Thursday, 1 September 2011

Rick Perry and Sex Education: Abstinence works!

Don't have sex. It's so obvious. It's so logical. Why are we even talking? Don't have sex and you don't get pregnant. Don't have sex and you don't get an STD. Don't have sex and you don't get AIDS. What's not to get about this?

Drive safely and you won't have an accident. Follow the posted speed limit and not only will you not get a speeding ticket, you won't have an accident. Keep your hands on the wheel and your attention focused on driving without talking on a cellphone or texting or reading or eating your lunch and you won't have an accident. Heck, who needs a seat belt? If we all follow the rules, we won't need traffic cops or radar traps. Why are we even talking?

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration published that 33,808 people died in traffic accidents in the United States in 2009. The published stats going back 16 years show a total of 661,403 deaths or an average of 41,338 per year. It seems that 2009 was a good year.

Drive safely and you won't have an accident? How's that one workin' out for ya?

According to UNAIDS.Org, there are 33 million on the planet currently living with HIV (2009). The same report estimates that in 2009, 1.8 million died from AIDS.

In the United States, the Center for Disease Control (CDC) reports that 18,000 people die each year from AIDS.

The CDC reports for 2009 more than 1.2 million cases of chlamydia, 301,174 reported cases of gonorrhea and 13,997 reported cases of syphilis. CDC estimates that undiagnosed and untreated STDs cause at least 24,000 women in the U.S. each year to become infertile.

827,609 legal induced abortions were reported to CDC in 2007 although the Guttmacher Institute reports 1.2 million in 2008. (CDC reporting is voluntary while the institute actively gets the numbers.) Statistics Canada reports 96,815 induced abortions were performed in Canada in 2005.

Theory versus Reality
In theory, if we all drove safely, there would be no accidents. In theory, if we all followed the speed limit, there would be no speeding tickets hence no need for traffic cops. The reality is so far from the theory that anybody would laugh if we suggested retiring our traffic cops and letting the citizenry police themselves. It would seem that the word freedom means the freedom to make mistakes or to deliberately do what's not right or to thumb your nose at the rules because nobody's going to tell you what to do.

Anti-abortionists actually increase the number of abortions
Christina Page, author of a 2006 book about the pro-life movement and its war on sex, wrote in the Huffington Post on February 24, 2009:

A new report released today by the Guttmacher Institute found that increasing access to contraception is the most effective approach to reducing unwanted pregnancy rates and the need for abortion. That report specifically concluded that making contraception available to low income women reduces the number of abortions by nearly 40%. When birth control isn't available unintended pregnancy increases by 2 million and the number of abortions spikes by more than 800,000 each year. Researchers noted that providing contraception saves taxpayers 4 times as much as not providing it.

Time: Healthland - Aug 31/2011
Gov. Rick Perry's Weird Science: Teen Pregnancy Aside, "Abstinence Works" By Meredith Melnick
Texas has the highest teen birth rate and the fourth highest teen pregnancy rate in the U.S., according to the Guttmacher Institute. So when Gov. Perry turned down $4.4 million in federal funding for pregnancy prevention programs and decided to continue with state-funded abstinence-only education in October 2010, a reporter from the Texas Tribune asked him why. Specifically, why, in the face of rising teen pregnancy rates, would the governor stick with a method that didn't seem to be working?

"Abstinence works," Perry replied to a roomful of laughter. The reporter pressed on, asking for data to back up the assertion that abstinence education leads to lower teen pregnancy rates. Flustered, Perry said that he knew abstinence worked from his "own personal life."

Uploaded by thecentristword on Aug 15, 2011
Rick Perry Struggles to answer Question on Abstinence
Rick Perry Struggles to answer Question on Abstinence - what seems to be a rather simple question turns into a bit of a confusing mess. Give this guy the nuclear button? I wouldn't suggest it.



Final Word
I think that Rick Perry is absolutely right: abstinence does work. And to support Mr. Perry in his promotion of abstinence, I would propose that all voters plan to abstain from voting for him.

I sit here literally stunned by the level of stupidity, incompetence and outright blindness to reality that comes from the faith-based movements. Albert Einstein supposedly said, "The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results." Abstinence in theory seems logical. However a truly great visionary will see that while theory is a start, it is only a start and the implementation of a theory leads one to discover the flaws in the original theory.

Theory: If we all abstain from sex, nobody gets pregnant. Reality: People are not going to stop having sex. Theory: We all drive safely, there will be no accidents. Reality: Do I really have to fill this one in?

Sarah Palin is intellectually challenged. Michele Bachmann is cerebrally deficient. And Rick Perry? Hey, nice suit! Mr. Perry blindly persists in a course of action dictated by his whimsical interpretation of the Bible and his own limited experience in life. I am reminded of a blogger at Open Salon called Cranky Cuss who has written in his bio:

My motto: The conventional wisdom has too much convention, not enough wisdom.

Corollary: Even Einstein was wrong sometimes, and you're not Einstein.

Yes, Einstein. That is a reminder about this election season of just how little Einstein we'll get and how much Forrest Gump. Then again, Forrest demonstrated a very down to earth practical approach to life and its problems. When I look at Rick Perry, I begin to think Forrest was a genius.


