Arkansas is promoting sexual ignorance

Arkansas schools are promoting abstinence-only sex education, through a program called “The Real Deal”. Like all abstinence-only programs, it’s foundation is in morality (their byline is “abstinence builds character”, which isn’t true, unless you mistake sanctimonious prudery for character) and lies — they announce statistics on their main page that claim that their abstinence programs reduce sexual activity by 30-40%, although they don’t bother to give us a source for those numbers, and all the other evidence available says that abstinence-only fails in comparison to comprehensive sex education.

On their site, they do cite a general source, WebMD. Let’s see what what WebMD has to say about abstinence-only sex ed, shall we?

Students who took part in sexual abstinence programs were just as likely to have intercourse as those who did not. And, those who attended the classes reported having similar numbers of sexual partners to those who did not attend the classes. Mathematica also found out that the average age of having the first intercourse was the same for both groups – just a little less than 15 years old.

Four different abstinence-only programs were examined from around the USA. Students were about eleven when they participated in these programs in 1999. They were surveyed again in late 2005 and early 2006 when they were about 16.

They found that about half of the abstinence-only students had experienced intercourse and about half of the control group (having no program) had also. The 2,057 students were from Miami, Milwaukee, Powhatan, VA and Clarksdale, MS – with both urban and rural settings represented.

The site also touts True Love Waits, a page created by LifeWay Christian Resources, providing “Biblical solutions for life”, which is owned by the Southern Baptist Convention…which reveals the real motivation behind this organization. Has anyone ever seen a genuinely secular abstinence-only program? They all seem to be driven by a conservative social agenda that wants to police children’s thoughts and behaviors, and force them to conform to a failed and obsolete biblical model of culture. At best, they strain to strip the program of any appearance of faith-based thinking (does that remind anyone else of Intelligent Design creationism?), but they can’t hide the fundamentalist/absolutist foundation of their ideas.

They’re also ludicrously stupid. Look at what some Arkansas parents discovered that “The Real Deal” had their kids signing: a card promising to conform. My favorite part is the expiration date.

My wedding night was 31 years ago. Woo hoo! Alcohol, illegal drugs, pornography, and sex outside of marriage, here I come!

The only real deal for sex ed is comprehensive sex education, which also encourages restraint and good sense, but gives accurate information about how to prevent pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases. Anything less is encouraging ignorance, and we’ve got the example of a few thousand years of Christianity to show what a mess that makes of people’s lives.


  1. Rev. BigDumbChimp says

    Abstinence only education promotes oral sex and anal sex in those signing the pledges. Not that there is anything wrong with either, but I’m pretty sure this isn’t the Abstinence only folk’s goal.

    Significant differences exist in youths’ definitions of abstinence and virginity. This suggests that additional attention is needed to ensure a common understanding of these terms in order to achieve successful sexual education and prevention programs.

    Although teenagers who take “virginity pledges” begin engaging in vaginal intercourse later than teens who have not committed to remain abstinent until marriage, they also are more likely to engage in oral or anal sex than nonpledging virgin teens and less likely to use condoms once they become sexually active, according to a study published in the April issue of the… Journal of Adolescent Health, the Washington Post reports.

  2. tc48 says

    I think that street sign means “The real deal is going this way, that way, both ways, every way” and it’s a subtle instigation to pansexuality.

  3. captainchaos says

    It’s one thing that kids have these programs inflicted on them are having sex just as much and as early as others. That just shows they are ineffective.

    But are there numbers for the occurrence of venereal diseases and unwanted pregnancy as compared between those who were only subject to abstinence-only programs, and those who received a comprehensive sex education?

    It would not surprise me in the least if those things happen *more* often for the abstinence-only programs, since they are having sex just as often, while being much less informed about how to prevent disease and pregnancy.

  4. shouldbeworking says

    I’ve been married for 27years, it’s about time I had some alcohol. But sex outside? This is Canada in the winter! Frostbite is NOT a pleasant experience.

    Oops, outside of marriage sex. My wife said sure, shes going out on the town on Friday anyway.

