If so called safer sex practices and condoms really worked the epidemic would be over.
If condoms and safe sex practices didn't work the rate of HIV infection and AIDS deaths would be a damned sight higher than they are now.
For so called safer sex practices and condoms to work they need to be used diligently. Such diligence is not within human nature.
I will stipulate that safe sex requires diligence, but chastity is also not within human nature. We are sexual creatures. Get over it.
Where are the stats proving your little process works?
The stats go the other way. The stats actually show that condom use, learned as part of a system of comprehensive sex ed, keep rates of STD transmission and unwanted pregnancies way down. But only in Europe. These stats do not apply within the jurisdiction of the United States government, of course, because they do not support the a priori assumptions of the ultra-self-righteous.
In many European countries, where teens have as much sex as in America, sex ed starts in the earliest grades. It is informed by no-nonsense, even enthusiastic, attitude toward the sexual; it is explicit; and it doesn't teach abstinence. Rates of unwanted teen pregnancy, abortion, and AIDS in every Western European country are a fraction of our own; the average age of first intercourse is about the same as in the United States. --Judith Levine, Harmful to Minors, pg 101/102
Kids should be made aware of all the options, from chastity to using protection. I think kids should be encouraged to abstain from sex while in their teens, not because I'm a prude or sexually conservative, but because I think they're not mature enough.
Ah, but that is society's fault. Consider this:
Sexual pleasure is one aspect of self-knowledge and personal power. While parents and teachers emphasize restraint in the teen years, the threshold years surely offer opportunity for a broader discussion of feelings. This is a time when young people want to process their experiences and put it in a wider human context: "Which of my experiences are shared by others and which are unique to me?" they ask. "How do I handle my sexual feeling when they seem at odds with my emotional bond to someone?" they wonder.
In engaging in new discussions with our young adult sons and daughters, we should stand back to assess how we usually engage in sex talks with them. Teenage and thresholder sex is usually presented as full of impulse and passion, recklessly driven by hormones. The assumption that young people are in danger of being swept away by passion leads to a bias in what they are taught. They are warned to be safe and careful and restrained. They are told of their right to say no but not told how to identify the desire to say yes. --Terri Apter, The Myth of Maturity, pg 123
Then, to, we don't bring them up to be mature enough; au contraire, North American society does everything possible to ensure that children do not mature into adults. In her book, Apter cited a longitudinal study of some thirty thousand adults which showed they had an average emotional age of sixteen in middle age.
The upshot of it is, our systems of "childhood" and of "education", and Abstinence-only Ignorance even more so, violate concepts of biology, psychology, sociology, and anthropology. In short: they are well-intentioned but societally self-destructive behaviours.
It seems the accepted, standard refrain since Dr. Elders tenure as Surgeon General has been "If you're going to do it, then use a condom." I've never understood this rationale.(for teenagers that is)
Tomeboy, what conservatives don't like is not that teenagers are having sex nearly so much as the fact that those teenagers are not under the oppressive thumb of some dogma. Here's a clue: in a free country like the United States is supposed to be: It's not your life, it's not your choice, it's none of your business.
You don't have to like the choices somebody else makes for his- or herself, but if you unilaterally appoint yourself as being responsible for that person then you reduce that person to the status of chattel.
And define your terms. One of the obfuscations of the ultra-conservatives is to use the term "teenager" even when the age of majority is 18. Eighteen and nineteen year olds are legal adults in many jurisdictions for all that they are still teenagers. If you're going to talk about minors then call them that. (And yes, there are "religous" groups who attack teenage legal adults for their behaviour.)
Let's be honest. The price for sex (teens) can be emotionally destructive, if not deadly.
Can be, yes. But for whom? Those whose parents raised them to maturity and taught them how to make choices for themselves? Or for those who were raised in ignorance? How about those who were lied to and led to believe that using condoms is a waste of time anyway because condoms don't work.
In the Netherlands, where celibacy is not taught, contraception is free through the national health service, and condoms are widely available in vending machines, "teenage pregnancy seems virtually eliminated as a health and social problem," [...]. Fewer than one percent of Dutch fifteen- to seventeen-year-olds become pregnant each year. [...]
There may even be an inverse relationship between abstinence education and declining rates of pregnancy. For one thing, because many abstinence programs teach kids that refraining from intercourse is the only surefire way to prevent pregnancy and vastly exaggerate the failures of contraception and condoms, sutdents get the impression that birth control and STD prevention methods don't work. So they shrug off using them or don't know how to use them. Contraception education, on the other hand, works: teens who learn about birth control and condoms are 70 to 80 percent more likely to protect themselves if they have intercourse than kids who are not given such lessons. --Judith Levine, Harmful to Minors, pg 112
Let's all hear it for Abstinence-only Ignorance.
Condom campaigns implicitly reinforce the decision to have sex for the unitiated.
That's an egregious piece of bovine scatology. You are parroting one of the biggest lies in the U.S. today. See the Levine quote from pg 101/102.
Teen sex is a bad and potentially life changing decision.
Dreck. This is such a load of crap. Your life changes every day. You get older, you learn new things (or, at least, you are supposed to), and you have new experiences. Nobody is the same person toda they were yesterday. Losing your cherry is part of life. Fucking is part of life. Getting knocked up can be part of it too. It might not make for the best circumstances, but it is still a life.
Change it? From what? You ever know anybody besides George Bailey who went running around saying how an angel showed him how everybody's life would different from one small change? Nobody's life goes backward and changes and they get to live a different life. Your future is plotted from what you do today, and you are stuck with it, but it is still a life.
