News Analysis

News: Sexuality


>> = Important Articles

** = Major Articles


Supplemental Articles in a separate file (click here to read)


>>Study: Abstinence Education Reduces Sexual Activity (Christian Post, 100203)

>>The war against abstinence (Washington Times, 050419)

>>Radical Sex Education—Is Your School Next? (Christian Post, 050430)

**Gov’t-Funded Study on Sex, Abstinence Released Following Protest (Christian Post, 100831)

**Feds embargo pro-abstinence findings (WorldNetDaily, 100820)

**Report: Teens Cite Religion, Morals for Not Having Sex (Christian Post, 100604)

**God, Sex, and ‘Christianity Lite’ (Christian Post, 100329)

**Study: Abstinence Education Reduces Sexual Activity (Christian Post, 100203)

**Abstinence: In the “No” (, 080502)

**Abstinence Education Has Failed! (Christian Post, 070510)

**Most Parents Want Abstinence Message in Schools (Christian Post, 070508)

**How to Make Teens Pledge Abstinence and Really Mean it (Christian Post, 061222)

**Expert: Reports Support Abstinence as Best for Teens (Christian Post, 060809)

**Sado-Masochism Might be ‘Sexual Orientation’ says BC Human Rights Tribunal (WorldNetDaily, 060105)

**Abstinence Education Programs: Changing Attitudes (Free Congress Foundation, 050929)

**‘The New Virgin Army’—Rolling Stone Meets Sexual Abstinence (Christian Post, 050627)

**Abstinence Education Works (Free Congress Foundation, 050216)

**Parents beware! (, 050211)

**Teens delaying sexual activity (Washington Times, 041210)

**Conservatives: Waxman Report is Faulty not Abstinence-only Education (Christian Post, 041207)

**The Kinsey Whitewash (Foxnews, 050210)

**Kinsey as He Really Was—What You Won’t See in the Movie (Christian News, 041116)

**Teen sex is sign of average minds (London Times, 000301)

**Making the Case for Abstinence (Free Congress Foundation, 020125)

**Abstinence-Until-Marriage: Congress Needs to Know It’s Cool (Free Congress Foundation, 020419)

**Physicians Group to Teens: Don’t Have Sex (Foxnews, 990202)

**CDC: At Least 1 in 4 Teenage Girls Has Sexually Transmitted Disease (Foxnews,080311)





>>Study: Abstinence Education Reduces Sexual Activity (Christian Post, 100203)


A new landmark study shows that abstinence education is more effective in reducing sexual activity among youths than other programs.


One-third of students who completed the abstinence program had sexual intercourse within two years of the class. By comparison, more than half of those who participated in safe sex and condom use programs said they had sexual intercourse.


More than 40% of students who received either an eight- or 12-hour class combining both abstinence education and safe sex said they had sex within the two-year period.


The study, which appears in the February 2010 Archives of Pediatric & Adolescent Medicine, published by the American Medical Association, followed black middle school students for a full two years after their completion of the abstinence class.


“Finally, a study that proves what those of us who have been teaching abstinence have known for years,” said Leslee Unruh, president and founder of the National Abstinence Clearinghouse. “These programs help develop self control and self esteem, teaching kids they do not need to fall prey to the game of Russian Roulette with condoms.”


Unruh added, “Abstinence is a message our kids want to hear – this study shows youth are making healthier choices and changing their behavior in response to this refreshing message.”


Dr. David Stevens, CEO of the 16,000-member Christian Medical Association, responded to the study by commenting that “science has finally caught up with logic and what parents have known for centuries,” that abstinence is an effective way to prevent teen pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases.


“Many groups and individuals up until yesterday had relentlessly railed against abstinence programs as totally ineffective, even counterproductive,” said Stevens.


These groups use studies to convince lawmakers, including President Obama, to eliminate federal funding for abstinence programs, he said.


“It turns out that when it comes to educating their children on matters of sex, Mom and Dad really do know best,” Stevens concluded.


The report comes after the Guttmacher Institute released its own study, showing that teen pregnancy and abortion rates rose in 2006, ending a 15-year decline. The institute insisted that the increase was a result of steep declines and a subsequent plateau in contraceptive use in the early 2000s and the widespread abstinence-only sex education programs that were promoted under the Bush administration.


Pro-life group American Life League, however, rejected the Guttmacher Institute’s argument, citing declines in teen pregnancy rates in the early 1990s when “it became popular to teach the abstinence message” and increases when Planned Parenthood began lobbying various states to refuse abstinence money and reduce abstinence programs.


The latest study was compiled and released by Drs. John and Loretta Jemmott from the University of Pennsylvania and Dr. Geoffrey Fong from the University of Waterloo and the Ontario Institute for Cancer Research in Waterloo, Ontario.


Dr. John B. Jemmott candidly admitted, “I think we’ve written off abstinence-only education without looking closely at the nature of the evidence.”


The study followed 662 students from four public middle schools that serve low-income African American communities in a city in northeastern U.S. Recruited between September 2001 and March 2002, the students were randomly selected by a computer to either take an 8-hour abstinence-only intervention, 8-hour safer sex-only intervention, 8-hour comprehensive intervention, a 12-hour comprehensive intervention, or an 8-hour health promotion control intervention.




>>The war against abstinence (Washington Times, 050419)


Yearly, more than 3 million teenagers contract a sexually transmitted disease. In addition to the risk of disease and pregnancy, sexually active teens are 3 times likelier than the sexually inactive to become depressed and attempt suicide.


Clearly, it’s in society’s interest to discourage teen sex. Teens themselves realize this: According to a Zogby poll, more than 90% of teens say society should teach kids to abstain from sex until they have, at least, finished high school. Parents want a stronger message: Almost 9 in 10 want schools to teach youth to abstain from sex until they’re married or in an adult relationship that is close to marriage.


Given the almost universal popularity of abstinence education, it seems strange Sen. Max Baucus, Montana Democrat, soon will introduce legislation that would effectively abolish federal abstinence education programs. These programs supply nearly all the governmental support for teaching abstinence.


The Baucus anti-abstinence plan would take federal funds for teaching abstinence and turn them over to state public health bureaucracies to spend as they will. Since these bureaucracies have been wedded for decades to “safe sex” and fiercely opposition to teaching abstinence, the implications are obvious.


“If the goal is to remove abstinence from classrooms across the country, the Baucus plan will do it,” says Leslie Unruh, president of the National Abstinence Clearinghouse, an umbrella group that includes nearly all abstinence educators in the U.S.


Government officials now spend at least $12 promoting contraception for each $1 they spend teaching abstinence. Virtually every teen in the U.S. receives classroom instruction about contraception. But programs that seriously urge youth to delay sexual activity are rare. And even students who are taught about abstinence almost always are taught about contraception as well, through a biology or health class.


If contraception is already taught in nearly every school, and condom promotion gets nearly all the government funds, why the push to kill the limited funds for abstinence?


The answer lies with certain interest groups that often heavily influence decisions of key lawmakers. The two main groups leading the crusade for the Baucus plan and against abstinence are Advocates for Youth and the Sexuality Information and Education Council of the United States. (SIECUS).


SIECUS has a history of promoting the far boundaries of sexual permissiveness. One article published in its SIECUS Reports periodical actually encouraged society to overturn the “taboo” against sex among 9-year-olds. The article also asked readers to consider if society should arrange for “services of prostitutes for older teenage children who are not in a position to seek out sexual partners themselves.”


Another SIECUS Reports article urged society to re-examine the “social taboo” against incest, suggesting many girls victimized by it are, “in the truest sense of the word their father’s lovers.” Elsewhere, SIECUS argues sex educators have unfairly neglected the pleasurable aspects of teen sex and should learn to “advocate good sex for teens.”


Advocates for Youth is a close ally of SIECUS. Both groups vigorously oppose abstinence education and promote something they call “comprehensive sex ed.” Not surprisingly, a review of “comprehensive” programs reveals they trample on parental and social values. Far from encouraging young people to wait until they’re older before having sex, their message is that it’s OK for teens to have sex so long as they use condoms. Only 7% of parents approve of that message.


Some of the content in these programs borders on pornography. One heavily promoted curriculum, “Be proud. Be responsible,” teaches high-school students to: “Brainstorm ways to increase spontaneity and the likelihood that they’ll use condoms. ... Examples: ... Eroticize condom use with partner. ... Use condoms as a method of foreplay. ... Think up a sexual fantasy using condoms. ... Act sexy/sensual when putting the condom on. ... Hide [it] on your body and ask your partner to find it. ... Wrap them as a present and give them to your partner before a romantic dinner. ... Tease each other manually while putting on the condom.”


The goal of SIECUS and Advocates for Youth is to put this type of curriculum in every classroom. The first step? Eliminate abstinence programs that send the opposite message.


It’s a mystery why such off-the-wall groups should have any influence over federal lawmakers. But one thing’s clear: Their radical agenda is diametrically opposed to what parents and teens say they want in classroom sex education.


Robert Rector is a senior research fellow in domestic policy studies at the Heritage Foundation.




>>Radical Sex Education—Is Your School Next? (Christian Post, 050430)


Parents in Montgomery County, Maryland are upset—and they should be. The Montgomery County public school system is adopting a new health education curriculum that includes some of the most radical sex education material ever included in a public school curriculum for adolescents.


Last week, parents presented the school board with 3,500 signatures opposing the sex-education curriculum. Michelle Turner, President of Citizens for a Responsible Curriculum, told The Washington Times that the message to the school board is simple: the petition represents “a growing concern over your recent decisions to introduce materials and topics to our schoolchildren that many families find objectionable, with no reasonable or acceptable alternative.”


Sex education in the public schools is a topic of continual controversy. The reason for this is straightforward. There is simply no way that materials related to a subject as sensitive as sexuality can be presented in a value-neutral context. After all, the real issue here is not biology and reproduction—it’s whether teenagers will be encouraged to have sex or will be challenged to practice sexual abstinence until marriage.


In the background to all this lies the undeniable fact that the sex education curricula commonly found in America’s public schools are overwhelmingly influenced by the radical left. Progressivist educators and parents share the common knowledge that children—even teenagers—really are listening when adults talk about sex. When those adults convey the message that they expect adolescents to engage in sexual behavior, they will. When sex education is reduced to the myth of “safe sex,” the idea of sexual abstinence goes right out the classroom window.


The Montgomery County curriculum is particularly odious. As a matter of fact, press reports do not do the curriculum justice. It is one of the most radical manifestations of the sexual revolution ever targeted at teenagers, who, in this Maryland county, will be as young as eighth-graders.


The worldview behind the Montgomery County curriculum is clear. Teachers are to present various sexual lifestyles as equally valid and acceptable. Students are to be confronted with a one-week instructional segment on sexual identity that will cover homosexuality and bisexuality and will encourage teens to explore their own sexual identity. The students are to be told that sexual exploration is normal, including same-sex experimentation. Eighth-graders are to learn that homosexual couples represent the newest form of the American family, while tenth-graders will be shown how to put condoms on cucumbers.


It’s the now-infamous “cucumber film” that has attracted the most attention and controversy. The film, known as “Protect Yourself,” features a very young woman demonstrating how to put a condom on a cucumber. According to the website of Citizens for a Responsible Curriculum, the video was produced and paid for by the Montgomery County Public School System. Let me be clear. There is no way this film can be described as anything other than pornography disguised as health education. This very young woman instructs tenth-graders—largely fifteen-year-olds—about how to use a condom in the act of sex, and uses a cucumber as the prop for her “lesson.” The woman tells the teens, “Buying condoms isn’t as scary as you might think.” She goes on to explain just how a condom is to be used. What follows is vegetable porn that is absolutely certain to have the undiluted interest of every teenage boy in the classroom.


Professors Warren Throckmorton and David Blakeslee of Grove City College, both experts in adolescent sexuality and sexual orientation, critiqued the Montgomery County curriculum in a masterful 36-page analysis. Throckmorton and Blakeslee found that the curriculum “unnecessarily presents some material that may serve to promote sexual activity.” Furthermore, “The curriculum on same gender attraction is based on a theoretical orientation, called essentialism, which does not represent a singular consensus of opinion in the social sciences and research community concerning sexual orientation.”


In their devastating analysis, Throckmorton and Blakeslee accuse the school board of adopting a curriculum in which controversial issues and matters of debate are presented “as settled facts.” The curriculum also “appears to view with suspicion and/or neglect the role of religious beliefs in assisting some adolescents to make healthy decisions.”


The sections on sexual orientation and homosexuality came in for intense criticism. Throckmorton and Blakeslee correctly identified the “essentialist assumptions” embedded within the curriculum. These assumptions suggest that sexual orientation is something fixed, whether by genetic predisposition or other factors. This construct allows those pushing this curriculum to argue that sexual orientation should be seen as just the way people “are,” and thus beyond moral scrutiny. Beyond this, “The curriculum wrongly assumes that harassment of gays and lesbians will be ameliorated through this educational process. Although a worthy and necessary objective, to date there are no data to support such an assertion. On the contrary, there is evidence to suggest that the distress of gay and lesbian identified students may continue despite such efforts.”


Finally, the professors found that the curriculum “uses as sources documents provided by advocacy organizations.” As they made clear, these organizations “have a political agenda which undermines the educator’s ability to present sound information to their students.”


In a separate report, David Blakeslee took these arguments a step further, offering five specific criticisms of the curriculum.


These criticisms, addressed to the specific sex-education program in Montgomery County, Maryland, form a helpful framework for parents seeking to understand and evaluate what is being taught in their own schools.


First, Blakeslee suggests that “the curriculum may present too much too soon.” Blakeslee and Throckmorton cited research provided by Durex, a condom manufacturer, which conducted a world-wide survey on sexuality and sex education. “In analyzing their data, we came to a startling conclusion: there is a statistically significant linear relationship between onset of sex education and onset of sexual behavior. Simply stated, the earlier an adolescent is educated about sex, the earlier he is likely to engage in sex. This observation is so remarkable because it remains true across a worldwide tapestry of cultures which have different political systems, ethnic makeup and religious systems. This disturbing finding raises the provocative question: Are there unintentional negative consequences from merely the presentation of sexual education programs?”


Most parents would respond with a quick yes. Who can honestly doubt that among the “unintentional negative consequences” of teaching such material would be behavior that would follow the instructions presented in the classroom?


Secondly, Blakeslee notes simply that “adolescents are not adults.” That brilliant observation seems to be missing among those leading the Montgomery County schools. Blakeslee and Throckmorton remind these educators that the adolescent mind “is undergoing a huge renovation.” In shifting from concrete thinking to more abstract forms of thought, “adolescents process their decision making in a highly emotional and impulsive manner.” The material in this curriculum—including the presentation of flavored condoms—will lead to high-risk sexual behavior. “While this is not news to anyone who has one or was one, adolescents are predisposed to think and act impulsively when contemplating sexual behavior because that emotionally-driven behavior easily overwhelms their compromised decision-making ability.”


