I’m feeling really filthy now

Mississippi has horrific rates of teen pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases, so they’re slowly waking up and realizing that they have to have better sex education in the schools … and they’ve actually adopted a sex-ed curriculum in some of their school districts. Unfortunately, it’s not what most of us would consider good education.

Marie Barnard was delighted when, after decades of silence on the topic, Mississippi passed a law requiring school districts to teach sex education. But the lesson involving the Peppermint Pattie wasn’t what she had in mind for her sons.

The curricula adopted by the school district in Oxford called on students to unwrap a piece of chocolate, pass it around class and observe how dirty it became.

"They’re using the Peppermint Pattie to show that a girl is no longer clean or valuable after she’s had sex — that she’s been used," said Barnard, who works in public health. "That shouldn’t be the lesson we send kids about sex."

Oh, no! I’ve been having sex for about 40 years now, so I pictured a piece of candy — in my case, a Tootsie Roll — getting passed around and stuffed into various damp places and given a hot shower every day, for forty years, and I’m sorry, it didn’t even make it a week before it had melted away and gone down the drain. Now I’m having castration anxiety.

Wait! It only applies to girls? What a relief, for me, at least — my wife is going to be dismayed, though. Maybe we can change the message a bit: lady bits are just like a piece of sweet chocolate candy that never ever disappears, no matter how much you nibble on it.

Unfortunately, the dirty scary chocolate trick still doesn’t work. The outcomes they want to prevent are actually being worsened by their evasive silly little abstinence-only games. So they have a new threat that they make:

Johnson thought he had made a good case for contraception education when he shared disturbing statistics: The local birthrate was 73 out of 1,000 females between 15 and 19; the national rate is 29.4 per 1,000.

He encountered the usual gasps of shock when he revealed that the rate of chlamydia, at 1,346.8 per 100,000 people, was nearly double the rest of Mississippi, and approaching triple the U.S. rate.

But later Johnson got a call from someone who had attended the board meeting — telling him that people who have sex before marriage don’t go to heaven. The board voted for abstinence-only.

Apparently, most of the state of Mississippi is damned to hell, so why is anyone paying attention to those sinners?


  1. brett says

    You can see the mentality there with that type of “pre-marital sex sends you to hell” attitude. They think something is evil!, and making it easier is just making evil! easier to do. I wouldn’t be surprised if some of those assholes think that STDs are what people deserve to get if they’re having sex before marriage.

  2. twas brillig (stevem) says

    But later Johnson got a call from someone who had attended the board meeting — telling him that people who have sex before marriage don’t go to heaven. The board voted for abstinence-only.

    Why, I am not shocked, that a “public school” would only teach what the religious tell them to NOT teach. “Don’t teach kids about sex, then they’ll just do it and never go to heaven. Even teaching that sex is dirty will make them try it. Only teach them to *not* do it. Kids will go to heaven if they don’t have sex, teach them that *fact*.”
    Why am I not surprised this is happening in Mississippi? Am I just a “northern elitist bigot” that assumes the South is too full of religiots to do anything but distort education? No, of course not, so many examples and *reasons*… ;-|

  3. =8)-DX says

    Naaaaah, any believer worth their salt can retractively validate their premarital sexy times by invoking “natural marriage” and telling themselves it’s ok with Gawd (that’s what I did).

  4. Sastra says

    Shocking … but not terribly surprising. The Christian religion harps on and on not just about the value of purity in women, but about how very, very few will be saved and many will be lost and this is a good thing. It’s righteous and just and exactly what comes out of a loving and perfect God. Hell contains the collateral damage left over for God’s perfect plan of salvation to work. The focus is on the saved. One lost lamb which answers the shepherd’s call makes up for the sinful herd which stubbornly marched over the cliff.

    So apply this distorted standard of success to anything and everything which trips the “spiritual” button. If one girl who hears the abstinence message refrains from having sex because of it — but a thousand girls who would have avoided pregnancy or disease with a different sex program avoid neither — it’s totally worth it. Good news! It worked.

