General Question

allengreen's avatar

Does Palin believe that birth control is equivalent to abortion, and should be criminalized?

Asked by allengreen (1631points) September 9th, 2008

How can we find out for sure with Palin hiding from reporters and refusing to answer questions from the media?

Observing members: 0 Composing members: 0

77 Answers

poofandmook's avatar

If she believes that, she’s even more of a bloomin’ idiot than I thought.

JackAdams's avatar

She believes whatever her handlers TELL her she believes.

She’s an elected official, who does exactly what she’s told to do.

flameboi's avatar

I don’t care what she believes, she is the worng choice, no more, no less…

allengreen's avatar

Palin charged female rape victims for justice—this is unreal.

GAMBIT's avatar

Sarah Palin is pro-contraception and pro-life. While Governor of Alaska she supported pro-abstinence education over “explicit sex-ed programs”. These views may stem from her various religious affiliations. Mrs. Palin was born and baptized a Catholic was raised a Pentecostal and now attends the Evangelical nondenominational Wasilla Bible Church. Which she says she got saved in. It should be noted that it is possible that Governor Palin and her husband Todd eloped when she was pregnant with her first child but that has not been proven.

allengreen's avatar

“Sarah Palin is pro-contraception”—-so she is against her own party—the GOP thinks contraception = abortion.

How is that abstinence deal working out for her and her family?

aidje's avatar

“the GOP thinks contraception = abortion.”
Link? I’ve never heard anyone say this, outside of hardcore traditionalist Catholics.

poofandmook's avatar

If using a contraceptive is abortion (the base act being the prevention of fertilization of an egg) then technically, abstinence should also be abortion. it’s stupid reasoning.

augustlan's avatar

Charging rape victims for their “rape kits” is insane, but the article doesn’t say if Palin instituted this policy, or if it was in place before she was elected. Is is possible that she didn’t know it was being done? Just giving her the benefit of the doubt, though I am loathe to do so.

cheebdragon's avatar

Oh shit! If it’s on yahoo answers it must be correct!~

marinelife's avatar

“Sarah Palin and her church and her pastor have made themselves abundantly clear on issues of reproductive privacy—there won’t be any. In a Palin world, if my daughter wanted birth control, she wouldn’t be able to get any, and if I wanted sex education to be taught in my son’s school, I would be out of luck. If a girl I knew were raped and impregnated by her uncle and she elected to have an abortion, she would not be allowed to do so. She wouldn’t even be allowed to take the morning after pill in case he got her pregnant. Maybe there’s something you guys don’t get about this. Bristol Palin’s pregnancy is at the heart of what women and the right wing have been fighting over for thirty years, and it isn’t abortion, it’s privacy and the right to control your own reproductive choices.” Huffington Post

aidje's avatar

I’m sensing some semantic issues here. Are we talking about things like condoms or things like morning after pills? A lot of people think that morning after pills are equivalent to abortion, but I don’t think that’s true of condoms (and the like).

dalepetrie's avatar

Well, in the research I’ve done, I’ve come up with the fact that she actually did say she was pro-contraception. However, she is a member of Feminists for Life, and she has also explicitly stated that she shares their agenda. They also don’t come right out and say they’re anti-contraception, they are ambiguous about it. When you dig into the details, their definition of “contraception” includes only what they consider to be non-abortive methods, which in their definition as life begins when the sperm meets the egg, anything that prevents that from happening (the pill, condoms, etc.) is essentially the same as abortion. Basically it boils down to abstinence, pulling out and timing sex as to not coincide with peak fertility periods. So, they can be against what the vast majority of America thinks of as “contraception” but since they are for “some” forms of contraception, they can ostensibly be “for” it.

Also, it could be pointed out that she is a fundamentalist evangelical Christian, and also seems to fully espouse the beliefs of her church (from all available accounts), one of the views of her church being that contraception is a no-no.

Furthermore, she does espouse abstinence only based sex education in school, and has explicitly said that she would not support any government funding for sex ed programs that teach about contraception. So at very least, even if she’s not against everyone using contraception, she is certainly against providing kids with information about contraception as a matter of curriculum.

Add to the fact that she has 5 kids, which in this day and age is a rather large number, and that her 17 year old daughter is also pregnant (after having attended a school with an abstinence only based sex ed program), and it at minimum builds the impression that contraception is not for her.

But if we’re trying to answer if she is against contraception altogether, well, we don’t know if she thinks it should be made illegal, if she thinks it should be legal but would like to discourage it, if she dislikes it/disagrees with it but doesn’t think it’s up to the government to say anything about it, or if she has no problem with people using it (even if she herself doesn’t like it). Truth be told, she hasn’t said. The question has been posed, but like every other issue that should be of importance to voters, she hasn’t answered a single question about an issue.

Essentially, Palin was introduced to the nation less than 2 weeks ago, she gave an introduction speech where she pretty much talked about her personal life and then made a play for disaffected Clinton supporters. Five days later she gave her convention speech which pretty much was another biography of herself and her family, followed by criticism of Obama. After the convention, she went on the road with McCain and has pretty much been giving the same speech at every campaign stop, what one reporter called a “greatest hits” of her convention speech. In the meantime, she has agreed to one interview on her terms with the journalist of her choosing when she is ready to give it. Meanwhile, anything she’s been criticized about has been decried as sexist, unfair, personality based (even though so far her campaigning has been personality based, and the McCain campaign has said this election will be about personality, not issues). She wouldn’t go on the Sunday morning shows and the McCain camp has essentially employed stalling tactics to make sure she doesn’t have the opportunity to answer questions…they justify it by saying that the press will just employ gotcha tactics, but thus far, every time I’ve read something or heard something that says, “we contacted the McCain/Palin campaign for clarification on her position,” the statement has been followed up with “they haven’t yet responded.”

