Category archives: Human Sexuality

Spending Too Little on Abstinence

by Moira Gaul

May 17, 2007

A new study by the research firm Mathematica has been hailed by advocates of the sexual revolution and groups that have spent decades providing contraceptives and abortions to minor children without parental knowledge. Funded by the federal department of Health and Human Services, Mathematica examined four abstinence education programs for elementary students and middle-schoolers. The study found that after an average of five years, the students who had taken the abstinence instruction were no less likely to engage in sexual intercourse than students who had not received the instruction at all.

At first glance, the results appear disappointing. It would have been a relief to find that a small investment in a middle school program could overcome the raw messages of our sexualized culture. It would be especially encouraging because of the ever-higher stakes associated with premarital sex today.

But that’s not the whole story - either of abstinence education or of the need for intervention in the lives of vulnerable teens. The researchers chose to ignore the abstinence programs most recommended for study, and focused on programs that have since been revised. The scope and the depth of abstinence programs were ignored, and a narrow few chosen for examination. These are not minor points because the stakes in sexual politics today are life and death.

Fueled by multiple sexual partners, the number and variety of sexually transmitted diseases are growing. One virus, HPV, includes strains that cause cervical cancer. The human immuno-deficiency (HIV) virus is lethal and incurable. Latent chlamydia infections are rendering an increasing number of women infertile. Standard antibiotics are proving less effective against gonorrhea. Out-of-wedlock childbearing is rising (more than 36% of all births in the United States according to the National Center for Health Statistics).

Every government official, no less than every parent, would have been thrilled if a 6th grade course of study that warned of these deadly risks were enough to avert them, or reduce their prevalence sharply. It isn’t. Still, there is no reason to gloat and call for the end of abstinence, as liberal groups like the Sexuality Information and Educational Council of the United States and Advocates for Youth have done. William Smith of SIECUS crowed that Mathematica’s work “should serve as the final verdict on the failure of the abstinence-only industry in this country.”

That’s a hypocritical point of view when considering the fact that our government has spent 12 dollars on the Planned Parenthood approach for every dollar spent on true abstinence projects as STDs and out-of-wedlock births have skyrocketed.

Planned Parenthood would, of course, like to zero-fund its competitors. Abstinent kids don’t spend any time in the clinics PP has erected in urban centers across America.

With lives at stake, abstinence programs face the challenge of improving the services they deliver, and fortunately most have done so. A recent HHS-sponsored conference in Baltimore unveiled evidence from more than two dozen studies that such programs produce significant results in adolescent behavioral outcomes. The truth is, programs that are more intensive, that are genuinely comprehensive (that is, they address the need for risk elimination across a range of behaviors, including alcohol, tobacco, drug abuse, and violence prevention), are showing real benefit. Moreover, it is crucial for risk elimination programs that they not “give up” on kids and discount them as forever prone to high-risk behaviors. Older teens need powerful reinforcing messages whether or not they have experimented with drugs, tobacco, or sex. Youth who respond to reinforcement are often the most effective peer educators of all.

One example of intensive programming is Best Friends in Washington, D.C. An independent study of this program was published in the peer-reviewed journal Adolescent and Family Health in 2005. The young women who participate in the program are called “Diamond Girls,” and they hail from some of the District’s toughest wards. Study author Robert Lerner Ph.D. found that the Diamond Girls “are substantially less likely to smoke, drink, take illegal drugs, and have sex than a comparable sample” of youth in the Centers for Disease Control’s surveys.

Lerner goes on to say that the finding that Diamond Girls are 120 times more likely to abstain from sex than their peers “is a result so strong that it is unheard of in practically any empirical research.” Programs like Best Friends are succeeding because they aim high and sell no one short. Apparently, this message is getting through more broadly, as macro U.S. statistics have shown steady increases in the proportion of teens practicing abstinence and decreases in teenage pregnancy and abortions.

Congress should take note. It’s time to take the sexual revolution head on and to redress the terrific damage it continues to do to boys and girls. It’s time to give today’s wise and effective abstinence programs more funding, not less.

Shell Shocked: Some U.S. Gas Stations Lift Ban On Porn

by Tony Perkins

April 27, 2007

Here’s today’s Washington Watch Daily commentary from FRC Radio:

Some of Americas Shell gas stations are pumping out a new productpornography. Despite Shells long-standing ban on its retailers selling porn, a group of stores now owned by Circle K has been exempted from the rule. When the Florida Family Association contacted Shell about the change, they got an email from Otto Myers, a company executive, who said that Playboy and Penthouse are no longer considered pornographybut adult sophisticates. Well, you can change the term, but you cant change the policy, (at least Shell hasnt changed the policy) and it says that their retailers cant sell or display materials with sex [or] nudity. All the oil companys done is fuel the controversy in 240 stores across Baton Rouge, Denver, Memphis and Florida where the magazines are sold. Myers wrote that the general public doesnt consider Playboy pornographic. But the truth is, Myers would have a hard time finding people in these communities who dont consider dirty magazines vulgar and explicit. While Shells retailers are stepping on the gas to promote pornography, their competitors have refused to lift their bans. Obviously, this is one company that needs a refinery not only for crude oil, but for crude content!

