Category Archives: Sex Education

Economics of Family

February 15, 2013

Jane Jimenez

Jane Jimenez

It’s anybody’s guess…where the economy is headed.  And lots of people are guessing.

With Obama duly sworn in for another four years, we are headed into uncharted waters.  Tuned to the daily news reports, we try to gauge our economic plight with familiar terms:  taxes, spending, deficit, sequestration, budget, interest rates, short sales and austerity measures.

But one thing is missing from the discussion of America’s economy…the economics of family.  And it is no small thing.

We have come to treat the financial and the social parts of our lives as two completely different and isolated realms.  In politics, people are known to say, “Economically, I am a conservative, but socially, I am a liberal.”  At election time, we hem and haw, trying to decide whether to vote for economic issues or for social issues.  We couldn’t be more wrong.

At the very time when we pray for economic recovery, America seems ready to abandon its commitment to traditional marriage between a man and a woman.  Economically, our failure to support traditional marriage is also a financial decision.

Marriage is not just about a wedding cake, a piece of paper and insurance benefits.  It is the foundation of society, the supporting structure for building families and caring for children.  While we try to guess whether the GDP will go up or down next month, we do not have to guess about the consequences of deconstructing traditional marriage.

The Brookings Institute has extensively studied the phenomenon of out-of-wedlock births in America:

Since 1970, out-of-wedlock birth rates have soared. In 1965, 24 percent of black infants and 3.1 percent of white infants were born to single mothers. By 1990 the rates had risen to 64 percent for black infants, 18 percent for whites. Every year about one million more children are born into fatherless families. If we have learned any policy lesson well over the past 25 years, it is that for children living in single-parent homes, the odds of living in poverty are great. The policy implications of the increase in out-of-wedlock births are staggering.

Sadly, as we continue to keep count of the number of children living in single-parent homes, we do not seem to have the stomach for considering our personal and cultural failures that have brought us to this point.  We want a strong economy.  We just don’t want to fix the economy at the personal level.

We have reduced marriage to the trivial.  We declare it as unnecessary for fathers and mothers, men and women.  Conversely, we declare it to be the “a right” for those in same-sex relationships.

Our ambivalence about marriage is quite apparent in the educational programs being used to teach the next generation of Americans.  Teens are taught that they can have sex “when they are ready.”  We encourage their readiness for sex by supplying baskets of condoms and pills.  Now, judges have secured Plan B drugs for children of any age “if they have an accident.”  And if Plan B should fail, our government will assist our children in getting an abortion.

We are totally fixated on how to NOT have families.  Nowhere in any of our educational plan for teens do we teach them about constructing families…about the positive link between sex, marriage, and children.  This is not just a sexual issue.  And it is not a religious dogma.

It is economics!  It is basic Economics 101.  Marriage between men and women is an issue that should matter to government because it is the strongest foundation for our economic system.

If we want to revive our economy, we must open a national dialogue that truly respects traditional cropped-Family-Sunset-Beach.jpgmarriage as a valuable institution worthy of our support.  This dialogue must be more than media-friendly sound bites demanding same-sex marriage.  The same-sex debate has completely derailed our understanding of marriage.

If we want economic recovery, we must start by restoring the economics of family.  And these economics are grounded in the security of healthy marriages between men and women.

Because I Said So

December 3, 2007

Jane Jimenez

Jane Jimenez

Another writer has put her best words forward, trying to prove the obvious.  The title of her book tells us what we already know:  Prude: How the Sex-Obsessed Culture Damages Girls (and America, Too!)

Unfortunately, though, knowing that we are a sex-obsessed culture and witnessing the damage it does to our children will not be enough to compel a cultural change.  Politicians, academics and editors refuse to support education that helps teach and mentor children to remain sexually abstinent.  What are they waiting for?  Research, they say.  Research and evidence.

