In her first interview since giving birth, the teenage daughter of Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin said having a child is not "glamorous," and that telling young people to be abstinent is "not realistic at all."
Good for her. I am glad she is being honest about this absurd notion that people can suppress their sexuality for indefinite periods of time. Her mother's supporters expect gay people to remain celibate for life - creating what amounts to a tortured existence.
Abstinence-only "education" is a huge waste of taxpayer money that produces only three results: ignorance, STD's and babies.
Perhaps the gay community has to be told to be tolerant of her. Isn't that concept of tolerance insulting? That is what most straight people who consider themselves to be open minded and our allies will say about their feelings on homosexuality if you just let them finish their thoughts. I find it abhorrent. Shall i define them as well as myself the way they define me as well as themselves? And has anyone tallied up how much the messiah obama has spent in less than a month? As far as this little ms. thing talking about what is already common knowledge, i say so what. What do these people want now? A gold star?
posted by mail, at
2/18/2009 12:55 PM
Well, David, abstinence for people who are psychologically mature enough to have sex is just not healthy in many circumstances. It is often a denial of pleasure for no good reason.
If someone wants to deny themselves, I say go for it. But for a person with a healthy sex drive, such long-term frustration is rarely good and admirable. It usually means they have hang-ups, often tied to religious oppression.
Not always, of course. There are many reasons people choose to abstain from sex. But, as a general rule, sex is enjoyable and good for the soul.
posted by Wayne Besen, at
2/18/2009 1:24 PM
It's also good for your physical health, it's one of the best calorie burners, releases 'feel good' hormones and for men, helps to prevent prostate cancer. Also, David, our opponents dont expect us to wait until 21 or 22 as you did, they expect us to be celibate FOREVER! Meanwhile, they're the same crystal-methodists who are having tweeked out of their minds sex with boys, men, women, girls and (fill in the blank).
posted by gary, at
2/18/2009 3:17 PM
This isn't about suppressing sexuality. And it's not about teenagers being "unable to control themselves". That's bullshit. This is about education.
The problem is that abstinence-only education teaches ONLY abstinence - and leaves people completely fucking ignorant about all other aspects of human sexuality.
So that when students (victims) of AO do end up having sex, they have no fucking clue what they're doing, how to be safe, or how to access information and resources they need.
Some AO programs even deliver completely wrong information, like that condoms don't work. They typically don't even mention bisexuality or homosexuality at all, or only in a negative light, leaving bi and gay teens completely lacking information and having to fend for themselves. Meanwhile they teach that sex is only appropriate in marriage - the message there being exactly what gary points out, that they think gays should be celibate for life. Fucking nonsense.
AO is nothing more than an effort to impose an ideology - namely right wing (usually Christian) ignorance and paranoia about human sexuality - onto the next generation. The blind wishing to lead the blind.
And FYI, the obvious alternative, comprehensive sex education, teaches it all, INCLUDING ABSTINENCE. It still teaches people that abstinence is an option, that it's the only way to be 100% safe, that there's no shame in being a virgin or abstaining, and that a lot of the hype around sex among teenagers is just that, hype.
I had comprehensive sex education in grade school and high school, and I learned all of this stuff. I knew there was nothing wrong with not having sex, and I also knew about ways to be safer if I chose to.
And David Rudd, this has nothing to do with the debt crisis. If you want to practice self-control, start with yourself and your own uninformed political opinions. Keep them to yourself.
posted by Eshto, at
2/18/2009 4:05 PM
Wow, the search hits that come up with this story is expansive. Parents at 18... it's going to be very brutal for them. She is correct though, abstinence is not realistic as all. It's just too bad they didn't understand the birth control part a few months ago. Way too much time and money going into a ridiculous abstinence program.
posted by TrevorHere, at
2/18/2009 4:51 PM
Abstinence is a good thing for those who want it. Self-control is indeed crucial; the country could use some of it right now, in addition to a little humility as well. The problem arises (no pun intended) when particular individuals who want abstinence for themselves seek to control the nation's educational structure to force one's private decision on everyone else to the exclusion of teaching the facts about sex and contraception. Most people simply do not wish to be celebate.
posted by Chris L., at
2/19/2009 9:45 AM