Abstinence - Archive

April – March 2009: Abstinence

Harvard AIDS Expert Says Condom Distribution is Making AIDS Worse

 

South African Legislator: Condoms Ineffective

Editorial: The Myth of Contraceptive Compromise

Risque Images and the Male Brain

US Study: Listening To Music With Degrading Sexual Lyrics Linked to Early Sexual Experiences

Majority of Teens Cite Their Parents as Role Models

Congressional Budget Bill Cuts Abstinence Education Funding, Increases Safe Sex "Family Planning"…

Harvard AIDS Expert Says Condom Distribution is Making AIDS Worse
Edward C. Green, director of the AIDS Prevention Research Project at the Harvard Center for Population and Development Studies, has said that the evidence confirms that… condom distribution exacerbates the problem of AIDS.

"There is," Green added, "a consistent association shown by our best studies, including the U.S.-funded 'Demographic Health Surveys,' between greater availability and use of condoms and higher (not lower) HIV-infection rates. This may be due in part to a phenomenon known as risk compensation, meaning that when one uses a risk-reduction 'technology' such as condoms, one often loses the benefit (reduction in risk) by 'compensating' or taking greater chances than one would take without the risk-reduction technology." [ALL Pro-Life Today | 20 March 2009; http://www.lifesitenews.com/ldn/2009/mar/09031906.html Life Site News; National Review Online,3/09]

South African Legislator: Condoms Ineffective
Jack Bloom, a representative from Gauteng province, offers more data showing the ineffectiveness of condom distribution in his country. Although about a Billion condoms have been given out there since 2000, AIDS infection rates have risen among pregnant women from 29.4% in 2000 to 30.3 in 2007.

Bloom agrees… that dehumanizing the sexual act by concentrating on condom use will never reduce the lifestyle choices that result in the AIDS epidemic:
“Benedict’s actual words were: ‘If the soul is lacking, if Africans do not help one another, the scourge cannot be resolved by distributing condoms; quite the contrary, we risk worsening the problem. The solution can only come through… the humanization of sexuality, in other words a spiritual and human renewal bringing a new way of behaving towards one another.’

Condoms or no condoms, if we constantly reduce sex to biology rather than committed relationships, we will never change the risky behaviour that drives our AIDS epidemic.”
(http://www.citizen.co.za/index/article.aspx?pDesc=92809,1,22; 8Apr09, www.abstinence.net; http://www.abstinenceafrica.com/library/index.php?entryid=4208)

THE MYTH OF THE CONTRACEPTIVE COMPROMISE
By Cathy and Austin Ruse

Putting aside how conservatives may or may not view contraception for a moment, is preaching contraception new? Contraception has been touted as the solution to the problem of abortion for decades. The variety, availability, and acceptability of contraceptives have exploded over the last forty years in this country; every drug store in America has shelves of them. “Safe sex” campaigns have made contraceptives not only acceptable, but also celebrated. Gynecologists everywhere push them, and the first question from an obstetrician to a new mom is, “What kind of birth control can I put you on?” Let’s also not forget that for decades sex-ed programs have done little else but teach and preach contraception, so much so that a homeschooling movement was founded, in part, just to get kids away from this dominant ethos.

Let’s try contraception to end abortion? Please. The United States is awash in a contraceptive culture, yet more than one million American children die every year through abortion. According to the Alan Guttmacher Institute, “Virtually all women (98%) aged 15–44 who have ever had intercourse have used at least one contraceptive method.” That means virtually all women of childbearing age (a) know about contraception, (b) know how and where to get it, and (c) have, in fact, used it. Saletan admits this.

The plain fact is that more and more contraception over the years has not meant fewer and fewer abortions. Ironically, there is evidence to suggest the effect may be just the opposite.