  5. says

    The “abstinence-only” approach is also, I hear, popular in Catholic schools, where instruction by celibate men in dresses and spinsters in habits tends to be less than entirely credible.

  6. Steve LaBonne says

    captainchaos- conveniently, my Science daily feed this morning has data to support a “yes” with regard to unwanted pregnancy:

    I’m quite confident that the answer is also “yes” for STDs.
    Or in a nutshell, this “abstinence only” rubbish is a significant threat to the health of teenagers (and of their unwanted babies as well.) But of course the psychotic Christers don’t give a rat’s patootie about any of that.

  7. eclectabotanics says

    It’s time to have some good sex ed outside of school. Unfortunately, a lot of the godbot parents wouldn’t take advantage of non-abstinance only education.

    My kids attended the O.W.L. (Our whole lives) course at the Unitarian Church. They were taught things that would leave Baptists clutching their pearls in shock – homosexuality, slang names for genitals, transsexual issues, relationship violence issues, and more. The kids that attend that program – in this community – have yet to have an unplanned pregnancy. Results are similar elsewhere.

    Shutting one’s ears and eyes to kid’s sexual urges won’t make them go away – they go undercover where easily prevented mistakes are made.

  8. ottomakela says

    I suspect this campaign of encouraging ignorance is also damaging anti-alcohol and anti-drug work, since youths very easily get the idea that they are similar prudery.

  9. Rev. BigDumbChimp says

    Results are similar elsewhere.

    This is where someone would ask for a citation, and I’m that someone. It’s not that I don’t believe you, I’d just like to have a citation for this for future use.

  10. DLC says

    It would be interesting to be able to read those Abstinence-only people’s minds and discover when their first sexual experience was, and with whom. Not that it has any bearing on anything but the degree of hypocrisy they may be exhibiting. Or perhaps it does. . . perhaps a bad “first time” soured them on sex entirely.

  11. raven says

    Sarah Palin instituted that in Alaska.

    Her daughter is famous for getting pregnant as a teenager while mommy was running for VP of the USA.

    Her oldest son recently had to get married quickly due to a pregnancy.

    So, she is 0/2 here. It didn’t work. I doubt she has even thought to change her mind.

    This is just human child sacrifice. They sacrifice their kids’ future lives and options to their Sky Monster god. Sometimes they actually kill them by medical neglect or torture-beatings.

  12. Reginald Selkirk says

    they announce statistics on their main page that claim that their abstinence programs reduce sexual activity by 30-40%,

    Maybe this is because girls who get pregnant stop having sex for a few months.

  13. Reginald Selkirk says

    #17: Her daughter is famous for getting pregnant as a teenager while mommy was running for VP of the USA.

    That’s just not true. She got pregnant BEFORE her mommy was running for VP.

  14. kaylaanderson says

    Stories like these just make me sad I didn’t have sex until I was 18. Hell, I didn’t even have my first kiss until 16 :-(

  15. ButchKitties says

    I went to a Catholic high school with an abstinence pledge program called Promise To Keep. High school students in the Promise To Keep program would go to the various Catholic elementary schools to preach the virtues of abstinence.

    I’d be surprised if there was a single virgin in the PtK program. If anything, they were more sexually active than the general student population. Some of the students even bragged about sneaking away to have sex on their ways to and from the elementary schools. (As a Catholic school we didn’t have our own buses, so students with driver’s licenses frequently drove themselves to these events.) They signed up not because they believed the message, but for for three reasons:

    1. It was something they could put on college applications
    2. It was an easy way to get out of class
    3. Being in PtK made their parents assume they were abstinent, which led to decreased supervision and increased opportunities to have sex.

  16. carlie says

    When my child brought home the permission slip for sex ed (!), I quickly emailed the teacher to find out if it was comprehensive (and tried to word it in such a way that it was clear from the outset that I thought it ought to be). Her response was only somewhat reassuring; it is, but she seemed to not like that it was, and her emphasis is clearly on the “don’t do it” side. For eighth graders, I guess that’s appropriate enough. Hopefully it will get covered again later, and I’ll be taking up any slack at home. I do like the idea that I’ve seen some parents use of having a prophylactics cabinet at home that they let their kids know will stay stocked, no questions asked, and might end up doing something like that as well when they get older.

