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» Scarleteen Boards: 2000 - 2014 (Archive) » SCARLETEEN CENTRAL » Sexual Ethics and Politics »

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Member # 38698

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I just saw this ad on TV about talking to your kids about sex, and I was surprised to see that its website had a ".gov" extension. So I looked it up. Forgive me if someone else has brought this up already...

I am quite surprised to see this and a little angry, to be honest. It insists that teens should wait until marriage (it explicitly says "mother and father," which I find insensitive), and tells parents that if their teens have already had sex they should tell them they "wish they would stop having sex". These sentiments are fine for individual parents to have, but the focus of a broad program like this should be preventing disease and maybe pregnancy, but not just arbitrarily forbidding premarital sex. For a .gov site, that just seems like too specific and self-righteous a suggestion.

The reason this website in particular bothers me is that it's apparently run by the government, specifically the Dept of Health and Human Services. Doesn't the current administration have any interest in moving beyond this abstinence-only stuff?

I don't know. This bugged me, and I don't have anywhere else to discuss it. Does anyone have thoughts or further information to contribute here?

Posts: 96 | From: West Coast USA | Registered: May 2008  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Member # 43206

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Yes, it does seem to be a fairly biased website. It would be merely silly and slightly annoying in my opinion, except for the fact that the government is running it. It seems wrong to me for the government to support such a biased organization.

Chin up and face the future, wonders beyond your wildest dreams await us!

Posts: 47 | From: Crescent city, CA. | Registered: Jul 2009  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Member # 41657

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I don't think it's fine for any parent to push this stuff on the legal minor they're supposed to be taking care of, actually. Abstinence only messages are harmful coming from parents or government.

[ 08-17-2009, 04:29 AM: Message edited by: Jill2000Plus ]

Always knock before entering my room when I am in there alone, as I may be doing all sorts of wonderfully thrilling things that I'd rather you didn't see.

Posts: 840 | From: UK | Registered: Dec 2008  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Executive Director & Founder
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LondonBlue: as far as the current administration has said so far, they DO have an interest in changing the way the government has been treating sexuality education for young people.

However, so far, it looks like abstinence-only will probably be shifted to abstinence-plus, so I wouldn't be at all surprised if those kinds of messages did not change at all or much, unfortunately. Sex education is such a loaded topic politically, and my sense is that it's seen and treated as one of those areas where it's fine or best -- from the vantage point of politicians -- to try and cater to the "middle ground," in order to avoid conflict. Obviously, we're talking about the middle ground of adults and those of voting age, not the young people any of this is actually about.

Suffice it to say, I agree with all of you which is why I've been so vocal about the government here and sex education and information over the last ungodly number of years. I'd love to be surprised by this administration in this respect, as they have at least starting changing budgets so ab-only does not get the millions and millions it has been, but I'm also not holding my breath.

Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
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Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

Posts: 68290 | From: An island near Seattle | Registered: May 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Member # 39222

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I've seen that add a couple of times in the last few weeks (and heard one radio ad too) and I remember being absolutely incensed that it was associated with HHS and not a privately sponsored message. I'm glad I'm not the only one. At least in the tv ad I saw they explicitly said 'you don't even have to talk to your kids about anatomy...just tell them to wait until marriage'. Basically I felt it was advocating the worst of the abstinence-only message and the underlying bias that accompanies it that if no one (i.e. an adult like a parent or teacher) ever tells a teen about sex then they'll magically never know about sex and be kept 'innocent'.

Unfortunately, it does seem like change will be slow to come. Gar

Posts: 46 | From: USA | Registered: Jul 2008  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator

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