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Skepchick Quickies 4.9

Amanda

Amanda is a science grad student in Boston whose favorite pastimes are having friendly debates and running amok.

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  1. Sex Ed article:
    “If a teacher instructs any student aged 16 or younger how to utilize contraceptives under circumstances where the teacher knows the child is engaging in sexual activity with another child… that teacher can be charged under this statute” of contributing to the delinquency of a minor, he [Republican D.A.] wrote.

    That makes perfect sense. When you have two underage people having sex, don’t tell them how to avoid pregnancy and disease.

  2. I don’t understand. There is evidence that comprehensive sex ed is good, and that abstinence-only education and sticking your fingers in your ears (lalalalalala) is bad. Yet they keep saying that comprehensive sex ed encourages sex… don’t they have to show evidence for claims like that?

    I had to stop reading once I realized that I am a sex offender. Never knew it until now, though I suppose all that sodomy and masturbation would’ve done it if having sex with a minor (while I was a minor) didn’t. I was 16, he was 15, and we used a condom. Guess this means I’m not fit to teach first graders… who knows what I might do?? *rolls eyes*

  3. @“Other” Amanda: You see it works like this, with abstinence-only education we end up with someone like Bristol Palin, who is such a good role model for teenagers, and now that she’s had a kid she can go around and preach about how important abstinence is. If she had had a proper education she probably wouldn’t have gotten pregnant and wouldn’t be able to spread the word about abstinence. Simple, right?

    Now if you don’t understand that it’s probably because you are using liberal concepts like “reason” and “logic”, and we all know nothing good comes from that.

  4. Wait, the law requires them to teach the kids about contraceptives. However, this DA claims that such instruction is against another law, in which case the teachers will break the law if they teach or don’t teach the kids about contraceptives?
    What is this, a new disingenious version of Catch-22?

  5. @Displaced Northerner: The Bristol Palin ad is poorly done and freighted with classism. No debate there. However, she doesn’t say “If you’ve got support and a family, go ahead, have sex without contraception; but if you’re poor, don’t have sex at all.” She doesn’t actually say much at all.

    The ad is short of content, so the actual intent is not too clear. The assumption that she is campaigning for abstinence only doesn’t seem supported within the ad itself.

    What the ad says is “pause before you play”, the message of the PSA sponsor, The Candies Foundation, in all of their ads. Since Bristol Palin said that teen abstinence is not realistic at all (People, February 17, 2009), I assumed that the “pause” would be to consider the consequences and make sure that you have adequate protection. If the intent were to promote abstinence, it seems like the message would be “stop” rather than “pause”.

    Obviously the ad can be interpreted in different ways. I don’t imagine that this is an accident. I suspect that the Candies Foundation is trying to walk within that thin area that appeals to both abstinence-only supports and pragmatic people who are concerned with reducing teen pregnancies. In this instance, I think that they just ended up irritating everyone.

  6. @durnett: The assumption that she is campaigning for abstinence only doesn’t seem supported within the ad itself.

    Uh, but her and her mother’s ENTIRE campaign is pro-abstinence only education. It’s pretty clearly that’s what her message is. She’s pretty much back-tracked on that whole “it’s not realistic” thing.

    Unless you’re Bristol, of course, and come from a rich family. Then it’s just a walk in the park!

    Also, the suggestion that just because you come from a poor family that you *won’t* have support is pretty presumptuous and classist. It’s not even guaranteed that you’ll have support if you’re from a rich family.

  7. @marilove: From the People article, it doesn’t appear that she agrees with her mother. The article is a year old, and she could have changed her mind, but I haven’t seen anything other than this vague message to make me think so.

    WTF? How did I end up defending Bristol Palin?

  8. @durnett: Yeah, I don’t buy it. She’s pretty much been in line with her mother from the get-go, and still is. Her mom has a HUGE influence on Bristol’s “politics” and they team up quite a lot.

    Why isn’t she going around promoting safe-sex education? Hmm? She’s not. Not even once. She’s just doing ridiculous PSAs that aren’t based in reality.

    http://www.feministing.com/archives/014687.html

    She hasn’t exactly spoken out against her mother again, has she?

    Oh. yeah. This:

    http://www.sacbee.com/2010/04/07/2661970/bristol-palin-to-teens-pregnancy.html

    Seems like a bit of, “I won’t come right out and say it, but abstinence-only all the way” to me.

  9. @marilove:I agree with marilove’s view. I recall that People interview and there was some controversy at the time. Later though she seemed to totally reverse her stance and has pushed abstinence-only.

    I don’t believe that they intended the ad to mean that privileged kids shouldn’t worry about abstinence., but I think they did a piss poor job. Also this seems to be of a similar message as “you play, you pay”, which could result in some people really resenting their children. Yes children are a burden, but there has to be a better way to get that message across.

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