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Palin Supports Contraception, Not Abstinence Only.

The LA Times has a good story on Palin's views on sex education and contraception:

Palin appears to disagree with McCain on sex education.

The Republican vice presidential candidate says students should be taught about condoms. Her running mate -- and the party platform -- disagree.

Palin's running mate, John McCain, and the GOP platform say children should be taught that abstinence until marriage is the only safe way to avoid pregnancy and disease. Palin's position is less clear.

In a widely quoted 2006 survey she answered during her gubernatorial campaign, Palin said she supported abstinence-until-marriage programs. But weeks later, she proclaimed herself "pro-contraception" and said condoms ought to be discussed in schools alongside abstinence.

"I'm pro-contraception, and I think kids who may not hear about it at home should hear about it in other avenues," she said during a debate in Juneau. …

Palin spokeswoman Maria Comella said the governor stands by her 2006 statement, supporting sex education that covers both abstinence and contraception.

McCain's campaign did not respond to questions about whether Palin's position is inconsistent with his. But earlier, a campaign spokesperson said McCain believes abstinence is "the only safe and responsible alternative." . . .

Palin's statements date to her 2006 gubernatorial run. In July of that year, she completed a candidate questionnaire that asked, would she support funding for abstinence-until-marriage programs instead of "explicit sex-education programs, school-based clinics and the distribution of contraceptives in schools?"

Palin wrote, "Yes, the explicit sex-ed programs will not find my support."

But in August of that year, Palin was asked during a KTOO radio debate if "explicit" programs include those that discuss condoms. Palin said no and called discussions of condoms "relatively benign."

"Explicit means explicit," she said. "No, I'm pro-contraception, and I think kids who may not hear about it at home should hear about it in other avenues. So I am not anti-contraception. But, yeah, abstinence is another alternative that should be discussed with kids. I don't have a problem with that. That doesn't scare me, so it's something I would support also."

E:
I'm unclear as to what she is defining as "explicit."
9.7.2008 3:13pm
Charlie (Colorado) (mail):
I suspect the "better Sex" videios would be Right Out.
9.7.2008 3:18pm
karl newman:
Good for her and our country. This alone should solve our health care problems. I wonder how she feels about vaccines, such as the HPV vaccine that saves lives but "encourages sex" according to the right. Antibiotics also encourage sex since they cure syphilis. What to do?
9.7.2008 3:19pm
Angus:
After reading all of that, I still don't have a clear idea of where she stands on the issue. Like E asks, what does she consider an explicit program, and therefore a non-starter. Many programs mention not only condoms in a general way, but also the proper usage of condoms (improper usage is the main reason they fail) and what they prevent or do not prevent. Is that too explicit? I'd say the sentence "Palin's position is less clear" is an accurate summation of the article.
9.7.2008 3:19pm
Sam H (mail):
I would guess that:
"school-based clinics and the distribution of contraceptives in schools"
was her problem with the choice. That isn't education.
9.7.2008 3:29pm
EH (mail):
I don't mean to be pithy, but I was going to make a comment and now I can't remember what it was after Angus told me that there are people who can figure out how to use a condom wrong. Boggle.
9.7.2008 3:31pm
Angus:

I don't mean to be pithy, but I was going to make a comment and now I can't remember what it was after Angus told me that there are people who can figure out how to use a condom wrong. Boggle.
Yeah, stunned me also. But studies always say things like "condoms are 98%+ effective when used properly, but in practice are about 85% effective due to improper use."
9.7.2008 3:35pm
Federal Dog:
"No, I'm pro-contraception, and I think kids who may not hear about it at home should hear about it in other avenues. So I am not anti-contraception. But, yeah, abstinence is another alternative that should be discussed with kids. I don't have a problem with that. That doesn't scare me, so it's something I would support also."

This is not difficult to understand. If people cannot read well enough to grasp her position, that's a problem with their reading skills, not her position.
9.7.2008 3:36pm
El Kabong (mail):
It adds to that "western vibe" that Todd Zywicki discussed. I would take from it that she sees both abstinence and contraception as valid ideas to teach (with some undefined limits on explicitness), similarly to what she has said about evolution and creationism. She doesn't strike me as being doctrinaire, which is a net positive.
9.7.2008 3:36pm
Jon Roland (mail) (www):
This just confirms Palin's general position that people, including children, should have information on all sides of an issue, debate it, and decide for themselves. She opposes trying to control behavior by restricting information and discussion. That is a characteristically libertarian stance.

For those who may not understand the use of the term "explcit" in this context, you should examine some of the "sex education" materials actually being used in schools. What is being called "explicit" are images that are arguably pornographic. Now, most of them are intended for gender-segregated classes (so the girls only see girls in the images, and boys only see boys), but too often the schools don't get that and show the materials to sniggering and embarassed mixed classes.

Before you dismiss the concerns of parents about "sex education" you really need to see what sometimes goes on in such classes.
9.7.2008 3:42pm
Dave N (mail):
I think I understand Governor Palin's position.

At one point, several decades ago, my fairly liberal Presbyterian Church invited Planned Parenthood in to provide sex education for its middle school aged kids (Utah provides little if any sex education in the public classroom). I thought the training Planned Parenthood did was good--but I also thought parts of it were fairly explicit--and certainly more explicit than I thought appropriate for a public classroom (which is a very different forum than a church setting where parents were an involved part of process).
9.7.2008 3:43pm
jab:
RE: improper usage of condoms

for example: many people do not know that vaseline and other oil-based lubricants actually degrade condoms. Oil breaks down latex resulting in a condom breaking with very little friction. You are supposed to only use water-based lubricants.
9.7.2008 3:45pm
Syd Henderson (mail):
I would guess showing kids movies of people having sex or molesting sheep would be out, although showing the proper method of using a condom could go either way.

Sounds like a pretty sensible position to me.
9.7.2008 3:46pm
Order of the Coif:
Come on, how do you "improperly" use a condom.
Put it on inside out?
Put it on your finger?

Inquiring minds want to know.

{FWIW, 50 years ago, before sex education, boys figured it out without cucumber demonstrations, explicit videos (Sally rides a Stallion), or even Daddy's stumbling description.}
9.7.2008 3:48pm
Syd Henderson (mail):

Order of the Coif:
Come on, how do you "improperly" use a condom.


Filling it with lime jello and dropping it from the top of a building is one way. And has been done.
9.7.2008 3:53pm
js:
it's pretty easy. don't leave room at the tip, use one that is too old or has been mistreated. (mistreatment includes putting it in your wallet, exposing it to the temperature variation that might exist in the glovebox of a car, any stress on the package itself)

add in the fact that a lot of adolescent sexual experiences combine alcohol with people who have very little experience with condoms and mistakes happen.
9.7.2008 3:55pm
J.McFaul (mail) (www):
Come on, how do you "improperly" use a condom.

Mostly by failing to remove it from the package, I suspect.
9.7.2008 3:58pm
Dan M.:
Yeah, mandatory HPV vaccines for 12 year old girls save lives! Honestly, it's bullshit like that that would push me to keep my kids out of public school.

Regardless, I'm glad that this issue is getting press. I was getting tired of trying to argue with people that accused her Christian values of failing her children. Now will they blame comprehensive education for failing Briston Palin?
9.7.2008 4:00pm
Just Me (mail):
Like E asks, what does she consider an explicit program, and therefore a non-starter.

I think she would probably have to answer this, but it appears she supports the discussion of birth control, but may be opposed to more explicit materials.

I am thinking about years ago when Jocelyn Elder's advocated oral and other types of non penetrative sex in lieu of penetration to prevent pregnancy.

