culture, politics, commentary, criticism

Wednesday, March 10, 2004
Religiosity and lying. Faith-based lying is an epidemic (
American teenagers who take the pledge to remain virgins until they marry have almost the same rate of sexually transmitted disease as other young people, a new study of adolescent behaviour says.

The finding destroys a key rationale for the abstinence crusade - that it prevents disease - and poses a strong challenge to a social engineering project that has been embraced by the White House.

The eight-year study of 12,000 young people by two American sociologists found that the graduates of abstinence programmes were nearly as likely as other young people to catch sexually transmitted infections such as gonorrhoea or chlamydia.

Other findings, yet to be published, also suggest that abstinence programmes do not prevent early pregnancy, Hannah Bruckner, a sociologist at Yale University and co-author of the study, said.

That challenges the very underpinnings of a movement that has attracted 2.5 million American teenagers in recent years, and which is endorsed by church organisations and the Christian right.

Few of those teenagers continue to save themselves for marriage - 88% have sex before they reach the altar. However, the study found they start having sex later and have fewer partners than other teenagers.

Even so, Dr Bruckner said she was initially surprised to discover that there was virtually no statistical difference in their susceptibility to infection. That was because such teenagers are less likely to use condoms, and are less aware of sexually transmitted infections, largely because they have been indoctrinated to believe they are not going to have sex.

Under US law, abstinence programmes risk losing federal funding if they stray into the realm of sex education. Church-based abstinence programmes are openly hostile to condoms and preach that they do not guard against disease.
They can deny reality as loudly as they like, but sex among head-burying ostriches still carries a big whoops! factor.

Greatest Hits · Alternatives to First Command Financial Planning · First Command, last resort, Part 3 · Part 2 · Part 1 · Stealing $50K from a widow: Wells Real Estate · Leo Wells, REITs and divine wealth · Sex-crazed Red State teenagers · What I hate: a manifesto · Spawn of Darleen Druyun · All-American high school sex party · Why is Ken Lay smiling? · Poppy's Enron birthday party · The Saudi money laundry and the president's uncle · The sentence of Enron's John Forney · The holiness of Neil Bush's marriage · The Silence of Cheney: a poem · South Park Christians · Capitalist against Bush: Warren Buffett · Fastow childen vs. Enron children · Give your prescription money to your old boss · Neil Bush, hard-working matchmaker · Republicans against fetuses and pregnant women · Emboldened Ken Lay · Faith-based jails · Please die for me so I can skip your funeral · A brief illustrated history of the Republican Party · Nancy Victory · Soldiers become accountants · Beware the Merrill Lynch mob · Darleen Druyun's $5.7 billion surprise · First responder funding · Hoovering the country · First Command fifty percent load · Ken Lay and the Atkins diet · Halliburton WMD · Leave no CEO behind · August in Crawford · Elaine Pagels · Profitable slave labor at Halliburton · Tom Hanks + Mujahideen · Sharon & Neilsie Bush · One weekend a month, or eternity · Is the US pumping Iraqi oil to Kuwait? · Cheney's war · Seth Glickenhaus: Capitalist against Bush · Martha's blow job · Mark Belnick: Tyco Catholic nut · Cheney's deferred Halliburton compensation · Jeb sucks sugar cane · Poindexter & LifeLog · American Family Association panic · Riley Bechtel and the crony economy · The Book of Sharon (Bush) · The Art of Enron · Plunder convention · Waiting in Kuwait: Jay Garner · What's an Army private worth? · Barbara Bodine, Queen of Baghdad · Sneaky bastards at Halliburton · Golf course and barbecue military strategy · Enron at large · Recent astroturf · Cracker Chic 2 · No business like war business · Big Brother · Martha Stewart vs. Thomas White · Roger Kimball, disappointed Republican poetry fan · Cheney, Lay, Afghanistan · Terry Lynn Barton, crimes of burning · Feasting at the Cheney trough · Who would Jesus indict? · Return of the Carlyle Group · Duct tape is for little people · GOP and bad medicine · Sears Tower vs Mt Rushmore · Scared Christians · Crooked playing field · John O'Neill: The man who knew · Back to the top

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