  17. Naked Bunny with a Whip says

    What does pornography have to do with abstinence? Are they also anti-masturbation?

    I wonder if their “A Team” skit is based on the TV show. Because that would be hilarious.

  18. illuminata says

    I second that, Rev. I’d like to see that source too, for a response to the next godbot e-mail I get from family members who teach ignorance-only sex ed.

  19. Anri says

    The signpost on that card isn’t a cross.


    Not even vaguely.
    Or a little.

    Actually, it kinda looks likeNOPE!
    It isn’t!

    – – –

    I wonder if the people who put that together are patting themselves on the back for their ‘subtlety’.

    So: is this the sophisticated theology we’re supposed to be arguing against?
    Have we found it at last?

  20. robertpierce says

    I got in trouble at a “youth explosion” of the Southern Baptist variety for not signing a purity pledge. I had a little sense back then…

  21. Naked Bunny with a Whip says

    Do real sex ed programs require children to sign meaningless “pledges” when the class is done? What happens if a kid doesn’t sign?

    Making kids sign pledges seems to be popular in the right-wing Christian world.

  22. illuminata says

    I’ve always wondered about the pledge thing. Do they not remember being kids? Do they actually think kids sign these things fully cognizant of what they’re agreeing too or how much they intend to obey?

    Seems like theists get a little too arrogant about their ability to brainwash kids.

  23. larrymathys says

    Thanks for the plug, PZ!!!

    If you have time, PLEASE send an email to this program asking each of the board members for their “abstinence only testimony”. Here’s the email:

    Real Deal Team

    I’ve sent three emails since Friday, November 25th and thus far I haven’t received a response. Curious…

  24. Naked Bunny with a Whip says

    @illuminata: If pledges like this worked, they could just have the students sign one to study hard and do their homework, then not take any tests or hand in any assignments.

  25. illuminata says

    @ Naked Bunny with a Whip – in other words, the Republican ideal public education system.

  26. captainahags says

    I read something a few years back that sounded interesting, and I will try to dig up the link for it, but the summary was that purity rings and chastity pledges and the like actually do work-but only as long as those taking the oaths or whatever are in the minority of the student population. The theory was that while they were in the minority, their “purity” or whatever was something that allowed them to feel different and perhaps special, but once more people got in on it and purity became the status quo, it was no longer cool. Or something like that. Aha! Found it- here’s a summary of the article, but I’m sure someone could find a link to the study itself.

  27. says

    I remember school in elementary school be asked to sign a pledge not to drink or do drugs. My friend and I were the only two not to sign it. Ironically, when we got to high school, we were probably the most sober among our peers.

    So if I throw my old christian filter on, and based on a sample size of about 30, of which about 20 broke the promise or refused to sign, I can say that those pledges that they make kids sign are a resounding success.

  28. Sastra says

    A Mormon friend of mine who was in favor of Abstinence Only sex ed once told me that she thought that when it comes to parenting it’s important that a message not be mixed. Consistency is vital. As a given, then, it’s better that kids refrain from sexual relationships till they are either married or (as a concession to me) “mature enough to handle it.” Therefore, telling students not to have sex but, if they do, here is how to use contraception is like telling a child not to play with matches but, if they do, do it in the sink. Adding in that second part is tacitly encouraging them to have sex and/or play with matches. You’re maybe even giving them the idea — or at least the idea that it’s no big deal.

    I thought the analogy was a bad one on many levels and told her it was more like telling a kid not to play with matches but, if you do, here’s where the fire extinguisher is. That gave her pause.

    So what’s the mindset? I think abstinence-only advocates are very focused on thinking small — one child, one story, one scenario with a ‘happy’ ending. If their “common sense” tells them that they or their own child would read contraception information as adult permission to have teenage sex then this is where their mind stops. It’s simple. Don’t give it out. Your child will thank you later. Really.

    Statistics and the Big Picture on effectiveness are irrelevant. They don’t really care about teenagers as a group. A rule is a rule, and individuals who break the rules should suffer the just consequences. There’s the saved and then there’s the damned who blew their chances through making a bad choice. End of story.

