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Wednesday, June 22, 2005

Fractional virginity

Posted by: Hammer / 11:02 AM

Big Sister Hammer, all of 5 and a half (technically, she's 5 and 2/3, but the only fraction I've convinced her to believe in is 1/2), asked Ms. Hammer this morning how she could not have a baby.

Thank god I'm the daddy. Think of all the wonderful questions I'll never have to answer.

Ms. Hammer, never one to panic, reinforced BSH's child-level understanding of the actual biological process that creates babies, then told her: "Don't do that."

Good advice for a 5 year old who's mostly worried about having to deal with another baby, now that Little Sister Hammer is a big girl of 3. (Also, I think, now that LSH is a big girl, I think BSH sees herself as part big girl and part grown up, but I'm no Dr. Spock.)

But is it good advice for a 13 year old? The Religiously Correct via the Heritage Foundation are told "yes":

Researchers at the Heritage Foundation are challenging the findings of a Yale University study, which concluded that virginity pledges do not help young people avoid sexually transmitted diseases or unplanned pregnancy.

Heritage Foundation researcher Robert Rector led a study that challenges the findings of the Yale researchers. "We looked at the exact same database that these liberal academics looked at, and we found that they had really distorted their Information," he says.

...Rector believes he knows why the Yale study was skewed: anything that promotes abstinence is hated by the Left, he says, and he suspects that was behind the distortions in the interpretation of Yale's virginity pledge study.

"[Abstinence is] a 'red state' phenomenon," he contends. "The president likes abstinence education; it's associated with religion. So it's just something for them to really beat up on and hate."

Look, people, science isn't about personal politics. The Yale study was published in the Journal of Adolescent Health, a peer-reviewed, scientific journal. They've published five articles in the last 5 years on virginity. One study concluded: "Adopting virginity pledges as intervention may not be the optimal approach to preventing STD acquisition among young adults." How's that for fire-breathing hatred? A second article concluded: "The findings suggest that sexual health programs may be more effective if they encourage young people to make a personal commitment to delay the onset of sex, foster social norms supportive of delaying sex, and raise awareness of how early sexual initiation may threaten future plans."

Here's a taste of Heritage's rebuttal:

This tactic is akin to finding a small rocky island in the middle of the ocean, describing the island in detail without describing the surrounding ocean, and then suggesting that the ocean is dry and rocky. It is junk science.
The Heritage Foundation is being flatly dishonest. A conservative political organization abstains from the peer review process fundamental to scientific progress, and alleges that a peer-reviewed paper from actual scientists is politically motivated. They are bastards.


I wonder about those Heritage foundation guys. An article all about sex and they go off on an analogy about finding a small island in the middle of the ocean... I think they need some time away from the topic.

By Blogger Jambo, at 11:17 AM  

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