What the hell is this country coming to?

In a report done in early September of 2005, Ed Bradly of CBS News’s 60 Minutes reports on the country’s current “abstinence-only” sex education, and the fact that almost $1 billion dollars worth of federal funding (that’s YOUR tax dollars, folks) have gone into a faith-based educational black hole that actually teaches today’s youngsters that condoms are ineffective and unsafe.

You can watch the report in its entirety over at One Good Move. It’s a real eye-opener. The full transcript is here.

Some of the highlights:

Amy and Rick will be taking their virginity pledge at a music and light sex-education show called Silver Ring Thing. In the last few years, Silver Ring Thing has received more than $1 million in federal and state subsidies. Its aim is to encourage young people to put on a ring and promise to abstain from sex until marriage.

You really need to see these “Silver Ring Thing” shows to believe them. Imagine a nightclub for kids, only with bad Christian rock and a Christian youth minister haranguing kids about the dangers of condoms — and little skits about how BAD sex is unless done in the context of marriage.

Hitler-youth-rally-esque gatherings like the Silver Ring Thing are the reason I’ve been seeing all these “promise rings” popping up on younger women in the past 5 years. We’ll return to those promise rings in a moment.

[Denny] Pattyn [Christian youth minister and founder of Silver Ring Thing] doesn’t just preach the virtues of sexual abstinence. His show is full of negative messages about condoms – messages warning that condoms won’t protect kids from pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases…

“My own daughter, my 16-year-old daughter, tells me she’s going to be sexually active. I would not tell her to use a condom,” says Pattyn, “I don’t think it’ll protect her. It won’t protect her heart. It won’t protect her emotional life. And it’s not going to protect her. I don’t want her to get out there and think that she’s going to be protected using a condom.”

Wow, that’s great, Minister Pattyn, and you know what, you’re absolutely right — because you taught your sweet little 16-year-old daughter that, last night I fucked her raw and she contracted HIV from my gold-plated big-swinging Player Dick (which incidentally has been places you don’t even want to imagine).

You’re right. A condom didn’t protect her. I wasn’t wearing one. She said she didn’t believe in them.

Now she’ll have to deal with the social stigma and health issues of having an STD for the rest of her life.

How do you feel about not telling her to use a condom now?

Columbia University’s Peter Bearman co-authored the most comprehensive study ever done on adolescent health and sexuality. He says, “Sex education doesn’t cause all these negative outcomes. What causes these negative outcomes is kids who are having sex and aren’t protecting themselves.”

It was a $45-million project, funded by 17 separate federal agencies. Bearman’s investigators interviewed more than 20,000 young people about virginity pledge programs — and there was some good news.

“Pledging will help them delay sex for, say, 18 months — a year and a half….The downside is that, when they have sex, pledgers are one-third less likely to use condoms at first sex,”

And that is exactly why predatory men like me just LOVE this whole Promise Ring movement — we get an entire new crop of fresh-faced, ripe young girls who have “saved themselves”; they think they’ve been saving themselves for marriage, but as it turns out, they’ve been saving themselves for US.

So when we seduce one of these Promise-Ring sporting chicklets, we can be pretty sure that, if we hit them at the right time,

A) they are probably relatively free of STDs, compared to women with some sexual experience
and
B) they will not ask us to use a condom.

Our protection from disease is virtually guaranteed by their increased abstinence, and their protection from *our* potential diseases, that we may have acquired from a lifestyle of promiscuous unprotected sex, is virtually nil.

In other words — spending $1 billion in public funds to generate a new crop of 1 million fresh-faced virgins that don’t believe in using condoms? Hell yeah! Now that’s what I call government!

There’s another little ancillary side-benefit:

“Adolescents who take virginity pledges – who remain virgins, that is, who don’t have vaginal sex, who technically remain virgins, are much more likely to have oral and anal sex,” says Bearman.

As social commentator Bill Maher remarked famously, Abstinence Pledges Make You Horny.

Based on those interviews with more than 20,000 young people who took virginity pledges, Bearman found that 88 percent of them broke their pledge and had sex before marriage.

And, not only are they highly likely to break their Promise, but they are ALSO likely not to tell anyone about it:

“They’ve taken a public pledge to remain a virgin until marriage. The sex that they have is much more likely to be hidden,” says Bearman. “It’s likely to be hidden from their parents. It’s likely to be hidden from their peers.”

