Category Archives: Fatherhood

Kaiser Embraces Abstinence Education?

June 5, 2006

Jane Jimenez

Jane Jimenez

Well, maybe the word embraces is too strong to describe Kaiser Network’s publication of a summary of the recent Washington Times article on sex education.

Then again, embraces abstinence pretty well sums up the impact of Kaiser’s summary posted on their Daily Women’s Health Policy Listing, reporting positively on the Times article that “examines ‘holistic’ approaches to preventing teen pregnancy.”

Perhaps I’m wrestling with the language a bit because I doubt Kaiser realizes that it has its arms locked around abstinence education in a big ol’ “I Love You, Man” kind of bear hug.

This is a very big deal for those familiar with Kaiser Network’s traditional editorial bias opposing abstinence education in favor of programs willing to promise teens condoms will provide saf-er-er-er sex.  Hence, we take the liberty of saying that Kaiser, a major national health network, perhaps unintentionally, now embraces abstinence education.  They do.  They really do!

The Times story reported on two “holistic” approaches to preventing teen pregnancy in the U.S.  Based on information from the National Campaign to Prevent Teen Pregnancy, these “holistic” approaches finally acknowledge that it is not enough to focus on “managing the health risks of sex.”

The big news for Kaiser is that these “holistic” approaches include “relationship skills” in their sex-education programs.  “Teens hear about biology and body parts,” Kaiser quotes, but they are also learning the importance of “how to achieve responsible and respectful relationships.”  Psychologist Michael Carrera advises Times readers “that the best way to prevent teen pregnancy is to ‘move from fragmentation…to wholeness.’”

The bigger news for Kaiser should be that this is not new news.  This is the foundation and core of the many quality abstinence curricula developed over the past 15 years, since founders of abstinence education declared that the “body parts” approach to sex education was inadequate at the least…and irresponsible at the worst.

Of course, those attacking abstinence education have been fundamentally opposed to abstinence programs for precisely this reason…that they teach teens the importance of “how to achieve responsible and respectful relationships.”

Hopefully, Kaiser is also taking note of mounting evidence demonstrating the need to teach young people about healthy relationships in the context of healthy marriages.  A recent Gallup poll finds that nearly all U.S. adults – 91% – either have been married or plan to get married one day.

Meanwhile, a survey by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention involved more than 12,000 men and women and investigated their attitudes about marriage.  Survey results released in May show that men (66%), even more than women (51%), agreed that “it is better to get married than go through life single.”  Moreover, men (76%) and women (72%) agreed that “it is more important for a man to spend a lot of time with his family than be successful at his career.”

This is good news for the children of married parents.  The CDC survey also found that among fathers in their first marriage, 90% live with their kids.  They are involved with their kids…from feeding to bathing to helping with homework and taking them to activities.  Other major research consistently proves that children living with their biological fathers are less likely to engage in risky behaviors…including teen sex.

Commitment to marriage and families is also good news for married men.  On June 1, UPI reported on a study in Denmark that found “the death rate among divorced men in their 40s is twice as high as it is for other men in the same age group.  Alcohol and suicide accounted for many of the deaths, and one-fourth were caused by heart disease.  “Rikke Lund, a senior researcher who was in charge of the study, said that given the findings, Denmark should do more to keep marriages together.”

Well, Kaiser, the good news for all of us is that abstinence education has and continues to bring all of this medical and relational information together into a “holistic” message of wellness for adolescents.  One curricula cited in the Times article, “Love U2” has been on the Arizona approved list for years for use in abstinence programs.

Marlene Pearson, founder of the LoveU2 Program, also teaches social science in Wisconsin.  She finds teens eager to hear more about love, intimacy, and ethical consequences of sex.  She tells the Times, teens already know “a messed-up love life can certainly mess up other parts of your life.”

Adults, says Pearson, need to tell teens there’s a “simple formula” that can help them fulfill their goals in love.  This “sequence for success” is to “graduate from high school (at least), don’t have a baby until you are married, and don’t marry during the teen years.”

Well, Kaiser, it’s encouraging to find you sharing this important message about “holistic” approaches to sex education with those interested in health care.  Fortunately, you will be reassured that this is what the many nationally recognized abstinence curricula and programs in existence today are all about…the holistic message…healthy body, healthy mind, healthy spirit.

It’s taken a long time for this to happen.  But, whether they realize it or not, Kaiser Network has finally embraced abstinence education.  Yahoo!



Read Last Week’s Column

May 29, 2006  – Why Condoms Will Not Save Us

 See Archives for past editorials.

How’s It Working for You?

April 3, 2006

Jane Jimenez

Jane Jimenez

America, how’s it working for you?

Who wants to know?  Dr. Phil.  That’s who.