Well, here in her book Prude they get what they want.  Carol Platt Liebau is no dummy.  Graduating from Princeton, she entered law school at Harvard and served as the first female managing editor of the Harvard Law Review.  Her work as a law clerk for a U.S. Court of Appeals Judge launched an impressive succession of legal and policy positions spanning fifteen years.

Evidence?  Politicians want research?  Fine.  Liebau gives them evidence…along with logical argument…she “puts all the facts at their fingertips,” detailing the radical sexual forces assaulting our children.

Kate O’Beirne, Washington editor of National Review can’t say enough about Prude. “All parents want their daughters to be healthy and happy. Smart parents will recruit Carol Platt Liebau to help rescue the girls they love from the destructive forces they face. Liebau sounds an alarm we dare not ignore in her brave, groundbreaking book.” 

Groundbreaking?  Hardly.

The books keep coming.  Each year, one or more valiant writers pull together the facts and give voice to victims of the sexual revolution. Each book lays out the research and the evidence.  It is never enough.

In 2000, at only twenty-three years of age, Wendy Shalit published A Return to Modesty: Discovering the Lost Virtue.  For her effort, she was mocked and ridiculed.  Again, in 2007, she wrote Girls Gone Mild, drawing on 100 in-depth interviews and thousands of e-mail exchanges with women from ages twelve to twenty eight.  Shalit documents how young women want a culture that affirms and promotes chastity.

In 2005, Pornified: How Pornography Is Transforming Our Lives, Our Relationships, and Our Families hit bookstores.  Author Pamela Paul investigated the “all pornography, all the time” mentality of many younger men and its ripple effect on the culture.  Her in-depth interviews confirmed what much research shows.  Pornography damages relationships, negatively impacts libido and is highly addictive.

In 2006, Dr. Miriam Grossman penned Unprotected: A Campus Psychiatrist Reveals How Political Correctness in Her Profession Endangers Every Student. Drawing on her ten years as a psychiatrist at the student health service at UCLA, she is armed with facts, evidence and research that disprove the tenets of the liberated sex mantra preached on college campuses.  No wonder that Dr. Grossman feared professional retaliation and listed the official author as “Anonymous, M.D.”

Dr. Margaret Meeker, a pediatrician for more than twenty years specializing in treating adolescents, has written several titles on teens and sex.  In Epidemic: How Teen Sex Is Killing our Kids, she presents research on the physical and emotional consequences of teen sex and makes these facts come alive through stories about the teens she has treated.

These books, and many others, evidence a large body of scientific research documenting the destructive consequences of “liberated sex”.  They support the need to restore sexual abstinence as an expected standard for our children and to set cultural norms affirming this goal.  Research is available to show that effective abstinence education programs are doing just that.

But the facts, the research and the evidence are not enough to satisfy the demands of those defending our sexualized culture.  The facts are never enough…for a very simple reason.

The sexual revolution in the 60s was not founded on facts, research and evidence.  It was founded to give us what we wanted.  Embracing birth control and abortion on demand, human sexual behaviors of all kinds were defined as positive and empowering.  Sexual self-control was defined as negative and unnecessary.

These definitions are self-justifying.  One cannot fight a definition by using research.  A chair is defined as a place to sit, not because research proves it true.  A chair is a chair…because I said so.

If a woman says sexual promiscuity harmed her, by the modern definition of liberated sex, she is simply repressed.  She is immature…”because I said so.”  By definition, sex is good.  Liberated sex is better.

What about a research study of a thousand women who say sexual promiscuity harmed them?  Well, they are all repressed…because we said so.  The study “proves” these women need to be treated so that they will enjoy liberated sex.

The more we are pushed to gather evidence, the further we drift from the truth.  We can pile up research, and we can write a book.  Many will laud our efforts to restore common sense and save our young women.  But, our book, if not mocked as a puritanical tract, will be ignored by those who hold the power to direct a cultural change.

You may have facts.  Unfortunately, though, you will never have enough facts and research.  Modern definitions have been chiseled in stone:  liberated sex is good sex…and sexual restraint is bad.  That’s just the way it is…”because I said so.”