    In the story, having sex before marriage is so wrong that it’s more important to condemn it than to actually prevent pregnancy. This way of evaluating the situation is religious to the core: not just sex being sinful, but the importance of spreading the message in order to save the worthy few at the expense of losing the unworthy many. Small and simple thinking.

  29. Father Ogvorbis, OM says

    I think that street sign means “The real deal is going this way, that way, both ways, every way” and it’s a subtle instigation to pansexuality.

    I disagree. It is (to me) a rather obvious attempt to insert the Roman torture device into what they claim is a secular program.


    When I was in Middle School (that is WesternMarylandese for Junior High), we went through a sex ed class. Girls in one class, boys in the other. And, for the boys, after the state-sanctioned dry, boring as hell, uninteresting, clinical and dumbed down version, the three teachers said, basically, “All right, that’s what the state says we have to say. Here is our message: first, don’t fuck” (and they did use that word to shock us into paying attention). “Second, if you do, here is how to use a condom” (and they pulled out a condom and a banana and demonstrated). They also explained that alcohol and safe sex do not mix. And that we, as boys, were responsible for not getting the girl pregnant. The last half-hour was actually useful.

    One of the girls who opted out (and, to this day, I still do not know what they told the girls (and it was the same teachers)) got kicked out of school as Freshman (for screaming at me in biology class that I was a spawn of Satan, etc) had a baby nine months after she spent the week out of school. The young women at my high school who go pregnant were, except for one, the ones who’s parents opted them out of the sex-ed class. I guess they got the abstinence only version at home.

  30. raven says

    CDC finds stark regional disparities in teen-pregnancy rates
    By Mike Lillis – 10/20/10 02:05 PM ET

    Although national teen-pregnancy rates are on the decline, the disparities between states are often dramatic, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported Wednesday.

    Some women’s health advocates say the discrepancies are indication that comprehensive sex-education programs are producing results for states that offer them, while states emphasizing abstinence-only programs aren’t faring as well.

    Whatever the reason, the regional disparities are stark. In Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Vermont, for instance, 2008 birth rates were less than 25 per 1,000 teens aged 15 to 19, CDC found. In the same year, Arkansas, Mississippi, New Mexico, Oklahoma and Texas all had rates topping 60 per 1,000 teens.

    Mississippi had the country’s highest rate (65.7), CDC says, while New Hampshire had the lowest (19.8).

    Leslie Kantor, national education director of the Planned Parenthood Federation of America, said the report “makes it crystal clear that the teen birthrate is lower in states that provide students with comprehensive, evidence-based sex education.”

    Here is one study of many showing that abstinence only sex ed is a malevolent joke. From the US CDC.

    The highest teen age pregnancy rates are in fundie xianland, Texas, Mississippi, Oklahoma, etc.. In New England, they are less than half that.

    Some states have refused to take federal money if it is tied to abstinence only sex ed. It’s cheaper for them to pay attention to reality than to support a bunch of teenagers and their babies on welfare.

  31. raven says

    Do real sex ed programs require children to sign meaningless “pledges” when the class is done? What happens if a kid doesn’t sign?

    It’s a meaningless gesture that the kids forget 5 minutes after signing it. There is so much going on in their heads and lives at that age, that it barely registers.

  32. loreo says

    You didn’t have to trace it back to the SBC to find the religious roots, the fact that it’s using shame and conformity in place of real knowledge is a hallmark of religion.

    #34 – Sastra: I love that “thinking small” explanation. A small universe, a small god, small morality for a small reward. Reminds me of Carl Sagan’s quote:

    How is it that hardly any major religion has looked at science and concluded, “This is better than we thought! The Universe is much bigger than our prophets said, grander, more subtle, more elegant. God must be even greater than we dreamed!”? Instead they say, “No, no, no! My god is a little god, and I want him to stay that way.”

  33. nabokov says

    The abstinence pledge is no different from Republicans pledging not to raise taxes no matter what:
    it’s vintage Kool-Aid that creates a false moral victory and a pragmatic disaster.