Over twenty shows a month, twelve months a year, three and a half years…you can purchase transcripts of over 840 Dr. Phil shows where America gets psychoanalyzed, diagnosed, challenged, prodded, pushed, and changed.

Nasty Custody Battles

“I’m a Slave to My Spouse”

Infidelity Aftermath

Family Chaos

Love, Lies and the Law

Cheaters…and more…

MUCH more!  Each night on public television Americans reveal troubled relationships, enduring exposure of laundry lists of personal secrets, faults, and blemishes.  Why?

Because, after the show wraps up, and everyone goes home, we all cherish the hope that we will find what the human heart hungers for.  Enduring, honoring, forgiving love.

There is a tragic irony in all of this.  We have just traveled through a forty-year time warp of promises sold to us by feminists, humanists, psychologists, sociologists, lawyers, and sexologists…all of these “professionals” cultivated and nurtured by the “higher learning” institutions of our country.  If we just listen to them, liberate ourselves from the bondage of biological and cultural traps, and enter into a new age of self-fulfillment…we will be…well…fulfilled.

Then why are so many of us showing up on Dr. Phil?  America, how’s it working for you?

All this social re-engineering?  Replacing husbands and wives, fathers married to mothers, replacing all of these with cohabitors?  Sexualizing every human transaction?  Fulfilling every fantasy, dragging each bizarre behavior onto a new “reality show”?  Are we having fun yet?

Watching Dr. Phil for even one week, it is clear that the cultural reconstructionists of the past four decades have more work ahead of them.  Because in spite of their best efforts to convince us that we can restructure life to exclude marriage and embrace diversity of every imaginable…and unimaginable…combination…Americans are having a hard time of it.  How’s it working for us?

Single parent homes are on the financial edge.  Children go to bed at night without a hug from their father.  And sex offered to the latest “object of my affection” results in babies, abortions, and STDs that cause Mr. Right to vanish in a puff of smoke faster than magician Lance Burton can snap his fingers.

We don’t need to have “higher education” gurus to research us.  We don’t need reassurances that re-engineering the culture will work if we just give it more time.  We don’t need feminists to fix men, sociologists to fix families, or humanists to convince us we are happy in spite of what ails us.

How’s it working for us, America?  We are searching for love.  And we are ending up on Dr. Phil’s psycho-drama.


 November 7, 2005 – Public Policy Never Mended a Broken Heart

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Teaching the Value of Love

February 20, 2006

Jane Jimenez

Jane Jimenez

“We don’t teach values.”  Sex educators fond of promoting condoms and birth control to teenagers are also fond of making this claim.  “We are values-neutral!”

It’s never been really clear to me just why they take such pride in these claims.  It seems to be a sideways admission that one has lived on the face of the earth for nearly forty years and has been unable to come to any conclusions about what really matters.

This prideful admission that no values are important enough to single out for passing on to our children was birthed in the 60s.  Bored with tradition, and encouraged by our relationship with science and the brave new world of space flights and men on the moon, America launched into an artistic love affair with hopelessness.

I distinctly remember crashing into this dark fantasy in 1969 as a freshman at Arizona State University.  A group of us freshmen on the sixth floor of Manzanita dorm packed into a car one Friday night and headed for the drive-in to see Midnight Cowboy.

From beginning to end, watching the movie, I couldn’t understand why this film had won the heart of America.  While viewers found it elevating to see the naive male prostitute Joe Buck and his sickly friend Ratso struggle to survive on the streets of New York City, they had to overlook the fact that Joe Buck and Ratso were lying, thieving thugs.

Their story could have been more cheaply and honestly told by standing a camera in the middle of the worst, dark New York crime infested streets and filming the muggings, beatings and killings that hurt people and landed perpetrators in jail.

In one case, real-life criminals were given cells and prisoner numbers.  Their attitudes and behaviors were considered hostile to civilized society, and they were expected to reform.

In the other case, celluloid criminals wore fancy duds paid for by wardrobe, showed up in Hollywood limos for a red-carpet walk down the aisle between the rich and famous, and walked away with an Oscar.

Our love affair with the crass and dark and hopeless and brutal and profane is also a love affair with failure.  We are failing to stake a claim on what our responsibility is for raising the next generation of Americans…our children.

The latest episode of focusing on failure is taking place at Orono High School in Maine.  Out of the hundreds of thousands of books available for educating freshman, the English department settled on “Girl, Interrupted.”  The school is defending their choice as “real.”  These memoirs of author Suzanna Kaysen’s hospitalization in a mental institution at age 18 contain graphic descriptions of sexual acts and suicide.

Is this the best picture of the “real” we can offer our children in a literature class?

Then, after freshman English, do we send our children to sex education for a lesson on how to put on a “real” condom because we tell them “real” children in the “real world” are going to have sex anyway.

And, finally, when parents come to school to demand answers and a change in the message of what “real” is and should be, do we tell them they are pushing their values on a school system where values should never exist?