Collision Course

November 19, 2007

Jane Jimenez

Jane Jimenez

A strange convergence of news stories this past week has come and gone like ships passing in the night, causing no ripples, leaving no wake.  On the surface, all is calm.  Down deep, strong currents pull toward inevitable disaster.

More than 1 million cases of Chlamydia were reported in the United States last year.  Federal health officials state this is the greatest number ever of reported cases for a sexually transmitted disease (STD).

What would generally generate alarm, though, is being soft-pedaled by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).  We are told this “may not be all bad news.”  We are not victims of a disease, the CDC says, but instead are victims of reporting of the disease.

Based on their analysis, we have the CDC to thank for these new higher levels of Chlamydia infection.  For more than 10 years, they have recommended annual screening for sexually active women, focusing on teens and young adults ages 15 to 25.

As good as our testing might be, Dr. John M. Douglas Jr. at the CDC admits to Associated Press that it leaves something to be desired.  “As many as 2.8 million new cases may actually be occurring each year,” Dr. Douglas states, a fact that appears almost as a throwaway footnote buried in the story.

Buried under this throwaway footnote is another story.  Rates of the STD gonorrhea are also soaring, with two consecutive years of increases.  But the biggest part of the story has yet to appear in bold headlines.

In 2006, a surveillance project in 28 cities found that 14 percent of the reported gonorrhea cases were resistant to ciprofloxacin and other antibiotics used to treat it.  This rate is up from the 9 percent in 2005, which was itself also up from the 7 percent in 2004.  Up, up, up…and the CDC responds in April…advising doctors “to stop using those drugs against gonorrhea.”

The rise of a superbug for gonorrhea doesn’t appear to fluster the CDCs own Dr. Douglas, though.  After all, “it doesn’t look like the superbugs are the reason for gonorrhea’s escalating numbers overall.”  What is?  Well, Dr. Douglas and his colleagues are “not sure what is driving the increase.”

Meanwhile, across the country in the Reno Gazette-Journal, a new study on Methicillin-resistant staphylococcus aureus, or MRSA, shows that this superbug and the deaths it causes may exceed deaths caused by AIDS.  Dr. Steven Althoff managed to diagnose and treat 4-year-old Jordan Roberts just in time.  She lived.  But Dr. Althoff has seen a five-fold increase of MRSA cases in the last year.

And out of Atlanta, U.S. health officials told AP that “a mutated version of a common cold virus has caused 10 deaths in the last 18 months.”  Again, “CDC officials don’t consider the mutation to be a cause for alarm for most people.”  It’s just as well.  Alarm, in this case, will do no good since “there are no good antiviral medications for adenoviruses.”

Three news stories this week.  Superbugs.  Bacterium and viruses resistant to drugs.  But we are told not to worry.

What are we to do?  Get tested?  Be informed?  Know we have the disease? And then what?  Well, at least, we know what we are not to do.  Don’t worry.

Three news stories this week.  Superbugs.  The CDC twists in the wind, letting ships run a collision course in the night, turning off the early warning system, and massaging us back to sleep.

You may have a deadly cold, a MRSA infection or a gonorrhea infection.  But the germs are not the culprits.  We are victims of knowledge, of knowing what ails us.  Now go back to sleep.  There’s nothing to worry about.

Emerging Questions for Emerging Answers

November 12, 2007

Jane Jimenez

Jane Jimenez

A pattern has emerged. Five easy steps, repeated each year, continue to promote the notion that adults should forget teaching teens the benefits of remaining sexually abstinent until marriage.

Step one: Those in favor of promoting contraception to our young people as “safe and protected sex” publish a Report suggesting sexual abstinence for teens is an impossible … and possibly undesirable … goal.

Step two: The liberal media quickly skims for any phrase that might give them a justification … no matter how slight … to print bold headlines declaring that abstinence education is a failure.

Step three: Repeat “Step Two” ad nauseam.