In Sweden, for example, an increase in affordable access to contraception and the presence of free contraceptive counseling have paralleled a substantial increase in the teen abortion rate. The abortion rate climbed from seventeen abortions per thousand teens in 1995 to twenty-two and a half abortions per thousand teens in 2001. In his 2005 article, “Habit Persistence and Teen Sex: Could Increased Contraception Have Unintended Consequences for Teen Pregnancies?” Duke University professor Peter Arcidiacono suggests that increasing teenagers’ access to contraception “may actually increase long run pregnancy rates.” Even research by the Alan Guttmacher Institute supports this corollary: In its March 2005 “Contraceptive Use” brief, Guttmacher reports that a 2-percent decrease in contraceptive use from 1995 to 2002 did not accompany a rise in the annual number of abortions but, in fact, a drop in the number, from 1,359,400 to 1,293,000.

While this correlation might be counterintuitive, it is certainly not mysterious: More contraception tends to mean more sex, and more sex means more chances for unexpected pregnancies. But it’s more than just a numbers game. Contraception is the promise of child-free sex, and when something goes wrong and a child is conceived—due either to the technical failure rate of contraception or to the possibility of human error in anything we humans undertake—abortion takes that child-free promissory note to the bank.

No matter how well the contraception ethic is preached, even if proclaimed from the president’s bully pulpit, there will never be 100 percent compliance, just as there is never one hundred percent compliance with any preached ethic. Unplanned pregnancies will always be with us… 

[Cathy Ruse is Senior Fellow for Legal Studies at Family Research Council. Austin Ruse is president of the New York and Washington DC–based C-FAM, a research institute on international social policy](1Apr09, http://www.firstthings.com/onthesquare/?p=1356; 8Apr09, www.abstinence.net)

SEXUAL ADDICTION/PORNOGRAPHY : RISQUE IMAGES AND THE MALE BRAIN
Well, now it’s official. Based upon brain scans of 21 male students, researchers from Stanford and Princeton Universities have announced that when young men see bikini-clad women, what they really see are tools. At least that’s the way the male brain processes the semi-nude female image: empathy area shuts down, object-using area lights up.

Psychologist

Susan Fiske explained that the study relates “ to the effects of having pornography and sexualized images of women around and in the media because they spill over into how people treat women in general. You have to be aware of the effect of these images on people. They're not neutral. They do have an effect on how people think about other women."
(http://www.lifesitenews.com/ldn/2009/apr/09040104.html; abstinence.net, 8Apr09)

If we were dense enough to not know it before, we know it now…
Men Objectify Women in Semi-Nude Images Study Reveals
Researchers in psychology at Stanford and Princeton universities have found that semi-nude images of women can cause men to view them as objects.

The research, conducted by a team including Princeton psychologist Susan Fiske, who first presented the findings in mid-February at the annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, found that pictures of bikini-clad women activated brain regions associated with objects or tools.
 
A lead researcher in the project said, "What the brain scans show is that they are reacting to this photograph as people react to objects. It is as if they are not fully human."

"They are not treating them as fully three dimensional humans."

21 undergraduate male students at the University, who identified themselves as heterosexual, were shown images of men and women, some fully clothed and some wearing only bikinis. Areas of the brain associated with empathy for other people's emotions and wishes shut down after looking at the pictures. Brain scans showed that with some of the group, those identified by questionnaires as having "sexist" tendencies, a part of the brain that usually activated during social interaction actually de-activated when they were shown pictures of semi-nude women.

The study found that the images of the semi-nude women remained in the memories of the subjects longer than other images, with the men particularly recalling the bodies rather than the faces most clearly.

Dr. Susan Fiske said that men's perceptions of scantily clad women may be closely related to the ways people "dehumanize" groups from which they wish to distance themselves, such as homeless people and drug addicts.

The study "does relate to the effects of having pornography and sexualized images of women around and in the media because they spill over into how people treat women in general."

"You have to be aware of the effect of these images on people," Fiske explained. "They're not neutral. They do have an effect on how people think about other women."

Daniel Weiss, senior analyst for media and sexuality at Focus on the Family Action, told CitizenLink.com, "Women are viewed as less than human, or they're viewed as objects to be used or acted upon rather than as human beings to interact with."

Weiss said that the images used in the study "were not what most people would consider to be pornography, but they still have an effect."