Values?  Is there anything we do or say or think in our entire life that doesn’t involve making a value choice?  Values-neutral?  Who are they kidding?

If love makes the world go round, when are we going to elect this value as worth consideration in our movies, our songs, our English classes…and, most importantly…our sex education classes?

If you live in Orono, Maine, or in any other city where you care about the values we are teaching our young people, there is a great book to recommend to your high school English teachers.  The Art of Loving Well is a new and novel idea for many educators.  It is a book that knows the values that matter and takes the time to make them matter to young people.

This 340-page anthology of ethnically diverse selections, includes short stories, poems, essays, drama folk tales and myths that elevate the values that matter most for the happiness and future of our young people.

Values-neutral?  Impossible!  The Art of Loving Well lays claim to its responsibility for passing on worthwhile values to our children, helping adolescents learn responsible sexual and social values through good literature which reveals the complexity of life and love relationships.

English teachers…teachers of all kinds…are always teaching values.  “Reality” is a poor excuse for defending the kinds of books and movies we offer our children.  We offer it because it is real?

Love is real.  And if we want our children to be successful in love, then it’s about time we started teaching the values that matter most…the art of loving well.

October 10, 2005 – Wonder Love

February 21, 2005 – Sex Without Value

 See Archives for more past editorials.

The Gift of Kindness

February 13, 2006

Every time you smile at someone, it is an action of love, a gift to that person, a beautiful thing.                                                                       —Mother Teresa

Jane Jimenez

Jane Jimenez

A string of pink and red balloons waves high in the air, visible from the road a mile away.  They fly, tied to the top of a 15 x 15 ft. open air tent, calling attention to the temporary marketplace in the parking lot, just outside the grocery’s main entrance.

It’s Valentine’s Day.  Churches were decorated for Sweetheart Dinners last Sunday.  Today, flowers and balloon bouquets were loaded early in the morning onto delivery trucks.  Kids all around the country drop valentines into decorated shoeboxes for their classmates.  And, on their way home, last minute shoppers can pull up to the white tent and grab a potted red geranium, a box of chocolates, and a bottle of champagne.

Nothing is too good for a sweetheart.  In the age of the Internet, there are endless ideas for that perfect gift to communicate your amore.  At Amore’ on the Net you can find it all in one spot.  Two chubby cherubs drop little hearts down the page, dragging visitors below to a pulsing heart and a list of perfect Valentine’s Day ideas.

Even Chef Emeril Lagase isn’t afraid to “kick it up a notch” with his “special treats for your loved ones.”  Who wouldn’t feel loved being served banana chocolate bread pudding with mint créme anglaise?

I’m a great fan of food, and I must admit, banana chocolate bread pudding with mint créme anglaise prepared a la Chef Emeril wins the day over such extravaganzas like the giant human-sized stuffed red teddy bear I saw a man carry to his car.

Valentine’s Day is a great reminder of just how important it is to tell people we love just how important they are to us.  And, in a year where we have dedicated ourselves at FROM THE HOME FRONT to a consideration of love, it seems appropriate to ask…

Why can’t every day be Valentine’s Day?

Imagine buying the perfect Valentine’s Day gift, worth a million dollars, but costing you only a moment of thoughtfulness.  A renewable gift.  No shopping required.  Handy at every moment, just when you need it, in unlimited quantities…every day of the year.

Give the gift of kindness.

Love is patient, Love is kind.1 

Love is a choice…a choice to be patient and kind.  Who can’t afford such a luxury in a modern world where we are supposed to have everything?

Kind words can be short and easy to speak, but their echoes are truly endless.2

How nice it is to be greeted in the morning with a kiss and a Good Morning, I Love You.

Let us always meet each other with smile, for the smile is the beginning of love. 2

Smile.  How wonderful to be greeted by the smiles, even of perfect strangers, during the day when the daily battle has worn us down!

Look in their eyes.

Pause…stop…listen.  Listen.

Listen. Do not have an opinion while you listen because frankly, your opinion doesn’t hold much water outside of Your Universe. Just listen. Listen until their brain has been twisted like a dripping towel and what they have to say is all over the floor.3

Without holding your response in your mouth, waiting for your turn to speak…listen.

Love is kind.

I would give up receiving a dozen, dozen red roses, just to have one person spend a week devoted to kindness in my honor.  You?  How hard it is to listen with an empty mouth!  Yet, motivated by love, I think I just might be able to manage.

We must give what we hope to receive.  Let it begin with us.

Love is kind.