Basically what we know about Palin’s positions are things that she’s done as Governor of Alaska or Mayor of Wasilla as viewed through the lens of the message the McCain camp wants to send out. We haven’t been allowed to examine her positions the way we have with McCain, Obama and Biden. Essentially, it’s politics. They might as well play this game as long as they can get away with it. As long as they can credibly keep her from meeting the press, everything anyone says about her positions will be conjecture (which they can cry foul about), or about her personality (which if it’s not feel good for Palin, they can cry foul about).

So, to answer your question, we don’t know if she’d be for the criminalization of birth control, the McCain camp doesn’t want us to know (this, or anything else), and I’m sure if there’s any way they can keep it on the DL, they will. In other words, we might not know until it’s too late!

susanc's avatar

Not being allowed to find out is a pretty big clue that if we did find out we’d walk away.

critter1982's avatar

I myself am an Evangelical Christian and share similar beliefs with Sarah Palin. Though it can be argued among some extremist Christians, in general we do not believe that birth control or contraceptives are a form of abortion. We do however believe that the best way to not have an unintended child is abstinence. I personally don’t feel it is necessary for our public schools to discuss contraception with our children. If the parents of that particular child feel it is necessary to discuss contraception I wouldn’t have an issue, but a school teaching about contraception is a school advocating sex before marriage or even engaging in illegal activities. Consider this: There are laws in some states (California) that make it illegal for young adults under the age of 18 to even have sex. Some states it is under 16. So why do we feel it is necessary to advocate contraception to young adults not even legally allowed to engage in the act. I agree with Sarah Palin, if we as a nation feel it is necessary to teach our kids about sex, abstinence, or contraception do it at home.

poofandmook's avatar

@critter: Why do we warn our kids about the dangers of drugs, smoking, and drinking? They’re illegal in every state.

critter1982's avatar

@poof. Absolutely. We warn them about the dangers, we don’t tell them to go out and only drink a little, or smoke a little, or snort a little. We advise that they DON’T use these particular mind altering substances, not how to use them safely….

dalepetrie's avatar


I appreciate where you are coming from on this issue, however I disagree with one point you are making. I DON’T believe that a school teaching about contraception is a school advocating sex before marriage any more than a school teaching about sex is a school advocating sex.

As humans, we have an innate physical yearning to have sex, it’s part of our nature, one might call it instinct…it is culture which puts limitation on the age of consent. Indeed, a few centuries ago, you had kids when you were 13, because that was middle aged before the advent of modern medicine at a time when war was commonplace. As a Christian, or as a person belonging to ANY religion, I agree it should be your right to expose or not to expose YOUR children to concepts you do not agree with, and I personally would advocate for a system where you could opt out of educating your childa bout certain things should you choose to do so.

But to deny the right of the rest of us to have this information shared with our children is I believe unconscionable. Because quite frankly, you can not control what another person is going to do, look at Sarah Palin…she couldn’t stop her daughter from having sex with her boyfriend…you CAN’T. You can tell a teenager that they shouldn’t do it, you can teach them that abstinence until they are ready (whether it be an emotional maturity issue or a religious doctrine stating that it’s only OK within the constructs of marriage) is THE best option, I have no problem with teaching the abstinence is a GOOD thing. But I do have a problem with presenting it as the ONLY thing to ALL children.

Personally, I think the default SHOULD be to provide any information that is available and to let the individual decide. If you want to use your parental rights to restrict what information is made available, that is your choice, but as a default option, if we know something, we should make the information available. To hide it is to do a disservice, because let’s face it, not all parents are going to be comfortable discussing this information with their children, and not all parents know or understand all the information that is available. It is far more beneificial, in my view, to have learned people in a setting detached from emotion (i.e. clinical) discuss what sex is, what its purpose is, what its consequences are and what measures can be taken to mitigate the negative consequences such as disease and unwanted pregnancy, should one make the decision to engage in this activity which without these precautions is inherently risky. We should be honest about both the risks and rewards of sex, and of waiting to engage in sexual activity until we are ready to do so. The goal of sex education should be to EDUCATE and one would hope that with proper education about all of the facets of the human sexual experience that each person would have the proper tools to make the decision that is right for themselves.

Ideally, if the parent and/or the church believe in abstinence until marriage, one should expect that a lifetime of parent to child and church to child education on this topic would drive home the message that pre-marital sex is a behavior which is simply not permissible within the contstruct of one’s values. One would think that a person of devout evangelical upbringing would or should be able to sufficiently instill the values within one’s child which would keep the child from going astray. But even in the most devout households, because this is an inherent physical desire, some children are going to stray, some are going to give in to the physical and foresake the spirtual/familial.

It is for the instances WHEN this happens that such a child, or generally I should say teenager, is far more capable of keeping himself/herself healthy and of avoiding unintended consequences if he/she has been taught HOW. I understand the attitude that says, if you tell kids, “this is how you do it, now don’t” it’s like giving a wink and a nod. But by taking away that information, you are ensuring that if the teen goes astray, he or she will be going undefended into a world he or she has not been equipped to understand.

