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No Sex Please, We’re Democrats: The Blowfish Blog

CongressSo a a House subcommittee recently voted, not only to continue funding abstinence-only sex education, but to increase funding for it by $27.8 million.

To see me rant about this — er, analyze it and put it in context — come visit the Blowfish Blog. Here’s a taste:

Very few people — and even fewer politicians — are willing to look at teenage sex and say in public, “It turns out this really isn’t a big problem.” Very few politicians are willing to say, “We have bigger issues to worry about than 16-year-olds having sex.” Very, very, very few politicians are willing to say, “You know, I had sex when I was 16, and it didn’t do me any harm.”

Check it out. And then write your Congressperson.


  1. says

    Half of me wants to scream “To hell with the Democrats, to hell with the whole gutless lot of them.
    The other half of me believes that if we want to have ANY chance to keep this country from looking like the movie “Jesus Camp” in a few years, we need to let the Dems know in no uncertain terms that we stand behind them, and will help deflect whatever the “religious right”, with their limitless funding and legions of soul-sick brain-dead followers, throw at them.

  2. Laura Upstairs says

    So let me post something unpopular here – folks, let go of this particular fight right now. Do not write your member of Congress. You heard me right – please don’t write your member of Congress. Especially if she’s Nancy Pelosi.
    Please do not believe for a second that the Democrats that you like and vote for somehow have been convinced that abstinence-only education is a good thing. They do not. The reason – the *only* reason – that abstinence-only is getting any additional funding is so that this budget, which happens to contain $10 BILLION in new funding for domestic programs, will get passed by a veto-proof majority in the House.
    This is a political deal for a greater good. Such as an additional $100 million for HIV/AIDS programs here in the US. As one example close to my heart. Bush has threatened to veto any bill that has more funding in it than he proposed. the only way to get around that is to pass the appropriations bill by a margin large enough to overthrow a veto. The only way *that* can happen is if some Republicans vote for it. And it turns out, surprise, surprise, that they can be bought. In fact, a little under $30 mill will apparently do it.
    So, that’s what Pelosi did. She bought their votes towards the larger goal of spending more money here, on things that we actually need, like health care, say.
    So just chill on the abstinence trip. Later this year, the funding for the program’s going to be cut by even more for other reasons. What we’re getting is worth it. It’s not as if they are taking this money AWAY from something else (except maybe the war on Iraq) to pay for this.
    I’m all for holding our elected officials accountable, but what I really want from them is more funding for the things that are important to me, and that is exactly what they are doing.
    There are so many very important things to get mad about and irate about, (like the fact that Republican votes can be bought for $30M, maybe, or that our system is so fucked that this is what has to happen to pay for more HIV services) but this *specific* funding issue is not one of them.
    And if you’re now feeling completely disillusioned about the state of our democratic republic, well, very sorry about that. It had to happen sooner or later.
    And if you’re still really pissed about the fact that there’s abstinence-only sex ed happening anywhere, send a few letters to some Republican members of Congress who actually still believe in the crap. Or give SIECUS some money. But please don’t blame the Democrats. At least not this time.

  3. says

    I see your point, Laura. And I understand that politics is the art of compromise and prioritization, and that you often have to let go of things you want — or accept things you don’t want — in order to get things done.
    But look at it this way.
    What if it had been the other way around? What if, included in this domestic spending bill, there had been a substantial amount of money for a good, sane sex-education program — but in order to get it passed, the Dems had agreed to fund a separate education program, the explicit purpose of which was to teach teenagers that people with AIDS are wicked and deserve what they got?
    Abstinence-only sex education isn’t just an ineffective waste of money. If it were, I wouldn’t be so concerned about this. But abstinence-only is actually harmful. It spreads serious misinformation, misinformation that can have very bad real-world consequences for a very vulnerable population.
    And in the larger sense, I am beyond tired of sexual issues always being the ones that get sold out, and of sexual hysteria being manipulated by politicians to score points and make deals. From Jocelyn Elders, to stupid and harmful sex offender laws, to this: I’m over it. I’m over it in much the same way that I’m over the Dems treating gays as a cash machine while patting us on the head and saying, “We can’t take a stand on your issues this year, darlings, it’s not politically expedient.”
    Sexual issues are my hobbyhorse, and I’m going to advocate for them. In the same way that I think gays need to demand that the Dems stop making compromises that sell us out every single time, I think people who care about a rational, reality-based approach to sex need to do the same thing.

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