The sudden pregnancy of Bristol Palin is a touchy issue that the media has their paws all over. When John McCain announced that Sarah Palin was his running mate late last week, a firestorm of Internet activity erupted as “skeletons” came crawling out of Palin’s closet. But the biggest bombshell — that 17-year-old Bristol is pregnant — has opened up a much larger debate about whether the families of political candidates are always off-limits.
I feel really bad for Bristol Palin. At 17-years-old she’s having to deal with a very adult situation — pregnancy, marriage, and the responsibility of being a first time parent. And she’s having to do it with very bright studio lights shining on her — some are critical of her and her parents, while others are cheering on her decision to keep her baby and marry the father sooner than she might have otherwise. I cannot imagine how she’s doing it and with such serenity. While I feel badly that Bristol has to deal with these new pressures while the media discusses her every move, I do think the media has every right to do so, but only to a point. I don’t think Sarah Palin’s parenting should be questioned and I don’t think Bristol’s pre-marital sexual behavior should be judged, by anyone. But I do think the contrast between Sarah Palin’s personal life and her political ideologies is wide open for discussion, no matter what side of the fence you sit on. Keep reading »
At first glance, Pam Stenzel seems like a pretty good sex educator. As Feministing pointed out, she’s got the cool, hip aunt vibe down pat, making her seem approachable to the average kid curious about sex and protection. Too bad she manages to slip in all sort of scary lies into her lectures, like the fact that “no one has ever had more than one partner and not paid”, girls develop anorexia and bulimia “because of an abortion they couldn’t take back”, and that birth control pills and shots make her “ten times more likely to contract a disease than if she were not taken those drugs, sterile, or dead.” We’re frightened for the audience of teens sitting in front of her, in rapt attention. [Feministing]
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Drinking a cap-full of bleach will not stop the spread of HIV/AIDS. It will, however, turn your insides into mulch. Guess they didn’t teach teens in Florida that in abstinence education class. [ABC Action News] Keep reading »
In today’s “Like, duh?” news, a new study suggests that teaching teens about safe sex not only might lead to less teen pregnancy, but also does not increase the number of sexually active teens or incidents of STDs. Not that the debate over abstinence education versus sex education is going to be over any time soon. [News-Medical.net] Keep reading »
Some good news before we sit down with a bowl of popcorn, a bottle of wine, and that Tivo’d episode of High School Confidential — one in four teens girls have an STD! The data, from 2003-04, probably reflects current rates of infection, which would coincide with recent government funding for sex education being funneled into abstinence-only education. Sounds like “Operation: Stop Our Daughters From Having Sex” is totally failing, with scabby results to show for it! [CNN] Keep reading »