Ten prominent researchers in adolescent health and sexuality sent a letter to Congreswoman Nancy Pelosi and Senator Harry Ried explaining why it is wrong to continue funding abstinence-only education.
Not only is it ineffective, it also puts teens at risk for disease and pregnancy, and, as Marcotte points out, it puts schools in the business of disseminating propaganda instead of fostering critical thinking skills and putting a high value on complete and accurate information.
You are sitting in a car with your exboyfriend. You want some pictures back. You are planning to marry someone else. Suddenly your car is attacked, you and your ex are both kidnapped, and both raped.
When your case goes before a judge you are punished, along with your attackers. You are sentenced to 90 lashes for being out alone with a man who is not a member of your family. Your attackers are sentenced to prison terms ranging from 10 months to 5 years and to 800 to 1,000 lashes.
On appeal their sentences are increased but so is yours. Now you are sentenced to 200 lashes and 6 months in jail.
Now, it seems, you are being punished for appealing in addition to being punished for talking to your exboyfriend.
This is the case of a woman in Saudi Arabia, one of our "allies" and the only good thing to report is that it has, according to the New York Times, "provoked a rare public debate about the treatment of women" in that country.
Even lawyers have spoken out, some on television, objecting to the sentence and pointing to other cases where women were not treated so harshly.
In "See no evil, see it everywhere: The cloak of invisibility renders child pornography more terrifying and harder to do anything about," I wrote in support of journalist Debbie Nathan's call for journalists and researchers and the like to have examine exisiting child pornography for the purpose of investigating government claims about the scope of the problem and also for the purpose of examining evidence in criminal cases.
Nathan will be interviewed on the Brian Lehrer show on WNYC tomorrow, November 16, at about 11:40. If you're in the New York City area, tune in to 93.9 FM or AM 820. You can also listen live online at WNYC.org, or click here for a link to the show's web site, where you can hear podcasts of the latest shows.
Yes, we know that your parents sucked. They didn't let you stay out past nine, were always on your ass about your grades, the people you dated, the awful music that you were listening to, how their generation had more respect for their elders, yadda yadda yadda. And even now that you're grown up, they're still nudzhing at you, right?
Here's some consolation: You don't have Amy Contrada for your mom. Amy Contrada belongs to a Massachusetts anti-gay group called MassResistance which describes itself "the pro-family action center for Massachusetts -- and beyond!" After MassResistance organized a protest of a high-school production of the play The Laramie Project starring Amy's daughter Claudia, Claudia came out as a lesbian.
Just in case there are some people who need to hear it again: abstinence-only programs just don't work.
WASHINGTON - Programs that focus exclusively on abstinence have not been shown to affect teenager sexual behavior, although they are eligible for tens of millions of dollars in federal grants, according to a study released by a nonpartisan group that seeks to reduce teen pregnancies....
The report, which was based on a review of research into teenager sexual behavior, was being released Wednesday by the nonpartisan National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy.
The female condom has kind of been like the Betamax of safer sex. Despite its debut being heralded with a lot of hype and hopes, it never caught on, either in the United States or elsewhere. Now the makers have redesigned it, hoping that it'll live up to its potential the second time around. I do know women who like the female condom: at least two have told me that they didn't like using it unless they were serious about a guy, because it felt much more intimate than a regular condom. But no matter what they do with the shape and design, I don't think that the female condom's ever going to become competitive unless they can do something about the price, which has always been up around $4 per female condom as opposed to .50 to $1.00 for the old-fashioned kind.
The New York Times today offers more evidence that when we complain about sex and violence in the media we are really just upset about the sex. The evidence? Christian churches using the violent video game Halo as a way to draw teens into church. One youth director explains: “We have to find something that these kids are interested in doing that doesn’t involve drugs or alcohol or premarital sex.” It is interesting to note that the violence in Halo gets it a "M" rating (for "mature" audiences only) which means that for the most part the young people playing the game in their church basements wouldn't be able to buy it legally on their own. Does this make youth pastors pushers of "adult material"?
A quick update from this morning's new York Times on stories we've been following here and on my WordPress blog:
Genarlow Wilson was denied bond in his habeas corpus appeal. The NYT reports in its National Briefings section that "The judge, David Emerson, of Superior Court in Douglas County, ruled that Genarlow Wilson, 21, is not eligible for bail because hew as conficed to aggravated child molestation, a crime that is considered on of the 'seven deadly sins' under Georgia law."
You'll remember that his aggrevated child molestation convicton comes because of an act of consensual oral sex with a 15 year old when he was 17. I'll leave it to JanieBelle to comment on the use of phrases like 'seven deadly sins.'