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

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Author Topic: biased book?
Amarie
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I just started my new semester and I now have to take health. Recently, while I was doing reading for homework, I came across s section titled " Lifestyle Factors" It talks about what you need to do in order to maintain optimum health. Then there is a list of all "lifestyle factors that promote good health" One of the things included says " abstaining from sexual activity before marriage." There is also a whole section in the book promoting abstinence. I just read some of your article "No new money ", and I was wondering if my book is an example of government funding for abstinence programs. To add some personal opinion on the matter, in a way I feel offended by how they give premaritial sex a horrible name. I myself have not had sex, but people very close to me have(before marriage). I don't think that I will wait until I am maried to have sex, but is premartial sex really that horrible that teens need to be drowned in abstinence education?
Posts: 5 | From: Wisconsin | Registered: Jul 2004  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
lemming
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There are a lot of factors that go into textbook selection, but the main one is Texas. No, really. Texas is the largest textbook market, so (unfortunately) we tend to dictate what can stay in textbooks, especially about health and science, and what has to go. Texas sets the standard in textbooks for the rest of the nation.

State boards of education and panels of teachers are the ones who make these decisions. Of course, there is a lot of money involved, too. At the textbook level, though, it is more likely (Texas) state and local politics that dictate what's in your health books.

In the case of stand-alone abstinence-only programs like Project Self-Respect and (ooh, I'm blanking out here) other of those week-long sort of courses in the schools, that's where that money for abstinence-only goes. Textbooks mostly have to do with the prevailing political attitude, but I think some assistance to the schools may be conditional on whether they teach abstinence before marriage in their health programs.

There's a good discussion and a little more background on this here: http://www.scarleteen.com/forum/Forum8/HTML/000840.html

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Laurel Lemming
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"And when the answer that you want/Is in the question that you state/Come what may..." - Coheed and Cambria, "Blood Red Summer"


Posts: 3156 | From: Austin, Texas | Registered: Jun 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Gumdrop Girl
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see y'all in Ethics and Politics

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LA County STD Hotline 1.800.758.0880
Toll free STD and clinic information, and condoms sent to your door for Los Angeles County residents.
1 in 3 sexually active people will be exposed to a STD by the time they turn 24.


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coolestdesignz
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I'd like to make a note that California has its own textbook standards. So, we learn whatever state legislature thinks we need to learn. It's pretty cool because we would be safe from any of those bible-belting-anti-evolution people.

However, we still aren't safe from the Federal Government's faith-based initiatives like abstinence-only education.

[This message has been edited by coolestdesignz (edited 02-09-2005).]


Posts: 203 | From: Laguna Niguel, CA, USA | Registered: May 2004  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Jim007
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quote:
Originally posted by Amarie:
I don't think that I will wait until I am maried to have sex, but is premartial sex really that horrible that teens need to be drowned in abstinence education?

Well the problem is that many people do find premarital sex to be that horrible. A lot of it has to do with the values instilled on us at an early age. In the case of premarital sex being awful this is usually, but not always, religious beliefs. Obviously, if religion plays a major role in the morals of many Americans its going to be reflected in voting patterns (hence Goerge Bush).

This is why we see government funded abstinence-only programs. Now, I personally wouldn't have a problem with this if they actually worked. After all, abstinence until marriage would solve a lot of problems. However, it is pretty much impossible to achieve 100% compliance. In their present state, abstinence-only programs really don't work. According to a 2004 Columbia University study, these programs merely delay sex by 18 months, although 88% of students still had sex before marriage. Furthermore, a 2004 congressional report found that more than 2/3 of the 100 government-funded abstinence-only programs had innacurate data and were oftentimes religious in nature.

Obviously, unless abstinence-only programs can lead to 100% compliance, there isn't really much reason to fund them. However, the prevailing political viewpoint doesn't exactly agree with me on that.