Third, Blakeslee insists that “biology is not destiny.” As he explains, the Montgomery County curriculum “is permeated by a worldview which sees same sex attraction as determined by one’s biology.” As he knows, the “born-that-way” argument is employed by homosexual advocacy groups in order to present their arguments and shape public opinion. Nevertheless, “It is not a position supported by research into same sex attraction.”


Fourth, Blakeslee asserts what most parents would see as plain common sense—”health education is not an appropriate venue for social advocacy.” Blakeslee assails the curriculum for citing source materials taken directly from advocacy groups and overlooking “peer review scientific studies which present more educationally sound material.” Blakeslee and Throckmorton argue that the curriculum’s dependence on material from advocacy groups and neglect of the actual scientific data undermines the very credibility that establishes public trust in a school board.


Fifth, Blakeslee insists that “tolerance is not required distortion of facts.” Here, he gets to the heart of the issue. “The curriculum, in an effort to teach tolerance, completely obscures the overwhelming benefit of the two-parent family. It defines family in a nearly meaningless fashion: ‘two or more people who are joined together by emotional feelings or who are related to one another.’ It implies that those who have significant concerns about the destruction of the family over the last 40 years are ‘intolerant.’ The curriculum states: ‘American families are becoming more complex and the greater variety of households encourages open mindedness in society.’” As Blakeslee concludes, “This is education, in service of tolerance, becoming a vacuous exercise in social persuasion.”


The soap opera over sex education in Montgomery County, Maryland includes other dimensions that defy adequate explanation. The school district committee charged with the responsibility of considering the sex-education curriculum includes an eleven-year-old girl, drawn from one of the district’s middle schools. Steve Fisher, a spokesman for Citizens for a Responsible Curriculum asks the pertinent question: “Is it really appropriate for someone this young to be sitting on a committee advising on some very adult themes and topics and issues?”


The real question parents in Montgomery County should be asking is why they would allow their children to be indoctrinated by moral revolutionaries? Furthermore, why would taxpayers in Montgomery County put up with this kind of radicalism from the school board?


Montgomery County, Maryland may be located in one of the nation’s more liberal regions—an area that went overwhelmingly for John Kerry in the 2004 election. Nevertheless, my guess is that parents even there aren’t ready for this. Are you?




Links for Further Reading: Dr. Warren Throckmorton’s Web site offers many helpful articles and resources at Other materials—some quite explicit—can be found at the site of Citizens for a Responsible Curriculum, a group of outraged citizens and parents in Montgomery County, Maryland.




R. Albert Mohler, Jr. is president of The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Kentucky.




**Study: 61% of Teens Want to be Virgins until Marriage (Christian Post, 110209)

[KH: the problem is the other 39%]


Contrary to popular opinion, a solid majority of U.S. teens would like to be virgins when they marry, a newly released study finds.


Sixty one percent of America’s youth said they would like to not have sex until marriage, finds OneHope’s comprehensive study, “Spiritual State of the Children,” released Wednesday. And 63% of respondents said they would like to regain their virginity if possible.


The 91-page study – which also includes data about teen’s belief, values and spirituality – was released just ahead of Valentine’s Day.


Results from the report are surprising given the increase teen exposure to sexually explicit media content – such as the latest controversy over MTV’s “Skins” – and how they are portrayed by the media.


“There is a lot of research about young people, but when do we hear directly from them?” commented OneHope Vice President of Global Ministries Chad Causey. “That’s why OneHope conducts research around the world, asking youth themselves what impacts them most. We use this research to better understand their needs, meet them at their points of pain and bring them hope through media experiences conveying God’s love.”


The sample size was 5,108 teens between the ages of 13 and 18 in the United States. The students were recruited to take the online survey through a panelist company and through social networking websites, with the actual survey being conducted in late 2010.


Order Online: Almost Sex: 9 Signs You Are about to Go Too Far (or Already Have)


Other notable findings by the study for the child-focused ministry include:


• 82% believe God intended marriage to last a lifetime

• 50% consider an unmarried man and woman a family

• 59% said the Bible has little/no influence on their thoughts and actions

• 62% believe truth is relative

• 57% believe being good people and doing good deeds will get you into heaven

• 69% watch MTV on a weekly basis


OneHope, which seeks to reach the world’s children with the message of the Bible, began the study to learn more about the unique needs, experiences and social traditions of youths. The ministry uses the U.S. research to develop programs, materials and material experiences to meet the specific needs of American youths and to share the message that God loves them.


The Florida-based ministry, founded by missionary Bob Hoskins, in 1987 has reached some 700 million young people in 125 countries through children’s magazines, animated films, rave concerts, smart phone apps, interactive games, among other vehicles.




**Gov’t-Funded Study on Sex, Abstinence Released Following Protest (Christian Post, 100831)


After having stonewalled public requests for months, the Obama administration relented this past week in releasing a taxpayer-supported study on the attitudes and opinions of adolescents and their parents regarding sex, abstinence, and abstinence messages.


The 2009 study, titled the “National Survey of Adolescents and Their Parents: Attitudes and Opinions about Sex and Abstinence,” was prepared by Cambridge, Mass.-based Abt Associates for the Family and Youth Services Bureau, the Administration for Children and Families, and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.


It revealed, among other pro-abstinence findings, that the majority of parents surveyed favor their adolescents receiving abstinence messages from multiple sources. Ordered from most preferred to least preferred, parents favored abstinence messages delivered at a place of worship (85%), a doctor’s office or health center (85%), school (83%), a community organization (71%), and the internet (55%).


The study also examined where adolescents were exposed to information about sex and abstinence.


According to the study, adolescents largely learned in school how to resist pressures to have sexual intercourse, with 93% saying that is where they were exposed to the information. Only 34% said they exposed to the information in a place of worship; 21% from a doctor’s office, health center or health care clinic; 11% from a community organization; and 7% from some other place.


As for how babies are made, pregnancy or birth, 97% of adolescents said they learned in school; 31% in a place of worship; 24% from a doctor’s office, health center or health care clinic; 13% from a community organization; and 6% from some other place.


And when it came to the abstinence message – waiting until marriage to have sexual intercourse – 80% of adolescents said they were exposed in school; 53% in a place of worship; 18% from a doctor’s office, health center or health care clinic; 11% from a community organization; and 8% from some other place.


Notably, however, 68.3% of adolescents identified a family member as the preferred source of information about sex and sexual issues, with mothers being the most favored source (43.9%). Only 8.7% said a teacher was the preferred source – the fourth most popular after friends (17.4%) and fathers (13.7%).


“In general, our findings indicate that adolescent attitudes about sex and abstinence are more subject to influence from parents and peers than to messages about sex and abstinence delivered in the context of classes or programs,” the authors of the study concluded. “However, adolescent receipt of information about sex, abstinence, and sexual values in a class or program was associated with increased levels of adolescent communication about sex and abstinence with both parents and peers.”


Following the release of the study, Valerie Huber, executive director of National Abstinence Education Association (NAEA), expressed “great concern” over the sex education policy that is being implemented by the Obama administration, which she said does not reflect the values of what most parents and teens clearly want.


“It is important that the representative government reflects the desires of its constituents,” she commented a day after the study’s release. “This study’s findings call for a reinstatement of funding for abstinence education within the next fiscal budget.”


On Sept. 30, more than 170 abstinence programs will lose funding for their abstinence-centered programs because Congress and the Obama administration canceled all grants going to abstinence-centered programming in their FY2010 budget.


Some programs, NAEA reported, will lose their funding midstream in their five-year grant award.


“This means that nearly two million students will return to school without the skill-building lessons they have come to expect in their abstinence education classes,” the organization added.


It was for this and other reasons that the NAEA mobilized grassroots pressure on the Obama administration to release the study after some of its findings were released in conferences last year and in an executive level report that was made available online.


Dr. Lisa Rue, who wanted to see the full study after first hearing about it in a conference, was among those who were denied access after formally requesting for it via the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA).


According to Rue, the Obama administration denied her request, citing an FOIA exemption that permits withholding information that is “predecisional” and “deliberative.”


But after a second denial months later, Rue sounded off, arguing that enough time had passed for closed-door deliberations to take place.


“It is time for openness and dissemination, which is what we expect from an administration that is advocating change in our society,” she expressed in an editorial in the Times Call. “It is time to invite the people in to weigh the facts and have a voice in the type of prevention and heath promotion programs offered via school districts and community based organizations.”


With help from the NAEA, hundreds submitted FOIA requests earlier this month for public release of the findings.


Following the study’s release, the NAEA called into question whether recent sex education policy decisions truly reflect cultural norms or clear evidence-based trends.


“Teen-sex advocacy groups have pushed for an end to abstinence education funding, despite the fact that a recent HHS study showed most teens and their parents support the core message of the program,” the organization noted.


“If we are truly interested in learning how to prevent two critical epidemics currently devastating our country (out-of-wedlock child bearing and sexually transmitted infections) then the nationally representative findings provide momentum and support for accessing cultural values of parents and children which promote optimal health choices for adolescents,” added Rue.


For nearly two decades, the teen birth rate in the United States has been dropping and according to the latest report by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s National Center for Health Statistics, there were 41.5 births per 1,000 teenagers aged 15-19 years in 2008.


Between 2005 and 2006 there was an increase in teen birth rates, which abortion rights groups said coincided with an increase in “rigid abstinence-only-until-marriage programs” that received a boost in funding under the Bush administration.


Pro-lifers, however, suggested that there may have been more teen pregnancies because of Planned Parenthood’s increased lobbying against abstinence programs. Only when it became popular to teach the abstinence message to teens did the pregnancy rates begin to fall in the early 1990s, contended groups such as American Life League.


Notably, after another increase in 2007, the birth rate for teens aged 15 to 19 dropped to the figure recorded for 2008. Teenagers that year accounted for 22% of all nonmarital births.




**Feds embargo pro-abstinence findings (WorldNetDaily, 100820)


The full results of a national study that favors abstinence education is being withheld from researchers and the public.


The taxpayer-supported survey from 2008 found that around 70% of parents and their teenagers believed that teens should wait until marriage to have sex. Despite release of the study’s summary and its highlight at two major public health conferences last year, the Department of Health and Human Services is withholding the full results according to Valerie Huber, executive director of the National Abstinence Education Foundation.


“When a researcher [Dr. Lisa Rue] asked the HHS for the full results, she [was told it] is not public information and it has not been released to the public and so you don’t have access to it,” relates Huber. “[I find that] a little incredulous since it was shared publicly at two different venues.”


Valerie HuberHuber questions the motivation of the Obama administration, noting that “as of this past fiscal year, President Obama specifically put in his budget a desire to end all funding for abstinence education.”


She hopes a change will be made soon. “We think that an administration that wants things to be open and clear should certainly do something different than the decision that is currently being exercised,” Huber remarks.


In a short article [PDF] about her efforts to obtain a copy of the “National Survey of Adolescents and Their Parents” (conducted by Abt Associates), Dr. Rue says that having been denied access twice by the Obama administration “leaves me to reflect on the role of cultural values with regard to prevention science.”


Dr. Lisa Rue (Univ. of No. Colorado)The University of Northern Colorado assistant professor continues: “If we are truly interested in learning how to prevent two critical epidemics currently devastating our country (out-of-wedlock child bearing and sexually transmitted infections), then the nationally representative findings provide momentum and support for accessing cultural values of parents and children which promote optimal health choices for adolescents.”


Echoing Huber’s concern, Rue concludes with this statement: “...At this point in time, we must ask ourselves: Is this valuable process being suppressed by those who wish to repress American values in an effort to exert control over sex education offered in the United States?”


Huber is encouraging abstinence supporters to hold the Obama administration accountable by asking for the full report through a Freedom of Information Act request, which is available at the website for the National Abstinence Education Foundation.


National HHS Study Not Released by Obama Administration


Washington, DC (August 2, 2010) — The key findings from a nationally representative sample of 1,000 adolescents and their “most knowledgeable parent” measured parent/adolescent attitudes and communication for youth who received classes or programs which delivered messages about waiting until marriage to engage in sex. Key findings included:


•    70% of parents agreed with the statement: “It is against your values for your adolescents to have sexual intercourse before marriage.

•    70% of parents agreed with the statement: “Having sexual intercourse is something only married people should do.”

•    Adolescents had similar responses for the two questions.


A researcher, Dr. Lisa Rue, requested the full report, which was highlighted at a previous HHS conference and at an American Public Health Association conference. She was denied access. This taxpayer-supported survey demonstrates overwhelming support for abstinence-centered education, which is not supported by the Obama Administration.




The Administration for Children and Families (DHHS) funded a survey to examine current attitudes of adolescents and their parents regarding abstinence knowledge and attitudes. Abt Associates conducted this public opinion survey of a nationally representative matched sample of 1000 adolescents (ages 12 to 18) and their parents in 2008. Overall, parents expressed more conservative attitudes regarding permissible sexual behavior than did the adolescents; for example, 11% of parents said it would be okay for an adolescent to have intercourse before leaving high school as compared with 33% of adolescents. Similar differences were found in parent and adolescent opinions about sexual intercourse if birth control was used or if the adolescent had been dating the same person for over a year. Social and cultural norms significantly predict adolescent and parent attitudes with more permissive views expressed both by and about males than females, and significantly different views by race and ethnicity. Multivariate analyses were conducted using a conceptual model based on the literature that explored three main pathways of influence (parents, peers, exposure to information about sex and abstinence in a class or program) on parent-adolescent communication and adolescent attitudes. Adjusting for all other factors in the model, parent and peer factors are more consistently associated with differences in adolescent attitudes about sex and abstinence than are measures of adolescent exposure to sex and abstinence topics in a class or program. Additionally, parent attitudes are more important in influencing adolescent views than the level of parent communication with their adolescent.




**Report: Teens Cite Religion, Morals for Not Having Sex (Christian Post, 100604)


Around two in five never-married female and male teenagers have had sex, a newly released study shows.


The proportion of 15- to 19-year-olds having sexual intercourse has steadily decreased over the past couple of decades, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report.


In 2006-2008, 42% of female teens and 43% of male teens said they had sex, down from 51% in 1988 among females and 55% in 1995 among males.


Among teens that had not yet had sex, the most common reason for not yet having done so was that it was “against religion or morals,” the report noted.


Other common reasons listed were “don’t want to get pregnant” and “haven’t found the right person yet.”