The faithful I feel need to have more faith in themselves to be able to impart the message that abstinence is the righteous path to their kids, and to let them know that just because you can “cheat” nature, doesn’t make it right or OK. If the parent also wants to completely ensure that his or her children do not even learn about birth control, then he or she should be able to exempt the child from these classes and take on the responsibility of reinforcing the message of abstinence, that is your parental right. But when my son reaches the age where he begins to have sexual feelings, I will hope that I have instilled the values in him that will make him realize the benefits of waiting until he is emotionally ready, but I also want him to know how to keep himself safe should he decide he is ready to make that decision. I wouldn’t want him to die from AIDS or have to give up on what I’m sure will be a bright future for him because he has to accept a crushing responsibility for which he is not ready to take on, because he wasn’t aware of the consequences of his actions nor how to avoid those consequences. If he were to ignore the consequences after being taught, well he’s made his bed and he has to lie in it, but I don’t want someone to decide to legislate this, because human nature trumps legislation 100% of the time..

And critter1982/poofandmook, the last 2 posts pretty much prove my point. I think critter has the idea that sex ed is about advising kids to have sex safely. I think it’s about saying if you do choose to have sex, this is how to keep yourself safe. We certainly don’t go about telling them to have a little sex, try it, just do it safely…that’s a dangerous misconception among the preachers of abstinence only. I think in sex ed, if it is taught properly, teaches us what sex is, what it is for, and the consequences. Drug education is the same, tells us what drugs are, what they do for us and what are the consequences of their usage. It is not UP to the school to teach us morality, to tell us if that is the right or wrong decision for us. It is up to the individual to decide this, and if the parent feels it is up to them to make that decision for the child, then it is up to the parent to teach the child the proper way to go about the conduct of his life. It’s not a matter of us advising on one hand NOT to use these chemicals but to go ahead and do what you will sexually, that WOULD be inappropriate, and it certainly is NOT how my sex and drug ed was conducted 25 odd years ago. It is OK to tell kids what can happen if you have sex, it is OK to tell them that it’s illegal until a certain age, it’s OK to tell them that abstinence until you are ready is the best course of action. But just as we would tell people that for example one of the dangers of doing street drugs is that they can be of inconsistent potency and you could ingest a lethal dose, we should tell kids that sex without a condom DRAMATICALLY increases your risk of contracting sexually transmitted diseases and of unintended pregnancy.

I personally think that because evangelicals find it morally objectionable for people to engage in sexual intercourse before marriage, they spread misinformation about what a comprehensive sex education program that includes unbiased and impartial information about contraception and birth control really is. They employ slippery slope arguments to make it seem as though the second you open that Pandora’s box, it is tantamount to creating a permissive environment which treats premarital sex as something with which children should experiment.

However, if you were to look at the statistics, and see the rates of sexually transmitted diseases and pregancy among teenagers, they are dramatically higher among those who are not educated about birth control methods, and indeed you see ABSOLUTELY no improvement in the statistics regarding the number of sexual active teens among groups who were taught abstinence only instead of given a comprehensive approach to sexual education. It is a disservice to our children to force one particular way of doing things down their throats, and to turn a blind eye to teaching them how to keep themselves safe should they choose another path anyway.

critter1982's avatar

@Dale, not to get off the subject as I appreciate your response, but I find that you generally right very long answers. Do you blog for a living?

dalepetrie's avatar

I don’t blog at all actually, just participate in forums. I just have very strong, deeply held and well thought out postions and I know how to articulate them. Though admittedly I’m too wordy for some…my response to that is, if you don’t want to read my answer, that’s your prerogative, but I will communicate in the way I see as best to express myself. My wordiness is both a blessing and a curse.

critter1982's avatar

Considering my audience, I felt as though many of you would appreciate this.

poofandmook's avatar

@critter: You might want to explain that statement, before you alienate yourself from a lot of people because of the implication of your link being appropriate for “your audience.”

critter1982's avatar

Because of the dialogue contained in this thread and the people reading. I certainly didn’t mean to be mean spirited or have negative implications of the audience. I simply found it to be funny.

allengreen's avatar

@ chee——genius! Attack the new source, and then don’t provide any alternative sources—a true conservative!

Keep reading the same book (bible) over and over and over and over and over…..

dalepetrie's avatar

critter & poof – too bad, for some reason I can’t see the link, so I can’t weigh in. And I have a sense of humor, I generally don’t get offended all that easily. Maybe from my home computer I’ll be able to see it…will let you know.

My initial impression was that though I didn’t know exactly what I’d see, I supposed it was going to be humorous, germane to the discussion at hand, or at very least to the relative ideologies of the board participants, and might be offensive to someone who doesn’t have a sense of humor.

If I can see it, I’ll be more than happy to chime in on whether it is offense or not and why!

poofandmook's avatar

I just really don’t see what for/against sex education has to do with having “beer glasses.” As in, why would that specifically be appropriate for the people who are in support of, as critter puts it, the advocation of pre-marital sex in teens.

critter1982's avatar

It doesn’t. I apologize, it was my attempt at interjecting humor into the thread, it obviously failed miserably. Don’t try to make the connection as there was really only a connection in my head.

critter1982's avatar

@poof. And you did put words in mouth. I specifically mentioned it was because of the dialogue in the thread and subject matter, not directly aimed at implying that my audience would appreciate it because they were for or against pre-marital sex in teens.

cheebdragon's avatar

I think parents should be teaching kids about sex. Its too important, and not being educated about safe sex is something that affects their future….do you really want to put that in the hands of some random teacher?