"That type of sexualized imagery is all around us," he said. "This study gives us pause to consider the impact of all this sexualized media, particularly as it applies to young people."
[1Apr09, Hilary White, www.LifeSiteNews.com]

 

 

 

US Study: Listening To Music With Degrading Sexual Lyrics Linked to Early Sexual Experiences. Researchers at Pittsburgh University School of Medicine have found that teenagers who regularly listened to music with explicit and aggressive sexual phrases were twice as likely to be engaged in sexual activity compared to those who avoided such music.

Writing in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine, lead researcher Dr. Brian A. Primack said, "This study demonstrates that, among this sample of young adolescents, high exposure to lyrics describing degrading sex in popular music was independently associated with higher levels of sexual behavior.

"In fact, exposure to lyrics describing degrading sex was one of the strongest associations with sexual activity … These results provide further support for the need for additional research and educational intervention in this area."

The press release from the American Journal of Preventive Medicine announcing the results of the study points out that sexual activity among adolescents in the United States results in over 750,000 teenage pregnancies each year.

With reports of up to 25 percent of all female adolescents in the US having sexually transmitted infections, researchers and public health officials are looking for those factors that might increase sexual activity in teens.

The study was based on surveys that were completed by 711 ninth-grade students at three large urban high schools, with one third of the group described as regular listeners (more than 14 hours each week of lyrics describing degrading sex), one third casual listeners (2 to 13 hours), and one third who listened infrequently or not at all.

The study concluded that compared to those with the least exposure to lyrics describing degrading sex, those with the most exposure were more than twice as likely to have had sexual intercourse.

Dr. Primack commented that these findings build on those of previous studies suggesting that exposure to sex in media messages may be a risk factor for early sexual progression.

"I am not saying parents should try to ban such music; that is unlikely to help," Dr. Primack said in a BBC report. "However, I think parents should consider this. It is tempting to say music is just 'teenage stuff', but parents should be talking to their children about sex and putting these sorts of lyrics in context."

The full text of the research may be accessed from this link:
http://www.ajpm-online.net/webfiles/images/journals/amepre/Music.pdf
[25Feb09, T.M.Baklinski, Pittsburgh, LifeSiteNews.com]

 

 

Majority of Teens Cite Their Parents as Role Models. A new survey studying teenagers' ethical readiness for the workforce conducted by Junior Achievement International found that more than half (54 percent) of teens cite their parents as role models.

The report presents the findings of a telephone survey conducted by Opinion Research Corporation, among a national sample of 750 teens comprising 375 males and 375 females 12 to 17 years of age, who were asked to choose one role model.
Most of those who didn't specify their parents as role models chose their friends (13 percent), their teachers or coaches (6 percent) or said they didn't have a role model.

Stephanie Bell, director of marketing and media relations at Junior Achievement Worldwide, said that it's critical for parents to recognize that their children vi

ew them as role models.

"Your kids are always watching what you're doing and saying," she said, "so it becomes more incumbent upon parents to model appropriate behavior."

Link to survey news release by Junior Achievement International: http://www.ja.org/about/releases/about_newsitem528.asp
[20Feb09, T.M. Baklinski, COLORADO SPRINGS, LifeSiteNews.com]

 

Congressional Budget Bill Cuts Abstinence Funding, Increases Family Planning. The new omnibus spending bill Democrats proposed this week cuts funds for abstinence programs while more money is given to Planned Parenthood through family planning dollars. The Democratic spending plan cuts total funding for abstinence education by $14.2 million, compared with the previous year. It also cuts abstinence education funding by $42 million compared to what President Bush had asked for in his last months of office.

The cuts are seen as the first step by abortion advocates in Congress to zero out all abstinence education funds through the Community-Based Abstinence Education (CBAE) program, the Adolescent Family Life Act, and through Title V. Democrats cut the CBAE budget by 13%, leaving only $95 million to fund national programs to help teenagers make healthy choices for a positive lifestyle. Anti-abstinence activists applauded the cut and said they expected pro-abortion President Barack Obama to zero out all abstinence funding. [25Feb09, DC LifeNews.com]