Among the sexually experienced, the majority had “first sex” with someone with whom they were “going steady.” Meanwhile, 14% of female teens and a quarter of male teens had first sex with someone they had just met or with whom they were “just friends.”


Among females aged 18-24 whose first sex was before age 20, 10% “really didn’t want it to happen at the time,” 47% had mixed feelings, and 43% “really wanted it to happen at the time,” according to the report.


Teens’ attitudes about sexual activity and childbearing are becoming less and less traditional.


Males are more likely, compared to 2002, to say it is OK for an unmarried female to have a child and to agree that any sexual act between two consenting adults is all right.


The majority of females also agree that it is OK for an unmarried female to have a child.


The CDC report is based on data collected through in-person interviews with 2,767 teenagers in the United States, conducted between July 2006 and December 2008.




**God, Sex, and ‘Christianity Lite’ (Christian Post, 100329)

By R. Albert Mohler, Jr.


A news report from Washington, D.C. tells the story of vestigial Christianity unhinged from biblical authority. Religion News Service [RNS] reports that many pastors in the nation’s capital are struggling with just how they can go about the wedding of same-sex couples now that gay marriage is legal in the District of Columbia.


“As gay rights spread through civil society, an increasing number of clergy are…caught by conflicting loyalties, forced to choose between church law and civil law in pastoring to their gay and lesbian congregants,” the news service reports.


Amy Butler, pastor of Calvary Baptist Church, is one minister who plans to move ahead with same-sex weddings. Of her colleagues caught between church policy and the same intention, she says: “My heart breaks for them because they do not know what to do.”


Pastor Jeffrey Krehbiel of the Church of the Pilgrims, a Presbyterian Church (USA) church that has already performed “services of holy union” for same-sex couples, sees uncertainty ahead. “You are taking a risk if you publicly perform gay marriages because you don’t know the consequences.”


Mary Kay Totty, a United Methodist pastor, intends to defy her church on the issue. “The institutional church has for so many years oppressed and excluded and harmed our (lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender) sisters and brothers…. We have to say, ‘Enough already.’ These are people’s lives and loves that we continue to exclude from the fullness of life in the church.’” RNS reports that nineteen other “current and former” UMC clergy have signed a statement supporting Totty and her congregation.


The United Church of Christ [UCC], the most liberal of the historic old-line Protestant denominations, allows ministers to perform same-sex marriages and unions. Denominations that seem determined to follow that lead include the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America [ELCA], the PCUSA, and the Episcopal Church [ECUSA]. The United Methodist Church’s direction is less clear, with some pastors clearly determined to perform same-sex marriages, but the church’s General Conference is taking a more conservative course, at least partly due to the influence of delegates from African congregations.


A clear pattern is evident in this report and in the larger context - the churches and denominations that are supporting, recognizing, and conducting same-sex marriages are those that have adopted very liberal stances on other theological issues. This should not be surprising, since any approval of same-sex marriage requires a rejection of clear biblical teachings. Churches that accept and approve same-sex marriage must first find some way to subvert or neutralize the authority of the Bible and to revise the Gospel.


This brings to mind a recent essay by Mary Eberstadt. In “Christianity Lite,” published in the journal First Things, Eberstadt argues: “Rewriting the rules about sex does not, historically speaking, end with sex. Time and again, that rewriting has coincided with departures from traditional teaching in other areas too.”


As she explains:


Even in the hands of its ablest defenders, Christianity Lite has proven time and again to be incapable of limiting itself to the rules about sex alone. Once traditional sexual morality is dispensed with in whole or in part, it is hard, apparently, to keep the rest of Church teaching off the chopping block. To switch metaphors, which came first, the egg of dissent over sex-or the chicken of dissent over other doctrinal issues? We do not need to know the answer to grasp the point: History shows that Christianity Lite cannot seem to have one without the other.


“Christianity Lite” is a new religion that presents itself as an updated and modernized Christianity. But the effort to reject Christianity’s understanding of biblical sexuality goes hand-in-hand with the rejection of an entire range of biblical doctrines. Nothing less will sustain their effort. You cannot leave a biblical conception of sin and salvation in place if you are determined to deny the sinfulness of a behavior condemned in the Bible.


As Eberstadt concludes:


Christianity Lite has left enough evidence in its wake for us to judge the final outcome of that great experiment: It is a failure. The effort to throw out the unwanted bathwater of the sexual code has taken the baby-the rest of Christian practice and belief-along with it.


A project of theological revisionism is easy to start, but hard to stop. Like a spreading acid, theological liberalism moves from one doctrine to the next, developing patterns of argument that arise over and over again. It is no accident that the very churches and denominations now determined to ordain unrepentant homosexuals are the same churches and denominations that were determined to ordain women to the pastorate. The arguments used to get around, over, and under clear biblical teaching are the same.


The Religion News Service report states that many pastors are now caught “between church law and civil law” on the issue of same-sex marriage. They are really caught between the Bible and sexual revolution. The choice for any true minister of the Gospel is clear.


Before long, we will see all too clearly just who will show up to represent Christianity, and who will show up to represent “Christianity Lite.” A quick look at the church’s wedding policy will tell the whole story.




**Study: Abstinence Education Reduces Sexual Activity (Christian Post, 100203)


A new landmark study shows that abstinence education is more effective in reducing sexual activity among youths than other programs.


One-third of students who completed the abstinence program had sexual intercourse within two years of the class. By comparison, more than half of those who participated in safe sex and condom use programs said they had sexual intercourse.


More than 40% of students who received either an eight- or 12-hour class combining both abstinence education and safe sex said they had sex within the two-year period.


The study, which appears in the February 2010 Archives of Pediatric & Adolescent Medicine, published by the American Medical Association, followed black middle school students for a full two years after their completion of the abstinence class.


“Finally, a study that proves what those of us who have been teaching abstinence have known for years,” said Leslee Unruh, president and founder of the National Abstinence Clearinghouse. “These programs help develop self control and self esteem, teaching kids they do not need to fall prey to the game of Russian Roulette with condoms.”


Unruh added, “Abstinence is a message our kids want to hear – this study shows youth are making healthier choices and changing their behavior in response to this refreshing message.”


Dr. David Stevens, CEO of the 16,000-member Christian Medical Association, responded to the study by commenting that “science has finally caught up with logic and what parents have known for centuries,” that abstinence is an effective way to prevent teen pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases.


“Many groups and individuals up until yesterday had relentlessly railed against abstinence programs as totally ineffective, even counterproductive,” said Stevens.


These groups use studies to convince lawmakers, including President Obama, to eliminate federal funding for abstinence programs, he said.


“It turns out that when it comes to educating their children on matters of sex, Mom and Dad really do know best,” Stevens concluded.


The report comes after the Guttmacher Institute released its own study, showing that teen pregnancy and abortion rates rose in 2006, ending a 15-year decline. The institute insisted that the increase was a result of steep declines and a subsequent plateau in contraceptive use in the early 2000s and the widespread abstinence-only sex education programs that were promoted under the Bush administration.


Pro-life group American Life League, however, rejected the Guttmacher Institute’s argument, citing declines in teen pregnancy rates in the early 1990s when “it became popular to teach the abstinence message” and increases when Planned Parenthood began lobbying various states to refuse abstinence money and reduce abstinence programs.


The latest study was compiled and released by Drs. John and Loretta Jemmott from the University of Pennsylvania and Dr. Geoffrey Fong from the University of Waterloo and the Ontario Institute for Cancer Research in Waterloo, Ontario.


Dr. John B. Jemmott candidly admitted, “I think we’ve written off abstinence-only education without looking closely at the nature of the evidence.”


The study followed 662 students from four public middle schools that serve low-income African American communities in a city in northeastern U.S. Recruited between September 2001 and March 2002, the students were randomly selected by a computer to either take an 8-hour abstinence-only intervention, 8-hour safer sex-only intervention, 8-hour comprehensive intervention, a 12-hour comprehensive intervention, or an 8-hour health promotion control intervention.




**Abstinence: In the “No” (, 080502)


By Rebecca Hagelin


Who could argue with the idea that, when it comes to sex education, our teenagers should be taught to say “no”? Considering what’s at stake (their health, their future, their dignity as human beings, their morality) — and because we love them and want what’s best for them — nothing short of a clear-cut abstinence message will do.


At least, that’s how it appears out here in the Real World. In the rarified air of a congressional hearing room, it’s another matter. According to several witnesses (including John Santelli of the Guttmacher Institute, and Max Siegel of the AIDS Alliance for Children, Youth & Families) who spoke recently before the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, abstinence education is not only impractical, it’s dangerous.


Many critics of the abstinence-only programs that have been federally funded over the past 11 years resort to the old kids-will-be-kids argument. They’ll “do it anyway,” we’re told, so we’re wasting time and money on an idealistic charade. Worse, we’re depriving our rutting youth of the “protection” they need to make their unions non-fruitful and disease-free.


Lawmakers didn’t hear from actual teenagers, though. “The greatest failure of this committee was not allowing those that were being talked about — the teens themselves — the opportunity to share how and why abstinence programs have worked for them,” said Leslee Unruh, president of the Abstinence Clearinghouse. “I saw abstinent young adults in the audience appearing frustrated, saying they wish they could share their opinion on this matter.”


A quick review of the resulting coverage finds that the witnesses’ agenda has a receptive audience among the media. Typical headlines include “Abstinence-only sex ed discredited” (Fort Wayne Journal Gazette, Indiana), “A real-world solution to teenage pregnancy” (Houston Chronicle) and “Abstinence-only education not enough” (Rapid City Journal, South Dakota).


I hate to interrupt their collective dream with something as inconvenient as the facts. Actual research, however, shows that the abstinence message works.


In a major new paper, Christine Kim and Robert Rector of The Heritage Foundation sifted carefully through numerous studies on the effectiveness of abstinence programs and found clear evidence that they work. “In addition to teaching the benefits of abstaining from sexual activity until marriage, abstinence programs focus on developing character traits that prepare youths for future-oriented goals,” the researchers write.


But some teenagers get pregnant anyway, the critics reply. True. As Kim and Rector note:


“Each year, some 2.6 million teenagers become sexually active — a rate of 7,000 teens per day. Among high school students, nearly half report having engaged in sexual activity, and one-third are currently active.”


Yet this doesn’t amount to an argument against teaching abstinence. No one ever said that abstinence programs would wipe out teen pregnancy. Any improvement on this front is nothing short of miraculous, given the barrage of trashy media and cultural messages targeted at kids. The critics are engaging in a classic “straw man” argument, and they should be called on it.


The real question is: Do abstinence programs make the problem any better? Kim and Rector show that they do. In my book, Home Invasion, I cited additional Heritage research:


“In the decade or so that true abstinence-only programs have grown in popularity, the percentage of teens who say they have had sex by the time they leave high school has fallen from 56 to 48. A popular component of the abstinence-only movement, virginity pledges, has produced even better results. According to The Heritage Foundation, teens who take a virginity pledge are less likely to become pregnant by age 18, and will have fewer sexual partners in their lifetime than teens who do not take a pledge.”


We also must ask ourselves if the alternative — so-called “comprehensive sex education,” with its pornographic emphasis on the mechanics of sex — is any better. These programs have proven to be dismal failures. They’ve held sway for years in our nation’s classrooms, and teen sexual behavior, STDs and pregnancies have all been going up. As Kim and Rector point out:


“Today’s young people face strong peer pressure to engage in risky behavior and must navigate media and popular culture that endorse and even glamorize permissiveness and casual sex. Alarmingly, the government implicitly supports these messages by spending over $1 billion each year promoting contraception and safe-sex education — 12 times what it spends on abstinence education.”


I hope you find that as outrageous as I do. Our teens deserve better than just a condom and a message to “be safe.” Our children are not animals, incapable of controlling themselves. They are not hopelessly immoral creatures who are going to “do it anyway.” Yet “comprehensive” sex ed teaches them that they’re just that. Parents, this is a slander against our youth. It’s a lie — one that we must fight.


Teaching abstinence may be hard work — and heaven knows it’s not going to win you any popularity contests. But for the sake of our teens, there’s simply no substitute. In the end, you’re the only real “protection” they’ve got. So don’t let them down.




**Abstinence Education Has Failed! (Christian Post, 070510)


S. Michael Craven


This is what the mainstream media and opponents of abstinence-centered education would like you to believe in the wake of the most recent study. Headlines around the country read:


• “Abstinence classes have little effect, study finds” – Seattle Times, 4/14

• “Abstinence programs fall short, study says” – Minneapolis Star Tribune, 4/14

• “Study: Sex abstinence classes failed” – Philadelphia Inquirer, 4/14

• “Study: Abstinence Classes Don’t Stop Sex” – ABC News, 4/14

• “Study Casts Doubt on Abstinence-Only Programs” – Washington Post, 4/14


William Smith, vice president for public policy at the Sexuality Information and Education Council of the United States (SIECUS), a leading proponent of “safe-sex” education, said “This report should serve as the final verdict on the failure of the abstinence-only industry in this country. It shows, once again, that these programs fail miserably in actually helping young people behave more responsibly when it comes to their sexuality.”


The report, which was recently released by the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and conducted by Mathematica Policy Research, Inc. appears, on the surface, to live up to the headlines. The study sought to determine the impact of abstinence education programs. Key findings include:


•Youth in the program group (abstinence classes) were no more likely than control group youth to have abstained from sex and, among those who reported having had sex; they had similar numbers of sexual partners and had initiated sex at the same mean age.


This sounds rather damning to abstinence education. However, here are the problems with concluding that “abstinence education has failed.” First, this study only examined four programs out of more than 900 currently in place. Furthermore, of the four programs observed in the study; one was voluntary and took place after school. Also, the Mathematica study targeted children who were in abstinence programs from ages 9-11 and those children were not evaluated until four to six years later. The fact is, the targeted children were too young to absorb the abstinence message, and there was no continuation of abstinence education into the High School years when adolescents are most likely to engage in sexual activity. Lastly, the study authors themselves stated that “Some policymakers and health educators have questioned whether the Title V, Section 510 program’s focus on abstinence elevates STD risks. Findings from this study suggest that this is not the case, as program group youth are no more likely to engage in unprotected sex than their control group counterparts.”


The bottom line: this study hardly serves to condemn abstinence education and support a return to “comprehensive” sex education in the public schools. A recent HHS-sponsored conference in Baltimore presented evidence from more than two dozen other studies that abstinence programs are producing positive outcomes for youth. There are now 15 evaluations documenting the effectiveness of abstinence education. (Of course, the media never reports on these.) Even the authors of the Mathematica study acknowledge that “Nationally, rates of teen sexual activity have declined over the past 15 years,” since the advent of abstinence education beginning in the early 1990s. Studies through the US Centers for Disease Control (CDC) show the rate of teen pregnancy has dropped approximately 35% from 1990 to 2002. (Studies after 2002 demonstrate the decline of teen pregnancy has accelerated.) The Journal of Adolescent and Family Health published a study that concluded 66% of the decrease in teen pregnancy was due to teens choosing abstinence. The CDC commissioned a study which estimated 53% of the drop in teen pregnancy was due to teens choosing abstinence. Clearly the message of abstinence is having a positive impact on reducing teen sexual activity.