Come on, how do you "improperly" use a condom.
Put it on inside out?
Put it on your finger?


Is this a serious question? I think one common problem with improper use is the removal of the condom. You have to be very careful to hold on to the condom as you pull out after ejaculation, because it may slip off and dump its contents where you didn't want them to go in the first place.

Also, when putting it on it is important to leave a little bit at the tip to hold the contents-although a lot of styles now come with a built in receptical area.
9.7.2008 4:01pm
Dan M.:
It's also important that you don't use condoms that are too big or too small, otherwise it will slide off or pop off.
9.7.2008 4:07pm
R. Gould-Saltman (mail):
Hmmm. First she says she supports "abstenence until marriage" programs, (and if you can find a program that describes itself in this fashion, and is in fact anything other than an "abstenace-only" program, I'll be impressed...) then, when pressed, she says she believes that it's one of "several avenues" that should be discussed.

I recall an earlier discussion of Palin's statement that she believed Creationism should be taught in public schools; when pressed on that one, she pulled back to "encouraging open debate of the various alternative theories..."

A pattern developing?


I'm just askin'. . . .
9.7.2008 4:09pm
D.R.M.:
There are sex-ed curricula out there which give explicit education about getting sexual pleasure (positions, techniques, etc.), not just information about reproduction and disease-avoidance.
9.7.2008 4:11pm
theobromophile (www):
I assume that by "explicit," Sarah Palin means the type of programming that went on at Chelmsford High a few years back.

Now, I have the silly question for the day: why on earth does it matter what the President (or Vice-President, one heartbeat away etc) thinks of sex ed? I mean, this Constitution thingie tells us that bills originate in the Congress (although the Pres can certainly try to get legislation introduced). Sure, the Pres can veto a bill that he (or she!) does not like, but this Art. I, Sec. 8 doesn't seem to say much about state public education.
9.7.2008 4:12pm
Dan M.:
I think it's good that Palin can back off from the Republican Party platform.

But, honestly, I don't even remember seeing a quote saying she is for "abstinence until marriage" programs. The only thing I saw that suggested she was an abstinence-only advocate was her statement on a questionnaire that explicit programs would not find her support.
9.7.2008 4:12pm
one of many:
RE: improper condom usage:

You really must underestimate the ingenuity of of the average teenager if you have want to know how condoms can be used improperly. What are probably the 4 most common examples of improper condom usages; failure to leave space at the end, failure to use a condom before penetration and waiting until before ejaculation, failure to remove the condom after ejaculation, and failure to wait until full tumescence is reached before putting the condom on. Really though, teenagers are very creative at finding ways to misuse things and no doubt there are thousands of other ways to improperly use condoms.

[humour]This is an example of explicit sex education that some people would object to.[/humour]
9.7.2008 4:15pm
NYU JD:
Order of the Coif: There's a famous story of an attempt at condom education in, I think, part of India. They showed a TV commercial demonstrating how to put on a condom using a finger, to not shock the public. Many people ended up pregnant, wondering why the condom didn't work, because they had in fact put it on their finger. Never underestimate human stupidity.

In America, I think the three most common mistakes are:

1) Not making sure the condom stays on while pulling out
2) Using oil-based lubricants, and
3) Reusing condoms
9.7.2008 4:19pm
Bunker:
Fear not, fellow conservatives. It was just a slip.

I live about ten blocks from Palin, and in our neighborhood, there are a lot of backyard inventors.

She meant "pro-contraption."
9.7.2008 4:22pm
newly-minted 2L (mail):
So she was for "abstinence until marriage" programs until she was against them, just like she was for the bridge to nowhere before she was against it, and like she was for earmarks before she was against them. Seems like her position on sex-ed is perfectly consistent with her positions on everything else.
9.7.2008 4:29pm
karl newman:
Dan M: "...mandatory HPV vaccines for 12 year old girls"

Am I mistaken or can parents opt out of "madatory" vaccines for their kids?

Once you see a person die of cervical cancer that is VERY preventable, you might see why someone might be against banning the vaccine under the false assumption that it increases premarital sex.

Putting a vaccine in the list of mandatory vaccines would at least allow for the girl/woman to be in the discussion as to what she wanted to do with her own body.

It seems that much on the right is driven by fear - fear of your daughter having sex - which she will do anyway independent of your fear. Face facts. Kids have sex - we should educate, protect and love them. fear doesn't help.
9.7.2008 4:32pm
Ben P (mail):

So she was for "abstinence until marriage" programs until she was against them, just like she was for the bridge to nowhere before she was against it, and like she was for earmarks before she was against them. Seems like her position on sex-ed is perfectly consistent with her positions on everything else.


If I hold my breath waiting for a politician who doesn't change his/her standing on something when a massive public opinion shift occurs, I don't think I'd ever end up breathing, or voting for that matter.

I'll even wager that anyone here would be quite hard pressed to find local politicians that have vocally opposed federal projects and or federal money within their own constituencies. It's "creating jobs" and "helping the local economy" when it's you. It's "pork" when it's someone else.
9.7.2008 4:36pm
David M. Nieporent (www):
I recall an earlier discussion of Palin's statement that she believed Creationism should be taught in public schools; when pressed on that one, she pulled back to "encouraging open debate of the various alternative theories..."

A pattern developing?
Perhaps the "pattern" is that a sound bite rather frequently fails to capture a person's full position on a subject?
9.7.2008 4:39pm
Jerry F:
So by all accounts, Palin is a centrist leaning to the right on social issues. She supports homosexuality, contraception and is at best ambivalent about teaching creationism in public schools. Why is it then that conservative groups like Focus on the Family who are skeptical of McCain for being too liberal are all backing Palin, who by all accounts is less conservative than McCain on social issues? Didn't Dobson refuse to endorse McCain until Palin got on the ticket? I don't get it.
9.7.2008 4:40pm
karl newman:
We should be careful using the word 'pork' in this particular post...
9.7.2008 4:41pm
fullerene:
I wonder how many candidates who answered the survey wrote, "Yes, I support the explicit sex-ed programs."
9.7.2008 4:41pm
TCO:
Reminds me of a funny story from my Mom. Asked about a late sibling and whether this was an indictment of her Catholic dictated rhythm method, she responded: "Well the method doesn't work very well when you cheat and have sex anyhow during the off periods".

TMI!
9.7.2008 4:50pm
Just Me (mail):
Am I mistaken or can parents opt out of "madatory" vaccines for their kids?

Depends on what state you live in-some states only allow you to opt out for very specific reasons-such as a religious reason, others allow parents to opt out of any required vaxes as long as they file specific paperwork.

Are there any states to date that actually require the vaccine though?

Also, at least among doctors there is some debate over whether or not 12 is the best time to give the vaccine.

I have 14 and 13 year old daughters. Their doctor wants to push giving the vaccine more into the 14-16 year old range, mostly because the majority of girls begin having sex after age 16, and the general consensus on the vaccine is that a booster will be required somewhere in the 5-10 year point, which would put all the girls getting the vaccine at 12 at their peak in sexual activity and a time when the girls are out of the home and may not be so diligent about getting a booster vaccine.
9.7.2008 5:01pm
David Warner:
"So by all accounts, Palin is a centrist leaning to the right on social issues. She supports homosexuality, contraception and is at best ambivalent about teaching creationism in public schools. Why is it then that conservative groups like Focus on the Family who are skeptical of McCain for being too liberal are all backing Palin, who by all accounts is less conservative than McCain on social issues? Didn't Dobson refuse to endorse McCain until Palin got on the ticket? I don't get it."

