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← Just Say Yes…To Sexist Stereotyping?

Just Say Yes…To Sexist Stereotyping? - Comments

Cartomancer's Avatar Comment 1 by Cartomancer

Why are so many American social progressives so mealy-mouthed and insipid in their campaigning? "Lets stop federal money going to fund this" is not sufficient, what the message needs to be is "abstinence-based sex education programmes are dangerous, dishonest, religious and make the problem worse, lets get these horrible misinformation drives banned and prosecuted completely". It should be a criminal offense to teach children harmful lies, whatever money is being used to do it.

Thu, 17 May 2012 13:25:38 UTC | #942021

God fearing Atheist's Avatar Comment 2 by God fearing Atheist

Burqas and stoning will fix it. US xtians are wimps.

Thu, 17 May 2012 13:31:48 UTC | #942023

tll's Avatar Comment 3 by tll

Even better get to Vegas for the weekend or get a Nikāḥ al-Mutʿah. Make sure "it is mind-blowing—if you are married" And what about all the same sex couples that are unable to get married, never being able to experience mind blowing sex!

Once again ignorance accommodating religious dogma....

Thu, 17 May 2012 13:51:46 UTC | #942025

Red Dog's Avatar Comment 4 by Red Dog

Bristol Palin should be the poster child for real as opposed to abstinence only sex ed. For those of you lucky enough to not know about the Palins Bristol was the teen daughter of right wing abstinence only advocate and half time governor of Alaska Sarah Palin. Bristol ended up unwed and pregnant and I believe she dropped out of school on top of it.

There is no better example of how easily the Christian conservatives in the US accept hypocrisy and care little for reality then that Bristol (still unmarried now a single mom with a child) now makes a very good living going around lecturing teens on abstinence only sex education.

Thu, 17 May 2012 13:54:16 UTC | #942026

LaurieB's Avatar Comment 5 by LaurieB

Cartomancer,

You're right. Our social progressives have been checked out for a whole generation. Now we've been taken by surprise on a national level and our younger generation has been slow to react. Middle aged feminists such as myself are stunned that we are back to issues of birth control access and abortion rights. We thought we were done with that. We underestimated the effect of the pugnacious religious prudes. Now we're playing a catch-up game. This has been a very disappointing comeuppance for us here.

Thu, 17 May 2012 13:57:54 UTC | #942027

InYourFaceNewYorker's Avatar Comment 6 by InYourFaceNewYorker

Who here remembers the 1996 PSAs shown in the US that had the "You're Worth Waiting For" tagline? They always portrayed the girls as victims and the guys as manipulative. One ends with a girl with a baby, saying, "I should have told him 'no.'" Another has images of a girl dying in a hospital. There's a voiceover of a guy saying, "If you don't sleep with me, it means you don't love me," and "I'm not going to get you pregnant, honey," and a very phony sounding, "I love you!"

Julie

Thu, 17 May 2012 14:35:02 UTC | #942033

Peter Grant's Avatar Comment 7 by Peter Grant

http://msmagazine.com/blog/blog/2012/05/10/just-say-yes-to-sexist-stereotyping/ Just Say Yes…To Sexist Stereotyping?

Like her t-shirt :D

Thu, 17 May 2012 15:26:03 UTC | #942039

aquilacane's Avatar Comment 8 by aquilacane

Abstinence is the best preventative method of birth control. For the girl in the photo to say "screw abstinence" I find a bit dumb and against the goal of sex education. I know she's trying to be sound bite-ishly cool, but it sucks as a message. "Screw abstinence only education" I can get behind but that's too long for a t-shirt, I guess. Abstinence should be the fist line education message followed by a close condom/pill if you have to message.

Thu, 17 May 2012 15:46:57 UTC | #942042

Peter Grant's Avatar Comment 9 by Peter Grant

Whether or not one abstains from sex should be a personal choice. Educators are there to teach the facts, not to promote their own personal values or any sort of "message".

Comment 8 by aquilacane

Abstinence is the best preventative method of birth control. For the girl in the photo to say "screw abstinence" I find a bit dumb and against the goal of sex education. I know she's trying to be sound bite-ishly cool, but it sucks as a message. "Screw abstinence only education" I can get behind but that's too long for a t-shirt, I guess. Abstinence should be the fist line education message followed by a close condom/pill if you have to message.

