ONTD Political

Why is the Obama administration endorsing a virginity pledge-based abstinence-only program?

9:37 pm - 05/02/2012

Recently, the Obama administration quietly updated its list of “evidence-based programs” that “met the effectiveness criteria” for preventing teenage pregnancy and are therefore endorsed by the Department of Health and Human Services. This list includes the Heritage Keepers Abstinence Education program. Which is weird because, like basically all abstinence-only programs ever, it doesn’t work.

According to RH Reality Check, a 2007 study found that the program “had little or no impact on sexual abstinence or activity.” But that makes it sound like Heritage is just ineffective but harmless. In fact, while it “contains little or no information about puberty, anatomy, sexually transmitted diseases, or sexual behavior,” it does teach kids some stuff. Here’s a sample:

“Males and females are aroused at different levels of intimacy. Males are more sight orientated whereas females are more touch orientated.” The implications of this difference are explained further: “This is why girls need to be careful with what they wear, because males are looking! The girl might be thinking fashion, while the boy is thinking sex. For this reason, girls have a responsibility to wear modest clothing that doesn’t invite lustful thoughts. ” (Heritage Keepers, Student Manual, p. 46)

“Sex is like fire. Inside the appropriate boundary of marriage, sex is a great thing! Outside of marriage, sex can be dangerous.” (Heritage Keeper, Student Manual, p. 22)

“Cohabitation (when two people live together before marriage) is not like marriage! [Heritage Keepers, p. 30] When couples live together outside of marriage, the relationships are weaker, more violent, less [equal], and more likely to lead to divorce.” (Heritage Keepers, Student Manual, p. 26)

“One reason may be that when people bond closely through sexual activity, then break up and bond with someone else, and then someone else, it may become increasingly difficult to maintain a lasting bond.” (Heritage Keepers, Teacher Manual, p. 56)

Young women are asked to envision their wedding day: “Everything is just as you have seen it in a million daydreams…” When the bride takes her father’s arm: “Your true love stands at the front. This is the man who you have waited for (remained abstinent for) and who has waited for you…This man wants to be strong and courageous for you, to cherish and protect you…You are ready to trust him with all that you have and all that you are, because you have waited (sexually) you have it all to give.” (Heritage Keepers, Student Manual, p. 49)

As the youth advocates at RH Reality Check write, “The Obama Administration’s endorsement of this abstinence-only-until marriage program runs in direct contradiction to its stated commitment to the health and well-being of young people and, quite possibly, its promise to uphold science and evidence.” But, of course, we already know what HHS thinks about science.


Mods is it possible to add either a virginity or abstinence tag?

rhodanum 3rd-May-2012 11:49 pm (UTC)
'Why is the Obama administration endorsing a virginity pledge-based abstinence-only program?'

Because the administration is hoping to rustle up some fundamentalist votes for November, I would imagine. Not that I'm surprised.

Also, the only thing I could mentally dredge up for those quotes was 'citation fucking needed.' Anyone have a relevant GIF on hand?

mirhanda 4th-May-2012 05:29 pm (UTC)
If they think they're going to get votes from those people, then they have no brains in the organization at all.
schexyschteve 3rd-May-2012 11:52 pm (UTC)
“Sex is like fire. Inside the appropriate boundary of marriage, sex is a great thing! Outside of marriage, sex can be dangerous.”

So inside the appropriate boundary of marriage, fire is a great thing, but outside of marriage, fire can be dangerous? Okay then.
wrestlingdog 4th-May-2012 02:22 am (UTC)
MTE. What a bizarre mixed metaphor.
likeahobbit 4th-May-2012 12:10 am (UTC)
Lol, so sex within marriage is always totally safe? No one ever cheats, spousal abuse doesn't ever happen, everything is always sunshine and bunnies and giraffes and rainbows?

Every single one of those quotes makes me want to throw things. A giant 'ew' to the Obama administration for endorsing it.
ljtaylor 4th-May-2012 02:56 pm (UTC)
Oh didn't you know? Marriage is ~*magical*~.

