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Public Health STD's 2004

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#1 Godeskian

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Posted 11 March 2004 - 12:49 AM

from the good people at http://www.newsbbc.co.uk/ under world-americas

Quote

Young Americans who pledge to remain virgins until they marry have the same rates of sexually transmitted diseases as those who do not, a new study says.
Teenagers who take a public vow to abstain from sex have fewer partners and get married earlier.

But they are much less likely to use condoms, the research found.

"It's difficult to simultaneously prepare for sex and say you're not going to have sex," the study's author Peter Bearman told the AP news agency.

Quote

According to the study, the STD rates were:


Whites who pledged virginity 2.8% - did not 3.5%

Blacks: pledgers 18.1% - non-pledgers 20.3%

Asians: pledgers 10.5% - non-pledgers 5.6%

Hispanics: pledgers 6.7% - non-pledgers 8.6%

The study's authors say that from a statistical point of view, the rates are the same for both groups.


"The message is really simple: 'Just say no' may work in the short-term but doesn't work in the long-term," Peter Bearman of Columbia University's Department of Sociology said.

THis topic, of 'just saying no' as a way of life came up recently, and i thought this might be worth posting as a continuation of the topic from a slightly different angle.

Quote

Critics of abstinence-only education said the findings showed that adolescents benefit from sex education.

"It's a tragedy if we withhold from these kids information about how not to get STDs or not to get pregnant," Dorothy Mann, of the Family Planning Council, told the Associated Press.

But promoters of abstinence argue that telling young people about condoms and other forms of contraception increases sexual activity - and as a result increases the rate of teenage pregnancy and the transmission of sexual diseases.

I really want to discuss this, so i'll leave out my own comments initially

#2 ZipperInt

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Posted 11 March 2004 - 01:36 AM

Although I do think abstinence is the best way to prevent against STDs and pregnancy, I don't see 'abstinence-only' as having any real benefit, other than the parents/teachers not confronting the realities that some of the kids *are* going to have sex...
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#3 G1223

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Posted 11 March 2004 - 01:37 AM

I agree not telling them about what precauctions is wrong in the most basic of ways.  No form of prevention out side of abistnce is 100% effective but the pressure to conform to what others think and feel is too much. so giving the kids a heads up is better than leaving them with no clue

#4 Uncle Sid

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Posted 11 March 2004 - 01:53 AM

I'm completely for abstinence-first (not "only") education, as the fact is that people do need to be taught what to do when they do actually have sex.

I do have to wonder though....  If two virgins got married and had sex (and didn't cheat or have something unfortunate happen), there should be zero chance of STD's, condoms or no condoms.  That's just simple logic.  Something tells me that for the rates to be that close, only one side of the partnership was doing the pledging in many cases.  Thus, the only risk that abstinence-only education would give dual practictioners of abstinence is higher risk of unintended pregnancy.  

Okay, so let's be frank here.  This is a real problem with abstinence-only education, because you should be armed to deal with a partner who hasn't taken the right precautions.  

On the other hand, if you are marrying that person, and going to end your pledge at the logical point, wouldn't have have inquired as to the sexual health of your potential spouse?  Wouldn't that potential spouse have been up front with you?  

To play Devil's advocate, you don't need to have condom demonstrations to ask questions and get the answers you need.  Alternately, if you are married and going to have children, there is nothing that contraceptive/STD barrier training can do to keep you from getting infected with an STD if your spouse is not going to be honest with you about their condition.  And of course, if they have been honest, then if you want to have sex, you can then inquire about the options from your physician.

The important thing, though, is that abstinence should be taught heavily and placed strategically in any such course.  A lot of sex has nothing to do with what kids want, but has a lot to do with peer pressure.  If a student has the information to fight against peer pressure in that regard, they are much more likely to postpone it until they have their affairs squared away.  

While I personally didn't end up as a virgin when I got married, I did purposely and successfully abstain throughout high school and college by choice despite quite a respectable number of opportunities and I think I ended up the better for it.  I certainly didn't contract any STDs or have any children, and once I did partake, I was a grown-up, not just an adult by glands like teens are.

Edited by Uncle Sid, 11 March 2004 - 04:36 AM.

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#5 Shalamar

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Posted 11 March 2004 - 03:03 AM

We are failing miserablely in our responsibility to youngesters if we DON"T teach every single one about STD's, pregnancy/prevention, and most of all- the value of making one's own decissions, and not being swayed by peer pressure
The three most important R's
Respect for One's Self / Respect for Others / Responsibility for One's Words & Actions.

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#6 Nikcara

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Posted 11 March 2004 - 04:25 PM

Uncle Sid, on Mar 11 2004, 06:51 AM, said:

I do have to wonder though....  If two virgins got married and had sex (and didn't cheat or have something unfortunate happen), there should be zero chance of STD's, condoms or no condoms.  That's just simple logic.
Unless they were born with it.  A mother can pass HIV to her unborn child (as well as other STDs).  Also, you can get STDs from getting piercing/tattoos if the place you get them doesn't clean their needles well (many places autoclave some of the equipment and just throw out the rest after they've been used, unfortunatly this isn't everywhere).  Therefore you could have a man (or woman) get a tattoo for whatever reason and then give an STD to their spouse even though neither has ever slept with anyone else.

However, my belief is you should make sure kids know the only way to be 100% of STDs/pregancy is absence and then tell them that if they are going to have sex then this is how you protect yourself.  They should also be taught about the dangers of piercing/tattoos (don't go to the cheapest places possible...common sense are far as I'm concerned, but there are always people who think about their pocket book before their health) as well as IV drugs, and the symptoms of STDs.
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