Skepchick Quickies 7.21
- What we didn’t know about the moonwalk – From QuestionAuthority.
- Teen pregnancy and disease rates rose sharply during Bush years – “The study also revealed that the number of teenage females with syphilis has risen by nearly half after a significant decrease while a two-decade fall in the gonorrhea infection rate is being reversed. The number of Aids cases in adolescent boys has nearly doubled.” From Mikey.
- Solar eclipse pits science against superstition – “Indian astrologers are predicting violence and turmoil across the world as a result of this week’s total solar eclipse, which the superstitious and religious view as a sign of potential doom.” From Infinite Monkey.
- Masturbation in the animal kingdom – OR “Animals that masturbate rub religious views the wrong way” as Kaylia has dubbed it.
I have a friend in India right now. I will send out the warning of doom.
@Vengeful Harridan (Elexina): Be sure to phrase it something long the lines of:
Humanity has been around for 6,000 years, but will be ending tomorrow. Please, make sure you are in a good mood when the world ends, and remember, have a nice day. :)
@infinitemonkey: Oh, see, I was just going to go with “Doomed!! We’re all DOOMED!! Run! Run while you still can!!!”
The teen pregnancy/STD article is so frustrating. With evidence of their failure right in front of them, the abstinence-only people reply “we didn’t do enough! More! More!” If you use gasoline to put out a fire, and it causes the fire to get worse, the answer is not to use more gasoline.
Who wants to find some nice patch of land where we can start our own religion free country?
Enough Michael Jackson already!
Superstition will always trump science because it requires no thinking and thinking is like work. Its a good thing there have always been a war going on somewhere so dire portents can be proven right.
Blow up the moon!
@MiddleMan: With your PU-238 Explosive Space Modulator-r-r-r, no doubt!
Does it obstruct your view of Venus? ;-)
The teen pregnancy and diseases are a feature of the abstinence-only programs, not a bug. The people who push this stuff want teens (especially women) to be punished for being naughty sluts. They don’t care about the health of teens or reducing unwanted pregnancies; they just don’t want people to get away with having sex without getting a horrible punishment. They don’t ignore the evidence; they celebrate it.
@catgirl: Which just leads me to the conclusion that they should all die fiery deaths… but that’s not very productive.
@â€œOtherâ€ Amanda: Glad to see we Amandas are of the same mind.
In reading the headline about Bush-policies and STDs, I initially wondered if it was a question of correlation vs. causation… but all the evidence together is so compelling that abstinence-only education is dangerous. Not to mention, the article quotes that already declining pregnancy rates rose after 2005, giving time for the policies to be put into place… and fail miserably. And all of this when a vaccine for (most types of) HPV is finally developed, yet so many people remain against it. All I can say is that I’m glad my mom supplemented my Catholic-school abstinence-only sex-ed with a heavy dose of reality. If only more parents had her common sense.
And… that Apollo 11 article is wonderful! Nostalgic, and slams the Moon-hoax theories quite succinctly.
@Amanda: Well, call me “Amanda” too, because I have to agree.
So, is it only the people living on the path of the eclipse who are doomed? What about people in the penumbra? Are they only partially doomed? These are important questions, people.
@QuestionAuthority & @Steve: You guys thinking what I’m thinking?
Eclipse-based Doomsday Laser! Mwa-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha!
@catgirl: Too true. Here in Texas the abstinence only crowd came out big time against the HPV vaccine. They all said the same thing. That protection against cancer would cause girls and women to be promiscuous. They want girls and women to get cervical cancer for daring to have sex.
@Nicole: Wish my parent had the sense to do that with my sister. It would have changed the trajectory of her whole life. Unfortunately, they didn’t and she was pregnant and married (in that order) by 20. Divorced a few years later. (sigh)
@MiddleMan: “You guys thinking what Iâ€™m thinking?”
“I don’t know why Donald Duck doesn’t wear pants either, Brain…”
Can I just say that I love you guys? Cuz I do.
@Nicole: My daughter gets her guardasil shots along with her 7th grade vacanations next month. When she starts dating I plan to look into the long term birth control implant in the arm. I wish they had something like that for my sons. I’ve talked to them all about condoms and waiting and being careful but I’m still scared. I have had these discussions so many times that all three can recite them from memory. I keep telling them that children are a lifelong STD that can’t be cured with penicillen. I also tell them about other lesser STDs.
