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Silver Ring Thing

Legolam

Ad astra per aspera
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I really need to rant about this topic, so bear with me. I thought this was probably the best place for it too, as there's only a finite number of people I can offend :) .

Last night, I watched part of a documentary on an American organisation called "The Silver Ring Thing". It's a group that get tons of American tax-payer money to promote abstinence-only sex education. Here's a bit of info:
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/programmes/this_world/3412783.stm

I can only say this is the worst thing I've ever heard. I was actually shouting at my TV last night, and that doesn't happen as often as you'd think. Abstinence programs like this receive $120b every year from the government, whilst no money whatsoever is put into charities supporting other forms of education. I don't have a problem with having abstinence-only education, as long as it is paired with good information. The group I saw last night peddled downright lies in order to scare impressionable youngsters.

One of these lies was that condoms only protect men, or the assumption that disease goes away when you're married. Furthermore, the head of this organisation spent his free time in his back garden, trying to hit geese in a pond with golf balls. Very Christian.

Sure, abstinence works. That is, if it is abided by. If it isn't, then these groups are letting a whole generation grow up without the right information, putting them at more risk of disease, pregnancy and shame. And if you want proof that it doesn't work for America:

Teenage Pregnancy Rates per 1000:
Russia - 101.7
United States - 83.6
Bulgaria - 83.3
England and Wales - 46.9
Australia - 43.7
Sweden - 24.9
Netherlands - 12.2
Source: Alan Guttmacher Institute 2000

And look at the bottom of the list - the country with the most liberal attitude to sex in the world. A lesson to be learnt?
 

Snaga

The Usual Suspect
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I totally agree Legolam.:) State-sponsored bigotry...:(
 

Finduilas

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Bulgaria - 83.3
Hmm...it is true that more and more teenagers are getting pregant or at least have faced this "problem" at younger age in Bulgaria. For instance, I have friends (15, even 14 years old) who have had the "trouble" of going to gyneacologists even though the examinations were fortunate for them...
And yet, I have t agree with you, Legolam! It's no fair to get money out of this "age problem". As Snaga said : a complete state-sponsored bigotry!
It is a problem for a teenager of the age of 15 or even 16 but this is his/her own problem and their parents'. It's about education and brought-up, not about organisations, agitations and memberships...Not at all!
 

Niniel

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I didn't know the teenage pregnancy rate in the Netherlands was the lowest, but indeed it is very low. However, it is rising among immigrants form poorer countries who live here, who don't have as much education as Dutch teenagers do. So I think the real solution to the problem is: tell kids the truth. If you tell them about sex, how you can get pregnant, and how you can avoid becoming pregnant, and about sexually transmitted diseases and how to avoid those, kids are smart enough to draw their own conclusion. They know they don't want to get pregnant or contract a disease, so they do what is necessary to avoid these things. If adults start to make sex a big mystery, something that is dangerous and should not be practiced at all, what will kids do? Exactly: do it anyway, and without the right education about the risks involved. So just be honest to children, tell them the truth, and let them deal with the information they got in the way they seem fit, and the least trouble will arise.
 

Finduilas

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Yes, it is a a way of dealing with the issue and yet it would be if children didn't know everything about sex! They know it before they had turned 10 and general stuff...no, they know details (I won't get into them now;)). Not only sex, but also drugs as well as smoking. Once (I'm sorry for dropping of th etopic but it's an interesting and concerning example) a boy who in myopinion wasn't even 10 but younger stopped me in the park and asked me if I had a light for his cigarette?!
Imagine?
And it is the same with sex.
 

Niniel

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Yes, but not all kids are like that. Most teenagers I know are perfectly respectable, hard-working kids who do their best at school or at work, and have respectable hobbies in their leisure time, without turning to sex or smoking (tobacco or pot). In my high school, most people hadn't had even one boyfriend or girlfriend before they were 17 years old; only then they started to give attention to the other sexe. Maybe the people I know are not representative for the general population, but I refuse to believe that all Dutch teenagers are pot-smoking criminals who have a different sexual partner each night, cause I know they're not (and actually it makes me mad if I hear such things). Most of them don't know everything about sex, just what they are taught in biology class. And if they see some things on tv that they're not supposed to see, whose fault is that? That of the tv makers and of their parents who let them see such things, not of the children themselves.
 

Finduilas

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but I refuse to believe that all Dutch teenagers are pot-smoking criminals who have a different sexual partner each night
Yes, of course. I don't either say that most Bulgarian teenagers are like this but all they know evrything about sex, drugs and alcohol before the age of 12-13, 14 the most!
That's the way. Most of them (Bulgarians I mean, so most of us) are respectful as you said and do have educational hobbies, ambitions, etc. but it is a fact that they are aware of the world of "vices" in a very early age.
 

Melian Le Fay

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I cannot believe that a country like America, which calls itself democratic and progressive could support something so close-minded and radical! I understand and respect people who believe in sex-in-marriage-only, but giving wrong, medeivial-age information, actually deceiving people is just plain wrong. Can you imagine all those young people who will rush into marriage... because of sex? I mean, c'mon... if man kind could restrain itself from sex, we wouldn't be where we are... and we wouldn't need these groups!
But I'm afraid such radical close-minded people often use deception to help their "cause". It's not only in sex education, but in every sphere of social life, like politics, especially. grrrr.... :mad:
 

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