Wow. Just wow.

So let me get this straight:

  1. Promise girls are actually going to have sex 88% of the time
  2. Promise girls are more likely than other girls to be open to having oral or anal sex prior to finally having intercourse
  3. Promise girls are highly unlikely to tell ANYBODY about #1 or #2

I honestly cannot think of a better set of characteristics for a young female population that is perfectly positioned to be seduced and taken advantage of by older, wiser and more sexually experienced men.

The Silver Ring Thing and other abstinence-only sex education programs not only virtually guarantees that its students will eventually have sex, it also virtually guarantees they will have MORE TYPES OF SEX in the process, and be secretive about the whole thing!

I thank you, Bush administration. From the bottom of my heart.

Political rationale for these faith-based abstinence-only programs is a little weak in the “brains” department, though:

Claude Allen is President Bush’s domestic policy adviser and point man on abstinence-only education: “If I were to say to that same group of kids, you know what, don’t drink and drive, but if you do drink and drive, make sure you wear your seatbelt.”

Worst. Analogy. Ever.

Driving a 2-ton piece of metal at speeds up to 70 mph while under the influence of a central nervous system suppressant is a little bit different than letting you boyfriend stick his pee-pee in your hoohah.

You could kill someone while drinking and driving, regardless of whether your seatbelt is buckled: I don’t think you run the risk of killing anyone as a direct result of having sex with a condom.

Plus, I bet Claude Allen lets his partner slip on a condom before railing him in the ass. Just a guess.

-=-=-=-=-=
Final Note

As it happens, I have a personal connection to this story:

On my bedside table, right next to my alarm clock, is a glass bowl. Inside are all the Promise Rings I’ve taken off “pledgers” over the years.

It’s better than notches on the bedpost.

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Bill Maher of Politically Incorrect with a classic work of political and sexual satire that bears repeating as often as we can repeat it:

NEW RULE

Abstinence pledges make you horny. In a setback for the morals/values crowd, a new eight-year study just released reveals that American teenagers who take virginity pledges wind up with just as many STD’s as the other kids. But that’s not all. “Taking the pledge” also makes a teenage girl six times more likely to perform oral sex, and four times more likely to allow anal. Which leads me to an important question: where were these pledges when I was in high school?

So, seriously, when I was a teenager, the only kids having anal intercourse, were the ones who missed. My idea of lubrication was oiling my bike chain. If I had known I could have been getting porn-star sex the same year I took Algebra 2 – simply by joining up with the Christian right – I’d have been so down with Jesus, they would have had to pry me out of the pew.

And, let me tell you, there is a lot worse things than teenagers having sex. Namely, teenagers not having sex. Here is something you’ll never hear: “That suicide bomber blew himself up because he was having too much sex. Sex, sex, sex, nonstop, all that crazy Arab ever had was sex, and look what happened.” But among the puritans here of the 21st century, the less said to kids about sex, the better. Because people who talk about peepees are “potty-mouths.”

And so, armed with limited knowledge and believing that regular, vaginal intercourse to be either immaculate or filthy dirty – these kids did with their pledge what everybody does with contracts. They found loopholes. Two of them, to be exact.

Is there any greater irony than the fact that the Christian right actually got their precious little adolescent daughters to say to their freshly-scrubbed boyfriends, “Please, I want to remain pure for my wedding night, so only in the ass… And then I’ll blow you, I promise.” Well, at least these kids are really thinking outside the box.

I can’t for the life of me find the video clip to go along with this transcript; if anyone else has a link, please email it to me: andrew.ekud at (gmail) dot (com).

Abstinence-only sex education has not only been shown to be ineffective, it’s also demonstrably counterproductive.

What I want to talk about today is the morality that I believe underlies the political and religious motivations given for abstinence-only sex education (AOSE for short), which has in the last 5 years come to increasingly dominate our country’s sex ed curriculum.

The Science
Over the past 5 years, nearly a billion dollars in federal funds have been poured into AOSE, which typically tells teens and youngsters (up to the age of 29) that condoms are dangerous and unreliable, and they’d be better off using “the only method that is 100% effective at preventing disease or pregnancy”.

