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Abstinence no protection against STDs

2004-03-09 23:42:29.355727+00 by Dan Lyke 2 comments

Anti-news: Study finds teenagers who pledge abstinence contract STDs at roughly the same rate as those who don't:

One of the problems, researchers found, is that virginity "pledgers" are less likely to use condoms.

[ related topics: Children and growing up Sexual Culture Current Events ]

comments in ascending chronological order (reverse):

#Comment Re: abstinence no protection? made: 2004-03-10 00:26:08.047169+00 by: polly

"It is the combination of hidden sex and unsafe sex that creates a world where people underestimate the risk of STDs," Bearman said"....just curious, what is hidden sex?

I'm also curious as to where these studies are verified. The "Why kNOw" abstinence program that is taught at my middle school where I teach not only presents the message of abstinence BUT also about STD's and how you get them. I've sat in on several presentations and the speaker shows the students actual photographs of what a person looks like with advanced stages of STD's...not a pretty sight. Babies are also part of the presentation of what usually happens with sexual activities. Teen age births were reduced at our school from the 5 teenage pregnancies that were present 3 years ago when I began teaching, to 1 this year of a student who was a transfer from another school system due in part, I believe, to the "Why kNOw" program.

I also learned that men "grow" 6,000 sperm everyday...that eventually have to be "released" in one fashion or another...be it physically or in a "wet dream"...amazing information that you can pick up in the weirdest places, LOL

On another line of thought, this "flower child" remembers the days when drugs & sex were safe & fun, lol, "those were the days my friend..."

#Comment Re: made: 2004-03-10 03:55:03.508423+00 by: Dan Lyke

I don't know what "hidden sex" is, but I'd guess it involves sexual activity which doesn't show up on surveys or in the culture. And I'll bet it's related to whatever's underlying this paragraph:

The analysis also found that in communities where at least 20 percent of adolescents pledged to remain virgins, the STD rates for everyone combined was 8.9 percent. In communities with fewer than 7 percent pledgers, the STD rate was 5.5 percent.

Which means that in cultures where there was strong social pressure to make the pledge, the STD rates were higher overall. Which means that everyone in those cultures is less likely to be prepared for the eventuality of sex.

As for scare tactics, I'll bet that much like the scare tactic in drug programs that backfires fairly quickly. I've had to give "the drug talk" to a teenager who told me "once I discovered they were misrepresenting some facts, I assumed they were lying about everything". Show the kids some syphilis scars and you've got 'em 'til they hear that that's one of the ones that's treatable with penicillin. Hell, that's practically over the counter, and suddenly they're going to be thinking that the worst you can show 'em is treatable with a regimen that's not much worse than strep throat.

(Luckily, here in Marin the drug talk is much simpler because marijuana and psychedelics are so prevalent in this fairly upscale region. The risks and rewards of those are pretty up-front, and you don't find kids sneaking off and doing the far more dangerous stuff because they've got easy access to the safer things.)

Of course I preach masturbation and latex, with the reminder that you can never have too much lube with latex. So far as I know the kids so counseled seem to have later first partnered experiences, and, of course, are far better prepared when the eventuality catches up with 'em. But I don't have a sample size from my own experiences that would tell me definitively what the real effects of it are.

I don't know anything about the program you're looking at, but I'd be wary of picking two years without looking at a lot of surrounding information. Correlation is not causation, and a difference of 4 pregnancies could be the result of one party.