  34. RFW says

    I will bet you, however, that kids who have proper sex education (“This is a condom, this is what it’s for, this is how to use it right.”, for example) have a much lower rate of STDs and pregnancy than the victims of a just-say-no substitute.

  35. Rev. BigDumbChimp says

    I will bet you, however, that kids who have proper sex education (“This is a condom, this is what it’s for, this is how to use it right.”, for example) have a much lower rate of STDs and pregnancy than the victims of a just-say-no substitute.

    STD Findings

    Bearman and Bruckner in March 2004 at the 2004 National STD Prevention Conference in Philadelphia presented their findings that teens who make abstinence pledges have similar rates of STDs as teens who have not made pledges. The study — also based on data from the NLSAH — found that, although teens who made the pledges had sexual intercourse an average of 18 months later than teens who did not take a pledge and averaged fewer sexual partners overall, they had similar rates of STDs. In addition, the study found that pledgers were much less likely to use contraception the first time they had sex and also were less likely than other teens to have undergone STD testing and know their STD status, which could increase their risk of STD transmission to sexual partners (Kaiser Daily Reproductive Health Report, 3/10/04). Of the 777 teens who reported being virginity pledgers throughout the course of the study, 4.6% had trichomoniasis, chlamydia or gonorrhea. Of the 1,622 who reported pledge to remain abstinent at some point during the study, 6.4% had one of the STDs. Of the 9,072 teens who did not ever make a virginity pledge, 6.9% had one of the STDs (Wetzstein, Washington Times, 3/19). The study did not reveal significant geographical differences but did show that minorities were “far more likely” to have an STD, according to the Post. About 25% of African-American girls had at least one STD in 2002, the study found (Washington Post, 3/19).

  36. Father Ogvorbis, OM says


    Of the young women who got pregnant at my high school, or at least the ones of which I was aware of it, were, save for one, those whose parents refused to sign the permission slip for them to attend the sex-ed class.

  37. Esteleth says

    Oh, bloody hell.
    I was raised in a tiny Podunk town, famed for being 99% white conservative Republican religious nut jobs.
    I got abstinence only “sex ed” in school. I learned many things! Ten of the AMAZING lessons I learned are:
    1. Women who have premarital sex are incapable of loving their husbands once they marry and are prone to infertility.
    2. All gay people have AIDS.
    3. HIV can pass through the pores of a condom and be transmitted via French kissing.
    4. Women are naturally sexually submissive
    5. Lesbians are only so because they’ve been sexually abused, but can be cured by the proper application of a good boning by a man.
    6. Black men have huge penises that rip apart white women’s vaginas, making said white women incapable of enjoying sex with white men ever again.
    7. Anal sex can give you dysentery and cholera, dread diseases where you shit yourself to death.
    8. Menstrual cramps and PMS are entirely psychological.
    9. Birth control pills make women sluts.
    10. Premarital sex is like shredding the petals off a rose, leaving nothing but a bare stem to present to your spousehusband on your wedding night. It is also like unwrapping a lollipop, rolling it in the dirt, then putting the wrapper back on and offering it to someone.

    …and so much more racist, sexist, and homophobic nonsense. Much of this (okay, all of it) is not just wrong, it’s crossed the line twice or thrice and is squarely in WTF-land.

    All that said, my strongest memory of sex ed was in 9th grade. The district lost a fight with the state and had to actually explain how contraception worked. Insert rushed, awkward, and probably inaccurate explanation on condoms to a class of bored 14-year-olds. There was a pregnant girl in the class. After the teacher hurriedly explained that the condom goes over the penis and catches the semen, the pregnant girl loudly said, “Ohhhh! Like it was a revelation. o_O

    …does my utter contempt for this bullshit show?

  38. otrame says

    The thing that comprehensive sex ed teaches is to think ahead about sex. Might have sex tonight. Better get some condoms. The other kind–can we stop calling it sex education? Because its not–encourages the mindset of pretend to everyone, including yourself, that you are not going to have sex, even when you already are. It teaches you to lie, and to lie most of all to yourself.

    You don’t need their pathetic little “not a cross, no not at all” to know its religion-based. By their fruits you will know them. Their fruits are lies and self-deception.