Allengreen- I’m not a conservative, and I don’t own a bible.

augustlan's avatar

@cheeb: I don’t mean any disrespect, but in general doesn’t Democrat = Liberal and Republican = Conservative? I realize it’s not always so cut and dried, but on the whole isn’t that characterization correct?

dalepetrie's avatar

I think parents should teach their kids about sex, but I also think parents should teach their kids about math, science, reading, astronomy, life, the universe and everything. School and parenting don’t replace each other, they supplement each other. I know a lot, as does my wife, but I doubt we both know the best way to impart all the necessary information to our kid. If you are confident in your ability to tell your kid everything he needs to know about sex, more power to you, and like I said, you SHOULD be able to pull your kid out of sex ed class. But it’s part of education that I think should be available to kids. Just the facts, nothing more, nothing less. I would never dream of legislating that Cheeb’s kid HAD to sit through sex ed, but I would legislate that he would have that option. Conversely, I don’t want someone legislating that MY kid WON’T have that option.

poofandmook's avatar

My biggest problem is… why the hell should someone dictate what my child has available to him/her? You have every right to pull your child out of sex ed. I’d be hard-pressed to find a school that didn’t notify parents in advance so they made sure to implement that right. Republicans are hell-bent on making the whole country live the lives they think are correct. There is more than one way of doing things. If you don’t want little Jimmy learning about the birds and the bees, sign the little paper and he’ll learn about drugs that day instead. Leave my kid alone to learn how to protect him/herself when he/she decides the time is right.

critter1982's avatar

You don’t understand, “why the hell should someone dictate what my child has available to him/her?” I don’t understand, why the hell my tax dollars should go towards teaching principles to my children that I don’t believe in. I agree your child should have something available to him/her if you feel necessary, but I shouldn’t have to take my child out of school so that your child can learn how to have sex. If anything there should be after school presentations at the school, or the local YMCA’s, etc where parents could put there children to learn about these things if they can’t tell them about the “birds and the bees” themselves. There are other ways, places, times to teach children about contraception. I happen to believe that it shouldn’t be taught in a school funded by my tax dollars fed to students by teachers I don’t know when I’m not present.

Bri_L's avatar

@critter1982 – I took it as it was meant. we were having an intelligent discussion. we are all adults. we have senses of humor, or should have, so we don’t take things personally.

I thank you for it and encourage you not to stop.

El_Cadejo's avatar

@critter as poof said your child would learn about something else that day, its not like you need to take them out of school. Its complete bullshit to not educate them about these things that they are going to do no matter what. Just like poof said above why do we educate them about alcohol and drugs. It isnt so they go out and drink or smoke weed, but its so they know the risks involved. This should be exactly the same with sex. Know the risks, know what can happen, know how to protect yourself, and then make up your own damn mind about what you want to do. After all your only going to do what you want anyway, may as well be well informed about it while your doing it. Right?

Edit: its not that the schools are teaching your children how to have sex either. They are teaching how to protect yourself because they know you will. Its good to know that a condom is needed and all that other jazz, else kids would be going around having unprotected sex. That would be quite a problem. They also mostly talk about the scientific side of it like how your body reproduces and all that stuff instead of the actual act. God, if i learned how to have sex from school id seriously have a problem getting laid lol.

cheebdragon's avatar

@critter- GA

@augustan- conservatives and republicans share some of the same views.

critter1982's avatar

First I wouldn’t assume that children will do things no matter what. Second we teach kids to not use alcohol and drugs, we don’t just assume that kids are going to do drugs and drink alcohol, and accept that. We teach them that drinking and doing drugs is illegal, can screw up your life, and even kill you. We don’t teach them how to grow pot so that they can be sure when they use drugs they aren’t laced with rat poison. The reasoning that, “just teach them how to be safe because they are going to do it anyways”, in my opinion and I mean no offense, is a cop out.

augustlan's avatar

@critter: But we do teach children not to drink and drive. Isn’t that the same thing as saying don’t have sex without protection?

cheebdragon's avatar

Should we teach our kids it’s okay to drink and drive, as long as they are wearing a seatbelt?

critter1982's avatar

@augustlan: Point taken, but isn’t that still teaching abstinence. The act of not doing something because the consequences outweight the rewards. I understand your connection but like “cheeb” said should we assume that kids are going to drink and drive and tell them to wear their seatbelts so that it is “safer”. Should we tell them to travel backroads because they are statistically less likely to hit someone else or be caught by the cops?

augustlan's avatar

No…we expect kids to drink, and tell them not to drive.

augustlan's avatar

And that is not the same as teaching them to drink. Also, the seatbelt analogy is not the a good example. In an accident, the seatbelt may protect you, but not the other people involved. Using protection during sex protects (to the degree that it is able) all involved parties.

critter1982's avatar

I disagree as the school is still teaching abstinence and not how to drink safely.

augustlan's avatar

I think we’re going to have to “agree to disagree” on this one, guys. Especially since we’ve gotten off topic, here.

critter1982's avatar

Well I agree with that.

poofandmook's avatar

@critter: I still say that you (republicans) shouldn’t have the right to dictate what my child learns. Look… you’re paying those tax dollars whether we teach them about the dangers of unprotected sex or they sit around and color with crayons until they graduate high school. You’re not paying extra for the education, and you’re not paying less for not having it. So that point is completely invalid. And, unless you can show me a curriculum that doesn’t include a stress on abstinence, but instead includes “how to have sex”... I refuse to believe you know anything about the subject. No offense.

dalepetrie's avatar

Why should your tax dollars go towards educating kids on something you wouldn’t want your kids to be educated in? Why should MY tax dollars go to a war I thought was a bad idea from the get go? A government is a collective, no one is going to agree with all of the uses of their tax dollars. That’s a weak argument.