Thu, 17 May 2012 16:29:32 UTC | #942049

green and dying's Avatar Comment 10 by green and dying

Comment 8 by aquilacane :

Abstinence is the best preventative method of birth control. For the girl in the photo to say "screw abstinence" I find a bit dumb and against the goal of sex education. I know she's trying to be sound bite-ishly cool, but it sucks as a message. "Screw abstinence only education" I can get behind but that's too long for a t-shirt, I guess. Abstinence should be the fist line education message followed by a close condom/pill if you have to message.

'Most effective' doesn't necessarily mean 'best', though. The most effective way to not be in a car crash is to not travel by car but that's not really the best method.

I don't see why abstinence should be the main message but they should try to teach kids that there's nothing wrong or uncool about waiting if they want to.

Thu, 17 May 2012 16:30:14 UTC | #942050

littletrotsky13's Avatar Comment 11 by littletrotsky13

Many abstinence education programs make cheerful use of gender stereotypes. The Just Say Yes curriculum, used by twelve public school districts including Dallas’s exclusive Highland Park Independent School District, tells teens that abstinence means “you make a conscious decision to avoid turning others on,” and continues to explain that “if a guy is breathing, then he’s probably turned on.”

Therefore kill every male to stop them from being turned on.

That ought to work.

Thu, 17 May 2012 16:35:21 UTC | #942053

YHWH's Avatar Comment 12 by YHWH

LaurieB,

30 odd years ago, when I went to university, I was surprised to see a debate posted on the Christian Union notice board discussing 'sex before marriage'. It was an anachronism then. Half of America seems to be stuck in a time warp.

Thu, 17 May 2012 16:49:04 UTC | #942057

LaurieB's Avatar Comment 13 by LaurieB

YHWH

Stuck in a time warp and also the massive hypocrisy is killing me too. Everyone else should be pious and pure but they sure do like a little sumpthin on the side, don't they?

Thu, 17 May 2012 17:26:15 UTC | #942065

Alan4discussion's Avatar Comment 14 by Alan4discussion

I wonder if they will fund abstinence only driver instruction and abstinence only swimming instruction. After all - these activities can threaten your health!

Thu, 17 May 2012 17:35:51 UTC | #942068

Neodarwinian's Avatar Comment 15 by Neodarwinian

Misinformation about other STDs is also pervasive. Programs such as the Austin LifeGuard Character and Sexuality Education, used in ten school districts, teaches that there is “virtually no evidence” that condoms reduce the risk of the HPV (human papillomavirus) infection and alleges that “about a third” of all in vitro fertilizations can be linked to infertility caused by STD infections —in spite of evidence to the contrary from the American Society of Reproductive Medicine. At least one Texas curriculum, Wonderful Days, taught the dangerously false notion that “natural fertility regulation”— the rhythm method —has the “highest user effectiveness rate.” In an attempt to help students understand fertility, Wonderful Days offered an outlandish little rhyme: “If a woman is dry, the sperm will die. If a woman is wet, a baby she may get!”

What?!?!?

The sexist stereotyping does not concern me and that is Ms. magazine beating the ideological drum for all the wrong reasons. The above bold paragraph is so outre that if I had any hair left I would be pulling it out by the handfuls!

Thu, 17 May 2012 17:42:28 UTC | #942071

Red Dog's Avatar Comment 16 by Red Dog

Comment 8 by aquilacane :

Abstinence is the best preventative method of birth control. For the girl in the photo to say "screw abstinence" I find a bit dumb and against the goal of sex education. I know she's trying to be sound bite-ishly cool, but it sucks as a message. "Screw abstinence only education" I can get behind but that's too long for a t-shirt, I guess. Abstinence should be the fist line education message followed by a close condom/pill if you have to message.

I mostly agree. I think the shirt is funny but I sort of see your point. But I don't agree with the "condom/pill if you have to message" Perhaps I'm reading too much into your choice of words but it sounds as if you are saying we should tell kids that sex is something they should avoid but if they can't avoid it... I think sex is pretty f*ing awesome and if I tried to tell my daughter otherwise she is more than astute enough to know I'm feeding her a line of BS and will be less likely to listen to me from that point. I told her it can be great with the right person but she should definitely wait and find the right person and not rush into or be pressured into anything.

Thu, 17 May 2012 18:04:30 UTC | #942074

Corylus's Avatar Comment 17 by Corylus

Comment 15 by Neodarwinian :

Misinformation about other STDs is also pervasive. Programs such as the Austin LifeGuard Character and Sexuality Education, used in ten school districts, teaches that there is “virtually no evidence” that condoms reduce the risk of the HPV (human papillomavirus) infection and alleges that “about a third” of all in vitro fertilizations can be linked to infertility caused by STD infections —in spite of evidence to the contrary from the American Society of Reproductive Medicine. At least one Texas curriculum, Wonderful Days, taught the dangerously false notion that “natural fertility regulation”— the rhythm method —has the “highest user effectiveness rate.” In an attempt to help students understand fertility, Wonderful Days offered an outlandish little rhyme: “If a woman is dry, the sperm will die. If a woman is wet, a baby she may get!”