  39. illuminata says

    Esteleth – that is amazing. Its almost as if ignorance-only sex ed is just another way for fear-mongering bigots to spread their bigotry around.

    Is this how these programs are now?

  40. Esteleth says

    illuminata, I’d say that my program was probably typical for the time (mid-90’s). Today, there’s probably less overt racism, especially in areas with more diversity.
    The Guttmacher Institute did a report on the crap that’s in modern abstinence-only programs a few years back, and I’m trying to find it now.
    IIRC, the report indicated that most of the statements I quoted above (again, with the possible exception of the overtly racist ones – but probably replaced with more subtle variants of the same message) are typical.

    For what it’s worth, in my high school graduating class of 200 or so, there were 10 or 12 teen mothers – that’s a rate of 10% of girls being pregnant. Some of said teen mothers had more than one child. If that’s not a failure of the sex ed program, I’m not sure what is.

  41. illuminata says

    Esteleth – I’m intrigued. If you do find that link, please pass it along. def want to learn more about this.

  42. Gregory Greenwood says

    Abstinence only sex ed has been conclusively demonstrated to not only fail to reduce the incidence of STD transmission and underage sex, but to be actively harmful both in terms of the sexual ignorance it promotes increasing the liklihood of venerial disease transmission and unwanted pregnancy, and the deeply unhealthy sex-is-dirty/evil/makes-the-baby-jeebus-cry attitude toward sexuality that it pushes resulting in damage to the psychosexual development of those children exposed to it.

    Of course, even with numerous attempts to distance these programmes from the bible thumping idiots, it is obvious that it is the socially conservative christian Right (100% guarenteed to be always wrong, all the time) that is pushing abstinence only, and as we all know that bunch has something of a problem accepting evidence that doesn’t prop up their pet delusions, so it is perhaps no surprise that so many groups continue to promote these failed techniques even though the evidence has been gathered and the verdict is in.

  43. Esteleth says

    Aha! Found the report I was referring to. It is not by the Guttmacher Institute, it’s by the American Public Health Association, prepared at the request of Congress. It’s here (pdf).

    It’s quite damning.

  44. starblind says

    expiration date weeding night so…. then it’s okay to drink, watch porn, have sex and… DO ILLEGAL DRUGS.

  45. KG says

    I’m divorced, so how does that “sex outside marriage” thing work for me? Yes or no? – scaryduck

    Well since you’re divorced, you’re alreasy hellbound, so I’d say just go for it!

  46. Rey Fox says

    Making kids sign pledges seems to be popular in the right-wing Christian world.

    It fits in with their simplistic thinking. If they sign something, they’re obligated not to do it! And if they then do it, then you can just wave the piece of paper in their face and condemn them thusly.

    The simplicity and cheapness of ignorance-only (oh hell yeah I’m using that) education probably appeals to short-sighted school administrators. They don’t have to spring for actual experts with actual expertise gained in expensive real-world education, they don’t have to fear the local clergy coming down on them, it’s all too easy a decision.

  47. unclefrogy says

    hows it go you teach what you know? If all you got is ignorance that is what you have to teach. As far as I can see that is just about all most christians got save the golden rule they got neither a real history, morality nor truth just stories stolen from others. All they really have is childish magical thinking.

    uncle frogy

  48. Ganner says

    I signed a pledge like this when I was, oh, 15 years old. Only signed it because it was easier to do that then throw it away and ignore it than to sit and be pressured (at church) and stand out as refusing.

  49. says

    I can remember the rush I experienced as a teenager in a certain situation, as if the top of my skull might pop off at any moment. And they expect rationality from children? Might as well give squirt guns to firefighters.

    I hate the manipulation implicit in this: Children, you will be overwhelmed by your hormones but you must stand firm. You must not take preventive measures for your wellbeing because these give you license to sin.

  50. Rich Woods says

    @unclefrogy #56:

    hows it go you teach what you know? If all you got is ignorance that is what you have to teach. As far as I can see that is just about all most christians got save the golden rule they got neither a real history, morality nor truth just stories stolen from others. All they really have is childish magical thinking.