There are three problems with this.

1) First of all, condoms are not ineffective
— they are overwhelmingly effective, not only at preventing unwanted pregnancies, but also at guarding against STI/Ds and the transmission of HIV/AIDS. In fact, the only birth control methods with a higher success rate than condoms are intrauterine device (IUD, 99% effective), the progestin mini-pill (up to 99.9% effective) and other birth control pill formulations (99% effective)1.

There are two important facts about these success rate figures: first, they are the success rates if the method is used correctly — and second, they assume 3x a week frequency of sexual intercourse. If you have sex more often with these methods, your success rate will drop; have sex less often, your rate will increase. This is basic statistics, but it will be important for #2:

2) The abstinence-only method is NOT 100% effective. It’s true that if kids don’t have sex, they won’t get pregnant. But this is not how abstinence is sold. It is sold as a “100% effective birth control / disease prevention method.” In other words, every time you have sex, you should employ the abstinence METHOD to avoid pregnancy or disease. But this is clearly crazy talk: it is, in fact, an example of “Heads I Win, Tails Don’t Count” thinking2.

Couples who intend to use abstinence only as their birth control / disease prevention method, and do refrain from having sex, have obviously used the abstinence method with 100% effectiveness.

Couples who intend to use abstinence only as their birth control / disease prevention method but end up having sex have “failed” to use the method — and therefore their “failure” cannot count against AO’s claimed 100% success rate.

This is intellectually dishonest, and that dishonesty is compounded by a simple fact about abstinence that every adult naturally knows, but those teaching AOSE deliberately avoid, and that is —

3) Kids are going to have sex. The average age of first sexual contact in the U.S. is barely 173. Just telling kids not to have sex is a piss-poor way of discouraging them; they are going to have sex anyway. Trying to scare kids into not having sex by telling them that “condoms are unreliable” just means they’ll have unprotected sex, or have anal and oral sex, and be at increased risk of pregnancy and disease. The data show that even kids who go the hardcore route and get “Promise Rings” end up having sex before marriage at a rate of eighty-eight percent4.

The Religion

Problem #3 is partially linked to another big problem with AOSE: religion.

Some, though not all, AOSE efforts are linked to faith-based program like Silver Ring Thing, Free Teens, True Love Waits, some of which have been given generous funding by the U.S. Federal government, despite the fact that this violates the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment (separation of church and state).

(In fact, Silver Ring Thing lost a $75,000 grant from the Department of Health and Human Services after the ACLU successfully sued the DHHS for violation of the Establishment Clause (SRT no longer receives money from the Federal government).)

Bringing religion into the equation conflates religious feeling and public health: kids are encouraged to pledge to abstinence because of religious reasons, not out of enlightened self-interest. This makes it easy for them to renege on the pledge, or even deny ever having made it5; if they stray from the religious values originally linked to abstinence, they will stray from abstinence itself.


The Morality of AOSE

The majority of “promise” or “purity” movements are started by some religious organization — mostly evangelical Christian churches. A good example is Silver Ring Thing, which was started by Denny Pattyn, a youth minister,

…as a way to combat what he saw as rising rates of STDs and pregnancies amongst teenagers, as well as a way to protect teens from what founders saw as American culture’s unhealthy obsession with sex, which, according to Pattyn, was a byproduct of the “promiscuity [of] the sexual revolution of the ‘60s”.

Now we’re getting somewhere. It’s not that Pattyn and Co truly believe condoms don’t work: it’s that Pattyn and Co have a problem with the 60’s. They’re disgusted by the “free love” movement. They’re reacting against the science and intellectualism that has set biological sex free from its inherent risk, danger, and consequences.

They’re furious at the idea that the intellect can produce free love in a more concrete way than their old social and religious values.

Evangelical Christianity, and the religious right-wing, are not forming these movements for religious reasons; they are forming them for social reasons.

Evangelical Christianity, and the majority of the Religious Right, come from very old Conservative roots. Victorian roots, in fact — the people who built New York City, the same people who got obscenely wealthy in the wake of the American Civil War, the first American robber barons.

The important thing to understand about Victorianism and Victorian morality is that it is social. It is based on a social caste system, in an imitation of old-world European society; it is based on social graces, and it is judged by social perceptions (that is, “What would the neighbors think?”)