    Elizabeth Smart, the young Mormon girl who was kidnapped and raped by a ‘religious fanatic,’ said that she didn’t try to run away from him because she was honestly afraid that her captor was right and her parents and community wouldn’t want her back. Why? Because of the unrelenting message regarding the importance of female purity the LDS church had drilled into her head for as long as she could remember — of course. If you lost your virginity, then you were like a piece of chewed gum. No decent person would want you because you were damaged goods. It therefore seemed reasonable to think her parents wouldn’t love her anymore so she stayed with this man and meekly and obediently walked behind him in public hidden under veils for months.

    I suspect that Smart’s parents, when they learned that, felt their hearts break. It know it would break mine.

    She wants the Mormon church to stop teaching that message. Maybe she should go talk to the Mississippi School Board.

  5. theoreticalgrrrl says


    I remember that about Elizabeth Smart. She compared it to being a piece of gum. Who would want a piece of gum after it’s been chewed?

    He also chained her to a tree and threatened to kill her family if she tried to escape, so she didn’t really have many options.

  6. anteprepro says

    And then a better teacher, not from Mississippi, had the kids do the same “experiment”, except this time they were wearing rubber gloves!

    Lesson: Use a condom.

    It is magical how frequently my disdain for right-wingers, Christianists, and 60% of U.S. states just keeps getting supported by the terrible and idiotic things they keep doing! The confirmation makes me simultaneously feel vindicated and even more depressed.

  7. raven says

    But later Johnson got a call from someone who had attended the board meeting — telling him that people who have sex before marriage don’t go to heaven.

    That isn’t even standard xian theology.

    We are all sinners and doomed to hell. But we are forgiven because of a human sacrifice 2,000 years ago.

    As they say sometimes, “xians aren’t better, just forgiven.” They have a get out of jail free card that they use often.

  8. gussnarp says

    Between this, the “Religious Freedom Restoration Act”, and all the nonsense they’ve done in the past, it’s pretty clear that a significant portion of Mississippi does not want to live in the twenty first century.

    They can keep this up and in spite of having a beautiful Gulf coast, nice weather, and all sorts of other competitive advantages they will continue to suffer from a weak economy, high poverty, low education, and all the other problems that come of rejecting progress.

    I feel bad for those who would like to leave but can’t, for the children who have no choice whatsoever, and for those who just love other things about Mississippi so much they’re not willing to give the state up. They’re suffering unnecessarily. The voters and politicians and preachers who promote this nonsense, I’ve no sympathy whatsoever for.

  9. Rob in Memphis says

    It’s almost as bad here in Tennessee, home of the “Monkey Bill”, which Gov. Bill Haslam (R) allowed to become law without signing, the “‘Don’t Say Gay’ BIll”, which died last year and will likely be reintroducted, and the Religious Viewpoints Anti-Discrimination Act, which Haslam will likely sign into law.

    Can’t piss off the fundagelicals if you want to be elected to political office in Tennessee and stay there, and pandering to the religious crazies works down here in the American South, unfortunately.

  10. Rob in Memphis says

    Jebus, but I can’t spell or capitalize properly this morning. Sorry ’bout that.

  11. azhael says

    And just in case all that is not revolting enough, consider the fact that when it comes to men, it´s the exact opposite. The more sex you have and the more women you have it with, the more of a man you are and the higher your status in society. Bask in the extreme hypocrisy, let its disgusting rays give you melanomas.

    I´m pretty sure that despite what they claim about kids going to hell, if a young man in their community has sex out of wedlock, he will only get a slap on the wrist, if anything…A young woman, however, oh she may very well know hell, without having to die first or anything.

  12. Pierce R. Butler says

    Knowing my native state, I can only feel relief they brought out unwrapped chocolate instead of a used chaw of Red Man.

  13. peptron says

    This is really ironic when I think of the kind of sex-ed I got where I live.

    The funny part is that we DID learn about abstinence sex! But by abstinence they mean to abstain from impregnating a womb with sperm. That is, foreplay is abstinence sex, erotic massage is abstinence sex, blow job is abstinence sex, well, just about 90%+ of all sexual activity counts as abstinence sex.