And I explained why strawman arguments like what Cheeb and Critter are putting forth about saying “here’s how it’s done, here’s how to do it safely, but don’t do it, OK” is tantamount to a wink and a nod, are pure crap.

It’s about offering EDUCATION about facts we know to kids who MIGHT be better off having it, IF their parents agree with the kid’s need to learn the information. I mean, someone who is going to sweep floors for a living isn’t going to need to learn math or English, should we stop offering that as part of a comprehensive curriculum because not everyone feels their kids need to learn it?

I pay taxes too, and I want the option of MY taxes paying for this. But I don’t get to say what the government can and can’t spend my taxes on, and neither can you. So, I’ll live with government spending I don’t agree with, you’ll have to do the same, them’s the breaks. We can’t allow you to force your morality down our throats, and that’s what this is really all about.

allengreen's avatar

cheebdragon—do you have a Confederate Flag anywhere on the premise of your home? (Including the garage?)

critter1982's avatar

@ dale: If I have my opinion on what our students should learn in school and you say this is me forcing my morality down your throat, doesn’t this work both ways? The fact that you want it taught in our schools; is that not you forcing your morality down my throat?

@poof: I don’t feel you (democrats) should have the right to dictate what my child learns. Yes I am paying my tax dollars no matter what and since I am paying that money, I do have a say (minor say) what my child should learn in school.

I’m not denying your right to have your children learn about contraception (I am personally glad it was taught at my school because a lot of kids were getting pregnant anyways), I just feel that it should be taught in after school programs where parents can place their kids in these programs and not have to take their kids out of health class.

I’m also not denying that schools don’t stress abstinence but when I was in high school 10 years ago abstinence was small lettering at the bottom of the page.

dalepetrie's avatar

no critter, not at all, because as I said about umpteen million times, I FULLY support your right to pull your kids out of sex ed and have them taught something else. The OPTION should be there for those of us who WANT it. If you take away the option for EVERYONE, you force your worldview down EVERYONE’s throat. If you provide the option to EVERYONE, but ALLOW everyone to opt of if they WANT to, you don’t force your view on ANYONE. Is that clear enough for you?

poofandmook's avatar

@critter: I’m sure the teacher who has to stay and do unpaid overtime would love the after-school option. As would the kids missing their sporting and music extra-curricular activities, because a couple of parents decided everyone should be deprived of something some of them don’t want.

dalepetrie's avatar

BINGO. I mean, you could have at say the 8th grade level or wherever it’s appropriate to do so, a health class that is one semester, and a different course that was the other semester (maybe phys ed, or something). Then those who wanted their kids in abstinence only would have health in semester one and PE in semester two, and thsoe who wanted comprehensive would have PE in semester one and health in semester two. Just an example of how it could work, everyone gets what they want, no one has to create anything special for anyone else, no one forces their worldview down anyone’s throats, no one misses extracurricular activities or has to stay overtime, all is right with the world.

poofandmook's avatar

You know something… I’ve never known anyone where the sex-ed portion of health took more than two days. That’s what really makes critter’s argument so unfathomable to me.

critter1982's avatar

@poof I understand that. This is why an after school program would work. It would be a single afternoon. I played a lot of sports in school and there were times that I had to miss practice for things such as going to the dentist or having to go to a doctors appointment. I don’t believe that because a kid would miss a day of after school activity makes my argument unfathomable. I don’t understand why you are so against that solution. To me it seems like we would meet middle of the road. You get what you want and we get what we want. I’m not trying to take away your kids right to know that there are contraceptive’s out there so if they were to choose to have sex, they would know how to do so with limited risk.

edit: Also my wife is a high school teacher. After school activities typically pay pretty well. I am willing to bet that there are a ton of teachers willing to stay after school to teach for 2 hours that would supplement their income.

allengreen's avatar

My dad gave me a sex ed class when I was in 2nd grade. We lived on a farm and our horse’s were copulating when I got home from school, I asked my dad, “what is he doing to her”? and that, my friends, was my first sex ed class.

To this day, the horse penis makes me feel very insignificant…..

critter1982's avatar

@dale: Yes you are very clear. I was actually promoting that students have the resources to learn this but not during school hours.

dalepetrie's avatar

My problem with that is, you make it a special thing, that people have to do something special to get that information. No, I vehemently disagree. It’s scientific, factual information about a real life concern that effects all of humanity, and therefore it should be incorporated in the standard curriculum. If you start to put caveats on it and say, OK, we’ll teach you, but only if you sign up for it at this specific time on this specific day…no, that is a detrimental situation, that is a false barrier to providing the information. The information should be readily available to all within the curriculum of the school with the option to opt out.

The problem with your proposal is that it like telling parents, there is this valuable information we think your kid needs, and if you agree it would be valuable for your kid to have, we’ll give it to them, on the condition that you can work your schedules around it. It also then puts the burden on the taxpayer to say, OK, now we have to pay the health teacher in every classroom in America overtime so that they can teach birth control. Further, it takes contraception out of the context of sexual education within the scope of health education, which if you want your kids to be taught this, you will find to be an inseparable concept. And it tells the kids who are taking it, this is something not exactly sanctioned as part of your education…you personally have to learn this even if the others don’t, and it tells the other kids who don’t go into it, “they’re getting something you’re not.” It’s a bad, bad, bad idea from more ways than I can count.