Because she doesn't harbor the irrational hate for them that is so in vogue among the people in the know? I don't think McCain's ever hated them, but he's made it pretty clear in the past he'd rather not be associated with them in any way. The perception was that this had to do with (likely wise) political expedience and not principle.
9.7.2008 5:11pm
David M. Nieporent (www):
So by all accounts, Palin is a centrist leaning to the right on social issues. She supports homosexuality, contraception and is at best ambivalent about teaching creationism in public schools. Why is it then that conservative groups like Focus on the Family who are skeptical of McCain for being too liberal are all backing Palin, who by all accounts is less conservative than McCain on social issues? Didn't Dobson refuse to endorse McCain until Palin got on the ticket? I don't get it.
Well, I think your description of Palin may not entirely be accurate. That having been said, the religious right's problem with McCain is not that he's "too liberal," but the perception (true or not) that he has no convictions on these issues, that he's more interested in being a "maverick" and working with Democrats across the aisle than he is in supporting their agenda.
9.7.2008 5:14pm
A. Zarkov (mail):
How is sex education a federal issue? Our school systems are run by the states; why would we want the feds involved? Let the feds worry about foreign policy, fiscal policy, energy policy etc. We will handle sex at the local level, and I don't need Washington to get laid-- yet.

For that matter how complicated is sex education anyway? Give all the kids a pamphlet and let them read about it. A lot of us never had any sex education and yet somehow we figured out what to do and what not to do. How did human beings ever procreate all these thousands of years anyway.
9.7.2008 5:28pm
Bruce Hayden (mail) (www):
What she said makes perfect sense to me. Abstinence is preferred for any number of reasons. But teenagers are wired to have sex, and in a previous generation would have been having it within community sanctioned marriage at their ages.

I have been told by teenaged girls that they were surprised that all the guys think about, 24/7 is sex. I wasn't, of course, having been a teenaged boy at one time. But the reality is that hormones are raging then, and sex for some is inevitable, regardless of how adversely that is going to affect their life's opportunities. And it is naive to pretend that some of them aren't going to have sex. For them, being taught how to have safe sex is important.

Teaching that abstinence is better, but if a kid isn't going to be able to be abstinent, how to have sex safely, just makes sense to me.
9.7.2008 5:34pm
one of many:
ow is sex education a federal issue? Our school systems are run by the states; why would we want the feds involved? Let the feds worry about foreign policy, fiscal policy, energy policy etc. We will handle sex at the local level, and I don't need Washington to get laid-- yet.


because the federal government pays for sex education, or could pay for it if they wanted to. Think of abstinence only, where the federal government forced school districts to adopt abstinence only sex education by offering to cover the tab for it. I imagine the federal government also could pay for you to get laid if you bribe contribute to a congressman who wouldn't mind earmarking it.
9.7.2008 5:36pm
James B (mail):
I am fundamentally opposed to free condom giveaways in schools.

As an enterprising senior I did quite well by supplying underclassmen with condoms that they were incapable or unwilling to purchase themselves.

How can tomorrow's young entrepreneurs get their start if they have to compete with the gov't giving away their product?
9.7.2008 5:42pm
Angus:

How is sex education a federal issue? Our school systems are run by the states; why would we want the feds involved?
For the same reason almost everything is. Despite lip service paid to federalism and state and local control, both Democrats and Republicans are terrified that their preferred policies might not win out in some areas, and therefore insist on imposing things from the top.
9.7.2008 5:43pm
Sam H (mail):
" Despite lip service paid to federalism and state and local control, both Democrats and Republicans are terrified that their preferred policies might not win out in some areas, and therefore insist on imposing things from the top."

You nailed it. And the courts let them get away with it.
9.7.2008 5:51pm
Order of the Coif:
"Come on, how do you 'improperly' use a condom."

Mostly by failing to remove it from the package, I suspect.


Oh yes, of course.
9.7.2008 6:07pm
Hoosier:
Where does she stand on that new His-and-Hers KY? You know, the stuff that tingles.


Order of the Coif:
"Come on, how do you 'improperly' use a condom."

Mostly by failing to remove it from the package, I suspect.

Oh yes, of course.


Well, a condom is 100% effective if left in its package, and held tightly between the knees during intercourse.
9.7.2008 6:11pm
Clayton E. Cramer (mail) (www):

I wonder how she feels about vaccines, such as the HPV vaccine that saves lives but "encourages sex" according to the right.
You are misrepresenting "the right" about this. There has been considerable opposition to making HPV vaccine MANDATORY. There is some concern that it needs to be properly explained: it doesn't prevent all strains of HPV, and even for some strains, it is only partially effective.
9.7.2008 6:11pm
Hoosier:
I imagine the federal government also could pay for you to get laid if you bribe contribute to a congressman who wouldn't mind earmarking it.

Do you happen to have that congressman's number handy?
9.7.2008 6:13pm
Dan M.:
"Once you see a person die of cervical cancer that is VERY preventable, you might see why someone might be against banning the vaccine under the false assumption that it increases premarital sex."

I never said I wanted to ban the vaccine. But considering that every state in the nation is trying to pass a bill making it mandatory for public school, I'd rather tell the public school system to go to hell than let them make health decisions for my family. I don't believe in paying a few hundred dollars on some shot that automatically assumes that your daughter will, in fact, have premarital sex.
9.7.2008 6:13pm
whit:

to remove the condom after ejaculation, and failure to wait until full tumescence is reached before putting the condom on


is there any time of day (or night) when a teenage boy ISN'T at "full tumescence?" :)
9.7.2008 6:19pm
Clayton E. Cramer (mail) (www):


Come on, how do you "improperly" use a condom.



Mostly by failing to remove it from the package, I suspect.
Uh, no. If you think that this is the primary improper use, I think there's a child support payment (or worse, an STD) in your future.

Others have mentioned the problem of petroleum jelly used as a lubricant. There's an awful lot of guys who don't slip the condom on until they are ready to insert--and yes, even before penetration, there's some risk of sneaky sperm cells getting going and fertilizing an egg. It happens.

While not common, I've read of incidents where Johnny and Suzie assumed that they didn't need to use a condom for anal sex, and were surprised, a month or two later, to discover that semen managed to slide on down and in.

And of course, even when properly used, condoms do occasionally break. I've had it happen once. I know a couple who attended the same church whose marriage plans were...accelerated after a condom failure. It was his first time, her first time, and I guess all that enthusiasm was more than the poor overwhelmed piece of latex could take! It all worked out for them okay, and they are still married, the last time I was in San Jose and saw them.
9.7.2008 6:19pm
Hoosier:
Clayton: Thanks. This one frustrates me.

Look. My Church is not opposed to the vaccine. If Catholics like it, everyone likes it. The concern really is that girls will get the shot and consider themselves immune from STDs. Which they won't be.

I just saw an add for an ED pill yesterday. The voice-over guy makes it clear that this script does not reduce the risk of pregnancy or STDs. Imagine that: A medicine that increases your frequency of intercourse might actually result in a greater likelihood of pregnancy of the clap! Whooduh thunkit?!!

