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Old 06-14-2008, 12:25 PM   #31
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Not to sound preachy here, but the amount of people who have contracted STD's is alarming. One in four young women have had at least one of the A to Z diseases. One in five adults has herpes.

Abstinence may not be a bad idea, just from a health point of view. Cervical Cancer is on the rise, and it isn't with women who are my age. Fifty and over. The women who will get this are much younger. Surgery is a cure, childbirth will not be an option.
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Old 06-15-2008, 12:01 PM   #32
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Not to sound preachy here, but the amount of people who have contracted STD's is alarming. One in four young women have had at least one of the A to Z diseases. One in five adults has herpes.

Abstinence may not be a bad idea, just from a health point of view. Cervical Cancer is on the rise, and it isn't with women who are my age. Fifty and over. The women who will get this are much younger. Surgery is a cure, childbirth will not be an option.


there's an HPV vaccination.
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Old 06-15-2008, 04:10 PM   #33
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there's an HPV vaccination.
But unfortunately it only protects against 4 kinds of HPV. Those 4 do account for 70% of the types that cause cancer but there still is a risk.

I've never heard of these pledges before this but my gut reaction is that pledges work for those inclined to keep them. We all know people who decide to get in shape and join a gym or buy a treadmill and six weeks later they've been to the gym twice and there are sweaters drying on the treadmill.

It's unfortunate there are many teens who don't have supportive families and use intimate relationships as a substitute for love, concern and support.
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Old 06-15-2008, 05:13 PM   #34
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I've never heard of these pledges before this but my gut reaction is that pledges work for those inclined to keep them. We all know people who decide to get in shape and join a gym or buy a treadmill and six weeks later they've been to the gym twice and there are sweaters drying on the treadmill.
Right, that's why I find the pressure to do the pledges rather silly. Having gone to private schools, there was no shortage of "pledge" experiences for me. For those that kept them, did they really keep them simply because of the act of making some pledge? I don't think so. They must have had good reasons to abstain, regardless of whether a pledge was explicitly made. That, and pretty much everyone I know that made such a pledge did NOT keep it (sort of like all the people I know that were always into those experiences where they would "give their hearts back to Christ" and then the next day be telling their mom they hated her or cutting their friend down behind her back....).
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Old 06-15-2008, 07:29 PM   #35
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I can appreciate that with something like getting in shape, making a formal 'pledge,' setting a goal and timeline for yourself, can for some people be the thing that finally motivates them to go out and do it, whereas no amount of "having good reasons" seemed to be doing the trick for them. I don't really see 'pledging' not to have sex until marriage (or until age __, or until I've completed X level of education, or until I'm in my first Really Serious Relationship) as being particularly analogous, though--that's not really about some 'achievement' you rack up purely as an ambition for yourself; it's more about your relationships to others and how you define your boundaries relative to them. I've never personally known anyone who made one of these 'virginity pledges' (that I know of, anyway) so I may not be well-placed to judge, but just on the face of it, I dislike the idea as a means; it sounds like it entails conceiving of yourself as an object that 'ought to be' maintained in a certain state, and it seems to me that that's at best an ineffective and at worst a harmful way to come to terms with yourself as a sexual and social being.
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Old 06-15-2008, 10:29 PM   #36
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there's an HPV vaccination.
True, I am fully aware of this, but it will not protect against the other STD's including Hiv/Aids. Condoms are still the best protection.
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Old 06-15-2008, 11:25 PM   #37
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The vaccination is better protection against HPV than a condom.
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Old 06-15-2008, 11:31 PM   #38
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Well, my question is this: what's the best way of preventing disease in general? Knowledge of how the disease is transmitted, functional knowledge of preventative measures, and how those measures can succeed or fail, followed by informed action? Or is it something else? Denial?

If you can reduce your chance of catching some sort of bacterial infection by washing your hands after touching known contaminated objects, you tend to wash your hands and prevent it. If it's unknown, sometimes you wash just to be safe. It isn't a guarantee because sometimes you still get sick, either because you contracted the disease through a means other than touch, or from a lack of rigor in hygiene. You can also choose not to wash at all and take the risk full-on. Generally, though, you don't refuse to touch objects or cut off your hands as a way of preventing the possibility of disease you know you can get by physical contact, whether the possibility for infection is or is not present (which it isn't always) in the first place.

