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February 02, 2010

Nuclear: Study Finds Abstinence-Only Programs May Work

Linking to Hot Air, since that's where I saw it.

The Washington Post reports:

Sex education classes that focus on encouraging children to remain abstinent can persuade a significant proportion to delay sexual activity, researchers reported Monday in a landmark study that could have major implications for U.S. efforts to protect young people against unwanted pregnancies and sexually transmitted diseases.

Only about a third of sixth- and seventh-graders who completed an abstinence-focused program started having sex within the next two years, researchers found. Nearly half of the students who attended other classes, including ones that combined information about abstinence and contraception, became sexually active.

The findings are the first clear evidence that an abstinence program could work.

Could work? Seems like did work. Of course, it is probably true that the students who completed the program were more motivated by their parents to not have sex. But that, in turn, undermines the cop-out attitude that underlies most of this pro-sex-for-kids agenda: That there's nothing we can do, might as well let them start humping in seventh grade.

I know liberals and, as people, they're just as alarmed about this as anyone -- well, the ones with kids are, anyway.

I just don't understand how their personal beliefs -- kids should not be having sex and we ought to discourage this to the extent possible -- wind up getting subverted by their group political belief.

I just think that they don't see themselves as pro-sex-for-kids (and most aren't, of course). It's just they have it stuck in their heads that conservatives are anti-sex, and who wants to be anti-sex? So they run away from that position, just automatically reject anything a conservative might say on such issues, and go 180 degrees in the opposite direction without even thinking much about what they're doing... and find themselves, on a group political level, at least, supporting a position that they find horrifying on a personal level.

Bill Maher has said exactly two things I agree with: "All rumors are true" is one. (Well, not all rumors, but that's the way to bet.) And that liberals are taken with this idiotic idea that kids are just "Little Adults."

They're not. They're kids. They should not have full freedom. Where a parent draws the line is up to that parent (and up to the kid, quite frankly -- you can't break a kid if he sets his mind to rebel and resist). But this idea that we should just go into schools and have a "rap session," treating them as if they're adults and able to make "the right choices for themselves," is preposterous.

Almost no liberal -- certainly not one with kids -- would embrace that idea on a personal level.

But because they're all agitated and angry about "anti-sex conservatives" they keep supporting this dangerous nonsense anyway.

Furthermore, I don't even understand the point. Kids are curious about sex. I knew all about rubbers and The Pill and crabs and the clap of the rest of it well before I even had a chance to kiss a girl.

The problem with these classes is that they normalize this, and it shouldn't be normalized. Taboos are important in a functioning society. Many taboos are jackass, and are rightly abandoned. But not all.

And if kids are thinking sex is a taboo and something frightening they shouldn't mess with -- Good. They should be thinking that.

Most kids will, unfortunately, begin having sex long before his or her parents want him or her to. And long before it's prudent for him or her to.

But we have gotten to the point where "sexually precocious" no longer means a girl who has sex at the still-almost-a-baby age of 14. Now that's kind of normal, unfortunately. The new "Bad Girls" are doing it by age 11 or 12.

When does it stop, and when do good-intentioned liberals realize that a bit of that judgmental, holier-than-thou, old-fashioned, cranky, unhip anti-sex attitude is useful and necessary especially as regards children?

This is something I cannot get, myself. I think I have told this story, but I'll tell it one more time: A while back, I contacted a left-wing feminist type abut something she'd written. She'd been angry at some "anti-sex, anti-girl" conservative who was writing about the alarming tendency of girls to have sex earlier and earlier.

"You are a sensible person," I gambited. "How on earth can you possibly say that girls having sex at such young ages is a good thing, and it's wrong to try to reverse that or at least arrest the long fall downwards?"

Well -- her answer was perplexing. She assured me that she herself was in a committed relationship with her boyfriend, was strictly monogamous, did not support sex at such young ages, would strongly warn any girl against this, had not had sex at such an early age herself.

She was trying to reassure me, someone she barely knew, that she largely shared my anti-sex conservative values!

What the hell?!!

Then why was she getting on this "pro-sex" hobbyhorse and attacking this right-leaning feminist author for in turn attacking this alarming trend?

"Because she gives off an anti-sex and anti-girl vibe," I was informed (approximately). "She's always trashing girls for their sexual choices."

B-b-b-but-- you just said you also strongly disapproved of girls's sexual choices, if they were having sex at such young ages!

She really couldn't square the circle. I didn't press her, because I barely knew her and she was polite enough with me, but I was sputtering over the massive disconnect between what she really believed and what she was claiming she believed in print.

Guys, guys, guys? This "hip" thing you have? This "pro-sex" thing you have? This distaste for "anti-sex conservatives" you have?

Most of you have some "anti-sex" in you too -- because it's normal and good. And just because your self-conception is sexually liberated and loose does not mean you have to just brainlessly endorse the opposite of whatever a conservative does and wind up on the bizarre side of the issue where you're basically giving kids the Green Light for sex at age 12.

Or earlier. For God's sake! I don't even have kids and I find this hair-raising!

I mean, almost none of them -- some, but few -- really believe that crap.

So what the hell is going on in their heads when they keep basically endorsing it?

Is it so important you always appear hip? Carefree? Sexually libertine?

Is it so important you always put the maximum possible distance between yourselves and those dreaded, crochtty, Footloose-dance-banning anti-sex conservatives?

Even to the point that doing so requires you to endorse a position you actually recoil from?

Guys -- you are always going to be able to play the "I'm hipper than conservatives/I am more sexually light-footed than conservatives" card in almost every debate. You will have it to play about movies, tv, plays, music, gay sex, gay marriage, open marriage, etc.

It is unnecessary to play it here.

And no "intellectual consistency" requires you to extend anything like the same rules you apply to yourselves and other adults to children.

Rethink this, guys. Maybe we "anti-sex conservative prudes" are the enemy, but there is a bigger enemy.

You don't always just have to take a position contrary to us just to prove you're superior.

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posted by Ace at 03:22 PM

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