    But for some reason, I think that in the US that is not what they mean by abstinence sex…

  14. moarscienceplz says

    I know it’s wrong both morally and scientifically to tar an entire state with one brush, but so much shit like this comes out of Mississippi I have to wonder – is everyone in that state dumber than a sack of doorknobs?
    Maybe it’s like my old town, everyone with two neurons to rub together gets the hell outta Dodge, and only the mouth-breathers remain.

  15. Jerry says

    For people unfamiliar with the consequences of abstinence-only mis-education, just go to scholar.google.com and search for “abstinence sex ed results” (a neutral, unbiased search). Pick any journal article from the first page. Abstinence-only programs do not work. At best, they delay sexual activity for a few months, but these programs then cause the worst outcomes because the kids realize sex feels good, but they don’t know how to do it safely. No training on condoms or other contraception leads to rates of sexually transmitted disease and teen pregnancy on par with no sex education at all. (Yes, abstinence-only mis-education is a placebo.) Comprehensive sex ed programs are proven to work when using the same analysis (much lower STD and teen pregnancy rates). No wonder Mississippi has the highest poverty and lowest education in the country. PZ’s post is not some stuck up atheist slinging mud at believers, it’s an accurate indictment of ignorance and a strike against poverty.

  16. Pierce R. Butler says

    moarscienceplz @ # 15: … is everyone in that state dumber than a sack of doorknobs?

    When you consistently drive most of the smarter people out of the state over multiple generations, deliberately sabotage the public schools so that the underclass won’t get any uppity ideas, and send the upperclass to schools run by churches determined to maintain their social control, you – well, you prove the power of social engineering.

    Also: Mississippi boldly charges ahead where Arizona feared to go.

  17. anteprepro says

    moarscienceplz: Honestly, you could tar about 35 out of the 50 states with the same brush. It’s dumbfucks almost all the way down.

  18. anteprepro says

    And of course, the dumbfucks, no matter what the dumbfuck density of any given state, always seem to reach near 100% in administrative or government positions.

  19. Crip Dyke, Right Reverend, Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden says

    I know someone in the top 7 or 8 people in the government of a federalist subdivision (a state or province). That’s counting the 3 elected officials that are arguably more “top” including the head of the whole government, to whom she directly reports.

    She’s awesome. She’s very, very skilled. She is frighteningly good at organizing projects and getting them done and while I judge myself to be a little more perceptive, her organized mode of analysis makes her awesomely efficient at figuring out what doesn’t work and where weaknesses and problems exist. There are different kinds of intelligence, and I have some in spades, but I would never for a moment think that I’m more intelligent than this woman. She rocks. And more over, the types of intelligence she has are exactly what a big government or corporation needs.

    I don’t think it’s the admin positions that necessarily collect dumbfucks. I think that political cultures of cronyism don’t care whether cronies are dumbfucks. This makes for really different governments and administrators in different places.

  20. says

    Another destructive aspect of abstinence-only sex “education” is that it can set people up for unhappy marriages.My husband and I would never had married each other 32 years ago if we had not both been sure that we were sexually compatible. We lived together for three years before we decided to marry, and we are both glad we did. I’ve given the same advice to my daughter: be sure you are physically compatible with a partner before committing to marriage. Abstinence serves no one except those who feel compelled to monitor and control other peoples’ sexual experiences.

  21. says

    Sastra mentioned mormon culture and Elizabeth Smart. In addition to the chewed-gum analogy, mormons also have a licked-cupcake story they use to intimidate and shame girls.

  22. peptron says

    @16 Jerry:
    An another side effect of what you say is that, when they see that sex is good after being told that it is bad, they simply stop believing what adults are saying because it becomes clear to them that it’s simply lies. So you end up with pregnant teens with authority issues.

  23. says

    Okay, this motivational speech is pure glurge, but it makes the best antidote I can think of to the chewed gum, licked cupcake kind of analogies:

    A well known speaker started off his seminar by holding up a $20 bill. In the room of 200, he asked. “Who would like this $20 bill?”