Step four: Experts fully and thoughtfully analyze said Report, revealing glaring errors, omissions, and inaccuracies in the report. Press releases are issued: the Report fails to qualify as research and is demonstrated to be a thinly disguised political tract controlled by bias.

Step five: The liberal media ignores their own prejudiced reporting of flawed “research.” No headlines appear to retract their errant headlines. The media could take responsibility and announce, “We goofed,” “We messed up,” “We were wrong.” But they don’t.

The latest report to trigger this five-step pattern, Emerging Answers 2007, was issued with great fanfare this month by The National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancies. Written by Douglas Kirby, Ph.D., it was quickly raised on high by the liberal media … ad nauseam … and used to “prove” that … you guessed it … teaching sexual abstinence to teens is a failed enterprise.

Now that the media has finished its part in this charade and departed for other urgent news flashes, thoughtful experts will be able to take the time to analyze Dr. Kirby’s work and put forward their responses. I offer the following Emerging Questions for their consideration:

  1. Why is researcher bias ignored? The introduction to the report states, “Dr. Kirby thought it important to also note that ETR Associates also developed and continues to market several of the curricula reviewed in Emerging Answers 2007.” Plainly speaking, Dr. Kirby makes money selling the curricula he helped write and is now “researching.”
  • Listed as the sole author of the report, Kirby also gives credit to his Research Associate for “important contributions” … none other than an ETR Associates employee of eight years. Further, ETR staff Lori Rolleri and Karin Coyle are thanked for helping determine the topics covered by the report and creating its “balance.”
  • Amazingly, The National Campaign announces these conflicts of interest with thanks to Dr. Kirby for his admission, as if the admission absolves both of them from any professional or ethical challenges. Would this work for the tobacco industry?
  1. Why do The National Campaign and Kirby continue to isolate and address only one of many consequences of teen sex … teen pregnancy? Throughout the report, teen pregnancy is identified as the target for educational programs and the basis for Kirby’s evaluation. If there are fewer pregnancies, the program succeeds? No matter how much sex adolescents are having? No matter the age of the adolescents having sex?
  • This emphasis on teen pregnancy is a foundational research bias. It defines what will be accepted as “success” by the researcher. Consider an 11-year-old who is sexually active. One program may prevent pregnancy by helping her become sexually abstinent. Another program may inject her with Depo Provera. Which approach is successful?
  1. Where are the many positive evaluations of abstinence-until-marriage programs and curricula? These exist. Could their exclusion from Kirby’s “balanced consideration of topics” have anything to do with the research bias set up from the outset in the design of the study favoring contraception for adolescents?
  1. Why is medically accurate information on STDs minimized and even mischaracterized in its importance for teens, suggesting that “protecting” teens from pregnancy is the same as “protecting” teens from STDs? Kirby refers to “behavior that affects the transmission of STDs” and to “protection against pregnancy and STD” as if such “protection” actually exists.

Behavior doesn’t cause STDs. Bacterium and virus are the culprits. The research on their individual infectivity for the major STDs is clear. Condoms have a limited ability to prevent STDs. Chemical contraceptives have NO effectiveness.

In good time, the answers to these and other Emerging Questions will emerge. They will be developed by experts in the field of teen sex who will finally be able to review the full 204-page report in detail. Their answers will shed great light on teen sex and truly effective ways to intervene.

Most likely, “Programs That Work” will actually include many abstinence-until-marriage programs overlooked by Dr. Kirby and The National Campaign. These abstinence programs will focus on teen sex as an inherently risky behavior and will teach teens the truth about the many negative consequences, in addition to pregnancy, related to teen sex.

When that time comes, one great question remains: Will the press take note, much less care? Never mind the ad nauseam. Will the truth, when it fails to conform to media bias, ever make even one headline?

Target Without a Bull’s-Eye

November 5, 2007

Jane Jimenez

Jane Jimenez

My father’s dart board hangs in the garage unused.  A great rainy day game, years ago we could happily pass hours waiting for the sky to clear.  A steak on the grill under the eaves, a football game on a television to the side, and a dart game for the commercials…good memories of good times.