@Gabrielbrawley: But, but, don’t they know that you can get HPV from a toilet seat?* Are they suggesting that their they never sit down?
*(no, not really)
No. It obstructs my view of Uranus.
@MathMike: I don’t think you need to be looking at my anus. :-D
@Steve: Wait, I thought that was AIDS? Oh no, you get AIDS from peeing on top of someone else’s pee, that’s right.
Hooray Catholic sex ed!
“Whenever I find myself in a difficult situation, I ask myself ‘What Would Jesus Do?’ The mental image of my opposition being cast into pits of hellfire for all eternity is comforting, but probably not what the inventors of the phrase had in mind.”
Have you heard any interviews with the quiverfull movement, or seen the “white people aren’t breeding fast enough” propaganda videos on Youtube? I would say that more (white) teenage pregnancies are exactly what they are trying to produce. The way they see it, the other teenage pregnancies will happen anyway no matter what, but white pregnancies are the ones most in danger of being prevented by birth control.
Which Amanda is in charge of the sheep dip?
The news of higher pregnancy and STD rates because of abstinence-based sex ed was kind of dog-bites-man to me: entirely expected. But I was interested in masturbation by other animals. There’s the joke “Why does a dog lick his balls? Because he can,” but otherwise I had assumed that only animals with opposable thumbs wanked. This article wakened me from my dogmatic slumber.
@PeteSchult: I have a friend that volunteered at a bat rescue shelter. Guess what bored, recuperating bats do all day long? Yeah, much of her volunteering was cleaning bat spooge off of the enclosures.
“And when he returned from the moon, when one of those moon-conspiracy theorists shoved a Bible in Aldrinâ€™s face and ordered him to swear on it that he walked on the moon, Buzz decked him. Fellow astronaut Wally Schirra, one of the original Mercury 7, renamed him Rocky. Thatâ€™s my kind of man.”
A sincere question: Other than the lack of coverage of birth control, did the Catholic school sex-ed at least contain accurate biological information? I ask because someone who had attended a Catholic high school (this would have been in the sixties maybe?) claimed that her school covered both evolution and sex-ed better than some public high schools that were de facto run by other religious denominations.
Teens are generally smart if you give them a little credit and respect. I’m sure that your kids will do the right thing, since you gave them all the information they need.
@Gabrielbrawley: Good for you! My mom sent us out with the best info she had available, and it served us well. But, it still scared her. And I know that I can go to her if there ever is a problem.
@pciszek: I was actually in a program geared towards higher science standards and getting young women into science. My science teachers were fabulous, and education on evolution superb. We even had to read “The Origin of Species.” As far as I can tell now, the treatment of pregnancy and STDs in my health classes were also scientifically accurate. But the take home message was “don’t have sex,” not, “if you have sex, have safe sex.” Birth control was not talked about, so I was glad to get that info at home. I can’t compare it to the public schools in my area, other than my mother’s opinion that their standards were awful in the 70s and she didn’t believe them to be much better in the 90s when it was my turn to choose a school.
That being said, some of the older nuns who taught primarily religion classes would tell us that man didn’t come from monkeys or that being gay was a sin. For the most part, we never took them seriously.
In searching for a picture of a watermelon cross-section, I came across this picture on some blog (not sure how they’re related):
@pciszek: It depends on the school/ school district and teacher, I suspect. Some may be very good, some may be better than public schools because public schools are so scared by threats from parents and to their funding that they just leave it out altogether, and some are very, very bad. My public school sex ed (neigh on fourteen years ago…) was pretty good, but I know some of my (now-retired) mother’s co-teachers are very frustrated by the limits put onto them by their department heads.
The Guttmacher Institute is a great resource for checking out studies, policies and trends in sexual habits and sex education, among many other things. The often send out bulletins about the state of sexual awareness and often focus on the misinformation and lies spread by “pregnancy crisis centers” and throughout the field of sex ed. I will look for something a bit more current, but in the meantime, here is an article (from 2004) regarding false and misleading information in abstinence-only “education.”
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