Also, Coolestdesignz--I think you might want to be careful with your religious stereotyping. There are many Christians out there who do actually believe in evolution. Saying that all people from the South and all Christians are anti-evolution would really offend a lot of people (myself included). You just might want to be a little more careful in the future.

Thanks


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Eat, drink, and be merry

For tomorrow we die

~DMB

[This message has been edited by Jim007 (edited 02-08-2005).]


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logic_grrl
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quote:
After all, abstinence until marriage would solve a lot of problems.

Except for people who can't legally marry (like gay and lesbian couples), who don't believe in marriage, or who feel they should be able to have sex without being married if they so choose.

quote:
Saying that all people from the South and all Christians are anti-evolution would really offend a lot of people (myself included).

It certainly would. However, coolestdesignz didn't make any comments about all people from the south or all Christians, as far as I can see.


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coolestdesignz
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Thank you, great voice of Logic.

You know... when people say they aren't something that nobody accuses them of being, it makes them look all that much more guilty.

ON TO THE 'GOOD' STUFF:

Unfortunately, I just recieved my "Health" textbook. So much for Health, seeing as how the material inside made me sick.

Some "facts" it contained:

-4 out of 10 teenage girls in the US become pregnant each year. (If this were true, my school would be girl-less.)

-Married individuals don't need to worry about STDs. (Wrong again. What about diseases that were contracte earlier in life. Also, I don't feel like waiting until that far beyond my sexual peak... but that's just me )

-The younger you are when you are sexualy active, the more partners you are likely to have. (Probably true, but are any of those people complaining; Also, only in irresponsible individuals. I know I'm gonna get flamed for this one.)

-Abstinence has social and emotional benefits like: the freedom to pursue a variety of friendships, less complicated relationships, ability to focus on interpersonal aspects of relationships, the chance to build strong and long-lasting relationships based on mutual trust and respect, better reputation among peers, being free from worry about STDs and pregnancy, allowing time to develop the maturity to make important decisions, avoiding being manipulated or used by others, an increased sense of self-control and self-respect, and staying true to my personal values like respect, honesty, and morality. (Umm... isn't it possible to have all [or at least most] of the above while practicing "safer-sex"? Also, it seems to me like they are assuming that if I were to responsibly have sex with someone, it would go against my own moral values. I don't have "moral values". I have one ethical rule which states "Do as ye want, an harm ye none.")

-Teens who are abstinent focus on school and long-term personal goals. (Same with those who are not. The ones who are abstinent just spend more time playing with themselves instead of others.)

-Practicing your religious beliefs will help you remain abstinent. (BZZT! Nice of you to assume I'm into the Judeo-Christian theologies and dogma.)


As you can see, this class will be lots of fun. I'll get to carry a copy of the Waxman Report, and I'll get to play "Devil's Advocate" (not the pinball machine) on many occasions.

This is likely the least healthy class I'll take.

[This message has been edited by coolestdesignz (edited 02-09-2005).]


Posts: 203 | From: Laguna Niguel, CA, USA | Registered: May 2004  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
fairywings
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wow. i've read about these programs in the newspaper, but it still seems so strange to me that people are actually being taught this stuff! thank goodness some people manage to find sites like this one!

i have to say, i'm damn glad to live in canada! i did a peer-aids workshop so i can teach gr. 9s about safe sex and hiv/aids. the public health nurse who directed it rarely mentioned marriage. when it was mentioned, it was as a type of long-term, monogamous commitment (although she acknowledged it may not be monogamous always). it was actually pretty funny to hear a 60 year old woman explain what risks are associated with things such as tossing salad (oral anal sex) and golden showers. (both low risk for aids.)

all through my sex ed. at school, i have been taught "sure, abstinence is good, but here's how to use a condom. and here are your other options too." in fact, in gr. 9 we had a "field trip" to the local health clinic to get free condoms. we were taught where to go for tests and how to get ecp. its not perfect, people still get pregnant and some stds are on the rise, but its better than lies.