    Hands started going up. He said, “I am going to give this $20 to one of you – but first, let me do this.”

    He proceeded to crumple the 20 dollar note up. He then asked. “Who still wants it?” Still the hands were up in the air.

    “Well,” he replied, “what if I do this?” He dropped it on the
    ground and started to grind it into the floor with his shoe. He picked it up, now crumpled and dirty. “Now, who still wants it?”

    Still the hands went into the air.

    “My friends, you have all learned a very valuable lesson. No
    matter what I did to the money, you still wanted it because it did not decrease in value. It was still worth $20.
    Many times in our lives, we are dropped, crumpled, and ground into the dirt by the decisions we make and the circumstances that come our way. We feel as though we are worthless; but no matter what happened or what will happen, you will never lose your value . . .


    Of course, in the purity culture, this analogy would apply just fine to men, but women are still licked cupcakes.

  24. moarscienceplz says

    But later Johnson got a call from someone who had attended the board meeting — telling him that people who have sex before marriage don’t go to heaven.

    Ooh, if I had been the one receiving that call I would have had a very hard time refraining from replying that people who DON’T have sex before marriage don’t go to heaven, either.

  25. Rey Fox says

    Also: Mississippi boldly charges ahead where Arizona feared to go.

    Mississippi knows that they’ll never get the Super Bowl anyway.

  26. graham says

    “The board voted for abstinence-only.” And next week they’re planning to vote for no car accidents, followed by a law saying houses aren’t allowed to catch fire. Do these guys have delusions of omnipotence?

  27. John Horstman says

    Hmm, I wonder if Evangelicals simply discard dishes after using them once. Wouldn’t want a plate that’s been used by other people and had other meals on it. Sure, you can wash it, but that won’t remove the spiritual residue, amirite? Or do they never shower and are unaware that the vagina doesn’t simply retain forever any foreign material that’s ever been introduced to it?

    Or are they disingenuously presenting baseless, harmful slut-shaming as “education”?

  28. Corvus Whiteneck says

    I don’t know how people put up with living in such communities. I would not manage well. Raising kids is tough enough w/o the schools being awash in persistent dangerous misinformation.

  29. says

    Additional lies and disinformation in Mississippi sex ed, from the article PZ linked:

    [Mississippi state] law requires that students be taught that homosexual activity is technically illegal in Mississippi.

    Which is nonsense, since Lawrence v. Texas happened in 2003.

  30. esmith4102 says

    These “go to jesus” States have abundantly reaped all the ignorance they have so carefully sown into the minds of their citizens.

    As their bible, Hosea 8:7, so lucidly points out: “they sow the wind and reap the whirlwind”.

    What’s for them to complain – it’s biblical, ain’t it?

  31. Crip Dyke, Right Reverend, Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden says

    That phrasing is nonsense, of course, but if they said something like, “Mississippi retains the crime of sodomy on its books, and that statute is worded to outlaw same-sex sexual relations,” that would be true.

    The article spouting nonsense doesn’t mean that the educational law required teaching of a lie.

    Now, it’s misleading, theocratic bullshit teaching that without including the information that the government has no role in encouraging or enforcing a competent adult to decline sex to which that adult would otherwise consent, and that this right to determine your own consent is so central to you that it is constitutionally protected at the federal level in such a way that the officers of the state of Mississippi would be committing a crime if they attempted to enforce that law against any competent adult.

    But it isn’t nonsense. No, it has a very specific and malicious sense to it.

  32. says

    I was born and raised in Mississippi. In fact, I live just up the road from Oxford (which is considered a rather progressive city here). Mississippi may be a cheap place to live but it is not a good place to live – especially for women. Our governor just signed into law an abortion ban at 20 weeks. The 20 weeks, however, date from the woman’s last period so it’s actually an 18 week ban. The one abortion clinic we have left in the state doesn’t do abortions past 16 weeks.

