Is America Burning - a Forum To Discuss Issues

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Skyline - Houston, Texas

Saturday, April 14, 2007

$87,000,000 Later - Is It Working? Update

No, I haven't disappeared off the face of the earth. As most of you know, my life has been chaotic lately and my reading time has all but vanished. Eventually, I hope that will change.

Personal note: My daughter continues to hang on - I don't know how. I have a couple of posts over on "granny" with more detail but briefly, we just wait. At least the medication relieves most of the pain and for that I'm grateful.

I'm also grateful to those of you who have left comments on both blogs. The support means so much.

My girls are sleeping in for a change and I've had a little time for one of my favorite things - blog surfing. I ran across a link to a blog called "Alas, a Blog" and I couldn't resist dropping in. That name is wonderful. Maybe I should change the title of Roc Rebel Granny to "Yikes - Another Blog!!".

If you haven't read him, I strongly recommend his attitude and writing.

His latest post talks about our head in the sand administration and the abstinence only sex education program they've been shoving down our throats.

A study has been published.

The results were about what I expected. No improvement at all. Actually, I expected an increase in teen pregnancy and STD's and I imagine independent studies done state by state will support that. I've already seen a few in which the incidence of teen pregnancy/STD has risen in some of the more conservative states.

This was a government study which flew in under the radar. $87,000,000 spent to accomplish nothing except to curry favor with the extreme religious right.

We begin teaching sex ed here in the 5th grade. By the time my girls took the class, they could have taught it. We talk about everything at home. The class covered basic biology but at least it's something. Too little, too late however.

They won't learn anything more through the schools until high school. Our sex ed classes in high school are taught by Planned Parenthood (over the screams and howls of protest at school board meetings and in our local paper) and are good. Unfortunately, by the time kids are 16 or so, many of them here are already parents. Again, it's too little, far too late.

Abstinence only doesn't work. I have no problem with teaching that abstinence is the safest way to prevent pregnancy and/or STD. Of course it is. But if they think that forbidding the discussion of contraception and responsibility will stop kids from doing what many of them will do, they're even more ignorant than I thought possible.

I may be repeating myself but I'm convinced, at least as far as girls are concerned, it's all about punishment. It's the old "you made your bed, now lie in it" approach that I had hoped to never see again. They'd rather be able to say "told you so - why didn't you listen". They're convinced that knowledge will lead our kids down the path of damnation.

I know that comprehensive sex ed isn't a cureall. It's a complicated issue and there are many reasons teenage girls are moms at 15 and even younger. Not all those pregnancies are accidental by any means. Nevertheless, it's a step in the right direction.

My 14 year old Elcie attended a day long program presented by the county Mental Health Dept. here. Lots of food, fun, and games but also some excellent discussions about drug use and sex. She told me what stayed with her was the discussion of teen pregnancy. Instead of having an "expert" lecture the kids, they recruited several teen parents (both sexes) talking about their experiences and how their lives had changed. She listened. Of course she's the oldest of 3 children of teen parents and knows first hand how ill equipped they can be. She's lived with me along with her sibs since she was a little over a year old. Her parents have been largely absent for much of that time.

I hope we can break that cycle, in my family at least.

Thanks to Daddy, Poppa, and Me for including the link to Alas, a Blog on their blog roll and also for listing Is America Burning. I have several adoption and gay rights blogs in my own links. His blog covers both and is one of the best. He writes about family, interracial adoption, and gay rights and includes links to information I hadn't seen anywhere else. The love for their little girl shines through as does the fear of losing her if California suddenly goes off the rails regarding gay adoption. I don't think that will happen but the possibility always exists. It exists for me as well since my youngest son has agreed to complete raising the girls should anything happen to me.

And now I'm off topic totally but the two issues may be related since they both are the result of extremists who try to force their hate filled views on us all.

Update - Sunday morning

A couple of commenters on Alas, a Blog noted that $87,000,000 might be a relatively small price to pay for this good a talking point. I hadn't thought of that.

COMMENTS:
Actually, I find the fact that teen pregnancy per capita and divorce rates are highest in traditionally "red" states to be very amusing...in a schadenfreude sort of way.Massachusetts, no doubt due to Mitt Romney's excellent example ;-), leads the way in stable marriages per capita.
# posted by Kvatch : Saturday, April 14, 2007 12:43:00 PM

I knew that and I thought it was funny as well. I thought about writing it that way but then I'd have to search out the links to back up what I said. I got lazy and left it vague.
# posted by Granny : Saturday, April 14, 2007 5:35:00 PM

As a "graduate" of that school of thought (Abstinence), as well as an escapee from the morons that teach it, I know only too well their crap. As they teach abstinence, they also do NOT teach sex education. Rather, they vilify sex as being "naughty", "dirty", and your individual sex organs are "dirty" as well. As you might expect, anything you tell a kid "don't look at" or "don't you do that now!", that's the first thing they are going to try.With no guidance, no knowledge of what to expect, the results are to be expected.
# posted by The Future Was Yesterday : Sunday, April 15, 2007 2:02:00 AM

"Just say no to sex" is about as effective as "just say no to drugs." Religious conservative seem to be stuck on recreating a world that never was. I wish the world was more like "Leave it to Beaver," too, but at some point you have to acknowldge that it isn't.If it was up to me, birth control pills would be available over the counter. There's no medical reason not to- statistically, they're safer than asprin.
# posted by ThomasLB : Sunday, April 15, 2007 6:01:00 AM

5 Comments:

  • At Saturday, April 14, 2007 11:39:00 AM , Blogger Marty said...

    Hi Ann,

    Just stopping by and checking in. I've had no time to read blogs either. This is my one stop today.

    I am continuing to pray for your family.

     
  • At Saturday, April 14, 2007 1:43:00 PM , Blogger Kvatch said...

    Actually, I find the fact that teen pregnancy per capita and divorce rates are highest in traditionally "red" states to be very amusing...in a schadenfreude sort of way.

    Massachusetts, no doubt due to Mitt Romney's excellent example ;-), leads the way in stable marriages per capita.

     
  • At Saturday, April 14, 2007 6:35:00 PM , Blogger Granny said...

    I knew that and I thought it was funny as well. I thought about writing it that way but then I'd have to search out the links to back up what I said.

    I got lazy and left it vague.

     
  • At Sunday, April 15, 2007 3:02:00 AM , Blogger The Future Was Yesterday said...

    As a "graduate" of that school of thought (Abstinence), as well as an escapee from the morons that teach it, I know only too well their crap. As they teach abstinence, they also do NOT teach sex education. Rather, they vilify sex as being "naughty", "dirty", and your individual sex organs are "dirty" as well. As you might expect, anything you tell a kid "don't look at" or "don't you do that now!", that's the first thing they are going to try.

    With no guidance, no knowledge of what to expect, the results are to be expected.

     
  • At Sunday, April 15, 2007 7:01:00 AM , Blogger ThomasLB said...

    "Just say no to sex" is about as effective as "just say no to drugs."

    Religious conservative seem to be stuck on recreating a world that never was. I wish the world was more like "Leave it to Beaver," too, but at some point you have to acknowldge that it isn't.

    If it was up to me, birth control pills would be available over the counter. There's no medical reason not to- statistically, they're safer than asprin.

     

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