Like all things from the past, it is amazing to see what modern technology has done with a simple game we once played on a 14-inch paper target with plastic red and yellow darts.  The Hot Seller at boasts 5 bright LED lights and comes with both soft tip and steel tip darts.  With 210 variations of 37 games, you will never lack for a partner.  The Halex CricketView Dart Board Package features Cybermatch, letting you play against the computer.

Modern technology has done a lot to update the game of darts.  But one thing hasn’t changed.  At $219.99, complete with computer partners and LED lights, the Halex Dart Board still has the familiar scoring system around the edge funneling in to a small precious bull’s eye at the center.

Bull’s Eye!  This exclamation first evidenced itself in print in 1825, being used to describe much more than the center of a target.  Broadly speaking, “a shot that hits the bull’s eye” is, according to Webster’s, “something that precisely attains a desired end.”  You succeeded because you were focused on “something central or crucial.”

Life is like a good game of darts.  You can set out, throwing darts all day, all week, all year long, and here and there, you will certainly rack up a fair number of points.  But if you want to play the game to win, life works much better when you are aiming for the bull’s eye.

No wonder today’s kids are having such a rough go at the game of life.  Raised in the modern age of relativism, the bull’s eye has been painted off the board, leaving a game with no focus, with nothing “central or crucial.”

A report appearing in the Journal of Adolescent Health sheds light on a tragic example of life without a bull’s eye.  The Pacific Institute for Research and Evaluation studied in detail how California teens ages 12 to 16 interpret abstinence and sexual activity.  Their results will make your eyes pop.

According to the study, 12 percent of the children believed they were abstinent if engaging in sexual (vaginal) intercourse.  For 14 percent of the youth, anal sex was considered abstaining.  More than 44 percent considered genital touching an abstinent behavior, and 33 percent believed oral sex qualified as abstinence.

These teens have done a great job of learning what they have been taught.  On the popular advice column posted by Columbia University, a student asks Alice, “I have a question from my college sexuality class: In what behaviors can one participate and still be sexually abstinent?”

Alice responds, “To some, abstinence is not having any type of sexual experience. To others, it means not having oral, anal, or vaginal sex. Some define abstinence specifically as not allowing penetration or not having vaginal or anal intercourse, but believe that oral sex is acceptable for them to give or get.”

To clarify, Alice offers up concrete examples.  She advises this student that “with a partner” she can try “window shopping”…or “taking a shower.”  Tomorrow the student and her “partner” might enjoy “picnicking in the park”…or they might “cuddle, caress, or stroke each other with fingers, lips, and tongues, with or without clothes on.”  Either this…or that…it’s all abstinence.

And just to make sure there is no confusion, Alice wraps up her 500-word description of sexual abstinence with this guiding light, “It’s important to think about what abstinence means to you, and then to live by that belief (until you choose to change your mind, rather than changing it in the heat of the moment).  [underlining added]

Ask Alice at Columbia University is not an aberration.  She is representative of comprehensive sex education programs.

“In California,” explains Valerie Huber, Executive Director of the National Abstinence Education Association (NAEA), “96 percent of schools teach comprehensive sex education, and according to a recent report in the California Journal of Health Promotion, there has been 1.1 million new STD cases reported in Californians ages 15 to 24.  A careful review of the most popular comprehensive sex education curricula reveals that it leaves definitions for abstinence up to the discretion of the individual student.  It is not surprising that teens loosely define the term and end up acquiring an STD as a result.”

Without a bull’s eye to define sexual abstinence, the results of the study by the Pacific Institute are completely understandable.  No bull’s eye.  No need to aim.

The stake in a game of horseshoes, home runs, uprights or darts is points, and it is senseless to play the game without a target to aim for.

The stake in the game of life is…life.  Why be surprised at the tragic results of the game of life if we hand our children a target without a bull’s eye?