That is why so many Evangelical Christians — and Victorians, in retrospect — appear to be so hypocritical. All they care about is surface, appearance, social grace, social cues, status — surface, surface, surface. A Promise Ring is a symbol for society — not a fuckin’ NuvaRing. It doesn’t release hormones, it doesn’t prevent pregnancy, it doesn’t irritate the fallopian tubes into forming scar tissue, it doesn’t do anything except signal to other teenagers and your parents that you “promise to wait”.

The fact that 88% of teens break their promises doesn’t matter. The fact that these kids now refuse to use condoms, and as a result get STDs and pregnant at greater rates, doesn’t matter. What matters is to get these kids up in front of everyone and have them make a public pledge to be pure. What matters is making our society look better.

The Promise Ring is a Victorian idea based on Victorian morals that has been snuck into the modern world dressed up as political and religious value. The only way it could be a more regressive idea is if it were an actual chastity belt.

So promise rings, and AOSE, are really an attempt at social reform. They’re only religious to the extent that Christianity is associated in some vague, threatening way (“God wants you to be a virgin”) and only political to the extent that the vaguely threatening evangelical Christian church is associated with the Religious Right.

Oh, yeah — and the reason America has an “unhealthy obsession with sex?” Because the historical foundation of our country’s morals are Victorian and Puritan — and those folks were hella repressed.

References
1. http://www.4woman.gov/faq/birthcont.htm
2. http://www.secularhumanism.org/library/fi/hanson_24_2.htm
3. http://www.newstrategist.com/productdetails/Sex.Samplepgs.pdf
4. http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2005/05/20/60minutes/main696975_page2.shtml
5. http://sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2006/05/08/MNGPHIN8IF1.DTL

Dodging the Baby Trap

February 7, 2007

This great gem comes off the well-named American Feminist Women Suck: I just had to repost it here.

I’ll try to sum up a funny story that happened a few years ago:

I got a vasectomy.

I met a girl soon afterwards. She was nice and attractive but with a selfish streak that raised a big red flag. She was 32 at the time and I could practically HEAR her biological clock ticking. Regardless, she was a good lay, easy on the eyes, and reasonably good company.

I did NOT tell her about my vasectomy and I always used a condom with her to protect against STDs. She assumed, obviously, that the condom was only used for birth control. Silly girl.

We date for a few months. I never made any move towards commitment but she brought it up ocassionally. For me, this was a casual but pleasant relationship. For her – as I was to find out – it was part of life-changing series of events that she was planning very carefully.

Four months into dating, I get the “I’m pregnant” talk. She’s going on and on about how the condom must have broke and now we really need to think about getting married “for the baby”. She’s positively giddy. She has a baby in her and she thinks she’s gonna have a good meal ticket (me) to go along with her new 7lb annuity.

At this point, I’m just as giddy. I get to pull the reverse “oops” on her. I figured that she slept with some bad boy and got knocked up. Good thing I was using condoms! Better still that I have a serious mistrust of women who can’t think beyond their own uteri.

So I wait a couple of days to “think about all this.” I meet her again. I say I don’t want kids and that she should have an abortion. I know where this is going and sure enough it goes there. She goes completely batsh*t insane on me. There were the usual insults about my manhood. There were threats of legal action. It was all very ugly and I was loving every minute of it.

Well, I let her stew for a few days. She leaves me nasty messages on my phone. She sends awful emails. I’m laughing hysterically.

It was time to drop the hammer. While she was stewing I was busy. First I get a notarized copy from the urologist who performed the vasectomy. Next I get a notarized copy of the TWO test results indicating a “negative test result for sperm” to show I’m sterile and shooting blanks. Finally, I get a letter from a shark attorney stating he has seen the other documents and is prepared to litigate against this woman if she continues to communicate with me in such an unpleasant manner. Also, the letter states that we will insist on DNA testing to show that the baby is not mine. I’m ready.

I meet with this woman at her place. I bring flowers and a small bit of jewelry to show I am willing to reconcile and assume my responsibilities as a new father. I also have stuck in my pocket the documents I have prepared.