    They didn’t even come up with the Golden Rule. Pretty much every ancient civilisation had something similar.

  51. annaperry says

    When my Oldest child was taking sex ed in 7th grade she was told that “the health teacher and the school district believed that they should save sex for marriage”. This was an abstinence based not abstinence only curriculum.
    Since same sex marriage isn’t legal in Minnesota
    I was outraged. I called the district and complained that it was discriminating against homosexuals students telling them they should never have sex. The school district said too bad. I tried to get a lawyer to help me but neither the lavender league nor the ACLU responded.

  52. iain says

    To me, the funniest part of the pledge is that your commitment to “no sex outside marriage” expires on your wedding night.

    I guess it would be hard to have sex outside marriage before then.

  53. freemage says

    Okay, so the pledge, read by someone who is actually literate in the English language, says, “I promise… to say “NO” to… sex outside of marriage.”

    And then it has an expiration date of the wedding night.

    So, in addition to that booze, porn and illegal drug use, PZ, you’re also now eligible for adultery.

  54. John Phillips, FCD says

    freemage, yep, and they accuse us of painting with too broad a brush when we call religionuts stupid. You couldn’t make this stuff up but somehow they manage, I mean, do they even read and actually parse what they write.

  55. brucefong says

    Hmm I should have signed up for an abstinence program. They seem to have nice social lives.

    Ha I beat you, 31 never been kissed and no sex.

  56. says

    (Tried to go to the realdeal website)


    You have attempted to access a blocked website. Access to this website has been blocked for security reasons by the DOD Enterprise-Level Protection System.

    Category: malware-sites


    Contact your local Network Control Center for information on how to gain access to MISSION ESSENTIAL or otherwise authorized websites, or to report a mis-categorized website.


    This is a DoD enterprise-level protection system intended to reduce risk to DoD users and protect DoD systems from intrusion. It will block access to high-risk websites and filter high-risk web content.

  57. footface says

    I grew up in the 70s and went to a Unitarian church every Sunday. One of my Sunday School classes (when I was probably 12?) was sex ed. We learned about different methods of birth control. We talked about anatomy and terminology (including slang terms). We talked about our own values. (Unitarians are—were?—very big on this.) We saw slides of (probably pretty hairy) people having sex. It was good. We were treated with respect, and the subject matter was presented as though all of it was natural, important, and good.

    If I had to choose a religion, I’d definitely choose Unitarianism.

  58. carolw says

    I actually don’t remember being taught any sex ed, abstinence-only or otherwise, in hi-school health (in Texas!). In fifth grade the boys and girls were separated and the girls got the “becoming a woman” presentation. I guess the boys were taught about washing their jock straps or something, I dunno.
    My mom’s idea of “the talk” was “just don’t do it” for the girls, and “if you do it, for god’s sake, use a condom, don’t ruin your life” for the brother. Good job.
    I graduated with a gal who was pregnant with her third.

  59. imthegenieicandoanything says

    Arkansas is promoting sexual ignorance?

    With respect (and kudos!) for the many intelligent and good people who live and work and think there, Ignorance seems to be the motto of the deep South, where reality isn’t an option – unless money is involved.

  60. says

    We had sex ed in our public school in grade 7, I believe. However, someone had raised the “issue” that some boys might be “embarrassed” by the parts of the program that dealt with the female reproductive system, and so all of that stuff was clustered into discrete days, and on those days the boys would be sent to a different classroom where one one of the gym teachers watched over us and told PG-13 dirty jokes.

  61. ursamajor says

    Ah, down in the deep south in the late 60s and early seventies where the sex miseducation was so vague, incomplete and inaccurate that it was not even clear what we were not supposed to do, nor which body parts not to do it with. The only part of the session I recall with any clarity -god, it was so damn boring – was the claim that twins are what happens when 2 sperm enter an egg. Oh, and later in high school the young ladies were taught that virgins can not use tampons.

    As a young adult I was involved with the Unitarians for a while and was so envious of their teens for getting a real education.

  62. cayborduin says

    Both my kids took a Our Whole Lives course on sexuality at our UU church. Covers everything.