The sex drive is so deeply ingrained and irrational that even the college-educated 50+ professional men with good health plans and access to doctors can't be trusted to know that a pill that enables them them 'bone up on Dr. Johnson' might came with consequences. What hope do teenagers have?
9.7.2008 6:19pm
Hoosier:
is there any time of day (or night) when a teenage boy ISN'T at "full tumescence?" :)

Yes: For about 10-12 minutes after he has sex.
9.7.2008 6:21pm
whit:

I never said I wanted to ban the vaccine. But considering that every state in the nation is trying to pass a bill making it mandatory for public school, I'd rather tell the public school system to go to hell than let them make health decisions for my family. I don't believe in paying a few hundred dollars on some shot that automatically assumes that your daughter will, in fact, have premarital sex.



not to mention that generally speaking, a parent has to OPT OUT of the vaccine. why should the burden be on the parent to opt out vs. opt IN, considering the invasiveness of the procedure, etc.?
9.7.2008 6:22pm
Hoosier:
While not common, I've read of incidents where Johnny and Suzie assumed that they didn't need to use a condom for anal sex, and were surprised, a month or two later, to discover that semen managed to slide on down and in.

I didn't catch that article. Was that in the summer Foreign Affairs? Because I accidentally left that one at O'Hare.
9.7.2008 6:22pm
Clayton E. Cramer (mail) (www):

I don't believe in paying a few hundred dollars on some shot that automatically assumes that your daughter will, in fact, have premarital sex.
I agree with you that it shouldn't be mandatory, but the HPV vaccine makes sense for several scenarios besides this one:

1. Your daughter may have premarital sex against her will. There is a lot of rape out there.

2. Your daughter is going to marry some guy who had premarital sex, and is carrying HPV, and doesn't know it.

3. Your daughter may eventually marry someone whose wife died, or left him, and he has HPV, and doesn't know it.
9.7.2008 6:24pm
Norman Bates (mail):
For those with a real or feigned perplexity about what Palin means by "explicit" sex education, I'll give two examples from the Democrat Commonwealth of Massachusetts: (1) A weekend workshop, targeted at junior high and high school students and purportedly intended to encourage tolerance of homosexuality amongst adolescents, included seminars that encouraged "fisting". [If you don't know what this extremely harmful practice is, look it up on Google.] When called on this, the state DPH first denied it ever happened, and when presented with videotape evidence, pretended to discipline some junior level personnel. (2) Some communities in the Commonwealth, e.g., Lexington, start providing detailed information about homosexual behavior in the elementary schools. No stand is taken on the dangers to public health from homosexual behavior. Parents are not informed of the content of these courses nor allowed to opt their children out.
9.7.2008 6:26pm
Clayton E. Cramer (mail) (www):

The concern really is that girls will get the shot and consider themselves immune from STDs. Which they won't be.
This is my concern about nearly all sex education aimed at grades 6-12. If the public school system does as good a job with sexual education as they with the rest of the process, the next generation will have a lot of STD-infected pregnant teens.

The harsh reality is that hormone-deranged kids are very nearly crazy in those years. (I remember well!) Encouraging them to wait until adulthood is nearly hopeless--but even getting them to wait a year or two, in the hopes that the blood flow returns to the brain (for the boys), is worth the effort.
9.7.2008 6:29pm
Clayton E. Cramer (mail) (www):

I just saw an add for an ED pill yesterday. The voice-over guy makes it clear that this script does not reduce the risk of pregnancy or STDs. Imagine that: A medicine that increases your frequency of intercourse might actually result in a greater likelihood of pregnancy of the clap! Whooduh thunkit?!!
While generally agreeing with you, I think this is just the lawyers at work, making sure that no one uses this as an excuse to sue. Go here for some pictures of a DiGiorno pizza box with instructions that are clear evidence that there are way too many lawyers out there. The instructions tell you not to eat the pizza without cooking it first, and to remove the pizza from the box, the plastic wrapping, and the cardboard underneath it.
9.7.2008 6:38pm
Clayton E. Cramer (mail) (www):

A weekend workshop, targeted at junior high and high school students and purportedly intended to encourage tolerance of homosexuality amongst adolescents, included seminars that encouraged "fisting". [If you don't know what this extremely harmful practice is, look it up on Google.]
It's only harmful if you don't want to wear diapers the rest of your life.
9.7.2008 6:39pm
TruePath (mail) (www):
That certainly ameliorates my dislike of Palin. I'm still not a fan but she seems far less threatening.

Also I wanted to point out that all of the positions mentioned in the post are perfectly consistent. One can perfectly believe that abstinence is the only sure fire method and should be encouraged but given that not everyone will succeed one ought to teach condom usage to mitigate the harms.

I mean describing herself as against explicit sex education and the like is a way to assure people that she isn't a 'crazy' liberal type who wants to encourage their children to have bisexual premarital sex. While this worry has more to do with perception than reality it is nevertheless true that some people assume that's what you mean when you start talking about any kind of sexual education.

---------

Leaving aside the issue of Palin for a moment I do happen to think we ought to be giving older teens the message that sex is normal and fun while at the same time warning them of the emotional as well as physical dangers that it poses. I find it quite ironic that the supposed reason that people wish to avoid sex education or non-abstinence programs is the worry that pre-marital sexual relations will cause psychological harm thus ensuring that teens are never given a heads up about what to look for. It would save a lot of pain and anguish if teen girls were warned their first time being penetrated might be difficult and they shouldn't assume things will work nicely the first time if they haven't practiced on themselves. It's a mean thing to do to young couples (and women in particular) to tell them they have to wait till their wedding and not warn them that (short of great pain) they might not be able to have sex at all that night. Also telling people to wait often causes girls to avoid having sex in decent good relationships with nice boys increasing the chance that their first experience will be while drunk or in a period of emotional crisis with someone pushing them into it. Not to mention the harm caused by pursuing marriage for the sake of sex, especially when you don't know if you are sexually compatible.

Frankly, I don't see why some parent's uncomfortability with these opinions should mean schools shouldn't teach them. It doesn't work this way in any other area. We don't stop telling kids about evolution because some parents would prefer they didn't hear it. We don't keep kids in the dark about modern medical benefits because a parent might be a scientologist why should sex be any different?


NYU JD:

That sounds like an urban legend to me. It's a nice joke and it's the sorta thing people would say was true to make it a bit funnier.
9.7.2008 6:51pm
theobromophile (www):
Once you see a person die of cervical cancer that is VERY preventable, you might see why someone might be against banning the vaccine under the false assumption that it increases premarital sex.

Straw man, much? No one said anything at all about banning Gardasil, just questioned the wisdom of making it mandatory (or mandatory with opt-out procedures) for 11-year-old girls.

We don't require people to read Harry Potter, but that doesn't mean it's a banned book.....
9.7.2008 6:52pm
DoDoGuRu:

A weekend workshop, targeted at junior high and high school students and purportedly intended to encourage tolerance of homosexuality amongst adolescents, included seminars that encouraged "fisting". [If you don't know what this extremely harmful practice is, look it up on Google.]

Don't look it up on Google! It's a trap!
9.7.2008 7:14pm
16wsm:
This thread is hawt! Iz goin to have some sex now. k bye
9.7.2008 7:25pm
theobromophile (www):
The harsh reality is that hormone-deranged kids are very nearly crazy in those years. (I remember well!) Encouraging them to wait until adulthood is nearly hopeless--but even getting them to wait a year or two, in the hopes that the blood flow returns to the brain (for the boys), is worth the effort.

Well, if you tried to teach kids that, generally, teenage boys think about having sex 24/7, and girls have a huge range of desires, you'll be called out by the Left for being sexist.