What?!?!?

The sexist stereotyping does not concern me and that is Ms. magazine beating the ideological drum for all the wrong reasons. The above bold paragraph is so outre that if I had any hair left I would be pulling it out by the handfuls!

I think you will find that Wonderful Days is referring to cervical mucus. The rhythm method is not only about counting - undignified self examination is often also advised. There are more technical links out there, but I didn't want to freak you out with visual links.

Ridiculous rhyme of course, there needs to be an explanation of the difference between cervical mucus and vaginal lubrication for this to make any sense whatsoever, otherwise all that is being advocated for is painful intercourse.

Thu, 17 May 2012 18:39:55 UTC | #942078

gordon's Avatar Comment 18 by gordon

Never liked abstinence. Still don't.

Thu, 17 May 2012 18:51:14 UTC | #942080

Peter Grant's Avatar Comment 19 by Peter Grant

LOL! :D

Comment 14 by Alan4discussion

I wonder if they will fund abstinence only driver instruction and abstinence only swimming instruction. After all - these activities can threaten your health!

Thu, 17 May 2012 19:03:33 UTC | #942083

aquilacane's Avatar Comment 20 by aquilacane

Comment 9 by Peter Grant

Whether or not one abstains from sex should be a personal choice. Educators are there to teach the facts, not to promote their own personal values or any sort of "message". I agree but I don't think teaching the fact that abstinence is the best way to not get pregnant is a personal value or specific message. It is just a fact.

Of course, and unmentioned in my previous post, I am all for a full and complete education about the facts of sexual reproduction, the human body and all that goes with it. I want sexually active children to be in the best position (no pun) to engage in safe sexual activity. I also want children to know and feel comfortable with the fact that abstinence is a fully acceptable and respectable solution to much of what makes sex unsafe… and not the only one.

But to say screw abstinence is like saying screw steel toe boots on the assembly line because there are other measures to prevent injury. Abstinence and abstinence education are not the problems, abstinence only education is the problem because we know kids are going to have sex whether we like it or not. Trust me, I know a lot of girls who practiced abstinence in high school and not because they were religious but because they were smart.

Thu, 17 May 2012 19:03:42 UTC | #942084

Peter Grant's Avatar Comment 21 by Peter Grant

Comment 20 by aquilacane

But to say screw abstinence is like saying screw steel toe boots on the assembly line because there are other measures to prevent injury.

I enjoy walking barefoot, but it's not quite the same as sex.

Abstinence and abstinence education are not the problems, abstinence only education is the problem because we know kids are going to have sex whether we like it or not.

What is "abstinence education"? You can educate kids about sex, but I don't see how you can educate them about abstinence.

Trust me, I know a lot of girls who practiced abstinence in high school and not because they were religious but because they were smart.

How does one practice abstinence?

Thu, 17 May 2012 22:09:49 UTC | #942102

Roedy's Avatar Comment 22 by Roedy

IIRC one African study showed that abstinence-only training was worse than no program at all. In other words, it helped the spread of HIV. The program is religious/ideological.

How could this be so? I will speculate that someone trained in abstinence-only would not have a condom nearby. When hormones finally overwhelmed, as they almost always do, he/she would go bareback.

People who demand abstinence only must have amnesia. They must have forgotten the way your penis drags you around like a tractor when you are a teen. Threat of death is nowhere near sufficient to suppress it. It requires threat of torture, and even then ...

Thu, 17 May 2012 22:24:05 UTC | #942107

ShadowMind's Avatar Comment 23 by ShadowMind

Some of these religious 'preachers' of abstinence are getting pretty much Islamic in their outlook:
"Men are uncontrollable, so women must be shrouded and hidden away".
And the more forbidden you make something, the more people (teenagers in particular) are going to want to try it.
The "Screw Abstinence" t-shirt is meant to be ironic:
Screw = euphemism for having sex
Abstinence = not having sex.

Fri, 18 May 2012 00:06:26 UTC | #942112

coke-roach's Avatar Comment 24 by coke-roach

no marriage before sex!!! =;–)

cheers,

π.

Fri, 18 May 2012 00:50:18 UTC | #942120

Cartomancer's Avatar Comment 25 by Cartomancer

One problem with discussions of this topic, it seems to me, is quite what people understand by the term "abstinence".