things to consider (remembering that canadian sex ed is not abstinence only):
- 48% of Canadian teenagers in grade 11 (ages 16/17) have had sex at least once. (not sure if it was intercourse only or other forms as well.)
- at a canadian university, a study showed that students who said they were going to have lots of sex and bought condoms, had less sex than expected, but did it safely. students who said they were not going to have any sex and did not buy condoms (too shy, didn't know where), had sex and still didn't buy condoms/other protection.
- about half of all grade 9 students in canada think there is a cure/vaccine for aids
- people who participate in abstinence only education are more likely to practice unsafe sex when they become sexually active.

(i don't remember the sources, a couple were from the aids workshop)

[This message has been edited by fairywings (edited 02-09-2005).]


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DarkChild717
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Fortunately for me, my parents didn't sugar coat anything, nor did they refrain from the truth about it all.

Then again, Scarleteen was my sex ed.

I took a sex ed (Human Sexuality-a psych class) when I was in college, and it was wonderful. I love my textbook. Nice and factual.

But this here caught my eye from cool's post:

quote:
Originally posted by coolestdesignz:

-Teens who are abstinent focus on school and long-term personal goals. (Same with those who are not. The ones who are abstinent just spend more time playing with themselves instead of others.)


I sure as heck wasn't abstinent. Ha! But I did manage to graduate with my HS diploma and AA, not to mention I'll have my BA before I turn 21. So, if I have sex I won't focus on school or being successful? Hm.....I must have broke the mold. As did many of my friends.

For example--my best friend had her son when she was 18. I'm guessing, according to some of these text books, she'd be at fault and a loser. But I consider her one of my most successful friends, because she has a home, a husband who loves her and a son she adores. She is a wonderful mom. And my best friend.


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coolestdesignz
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NEWS FLASH!!!!

Further reviewing the book (Lifetime Health by Holt Publishing) with a good friend of mine, the figures are:

1 in 5 sexually active teen girls will become pregnant (yearly)

1 in 10 girls will become pregnant (yearly)
(Of course, earlier in the book. the figure is 4:10)

less than 25% of teens are sexually active

WITH THE BROAD (and stupid) ASSUMPTION that there are a decent amount more girls than boys... to match those figures, 50% of all girls would need to be sexually active, and 0% of the boys. (How they could be pregnant doing that, I don't know. )

Doesn't take a mathmatician to figure out that this book is full of ****.

Anyone know of any groups that'll help me take this up against my school district for something? I know it can't be exactly legal to teach kids imformation that is so OBVIOUSLY incorrect.

I'm also willing to bet that this program is federally funded. Is there any way to attack them either?

Note that nowhere in the book do the words "condom" or "birth control" appear.

[This message has been edited by coolestdesignz (edited 02-10-2005).]

[This message has been edited by coolestdesignz (edited 02-10-2005).]


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misslane
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quote:
Originally posted by coolestdesignz:

-Practicing your religious beliefs will help you remain abstinent. (BZZT! Nice of you to assume I'm into the Judeo-Christian theologies and dogma.)

im sorry but that is not a Judeo-Christian belif, it is just a Christian one.

in all my years at hebrew school/hebrew high/jewish summer camps etc did i ever remember anyone EVER mentioning abatince. not once. in fact we were told that having sex was a mitzvah (a good thing) and that we are even allowed to have sex on shabbat.

when i went to israel over the summer with a youth group one of our tzevet (staff) told us that he didn't even care if we broke the 'no sex on this trip' rule. and he is modern orthodox and VERY religious.


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coolestdesignz
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Er actually, it is Judeo-Christian.

Go read Leviticus.

Sex is a mitzvah between two married adults. As for your camp counselor, very odd. Orthodox don't even (traditionally) believe in even touching a member of the opposite sex until marriage.

Go read about the handkerchief dance.


Posts: 203 | From: Laguna Niguel, CA, USA | Registered: May 2004  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
   

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