Over the past two centuries, the moral judges have moved from the pulpit to the clinic. As the medical historian Peter Conrad put it, "badness" has been rewritten as "illness." The process has not been thoroughgoing. Alcoholism, once a moral failure, is now treated as a disease, while drug addiction is still punished as a transgression, with harsh prison sentences mandated for anyone who even posseses illegal drugs, whether or not they've committed an act of violence to pay for them. The category of childhood "sexual behavior problems," with its healers' obsessive atttention to excess and its dire predictions of future misery, is a reincarnation of the eighteenth- and nineteenth-century "disease" of masturbation insanity, crossed with the Progressive Era criminal designation "sexual precociousness" and the late-twentieth-century crime of sexual abuse, with a dollop of the popularly designated affliction "sex addiction" thrown in as well. --Judith Levine, Harmful to Minors, pg 66
walk away from titillation, become a pop culture dropout
Try it sometime instead of just parroting bankrupt dogma.
"Nunneries, chastity belts"? Why are the girls being singled out for this coercer abstinence? Boys are half the problem! ;)
Only half? You are too kind. :-)
"Women need an excuse to have sex, men just need a place."
To treat your question as other than rhetorical, however, it is the nature of oppressive conservatism to single out women. Such movements are typically patriarchic in nature, and male sexuality and expression is considered "safe", whereas the expression of female sexuality is forbidden. In Islamist regimes, it is men who lust for women, but women who must wear the burqa and avert their eyes from the gaze of men. In "christian" regimes their reproductive faculties are enslaved.
Sociologist Maria Mies explains the invisibility of reproductive labor this way: "All labour that goes into the production of life, including the labour of giving birth to a child, is not seen as the conscious interaction of a human being with nature, that is a truly human activity, but rather as an activity of nature." In other words, women are assumed to be in the grip of forces beyond our control, even though we are expected to be individually responsbile for the consequences of our reproductive acts -- the worst of both worlds. It's one more motive for women to control our own bodies. Only the ability to say "no" forces others (as well as ourselves) to experience "yes" as a conscious act.
This is the deep economics of patriarchy: the valuing of male-style "production" but not female-style "reproduction." Women aren't supposed to be free agents who can bargain with our reproductive cartel. That's something patriarchal politicians recognize every time they vote against their own monetary self-interest by refusing to spend a small amount on contraception and abortion as part of the health care system in the U.S., knowing that unwanted births will cost hundreds of times more in the long run. For women to have the power of choice, the power to decide if our bodies will reproduce, would mean that we had taken control of the means of reproduction -- and this control is the bottom line of patriarchy. --Gloria Steinem, Revaluing Economics, and reprinted in Beyond Words, pg 221
Probably, hanging on to the past brings more destruction than any other single cause. It's the strict constructionists who prefer a literal U.S. Constitution to the mechanisms for change that were the greatest creation of its framers. It's the Muslim fundamentalists who worship the past and ignore the reformist spirit with which Muhammad viewed women. It's the backward-looking Christian literalists who interpret religious teaching in a way that consolidates their power. It's the fearful politicians who cite the "good old days" and tell us we're going to hell in a handbasket. Nostalgia may be the most tempting and deceptive form of opposition to change. In truth, no day or situation is identical with any other. To resist this constancy of change is to be as ridiculous as I was when I sat in front with a New York taxi driver. It's to be as dangerous as fundamentalists who bring glorification of death out of the past and into a nuclear present.
Clinging to the past is the problem. Embracing change is the solution.
--Gloria Steinem, Doing Sixty, and reprinted in Beyond Words, pg 274
I used to think I would be rewarded for good behavior. Therefore, if I wasn't understood, I must not be understandable; if I wasn't successful, I must try harder; if something was wrong, it was my fault. More and more now, I see that context is all. When someone judges me, anyone, or anything, I ask: Compared to what? When I see on television a series about children of divorce, for instance, I find myself asking: What about a series on children of marriage? When a woman fears the punishmements from calling herslf a feminist, I ask Will you be so unpunished if you don't? When I fear conflict and condemnation for acting a certain way, I think: What peace or praise would I get if I didn't?
I recommend the freedom that comes from asking: Compared to what? Hierarchical systems prevail by making us feel inadequate and imperfect, whatever we do so we will internalize the blame. But once we realize there is no such thing as adequacy or perfection, it sets us free to say: We might as well be who we really are.
--Gloria Steinem, Doing Sixty, and reprinted in Beyond Words, pg 282-283
And if anybody wants a good giggle, try this on for size; some of these are hilarious:
[Here, according to the popular conservative-Christian-authored Sex Respect, are a few of the hazards of nonmarital sex:]
Pregnancy, AIDS, guilt, herpes, disappointed parents, chalmydia, inability to concentrate on school, syphilis, embarrassment, abortion, shotgun wedding, gonorrhea, selfishness, pelvic inflamatory disease, heartbreak, infertility, loneliness, cervical cancer, poverty, loss of self-esteem, loss of reputation, being used, suicide, substance abuse, melancholy, loss of faith, possessiveness, diminished ability to communicate, isolation, fewer friendships formed, rebellion against other familial standards, alienation, loss of self-mastery, distrust of [other] sex, viewing others as sex objects, difficulty with long term commitments, various other sexual transmitted diseases, aggression toward women, ectopic pregnancy, sexual violence, loss of sense of responsibility toward others, loss of honesty, jealousy, depression, death. --Sex Respect, and repinted in Harmful to Minors, pg 105/106