Abstinence education is bad and so is obstinence education.
Category: Sex 411 (Page 1 of 6)
I wrote a post intended to demystify the criticism that men place on a woman’s appearance and sexuality a month ago. That post was mostly inspired by stories of girls posting ‘Am I Beautiful?’ videos on Youtube and the kind of unbelievably mean unrequited comments men (boys) make on Youtube videos about ANY videos featuring young women (regardless of the subject).
Little did I know that so many prominent men with a large audience would parrot the dissected behaviors in public in the following weeks!
After a year of hinting at it in various creepy ways, right wing zealots in the U.S. have officially decided to wage a war against women, I am even more worried for young women, including teenagers.
Rush is Vandalizing The Lives of Girls!
When adults propagate lies about contraception and stigmatize women on the Pill by calling them sluts and whores, it filters into the rest of our lives. When Rush Limbaugh attacks a successful and educated woman on the radio, it diminishes all our accomplishments and vandalizes the everyday life of girls everywhere who will have to put up with more attacks from ignorant hate mongers and bullies in high school and college. And if Limbaugh’s 3-day tirade on Sandra Fluke wasn’t enough of a clue to his mysoginy, the following week he attacked an award-winning journalist and writer calling her “Overeducated”.
Here’s a thought:
Seeing a daughter make it through
law school, get published and win
awards probably makes all
parents really proud.
Does Rush really think his listeners hate their daughters as much as he does?
Sex Is Not Evil!
Sex is important. Sexuality is a much broader topic beyond ‘the having of the sex’. Sex is a skill, a set of knowledge, a quintessentially wonderful bonding activity for lovers. Sex is an important part of adult life. Sex gets better with age. The way one feels about sex and the quality of the sex they are having is directly linked to happiness (or lack thereof). Sex is simply part of the life of most adults, like sleeping and eating. Get over it!
We women bear the burden of sex. As soon as we are sexually active, we are the ones who are mostly at risk for STIs, unwanted pregnancies and violence (both emotional, psychological and physical). Women don’t refuse condoms, men do. Many women choose the pill out of necessity and it is a necessity for decades! While men only need to use a condom those times they do have sex we have to take a pill everyday even whether we have sex 3 or 333 times a year. If we forget, then the whole month’s effort is null and void. Birth control is not a sex-related responsibility, it’s a lifelong responsibility intrinsically linked to health and quality of life for women and their WHOLE family. Most women are on birth control, a statistic that seems constant across all walks of life. The burden is already large on women of reproductive age but it’s not enough for old white and orange men who continue to enact anti-human and misogynistic laws while displaying shocking ignorance on the subject (and even content of their bills).
Free speech: Sometimes, You Get What You Pay For…
Rush Limbaugh may be free to have constant inflammatory verbal diarrhea on his show but he seems to think he doesn’t have to be 100% responsible for what comes out of his mouth. You can say what you want but have to accept the consequences. Say something untrue, stupid or miss-leading and critics who will call you on your lies, ignorance and misrepresentations. Hate on accomplished young women day-after-day and people will start to pretend they don’t know you. Here and there, there will always be under-informed people who thinking that the right to free speech makes their lies true or their ignorance knowledge and that is sad. In Canada we have the same right to free speech as in the U.S. but generally speaking people who have an audience tend to not want to come off as complete ignorant fools when speaking or writing in public. There is no specific fetishization or celebration of stupidity or ignorance in Canada… yet… Sure, we have some monumentally stupid people here too but they don’t wind up with a syndicated national radio show. Even our anchorpeople are actual mature human beings with knowledge about or a sincere interest in the news they are talking about! U.S.-style stupidity is slowly creeping in on (Fox-like) Sun TV and on one particularly embarrassingly dumb trash radio station from my hometown but it’s still very much avoidable.
But what I now see in U.S. media is that the factual news is being replaced by gossip (sometimes billed as opinion) and comments (which devolve into off-topic hate speech and right-left feuds only a few moments after a story is published on most sites). Investigative journalism is being replaced by instigative journalism (where concerned parties’ comments are billed as attacks even if tame to avoid having to fact-check and provide context to the meat of the story.) The concept of news is getting really close to the bottom of the toilet bowl and soon, nobody will be able to save it from being flushed away forever.
Miss Eva Vavoom enjoys sharing life and sex tips with her girlfriends while knitting dildo cosies and drinking Genmaicha tea.
