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"No Condom For the Heart." Does Abstinence Education Work?

"No Condom For the Heart." Does Abstinence Education Work?

No-nookie talk is breeding like rabbits! The New York Times magazine section this weekend got to at least second base with a great feature on virginity clubs at Ivy League schools. These "just-say no-way-until-marriage" groups, have religious members, but some are focused on the feminist part of withholding the goods. Janie Fredell, the co-president of the True Love Revolution, the Harvard group at the center of the piece said,

I am an unconventional feminist. . . . it takes a strong woman to be abstinent, and that's the sort of woman I want to be.

What struck me about the piece were the stats about abstinence education:

  • A 2004 report issued by Representative Henry Waxman, (D — CA) found 11 of 13 abstinence programs his government-reform committee examined were rife with scientific errors and false and misleading information about the risks of sexual activity.
  • A national survey found that those who took virginity pledges held on to their technical virginity about 18 months longer than teenagers who didn’t pledge, but they were six times more likely to engage in oral sex than virgins who hadn’t taken a pledge. They were also much less likely to use condoms during their first sexual experience or to be tested for sexually transmitted diseases.

And these reports are just out too:

  • $1.5 billion tax dollars have been spent on abstinence programs since 1982.
  • A new study shows that students who receive comprehensive sex education are half as likely to become teen parents as those who get none or abstinence-only sex education.

Even Grey's Anatomy actress Kate Walsh is talking abstinence, saying on CBS's Early Show on Friday that, "Abstinence only is not working. It's a $1.5 billion program over the last 10 years that has, quite frankly, failed."

Should we be saying yes to saying no? Should abstinence be taught?