The elephant in the room: girls (and boys) are reaching puberty much earlier. Back in the day, girls would hit puberty around 16, and the hormones wouldn't kick in until the late teen years. Now that elementary-school girls are getting their periods, and boys seem to be on a similarly accelerated track, middle-schoolers are acting like high-school kids. There is no way that a 12-year-old is emotionally ready to have sex (I doubt that many 18-year-olds are, even, but there's ranges of preparedness), but that's not what their bodies are saying.
9.7.2008 7:30pm
David Warner:
"Leaving aside the issue of Palin for a moment I do happen to think we ought to be giving older teens the message that sex is normal and fun while at the same time warning them of the emotional as well as physical dangers that it poses."

I don't think that "fun" quite does it justice, and perhaps calling it that in some sort of effort to be hip may be part of the problem. Smoking cigarettes was once considered fun, until people figured out that doing so rewires your brain. Sex carries with it similar, if not more pronounced, effects.
9.7.2008 7:47pm
theobromophile (www):
I do happen to think we ought to be giving older teens the message that sex is normal and fun

So we can make them really, REALLY curious to know what the big deal is all about? Brilliant!
9.7.2008 7:51pm
Just Me (mail):
You are misrepresenting "the right" about this. There has been considerable opposition to making HPV vaccine MANDATORY. There is some concern that it needs to be properly explained: it doesn't prevent all strains of HPV, and even for some strains, it is only partially effective.

I would also point out that some of us parents are nervous about the safety of the vaccine as it relates to giving it to pre pubescent and pubescent girls. The majority of the testing was done in adult and post pubescent women. I am not sure that I want to run right out and get my child a vaccine that just came on the market.

But then I waited over 4 years before getting the chicken pox vaccine and might have waited longer had my youngest daughter not been diagnosed with asthma.

I am not opposed to vaccines, I am just cautious about new ones.

I also agree completely with my doctor's issues with giving a vaccine that will need a booster in 5-10 years to girls whose vax may be wearing out at a time when they are probably the least likely to get a booster for it.

I don't think the goal of the vax is a wrong one, and even if it works for some of the strains that is better than none of the strains, but I am cautious by nature and would rather not have the government telling me I have to get the vaccine for my kids before I am confident that it is safe. Actually I am not convinced this one ever needs to be a required vax. The other deseases we vax for are for things kids can reasonably pass around and catch in a school environment-HPV is caught through sex.
9.7.2008 8:19pm
Alligator:

Teaching that abstinence is better, but if a kid isn't going to be able to be abstinent, how to have sex safely, just makes sense to me.


Right on.


Really though, teenagers are very creative at finding ways to misuse things and no doubt there are thousands of other ways to improperly use condoms.


I'm surprised that no one has mentioned double-bagging yet. Surprise -- two condoms are actually worse (i.e., more likely to break) than one!
9.7.2008 8:32pm
Just Me (mail):
Really though, teenagers are very creative at finding ways to misuse things and no doubt there are thousands of other ways to improperly use condoms.

Not to mention they often operate under a "it can't happen to me" philosophy when it comes to almost any decision that involves risk.
9.7.2008 8:45pm
Fub:
Hoosier wrote at 9.7.2008 5:19pm:
The sex drive is so deeply ingrained and irrational that even the college-educated 50+ professional men with good health plans and access to doctors can't be trusted to know that a pill that enables them them 'bone up on Dr. Johnson' might came with consequences. What hope do teenagers have?
I must be getting old. It took entirely too long to realize you weren't talking about popping bennies to stay awake reading Boswell's Life.
9.7.2008 9:02pm
David Warner:
"I do happen to think we ought to be giving older teens the message that sex is normal and fun"

Perhaps this explains the decline in teenage pregnancies - middle-aged teachers telling teens that sex is "fun". What better way to convince them to avoid it!
9.7.2008 9:29pm
Benjamin Davis (mail):
Hey so when do we get the "baby mama/unwed mother" comments - or maybe I scrolled too fast. Oh, that's right, these are white people. THAT's different. Puh-leaze.
Best,
Ben
9.7.2008 9:54pm
TruePath (mail) (www):

I don't think that "fun" quite does it justice, and perhaps calling it that in some sort of effort to be hip may be part of the problem.



I don't know what kind of sex you are having but I certainly would say that it's fun. It's certainly not boring and I always found it enjoyable. What more do you want for something to be fun?


Smoking cigarettes was once considered fun, until people figured out that doing so rewires your brain. Sex carries with it similar, if not more pronounced, effects.


I've never particularly liked cigarettes many people do find them fun. People find doing heroin, E and cocaine fun as well that's why they do them. Being fun and being a good idea are hardly the same thing.

But I do think cigarettes provide a good lesson for this situation. One of the reasons we got into so much trouble with cigarettes is that we went with what various political interest groups said and vague intuitions (everyone smokes it can't be that bad) rather than relying on the science. We should rely on the science for our attitudes to sex as well. We should agree that our school policy should implement what scientific studies suggest is the best guess at increasing people's happiness.

That means we should do trials where we survey kids about the number of negative sexual experiences they have had after dividing them up randomly into different kind of sex education classes. If (absent evidence of organized campaigns to bias the outcomes) they show that kids educated with abstinence only have the least number of negative outcomes fine, if it's kids educated with a pure "here is a condom" then that's fine or if it's kids given extra information about what to expect that is reason to pursue that strategy.

On the longer term we can of course check out the effects of these teachings on long term life quality. However, other things being equal, people do tend to enjoy sex and feel guilty when they have it after being told they shouldn't so until we find evidence that these gains are outweighed by the harms we should avoid encouraging abstinence.

----

thebromophile:


So we can make them really, REALLY curious to know what the big deal is all about? Brilliant!


I think you were being sarcastic but in case not David Warner really has the compelling answer here. In fact I would argue that one of the benefits about being more upfront about this stuff is that you simultaneously reduce the guilt and ignorance factors while potentially even discouraging risky or rash sex.

I mean the sense that sex is forbiddeen and mysterious really adds to the attraction of it for teens. If it's just something that their parents and teachers openly admit and feel no shame to talk about it (in generalt, like your medical conditions you don't need to tell us details about your private life) then it's just another thing people do and there is less allure to doing it sneakily.


Alligator:


I'm surprised that no one has mentioned double-bagging yet. Surprise -- two condoms are actually worse (i.e., more likely to break) than one!


Actually, two condoms used correctly are significantly safer. I read a quite well done study that demonstrated this by running trials in some brothel.
9.7.2008 10:02pm
Hoosier:
"We don't require people to read Harry Potter, but that doesn't mean it's a banned book....."

Thus conclusively demonstrating that this is NOT the best of all possible worlds.
9.7.2008 10:28pm
Hoosier:
"It took entirely too long to realize you weren't talking about popping bennies to stay awake reading Boswell's Life."

Yeah. You and my wife.
9.7.2008 10:30pm
karl newman:

The other deseases we vax for are for things kids can reasonably pass around and catch in a school environment-HPV is caught through sex.


How would this all change if it was an HIV vaccine? I also think that sex viruses are reasonably passed around among school aged kids. Kids are much more likely to get HPV than Hepatitis B or Polio and none of these are passed in school. If I had to choose one vaccine of HepB, Polio or HPV for my daughter I would choose HPV strictly on probability.
9.7.2008 10:37pm
Toby:
Condoms are better for sailers than for lovers

is there any time of day (or night) when a teenage boy ISN'T at "full tumescence?" :)

Yes: For about 10-12 minutes after he has sex.

Strange as it may seem to some in the crowd, many women actively dislike immediate withdrawal by the male. This behsvior, however apropriate when visting hour neighborhood sex worker, is actually discouraged by (a) females having an emtionanal interaction (b) females not wishing to feel like kleenexes to be dicarded or (c) (dare I say it) females hoping to climax soon themselves.