Recently, a woman asked Mitt Romney a follow-up question about his stated support for the ‘life at conception’ amendment. She made it easy on the Mitt, including basic reproduction and contraception information so that it might be easier for him to formulate an answer. With the affect of a frightened dad receiving an awkward sex-related question from his daughter, Mitt simply demonstrated his complete incompetence on matters of sexuality, reproduction and contraception with a dismissive non-answer. His constituent then explained something very important: Hormonal birth control prevents attachment of the fertilized egg to the uterine wall potentially making many forms of birth control illegal if a ‘life at conception’ amendment was to become law. Rachel Maddow explained this in more detail on her October 20th man-cave segment. It is worth noting that all contraception methods that would become illegal are those methods that a woman can choose and use at her own discretion. They are used by most adult women, often in addition to a condom which protects against STDs.
Why are creepy old men injecting themselves into the private life of women?
It becomes really obvious that the ideology behind these abortion push-back bills is to declare women incompetent when it comes to making decisions about their body. This can also be seen in a really creepy video shown by Melissa Harris Perry on The Rachel Maddow show of August 30th, 2011 (at 3:17 of the segment). The old gray-haired men whom, by the way, have failed to display any knowledge or understanding of women, their bodies and reproductive system sincerely feel they are better adept at making decisions regarding reproduction than women and even their doctor. In their world, the condom is the only convenient method of contraception, and therefore the man, is the one who decides the purpose and outcome of sexual activity.
Without reproductive freedom, all women are sentenced to poverty.
Because we have to work harder for less pay and raise children while we take on most or all of the household work, it is imperative for us women to control when and how we have children so as to give them the best possible care during their life. This is why the demonization of Planned Parenthood in the U.S. is so shocking. The fact that abortion is legal and the idea of family planning is what has contributed to the betterment of the lives of millions of people in the last 40 years. Regardless, 1/5th of children in the U.S. still live in poverty and poverty affects women at a greater rate than men.
This medieval mindset rules the GOP.
In addition to having no knowledge of reproduction and contraception, Mitt Romney has very little regard for women’s concerns as he dismissed a woman’s extremely important question without ever answering it! Furthermore, the birth-control pill has many other uses including, but not limited to, as a menstrual cycle regulator for millions of women whom, like me, suffer from Poly-cystic Ovarian Syndrom (PCOS).
This article by Salon.com titled The sex ed hall of shame attempts to explain the lack of important education in the US school system. I have been a long-time observer of the United States culturally, economically and politically. Originally I was just watching a very entertaining slow train wreck but after almost 30 years of way too much TV, newspapers and magazines, I see my spotted trends realized and I am VERY sad for the future.
If sex if free, then why do people spend so much of their money on the mere promise of it?
I have come to believe that most North Americans do not know what sex is whatever their age. It takes a long time to develop sexual intelligence and sexual competence but it seems everything is set up to disable people from attaining these goals. For me sex is a fun, pleasurable and bonding activity and I now credit my success at it on my basic knowledge of the sexual body, the sexual brain and, very importantly, on my ability to select ideal compatible partners. For most people, sex is a product created to separate them from their money.
There is a weird catch-22 going on in sex today. Schools teach abstinence only to teenagers who are marketed sex 24/7. If teenagers had true, scientific and usable information about sexuality they could build on their sexual intelligence. Knowing what a healthy and pleasurable sexual lifestyle is, they would probably not buy into the sex that is sold to them in pornography or rom-coms. As an adult, I spend a considerable amount of time researching sexuality through reading, discussing and practicing awesome sex with awesome partners. What few people know is that most human sexuality is unrelated to the sum of its sexual parts. But in order to discover the wonderful sex life that is 75% technically abstinent, you have to grow up in a gender-equal community that values knowledge and emotional intelligence and accepts discussion about all topics of adult life including sexuality (and economics, parenting, marriage, etc.) Just a note here, abstaining from having sex with sexually uneducated, incompatible and immature partners is a good thing. Going through a series of regrettable experiences forced upon you by peer pressure in a society of one-upmanship fueled by Internet porn is not so great…
I am very sad when I get very basic questions about sex from men in their twenties. I have sat in a room full of twenty something women talking about their sex life. It has always seemed to me that young women take for granted that what they know is correct and ae the ones less likely to ask for directions. But then again, indirectly, I notice more women in adult sex classes. And yes, as an adult, you should attend sex classes!!!
I understand why our world is set up to create people incredibly uninformed about sex. As North Americans we are groomed to become consumers and therefore purchase every aspect of our humanity ready-made. We purchase our values printed on t-shirts, paint-on our gender with makeup, select passive entertainment from a database of millions of titles as we eat our food pre-prepared and drink suspect liquids from a plastic bottle because we have even forgotten that water comes from the tap. Oh and of course, most of these products come packaged with the sexual innuendo-filled promise of sexy sex.