A significant finding of the Mathematica study, which has been ignored, is “that friends support for abstinence is a significant predictor of future sexual abstinence.” Adding that, “promoting support for abstinence among peer networks should be an important feature of future abstinence programs… Maintaining this support appears difficult for most youth as they move through adolescence. At the time when most abstinence education programs are completed and youth enter their adolescent years, data from the study find that support for abstinence among friends drops dramatically.” In essence, the study’s authors confirm the positive impact of abstinence education and argue for its expansion into the High School years. Why? Because the best defense of sexual purity is found in a socially reinforced set of values. Teach sexual purity as a desirable value and establish this value as the consensus among youth and teen sexual activity will decrease. Abstinence education is the only educational program that relies on this approach.


Let me conclude by showing you exactly what it is that comprehensive sex education advocates oppose. The following are the federal government guidelines for abstinence education under Title V, section 510 programs:


A Have as its exclusive purpose teaching the social, psychological, and health gains to be realized by abstaining from sexual activity


B Teach abstinence from sexual activity outside marriage as the expected standard for all school-age children


C Teach that abstinence from sexual activity is the only certain way to avoid out-of-wedlock pregnancy, sexually transmitted diseases, and other associated health problems


D Teach that a mutually faithful, monogamous relationship in the context of marriage is the expected standard of sexual activity


E Teach that sexual activity outside the context of marriage is likely to have harmful psychological and physical effects


F Teach that bearing children out of wedlock is likely to have harmful consequences for the child, the child’s parents, and society


G Teach young people how to reject sexual advances and how alcohol and drug use increases vulnerability to sexual advances


H Teach the importance of attaining self-sufficiency before engaging in sexual activity


Comprehensive sex education advocates oppose the teaching of any “values” related to sexual activity, since they regard sex as a “values-neutral” act in which the public has no compelling interest. However, according to the National Campaign to Prevent Teen Pregnancy, teen child-bearing in the US costs taxpayers $9.1 Billion per year. I think we have an interest!


So, given the values espoused under abstinence education versus the “no values” approach of “comprehensive” sex education, which approach should we employ if the stated goal of both sides is to “reduce adolescent sexual activity and its consequences?”




**Most Parents Want Abstinence Message in Schools (Christian Post, 070508)


Parents prefer abstinence education over comprehensive sex education by a 2 to 1 margin, a new poll found.


A month before current funding for abstinence education is scheduled to expire, a new Zogby poll revealed 80% of parents think sex education in public schools should place more emphasis on promoting abstinence over contraceptive use. Moreover, 90% think it is important for schools to emphasize abstaining from sex given the high number of STDs (Sexually Transmitted Diseases) among teens.


“There’s so much misinformation out there about what abstinence education is,” said Valerie Huber, executive director of National Abstinence Education Association, which commissioned the poll, according to Citizen Link. “We were convinced that once parents understood the real content of abstinence education, they would overwhelmingly support abstinence.”


The study found that once parents understand what abstinence education actually teaches, six out of 10 parents would rather their child receive abstinence education over comprehensive sex education. Only three out of 10 prefer the latter.


Most parents actually reject comprehensive sex education. According to the poll, two out of three parents think that the importance of the “wait to have sex” message ends up being lost when programs demonstrate and encourage the use of contraception. Over half of parents think that promoting and demonstrating condom usage encourages sexual activity and 80% think teens will not use a condom every single time.


“Parents are starting to see through the lies,” said Linda Klepacki, analyst for sexual health for Focus on the Family Action, alluding to misinformation in the media, according to Citizen Link.


A recent study by Mathematic Policy Research Inc. on sexual abstinence programs claimed that both the group of students who participated in the programs and those who did not showed hardly any difference in the number of sexual partners, the age they first had sex, and their rates of unprotected sex. Nearly half of both student groups remained abstinent, the study on 2,057 youths found.


But Dr. Janice Crouse, director and senior fellow of Concerned Women for America’s Beverly LaHaye Institute, noted several flaws in the study. She drew attention to the age of the children in the study, pointing out that those who were in the abstinence programs were as young as nine years old. Moreover, there was no follow-up to the abstinence message they were taught until around six years later.


Crouse also added that if “values,” such as commitment, love and intimacy, are omitted from the programs then “the teaching implies that casual teen sex has no lasting consequences as long as the teens use a condom.”


The contested study came out in April, months before Congress was scheduled to consider renewing a block grant program, known as Title V, for abstinence education.


Six out of 10 parents think more government funding should be given to abstinence education over comprehensive sex education while only two out of 10 want more funding for the latter, the Zogby poll found.


Rather than teaching contraceptive use, 90% of parents think teens should be taught how often condoms fail to prevent pregnancy based upon typical use as well as the limitations of condoms in preventing specific STDs.


Also, eight in 10 parents support the core teaching components of abstinence education such as the benefits of renewed abstinence to sexually experienced students, developing healthy relationships to improve their chances for a healthy future marriage, and increasing self-worth and self-control as methods for reducing premarital sexual activity.


The overwhelming majority of parents agree that being sexually abstinent is best for their child’s health and future.


Results are based on a telephone survey of 1,002 interviews with parents of children aged 10-16 across the country.




**How to Make Teens Pledge Abstinence and Really Mean it (Christian Post, 061222)


Casual sex is common. Everybody does it, many say. A new study seemingly confirmed premarital sex as “normal behavior” for the vast majority of Americans, and one national youth leader is asking how the country got to this point.


“We can say 95% of people have been sexually active before marriage,” Ron Luce, founder of Teen Mania, told The Christian Post, “but if you look at the progression – if you say for decades it’s been like this – it’s been getting younger and younger as far as sexual activity.”


A new study released Tuesday by the Guttmacher Institute in New York reported that 95% of Americans have had premarital sex. Based on interviews with more than 38,000 people, most of them women, the national survey found that more women aged between 28 and 56 had premarital sex by age 30 than those born in the 1940s.


Although some, like Janice Crouse of Concerned Women for America, which supports abstinence-only education, were skeptical of the high numbers, Luce said the outcome of the study is “definitely a commentary on how we got to where we are right now with teenage America.”


“We’ve allowed the promiscuity in our culture to become more and more common,” commented Luce, who has led millions of teens in a Christian movement against MTV culture – sex, drugs and violence.


“As it’s more commonplace, it’s more in the media; and as it’s more in the media, kids are experimenting younger and younger,” he added.


On a general note, the findings from the study did not come as a complete surprise. An earlier Barna Group study had found young adults to be less conventional in sexuality and morals. People in their 20s and 30s expressed less conventional attitudes toward sexual activities. Most said cohabitation, sex outside of marriage, and viewing pornography are morally acceptable behaviors.


Current events such as the Mark Foley scandal, sexually oriented school shootings and now sexual misconduct among evangelical ministers indicate a “sexually unrestrained society,” research director David Kinnaman of The Barna Group had noted.


The study called into question the many abstinence programs and ministries trying to keep teens chaste before marriage.


But the question was raised even before the release of this week’s sex study was released. Faculty at Columbia and Yale universities studied 12,000 teenagers over the course of six years and found that 88% of those who pledge to be abstinent reported having had sexual intercourse before they married.


At the same time, the abstinence pledges caused teens to delay the start of sexual intercourse by 18 months and to have fewer sexual partners than those who did not make a pledge, the study further noted.


“Delaying is better than nothing,” said Luce, who said he believes many abstinence programs “miss the point.”


“They (abstinence programs) are all about ‘don’t do active sex,’” he said, “but the problem is that if we don’t teach young people to guard their heart and not give their heart away, then what happens is they get ... emotionally attached.


“Then they don’t know how to say no [to sex].”


Luce has been traveling across the country in a “Battle Cry” movement warning parents of the sexualized culture Americans live in today.


One of the major consequences of such rampant sexual activity is the spread of sexually transmitted diseases, Luce pointed out.


“We keep inventing more of them,” he said. “Man has got a moral code. Man is created in the image of God and when you break the moral code, there are consequences that you pay.”


With sex becoming, or having been, normalized, it’s not just about teaching teens to keep their body pure, but their hearts pure as well, Luce stressed.


“People that are passionately committed to following Christ and his ways are people who would make a commitment to abstinence and really mean it.”




**Expert: Reports Support Abstinence as Best for Teens (Christian Post, 060809)


A decline in the number of high school students having sex may have convinced some people of positive teen trends, but some evangelicals are pointing to the still large number of teen pregnancies and sexually transmitted diseases.


According to Concerned Women for America, the United States is still the industrialized nations’ world leader in teen pregnancies and STDs, and a report by Child Trends revealed few teens using birth control. Less than 30% of females and less than half of males said they consistently use condoms, and nearly 20% of females and over 10% of males reported that they never use a condom.


“It would be easy to become complacent about the good news regarding the decrease in teen sexual activity,” said Dr. Janice Shaw Crouse, senior fellow of WA’s Beverly LaHaye Institute, “but the United States still has too many sexually active teens with 47% of teens reporting that they have engaged in sexual intercourse. The left tends to give lip service to the benefits of abstinence and then strongly promotes condoms and hormonal contraceptives.”


A study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported that the 47% of high school student last year who said they had ever had sexual intercourse is down from the 54% who reported the same in 1991. Some Christians have called the report “encouraging” but other studies have failed to lift concerns from others.


“How is it that the United States has the highest rates of teen pregnancy and STDs in the industrialized world? That is hardly the way to provide world leadership or to promote democracy and freedom,” commented Crouse in a released statement. “We should be able to nurture our own young people to high standards of personal conduct and we ought to build a culture that will protect our young people and empower them for productive lives.”


Researchers recently found that teens who listen to sexual lyrics start having sex sooner than those who prefer other songs. Among heavy listeners, 51% started having sex within two years versus 29% of those who said they listened to little or no sexually degrading music, according to The Associated Press. Another study, reported in the American Journal of Public Health, found that 52% of those who took virginity pledge retracted those pledges within a year.


“This factual evidence seems to shout at public officials that it is unrealistic and cruel to promote condoms and contraception as protection for teens against either pregnancy or STDs,” Crouse added. “Over and over again the data supports the validity of an abstinence-based approach for teens.”


The data used in the Child Trends report comes from the 2002 National Survey of Family Growth and comparison data from 1988 and 1995, noted Crouse.




**Sado-Masochism Might be ‘Sexual Orientation’ says BC Human Rights Tribunal (WorldNetDaily, 060105)


VANCOUVER, January 5, 2006 (—The BC Human Rights Tribunal is being asked to discover a new “sexual orientation.”  The Vancouver Sun reported December 30, that a self-described “pagan” is accusing the Vancouver police of discrimination for refusing him a license to drive a limousine because of his involvement in the “bondage and discipline, domination and submission, sadism and masochism” (BDSM) underworld.


A Vancouver man, Peter Hayes, has accused the Vancouver police of illegal discrimination because of his involvement in BDSM. Hayes says that he lost a potential job as a limousine driver when police refused him a chauffeur’s permit and has taken his case to the Human Rights Tribunal.


The Tribunal’s Lindsay M. Lyster wrote an 18 page preliminary decision saying that the complaint can go forward. She said that while she did not completely understand the “precise nature of Mr. Hayes’ lifestyle, practices and preferences,” they ought to be investigated as to whether they fall under the definition of sexual orientation, and therefore of the protection of human rights legislation.


Lyster wrote that she did not understand the meaning “of the parties’ use of the term BDSM or other related terms.” Despite this, she believed “that Mr. Hayes suffered an adverse impact as a result of the respondents’ actions is, on the facts alleged, clear, as he was denied a chauffeur’s permit and lost the opportunity to work.”


The police department said, “In our submission, sexual orientation is separate and distinct from preferences or behaviours while engaging in sex. The legislature has not gone so far as to prohibit discrimination on the basis of preferences or behaviour.”


The issue of legal protection for “sexual orientation,” however, is a vexed one since when such legislation was introduced, a clear definition was deliberately withheld.


Gwen Landolt, a family advocate and head of Real Women of Canada, told that no definition of the term can be found in Canadian law so it can and is used to provide legal protection to any sexual proclivity.


Landolt said, “That was the whole point when the legislation began to appear. ‘Orientation’ was left open so as to include pedophilia, bestiality or anything anyone wants.”


“This has been the goal of the homosexual movement from the start: to remove from the Canadian criminal code everything pertaining to sexual morality, and their favorite method is to use the Human Rights Tribunals. These tribunals are not run according to the standards of evidence and due process as the normal courts,” Landolt said.


Lyster wrote that the Tribunal should employ the opinion of “experts” to decide if Mr. Hayes’ sexual interests could be considered an “orientation.” Given the willingness of experts to approve of most sexual activities that had heretofore been considered sick or dangerous to past generations, it seems to Landolt that one more sexual deviation is about to be given legal protection in Canada.


Landolt said, “The same thing happened in Ontario with the so-called ‘transgendered.’ They were refused OHIP coverage for their surgeries and they went to the Human Rights Tribunals. Now we have seen it with the swinger’s clubs in Montreal, and previously with child pornography. You name it.”




**Abstinence Education Programs: Changing Attitudes (Free Congress Foundation, 050929)


Abstinence education has a good friend in the Bush Administration. After all, abstinence is the only proven and effective safeguard against unplanned pregnancies and sexually transmitted diseases (STDs). Good causes in Washington usually earn the enmity of powerful reactionary forces and that is certainly the case with abstinence education: the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) rejects abstinence education and wants it stopped. Your state may be one of the 18 States on the ACLU target list: Alaska, Arkansas, California, Connecticut, Delaware, Georgia, Illinois, Kansas, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Tennessee and Wyoming.


ACLU wants to convince public officials in 18 States to withdraw their commitment to one method that could keep young men and women pointed on the right path. ACLU has called abstinence education programs “dangerous” and has urged local supporters in the 18 States to demand that local school superintendents keep such programs out of the classroom.


If ACLU were to have its way local supporters would soon flood local school superintendents with communications claiming that abstinence-only education was harmful and dangerous and would put teenagers at risk. How ACLU could say that is beyond belief. Premarital sex really puts teenagers at risk. Think of it this way. If you never held a loaded gun to your head and pulled the trigger the odds of your dying from a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head would be zero. For those who practice abstinence before marriage the odds of contracting sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) would be zero and the chances of premarital pregnancy would be zero.