Now, STIs/STDs, many are virii you can't merely wash away, and likewise your body isn't able to just 'fight it off' the same way it can overcome a bacterial infection from food or whatever. However, knowing how STIs/STDs are passed through sex, the signs and symptoms, knowing your partner and their sexual history, how to prevent transmission, how preventative measures can fail, and how to properly use contraceptive devices and all that... I feel it just makes more sense than drawing the line at 'abstinence only'. Pushing these pledges on kids without giving them that knowledge is just to pull a veil over abstinence only education and call it free-will.

I further suggest that the rates of infection cited earlier in this thread are the product of ignorance in society at large, and the product of abstinence only "education" programs -- to refer to the original analogy, this technique amounts to the 'refusing to touch objects' method of disease control. Most of us don't go through life without touching.

Bring me a statistic that offers up the % of society who die without ever having had sex, and then tell me that it wouldn't be useful for people to know their options and weigh them accordingly. Most people will have sex. Period. Instead of allowing them to fly into it blindly, someone needs to provide the tools that will allow them to proceed safely since in their ignorance they may not know that they are putting themselves in danger to begin with.

However, from what I know of the education system in the States (more limited) and the Canadian Catholic school board, there is next-to-no real 'education' about sexual health taking place. As my best friend's girlfriend said, her in-class education re: sex was summarised best as "this is sex. Don't have it".


Incidentally, while I find it frustrating that morality always seems to end up saturating discussions on this and similar topics, I don't believe that someone can make a moral decision without also making an informed decision. The safe decision must be the informed decision also. Here, if it must be a moral decision, it is no less one of safety, and I feel knowledge cannot be dispensed with. It simply isn't an option.
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Old 06-16-2008, 03:06 AM   #39
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However, from what I know of the education system in the States (more limited) and the Canadian Catholic school board, there is next-to-no real 'education' about sexual health taking place. As my best friend's girlfriend said, her in-class education re: sex was summarised best as "this is sex. Don't have it".
Sex education - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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Almost all U.S. students receive some form of sex education at least once between grades 7 and 12; many schools begin addressing some topics as early as grades 5 or 6. However, what students learn varies widely, because curriculum decisions are so decentralized. Many states have laws governing what is taught in sex education classes or allowing parents to opt out. Some state laws leave curriculum decisions to individual school districts.

For example, a 1999 study by the Guttmacher Institute found that most U.S. sex education courses in grades 7 through 12 cover puberty, HIV, STIs, abstinence, implications of teenage pregnancy, and how to resist peer pressure. Other studied topics, such as methods of birth control and infection prevention, sexual orientation, sexual abuse, and factual and ethical information about abortion, varied more widely.

Two main forms of sex education are taught in American schools: comprehensive and abstinence-only. Comprehensive sex education covers abstinence as a positive choice, but also teaches about contraception and avoidance of STIs when sexually active. A 2002 study conducted by the Kaiser Family Foundation found that 58% of secondary school principals describe their sex education curriculum as comprehensive.

Abstinence-only sex education tells teenagers that they should be sexually abstinent until marriage and does not provide information about contraception. In the Kaiser study, 34% of high-school principals said their school's main message was abstinence-only.
This is really a separate topic from 'virginity pledges' though.
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Old 06-16-2008, 09:28 PM   #40
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Sex education - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia



This is really a separate topic from 'virginity pledges' though.

Yeah, I didn't really want to go in that direction, but I didn't want to discount it ire: informed choices. The lady mentioned is from Ohio, and she said that in spite of curriculum, the actual information being passed to students was somewhere between none and almost none. Before lauding an act of will, I'd rather ensure that it's not an act of ignorance.
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Old 06-16-2008, 09:35 PM   #41
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^ That's why I think sex education and these "virginity pledges" are really related on a bigger scale. Abstinence-only people encourage ignorance, thinking it will lead to no sex. The only good choice is an informed choice.
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Old 06-19-2008, 08:42 AM   #42
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Just when you think you've heard it all..how sad, to feel you have to do such a thing do such a thing in order to get unconditional love. And to think that will get you that and nothing else.