She’s all giddy again. Her plan is going perfectly – or so she thinks. We talk about our future. We have some pretty good sex. Then, as I am about to walk out the door, I ask her the $64,000 question. “Are you sure that this baby is mine?”

Well, she goes batsh*t insane again. Hell, she ought to. Her plan could completely unravel if there is ANY question about my paternity. Oh, she’s really screaming now. How dare I question her morals. Do I think she’s a slut. I’m just trying to weasel out of my responsibilities… blah, blah, blah, yadda, yadda, yadda.

I’m not really mad. I’m kind of embarrassed for her. But since she won’t shut up and the neighbors can hear all of this, I ask her to step back inside and sit down. She sits on the sofa and calms down a bit. She is glaring at me with all the moral self-righteousness that only a woman can muster up. She thinks she has me trapped. She is 100% convinced her plan has worked. Oh, the tangled web of lies and deceit she has wrought around herself and I am about to hack through them with a few pieces of paper.

I reach into my pocket slowly. I extract the three pieces of paper and unfold them slowly and deliberately.

I tell her simply, “You’re screwed”.

Her look doesn’t change. There is no way she can fathom what I have prepared.

I continue. “I am sterile”

Her look changes just a bit. Something is beginning to sink in. Naturally, she reverts to women’s logic. “You’re full of sh*t. You’re trapped and you know it.”

I hold up the letter and the test results. “Three months before we met, I had a vasectomy. Here is a notarized letter from him stating what I had done. Here are two test results showing that I tested negative for the presence of sperm. Blanks. I am shooting blanks. That baby inside you is simply not mine.”

This woman is not to be swayed by logic and clear documentation. “Bullsh*t, those are fakes.”

I was ready for that. “No, they are real. This last piece of paper is from my attorney. It’s a simple letter to you that states if you pursue any kind of legal action against me for child support that I will insist on a DNA test to prove paternity, that is, to prove that your baby is not mine.”

I give the woman all the documents. She reads them slowly, deliberately. With each passing second she can feel in her soul that she has made a very bad mistake. With denial swept away, she started to cry. It’s a small cry at first. Then it becomes deeper and more painful. By the time she gets to the letter from the lawyer she is sobbing.

I had no sympathy for her. I turned and walked out the door. Even after I closed the door I could still hear her sobbing.

Epilogue –

I never heard directly from this woman again. I did hear through my friends that she did indeed have the baby. I also heard that the real father was some guy in a band she had met. I assumed that after 30, women stopped going after musicians, bikers, criminals, and thugs. Silly me for thinking the best of American women.

The Moral of the Story –

Get a vasectomy but keep it a secret.

Truly an eye-opening story, for those women and men resistant to the idea that some women DO plot, scheme and manipulate in a reprehensible fashion.

I agree with the author — a vasectomy is a great idea, in general.

For those guys who actually do want the opportunity to have children, though, I would recommend either

A) going expat and finding a foreign woman, or
B) work with a fertility clinic to put some sperm away for the future — that way, you can be ABSOLUTELY certain who gets it.

Not my work, but brilliant just the same.


A woman was out walking through a wood one day when she found a frog in a trap.

The frog said to her, “If you release me from this trap, I will grant you three wishes.”

The woman freed the frog, and the frog said, “Thank you, but I failed to mention that there was a condition to your wishes. Whatever you wish for, your husband will get times ten.”

The woman said, “That’s okay.” and for her first wish, she wanted to be the most beautiful woman in the world. The frog warned her, “You do realize that this wish will also make your husband the most handsome man in the world, an Adonis whom women will flock to.”

The woman replied, “That’s okay, because I will be the most beautiful woman and he will have eyes only for me.” So, KAZAM! She’s the most beautiful woman in the world. For her second wish, she wanted to be the richest woman in the world. The frog said, “That will make your husband the richest man in the world and he will be ten times richer than you.” The woman said, “That’s okay, because what’s mine is his and what’s his is mine.” So, KAZAM! She’s the richest woman in the world.

The frog then inquired about her third wish, and she answered, “I’d like a mild heart attack.”

Moral of the story Women are clever. Don’t mess with them.

Attention female readers: This is the end of the story for you. Stop here and continue feeling good.

Attention male readers: Please scroll down.

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The man had a heart attack ten times milder than his wife.