    This is the kind of wasteful stupidity and cruelty that is sold to Mississippians every day and many of us can’t get enough of it. The churches control so much here and our educational system is too poor to provide most a way out. Being born in Mississippi is all too often a trap – a lifelong sentence of poverty, religious domination, and no healthcare.

    There are many of us here who are working to change things but it’s going to be a long fight that puts many of us at risk. We could use your support.

  33. Jeff K says

    The irony of ignoring basic biology would be amusing but for the fact that Mississippi is one of our poorest states and could use some help.

  34. says

    And next week they’re planning to vote for no car accidents…

    They’ll achieve it with a brilliant new program for driving education: Remove all mention of seat belts, traffic laws and speed limits; just tell people not to drive.

    Wouldn’t you want to save your first drive for your true love? How would you feel knowing that your fiance has already taken their first drive with someone else? Respect yourself and your future partner: Pedestrian Only!

  35. a_ray_in_dilbert_space says

    This is why the state motto of every other Southern state is “Thank God for Mississippi!”

  36. busterggi says

    I’ve heard rumors about Peppermint Patty.

    I’m surprised they used her as an example.

  37. says

    Of cpurse abstinence only works.
    They simply define it that kids who have sex failed the class.
    There might be better methods, and sensible sex-ed might set different goals for passing, but a brave christian doesn’t care

  38. Pteryxx says

    LykeX @35 cites Libby Anne and Scarleteen basically dropping the mic on the claim of abstinence being 100% effective.

    In order to have an exact number, let’s average 42.5% and 50%. This leaves us with 46.3% as the typical use rate for abstinence. This is a very very bad typical use rate. In fact, it’s a worse typical use failure rate than any other method of birth control out there. The typical use rate for the pill is 91%, and for the condom is 82%. The Mirena IUD and the implant have the same typical use rate as their perfect use rate—99.8% and 99.95%—because they are not subject to user error. Given that people who say they will be abstinent typically don’t, and that abstinence-only sex education does not prevent people from having premarital sex (at best it delays first intercourse a short period, but also makes people more likely to engage in risky sex when they do have intercourse), abstinence’s typical use rate puts it at the very bottom when it comes to effectiveness as a method of birth control.

    That link again: Libby Anne

    citing Scarleteen: What is the typical use effectiveness rate of abstinence?

    Scarleteen could still use financial support, by the way.

  39. Pteryxx says

    Wow. And from that extensive Scarleteen article:

    4) For the first time in ten years, after consistent decreases since the 70’s, unintended pregnancy rates for teens are up. Abstinence-only got it’s start in the states in 1996, but only began to become as widespread as it did…umm, around 10 years ago. That may be coincidental, but probably not, especially since abstinence-only education programs not only state abstinence until marriage is the only acceptable choice, they often state that other methods of contraception are ineffective (which is a pretty wacky thing to do when your method has no published typical use rate), and other countries without these programs aren’t seeing this kind of increase. Experts on teen pregnancy, contraception and sexuality near-unilaterally agree that abstinence-only education likely has played a key role in this change.

  40. says

    @Crip Dyke @32:

    Fair point.

    The nonsense I referred to was the pretense that Mississippi still having a sodomy law on the books is somehow relevant to a sex ed class. The agenda of the people who put that requirement into the state education laws is entirely clear.

  41. says

    The curricula adopted by the school district in Oxford called on students to unwrap a piece of chocolate, pass it around class and observe how dirty it became.

    I know sex can be messy, but a towel, maybe a shower, will make you clean again. Seriously though, this type of sex negative, sexist claptrap is so frustrating. I was going to say I found it amazing that it stills goes on in schools, but then I thought about it and realised I really was not all that surprised. As I never went to school here in Ontario I do not really know what they teach, but now I am quite curious to find out what is in the curriculum, and to find out what the Catholic schools teach.

    Another destructive aspect of abstinence-only sex “education” is that it can set people up for unhappy marriages.My husband and I would never had married each other 32 years ago if we had not both been sure that we were sexually compatible.

