Sex and Taxes

I hate when my tax money goes down the toilet, don’t you? It seems to be happening more and more and more and more over the past 7 years. And now that the US dollar is only worth 93 Canadian cents, it hurts more than it has in a long time, because I don’t have as much money to waste on paying taxes that will be used for things I consider imooral, or even just stupid. Here’s one example that I find particularly irritating:

Programs that focus exclusively on abstinence have not been shown to affect teenager sexual behavior, although they are eligible for tens of millions of dollars in federal grants, according to a study released by a nonpartisan group that seeks to reduce teen pregnancies.

“At present there does not exist any strong evidence that any abstinence program delays the initiation of sex, hastens the return to abstinence or reduces the number of sexual partners” among teenagers, the study concluded.

The report, which was based on a review of research into teenager sexual behavior, was being released Wednesday by the nonpartisan National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy.

Right now, Congress is about to approve another $141 million for community-based, abstinence-only sex-ed programs — $4 million more than what Bush requested. Read the whole story.

What’s wrong with these people? Are the stoned or just idiots?


Donna Druchunas is a freelance technical writer and editor and a knitwear designer. When she's not working, she blogs, studies Lithuanian, reads science and sci-fi books, mouths off on atheist forums, and checks her email every three minutes. (She does that when she's working, too.) Although she loves to chat, she can't keep an IM program open or she'd never get anything else done.

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  1. They're just idiots. Probably religious idiots too.

    Also, everyone who wasn't a religious idiot already predicted this outcome 7 years ago, before a single cent of it was spent.

    I wonder how the aids rates have changed in Africa now that they've been cutting humanitarian aid using a similar motivation …

  2. I wish I could believe they are idiots. Then we'd have less to worry about.

    They don't care about the welfare and safety of kids – it's a sneaky assault on the First Amendment.

  3. Merely labeling them as idiots alleviates them of far too much of the responsibility that they have for forcing such evil on the world.

    "Blind fanatics" strikes me as much more accurate.

  4. Unless you are spending your money on immoral things in Canada, I don't see how the current weakness of the dollar affects how much money you have to spend. My understanding is that the only time currency exchange rates come up is when you are buying foreign currency or goods. Otherwise, it is more useful to look at purchasing power parity rather than exchange rate. I mean, a Korean won is worth about a tenth of a penny, but that doesn't mean that Koreans have less money than we do. And, in fact, if suddenly the Korean won was worth $5, if you restricted them to buying things only in Korea, they wouldn't suddenly all be richer.

    But take that with a grain of salt. IANAE (I am no an economist).

  5. Paul, I'll be spending a lot of money in Europe soon, so it hurts me even more right now. That's the only reason I'm complaining.

    You are right, if you stay within a country and don't want to import products from anywhere else (except China?), then it doesn't make much difference.

  6. It makes a difference when all those products get more expensive, as it gets passed on to the consumers. Remember how the gasoline crunches worked?

  7. Why is Congress approving budget allocations for abstinence-only sex ed? Isn't that one of the things we sent the Democrats in to fix? With the rubber-stamp attitude this body has adopted, it's no wonder that a year after being handed both the house and the Senate this Democratic Congress has a 25% approval rating.

  8. Hey writerdd, you'll be in Europe soon? When? And where?

    As far as abstinence only goes, I think for most of the politicians involved, it's an attempt to erode the wall between religion and government. And at the same time they're pandering to their voter base, who are presumably of the fundie christian persuasion, convinced that sex is sinful and as many people as possible must be prevented from commiting sin. Free will be damned.

    In other words, with the exception of the politicians involved, most of the people supporting abstinence only programs, and I assume those in charge of actually executing the programs and giving the abstinence only education (what more can you really say about that apart from "don't have sex"?) are simply religious idiots blindly following the bible.

  9. From the article:

    "Many teenagers do not use contraceptives carefully and consistently," said the report. About 40 of every 1,000 girls age 15 to 19 gave birth in 2005, the last year for which data was available, the report said.

    This just makes me wonder if things are just as bad in Europe, or better (or worse?).

    But a 4% birth rate? Not a pregnancy rate, but a birth rate? That would mean that in a school like the one I went to between the ages of 15 and 19, with about 250 students, on average 10 girls would have given birth while I was there. That's two every year. I can say with a high level of confidence that NO girls gave birth while I went to highschool. Maybe a number of them got pregnant, but I'm sure the number who actually give birth is still markably smaller than the number of girls who got pregnant.

    Either that means that I was in a school full of prudes and sexually inactive kids, or they were all simply using the necessary protection when they did have sex. (I can only say that I was not one of the kids having sex).

    Or we just knew what the hell we were in for if we didn't use protection because of the simple fact that we had a basic understanding of how human reproduction worked by the time we were in 3rd grade. And I think very few 10 year olds were tempted to go and try.

  10. OK, correction, that's 4% of girls, and the stats are only for 2005. But that still makes an average of 5 girls giving birth in 2005 in a school of 250 students. Which during a 5 year period (age 15-19) would mean 25 babies are born.

  11. When I was in high school, at least 15 girls in my class got pregnant (that I knew about). But that was Texas.

    We started with 1000 freshman and ended up with 600 graduating seniors.

    (It was a freaking huge high school)

  12. exarch, not really soon. In the summer. I'll be in Lithuania for six weeks. I bet that's not where you thought I'd be going. Not sure if I'll be traveling through London or Frankfurt en route, since there are no direct flights from the US. So, I'm whining becuse the Litas is pegged to the Euro, but it's still relatively inexpensive in Lithuania. I won't be spending much time in the UK in the near future. I almost went broke in 2 weeks last summer when I was in England.

    I don't remember any girls ever getting pregnant and certainly not giving birth when I was in HS. But that was in the 70s so maybe their 50s-style parents sent them off to unwed mothers' homes or something.

  13. So bug, just how big was your class? I mean, 15 girls got pregnant? How many actually gave birth? How many got pregnant that you didn't know of?

    Maybe Texas even offset the average for the rest of the country?

    (Isn't it telling though that the worst stats would come from the bible belt?)

  14. The abstinence promoters are the worst denialists. It's the same *bury your head in the sand* mentality that allowed the rampant abuse of children by clergy. In addition to separation between church and state, I propose a strict separation between fantasy and reality. Teenagers will have sex , despite your biblical fantasies, Deal with it.

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