Monday, March 06, 2006
Say No to Sex, and Say Yes to Sexism
We should not be surprised that the "abstinence only" curriculum is chock-full of disinformation.
Many American youngsters participating in federally funded abstinence-only programs have been taught over the past three years that abortion can lead to sterility and suicide, that half the gay male teenagers in the United States have tested positive for the AIDS virus, and that touching a person's genitals "can result in pregnancy," a congressional staff analysis has found. [...] Among the misconceptions cited by [Rep. Henry] Waxman's investigators: • A 43-day-old fetus is a "thinking person." • HIV, the virus that causes AIDS, can be spread via sweat and tears. • Condoms fail to prevent HIV transmission as often as 31 percent of the time in heterosexual intercourse. One curriculum, called "Me, My World, My Future," teaches that women who have an abortion "are more prone to suicide" and that as many as 10 percent of them become sterile. This contradicts the 2001 edition of a standard obstetrics textbook that says fertility is not affected by elective abortion, the Waxman report said.It also didn't surprise me that scaring teenagers away from sex isn't the only item on the abstinence-only agenda. So is scaring girls away from self-respect.
Some course materials cited in Waxman's report present as scientific fact notions about a man's need for "admiration" and "sexual fulfillment" compared with a woman's need for "financial support." One book in the "Choosing Best" series tells the story of a knight who married a village maiden instead of the princess because the princess offered so many tips on slaying the local dragon. "Moral of the story," notes the popular text: "Occasional suggestions and assistance may be alright, but too much of it will lessen a man's confidence or even turn him away from his princess."You'd think, if they really wanted to discourage sexual activity and they really believed that guys are turned off when girls show too much intelligence and initiative, they'd encourage girls to use their brains instead of warning them against it. Does anybody else suspect that what they're against isn't the sex, but the informed, indepedent decision-making? Especially by people of the female persuasion?
"Issue glasses to all the girls and pocket protectors to all the boys!" Charles, have I told you recently that you're BAD?
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