Here’s a tidbit of info: Even if you reach the base camp of Mount Consumerism, you won’t be able to see the top of the mountain and will always feel like you need more things to be happy, sexy and fulfilled. Powerful moneyed people demonstrate everyday how there is not enough money in the world to reach the top of that mountain.
We live surrounded by sex but very little useful information about sex. We know all the details of the ailing sexual lives of politicians, false prophets and billionaires. We can watch the regrettable sexual encounters of celebrities online but have very little insight from people who are doing sex right. So without ongoing comprehensive age-appropriate sex ed, teenagers will continue to learn about sex through a series of regrettable experiences forced upon them by peer pressure in a society of one-upmanship fueled by Internet porn. And that path doesn’t even lead to a happy and fulfilling adult sex life.
In order to know what sex is, one has to get correct basic information about our sexual organs and how they work. Most information available online about the sexual organs of humans are still incomplete! There are three facets to the physical sexual curriculum, reproduction, sexuality and sexual health and hygiene.
The majority of our sexuality lives in the brain. In order to enjoy it we must know how to do research, communicate with others, ask questions and talk about sex in a mature non-judgmental way.
And we still haven’t had sex yet!
We have to seriously tackle the issues of sexual conversation in a connected age with education about sexting, social media and online dating.
We have to discuss other aspects of adult life related to procreation such as the true personal and financial costs of child bearing, birth and rearing (parenting and family planning).
And we still haven’t had sex yet!
In order to go through adolescence understanding the changes that we go through and that our peers go through, we have to develop an understanding of what gender is and what sexual orientation is (and know that these two things are VERY different from each other.)
We have to develop tools to understand ourselves and what we value in a partner whether it is for play or for a long-term relationship.
And we still haven’t had sex yet!
We have to look at sexual and gender roles through history and see how sexuality followed suit.
We have to be able to look at suggestive or sexual messaging in various marketing forms and develop the skills to understand how it lies about the sexuality it is trying to sell us. This tools are very useful in preventing the epidemic body-issues that affect boys and girls and will impact negatively in their future sex-life.
And we still haven’t had sex yet!
We have to discuss how pornography (the leading source of sexual information for children and teens) affects people in a negative way both emotionally and physically (in addition to being very questionable as a source of sex info.)
We have to discuss illegal and prescription drugs and how they enable, inhibit, improve or impair sexual activity and sexual health.
And we still haven’t had sex yet!
We have to discuss consensuality, emotional abuse, sexual assault and rape.
We have to discuss what an ethical sexual lifestyle might entail. From discussions on selecting and vetting potential partners to negotiating sexual encounters.
And we still haven’t had sex yet!
We have to discuss what marriage is, what committed relationships are, what monogamy or being faithful means and develop communication skills to attain egalitarian relationships where all parties proactively define what these things mean within their own relationship.
We have to look at a a gazillion sexual products, most of which come without instructions, and dissect what they are for, their potential benefits or risks and if even if they have any use at all.
And of course we would have to talk about the complete relationship cycle in today’s intensely connected digital world including breakup etiquette.
And we probably still haven’t had sex yet!
This incomplete curriculum could certainly sustain weekly sex ed through 8 years of schooling! And there are so many more topics to tackle once we reach college!
If abstinence-only education came with actual information about sex rather than a bucket load of shame and denial then it wouldn’t be detrimental to the lives of so many young people.
Sexual education is not about having sex, it’s about learning to survive and eventually thrive in a world that specifically intends to keep you from reaching a healthy mature *AWESOME* sex life.
I tried to comment on this post on Jezebel but it didn’t work for some reason so here it goes.
There is controversy brewing about Dr. Bachmann’s practice in the media. Last night, Jon Stewart and Jerry Seinfeld did a very funny segment on Mr. Bachmann’s apparently gay affect. Jon called him a hypocrite which shocked me. I am a coach myself, I teach men to attain relationship and sexual bliss. A lot of that involves establishing a strategy and putting in into play over many months. Journalists deride the Bachmann’s in various ways bout it is obvious to me that these are two sincere individuals. You can’t be sincere AND a hypocrite at the same time. You can be sincere AND completely wrong that’s for sure. I have researched the ‘pray the gay away’ movement and come to the conclusion that the only people who sincerely think that homosexuality is a choice are the people who have chosen not to be gay. I am someone who has specifically chosen my lifestyle and constructed a life of bliss based on my vision of adulthood since I was 12 (i.e. being an influential person in the life of my friends and enjoying a non-monogamous lifestyle of knowledge, play and sex) The Bachmanns seem to me like people who have accomplished that as well. They seem happy together, sound sincere when they speak and have raised 5 children and fostered two dozen more. As a couple who devotes time every single day to the welfare of other, they are exceptional. They are walking the walk on what THEY sincerely believe unlike the Koch whores who make up a considerable amount of Congress. Considering what appears to be Mr. Bachmann’s choice, it’s probably not easy! I can’t deride them for making a choice and sticking to it and I understand why their first jest would be to get others in on their bliss!