ACLU relies upon, “The Content of Federally Funded Abstinence-Only Education Programs,” a report issued in December 2004 by (liberal) Representative Henry Waxman (D-CA), Ranking Member, House Government Reform Committee. The Abstinence Clearinghouse and the Heritage Foundation criticized the Waxman Report for making misleading statements and factual failure about abstinence education. Heritage Foundation analyst Melissa G. Pardue reviewed the Waxman Report and concluded it was “riddled with errors and inaccuracies about the effectiveness of abstinence education and the risks associated with early sexual activity.” Pardue pointed out that Waxman consistently has opposed abstinence education and that the Waxman Report excludes statistics confirming that teenage sex heightens risks, such as suicide and depression.


The Heritage Foundation analyzed the 2001 National Longitudinal Survey of Adolescent Health (NLSAH), which tracked the behavior of a group of young people from their early teens to their early twenties. The second wave of interviews showed that sexually active girls were three times more likely to attempt suicide than non-sexually active girls. The rate was much higher for sexually active boys.


A study published in the October 2004 edition of the American Journal of Preventive Medicine by Denise D. Hallfors and other academic researchers on “Adolescent Depression and Suicide Risk” which reviewed data from the study’s first wave of interviews concluded:


“Compared to youth who abstain from risk behaviors, involvement in any drinking, smoking, and/or sexual activity was associated with significantly increased odds of depression, suicidal ideation, and suicide attempts.”


The Waxman Report maintains that abstinence education simply is not effective, appearing to ignore the Study by Tingle, Mohn and Finger, “An Analysis of the Causes of the Decline in Non-Marital Birth and Pregnancy Rates for Teens from 1991 to 1995,” published in the April 2003 edition of Adolescent and Family Health. The Tingle, Mohn and Finger Report determined that increased abstinence accounted for 67% of the drop in the pregnancy rate for 15- to 19-year old teenage girls.


The Waxman Report challenges the notion of teenagers taking “virginity pledges,” arguing that such pledges would be ineffective despite statistics presented in the 2001 NLSAH Study. The latter study asserted that teenagers who took the virginity pledge would have lower rates of out-of-wedlock births and more likely would refrain from sexual activity. Mr. Waxman and the ACLU might not care to admit abstinence would work. The statistics are difficult to ignore.


Proponents of abstinence education programs should resist the ACLU attempt to distort. Grassroots Americans who are concerned about young people staying on the right path should defend abstinence education programs. Urging friends and family and fellow worshipers to do so could counter the ACLU disinformation campaign.


President George W. Bush told the nation during his third debate with challenger John F. Kerry that “as we promote life and promote a culture of life, surely there are ways we can work together to reduce the number of abortions … I will continue to promote abstinence programs.” He has kept his word. The President’s 2006 budget proposal would support a program encouraging young Americans to make “responsible choices.”


One recommendation would help States and local communities to implement abstinence education programs and services. Abstinence education programs could be more cost-effective than programs to help single parents raise their children, treat STDS or provide counseling to deal with the consequences of teenage sex and abortion. Abstinence education programs would encourage individual responsibility and self-restraint.


Mr. Waxman and his allies in reproductive healthcare would like to retain the 1960s mindset in which “free love” is acceptable and morality is diminished. They would appear to care little about the cost of such activities to society. They would appear to care little about aborted children, teenage mothers who are on welfare because they cannot afford to raise their children and teenagers who engage in premarital sex only to become depressed, even suicidal. If Waxman allies were concerned they would welcome abstinence education as the most effective method to avoid those social ills. Lives are endangered.


Our country is beginning to regain some of its moral bearings from the 1960s aftershocks. The ACLU campaign threatens to undo the progress we have made. Americans of conscience should not permit that to happen.


Paul M. Weyrich is Chairman and CEO of the Free Congress Foundation.




**‘The New Virgin Army’—Rolling Stone Meets Sexual Abstinence (Christian Post, 050627)


Several years ago, an article in the journal Theology Today suggested that sexual abstinence just might be “the last sexual perversion.” In a world increasingly given to unrestrained sexual activity and a cornucopia of sensuality, voluntary sexual abstinence appears radical, suspicious, and downright odd.


This certainly seems to be the case as Rolling Stone magazine reported on what it called “The New Virgin Army” in its June 30-July 14, 2005 issue. The article, written by reporter Jeff Sharlet, identifies this new “army” of sexually abstinent Christian young people as, “the young and the sexless.” As the article declares, “There’s a new sexual revolution going on . . . . Meet the Christian soldiers who are fighting the fire down below.”


A couple of decades ago, Rolling Stone magazine represented the voice of the counter-culture. Now, Rolling Stone is no longer part of the counter-culture—it’s mainstream in both audience and ideology. The magazine, we should note, has not shifted right. The culture has shifted left—at least on sex.


The sexual radicalism of the 1960s—the very culture that produced skyrocketing rates of teenage sexual activity, unmarried heterosexual cohabitation, the homosexual rights movement, and the eroticization of everyday life—has produced a moral context in which sexual abstinence before marriage appears nothing less than a perversion of the sexual norm.


Sharlet’s article begins by suggesting that the “true face of the Christian right” just might be “that of a twenty-four-year-old religious-studies graduate student at New York University.” Sharlet introduces us to Matt Dunbar, a young man who is described as committed to sexual abstinence, but not to prudery. To him, marital sex is “communion,” and the act of sexual intercourse—and all other sexual activity—is restricted to the confines of heterosexual marriage.


As Dunbar understands, “Abstinence is counter-cultural.” He ties it to a rejection of materialism, consumerism, and the sensuality that has debased the culture even as it has corrupted sex itself.


Dunbar and his three New York roommates are committed to sexual abstinence until marriage. For three of the young men, sexual abstinence has meant virginity. The fourth has had sex in the past but is now committed to abstinence until marriage. All four are from Visalia, California, and the photographs accompanying the article portray young twenty-somethings who look pretty much like their generational peers.


The young men are brutally honest about the difficult challenge of sexual purity. Scantily clad young women, sexually explicit advertising, and an entertainment universe saturated with sensuality produce a context that makes sexual purity a very difficult goal to achieve. Beyond all this, the moral message constantly communicated by the mainstream culture is that being sexually active is normal and sexual abstinence is something like an indication of mental imbalance or sexual cowardice. At the very least, it represents an eccentric form of moral Puritanism that is hardly understood by the mainstream culture.


These young men are not total ascetics. They enjoy food and other pleasures, but they see sex as belonging to an entirely different world. As Sharlet explains, sex is understood to be supernatural among the sexually abstinent. “Sex that is just two bodies in motion strikes them as empty,” he explains, “even if love is involved.”


The most interesting part of the Rolling Stone article is the reporter’s fundamental assumption that the real agenda behind the campaign for sexual abstinence must be political. Early in the article, Sharlet makes this claim: “Chastity is a new organizing principle of the Christian right, built on the notion that virgins are among God’s last loyal defenders, knights and ladies of a forgotten kingdom.” When Dunbar describes sexual abstinence as a form of rebellion, Sharlet jumps to the political sphere. As he sees it, conservative Christians are now pushing the issue of sexual abstinence in order to make “every young man and woman part of an elite virgin corps.”


At times, the article reveals interesting insights and incisive analysis. Sharlet seems to understand the cultural awkwardness that comes with a commitment to sexual abstinence. Something has to explain this counter-cultural behavior, and Sharlet just assumes that the rise of the new Christian right must have something to do with it.


As a matter of fact, he cites the rise of an entire body of literature committed to sexual abstinence before marriage and programs of abstinence-based sex education and sees the Christian right discovering a platform. Sharlet suggests that “it wasn’t until the Clinton years that the Christian right fully discovered sex as a weapon in the culture wars.”


Clearly, Sharlet hasn’t been hanging around conservative Christians for very long. Anyone who thinks that the idea of sexual abstinence is a recent development tied to a political agenda within the Christian right just hasn’t been in touch with conservative Christianity. As a matter of fact, the reporter’s analysis serves as a fascinating lens through which to see the sexual values of the dominant media class. They haven’t considered sexual abstinence as an option for years, and at least some of them have a hard time believing that sexual abstinence before marriage was ever considered the normative expectation for young people. Coming of age in the 1960s—or raised by parents who came of age in the 1960s—those who live in the dominant sexual culture now hear the idea of sexual abstinence as something genuinely innovative and assuredly radical.


Sharlet does see something of a paradox at the heart of the evangelical abstinence movement. “It is at once an attempt to transcend cultural influences through the timelessness of Scripture and a painfully specific response to the sexual revolution,” he explains.


Ideologically-driven “liberation” movements of the last forty years come under particular criticism. The women’s liberation movement is blamed for preaching a message of self-satisfaction, even as the larger culture became enamored with sexual excess and managed to convince itself that there was no normative sexual morality.


These young men also blame an effeminized church. Sharlet cites a number of popular evangelical authors to the same effect, noting that most assume that men face particular sexual temptations, given the reality of the male sex drive.


Sharlet’s review of the literature is generally fair, and he clearly sees the proliferation of evangelical books urging sexual abstinence as something of a publishing phenomenon. He appears to be surprised by the candor expressed by the authors, and even more surprised at the understanding of human nature—as illustrated by the male sex drive—that serves as a foundation for the evangelical understanding of sexual morality. Where the evangelical authors suggest that young men must learn to “bounce their eyes” off of sexually-explicit advertisements and images, the dominant culture assumes that sexual arousal leading to lust is simply part of the spice of life.


Sharlet also seems to be fascinated by the fact that these Christian young men fully expect to enjoy sex as a major part of their lives when married. He understands that the discipline of sexual abstinence comes hand-in-hand with an elevated anticipation of marital sex.


“Like the fundamentalists of old, today’s Christian conservatives define themselves as apart from the world, and yet the modern movement aims to enjoy its fruits,” Sharlet explains. These young Christians committed to sexual abstinence combine “the biblical austerity of chastity” with an eager anticipation of marriage and marital sex.


All that is just the beginning, Sharlet argues. “Sexual regulation is a means, not an end. To believers, the movement offers a vision grander even than the loveliness of a virgin: a fairy tale in which every man will be a spiritual warrior, a knight in the service of the king of kings, promised the hand and the heart and, yes, the sexual services of a ‘lady.’ That is the erotic dream of Christian conservatism: a restoration of chivalry, a cleansing of impurity, a nation without sin, an empire of the personal as political.”


The Rolling Stone article on “the young and the sexless” comes packaged in a magazine that features a sexually-explicit photograph of actress Jessica Alba on its cover. Within the article, Alba explains that she uses her physical attractiveness as a way of sending unambiguous sexual signals. “Men are about the physical,” she explains, and a smart girl is one who knows how to use the physical to get ahead.


That is the kind of sexual morality that represents what Rolling Stone magazine is all about. The magazine’s article about young Christians committed to sexual abstinence appears as something of an eccentricity—like the report of an expedition into alien territory. Nevertheless, by the time the article draws to a close, it is clear that from the vantage point of the dominant sexual culture, the movement for sexual abstinence appears as something a bit more than odd. In fact, this movement represents nothing less than a threat to a society infatuated with sexual permissiveness. That’s what makes this article not only interesting, but important.




R. Albert Mohler, Jr. is president of The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Kentucky.




**Abstinence Education Works (Free Congress Foundation, 050216)


Whoever coined the phrase “you can’t argue with success” never ran into the folks who run the pro-abortion lobby. The representatives of these groups are willfully blind to the fact that more teens are open to the message of abstinence and to incorporating it into how they lead their lives. They realize that sexual activity without a binding commitment is a dead-end; the consequences ranging from hurt feelings at least to abortions, pregnancies, and sexually transmitted diseases. What should be common sense – no sex before marriage – is antithetical to the viewpoint of the staffs of organizations such as NARAL Pro-Choice America and The Alan Guttmacher Institute and their cheerleaders in the news media.


The news media jumped upon a study by Texas A&M on the effectiveness of abstinence programs. News coverage about the report’s findings indicated that children who received abstinence education were not working because teens were having sex after participating in abstinence education classes. However, the Associated Press did note that A&M researcher Buzz Pruitt “cautioned against drawing overarching conclusions from the study, which is incomplete and does have flaws” including the lack of a control group that would permit measurement of whether the increase in sexual activity would be even greater if teens had no abstinence education at all.


The Abstinence Clearinghouse examined the study by Texas A&M. It decided to compare results with those found by the Center for Disease Control’s 2003 Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance survey. In essence, the Texas teens in the YRBS study became the control group. The finding? Abstinence Clearinghouse found that “When compared with the general teen population [in the 2003 YRBS survey], teens who participate in abstinence education programs have significantly lower sexual activity rates.” The difference was most pronounced among young males. Only 24% of ninth grade males engaged in sexual activity after abstinence classes, nearly 20%age points less than those in the larger YRBS study. Nearly 40% of males in the 10th grade did engage in sexual activity, 17%age points less than those 10th grade teen males surveyed in the YRBS study.


When NBC polled young Americans recently about their feelings involving sex, the survey turned up some surprising results. Most teens 13-16 years old have not engaged in sexual intercourse. Many are concerned about the adverse consequences, which include pregnancy, sexually transmitted diseases, even their parents’ reactions. 42% say they have not had sex because of their moral or religious beliefs. The findings speak to the good sense displayed by many young Americans.


If only some of their elders possessed such common sense. The entertainment industry constantly besieges teens with messages urging sex in its ceaseless production of movies, television programs and songs glorifying sex. Who wants to hear a song about “Because I had sex and picked up a STD, I will never have a child?”


Last fall, the RAND Institute released the results of a study conducted for the National Institute of Child Health and Development. It showed teens who watched shows with a great deal of sexual content were much more likely to engage in sexual intercourse than those teens who watched programs with little sexual content. “This is the strongest evidence yet that the sexual content of television programs encourages adolescents to initiate sexual intercourse and other sexual activities,” stated RAND psychologist Rebecca Collins. It is with reason that my friend, Leslee Unruh, President of the Abstinence Clearinghouse, asserts “clean programming is essential” to encourage young Americans to hold positive attitudes toward sex. Hollywood evidently has a very different idea.


Rep. Henry Waxman (D-CA), Ranking Minority Member of the Committee on Government Reform, challenged the curriculums of abstinence programs, even faulting them for relying upon religious beliefs and moral values and for engaging in gender stereotyping. However, the report prepared by Waxman’s own staff was shown to have engaged in faulty analysis. A lesson plan issued by Teen-Aid Inc. that he cited as having claimed as many as 15% of women would be unable to become pregnant after an abortion did not even include that statistic.