To download this commentary as an MP3, follow this link. To subscribe to the Washington Watch Daily radio commentary, go here.

Homosexuals spurn benefits of marriage

by Peter Sprigg

April 25, 2007

Fridays USA Today included an article noting that despite moves toward legalizing civil unions in states like New Hampshire and Oregon, fewer gay couples are choosing to enter civil unions or register as domestic partners (Andrea Stone, Some say civil unions dropping off, April 20). For example, in Connecticut, the number of same-sex couples who entered into civil unions in the first 15 months that they were legal was only 18% of the number of same-sex unmarried partner households counted in the 2000 census. (By contrast, 92% of opposite-sex couples who live together in Connecticut are legally married.)

The article quotes one homosexual activist as suggesting that same-sex couples are waiting for marriage. But it certainly undermines the argument that same-sex couples are being seriously harmed by lack of access to the legal and financial benefits of marriage, if 82% dont even bother to access those benefits once they are granted them under state law.

The article says that in Massachusetts, where they do have same-sex civil marriage, about 9,000 such marriages have occurred since 2004. However, it fails to note that this is barely more than half the number of cohabiting same-sex couples identified in the census (again, in contrast to heterosexuals, among whom the married outnumber the cohabiting by a ratio of more than 10 to 1). These figures constitute empirical evidence that a majority of homosexuals do not need the benefits of marriage, and relatively few even want to participate in the institution of marriage.

What they really want is the official government affirmation that homosexuality is identical to heterosexualityperiod. But by winning marriage and then not participating in it, they advance the deinstitutionalization of marriagethat is, they destroy any social norm suggesting that marriage is the preferred context for living together in a sexual relationship (even more than heterosexuals have). This is one of the ways that same-sex marriage harms the institution of marriageyes, even for heterosexuals.

See also FRC InFocus: How many benefit from same-sex marriage in Massachusetts?

Internet porn on the decline?

by Jared Bridges

April 20, 2007

The Economist is reporting a study by internet market research firm Hitwise that suggests pornography on the ‘net may be in decline:

…the Hitwise data suggest that sex sites are now being dethroned. In Britain search sites overtook sex sites in popularity last Octoberthe first time any other category has come out on top since tracking began, says Hitwise. In America, the proportion of site visits that are pornographic is falling and people are flocking to sites categorised net communities and chatchiefly social-networking sites such as MySpace, Bebo and Facebook. Traffic to such sites is poised to overtake traffic to sex sites in America any day now.

Good news, right? Not necessarily. As the article suggests, “adult” material — like the rest of the internet at large — may simply be changing venues. A decline pornographic websites has corresponded with an increase in porn in other areas of the web, such as peer-to-peer file sharing networks, social networking websites, and “virtual worlds” like Second Life.

Parents, don’t stop monitoring your kids’ internet usage just yet…

State Leaders: Abstinence-Minded Oppressors?

by Tony Perkins

April 16, 2007

Here’s today’s Washington Watch Daily commentary from FRC Radio:

Usually, the news that more people are practicing abstinence is a good thing. Not this time. The Boston Globe reported that states are abstainingabstaining from federal funding for programs that tell kids to save sex for marriage. Connecticut, Rhode Island, Montana, New Jersey, and Wisconsin have all either dropped out of the program or plan to by the end of the year. In Ohio, Governor Ted Strickland announced that he was slashing the half-million dollars in his budget for abstinence education. Quite frankly, I dont believe abstinence work[s], he said. Theres not data that shows it prevents… sexual activity outside of marriage. But Strickland ought to spend more time researching and less time criticizing. Since President Bush started funding abstinence programs, teenage pregnancy rates have dropped almost 10%. And thats no coincidence. Americans may disagree about how effective contraception is, but every study says the same thing about abstinencethe kids who practice it dont get diseases and they dont get pregnant. Its time we all reminded our leaders that when it comes to sexual relationships, the best investment is teaching kids to just say no.

To download this commentary as an MP3, follow this link. To subscribe to the Washington Watch Daily radio commentary, go here.

