn how to engage in sexual intercourse? Why did the two of them decide to enter into that kind of behavior? How did they meet one another? How did they decide to spend time with one another? Why are their parents not intervening?

     

    http://www.abortiondiscussion.com

  • crowepps

    How the two of them learn how to engage in sexual intercourse?

    This is natural behavior and two young people who have been given no information whatsoever about sex will figure this out all by themselves. Your assumption is that young people have to be TAUGHT how to have sex but their bodies are naturally inclined to engage in these behaviors.

    Why did the two of them decide to enter into that kind of behavior?

    It FEELS GOOD. It is natural behavior. Your assumption is that the two of them had a discussion and a rational decision was made but I don’t think that’s likely.

    How did they meet one another? How did they decide to spend time with one another?

    Since I don’t know these kids I have no idea in this particular case but as a general rule young people go to coed schools where as a general rule schools ENCOURAGE them to date through sponsoring dances, etc.

    Why are their parents not intervening?

    There are three possibilities there – their parents wouldn’t approve but don’t know it’s happening, or their parents do know but are indifferent/approve, or third, their parents do know, don’t approve, but can’t stop them short of locking them up. Your assumption is that their parents would agree with you that this is a disaster AND that knowing that they would be able to effectively intervene. Parents of teenagers have a lot less control over their behavior than you are assuming lies in their power.

  • grayduck

    Equalist on October 20, 2009 – 12:49am: "While the first intention you describe is admirable, it leaves no recourse for men charged with rape in the case of actual consentual sex when the woman cries rape…"

     

    Not true; his recourse would be to marry before engaging in sexual intercourse.

     

    "As for men trying to avoid paying child support by claiming that the child is not theirs, we already have DNA testing for this, so truthfully what would this law do in addition other than punish the mother seeking the child support as well, since she participated in the act of fornication?"

     

    In addition to the general benefits of enforcing the adultery and fornication laws, charging men in that situation would provide added assistance from the state in finding the non-compliant fathers and added assistance in obtaining DNA testing and it would create additional deterrence to non-compliance. The woman would not be charged because she reported the crime, because she was not the deadbeat, and because the prosecutors would not be able to prove whether the sexual act was consensual.

     

    "The authorities would have access to any and all birth records, as birth certificates are a matter of public record, and any woman who puts down a father with a different last name than her own, or fails to put down a father at all would send a red flag through the system and at the very least trigger an investigation."

     

    Authorities do not have access to abortion and miscarriage records, so they would not know about all pregnancies. But again, I see no reason to foresee prosecutions in that situation because- assuming prosecution in that case is possible- they have the authority to prosecute right now but are choosing not to act on that authority.

     

    "You have yet to mention how this law would affect women."

     

    The enforcement of the laws- which already exist- would help to protect women.

     

    "…any woman claiming to have been raped when consent is in question, or any rape victim when the perpetrator is not convicted, would be charged with the crime of fornication."

     

    Nonsense; proof is required to obtain a conviction, so charges would not be issued unless proof was available.

     

    http://www.abortiondiscussion.com

  • grayduck

    Equalist on October 20, 2009 – 12:59am: "And how is this education only being available senior year going to help students who have had sex at an earlier age (I was in my junior year the first time), or who drop out before that year in school?  Are these students simply to be left to fend for themselves and the children they create or diseases they contract?"

     

    Rather than being held hostage to the parents, pedophiles, and other influences that are teaching them to have sex, we should be holding those people accountable for the damage they cause.

     

    "Starting with the fornication and adultery being illegal issue, it’s been stated multiple times that this is an unenforceable law for various reasonings, and this fact makes it a moot point."

     

    The laws are not unenforceable. Even if they were unenforceable, we would still have reason to inform students about them.

     

    "As for how to get married, in my state, homosexual marriage is illegal, so how exactly would that particular lesson assist individuals who identify as homosexual, which by senior year sexual orientation is usually fairly clear to the individual."

     

    It would assist homosexuals in getting married to someone of the opposite sex. How does teaching about contraception help the students who do not use contraception?

     

    http://www.abortiondiscussion.com