That lack of accurate information did not stop the pro-abortion lobby from welcoming the study. The response on their “Bush v. Choice” blog is likely to strike more than a few readers as being more suitable for scrawling on bathroom walls than to be placed on the webpage of a national lobbying organization. “Whatever it is that p—— me off most, it seems that I’m not the only one,” states the NARAL Pro-Choice America section on the Waxman report. “…abstinence-only programs also push bull—— sex stereotypes.” What specifically raises the ire of the writer? One point she takes exception to is, “One [abstinence-only] curriculum cited in the report teaches that women need ‘financial support,’ while men need admiration.” Unless the young women who are pregnant come from a wealthy family, they generally do need financial support. Unfortunately, this assertion is just “not progressive” enough for the NARAL Pro-Choice America writer.


Conveniently ignored by the anti-abstinence forces are the good work of pro-abstinence programs such as Project Reality and Choosing the Best.


Project Reality’s Game Plan program aimed at teens in grades seven to nine has been evaluated by Northwestern University researchers.


An August 2002 study by Northwestern University Medical School researcher John S. Lyons, Ph.D., discovered that “youth have a clearer understanding of abstinence and of the health consequences of engaging in or refraining from sexual activity after participating in the program. It also appears that the abstinence message can reach youth who are already sexually active. Finally, the reported behavioral intentions to remain abstinent from sexual activity until marriage increased significantly to two-thirds of all program participants.”


Lyons note that there was a lack of a control group but added that the results would be unlikely to be achieved otherwise since most teens become more permissive about issues of sexual activity over time. The youth who were tested could simply be parroting back what their elders would like to hear. Even if that were so, Lyons said, “…that would be evidence that they clearly had head the “Game Plan” message.”


An October 8, 2004 executive summary prepared by Stan Weed, Ph.D., at the Department of Health & Human Services’ Institute for Research and Development assessed the results for students in grades seven to nine in two Georgia counties, Pike and Spaulding. Of the 938 students, 549 received the Choosing the Best curricula while a comparison group of 389 students did not receive education. Spaulding was considered to be “higher risk” in regard to teen pregnancies. Pike was lower risk. Weed’s research found that “Spaulding County experienced significant reductions in initiation rates in all three treatment grades compared to comparison students.” The results were less clear for Pike County given the comparison groups. However, the overall finding made clear that teen sexual intercourse might be able to fall by between 50 to 60% when students were exposed to the curricula of “Choosing the Best” for three years.


More young Americans need to hear the abstinence message despite what the naysayers may say. The fact is that many teens seek sex not because they are happy and successful, but because the opposite is true. Catching an STD or experiencing an unplanned pregnancy is no self-esteem booster. The fact that the Center for Disease Control and Prevention recently noted that America leads the developed world in deaths and disabilities related to STDs is no cause for celebration but good reason to take stock of where our country is headed. “Given the size and chronicity of HIV, HPV and other hepatitis virus epidemics, the overall health burden related to sexual behavior is unlikely to decline rapidly in the coming years,” predicted the authors of the CDC study. With a gloomy finding like that sensible Americans would think the opponents of abstinence would be willing to rethink their position.


The fact is that the best prevention against STDs and unplanned pregnancies is not having sex before marriage. There are probably some Americans who think the San Francisco 49ers with 2 wins and 14 losses deserved to be in the Super Bowl this year. Get real. All the wishes and curse words and glossing over reality would not have given the 49ers a Super Bowl slot this year. Nor will they change the reality of abstinence as the best protection against STDs and unplanned pregnancies.


Paul M. Weyrich is Chairman and CEO of the Free Congress Foundation.




**Parents beware! (, 050211)


Rebecca Hagelin


Parents, does the school your children attend feature a sex-education program that’s billed as “abstinence-based” or “abstinence-plus”? If so, you may be under the understandable impression that it tells teens, in clear-cut language, that they’re not ready for sex. That they should wait. That it focuses on … well, abstinence.


But a major study from The Heritage Foundation, “Comprehensive Sex Education vs. Authentic Abstinence: A Study of Competing Curricula,” shows that isn’t the case. Like “People for the American Way” or “Planned Parenthood,” the label “abstinence-plus” is a flat-out lie. There’s a lot of “plus” and precious little “abstinence.”


Contraception is discussed ad nauseam. “Condoms are available at any drugstore or family planning clinic,” teens are told in one program, absurdly titled Reducing the Risk. “They may also be available in outdoor or all-night condom vending machines. Anyone can buy condoms, regardless of age, and no prescription is needed.” Not exactly the message most parents want presented to their judgment-impaired teens. Yet, as the Heritage study shows, such messages are commonplace in “comprehensive” sex-ed programs.


Worse, the programs often rely on role-playing games that are plainly designed to reinforce immoral behavior and break down the natural modesty that might otherwise keep many teens from engaging in pre-marital sex. In Becoming a Responsible Teen (another eye-rolling misnomer), students are given the following scenario: “My partner and I are alone. We’ve been leading up to sex for a couple of weeks. The only thing we haven’t discussed is protection. My partner needs to persuade me to use a latex condom.”


Well, this parent has a different suggestion: Things shouldn’t even get this far, but if they do, one of the kids needs to say a firm no. When will that be taught?


Not surprisingly, some of these programs also present homosexuality as just another “lifestyle choice” that’s above reproach. In Be Proud! Be Responsible!, teens are told, “You can accept your bisexuality.”


In Reducing the Risk, we find this role-playing exercise: “Tony and Dylan have been to a party and then go to Tony’s home to be alone. They start to kiss and undress each other. Dylan reaches into his jacket pocket and realizes that he doesn’t have the condom he planned to use.


What can Tony and Dylan do to avoid unprotected sex?”


And that’s the tame stuff. From condom “races” (seeing which team of students can be the first to successfully unroll one onto a banana or a cucumber) to graphic descriptions of how teens can perform oral sex on each other “safely,” these programs are frequently lewd and disgusting. I lack the space (and the stomach, quite frankly) to cite every example, so I’ll refer the terminally curious to the Heritage report mentioned earlier.


The underlying message is unmistakable: Teen sex is normal, so let’s just tell the kids how to avoid pregnancy and disease. There’s a token nod or two to abstinence, but as Heritage’s Robert Rector notes, it often amounts to a sentence or two amid pages and pages of explicit, pro-condom propaganda. Teens get the impression that abstinence is some unattainable ideal — not the only option that’s fail safe (not to mention moral).


You probably need little proof that parents want such pornography kept far from their kids, but a Zogby International poll of more than 1,000 parents of school-age children provides some: 91% said they want teens taught that “sex should be linked to love, intimacy, and commitment, and that these qualities are most likely to occur in marriage.” In overwhelming numbers, they rejected the morally objectionable content and approach of “abstinence-plus” programs.


Asked when sexual activity should begin, more than three out of every four parents said teens should wait until they’re married or close to marriage. Another 12% said to wait until they’ve at least finished high school. Only 7% said “protected sex” in high school is OK. Yet that’s almost exclusively what these programs teach our teens.


Which means that we’re setting them up for failure. A host of social-science research shows that early sexual activity is dangerous not just because of STDs, but because it hampers the ability to form stable marriages later in life (making the additional $38 million President Bush has proposed for abstinence-only programs a sound investment).


Parents, your teens deserve an unambiguous abstinence message. If your school isn’t providing one, you need to equip yourself with reliable research, network with other parents and make a change. It’s time to subtract the “plus” from “abstinence-plus.”


Rebecca Hagelin is a vice president of The Heritage Foundation, a member group.




**Teens delaying sexual activity (Washington Times, 041210)


Teen sexual activity has dropped significantly since 1995 — primarily, teens say, because it is against their religious or moral values, says a new federal study regarded by many as the “gold standard” for family statistics.


“There is much good news in these results,” Health and Human Services Secretary Tommy G. Thompson said of the report released yesterday by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS).


The report uses data from the long-awaited 2002 National Survey of Family Growth (NSFG), a periodic national survey that provides bedrock data on American family life, marriage, divorce, adoption, cohabitation, family planning, fatherhood, infertility, pregnancy and birth.


The NCHS report showed that more teens are delaying sex until they are older.


The declines were especially dramatic among boys: Among males ages 15 to 17, the portion who never had sexual intercourse rose from 57% in 1995 to 69% in 2002.


The first sexual experience still typically occurs in the teen years; however, the portion of males who maintained their virginity at age 19 rose from 25% in 1995 to 36% in 2002.


Among girls ages 15 to 17, the number of virgins rose from 62% in 1995 to 70% in 2002. However, as the girls aged, about the same portion became sexually experienced — less than a third were still virgins by age 19 in both surveys.


The most common reason for delaying sex was because it was “against [their] religion or moral values” — 37.8% of girls and 31.4% of boys chose this answer. The 2002 survey also found that 13% of girls and almost 11% of boys had pledged to remain virgins until marriage.


Teen contraception use also rose. When teens started having sex, more of them — 75% of girls and 82% of boys — used contraceptives, especially condoms, according to the report.


In addition, of teens who had had sex in the past three months, 83% of girls and 91% of boys said they used contraceptives. This was higher than in 1995, when 71% of girls and 82% of boys said they used protection during sex.


Taken together, the new data show teens “are truly becoming more cautious — that is, they’re having less sex or they’re using contraception a bit more,” said Bill Albert, spokesman for the National Campaign to Prevent Teen Pregnancy.


“Both sides should claim victory,” he said, referring to advocates of abstinence education and comprehensive sex education.


Sharon Camp, president and chief executive officer of the New York-based Alan Guttmacher Institute, praised the findings but noted that at least one-third of teens said they had received “no formal instruction” about contraception, and at least half hadn’t talked about it with their parents.


“[T]oo many people of all ages still lack the information and services they need to protect themselves,” she said.


The new survey updates 1995 and 1998 NSFG data and questions more than 12,000 people, including 2,271 teenagers. It is the first time men have been interviewed for the survey. The data is expected to shed light on the effects of 1990s social policies, such as welfare reform and campaigns for abstinence education, marriage education and responsible fatherhood.


The NSFG is not only a “gold mine” for information, it’s “a gold standard for research,” Mr. Albert said.


A second NCHS report using NSFG data, which also was released yesterday , showed contraceptive use has become “virtually universal” among American women of reproductive age. About 82% of women said they had used birth-control pills, and 90% said they had used a condom with a male partner.


The top five methods of birth control in the United States were oral contraceptives (11.6 million users), female sterilization (10.3 million women), male condoms (6.9 million users), male sterilization (3.5 million) and Depo-Provera injections (2 million users), according to the NCHS report.




**Conservatives: Waxman Report is Faulty not Abstinence-only Education (Christian Post, 041207)


Rep. Henry Waxman (D-CA) released a report last Wednesday alleging that 11 of the nation’s 13 Abstinence-only Education programs in use in 25 states present undermines the effectiveness of condoms and present misinformation about contraception and sexually transmitted diseases. Backers of the programs, however, say Waxman’s report lack credibility and ignores statistics showing the programs’ success.


The report comes weeks after Congress approved a spending bill allocating $170 million for Abstinence-only education programs.


Some of the programs teach scientifically incorrect information, according to the report. Why kNOw curriculum teaches that a new individual receives 24 chromosomes from each parent when the correct number if 23. Another, Green’s Game Plan, undermines the effectiveness of condoms, said Waxman’s report.


Waxman said, “It is absolutely vital that the health education provided to America’s youth be scientifically and medically accurate. The abstinence-only programs reviewed in this report fail to meet this standard.”


In response to Waxman’s report, Sen. Bill Frist (R-Tenn) said that abstinence-only programs should be reviewed by the government. “That’s in part our responsibility to make sure that all of these programs are reviewed,” he said on ABC’s Sunday program “This Week.”


Abstinence advocates and pro-family groups say the report is only an attempt to discredit highly successful abstinence programs.


“The abstinence community is not surprised by this report,” said Communications Director for the Abstinence Clearinghouse Jessemyn Pekari.


“Sex education advocates are simply scared because they see their monopoly on the minds of children eroding and they have no idea what to do about it. Attacking abstinence education is their desperate attempt to hold on to the power they have held without accountability for four generations. Waxman and his band of merry men are simply scared.”


Connie Mackey, Vice President of Government Affairs for Family Research Council, suggested the Waxman should have called for a bi-partisan review of the programs but since it was researched and distributed by his own staff, she said, the report lacks credibility.


“The report has no scientific background in its research; its not peer reviewed,” Mackey stated. “The report is a joke, it was cooked up and served by his own staff and now it’s being devoured by the national media.”


One specializing in adolescent health education since 1985, Project Reality, said the report was politically charged.


“It’s no secret that sex education groups who opposed President Bush’s support of increased funding for abstinence programs are upset by the irrefutable fact that abstinence is the safest, healthiest lifestyle for teens,” said Libby Gray, Director of Project Reality.


Gray added, “If indeed our young people choose abstinence as THE healthiest lifestyle, there would be no need for all those programs that exist to repair the damage caused by adolescents being sexually involved.”


Linda Klepacki, a sexual health analyst for Focus on the Family, agreed.


“The truth of the matter is, abstinence works every time in preventing pregnancy and sexually transmitted disease. That’s not a political statement, or a creative interpretation of scientific evidence. It’s an absolutely indisputable fact.”


Several studies support success claims made by abstinence advocates. The Center for Disease Control’s Youth Risk Behavior Survey shows a decrease in the number of teens who are sexually active from 1991 to 2003, from 54.1 to 46.7%. Adolescent and Family Health published an April 2003 study that credited increased abstinence as “the major cause of declining birth and pregnancy rates among teen girls.”


“The half-truths and lies of ‘comprehensive’ sex-ed backers are far more dangerous and insidious than any mistakes made in the curricula reviewed by Representative Waxman,” Klepacki said. “However, teens become pregnant, have abortions, even die as the result of the bill of goods they are sold by the groups Representative Waxman thinks should teach them about sex — groups like Planned Parenthood and the Sexuality Information and Education Council of the United States.”


In Melissa G. Pardue counter report written by, entitled “Waxman Report Is Riddled with Errors and Inaccuracies,” she cited the 2003 Heritage Foundation analysis of data from the National Longitudinal Survey of Adolescent Health (Wave II, 1996) which found that sexually active teens are significantly more likely than their non-sexually-active peers to be depressed and attempt suicide.




**The Kinsey Whitewash (Foxnews, 050210)


Parents who feel embattled by the envelope-pushing entertainment industry and “non-judgmental” sex education in the schools may not realize it, but the source of their frustration has a name: Alfred Kinsey.


He’s the subject of “Kinsey,” a movie from Fox-Searchlight Films that profiles the man who set the sexual revolution in motion.