When You Wish Upon A Star, It Really Makes No Difference Who You Are…

by Tony Perkins

April 11, 2007

Here’s today’s Washington Watch Daily commentary from FRC Radio:

It looks like Disney had another goofy idea. Last Friday, the company announced that same-sex couples can now participate in its Fairy Tale Wedding program. Until this month, Disneys policy banned homosexuals because the packages required a valid marriage license from California or Florida. But Disney now says that to create an inclusive environment, the Fairy Tale Wedding guidelines will include commitment ceremonies. But as far as American families are concerned, this is no magic kingdom. For decades, Disney has been the ultimate kids vacation. Now the innocent fun will be dwarfed by a politically correct celebration of homosexuality. Since Disney hosted its first Gay Day, it was obvious that Disney stopped reflecting the values of America and began trying to shape them. We arent in the business of making judgments… about our guests, said one spokesman. But for these couples, the same-sex lifestyle leads to anything but a storybook ending. This latest move by Disney shows that instead of creating wholesome entertainment for children, as Mr. Disney did, the Disney enterprise is now seeking to create fantasies for homosexuals.

To download this commentary as an MP3, follow this link. To subscribe to the Washington Watch Daily radio commentary, go here.

Same-Sex Parents Rolling Back Family Values

by Tony Perkins

April 9, 2007

Here’s today’s Washington Watch Daily commentary from FRC Radio:

This year, the White House Egg Roll isnt the family event its cracked up to be. For the second year in a row, same-sex parents have used the egg roll as a platform for the homosexual agenda. Until 2006, the event was one of few parties in Washington that had not been exploited for political purposes. Now the hundred-year-old tradition has some people walking on egg shells. In part because liberal organizations like Family Pride are planning to have a big presence at the White House. According to one mom, We want to show the public that gay parents are just like everyone else. But thats exactly the problem. Homosexual parents arent like everyone else. The Egg Roll paints a rosy picture, but the reality is, same-sex parents are unequally yolked. Study after study shows that no amount of love or money can compensate for the missing presence of a married mother and father. Its a clever scheme. Homosexuals know that normalizing gay families at the White House puts them one step closer to legitimizing it in everyones house. This Easter, people in Washington should be huntingnot just for eggsbut obviously for the truth.

To download this commentary as an MP3, follow this link. To subscribe to the Washington Watch Daily radio commentary, go here.

Hare-Raising: Playboy Recruits On College Campuses

by Tony Perkins

March 29, 2007

Here’s today’s Washington Watch Daily commentary from FRC Radio:

While theres no room for Easter or the Easter Bunny on most college campuses, officials at Mississippi State see no problem in welcoming Playboy bunnies. As a part of a massive recruiting push for one of Americas biggest porn magazines, bunnies were hopping across campus. A campus newspaper exposed the visit, saying that Playboy representatives admitted that they were auditioning for its Girls of the S.E.C. edition. The Dean of Students at MSU, who was interviewed for the article, said he has no concerns about the idea. But some school officials say its more than a hare-brained idea. Its promoting promiscuity, when MSU should be promoting education. Hugh Hefner is asking who wants to be a Playboy bunny, but no one ever asks, Who wants to contract an STD? or Who wants to get pregnant? This generation doesnt see the consequences. They see a world where women who take off their clothes are rewarded with a magazine cover or TV gig. At Harvard, where the students sponsor a racy magazine, one group is taking a stand against the hook-up culture. Theyve founded a group called True Love Revolution to promote abstinence on campus. And if you ask me, thats exactly the kind of sexual revolution these schools need.

To download this commentary as an MP3, follow this link. To subscribe to the Washington Watch Daily radio commentary, go here.

Remembering the Maine

by Tony Perkins

March 8, 2007

Under the new Congress we are anticipating a slew of pro-homosexual bills as payback for the help that the same-sex marriage lobby gave the Democrats in the election last fall. Because most people, including many in Congress, realize how radical that lobby is, homosexual groups are well-versed in masking their agenda. Creating special protections for homosexuals becomes “hate crimes.” Forcing businesses to elevate homosexuality to civil rights status becomes the “Employment Non-Discrimination Act.” Mainstreaming the homosexual lifestyle at the expense of morale in the Armed Forces becomes “The Military Readiness Enhancement Act.”

While we are fighting a federal wish list that Rosie O’Donnell would love, our friends in the states have been battling this same agenda for years. A state legislator in Maine recently introduced a bill to strip the clergy of the right to sign marriage licenses, thereby divorcing state-sanctioned marriage from religious ceremonies. Lawmakers in Maine have also introduced LD375, “an act to amend the Family Medical Leave Laws,” which would greatly expand the existing domestic partnership benefits. Mike Heath, Executive Director of the Christian Civic League of Maine, is working hard to push back the agenda by enlisting online activists to help him. Please sign up for the Civic League’s citizen Action Center today.