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Wednesday, Jun. 18, 2008
Pregnancy Boom at Gloucester High
By Kathleen Kingsbury

As summer vacation begins, 17 girls at Gloucester High School are expecting babies—more than four times the number of pregnancies the 1,200-student school had last year. Some adults dismissed the statistic as a blip. Others blamed hit movies like Juno and Knocked Up for glamorizing young unwed mothers. But principal Joseph Sullivan knows at least part of the reason there's been such a spike in teen pregnancies in this Massachusetts fishing town. School officials started looking into the matter as early as October after an unusual number of girls began filing into the school clinic to find out if they were pregnant. By May, several students had returned multiple times to get pregnancy tests, and on hearing the results, "some girls seemed more upset when they weren't pregnant than when they were," Sullivan says. All it took was a few simple questions before nearly half the expecting students, none older than 16, confessed to making a pact to get pregnant and raise their babies together. Then the story got worse. "We found out one of the fathers is a 24-year-old homeless guy," the principal says, shaking his head.

The question of what to do next has divided this fiercely Catholic enclave. Even with national data showing a 3% rise in teen pregnancies in 2006—the first increase in 15 years—Gloucester isn't sure it wants to provide easier access to birth control. In any case, many residents worry that the problem goes much deeper. The past decade has been difficult for this mostly white, mostly blue-collar city (pop. 30,000). In Gloucester, perched on scenic Cape Ann, the economy has always depended on a strong fishing industry. But in recent years, such jobs have all but disappeared overseas, and with them much of the community's wherewithal. "Families are broken," says school superintendent Christopher Farmer. "Many of our young people are growing up directionless."

The girls who made the pregnancy pact—some of whom, according to Sullivan, reacted to the news that they were expecting with high fives and plans for baby showers—declined to be interviewed. So did their parents. But Amanda Ireland, who graduated from Gloucester High on June 8, thinks she knows why these girls wanted to get pregnant. Ireland, 18, gave birth her freshman year and says some of her now pregnant schoolmates regularly approached her in the hall, remarking how lucky she was to have a baby. "They're so excited to finally have someone to love them unconditionally," Ireland says. "I try to explain it's hard to feel loved when an infant is screaming to be fed at 3 a.m."

The high school has done perhaps too good a job of embracing young mothers. Sex-ed classes end freshman year at Gloucester, where teen parents are encouraged to take their children to a free on-site day-care center. Strollers mingle seamlessly in school hallways among cheerleaders and junior ROTC. "We're proud to help the mothers stay in school," says Sue Todd, CEO of Pathways for Children, which runs the day-care center.

But by May, after nurse practitioner Kim Daly had administered some 150 pregnancy tests at Gloucester High's student clinic, she and the clinic's medical director, Dr. Brian Orr, a local pediatrician, began to advocate prescribing contraceptives regardless of parental consent, a practice at about 15 public high schools in Massachusetts. Currently Gloucester teens must travel about 20 miles (30 km) to reach the nearest women's health clinic; younger girls have to get a ride or take the train and walk. But the notion of a school handing out birth control pills has met with hostility. Says Mayor Carolyn Kirk: "Dr. Orr and Ms. Daly have no right to decide this for our children." The pair resigned in protest on May 30.

Gloucester's elected school committee plans to vote later this summer on whether to provide contraceptives. But that won't do much to solve the issue of teens wanting to get pregnant. Says rising junior Kacia Lowe, who is a classmate of the pactmakers': "No one's offered them a better option." And better options may be a tall order in a city so uncertain of its future.
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Old 06-19-2008, 11:16 AM   #43
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I couldn't believe that when I read it. How lonely - or angry or whatever - are these girls to think that a baby would fulfill all their emotional needs?
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Old 06-19-2008, 02:08 PM   #44
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I couldn't believe that when I read it. How lonely - or angry or whatever - are these girls to think that a baby would fulfill all their emotional needs?
Indeed. Shitty parenting passed from generation to generation. The parents would rather have their children give birth than use birth control.
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Old 06-19-2008, 02:53 PM   #45
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I've never heard of pregnancy pacts. I'm sure it happens, but I don't think that represents the average teenage girl's motives for becoming sexually active. I think virginity pledges are far more common.
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