In the film, actor Liam Neeson portrays Dr. Kinsey as an embattled and troubled hero who sought only to help educate America on matters of human sexuality. But, several graphic scenes aside, the film largely glosses over some of the most troubling and damaging aspects of his life and his legacy.


Fox-Searchlight, of course, has every right to produce whatever movie it wants. And yes, docu-dramas don’t pretend to be straightforward accounts; producers are generally upfront about the need to dramatize for the sake of an interesting story. The problem, though, is that too many Americans treat these movies as though they are reality.


A documentary on the History Channel noted, for example, that many Americans believe Oliver Stone’s conspiracy-minded “JFK” is established fact, not the dramatization of a theory. “Kinsey” falls into this category. Although it’s not a documentary, it may be treated as such.


A more accurate depiction of the man can be found among several books written about Dr. Kinsey. While not for the faint-of-heart, biographer James Jones’ book, “Alfred C. Kinsey: A Public/Private Life,” provides a troubling expose of a man who labored to prove, among other things, that no “latency” period in childhood exists — that young boys and girls are fully capable of experiencing sexual pleasure.


Jones’ book, as well as other research on Kinsey, tells the story the film misses.


Kinsey, trained as a scientist in the field of zoology, is often credited as the first researcher to use science to address sexual behavior. But Kinsey’s goal was to radically redefine what was considered normal and abnormal behavior. He succeeded in many respects — in large measure, ironically enough, because of his blatant disregard for scientific principles.


You won’t learn about this in “Kinsey.” For instance, as any researcher knows, a scientific study must use a “random selection” model to be considered scientifically accurate and representative of the population. Kinsey used volunteers.


Kinsey’s volunteers were disproportionately comprised of homosexuals, bisexuals, prostitutes and convicts — more in his sample than in society as a whole. So unreliable were his sampling methods that famed psychologist Abraham Maslow, who expressed early interest in Kinsey’s sexuality research, refused to work with him because of his methods.


Predictably, the lack of a true random sample distorted his findings. For instance, Kinsey famously claimed that 10% of the general populace is “more or less exclusively” homosexual — 5% exclusively gay and 5% bisexual. The most recent National Health and Social Life Survey, by contrast, estimates that the actual figure is about 1% to 3%.


Then there are the questions about Kinsey’s data-collection methods. In his books “Sexual Behavior in the Human Male” (1948) and “Sexual Behavior in the Human Female” (1953), Kinsey cites “technically trained experts” as the source for his data on childhood sexual behavior. In particular, the infamous Tables 30 through 34 in his “Male book” — which charted how long it took to (brace yourself) induce orgasms in children as young as two months old — featured the research of these “experts.”


Today, many knowledgeable experts agree that the source for this information was a habitual pedophile who kept detailed records on the hundreds of young boys and girls he had abused over many years. This character is included in a disturbing-yet-inaccurate scene in the movie that depicts his link to Kinsey as fleeting and inconsequential. In reality, Kinsey had a longstanding professional relationship with this man and included an untold amount of his records and notes in his “research.”


Kinsey’s influence also extends far beyond what the film projects. The organizations that make up today’s “safe sex” education movement can trace their roots to Kinsey. In fact, one “researcher” who worked alongside Kinsey at his institute at the University of Indiana, Wardell Pomeroy, later went on to establish the Sexuality Information and Education Council of the United States (SIECUS). Another Kinsey associate, Mary Calderone, founded the organization that eventually evolved into Planned Parenthood. The abhorrent theory that sex at any age is appropriate as long as it is “safe” is also part of Kinsey’s legacy.


Those who are unfamiliar with Alfred Kinsey’s work could come away from “Kinsey” with the impression that he was a self-sacrificing scientist who helped people become comfortable with their sexuality. But like much of what comes out of Hollywood, that’s simply fantasy. Too bad the same can’t be said of his legacy.


Melissa Pardue is a policy analyst at The Heritage Foundation, a Washington-based public policy research institute.




**Kinsey as He Really Was—What You Won’t See in the Movie (Christian News, 041116)


Brace yourselves. The movie, Kinsey, opened in theaters last Friday, introducing a new generation of Americans to the infamous “father” of sex research in America. Yet, the movie is really not a true portrait of Alfred Kinsey at all. Instead of portraying the twisted and tormented mind of this propagandist for the sexual revolution, the movie presents Kinsey as an angel of light who brought America out of repression and darkness.


Reviewers greeted the movie with excitement. A. O. Scott, writing in The New York Times, declared that “Bill Condon’s smart, stirring life of the renowned mid-century sex researcher Alfred C. Kinsey, has a lot to say on the subject of sex, which it treats with sobriety, sensitivity and a welcome measure of humor.” Mr. Scott neglects to mention that the movie treats its “subject” without an adequate measure of truth.


Rather than expressing outrage that a scandalous individual with a well-documented pattern of sexual perversity is being celebrated, Mr. Scott sees the movie as a mixture of entertainment and enlightenment. “The director addresses sexuality with candor and wit, but it is the act of research as much as its object that imparts to Kinsey its flush of passion and its rush of romance,” he celebrated. He went on to gush: “I can’t think of another movie that has dealt with sex so knowledgeably and, at the same time, made the pursuit of knowledge seem so sexy. There are some explicit images and provocative scenes, but it is your intellect that is most likely to be aroused.”


The reviewers for Newsweek acknowledged that “Kinsey’s methods were far from perfect,” but they nevertheless celebrated both the movie and its central character. Indeed, they commend Kinsey “who shattered any vestiges of Victorian modesty, leading curious Americans from bedroom peephole to upfront view between the sheets.” In a sidebar, David Ansen declared that the movie “is a celebration of diversity; its about the solace knowledge can bring.” Writing in The Wall Street Journal, reviewer Joe Morgenstern declared that Kinsey doesn’t try to sell or exploit sex. According to Morgenstern, the movie “does remarkably well as a cultural history of a vanished time” and “is intelligent to a fault.”


Alfred C. Kinsey is one of the most controversial figures in American history—and for good reason. An entomologist by training, Kinsey turned from his intense fascination with the gall wasp to the study of human sexuality. He burst upon the American scene with his pioneering 1948 volume, Sexual Behavior in the Human Male. Eventually, Indiana University was to establish the Kinsey Institute for Research in Sex, Gender and Reproduction, and the name “Kinsey” was to be associated with progressivist sex education, opposition to traditional sexual morality, and liberation from fixed concepts of “normal” when dealing with human sexuality. The Kinsey Institute has what many consider to be the world’s largest collection of pornography, sexually explicit art, and various sexual objects. What the institute does not advertise is its links to data gathered by child molesters and sex criminals.


By any measure, Alfred Kinsey was a tormented and conflicted figure. Raised by a puritanical father and a withdrawn mother, Kinsey’s adolescence was marked by sexual turmoil and experimentation. As is now well documented, the young Kinsey was involved in sadomasochistic sexual behaviors and was driven by homosexual desire.


In a groundbreaking biography published in 1997, James H. Jones blew the cover on the Kinsey myth. According to this popular and pervasive mythology, Alfred Kinsey was a scientist who brought his rigorous scientific skills and objective scientific interests to the study of human sexuality. The real Alfred Kinsey was a man whose own sexual practices cannot be safely described to the general public and whose interest in sex was anything but objective or scientific.


From the onset, Jones recognized Kinsey’s central role in the sexual revolution. “More than any other American of the twentieth century,” Jones acknowledges, “he was the architect of a new sensibility about a part of life that everyone experiences and no one escapes.”


Nevertheless, the real Kinsey was hidden from the public. Jones describes his project in these words: “As I burrowed into more than a dozen archives, read tens of thousands of letters, and interviewed scores of people who knew Kinsey in various capacities, I discovered that his public image distorted more than it revealed.”


As Jones reports, “The man I came to know bore no resemblance to the canonical Kinsey. Anything but disinterested, he approached his work with missionary fervor. Kinsey loathed Victorian morality as only a person who had been badly injured by sexual repression could despise it. He was determined to use science to strip human sexuality of its guilt and repression. He wanted to undermine traditional morality, to soften the rules of restraint, and to help people develop positive attitudes toward their sexual needs and desires. Kinsey was a crypto-reformer who spent his every waking hour attempting to change the sexual mores and sex offender laws of the United States.”


There was more to it than that, of course, and Jones marshals an incredible mountain of documentation to prove this point. In the first place, the adolescent Alfred Kinsey was deeply involved in masochistic self-abuse. In Jones’ words, “Somewhere along the line, he veered off the path of normal development and was pulled down a trail that led to tremendous emotional conflict and self-negating physical abuse.”


Driven by wild sexual fantasies and determined to overthrow what he saw as a repressive sexual morality, Kinsey eventually dropped his study of insects and turned his study to human sexuality. Tragically, Jones must acknowledge that the world of science “would have been better served had Kinsey not allowed his lust for data to obscure his judgment.”


What exactly was Kinsey up to? He and his close band of young male associates went about collecting an enormous body of data on human sexuality, first looking at male and later at female populations. In his research on the sexual behavior of males, Kinsey brought his ideological and personal passions to the forefront of his supposedly scientific work. He arbitrarily decided that human beings are to be located in a continuum of development between heterosexual and homosexual poles. He developed a six-step chart and argued that men and boys are arrayed all along this line between absolute heterosexuality and absolute homosexuality. He would later argue that almost 40% of all males would have some homosexual experience. Of course, hidden from public view was the fact that Kinsey was doing his very best to rationalize his own homosexuality—or bisexuality as later commentators would explain—and was not at all the objective scientist collecting neutral data from a responsible population base.


Among the many problems inherent in Kinsey’s research is the fact that he relied upon reports and sexual studies taken from prison populations, including sex criminals. Therefore, Kinsey’s notion of “normal” was drawn from a decidedly abnormal population sample.


The most troubling aspect of Kinsey’s research is the data he collected on the sexual response of children—especially young boys. Chapter Five of Sexual Behavior in the Human Male considered the sexual experience of boys, including infants. Kinsey wanted to prove that children are sexual beings who should be understood to have and to deserve sexual experiences. In this chapter, Kinsey is largely dependent upon the data contributed by “Mr. X,” a man who had molested hundreds of boys ranging from infants to adolescents. As Jones explains: “Viewed from any angle, his relationship with Mr. X was a cautionary tale. Whatever the putative valued as science of Mr. X’s experience, the fact remains that he was a predator pedophile.” Over decades, this man abused hundreds of young boys, tortured infants, and, as Jones explains, “performed a variety of other sexual acts on preadolescent boys and girls alike.”


Kinsey did not condemn this man, but instead eagerly solicited his “data.” As a matter of fact, Kinsey went so far as to attempt to pay Mr. X for further research and once wrote to him, “I wish I knew how to give credit to you in the forthcoming volume for your material. It seems a shame not even to name you.”


Those words betray a moral monster of the most horrible depravity and assured criminality. Alfred Kinsey celebrated the fact that this man had sexually tortured children and, as Kinsey’s own published work documents, had sexually abused two-month-old infants.


All this was explicit in the data published in Kinsey’s 1948 volume, but he was nonetheless celebrated as a sexual pioneer and as a profit of sexual enlightenment.


Unbeknownst to the general public, Kinsey was also involved in sex acts with his staff and in the filming of hundreds of persons involved in sexual activity—including footage taken of his own masochistic sex acts. He and his colleagues paid adolescent boys to perform sex acts on film and turned the Kinsey house into a studio for pornographic documentation. In one incredibly weird twist on the story, Mrs. Kinsey, or “Mac” as she was known, is remembered to have brought refreshments to the participants at the conclusion of their sex acts and video sessions. She was herself filmed in various sexual situations and Kinsey encouraged his associates to engage in sex acts with his wife.


What does the cultural elite now make of all this? The New York Times review acknowledges that the movie takes a great risk “in attempting to deal frankly with its hero’s own sex life without succumbing to prurience or easy moralism.” In reality, however, the movie doesn’t deal frankly with Kinsey’s perversions at all. The reviewer concedes, “Sometimes his scientific zeal shaded into obsession, and his methods went from the empirical to the experimental in ways that remain ethically troubling.”


Ethically troubling? Is that all The New York Times can muster in response to Kinsey’s own self-documented and published reports of child molestation?


In Sex the Measure of All Things: A Life of Alfred C. Kinsey, Jonathan Gathorne-Hardy laments the fact that Kinsey is not given the respect of his fellow scientists that he believed he deserved. Nevertheless, even Gathorne-Hardy acknowledges, “The recent digging up of Kinsey’s private life, incidentally, is not going to help him” in this respect.


Gathorne-Hardy wrote his book largely in response to the damage to Kinsey’s reputation inflicted by Jones’ biography. Amazingly, Gathorne-Hardy claims: “Wherever we know something of his sexuality it is at once apparent that, while it hardly ever, if ever, impaired his integrity as a scientist, it had a decisive effect on his work. And where it does once or twice seem to impair that integrity, the effect is either not very significant-or else it is obvious. There is a transparency.”


This is moral nonsense. Of course, this author attempts to make lemonade out of Kinsey’s lemons in more than one way. At one point, Gathorne-Hardy goes so far as to claim that Kinsey’s bisexuality was a great asset for his scientific work. “Kinsey was bisexual,” Gathorne-Hardy notes, “an almost ideal position, one might think, for someone who was studying sexual behavior in both sexes.” Who might think this?


We have become a society that celebrates men like Alfred C. Kinsey and produces movies that present such a man as an agent of enlightenment rather than as a tortured soul fighting his internal demons while soliciting data on the sexual molestation of young children—and filming any number of persons involved in any number of perverted sex acts.


In a letter he once wrote to his associate Clarence A. Tripp, Kinsey conceded, “The whole army of religion is our central enemy.” Kinsey knew what he was up against, and his ambition was not merely to collect data, but to overthrow the entire structure of Christian morality in the realm of human sexuality.


Instead of being rightly classified as a criminal along with the likes of Dr. Joseph Mengele and other Nazi scientists, Alfred C. Kinsey is now lionized and celebrated in a movie starring Liam Neeson as the supposedly heroic figure. What does this say about Liam Neeson? What does this say about us?




R. Albert Mohler, Jr. is president of The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Kentucky.




**Teen sex is sign of average minds (London Times, 000301)


TEENAGERS with very high or low IQs are more likely to delay having sex, according to new research. Those with average intelligence are up to five times more promiscuous.


The American study classified 12,000 adolescents aged 13 to 18 using a test based on vocabulary knowledge. Those with ratings around the average mark of 100 were ten to five times more likely to have had sex compared with those with ratings of more than 120.