I find it somewhat unhelpful to define "abstaining" from something as simply "not doing it". Abstinence, surely, is not doing something in the specific case that you actually could do it and want to do it.

It would sound incredibly peculiar to say that I abstain from mountain climbing, speaking Spanish or having sex. I have no interest at all in mountain climbing, I can't speak Spanish, and although I want sex I am too repulsive to get any. I don't do any of these things, but I don't abstain from them either.

Which, I think, is an important distinction to make in terms of sex education. What we should be aiming for is to teach people the facts and help them to develop healthy decision-making and critical faculties when it comes to deciding whether, when and how to tackle the sex thing. Young people shouldn't "abstain" from sex, they should have the confidence and understanding of the situation to decide that it's not something they feel comfortable doing until the time is right. Choosing not to have sex because it might be risky is not "abstaining" from sex, it's not actually wanting that sex in the first place. Yeah, people get horny, but that's not the sole contributor to their decision-making.

So yes, I do think "abstinence" is not a helpful word in this context. Particularly given the unfortunate connotations the word has with such creepy religious practises as fasting, monastic asceticism and the lauding of poverty and punishment.

Fri, 18 May 2012 01:01:30 UTC | #942121

Border Collie's Avatar Comment 26 by Border Collie

Sex? What's that? Maybe some of you young guys remember?

I think I'm practicing abstinence and, apparently, I'm getting pretty damned good at it!

Fri, 18 May 2012 01:48:39 UTC | #942132

Klaasjansch's Avatar Comment 27 by Klaasjansch

If you don't want to have sex before marriage, just don't get married and have all the fun you want...

But seriously, this is just another tradition gone haywire. I used to believe in marriage. Really, it seemed something nice and warm. Well it was, for a while and then it just became another way of living. It didn't suck or anything but there was nothing special let alone holy about it.

I look at marriage differently now. The more I thing about it, the more I think marriage is about divide and conquer techniques practiced by religious powers. Just think about it, who will be stronger, a group of people sticking together, or a small family (you know, mom dad and the kids)? Furthermore, women are much more powerful together than separated from each other as wives. In bonobo groups the women stick together which gives them power over the males as Frans de Waal pointed out in his studies. It's also a much more peaceful society with, there it is, a lot of sex.

So to me marriage is a way to control people. There's nothing romantic or holy about it.

Fri, 18 May 2012 09:15:58 UTC | #942152

Peter Grant's Avatar Comment 28 by Peter Grant

Screw Abstinence http://flic.kr/p/3v7F4

Looks like this photo was taken back in 2005. Please RT.

Fri, 18 May 2012 10:15:27 UTC | #942155

sheepcat's Avatar Comment 29 by sheepcat

This is a really interesting area in terms of western morality and something that as the father to two daughters fascinates me.

Where does the hostility against sex come from, it is purely religious prejudice, I hate it.

The WORST thing you can ever tell your kids is that sex and love are two halves of the same thing, utter rubbish. Sex is fun. It is the most fun 2 (or more) humans can have together. When the time comes I plan to educate my girls in how to stay safe and then hope they go out and enjoy one of the most rewarding things that life has to offer, lots of varied sex. The last thing I want them to do is think they have to be in love first, that is a recipe for pregnancy and early marriage to the wrong person.

I am offended on a daily basis by the levels of violence on TV, in kids shows (my youngest is 4) there is plenty of violence, I hope my daughters go through life experiencing zero violence, whereas I hope that they have wonderful fulfilling sex lives, why is sex so much more censored on tv?

It is way past time that we all grew up and accepted that sex is not dirty or shameful in anyway.

Please everyone go have sex right now, it really is ok you know!

Fri, 18 May 2012 11:23:31 UTC | #942161

sheepcat's Avatar Comment 30 by sheepcat

So to me marriage is a way to control people. There's nothing romantic or holy about it

Are you married?

People talk a lot of rubbish about marriage, ultimately it is a personal choice and that is the end of it.

Marriage is great if it is for you, I have been married 7 years and with my wife 12, a lot of it has been hard but so what, science is hard is that a reason to give up? All of the most rewarding things in life are hard and require patience and dedication.

Marriage is not about ownership or contracts or pieces of paper.

Marriage is about standing up in front of your family and friends and celebrating your love for another human being, what is so wrong with that? It is brave and admirable and if you have kids it represents far less of a commitment than the little humans you are jointly responsible for.

Can anyone explain what is so wrong with celebrating your love for another person?

Fri, 18 May 2012 11:48:02 UTC | #942165