Source

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lula29 lula29 7 years
Sex ed at school teaches biology and science.Sex values comes from (should come from) your parents.The reason why abstinence only programs don't work in schools is because such programs push values and aren't teaching the science of sexuality. The school system is not the church, is family or a parent and thus should not be responsible for pushing a value system. I think proponents of abstinence only education are doing just that and using the school to promote their values and that's not what the school is there to do.So the school teaches you what a condom is used for, but your parents teach you when to use it and why you should wait.
lula29 lula29 7 years
Sex ed at school teaches biology and science. Sex values comes from (should come from) your parents. The reason why abstinence only programs don't work in schools is because such programs push values and aren't teaching the science of sexuality. The school system is not the church, is family or a parent and thus should not be responsible for pushing a value system. I think proponents of abstinence only education are doing just that and using the school to promote their values and that's not what the school is there to do. So the school teaches you what a condom is used for, but your parents teach you when to use it and why you should wait.
ktownpolarbear ktownpolarbear 7 years
i think it should be one of the options discussed, but to completely pretend and ignore that kids aren't going to have sex is stupid.
tweet-hotpants tweet-hotpants 7 years
i think we rely too much on what the schools teach. parents need to get involved- like jillness' mom who let her ask any questions she wanted. my mom was like that too. i had a really healthy view of sex- and with the information that i was given and the influences of my faith and my family, i stayed a virgin until i got married. and so did my husband. it had nothing to do with what we learned in school- it was the relationships we had with our parents and what we learned from them. i'm not saying that schools shouldn't teach sex education, i'm just saying that that shouldn't be the only resource our kids have.
bailaoragaditana bailaoragaditana 7 years
I said no, it doesn't work - people will have sex anyway, because that's what humans do. And I think regardless of whether you want people to be abstinent or not, you DO have to give them the facts because they WON'T be abstinent forever. That's just a completely unreal expectation, and it reinforces the subliminal messaging that sex is bad, dirty, wrong, and unnatural. It's none of those things, and that's why abstinence-only education gets it all wrong. I say this, however, as a 19-year-old virgin (for real, yo - I've only ever kissed one boy, and it's never gone beyond that) who got an abstinence-only sex education. I'm not planning to have sex anytime soon, but I'm not necessarily waiting until marriage. I just would rather focus on my studies and my friends at the moment. But I know a lot of my classmates didn't - and don't - think the same way, and some of them have struggled with learning the hard realities of sex and relationships on their own. I don't think it's fair to tell anyone simply not to have sex, that they can figure it out when they get married. They WILL have sex one day, and they SHOULD be informed beforehand, regardless of whether they wait for marriage or whether they have random hook-ups. It's almost criminal to only talk about abstinence. And it's completely unrealistic. It ignores the very nature of human beings.
nyaradzom2001 nyaradzom2001 7 years
cine I know it's awful, i doubt I could even tell my dad I had a boyfriend. My sex education came through my mom, my dad is so shy about talking about anything sexual with his girls that he couldn't even set the ground rules when we started dating, my mom is the one who set the rules and made our curfew lol. I remember my mom when I was about 3 years telling me to never let anyone touch me in my secret place and to tell her if anyone did lol And even now when I talk to her she's always going on about contraception and protection and making sure I go for regular testing. She was so candid about sex, the good, the bad and the ugly that when I talk about it and people are shocked I'm like what didn't your mom tel you? I'll never forget one night we were watching TV and she made me watch one of those crappy soft-core movies they have on friday nights and she was like sex is not like that, life is not like that, HIV, STDS and pregnancy are the reality. It only takes 1 minute to sentence you to a life of illness and it's stuck with me since.
mymellowman mymellowman 7 years
Ditto cine!
mymellowman mymellowman 7 years
Ditto cine!
Jillness Jillness 7 years
My mom was really great about it all. She would bring out her huge medical text books, and my best friend and I would ask her any question that came to mind, nothing was off limits. I remember asking "When people have sex, they just roll around naked, right? Nothing actually goes in anything, right?" I didn't understand how that could possibly work! I feel that my mom really helped me have a healthy attitude towards sex. The sad thing is that my friend, her parents didn't teach her anything about sex. Her dad was quite drunk most of the time, and her mom was overworked and belittled by him. Her mom had not graduated high school, and didn't have a driver's license. They never talked about that kind of thing. It is environments like these where questions like "Does the pull out method work?" go unanswered. It is families like my friend's that I think of when I say I think sex ed should be taught in schools. I knew teens whose parents did drugs with them and neglected them in other ways, and I can't imagine that these people would offer accurate sex ed for them. Ultimately, understanding sex ed is understanding how your own body works. I don't see how we can keep this information from citizens, when we know that a failure to do so results in a rise in STDs, unwanted pregnancies, and risky sex practices. And not only that, we are learning new information about HPV and HIV/AIDS all the time. Diseases change and evolve over time, and new ones pop up. I think it is very important for kids to get the most up to date information. They need to be able to tell an ingrown hair from a shanker! ;)
Jillness Jillness 7 years
My mom was really great about it all. She would bring out her huge medical text books, and my best friend and I would ask her any question that came to mind, nothing was off limits. I remember asking "When people have sex, they just roll around naked, right? Nothing actually goes in anything, right?" I didn't understand how that could possibly work! I feel that my mom really helped me have a healthy attitude towards sex.The sad thing is that my friend, her parents didn't teach her anything about sex. Her dad was quite drunk most of the time, and her mom was overworked and belittled by him. Her mom had not graduated high school, and didn't have a driver's license. They never talked about that kind of thing. It is environments like these where questions like "Does the pull out method work?" go unanswered.It is families like my friend's that I think of when I say I think sex ed should be taught in schools. I knew teens whose parents did drugs with them and neglected them in other ways, and I can't imagine that these people would offer accurate sex ed for them. Ultimately, understanding sex ed is understanding how your own body works. I don't see how we can keep this information from citizens, when we know that a failure to do so results in a rise in STDs, unwanted pregnancies, and risky sex practices. And not only that, we are learning new information about HPV and HIV/AIDS all the time. Diseases change and evolve over time, and new ones pop up. I think it is very important for kids to get the most up to date information. They need to be able to tell an ingrown hair from a shanker! ;)
cine_lover cine_lover 7 years
nyara, there is nothing worse to me then watching a movie with my folks and having a sex scene come on the screen. I want to die every time!
cine_lover cine_lover 7 years
:rotfl: 3M
cine_lover cine_lover 7 years
:rotfl: 3M
nyaradzom2001 nyaradzom2001 7 years
90210, Melros Place those progams weren't allowed, the only shows we watched with mimimum supervision were high Schools Quiz, Cartoons and our local dramas. Even now if there is a love scene on tV and my dad is there i either change the channel or get out of the room no matter how innocent it is and I'm 23 years old lol.
cine_lover cine_lover 7 years
Wow now that was some crazy writing I just did. Someone needs to reprimand me.I wanted to write, I wanted Nick at Nite. I thought all those shows looked cool.
cine_lover cine_lover 7 years
Wow now that was some crazy writing I just did. Someone needs to reprimand me. I wanted to write, I wanted Nick at Nite. I thought all those shows looked cool.
cine_lover cine_lover 7 years
I wanted Nick at Nite is what I wanted. I just thought all those shows looked cool.
cine_lover cine_lover 7 years
I wanted Nick at Nite is what I wanted. I just thought all those shows looked cool.
mymellowman mymellowman 7 years
I think it is also important to note that condoms are not used in movies because people in movies don't get STDs or pregnant unless it is a part of the storyline.
mymellowman mymellowman 7 years
I had an ex who made me watch lots and lots of 90210. Grrrrr.....On another note, during this whole sex-ed discussion, I'm amazed that no one has brought up castration as a way to keep kids from having sex. I think this would work wonders! :)
mymellowman mymellowman 7 years
I had an ex who made me watch lots and lots of 90210. Grrrrr..... On another note, during this whole sex-ed discussion, I'm amazed that no one has brought up castration as a way to keep kids from having sex. I think this would work wonders! :)
nyaradzom2001 nyaradzom2001 7 years
The only time I've seen a sex scene on TV where a condom is used is in the L Word and that was two weeks ago, but that was my first time. abstinence education is rubbish, teens pledge to remain virgins but when they meet a guy or a girl and "fall in love" that usually goes out the window. We all know the intensity of emotions when you are a teenager and you think you'll be together forever. children need to to be taught to protect themselves but then it's also a case of wanting to protect yourself because I know a lot of girls who don't use condoms because they are on the pill and to their knowledge are in a monogamous relationship, yet joshua is out there tapping a different ass every weekend brining cooties back home.
syako syako 7 years
I didn't even WANT to watch 90210. I remember the day my dad bought a satellite the size of our huge back yard and we got the DISNEY CHANNEL! wooppeeee! :woohoo:
hausfrau hausfrau 7 years
Whhaaaa????? Brandon is my boyfriend!
cine_lover cine_lover 7 years
I was not even allowed to watch 90210.
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