People forget that shaming sex before marriage only leads to marrying in haste and repenting at leisure - be that in an abusive or downright miserable marriage. THE PAST IS AWESOME YO.
kaelstra 4th-May-2012 12:36 am (UTC)
I am so tired of this idea that virginity and sex are like commodities and bargaining chips. Because honestly, to me, it feels like saying, "Wait for marriage to have sex!" is pitching it like that's the only reason to get married.
cuddlegrimm 4th-May-2012 03:55 am (UTC)
I spent a lot of time in fundamentalist circles. The unfortunate thing is, for a lot of kids who grow up in this doctrine, that's... a huge reason for marriage, even if it's unspoken, and lots of those kids rush into marriage before they're even in college... One of my younger classmates (eighteen) jumped into a marriage that lasted only six months, and another friend got a marriage proposal when she was FOURTEEN because a mutual friend of ours two years her senior always liked her and "fell in love" with her. They had never even dated. (no one in those circles is allowed to date TBH.)

It also ends in a really poor sex life in marriage, lol. :p Least from what I saw of people who actually followed thru with abstinence. Marrying the first person you dated and waitin til five minutes after marriage to actually talk about/do sexual stuff... uuuuh... doesn't end well.
bex 4th-May-2012 12:55 am (UTC)
Appeasement is a poor policy.
latin_lunatic 4th-May-2012 12:55 am (UTC)
"When couples live together outside of marriage [snip] and more likely to lead to divorce.”

You can't get divorced if you're not married in the first place, am I missing something here?
kaelstra 4th-May-2012 12:59 am (UTC)
lizzy_someone 4th-May-2012 01:03 am (UTC)
For this reason, girls have a responsibility to wear modest clothing that doesn’t invite lustful thoughts.

Uh, I hate to break it to you, but personally, I have yet to encounter the clothing that stopped me from having ~lustful thoughts~, so wear whatever the fuck you want, because it's my responsibility to treat y'all like fucking human beings worthy of respect.

You are ready to trust him with all that you have and all that you are, because you have waited (sexually) you have it all to give.

I am a whole lot fucking more than my virginity or lack thereof, thank you very much, and anyone who disagrees is someone I would never want to marry in a million years.
spiffynamehere 4th-May-2012 03:46 am (UTC)
I know, right? I really hate that line of thinking. OH NOEZ THE MEN ARE LUSTING, MUST BE THE LADIES' FAULT.
bluelarkspur 4th-May-2012 03:46 am (UTC)
The obsession with sex in religion is just weird and gross imo. It's rubbing your bodies together or inserting one body part in another's. Nbd really. You're not ~giving something away~

I generally think it's a good idea to discourage teens from having sex, for other reasons like STDs, but I can't take this bs about virginity being some great virtue. Also, saying that cohabitation makes relationships more violent and less equal? Somehow I think shit like that wedding fantasy passage (of course abstinence is stressed for the girls - can you imagine a guy being told the exact same thing?) and putting all the onus on girls not to ~tempt men~ is more likely to contribute to that.
checkerdandy 4th-May-2012 04:26 am (UTC)
I got catcalled wearing saggy yoga pants and a hoodie to the grocery store. Can't get much more modest than that!
sitakhet 4th-May-2012 11:37 am (UTC)
You were wearing pants, tho, and not an ankle length khaki skirt from 1994, you floozy
ladypolitik 4th-May-2012 04:29 am (UTC)
Just my opinion, but I'd imagine the "sex ed" tag covers the realm of virginity/abstinence without needing new tags? The rest of the mods might disagree and of course that'll be fine. The existing 'women', 'women's health' and 'reproductive rights' tags (not initially included) also easily apply.

Edited at 2012-05-04 04:31 am (UTC)
lastrega 4th-May-2012 12:19 pm (UTC)
How many times do we need to do this dance?


uluviel 4th-May-2012 03:41 pm (UTC)

Fixed that for you.

Edited at 2012-05-04 03:41 pm (UTC)
hinoema 4th-May-2012 12:31 pm (UTC)
For this reason, girls have a responsibility to wear modest clothing that doesn't invite lustful thoughts.

Here's a thought; why don't you menz do with your lustful thoughts what I do with mine- have a second of private enjoyment and move on? Thought doesn't necessarily *have* to lead to action, you know- it's called 'civilization'.

In fact, to all men who think the sight of a woman justifies, well, anything and claim inability to control yourself; take off your clothes, turn in your 'human' card and get your demoted ass out in the wild where it belongs.

Edited at 2012-05-04 12:39 pm (UTC)
ladypolitik 4th-May-2012 08:56 pm (UTC)
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