    This is one area where I think Dan Savage gets it right. He posts so many letters from people that are utterly unhappy in their marriages due to their incompatibilities. Made worse by a culture that makes it hard for people to actually be open about their interests for fear people will think they are freaks, and partners that will laugh at them. Unless people really do not care about sex they should really ensure they are compatible and set up an environment where they can actually be open with each other.

    My junior high sex ed courses were not nearly as bad as this, they were not abstinence only, though they certainly pushed that as the best way, and they definitely did not instill any sort of openness in the students. When the topic of anal sex came up the teacher tried to make it sound as disgusting as possible to make sure that no good person would ever consider it.

  42. Goodbye Enemy Janine says

    Reminds of campaigns run by some Muslim groups urging women to wear veils because not doing so is like being unwrapped candy or meats.

    Funny how similar different religions can be.

  43. robro says

    I’m frankly impressed that Marie Barnard and the other parents tried to change the sex ed program to teach contraception rather than just go along with teaching abstinence-only. It suggests that there are some people in Mississippi who want to see things changed and are making noises about it. They lost this round, but at least they tried and their story hit the LA Times.

  44. mikeyb says

    Truly feel sorry for this child abuse being inflicted on these kids. This is the end state of a combination of the tea party, libertarianism, fundamentalist Christianism, racism and a total contempt for education. A deadly combination of pure evil and stupidity. It’s is essentially Jesus Camp inflicted on an entire state.

  45. chigau (違う) says

    Without any instruction, these young people seem to be able to figure out how to insert a penis into a vagina.
    Do they know that doing so may cause pregnancy?
    When they are told to abstain, do they know exactly what they are abstaining from?

  46. rorschach says

    Without any instruction, these young people seem to be able to figure out how to insert a penis into a vagina.

    But sadly, all because the desert nomads who wrote the biblical fiction almost 3000 years ago didn’t know about microorganism disease and hence omitted suitable instructions, these young people today haven’t figured out not to insert a penis into a vagina when it has pus dripping from it.

    To see this stuff with the eye of a health professional is really really frustrating.

  47. chigau (違う) says

    rorschach #52
    I don’t know which organ has the pusdripping but I’ll be over there with my fingers in my ears singing lalala.

  48. lorn says

    Predictable. The issues around sex and sexuality touch areas very close to the bone of conservative/ authoritarian dogma. And it is that dogma that defines who they are, how they see themselves, and what a person’s proper roll is in society. This goes deeper than intellectual debate. Desires and fears locked away in the turtle brain. On these sorts of issues they are not going to give up, question their beliefs, or compromise any important points without a being forced.

    No, the non-sex sex education was not working. It was all too easy to fall into the trap of thinking that they would admit defeat, reform their world view, flip their world view, and adopt reality based sex education. Their reflex is, and always has been, to double-down and reinforce their dedication to their assumptions. So we go from useless non-sex sex education to shame based ed based using Peppermint Pattie.

  49. Ichthyic says

    of the state’s “151 school districts and four special schools, 81 chose abstinence-only and 71 chose abstinence-plus; some districts did a combination of the two.”

    let me guess… those districts that did a “combination” chose abstinence classes for females and contraception classes for males.

  50. says

    Funny how we never see people show up to defend abstinence only programs in these kind of threads. Apparently even the religious types that post in comment threads here realise how stupid such programs are.

  51. mykroft says

    Any group of people that can rationalize not giving a potentially life saving vaccine (HPV) to girls because it might make them think sex is OK can rationalize anything. Rationalizing a sex ed program that doesn’t work is a no-brainer (literally).

  52. freemage says

    Other variations on this ‘lesson’ that I’ve heard, besides fingered Peppermint Patties and licked cupcakes:

    1: A pizza box is passed around, and the kids get a slice each. At the end, it’s noted that no one wants an empty pizza box–just like no one wants a girl who just ‘gives herself away’. Because women have a sex tank, and when it’s empty, it doesn’t fill up again, or something.

    2: Similar to the first two examples, but with extra ew: The class is invited to take turns spitting into a glass of water. Then they’re all asked if they would prefer to drink from that one or the fresh, clean glass the teacher holds up.