But, dang with that [partial] loss of tumescense and all, now the male is "using a condom improperly".

Soon one of the regular trolls squealing about "lies about consoms will show up - if he is not involved with his emotionally uninvolved partner or hooker this evening.
9.7.2008 10:51pm
Just Me (mail):
How would this all change if it was an HIV vaccine? I also think that sex viruses are reasonably passed around among school aged kids.

You are arguing from the perspective of what you would vax your child for.

The reason for requiring vaxes in order for children to attend school is because kids are required to attend, are in close proximity to each other and are breathing and passing their nasal secretions around.

Pretty much every other vax that is required are passed in ways that do not require sexual contact. Many of them are airborne and therefore an infected child at school poses a threat to all children in the same space.

HPV and even an HIV vax are passed only through sexual contact. Something that doesn't occur at school-or at least shouldn't occur and is against the rules in pretty much every student handbook I have ever seen.

Schools have good reason to require kids have airborne and contact (although not the sexual kind) desease vaxes because the school can't control the environment well enough to protect well kids from sick kids.

I don't think you can make that same argument for HPV or HIV (assuming one existed). You can make the argument that vaxing kids is a good idea and list those reasons, but these deseases are unlikely to be passed around in a school environment. Kids of school age may be passing them to each other, but it isn't at school.

I think requirements for vaxes in order to attend school she pertain to a specific compelling reason for the schools to require them-I just don't think you can make that argument for sexually transmitted deseases even if you can make the argument that it is wise to vax for them.

We are discussing mandatory vaxes-where a child has to have it in order to attend school-not whether the vax itself should exist-two different debates entirely.
9.7.2008 11:15pm
LM (mail):
David Warner,

I don't think that "fun" quite does it justice, and perhaps calling it that in some sort of effort to be hip may be part of the problem.

It's a question of credibility. Same for deterring drug use. If you only give kids the arguments why they shouldn't do something, without acknowledging the obvious, that there are reasons so many people do it anyway, they see you as a hack.

Perhaps this explains the decline in teenage pregnancies - middle-aged teachers telling teens that sex is "fun". What better way to convince them to avoid it!

Getting closer.
9.7.2008 11:34pm
Alligator:

Actually, two condoms used correctly are significantly safer. I read a quite well done study that demonstrated this by running trials in some brothel.


Coincidentally, I think my condom-on-a-banana sex ed class in high school taught me that two were worse than one. Is the study online? If not, do you have a cite or some searchable details (title, year, etc.)? It looks interesting -- and apparently I need to read it!
9.7.2008 11:50pm
Math_Mage (mail) (www):
theobromophile:
The elephant in the room: girls (and boys) are reaching puberty much earlier. Back in the day, girls would hit puberty around 16, and the hormones wouldn't kick in until the late teen years. Now that elementary-school girls are getting their periods, and boys seem to be on a similarly accelerated track, middle-schoolers are acting like high-school kids. There is no way that a 12-year-old is emotionally ready to have sex (I doubt that many 18-year-olds are, even, but there's ranges of preparedness), but that's not what their bodies are saying.


You're going to have to provide evidence for all of this. It sounds like total bs from a scientific perspective that in one or two generations, one or more populations of humans suddenly exhibited an earlier maturation with no selective pressures even pointing that way. See also: arranged marriages for young teens in the (more distant) past.
9.8.2008 12:15am
theobromophile (www):
Math Mage,

Maybe it's late at night, so I'm as tolerant as I usually am, but your comment is unnecessarily snarky. "[L]ike total bs from a scientific perspective" and "going to have to provide evidence" (as if you are able to order me around) are totally inappropriate things to say to rational, intelligent adults.

In future interactions, please do not be so confrontational.

Without sending the spam filter into orbit, here are a few links: CNN article from 2000, noting the changes; and an article noting earlier onset of secondary sex characteristics (circa 1997). As factors such as birth order, body fat (which produces small amounts of oestrogen) and even birth weight correlate to age of menarche, this is not a surprising result.
9.8.2008 1:05am
Clayton E. Cramer (mail) (www):

You're going to have to provide evidence for all of this. It sounds like total bs from a scientific perspective that in one or two generations, one or more populations of humans suddenly exhibited an earlier maturation with no selective pressures even pointing that way.
I remember some years back reading an article in Scientific American that mentioned that Los Angeles schools had data on age of menarche for their students going from the turn of the 20th century into the 1950s. (I had no idea that they were so intrusive.) The data showed roughly a three year decline in average age in that period. And almost everyone agrees that it is related to improved nutrition.

I would also wonder if increased use of copper piping might be a factor. I remember learning in one of my biology classes that during World War II, U.S. Army doctors in some part of the Middle East noticed that the puberty fairy was arriving extraordinarily late for the local boys. A little investigation revealed that even the trace amounts of copper that most people get were absent in this region.
9.8.2008 1:21am
theobromophile (www):
Hoosier,

I missed something. "Thus conclusively demonstrating that this is NOT the best of all possible worlds."

[Gives monitor a very puzzled expression.]

TruePath,

Yes, I was being sarcastic. I should get better at using things like /sarcasm and ;) to convey that.

On a serious note: "I mean the sense that sex is forbiddeen and mysterious really adds to the attraction of it for teens."

For some teens, yes. I think that, at least for girls, this approach increases curiosity; boys, on the other hand, don't quite have the curiosity factor(if I understand male development correctly, boys experience a lot of this involuntarily at puberty, and then quickly learn how to bring about the sensation through other means). As one of my girl friends put it, if she doesn't have sex for a while, she tends to forget that it even exists. Telling girls that it's "fun" and "feels good" is, in some ways, news.
9.8.2008 1:29am
Jon Roland (mail) (www):
Wow! You guys are giving me a sex education I never got in 64 years, especially about how to properly use condoms. Worse than a chastity belt with a bawky key. No wonder I chose not to use them and went with abstinence. :)

Believe it or not, when I was a kid back in the 1950s, abstinence actually worked. Not for lack of demands from the boys, but the girls remained united in saying "no". That regime lasted until a girl moved into town who "did it" and the walls came tumbling down.

Abstinence can work, but only in a local society that can maintain a moral code and keep the bad girls out. Urbanization has subverted our traditional rural and small town virtues, in many ways, not just sex.
9.8.2008 1:31am
TDPerkins (mail):
Wow.

A Sarah Palin thread where jukeboxgrad hasn't tried yet to misrepresent her statements and actions into something negative about McCain or her.

He's slipping.

Yours, TDP, ml, msl, &pfpp
9.8.2008 1:55am
jukeboxgrad (mail):
I was getting tired of trying to argue with people that accused her Christian values of failing her children. Now will they blame comprehensive education for failing Briston Palin?


Just for the record, I don't particularly believe that Bristol's problem traces back to "Christian values" or the nature of sex ed she did or didn't get. Those might be factors, but I'm inclined to think that primarily it's an issue of parents who are very busy doing something other than parenting her.
9.8.2008 2:10am
jukeboxgrad (mail):
I'll even wager that anyone here would be quite hard pressed to find local politicians that have vocally opposed federal projects and or federal money within their own constituencies.


True, that kind of creature is hard to find. The problem is that Palin is pretending to be that kind of creature, even though she isn't one.
9.8.2008 2:10am
jukeboxgrad (mail):
Why is it then that conservative groups like Focus on the Family who are skeptical of McCain for being too liberal are all backing Palin, who by all accounts is less conservative than McCain on social issues?