Again, if you have half a year of health science, and a half year of some other topic, and subtly communicate to the parents that they can decide whether their kids take health semester one or semester two, it’s part of the program, doesn’t require any additional tax dollars be spent, it gives parents all the choice they need, doesn’t ostracize one group over the other and doesn’t force anyone person’s viewpoint on another person because they can’t swing the scheduling. It would be more expensive, less effective and self defeating to do it as an after school program. I want MY tax dollars to pay for this, you want YOUR tax dollars to pay for your kids not to be exposed to it, we can BOTH get what we want within the confines of a standard school curriculum without segregating the educational process.

poofandmook's avatar

Aside from all that, the fact is that this is basic human reproduction. It’s science! It’s facts! It’s not about screwing under the bleachers or in your parents’ basement before they get home from work. It’s necessary to further the human race. Why should this be any different from, say, learning about how the praying mantis mates? Why is human reproduction made out to be such a dirty thing?

Bottom line, your kids are going to learn about sex whether you tell them or not. They’ll probably learn way before you get a chance to. They could even do it before you have the chance to teach them. I guarantee you that school sex-ed is not going to change what he/she does. A kid is going to have sex whether you want them to or not… however badly you threaten, plead, no matter how much you talk about the dangers, no matter how much you talk about religion, etc. etc the list goes on. They will do it anyway if they want to. I don’t really see what the difference between some health teacher saying “okay guys this is a condom” and you saying “Hey little Jimmy, this is a condom.”

I personally feel that, except in rare circumstances where families are 100% comfortable with each other and children are 100% not embarrassed about anything with their parents, that impartial sex education is much more beneficial to a child. There are no morals involved. It’s just “this is how humans reproduce. This is how you protect yourself. There are dangers involved, mental and physical, and it is most healthy to wait until you are old enough to fully understand both.” When you get it at home, there’s all sorts of other morals injected into it, and frankly, kids are prone to doing the opposite of what their parents tell them, no matter what the kid might promise you then… if he wants to go screw under the bleachers, he’s going to do it. Wouldn’t you rather that child have all the information available, rather than something you might have missed because you were too biased and therefore focused more about keeping them from doing it? Apron strings can be a very dangerous thing for a kid.

critter1982's avatar

@Dale: Let me propose this, since facts and valuable information should be shared with our children.

Since we know not all students will use a condom if they are told in health class, let’s teach them the method of pulling out. Since we know not all students will be able to pull out let’s teach them oral sex. These are just the facts and we want our kids to be safe right?

Since kids are going to drink and drive even though we tell them not to, let’s teach them how to do it safer. Lets teach them to take back roads. Let’s have them put on those funny drunk glasses and have them drive around the parking lot. Oh and since we are telling them not to drink and drive, the fact that we taught them how to is not us advocating drinking and driving AT ALL.

Oh and since kids are absolutely going to smoke pot, lets teach them how to grow it. We don’t won’t those pesky drug dealers giving our children pot with pesticides in it. If we teach them how to grow it safely then they won’t get hurt since pot itself has never been known to kill anybody.

Oh and since kids are going to smoke cigarettes lets not only tell them not to do it, but lets tell them to use longer filters and only smoke lights.

And since kids are going to speed on the highway lets tell them not to do it but then tell them how to do it. Let’s put them in NASCAR training so that when they do drive fast they will do it much safer.

The fact is there is a certain line where everyone excepts that things are immoral even illegal. I find that line to be a little bit more to the right of you dale. But, like I previously said in many states it is ILLEGAL for children under the age of 18 to have sex, some states it’s 16, and since we teach kids about contraception in the classroom it is no more ridiculous than any of my statements above.

poofandmook's avatar

…except that oral sex, driving drunk, smoking pot, smoking cigarettes, and speeding are not basic human reproduction that is used to further the human race, which is what they should be taught in school during health class during school hours.

Kids are a lot smarter on the subject of condoms than you give them credit for.

critter1982's avatar

Basic human reproduction but still against the law.

Also we teach health in health class. Isn’t drinking and smoking harmful to our “health”.

poofandmook's avatar

Yes, and when I took health, they taught us about what happens when you smoke cigarettes, smoke pot, drink, drive drunk, and drive really fast (well, that one was in the driver’s ed part of the health curriculum.) So if health class teaches kids what happens when you do drugs and drink and how to avoid those situations and resist peer pressure, why shouldn’t health class also tell you what happens when you engage in reckless sexual activity and how to protect yourself from those situations and resist peer pressure?

critter1982's avatar

@poof: See my argument above.

dalepetrie's avatar

I was taught not to smoke cigarettes, not to smoke pot, not to do drugs, not to drive drunk, not to drive too fast, etc. I was told for example with drugs…these are the effects of various drugs (i.e. what they do “for” you), and these are the consequences. I didn’t do drugs. I didn’t smoke cigarettes. I didn’t have sex until I was in my 20s and ready. I made that choice. My parents instilled values in me that I used to guide my decision making. I made the right decisions. My parents didn’t go to church however and neither do I. They didn’t tell me down to the level of specifics that this type of sex is wrong and this is right…they allowed me to learn what it was, instilled the proper values in me and trusted me to make the right choice. That’s how I want to raise my child. And I should have that choice.