The caveat is that I know from experience that embarking into a ‘role’ in adulthood or a relationship can be, as Michele says: ‘Bondage!’ and lead to heart disease, depression and regret in some people. Life is kinda short and that tends to hit home in the 40s. And you thought that was a mid-life crisis?!
Now as much as I admire them for their family skills, they would be unlikely to admire me. I gladly travel on the edge of society and every time I’ve gone once around, I discover that the edge has moved a little bit outward and once again I go. I upgrade my knowledge of how people think, feel and love on a daily basis. The Bachmanns, however, are running on legacy software. Faith is one thing. For instance, it’s quite cool that God speaks to Michele directly. Hey God speaks directly to me too! But I suspect her entourage may also have helped convince her to go into politics. Religion is a whole nother ball game though. It’s a program. And religious people’s reasoning is based on a database of information which has little to do with facts or science. Clusters of people who run on the same legacy software like Catholicism or Evangelical Christianism are natively compatible and they get along swell. Often these people are in the same age group so their priorities are similar as well. But their legacy software is full of security holes (superstitions) that pose a REAL threat to progressive society. But when legacy software people try to broadcast their antiquated ideas and pseudo facts to a generation under 30, we collectively return a WTF?! error. And that happens en masse during political campaigns.
There are moneyed interests whom, after years of investing in think tanks, have figured out a way to hack the legacy software and install it in all aspects of U.S. life with devastating effect. And kudos to them for acting at the exact right time when people who run on buggy and insecure legacy software are still young enough to be bought and used in politics, notably the U.S. Congress. And what a resounding success it has been for the roll back of human rights in the U.S.
Just so you understand my position here :
It is wrong to prevent people from unionizing or uniting for a cause when corporations can have unlimited amount of lawyers. It is abusive to prevent people from expressing their gender and sexuality. It is psychologically abusive to indoctrinate children into a religion. It is anti-humanistic to remove access to sexual health preventative medical care. It is just plain cruel to declare women unable to make decisions about their own heath and reproduction. And, it is also wrong to micro-manage a soldier’s career based on whether or not they attend religious rallies organized by some of their leaders.
You know when you grow up and suddenly realize that your parents don’t know any better, are blatantly wrong, are somewhat embarrassingly daft. Well it must be how some young adults are feeling in the U.S. At least I hope that that is how they are feeling because they are stuck interacting with people who refuse to upgrade their database to include recently acquired knowledge, scientific progress and a reasonable understanding of how people experience their lives today. Unfortunately we can’t enlighten them against their will. We could try to influence them by writing what is important to us on 100$ bills! Perhaps Colbert SuperPAC can make a difference even though progressives are a few years lacking in that effort.
It is important to push DIFFERENT people into politics. Sincere people who make sense. Michele and Marcus represent a subset of the population who are working hard to turn all of us into the gut bacteria of giant multinational corporations. That is their hopes and dreams for the future.
But take the case of Ron Paul. I don’t know if his policies are all feasible yet but researching them is quite an adventure! Heck he could be sincere AND wrong like the Bachmanns but most of what he says makes enough sense to me to be involved into researching whether or not ending the Federal Reserve is feasible or even a good idea. Mr. Paul is sincere and consistent and that has netted him his own army of followers and helpers. When Ron Paul speaks you get the impression he is speaking to the priorities of his core supporters who affect his work through volunteering, not just giving money!!! So it is possible for non-billionaires to affect the quality of politician we get!
So your homework today is to change the world changing the politicians. You will look around you and try to spot that one person under 30 whom you feel has the leadership qualities to represent you. And then you will embark on a campaign to get them to accomplish something important on their list of things to do. Then, you will continue this effort by getting them into a leadership position at a local or state level. One would have to be a raging narcissist to decide for themselves to go into the political scene (Or want to increase their speaking fees and sell more books…) Leadership develops really well when people around you encourage you to take issues and projects on.