Because it's not actually true that she "by all accounts is less conservative than McCain on social issues." Here's an important example: she opposes a rape/incest exception for abortion.
9.8.2008 2:10am
jukeboxgrad (mail):
A Sarah Palin thread where jukeboxgrad hasn't tried yet to misrepresent her statements and actions into something negative about McCain or her.


td, I wouldn't want to let you down.

By the way, you've provided an impressive number of examples showing how I "misrepresent her statements and actions:" zero. I wonder if you could be troubled to come up with one. This should be very easy for you, since you're implying that it's a common occurrence.
9.8.2008 2:10am
Clayton E. Cramer (mail) (www):
Urbanization has subverted our traditional rural and small town virtues, in many ways, not just sex.
I wish that this was true. I've read a plausible study of marriage and birth records for 17th century Puritan Massachusetts that suggests that 16% of brides walked up the aisle pregnant.
9.8.2008 2:19am
Clayton E. Cramer (mail) (www):
Just for the record, I don't particularly believe that Bristol's problem traces back to "Christian values" or the nature of sex ed she did or didn't get. Those might be factors, but I'm inclined to think that primarily it's an issue of parents who are very busy doing something other than parenting her.
Someone has obviously never raised a teenager.

1. Teenagers are interested in sex. This is natural.

2. We live in a culture that strongly promotes sex, adding gasoline to the fire of puberty.

3. Unless you supervise your teenagers at all times, they will find opportunities to fool around. As I discovered with my own daughter: she would tell us that she was at a girlfriend's house for a sleepover. Her girlfriend told her parents that she was at our house for a sleepover. Neither set of parents figured out where they actually were. (And the parents of the boyfriends either didn't care, or were out of town.)

4. Yes, lack of supervision can be a contributing factor. But teenagers are sneaky! If there's something that they want, they will find ways to get around you. Boy, do I know.
9.8.2008 2:24am
David Warner:
LM,

"It's a question of credibility. Same for deterring drug use. If you only give kids the arguments why they shouldn't do something, without acknowledging the obvious, that there are reasons so many people do it anyway, they see you as a hack."

Of course. My point was that its more than "fun", and kids know that too, and a teacher trying to push the Playboy Philosophy will have credibility issues every bit as serious as the bluenose will.
9.8.2008 2:40am
David Warner:
Clayton,

"I wish that this was true. I've read a plausible study of marriage and birth records for 17th century Puritan Massachusetts that suggests that 16% of brides walked up the aisle pregnant."

Why is everyone missing the distinction between unwed pregnancy and unwed motherhood? The former is indeed a problem, the latter a far more severe one, especially from the perspective of the child. Technology and, yes, moral progress is making offing the kid before it becomes a problem for anyone else increasingly untenable, whether we like it or not.

Shotgun marriages, while suboptimal, do serve a deterrent purpose as well.
9.8.2008 2:46am
Alligator:

Shotgun marriages, while suboptimal, do serve a deterrent purpose as well.


Fascinating -- I had no idea marriage was still a form of punishment, seeing as it's so easy to dissolve a marriage nowadays.
9.8.2008 3:19am
A.W. (mail):
E.

I suspect it might be like, "okay kids, time to put the condoms on the bananas."

Or think on South Parks when Mr. Garrison demonstrated, with the banana, how to put a condom on with just your mouth.

And I say that's right.

karl newman

Why don't you deal with her instead of your stereotypes of conservatives?

As for HPV virus, I would be hesitant for this reason: are we sure it is safe? Its pretty new, and testing ahead of time can only tell us so much. I would research it more if I had a daughter, but I wouldn't want her to be part of a "guinea pig" generation.

Angus

And did they say how they "improperly used them." Could it be 1) they didn't know when to use it, or 2) just didn't use it.

And jab gives several examples that doesn't seem too explicit.

Dan

> Yeah, mandatory HPV vaccines for 12 year old girls save lives! Honestly, it's bullshit like that that would push me to keep my kids out of public school.

It would save their if they are raped by a carrier of the virus. But see above for my big concern.

Newly-minted

You are twisting her words to invent a contradiction that never existed.

Clayton

And I heard one time in the civil war, a cannonball hit a man in the balls, and when through him for miles and miles and rolled right into a woman as she was squatting to pee... and she got pregnant!

(ripped off of MST3K)

Jukebos

As usual, you are scum to drag her daughter into this.

Is that your position? All parents of pregnant teenagers are bad parents. Oh, and for bonus points, that means that Sarah Palin should have been home barefoot and pregnant, right?

The hackery coming out of the left these days is just sickening.
9.8.2008 3:22am
jukeboxgrad (mail):
Someone has obviously never raised a teenager.


I think you should try to avoid making unwarranted assumptions. You should consider the possibility that I've actually raised one or more teenagers. You should also consider the possibility that I was once a teenager myself.

teenagers are sneaky!


Naturally. The best possible parenting can still lead to bad results. The presence of ample parental supervision and attention does not guarantee success, but I think the absence of this enhances the likelihood of failure.

lack of supervision can be a contributing factor


Exactly. And when I look at this particular family, I see parents who are very busy doing things other than raising children. There are only 24 hours in a day, even in Alaska. In other words, I see something very much unlike my picture of the best possible parenting. And I'm not saying mom isn't home enough. I'm saying a parent isn't home enough. If Todd was home, my analysis would be very different. But he's not.

This would be none of my business, except that judgment and character matter, and I don't like what I see.
9.8.2008 4:16am
jukeboxgrad (mail):
you are scum to drag her daughter into this


I'm not evaluating the kids. I'm evaluating the parents. It's Palin's defenders who are holding her kids up as a shield, to try to deflect legitimate criticism.

And it was Palin herself who decided to "drag" her kids into this. For example, Palin displayed Trig to press photographers when he was three days old. This led to the obvious headlines that excited her base. Palin routinely invites us to evaluate her parental decisions, but expects us to close our eyes when we notice that those decisions are not uniformly impressive. Trouble is, it doesn't work that way.

All parents of pregnant teenagers are bad parents.


Parents who seem to routinely put their careers ahead of their kids are bad parents, whether their kids get pregnant or not. Conversely, parents who consistently put their kids first are good parents, whether their kids get pregnant or not (because this can definitely happen despite the best efforts of the parents).

In this instance, Bristol's pregnancy just calls attention to what we can see without even talking about Bristol: both these parents seem inclined to put their careers ahead of their kids. There are many signs of this, which I've detailed in other threads. And there are also other signs of what looks to me like irresponsible parenting. This includes conceiving Trig, when neither parent seems terribly interested in staying home to take care of him.

that means that Sarah Palin should have been home barefoot and pregnant, right?


Not exactly. As I've said, I don't necessarily see a need for a mom in the home (although I think there is no substitute for a mom in the early months). But I do see a need for a parent in the home. Given the number of kids, and the ages. Also, as I've said, I see what appears to be a problem with getting pregnant carelessly. That's obviously what Bristol did. I've explained why I think Trig was a careless pregnancy. Maybe you don't realize that Track was conceived before his parents were married. The pattern seems pretty clear.

Having lots of babies is great, provided the number doesn't exceed your willingness to stay home and take care of them (either you or your spouse). When the number does exceed your willingness to stay home and take care of them, that means you've been irresponsible. That's what I see, in this instance.