    Can we change our minds about the whole Secession thing? As bad as I feel for the folks who would have to choose between relocation or ending up in the Confuckheadery, I just don’t see the Old South states adding any real value to the Union.

  53. U Frood says

    All these metaphors just argue against sex in general. A chocolate is STILL pretty nasty if I handle it repeatedly, even if I don’t pass it around to my friends.

    I guess what they want is for us to have sex once on our wedding night and that’s it. (And I guess hope she get’s pregnant as that’s our only chance to have kids…)

  54. Dark Lesson says

    I’ve always wondered how idiots like this think that education about sex isn’t necessary for married people. Even if you abstained before you signed a damned contract – because that’s what marriage is, after all, a contract about property rights – you still need to know this stuff. You still need to know how to prevent a pregnancy and how to protect yourself against disease. The sheer naivety of the idea that you don’t is just mind-boggling to me.

    Oh, and lemme guess. They don’t believe there’s such a thing as marital rape.

  55. badgersdaughter says

    I wonder why the handling-the-chocolate thing even makes sense. The groom doesn’t EAT the bride on the wedding night, he handles her (and if all goes well she handles him back). Nobody minded handling the chocolate that other people had handled, did they?

  56. mikeyb says

    Oh god, I just saw something else (briefly) that makes me feel filthy. A website posting the ‘art’ of GWB.

  57. Rey Fox says

    Funny how we never see people show up to defend abstinence only programs in these kind of threads.

    Since the move to FTB, the number of True Believers has dropped dramatically, except for those occasions where Eric Hovind gets into the pixie sticks and him and his students head here on a sugar high. I think this is pretty far outside their usual surfing areas.

  58. David Marjanović says

    Or are they disingenuously presenting baseless, harmful slut-shaming as “education”?

    Just perhaps…? :-)

    Since the move to FTB, the number of True Believers has dropped dramatically

    You can still find creationists on the ScienceBlogs version of Pharyngula.

    And if you’re looking for AGW denialists, the Scientific American blogs are depressingly full of them.

  59. Anne Marie says

    They did this same basic lesson in my Catholic middle school except a woman came to our class, gave a boy a piece of gum, had him chew it, made him give it back, offered it to the other boys and then was all smug, like, “SEE? NO ONE WANTS USED GUM. THAT’S WHAT VIRGINITY IS LIKE.” Awful, awful, awful.

  60. Anri says

    “So, Ms. Badcrumble, what you’re saying is that if we ever are going to do… things… we should make sure to keep a wrapper on it? Huh! My atheist uncle says the same thing!”

  61. samgardner says

    Unfortunately, the dirty scary chocolate trick still doesn’t work.

    I wonder if that’s because the kids realize it’s an idiotic comparison to begin with.

  62. ck says

    badgersdaughter wrote:

    Nobody minded handling the chocolate that other people had handled, did they?

    They might. Chocolate tends to melt at relatively low temperatures, so after a few kids handling it, it was likely melted and sticky.

    samgardner wrote:

    I wonder if that’s because the kids realize it’s an idiotic comparison to begin with.

    Probably. People don’t often give adolescent children enough credit in that regard. Most are perfectly capable of seeing through self-serving lies and intentional misinformation. It’s a rehashed tactic from the ever failing “War on Drugs”, but the people who insist on this have decided not to learn from their mistakes. “If we keep doing the same thing over and over again, eventually it will have to work!”

  63. khms says

    “If we keep doing the same thing over and over again, eventually it will have to work!”

    Unfortunately, sometimes, that works – because there’s a mechanism that makes those repeated attempts build up. Some people seem to think everything works that way, other people can see that different things follow different rules.

  64. Useless says

    That sounds about as effective as the Jennie Murphree rose — a gone, but not forgotten ritual for freshperson women residing at Jennie Murphree Hall at Florida State University. I think it was supposed to be a metaphor for women not to let boys touch their petals. I never understood metaphors and apparently it also went over the heads of some of the women.

    The lesson is much clearer in Mississippi, however. Don’t let boys play with your candy before you eat it.