References

Wikipedia: Abstinence
Abstinence is a voluntary restraint from indulging in bodily activities that are widely experienced as giving pleasure. Most frequently, the term refers to sexual abstinence, or abstention from alcohol or food. The practice can arise from religious prohibitions or practical considerations. Abstinence may also refer to drugs. For example you can abstain from smoking. Abstinence has diverse forms. Commonly it refers to a temporary or partial abstinence from food, as in fasting. In the twelve-step program of Overeaters Anonymous abstinence is the term for refraining from compulsive eating, akin in meaning to sobriety for alcoholics. Because the regimen is intended to be a conscious act, freely chosen to enhance life, abstinence is sometimes distinguished from the psychological mechanism of repression. The latter is an unconscious state, having unhealthy consequences. Freud termed the channeling of sexual energies into other more culturally or socially acceptable activities, "sublimation".

Wikipedia: Sexual abstinence
Sexual abstinence is the practice of refraining from some or all aspects of sexual activity for medical, psychological, legal, social or religious reasons.

Huffington Post - Feb 24/2009
"Pro-Life" Movement Admits Pro-Abortion Stance by Christina Page
Sometimes referred to as "The Pro-life Paradox," researchers and women's health advocates in recent years have drawn attention to the disparities between the mission statements of so-called "anti-abortion" groups and the effects of their policies. For example, the countries considered the most "pro-choice," where contraception is widely available and abortion is legal, and often free of charge, are those that also have the lowest abortion rates in the world. The countries with the highest rates of abortion are those that have adopted the policies of the so-called "anti-abortion" movement and have banned abortion and opposed efforts to make contraception more widely available.

Guttmacher Institute - Feb 24/2009
1.94 million unintended pregnancies and 810,000 abortions prevented each year
By providing millions of young and low-income women access to voluntary contraceptive services, the national family planning program prevents 1.94 million unintended pregnancies, including almost 400,000 teen pregnancies, each year. These pregnancies would result in 860,000 unintended births, 810,000 abortions and 270,000 miscarriages, according to a new Guttmacher Institute report.

Amazon
How the Pro-Choice Movement Saved America: Freedom, Politics and the War on Sex
by Christina Page
Paperback: 256 pages
Publisher: Basic Books (December 26, 2006)
The abortion issue is a cover for a fundamentalist "anti-contraception" and "anti-sex movement," argues this vigorous broadside. In a well-researched and pointed critique of prolife excesses, NARAL official Page (The Smart Girl's Guide to College) details the multifaceted opposition the Christian right has mounted to a broad range of reproductive rights. Prolife groups, she notes, have fraudulently conflated contraceptives with devices or substances that cause abortion, championed pharmacists who refuse to sell contraceptives, and organized to block over-the-counter sale of "Plan B" emergency contraceptive pills. Attacking both feminism and premarital sex, she contends, they vilify working moms and push ineffective abstinence-only sex-ed curricula, and have even opposed a vaccine against the HPV virus, a major cause of cervical cancer, claiming it would promote promiscuity. The irony, she argues, is that prolifers' effort to restrict access to contraception actually increases the number of abortions. Against what she believes is the fundamentalists' dour procreationist ideology and animus toward sexual pleasure itself, Page celebrates the blessings conferred by contraceptives in liberating women, and their families, in our modern "pro-choice world," claiming that "regular sex brings people as much happiness as a $50,000-a-year raise." If sometimes a tad facile, her defense of the sexual revolution in upbeat—even patriotic—terms makes this a spirited, thought-provoking addition to the culture wars. (review by Publishers Weekly - Dec 19/2005)

Wikipedia: Seat belt legislation
Studies of accident outcomes suggest that fatality rates among car occupants are reduced by between 30 and 50 per cent if seat belts are worn. The US National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimates that death risks for a driver wearing a lap-shoulder seat belt are reducing by 48 per cent. The same study indicated that in 2007, an estimated 15 147 lives were saved by seat belts in the United States and that, if seat belt use were increased to 100 per cent an additional 5024 lives would have been saved. An earlier statistical analysis by the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) claimed that seat belts save over 10,000 lives every year in the US.

Freakonomics - April 2/2010
Life (and Death) in the Fast Lane by Eric A. Morris
According to a recent paper by Lee S. Friedman, Donald Hedeker, and Elihu D. Richter, the lifting of the federal 55 mph speed limit in 1995 was responsible for 12,545 deaths between 1995 and 2005. That’s about 45 percent more American fatalities than we have suffered in 9/11, Iraq and Afghanistan put together.

2011-09-01

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1 comment:

Media Mentions said...

Speaking of sex education, here’s a bit of an interesting tidbit I picked up today that I think you may also find a fun read: http://www.pressdisplay.com/pressdisplay/showlink.aspx?bookmarkid=U3XC0NGC6TV7&preview=article&linkid=b538c764-2c73-4426-a1f9-5b396fcd59cc&pdaffid=ZVFwBG5jk4Kvl9OaBJc5%2bg%3d%3d

Cheers!