Monday, 16 April 2007

Just say ... what?

What do teens do when adults tell them not to have sex? Answer: Ignore them. The Washington Post reports:
A long-awaited national study has concluded that abstinence-only sex education, a cornerstone of the Bush administration's social agenda, does not keep teenagers from having sex. Neither does it increase or decrease the likelihood that if they do have sex, they will use a condom.
Quel surprise. Notes Reason magazine:
The Feds spend $176 million per year on the failed program. Harry Wilson, a top official in the Department of Health and Human Services, told the Post that $176 million:
"is not that much money when it comes to offering an alternative to the other message."
Not that much money? After all, the money is really just symbolic and needn't actually accomplish anything, just so long as it garners votes from religious conservatives.
Oh yes, the old "symbolic spending," where being seen to spend rather than seen to succeed is what counts. But Reason notes something else too that might bring conservatives up short: it's not just teenagers these days who are enjoying pre-marital sex -- God love them -- "a new report, Trends in Premarital Sex in the United States, 1954-2003, finds that most Americans have been enjoying premarital sex for a long time." Goodness gracious. We've all been going to hell in a handcart for that long!

Anybody like to suggest either results or stories would be different here in NZ?

LINKS: Some abstinence programs mislead teens, report says - Washington Post
Surprise--Teens Ignore Adults Who Tell Them to Not Have Sex - Reason magazine


  1. I got laid more when I was a teenager compared to now... thats for sure!

  2. I think the total cost has been about 1.5b so far.

    Obviously we are not spending enough money to defeat teenagers' sex drive...

  3. In my time as a young person in the 50s and 60s, we reckoned all girls were virgin when they married.

    The babies just arrived a lot earlier. Something to do with aerial application of 245T, I think.


  4. Did the girls think all the boys were virgins when they married in the 50's and 60' too? The double standard is still going strong.

    Probably the best comment I have read on this is "What we need is a massive condom to surround Washington to protect us from Bush, who is a dick."

  5. Anon said : What we need is a massive condom to surround Washington to protect us from Bush, who is a dick.

    I thought that Ruth needs a dick to satisfy herself. Perhaps she could join up with the neo-con in Washington and apply to see George's dick.

  6. Ditto NZ spending on sex ed and out of control gonnorhea.

    Also note regarding sex ed, a proponent, the former president of the American Academy of Child and Adolescen Psychiatry, Dr William Ayers ("Time of your Life") was arrested recently for molestion of boys under 14.

  7. Are all your anonymous commenters called Ruth?

  8. I tink PC thinks they all are me. Unless he gets so little traffic he knows.

    Incidentally I took some time to post a story about the sexual and resulting pregnancy experience of an adolescent girl brougt up in a strictly Christian environemnt. Peter promptly deleted it, but does not delete sexually offensive posts aimed at me.

    Go figure where his true allegiances lie.

  9. I think NZ can have a go at a Hate Crime case Peter - and you are just the man to test it.

    I have promoted your blog to the Herald editorial staff, even on matters of global warming, and yet you still choose to delete anything I say that does not dote on you as the glorious patriarch, and you allow inappropriate sexual comment towards me as per Sierra. And you encouraged your readers to send threatening, hate filled emails to me and drive me off the internet a month or so ago. Simply because I disagreed with you.

    I am fuly aware that I cannot win, but I can seriously embarrass you as a Libertarian, supposedly in favour of toleration and free speech. And of course you will run out of money way before I run out of time.

    I have had it with you enabling this 'Paula' man, while deleting me.It is sheer bullying and misogyny. Probably 'Paula' is you, I think.

  10. I thought "good intentions are good enough" was for Democrats and left wingers in general. It looks like it applies to anyone without an argument for spending a lot of other peoples' money for no payoff.

    Intentions are not enough. A symbolic gesture that does not translate to meaningful results has no value. Symbolism has no value if it isn't changing attitudes and behaviour. The only difference between saying society cares, and saying it cares and spending $150 million not achieving anything is that the first way is cheaper.

    Of course some people might possibly feel better with all that money being thrown at a problem, but how can the completely intangible value of that be seriously compared to the real problems that could be solved with that much money.


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