It’s a good thing abstinence-only advocates are tweaking their message, because the old one didn’t seem to be working. According to a study from Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health and the Guttmacher Institute, teens’ contraceptive use declined 10 percent from 2003 to 2007, but their level of sexual activity remained the same. The study’s authors believe the findings suggest a link between the decrease in contraceptive use and the rise in abstinence-only education during former President George W. Bush’s administration. Unsurprisingly, the proportion of births to unmarried women also saw an increase. [Medical News Today] Keep reading »
If you’re wondering who thought it was a good idea for Bristol Palin, pregnant at 17, to warn America’s teens not to have sex until they’re married, you’re not alone.
But it’s hard to figure out what, exactly, the well-meaning adults who preach “no sex until marriage” to teenagers are thinking, considering a 2007 study confirmed abstinence-only education does not work.
Jessica Valenti, editor of Feminsting.com and author of The Purity Myth: How America’s Obsession With Virginity Is Hurting Young Women, has written a piece for The Nation about how the groups that comprise what Valenti calls “the virginity movement” have finally realized they need new PR.
Unfortunately, the abstinence preachers’ ideas for discouraging teens from having sex still don’t make any sense. Keep reading »
When Bristol Palin got knocked up at age 17, she made national headlines. We applauded her for realizing that “everyone should be abstinent or whatever but it’s not realistic at all,” and we were hopeful (for three seconds) that she would turn this unfortunate situation into a positive one by promoting safe sex. But when she said seconds later that “you should just wait ten years,” we got on her case. The girl is a walking contradiction. And it hasn’t stopped there. Keep reading »
President Barack Obama has been in office for more than 50 days, but the impact of the previous eight years is still leaving an impression. According to a new report from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention’s National Center for Health Statistics, 2007 marked the second straight year teen birth rates rose in the U.S. The first year, 2006, ended a 14 year decline. More than 70 percent of Black babies and 51.3 percent of Hispanic babies were born to unmarried women in 2007 and the teen birth rate increased by five percent between 2005 and 2007. Some experts are blaming the increase on the Bush administration’s “abstinence-only” education policy. Keep reading »
New mom, Bristol Palin, appeared on Fox News last night to talk about what it’s like to be a new mother, in an interview she scheduled without giving her famous mom, Sarah Palin, much warning. Then she and Greta Van Susteren got to talking about abstinence and Bristol dropped a bomb, saying, “abstinence is not realistic at all.” So much for Mommy Knows Best! Keep reading »
I’m going to have to go with “Yes, sort of.” Being that Twilight‘s author, Stephanie Meyers, is a devout Mormon, I didn’t really expect to crack open the first book and get some vampire erotica. Add to that the fact that the books’ target audience is supposed to be teenagers, and you’re going to be disappointed if you wanted a blow-by-blow description of how blood suckers are in the sack. You’ll have to watch “True Blood” for that. Keep reading »
We’ve seen abstinence-promoting promise rings, bracelets and even sweats. Now, your underwear, specifically your thong, can announce your commitment to abstinence with slogans like, “Earn your right to wear white. Abstain”, “Iron Hymen“, and “Beat It,” complete with a finger-pointing Jesus. Keep reading »
There’s a first time for everything. And when it comes to federal funding for teaching abstinence programs, the pun is intended. In what feels like an unprecedented protest, more than half the states in the country are turning down offers of national tax money to teach teens abstinence. Just this week, Iowa and Arizona added their names to the long list of states staying, “no, thank you!” Only 28 states still accept the cash to encourage chastity. You’d think a president named Bush would at least know how to talk about it, but alas, his plan to tell students to stay virgins is getting more rejected than a pubescent boy. As Elke Shaw-Tulloch of the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare says, “There was mounting evidence the abstinence programs weren’t proving to be effective.” Idaho alone saw an increase in underage pregnancy over the past two years after they tried to tell teens keeping it in their pants was the only option rather than explaining the facts. Luckily, in the case of America’s future crotches, money may talk, but knowledge is power. [Huffington Post] Keep reading »
Sex sells. But what about purity? A K-Swiss ad campaign features tennis star Anna Kournikova in a white sports bra and a teeny-tiny mini skirt, showing off her midriff like a high school ho. Now that they’ve got your attention with some T&A, what’s the slogan say? “Keep It Pure.” Um, what?! While we’re sure that Anna Kournikova is a lady, when there’s a billboard of her rolling around on her back on the tennis court, chastity doesn’t come to mind. And why should it? We’re not sure why K-Swiss is trying to sell sneakers with abstinence — something that even their cover girl Kournikova, who has been doing the horizontal mambo with Enrique Iglesias for years, doesn’t represent. And everyone knows, like a modern woman, it’s impossible for white sneakers to not get a little dirty. Keep reading »