You, critter are going back a few steps here. I don’t give a rats ass if you don’t agree with my sending my kid to comprehensive sex education…because I feel it’s the right decision for me and my child. And again, I would never say I should be able to force you to send your kid to sex ed if you don’t agree with the curriculum.

So, if you want to persist in believing what I think is a bunch of hysterical nonsense which says that exposure to scientific information is the equivalent of the encouragement of undesirable behavior, but if you choose to believe that, I think you’re wrong, and you think I’m wrong, and that’s why as I said a bazillion times, we both need to be able to make the choices we think are right, because we would each choose a different one. And that’s OK. You’re not going to convince me however, no matter HOW many times you try to steer the conversation back to this area, that comprehensive sex ed is tantamount to telling kids it’s OK to go out and have sex whenever they want. I’ve been through it, and I know first hand that what you’re saying is a crock.

critter1982's avatar

@dale: You must have misunderstood my argument. I simply said the comprehensive sex education that we place in our schools is teaching adolescents typically under the age of 18 how to do something “illegal”. I attempted to eliminate morality from the situation, and interject legality, a baseline we could both agree on. Personally, I feel you know what is best for your child and if you believe your kid belongs in a comprehensive sex education, I wouldn’t look down on you for that.

critter1982's avatar

Saying that I will agree to disagree…......

dalepetrie's avatar

Big problem with that argument is that the legislation that makes it illegal at age 17 (or 15), depending on where you live is wholly BASED on morality. So the legality part doesn’t really mean all that much to me. I see no difference between sex ed and drug ed where they told us that this drug will make you feel like such, but it also could be addictive and/or fatal or whatever. Talk about the pros, cons, legalities, everything. Give someone ALL the information and let them decide how to use it. If you don’t trust your kid to make the right decision, that’s up to you. I’ll teach my kid right from wrong, give him the info, and let him decide what is right for him. In terms of legalities, I’m not personally a “law and order” type who thinks that you must obey all laws even if they are unjust….I believe in justice over legality. That’s not to say I’m a scofflaw or go around breaking laws on a regular basis, but I think some decisions should be left to the individual, because try as we might (and have throughout the history of this country), you CAN’T legislate morality. This is why the war on drugs fails, this is why prohibition failed. Outlawing sex at a certain age is not a deterrent. Personal decisions in my book fall to the individual, the law is irrelevant, because ultimately people will do what is right for them, not what they are told is right. Which is why it’s folly to deny potentially life saving information to someone who might use it in the event they make a decision society would deem as wrong.

critter1982's avatar

@Dale: Aren’t all laws based on somebody’s moral code or character? I don’t personally believe that breaking a law you (not you personally) find unjust, to be acceptable practice. Everybody has different moral characters, and just because some thug doesn’t seem to find immorality in killing somebody elses child, does it make it right or acceptable to me. Obviously this is an extreme case but nonetheless referencing moral character. I don’t have problems with citizens questioning laws but when you break a law you go against the majority of American’s morality, and at what point do you consider it unacceptable?

We have gone way off topic, and I’ll let you have the last word if you want it.

Additionally, I just wanted to say that I find your debates enlightening and thank you for not being callous or cruel with your statements like so many other people on this site are. I can tell you have true compassion for certain topics.

augustlan's avatar

Not to stir the pot, but is it really illegal for underage people to have sex with each other? Are you sure it’s not just illegal for adults to have sex with underage people?

allengreen's avatar

Why are conservatives so obsessed with fucking? The who’s, what’s and wherefore’s of sex are not the Gov’s business!

augustlan's avatar

@critter: Thanks…that was informative. I have never heard of anyone being prosecuted for having sex under legal age, as long as both partners are in the same age bracket. Interesting how many of us broke those laws, and didn’t even know they existed!

dalepetrie's avatar

No, I don’t believe all laws are based on someone’s morality. I disagree. I think laws are, and should be by and large based on the protection of members of society. For example, I don’t think murder should be illegal because the bible says “thou shalt not kill”, I think murder should be illegal because it has an impact on someone who would not intend for that impact to happen to him or her. You can’t have a society if we allow everyone to take matters that involve OTHERS into their own hands. In matters that involve one’s self…i.e. consentual sex, drug use, prostitution, etc., the things we liberals like to call victimless crimes and conservatives like to refer to as “moral decay”, we prefer those things to be left to a matter of consent. My only concern regarding sexuality and placing laws thereon is about protecting those who do not consent, or do not have the ability to consent. So for me, age is arbitrary…there are 15 year old people who are capable of making that decision for themselves, and there are vulnerable adults who don’t understand, that’s the problem in my mind.

This is the argument that comes up all the time in matters sexual. There are those for example who argue that gay marriage is a “slippery slope” and pretty soon people will be able to marry their siblings, their pets and their coffee tables. The problem is, it’s applying blanket illogic rather than looking at things on a case by case basis (which is the same problem with laws about age of consent). We place laws against incest because of the betterment of society, there are severe genetic issues with inbreeding. With pets, there is no consent…an animal does not have the same capacity as humans to consent…same with coffee tables. Where laws against consentual sex can be valuable is when victimization is involved. So, when two 16 year olds have sex, it’s hairy, because if they do it in one state, it might be considered illegal, and maybe they live 5 minutes from the border of a state where it would not be illegal. And who in this case is the victim and who is the criminal?

