Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Sometimes the blogs just write themselves...

Well, who knew that sex education actually DELAYED sexual activity in teens..............!?!? You mean if you teach children and teens age appropriate information about sexuality they will have the tools to know how to wait to have sex????? What a shocker (note the sarcasm). Ya know this on top of the studies that have been coming out on increases on teen pregnancies (see Jamie Lynn Spears) and STD's, maybe the administration and anti-choicers will finally but a stop to abstinence only funding. Oh if only we were so lucky. Please Santa!!!!!

CHICAGO (Reuters) - Teenagers who have had formal sex education are far more likely to put off having sex, contradicting earlier studies on the effectiveness of such programs, U.S. researchers said on Wednesday.

They found teenage boys who had sex education in school were 71 percent less likely to have intercourse before age 15, and teen girls who had sex education were 59 percent less likely to have sex before age 15.

Sex education also increased the likelihood that teen boys would use contraceptives the first time they had sex, according to the study by researchers at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which was published in the Journal of Adolescent Health.

"Sex education seems to be working," Trisha Mueller, an epidemiologist with the CDC who led the study, said in a statement. "It seems to be especially effective for populations that are usually at high risk."

Mueller's team looked at a 2002 national survey of 2,019 teens aged 15 to 19.

They found teen boys who had sex education in school were nearly three times more likely to use birth control the first time they had intercourse. But sex education appeared to have no effect on whether teen girls used birth control, the researchers found.

Black teenage girls who had sex education in school were 91 percent less likely to have sex before age 15.

The researchers did not evaluate the content of sex education programs, including whether students were taught about contraception or about abstinence only.

Earlier studies, which relied on data from the 1970s through the 1990s, suggested sex education did little to persuade teens to delay sex.

The researchers said they think the difference may be that sex education in the United States is now more widespread and is being taught at earlier ages.

"Unlike many previous studies, our results suggest that sex education before first sex protects youth from engaging in sexual intercourse at an early age," they wrote.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Holidays of Choice

This is the season that really reminds me how many choices we have in life. Choices concerning everything, from decisions about the not so important (cherry red, fire engine red, cranberry, crimson, or GA Bulldog red wrapping paper ?), to the moderately important (the $5 earrings or the $15 earrings for Cousin Sue?), to the legitimately paramount (How can I show my family and my community that I care? How can I live my life in the generous and loving spirit of the holiday season all year?)

All the decisions we expressly make during the holiday season can make us feel busy and stressed out. We are reminded both that we live in a world with tremendous abundance and in a world where our caring and generosity are needed as much as ever. To me, the true spirit of the holiday season lies in understanding both, and in making the myriad of decisions I have to make according to my values.

And like many of life's trials and life's lessons, these thoughts bring me back to how I view the Women's Rights movement in our country. In regards to the independence and treatment of women, we have so much to be thankful for and have come immensely far, yet we have plenty of work to do and battles to wage in 2008 that seem like they should have been settled decades ago. We live in abundance, but our energy and dedication to women's health are needed as much as ever.

Choice, as we know it in the movement, is not so different from the choices of paramount importance that we all make every day, particularly the ones that come to the forefront of our minds in the reflective time of the holiday season as another year ends. We move forward with our values and beliefs guiding us, to let our families and our communities know we care, and live our lives in the spirit of generosity and love.