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Thursday, October 01, 2009

Lost in the hoopla over the public option...
Posted by Jill | 6:49 AM
While the news media were covering the defeat of two public option proposals in the Senate and whether Alan Grayson is a big old meanie who should apologize to the wee sensitive frail souls in the Republican Party, the Senate Finance Committee -- yes, the one chaired by Max "Wholly-Owned Subsidiary Of The Insurance Industry" Baucus, voted to restore funding for abstinence-only education.

Yes, folks, while Republicans scream about pork and about wise expenditures of federal tax money, they're voting to teach kids "Just Don't Do It." Republicrats Blanche Lincoln (Arkansas) and Kent Conrad (North Dakota) voted with the pearl-clutchers on the right -- you know, the ones who embrace the moral family values of David Vitter and John Ensign while telling teenagers not to fuck.

There's no excuse for continuing these programs, which have shown to be ineffective in preventing teen sexual activity, other than the Republican obsession with teen sex -- perhaps because their own sexual maturity level is about at the level of your average 15-year-old boy:
A long-awaited national study has concluded that abstinence-only sex education, a cornerstone of the Bush administration's social agenda, does not keep teenagers from having sex. Neither does it increase or decrease the likelihood that if they do have sex, they will use a condom.

Authorized by Congress in 1997, the study followed 2000 children from elementary or middle school into high school. The children lived in four communities -- two urban, two rural. All of the children received the family life services available in their community, in addition, slightly more than half of them also received abstinence-only education.

By the end of the study, when the average child was just shy of 17, half of both groups had remained abstinent. The sexually active teenagers had sex the first time at about age 15. Less than a quarter of them, in both groups, reported using a condom every time they had sex. More than a third of both groups had two or more partners.

"There's not a lot of good news here for people who pin their hopes on abstinence-only education," said Sarah Brown, executive director of the National Campaign to Prevent Teen Pregnancy, a privately funded organization that monitors sex education programs. "This is the first study with a solid, experimental design, the first with adequate numbers and long-term follow-up, the first to measure behavior and not just intent. On every measure, the effectiveness of the programs was flat."

They sure spend a lot of time obsessing about teen sex, these Republicans. Perhaps that's why they can't be bothered working to come up with some kind of viable health care reform -- they're too busy getting in touch with their own inner Roman Polanski.


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Blogger Bob said...
We're still held hostage by politicians from rural states with power disproportional to the numbers of citizens they provincially represent.