Now if a 24 year old is having sex with a 14 year old, even if the 14 year old “consents” a 24 year old can use his/her greater age and life experience in a way that would allow him/her to exert mild mind control, or less dramatically put, “influence” someone younger and less world wary. I think the problem is there really should be “intent” in order for something to be considered a crime. I don’t think a person who just wants to have fun and smoke a joint for example, a drug which has arguably never killed anyone, which is arguably not addictive, and which is arguably less dangerous than alcohol and tobacco, both of which ARE legal, I don’t think that person really intends to break a law, but if he is assuming responsibility for his behavior, is not going to get behind the wheel of a car, is not going to force someone else to smoke with him…he does no harm to anyone but himself, and arguably not even to himself, well then, the only reason it’s a “crime” is because someone else forced their morality into the legal process.

Now I personally have never taken a hit off a joint, not because it’s illegal…if I wanted to, I’d damn well do it, because I’ve done the research, I know what the pros and cons are, and frankly, I have no need for the pros…not my thing. Now cocaine, or heroin or meth, I wouldn’t do because they are far too dangerous and the cons outweigh the pros in my mind, whereas with pot, perhaps the pros might outweigh the cons, but as I have no interest, I just choose not to do it. But I don’t stay away from any of these drugs because they’re illegal…that doesn’t enter into it.

For me, laws and my morality are about the greater good. So, with drugs, I think the concern should be public safety. Some drugs are inherently dangerous, and therefore no one should do them, it’s a public health issue…some drugs people OD on because the street quality is inconsistent and you never know what you’re going to get. Others are not dangerous at all and are still illegal. Others are legal and inherently dangerous. With alcohol for example, I’d make far harsher penalties for drinking and driving, I’d have similarly strict laws for toking and driving. And I’d set a general age of consent for usage, but would make the laws more about what makes sense on an individual basis. Some 17 year olds can drink responsibly, but there are plenty of college students in their early to mid 20s who drink themselves to death, and tons of people at all ages who get behind the wheel while drunk.

With drugs, making them illegal simply creates a black market, which drives up the price, which creates an incentive for people to form gangs for the distribution of these drugs. This leads to turf wars, gang violence, murder, etc. Same happens with anything that creates a black market, like prostitution for example. Essentially, if women are willing to make money this way, and men are willing to pay for this service, it is others’ morality that makes this an illegal activity. Then they apply revisionist history to say that women get victimized, but the problem is the black market, human slavery occurs BECAUSE this activity is illegal. Prohibition taught us that you can’t legislate peoples’ vices, because where there is demand, supply will always grow by one means or another. If we make that means legal, we can regulate it, tax it, make it safer and keep an eye on it.

I know this all seems tangetial, but it isn’t, it’s all part of the same argument. I believe laws are not a deterrent, and when laws are based on someone’s morality, rather than on the concept of “to make an omelet, you have to break a few eggs, but let’s break as few as possible”, you end up with a law that is morally corrupt, and I believe in living to my own moral standards, which in 99.99% of cases aligns with the laws of man, but in the .01% that doesn’t align with my morals, I’ll choose my morals. For me, justice is about right vs. wrong, not legal vs. illegal. And people by and large don’t live to a legal standard, they live to a moral one.

And though we each have our own set of moral standards and values, there are absolutes, and to my mind those absolutes involve victimization of and/or bringing harm to others. Murder, rape, vandalism, arson, torture, burglary, thing of a nature where there is a victim and a victimizer. Not two kids screwing around, not someone toking up in his basement, not a guy going to a hooker. In the first case it becomes a crime if one person coerced another into sex. In the second case it becomes a crime if the guy gets behind the wheel of a car. In the third case it becomes a crime if the hooker was kidnapped and sold into bondage. But you can address those issues without making blanket laws that outlaw all incidences of these types of activities.

So, back to the sex ed argument, I think it’s moral to create an education system that seeks to educate on facts that we understand. Just like I didn’t have to ever take a hit off a joint as that was my choice to not do while others make the choice to take that hit, it would be my choice to give my child comprehensive sex ed, just like it would be another parents choice to give their child abstinence based sex ed. But just like a blanket law outlawing pot simply makes it more difficult (but not impossible) for someone who has the mental acuity to use it without harming himself or others (and may indeed make him less aware of all of the information he needs to have to make the smart choice), a blanket law outlawing comprehensive sex ed as a part of the regular school curriculum makes it more difficult (but not impossible) for someone who has the mental acuity to have sex without harming himself or another (but makes him less aware of all the information he need to have to make the smart choice). And the ONLY reason to make these things illegal for all, instead of using laws to protect those who do not want to be exposed to or affected by it, is because morality simply clouds reason and is forced upon those of us who don’t want it forced upon us.

In other words, it comes down to a very interesting moral quandry for me. I personally feel victimized when laws force me outside of my morality, even if it’s only theoretical…e.e I don’t want to smoke pot, but if I decided I wanted to, I’d be labeled a criminal, and that’s victimization as far as I’m concerned. So, I don’t agree that because some people don’t have a moral code that forbids murder, it becomes the same thing as someone who doesn’t have a moral code against abstinence based sex ed. Again, if you have the OPTION of not putting your kid in a learning environment where he will learn something you don’t want him to learn, then you aren’t victimized. But if you deny me the right to put my child in a learning environment where he will learn something I want him to learn, then you victimize me and my son.

BBQsomeCows's avatar

“birth” control is a misnomer.

conception is either prevented or not.

female birth control, whether chemical or mechanical, is ABORTIFACIENT not contraceptive

abstinence is 100% effective contraceptive

a condom is contraceptive by design but flawed: ~14% FDA documented failure rate—does not include slippage or leakage

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