“The association between test scores for intelligence and refraining from sexual intercourse was the same for blacks and whites, but was stronger for girls than for boys and stronger for older teens,” Carolyn Halpern, assistant professor of maternal and child health at the University of Carolina at Chapel Hill, writes in the Journal of Adolescent Health.


The researchers were surprised that those at the lower end of the intelligence scale were also less likely to have sex at an early age, contradicting assumptions that sexual postponement was based on hopes of university places. [KH: possibly due to the inability to attract the opposite sex.]




**Making the Case for Abstinence (Free Congress Foundation, 020125)


There’s good news and there’s bad news.


The good news is teen pregnancy rates in the United States are at the lowest in 24 years. The bad news is 10,000 teens per day contract a Sexually-Transmitted Disease (STD). Nationally, one in four Americans has an STD.


The good news is the bad news: Eight out of ten girls and six out of ten boys who had sex as teenagers wish they had waited.


But in Chicago earlier this month, at the Power of Abstinence rally sponsored by Project Reality, it was all good news. Project Reality is one of the abstinence pioneers in the nation. For years, its curricula have forged the way in public schools: abstinence does not have to be a faith-based initiative. Common sense and cold hard statistics provide reasons enough to avoid heartbreak and disease.


The results of sexual activity outside of marriage are all bad news, but Project Reality spreads the good news that young people can say no to sexual activity. And that is very good news for a culture desperately in need of change.


The message at the Power of Abstinence celebration was clear: Abstinence works, abstinence is achievable. You are worth waiting for.


At the center of the rally were 13 titleholders in Miss America and other pageants. Miss Black USA 2002-2003, Miss Michigan – All American Latina 2001, Miss Allegheny Valley 2002, Miss Southern Illinois 2001 were some of the names on the tags.


The other guests were about 300 high school students from Chicagoland – mostly from public high schools, mostly at risk. Precisely the segment of the population that needs to have positive role models.


The pageant winners were in ballgowns, wearing their crowns. They personified glamour. During the reception, they talked with the teens, posed for pictures, and signed autographs. After the banquet, they performed their talent, singing or playing an instrument mostly, though one read some thumping good poems.


They were there because they have all chosen abstinence as their platform. Pageant contestants have to have a platform, some area in which they are trying to improve the world. These young women have chosen abstinence because they see a vacuum they can help fill. Most of them hadn’t really thought much about abstinence until their friends and classmates succumbed to STD’s or welfare status to support a baby.


After the banquet, and in between performing their talent, some of these beautiful young women told their stories. Ashley Huff, Miss Nevada 2001, always believed in abstinence, so she wouldn’t date by the rules typical in public high schools, where normal “dating” is serial monogamy without benefit of clergy. She was willing to date, but not any one person exclusively. As a result, nobody would date her. With a catch in her throat, she recalled that she had no date for her junior prom. Every girl present could identify with her pain.


But the story didn’t end there. In college, Ashley met a young man who also believed in abstinence, and she dated him and fell in love with him. She trusted him, and shared her heart with him. Then he dumped her. She cried all night. But the next morning, when she looked in the mirror, she was able to smile. She smiled because she had the satisfaction of knowing that while she had given him her heart, she hadn’t given him her body. He hadn’t gotten everything. She still had her self-respect. She still had within herself the basis for pulling herself together and moving on with her life.


Nitia Harris, Miss Langston University 2001, from Oklahoma, had a more tragic story. Miss Harris was raped in early adolescence. The trauma of that put her on a downward spiral, and she became very sexually active, though she hated herself for doing it. Then one day she heard an abstinence message. The speaker took two pieces of adhesive tape and stuck them together. Then he tried to separate them. Needless to say, they wouldn’t come apart. “That’s the way you want your marriage to be,” he said, “unbreakable.”


Then he took a couple pieces of adhesive tape, and wrapped them first around his sleeve, and then tried to stick them together. They wouldn’t stick. “That’s what happens if people are sexually active,” he said, “they can’t stick together.” It hit Nitia like a ton of bricks. She realized that what she wanted the most in life was for a permanent person, a husband. And she realized that if she kept on the way she was going, she wouldn’t be able to bond with a husband.


Nitia promised herself she would practice what is called “secondary virginity.” She reformed. Her friends didn’t believe in her: “No way, you can’t do it, girl,” they laughed. But she did it. As she concluded by telling how she has kept that promise, the students started applauding, then stood up and continued applauding. They knew exactly how hard her choice has been. And they loved her for her courage.


Ashley and Nitia reached 300 kids that evening. Not a very large drop in the bucket compared to the numbers reached in every school by the federally-subsidized (Title X) Planned Parenthood message that tells the lie of “safe sex.” All the more reason why perhaps there should be parity in federal spending between Title X and Title V (of Welfare Reform, which is the authority under which a trickle of federal funds currently support some abstinence education).


But perhaps, in that one drop, after hearing Ashley and Nitia speak, eight out of ten young women and six out of ten young men in the audience will not have to regret being sexually active. Maybe because they have heard these young women, they too, will know the power of abstinence.


Connie Marshner is Director of the Free Congress Foundation’s Center for Governance.




**Abstinence-Until-Marriage: Congress Needs to Know It’s Cool (Free Congress Foundation, 020419)


The times they are a-changing. A New Sexual Revolution is sweeping the country. The pendulum of social dysfunction seems finally to have reached its extreme, and has started to return to the center. Congress must decide whether it will try to hold back the pendulum, or whether it will help restore society to health.


The children of the sexual revolution are creating their own counter-revolution. The “Me Generation” of the Seventies and Eighties produced a crop of young people who lived their lives as the wounded casualties of their parents’ social and sexual experimentation. They grew up with fatherlessness, divorce, and unfaithfulness. Fed a steady diet of sexual innuendo and sexual explicitness by their radios, movies, and television sets, and egged on by Planned Parenthood-style sex ed or “safe sex” classes in school, they followed their parents’ path—for a while.


Now, they are turning away. Searching for truth and meaning in their lives, they are finding meaning in relationships and in sexuality. They want to do a most radical thing—connect sex with permanent relationships, with marriage. “I’m worth waiting for!” is their slogan. This budding counter-revolution has been underway for quite a while, but recently it was assisted by a little-noticed provision of the 1996 Welfare Reform law, which allocated $50 million for abstinence-until-marriage education. The idea was to see if the need for welfare could be prevented before it starts. Now President Bush is asking for a renewal of that program, plus a little more new money in another title.


But liberals want to corrupt the abstinence-until-marriage programs and turn them into the “do it but be safe” nonsense, which they are now calling “abstinence-plus”. Sounds like a detergent, but this kind adds dirt instead of taking it out.


Mary-Louise Kurey, Miss Wisconsin of 1999, testified last week before the House Ways and Means Committee Subcommittee on Human Resources on behalf of a five-year extension of grants for abstinence-until-marriage training. Kurey, an eloquent and passionate aspiring opera singer, is on the way to becoming a spokeswoman for her generation. But Congressman Jim Greenwood is carrying the torch for the Sixties. He is opposing abstinence funding even though:


* The majority of high school students are virgins, and this percentage is increasing.


* 93% of teens feel that teens should be given a strong message that abstinence is the best choice.


* Most teens who have been sexually active regret doing so.


* One out of five sexually-active teen girls in the U. S. gets pregnant.


* One out of four sexually active American teens has a sexually-transmitted disease.


* Condoms give no protection against diseases passed through skin contact, such as Human Papilloma Virus, the most prevalent STD and the leading cause of cervical cancer.


Young people know this, and young people are doing something about it. Abstinence-until-marriage programs have been proven effective in reducing early sexual activity. They provide a foundation for personal responsibility and enduring marriages. These programs would not be having the success they are without the leadership of young people, like Kurey and basketball star A. C. Green, whose program “Game Plan,” is one of the star curricula.


But Congressman Jim Greenwood does not want to help A. C. Green and Mary-Louise Kurey.


Popular myths to the contrary, the primary cause of teen sexual activity is not raging hormones. The real cause of teen sexual activity is emotional emptiness. It is a search by young people for acceptance, identity, purpose, or love. Everybody knows how to avoid pregnancy: why do so many teens get pregnant? Because they think it will make them somebody, that it will put someone in their life who will always love them.


Real abstinence education addresses identity, self-esteem, healthy relationships, character. It creates hope for the future. It’s not “safe sex”. It’s not “just say no”. It’s not the “here are the keys but don’t drive the car” kind of titillation that now calls itself “abstinence plus”. Abstinence-until-marriage education is life-transforming, character-building, and soul-strengthening.


But Congressman Jim Greenwood does not want to help abstinence-until-marriage education.


Congressman Jim Greenwood is a Republican who has a 100% score from the Planned Parenthood Action Fund. He is the primary Republican opponent of the President’s proposal to provide money for abstinence-until-marriage education under Title V of the Social Security Act, upon which a vote is expected next week


Maybe it’s because Jim Greenwood was a social worker before he became a Congressman. Perhaps in affluent Bucks County , Pennsylvania, he didn’t see the pain experienced by sexually-active young people—though he saw abused children and should have been able to connect the dots.


Perhaps it’s because Greenwood is the kind of Republican who thinks that taxpayers dollars shouldn’t be spent on social programs. He did, after all, receive an award in 1994 from Citizens Against Government Waste. I could respect a Congressman for holding a principle like that — if he were consistent about it. If Jim Greenwood were advocating that Congress abolish Title X, which funds the most common type of sexual experimentation programs which inhabit most schools and health departments, then being against abstinence funding might at least be consistent. But Planned Parenthood receives most of its budget from Title X, so forget about consistency. It’s a simple question of whose ox is being gored.


Nor is Greenwood alone. There are other Republicans who are similarly retro, and, naturally, lots of Democrats. Smart young people nowadays know that sexual activity outside of marriage ends up hurting themselves.


Wouldn’t it be cool if that message could reach the members of Congress?


Connie Marshner is director of the Center for Governance at the Free Congress Foundation.




**Physicians Group to Teens: Don’t Have Sex (Foxnews, 990202)


CHICAGO — Doctors ought to encourage sexual abstinence among teenagers because of the still-high, though declining, U.S. teen pregnancy rate that is the highest in the developed world, a physicians group said on Monday.


The American Academy of Pediatrics said it reviewed 50 studies on the subject and urged physicians in a policy statement to “encourage adolescents to postpone early coital activity and promote abstinence.


“Pediatricians also should help ensure that adolescents who are sexually active have knowledge of and access to contraception,” said the statement, which was published in the group’s journal Pediatrics.


Surveys show 56% of girls and 73% of boys have engaged in sexual intercourse before age 18, the group said. The teenage birth rate for girls between 15 and 19 years declined slightly between 1992 and 1996, with the 1996 rate at 54.7 births per 1,000 girls still above the 1980 rate.


Teenage birth rates peaked in the 1950s and 1960s above 90 births per 1,000 girls. It then declined with improved access to contraception and abortion until 1986, when it rose again.


Much has been made of the 12% overall decline in the teenage pregnancy rate between 1991 and 1996, but Academy of Pediatricians noted the rate is only mildly decreasing or staying the same among Hispanic teens, very young teens and teens having second pregnancies.


The United States has by far the highest adolescent birth rate of all developed countries — nearly double that of the United Kingdom — and approximately 1 million U.S. teenagers get pregnant each year, the group noted.


Pregnant women under age 17 have heightened medical risks compared to adult women, the group said. They have double the rate of giving birth to low-weight babies and their newborns die at triple the rate of babies born to adult mothers.


The pediatricians group recommended that teenage mothers not be discharged quickly after giving birth so that clinicians can ensure the mother is capable of caring for her child and has the resources available for obtaining assistance.


It suggested increasing the number of programmes that seek to involve the babies’ fathers, who it said are mostly older than 20 years of age. And it concluded that parents, schools, religious institutions, social agencies and government play key roles in pregnancy prevention programmes.




**CDC: At Least 1 in 4 Teenage Girls Has Sexually Transmitted Disease (Foxnews,080311)


At least one in four teenage girls nationwide has a sexually transmitted disease, or more than 3 million teens, according to the first study of its kind in this age group.


A virus that causes cervical cancer is by far the most common sexually transmitted infection in teen girls aged 14 to 19, while the highest overall prevalence is among black girls — nearly half the blacks studied had at least one STD. That rate compared with 20% among both whites and Mexican-American teens, the study from the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found.


Among girls who admitted ever having sex, the rate was 40%. While some teens define sex as only intercourse, other types of intimate behavior including oral sex can spread some infections.


For many, the numbers likely seem “overwhelming because you’re talking about nearly half of the sexually experienced teens at any one time having evidence of an STD,” said Dr. Margaret Blythe, an adolescent medicine specialist at Indiana University School of Medicine and head of the American Academy of Pediatrics’ committee on adolescence.


But the study highlights what many doctors who treat teens see every day, Blythe said.


Dr. John Douglas, director of the CDC’s division of STD prevention, said the results are the first to examine the combined national prevalence of common sexually transmitted diseases among adolescent girls. He said they likely reflect current prevalence rates.


“High STD rates among young women, particularly African-American young women, are clear signs that we must continue developing ways to reach those most at risk,” Douglas said.


The CDC’s Dr. Kevin Fenton said given that STDs can cause infertility and cervical cancer in women, “screening, vaccination and other prevention strategies for sexually active women are among our highest public health priorities.”


The study by CDC researcher Dr. Sara Forhan is an analysis of nationally representative data on 838 girls who participated in a 2003-04 government health survey.


The results were prepared for release Tuesday at a CDC conference in Chicago on preventing sexually transmitted diseases.


Four common diseases were examined — human papillomavirus, or HPV, which can cause cervical cancer and affected 18% of girls studied; chlamydia, which affected 4%; trichomoniasis, 2.5%; and herpes simplex virus, 2%.


Blythe said the results are similar to previous studies examining rates of those diseases individually.


HPV can cause genital warts but often has no symptoms. A vaccine targeting several HPV strains recently became available. Douglas said it likely has not yet had much impact on HPV prevalence rates in teen girls.


Chlamydia and trichomoniasis can be treated with antibiotics. The CDC recommends annual chlamydia screening for all sexually active women under age 25. It also recommends the three-dose HPV vaccine for girls aged 11-12 years, and catch-up shots for females aged 13 to 26.


The American Academy of Pediatrics has similar recommendations.


Douglas said screening tests are underused in part because many teens don’t think they’re at risk, but also, some doctors mistakenly think, “‘Sexually transmitted diseases don’t happen to the kinds of patients I see.’”


Blythe said some doctors also are reluctant to discuss STDs with teen patients or offer screening because of confidentiality concerns, knowing parents would have to be told of the results.


The American Academy of Pediatrics supports confidential teen screening, she said.





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