Do not think that love, in order to be genuine, has to be extraordinary. What we need is to love without getting tired.   (Mother Teresa)


11Cor 13:4 [NIV]

2 Mother Teresa

2 Mother Teresa

3 Hugh Elliott

November 12, 2004 – Old As the Hills

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Love Sick

February 6, 2006

The hunger for love is much more difficult to remove than the hunger for bread.                                                                                                                         Mother Teresa

Jane Jimenez

Jane Jimenez

Born on May 6, 1856, in Moravia, Sigmund Freud was destined to radically alter the understanding of the human heart.  Freud graduated as a doctor in 1881, and his initial professional work involved research on the uses of cocaine.  But over the next fifty years, following his fascination with dream analysis, Freud developed the new field of psychoanalysis and, abandoning his Jewish heritage, embraced atheism.

Since Freud, many new theories of human personality have been constructed.  And the U.S. Department of Labor reports that psychiatry and psychology are the “fastest growing occupations projected to have the largest numerical increases in employment between 2004 and 2014.”

Psychologists study the human mind and human behavior.   So it is more than idle curiosity to wonder what they study of love.  Very little, according to “Love Doctor” Leo Buscaglia.  In 1969, Buscaglia endured professional ridicule in order to begin an experimental class devoted to the study of love at a California university.

His students’ first major lesson about love was unexpected.  “Love has really been ignored by the scientists.  It’s amazing,” wrote Bascaglia.  “My students and I did a study.  We went through books in psychology.  We went through books in sociology.  We went through books in anthropology, and we were hardpressed to find even a reference to the word love.”

So it is today.  Standing in the bookstore of our local state university, reading through psychology textbooks, love is still absent from any professional consideration.

Holding Learning and Behavior, skimming chapter one on the psychology of learning and behavior, I note that students will study the spectrum of influences on human behavior:  external events, classical Pavlovian conditioning, habituation, operant conditioning schedules, punishment, stimulus control, imitation, modeling, choice and self control.  But nary one word about love.  Neither is love listed in the index.

The textbook Science and Human Behavior by B.F. Skinner is only slightly better.  Love appears in the index twice.   On page 162, love is likened to fear and anger…a person “is generally talking about predispositions to act in certain ways….the man ‘in love’ shows an increased tendency to aid, favor, be with, and caress and a lowered tendency to injure.”  On page 310, Skinner teaches that “…love might be analyzed as the mutual tendency of two individuals to reinforce each other, where the reinforcement may or may not be sexual.”

That’s it.  That’s the full consideration of the one emotion forceful enough to make the world go round.

In The Nature of Prejudice, the author actually writes a complete sentence about love.  “Why is it,” he asks, “that we hear so little about love – prejudice – the tendency to overgeneralize our categories of attachment and affection?”  This notion of “love-prejudice” pops up just one more time in his textbook that has six pages referenced in the index for sex and a whole section devoted to sexuality.

Sensing a pattern, I reached for the fourth and final psychology textbook, Psychology of Behavior.  Its eighteen chapters thoroughly cover human behavior: human consciousness, evolution, nervous cells and structure, psychopharmacology, methods of research, ethical issues, vision, audition, chemical senses, control and movement, sleep, reproductive behavior, emotion, memory, ingestive behavior, relational learning, schizophrenia, affective disorder, anxiety disorder, autistic disorder, hyperactivity disorder, stress disorder and drug abuse.

Love?  Not there.  But, checking the book’s index, if you want to know about sex, there is no end in sight: hormones, chromosomes, activational effects, gender development, sexual maturation, arousal, prefrontal cortex, hormonal control, human sex, sex of lab animals, neural control, sexual dimorphism, prenatal androgens, sexually dimorphic nucleus (SDN), orientation, heredity…my fingers wore out just listing all the ways we have to study sex.

Love may make the world go round.  But when the world is sick from lack of love, it is the last thing our love doctors think to check.

If the academics miss the obvious, a humble woman with no desire to reach the pinnacle of professional greatness sees it all.  “Being unwanted, unloved, uncared for, forgotten by everybody,” said Mother Teresa, “I think that is a much greater hunger, a much greater poverty than the person who has nothing to eat.”

In the midst of plenty, we are a love sick world.

What does it say about the likelihood that we can recover from love sickness, if our most elite educators study more about our sexually dimorphic nucleus than about our ability to love one another?

What does it say about our future, if those who study to fill the exploding market of jobs for psychiatrists and psychology can memorize the psychopharmacology of modern drugs, but have only read two pages in their college text about love as a prejudice?

And what does it say about our children and their love future when we have saturated their world with so much of sexual orientations and so little of love?

“Being unwanted, unloved, uncared for, forgotten by everybody…”  We are love sick.  And we need a cure.


It is easy to love the people far away. It is not always easy to love those close to us. It is easier to give a cup of rice to relieve hunger than to relieve the loneliness and pain of someone unloved in our own home. Bring love into your home for this is where our love for each other must start.                                                     Mother Teresa


December 10, 2004 – The Best Part of Snuggling

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