Moral of the story: Women are really dumb when they think they’re really smart. Let them continue to think that way and just enjoy the show.

PS. If you’re a woman and are still reading this, it only goes to show that women never listen.

Will we ever find True Love on the internet?
Like many men, sometimes I read online dating sites or online personals to see what’s out there. But, as a man, you have to be careful reading online personals. Women aren’t like us, you see; women don’t write in plain English about themselves or about what they want. Women don’t even KNOW what they want (and if they do know, they won’t admit to it).

Women also typically have a horribly disfigured self-perception; a sort of fun-house mirror that makes her think things about herself that simply ARE NOT TRUE!

So below, I present a handy decoding key for reading through women’s online personals postings. Use this key, and you will avoid many crazy, ugly, psychologically disturbed, or otherwise undesirable women.

==
If a woman says in a personal that she’s a “Big, Beautiful Woman” (BBW), that mean’s she fat, and not beautiful.
If she says “more to love”, that means she’s fat.
If she says “curvaceous”, that also means she’s fat.
If she says “voluptuous”, she’s fat.
If she says “curvy”, she’s fat.
If she says “I’m not a Barbie doll”, she’s REALLY fat.
If she says “I am in shape”, that shape is ROUND.
If she says “full-figured” she’s fat.
If she says, “I am a cyclist”, she’s probably a closeted lesbian.
If she says, “I like the outdoors,” what she means is, she wants a guy like the Marlboro Man.
If she says, “I am not a supermodel,” she’s fat.
If she says, “Can’t judge a book by it’s cover,” yup…she’s fat.

If she says “Discretion prevents me from posting a photo”, she’s married. Or fat.
If she says “I don’t want to post a pic b/c my girlfriends might find this and laugh at me!” she’s either ugly, or married. Or fat.

If she says, “I’m a single mom”, she’s a psycho.
If she says “I’m a single mom looking to date a single dad,” she’s a psycho looking for a paycheck.
If she says “I love kids”, she either already has them or wants yours.

If she says, “Friends first / if something develops, great” she is a control freak. Notice the irrationality inherent in posting a ROMANTIC PERSONAL AD saying “I WANT A FRIEND.”

If she says, “I’m a free spirit,”, she’s an irresponsible hippy.
If she says “I know what I want and am not afraid to go after it,” she’s a controlling psycho bitch.

If she says, “No drama please,” she is a drama-queen.
If she says “Talk dirty to me online,” she is a gay man or tranny looking to get off.
If she says “Send me an erotic story and maybe I’ll reward you with a partial picture of some of my cleavage or my stocking” or some shit, she is trying to use you and will NOT under ANY circumstances meet or hook up with you, and is also probably a gay man.

If she says “I have a profile on this adult website” she is a marketing spambot.
If she says “Come check out my naughty pictures but you have to pay to get a verified ID to log in to prevent my little brother from seeing me naked teehe!” she is a marketing spambot.
If she says “Go to this URL to get laid” she is a marketing spambot.
If she says “Tired of jerking off? You too can be a pla-” she is a marketing spambot.

If she says, “I can’t believe I’m doing this,” she can, and she’s a psycho bitch.
If she says “I’m too busy to go to bars and clubs” she’s not attractive enough or socially retarded.
If she says “Looking for a black man only,” she, well….what more can I say.
If she says “No head games” Or “I do not like game players” or “No game-playing” or any permutation thereof, she MOST DEFINITELY WANTS TO BE FUCKED WITH.

If she gives any kind of age range, she doesn’t mean it.
If she clearly can’t spell or use pronunciation, she is more likely actually a woman…but probably has a drug habit.

If she says “Buy me dinner”, well…..she’s probably hungry, but not for cock.
If she says “Older woman seeking a young virgin,” she is a psycho bitch….only OLDER. RUN.
==

There you have it. A beginner’s guide to decoding female personals.

Generally, I try to advise guys to stay OFF online personals as much as possible; I know it’s tempting to try to find that “diamond in the rough”, and more than that, it’s such a logical step. As men, we know we can find just about everything else on the internet — so why not True Love (or at least a one-night stand)?

As I hope I’ve illustrated above, it just doesn’t work that way. Use the Internet for whatever you please but please, please, stay off the online personals.

And yes, that includes MySpace.