Someone who is considered an authority on this sort of thing said it this way:

what kind of role model is a woman whose fifth child was recently born with a serious issue, Down Syndrome, and then goes back to the job of Governor within days of the birth?
9.8.2008 4:16am
David M. Nieporent (www):
I think you should try to avoid making unwarranted assumptions. You should consider the possibility that I've actually raised one or more teenagers. You should also consider the possibility that I was once a teenager myself.
Yeah. Considered and rejected. You may be a teenager now, but not one having sex.
9.8.2008 4:41am
TDPerkins (mail):

I was getting tired of trying to argue with people that accused her Christian values of failing her children. Now will they blame comprehensive education for failing Briston Palin?

Just for the record, I don't particularly believe that Bristol's problem traces back to "Christian values" or the nature of sex ed she did or didn't get. Those might be factors, but I'm inclined to think that primarily it's an issue of parents who are very busy doing something other than parenting her.


Right. It doesn't turn out to support your position, so you don't think anything of it. Newsflash, most people who are directly supervising their children enough to preclude teen pregnancy are going to be impoverished. I don't think that's a solution.



I'll even wager that anyone here would be quite hard pressed to find local politicians that have vocally opposed federal projects and or federal money within their own constituencies.


True, that kind of creature is hard to find. The problem is that Palin is pretending to be that kind of creature, even though she isn't one.


Liar, she cut Alaska's budget.




Why is it then that conservative groups like Focus on the Family who are skeptical of McCain for being too liberal are all backing Palin, who by all accounts is less conservative than McCain on social issues?


Because it's not actually true that she "by all accounts is less conservative than McCain on social issues." Here's an important example: she opposes a rape/incest exception for abortion.


As opposed to lying, I think this is just poor reading comprehension. On this one measure, she is more conservative than McCain, in others she is less conservative than the boilerplate GOP platform.



A Sarah Palin thread where jukeboxgrad hasn't tried yet to misrepresent her statements and actions into something negative about McCain or her.


td, I wouldn't want to let you down.



By the way, you've provided an impressive number of examples showing how I "misrepresent her statements and actions:" zero. 20 or 30 I wonder if you could be troubled to come up with one. This should be very easy for you, since you're implying that it's a common occurrence.


Fixed that for you.

Yours, TDP, ml, msl, &pfpp
9.8.2008 8:34am
A.W. (mail):
Jukebox

> You should consider the possibility that I've actually raised one or more teenagers.

He'll have to be excused from thinking that since you are completely clueless about them, you neither had teenagers nor remembered what it was like to be one.

> I'm not evaluating the kids.

Doesn't matter. You are still scum. This subject is and should be off limits.

> For example, Palin displayed Trig to press photographers when he was three days old.

It's a canard I have debunked before, I believe in a thread you were on, to boot. You give the press a nibble so then they leave you alone.

> Parents who seem to routinely put their careers ahead of their kids are bad parents, whether their kids get pregnant or not.

Really? Then name some men in politics you would say the same thing of.
9.8.2008 11:40am
Hoosier:
Then name some men in politics you would say the same thing of.

I'll start this off: Anyone who has grade-school age children, yet runs for the presidency. Regardless of party affilitation. Or whom I support in this election.

Next?
9.8.2008 11:48am
A.W. (mail):
Hoosier

> Anyone who has grade-school age children, yet runs for the presidency. Regardless of party affilitation. Or whom I support in this election.

Any specific names come to mind?

How about Barrack Obama?
9.8.2008 1:59pm
David Warner:
Alligator,

"Shotgun marriages, while suboptimal, do serve a deterrent purpose as well.

Fascinating -- I had no idea marriage was still a form of punishment, seeing as it's so easy to dissolve a marriage nowadays."

It doesn't have to be a punishment to be a deterrent. I may want a brand-new SUV and could qualify for an 84-month loan, but I'd rather not be upside down for 5 years. Ignoring the consequences of decisions doesn't make them disappear.

Think of the shotgun as the ultimate in local (contract) law enforcement. I'm (mostly) kidding.
9.8.2008 2:50pm
one of many:
In fairness to Jukebox, she (or he) does use the word "routinely" and I do not believe an opportunity to run for President (or Vice-President even) can be considered "routine" for anyone other than LaRouche. I would not consider a parent who takes advantage of a once-in-a-lifetime career opportunely to be a bad parent, even if does have a cost to their children. I doubt this applies to Palin who caused controversy as governor over the cross-scheduling of the State of the State Address and one of her children's events (a hockey game?), but perhaps it does.
9.8.2008 2:57pm
Elliot123 (mail):
Is sex education managed by the federal government? Has Congress passed any laws regarding it? Is it an area over which the president has any authority?
9.8.2008 3:09pm
A. Dawson (mail) (www):
Who care what either (Palin, McCain, Obama, etc) thinks!?!?!?!?!

It's none of their business!

U.S. out of my underwear!
9.8.2008 4:11pm
A. Dawson (mail) (www):
One more point... the debate over this subject is a PRIME example of what happens when you decide to fund things at a FEDERAL level. All of a sudden, the Fed's get a say on what is taught.

The Fed's are going broke. This debate should remain at the municipal level or lower.
9.8.2008 4:14pm
LM (mail):
Hoosier:

I'll start this off: Anyone who has grade-school age children, yet runs for the presidency. Regardless of party affilitation. Or whom I support in this election.

You're obviously referring to Obama. Do you mean to include or exclude Palin?
9.8.2008 4:53pm
Philistine (mail):

You're obviously referring to Obama. Do you mean to include or exclude Palin?



McCain did have one or two grade-school aged kids when he ran in 2000 (depending on where your cut-off for "grade-school" is).
9.8.2008 5:15pm
Hoosier:
<i>Fascinating — I had no idea marriage was still a form of punishment</i>

You are not married, huh?
9.8.2008 6:11pm
Hoosier:
LM :
Hoosier:


I'll start this off: Anyone who has grade-school age children, yet runs for the presidency. Regardless of party affilitation. Or whom I support in this election.


You're obviously referring to Obama. Do you mean to include or exclude Palin?


Obama has young kids? And is running for president? Why wasn't I aware of this?

Yes, I'm talking about Obama. But I don't propose it as a rule, though I suspect it's a good choice. My point, however, is that the rule needs to apply to everyone or no one. None of this "Well, he only has two, and she has five." As if the number of children is the issue. The issue is, of course, the lack of time. He will have minimal time with his family, if he is president, regardless of the size of the family. Presidents are busy people.
9.8.2008 6:16pm
LM (mail):
Hoosier,

I agree that the rules, criticisms and everything else that fills these threads should be applied even-handedly. Of course defining the rule and applying it to the facts -- there's the rub. You can find yourself wondering how the rule became, "No filibustering judicial nominations...[whisper whisper], umm, UNLESS the nominee would have lost anyway." And yes, that cuts both ways. One person's moral relativism being another's false equivalence, and all that.
9.8.2008 8:04pm
Hoosier:
LM--The facts are what I say are the facts. They become relevant only when I say they are.

And do you know whay?

Because I called it first!
9.8.2008 10:27pm
Kid counter:
To add to Hoosier's comment that


None of this "Well, he only has two, and she has five." As if the number of children is the issue.


For those counting noses -- not me, but for those who do -- the shock of "five" is bogus. The "kid" heading to Iraq seems to have grown up, no? And the pregnant teen could go either way. Some count both her and the coming baby as more duties for the maybe-Veep, but it seems equally valid to say that she'll be off in her own household, maybe in Alaska. So it's three kids, with one about 14 or so. Not so far from Obama's two. And the Pres has more concrete duties than the Veep.
9.9.2008 2:12pm
LM (mail):
Hoosier,

Your two year old is very precocious. I just hope when s/he's on your lap in the car you don't also let him/her drive.
9.9.2008 6:53pm