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Palin: abstinence ed...pregnant 17-year daughter
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xina



Joined: 22 Mar 2007
Posts: 6635
Location: minneapolis

PostPosted: Wed Sep 03, 2008 10:34 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Edited to add: Xina, do we know for certain what Sarah Palin discussed with her daughter? The fact that she opposes comprehensive sex ed in schools does not necessarily imply that she would not discuss the issue with her daughters; perhaps she feels that this is a subject that should be handled by parents, so that they can decide what to emphasize and what not. I have no information on this so I'd rather not jump to conclusions. Also, I've read that Alaska does not mandate abstinence-only programs. Not sure if that's true.[/quote]



You are right. I don't know what sort of discussion she had with her daughter. I'm only going by the discussion I had with mine. Perhaps it was the same in her case, but going by her idea that abstinence is the best form of birth control, I would have to assume that it wasn't. Abstinence is of course the ideal, but not very realistic. Many teen's idea of sex comes from music videos, reality shows on MTV, pictures and ads in magazines and on TV and all the various selling points of sex on the internet. Whether or not she had the discussion really doesn't matter to her or her daughter or the guy that got her pregnant at this point, but at least if she had talked with her she would know, that she made an effort to inform her of the sacrifices you make when you decide to have sex as a teenager or a young adult.
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Maggie AAR
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Joined: 23 Mar 2007
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 03, 2008 10:50 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yulie wrote:


1. I wonder, if contraceptives are available and affordable, perhaps the problem in the US is that their use is stigamtized and younger people in particular feel uncomfortable obtaning them? I'm 31 and if my pharmacist told me that giving me my pills is against her beliefs so she won't do it, I would be really annoyed - but for someone younger, it may be much worse and it could keep them from getting the protection they need. Same goes for condoms - if there's no stigma, kids won't steal them and they wouldn't need to be locked up (as I believe one of you pointed out).


I don't think they steal them because of a stigma on them. I think they steal them because they are easy to steal. In a community like mine, made up of mostly middle class families, they can be left out anywhere and the people who want them throw them in their cart. Somewhere with a higher crime rate they will steal them because the boxes are small, can easily be slipped into a pocket and who can really say that you weren't carrying that when you walked in the door? Unless you actually see the theft, it would be impossible to pin on someone. And since they are relatively inexpensive, they don't come with security devices that buzz as you leave with the stolen product. More than anything it is the equivalent of stealing a soda. Many people can afford the price of a soda but they just steal it. Don't ask me why. Same with condoms.

Yulie wrote:
2. Condoms are great in protecting against many nasty diseases but they are not a fail-safe method - and when it comes to preventing pregnancy, they are much less effective than bc pills even when used correctly (and, as Maggie noted, they often aren't). I really think it's important for teenagers to understand that they should be using both. I also think it's important for teens to understand when they need to use condoms and when they can opt for other types of contraception.


According to the World Health Organization:
Quote:
Estimated pregnancy rates during perfect use of condoms, that is for those who report using the method exactly as it should be used (correctly) and at every act of intercourse (consistently), is 3 percent at 12 months.


The reason the pregnancy rate with condoms can be higher is for incorrect usage or because people often have the crazy idea of not wearing them every time. Goofy excuses I have heard:

a. It wasn't her fertile time (no they weren't keeping track of when she could get pregnant, they were just guestimating.)
b. You can't get pregnant the first time.
c. You don't need to use a condom if you've already had sex that night. He won't produce enough sperm to get you pregnant.

So condoms are very effective against pregnancy, they just have to be used correctly. You also have to use them correctly for disease prevention, so correct condom usage kills two birds with one stone.

Anyway, bc pills efficacy varies. When I was using them mine were only 85% effective because a stronger pill made me nauseous. At their best, bc pills match the rate of a properly used condom. They too, are also often improperly used -they are forgotten (I always had this problem) or left behind when people go on vacation etc., etc.-- so assuming you are safer on the pill isn't wise. They also carry tons of health risks, granted they rarely affect people but one look at the warning pamphlet included in my box had me shaking in my shoes for a week. There are now patches and monthly shots etc. which help with incorrect usage but frankly, whenever I talk contraceptive I talk condoms because pregnancy is not the worst thing that can happen. An effectively used condom protects you from disease and pregnancy. An effectively used pill just protects you from the one and still leaves you having to use the other. Why make things hard (and expensive) on yourself? Use the condom.

Yulie wrote:
So I'd just like to reiterate - teens in many countries have sex and have legal access to abortion, and yet somehow teen pregnancy is by far a bigger problem in the US than in other countries. I don't know why this is, but if I were an American, I would want to try and figure it out.


Yulie, right now America has an average reading level of sixth grade. Is it any wonder that if we have the same public school system addressing our sex ed as we do our reading that the rate of success on that would also be low? I think that is part of the problem.

I also think that a large part of the problem is that an overweight, middle aged teacher is not going to be an effective voice on this issue when she is competing against the glamorous teenagers seen having sex on TV every week. Most times those kids use protection but they certainly don't sit down and tell you how to use it or how it should fit etc. So while the kids are getting some advice from the TV they certainly aren't getting it all.

Another part is that Americans try to romanticize everything. For example, we too had a young pregnant girl dominating our news media for awhile: Jamie Lynn Spears. This sixteen year old gushed about how great having a baby was and how exciting it was etc. and all the while the same news media was talking about how her sister has limited visitation with her own children because she is a hazard to them. Yet everyone seemed to think it was great that Jamie Lynn was being responsible and handling the consequences by keeping her baby. The two girls "parents" are very active in managing them supposedly and yet look at what a mess they are. Yet the minute Britney started hitting the gym and getting her looks back (we could forgive her being a drug addict and bad mom but being fat??? no way.) everyone seemed to have nothing bad left to say about her. Who do you think has more influence on our teens -- hot Britney and pretty Jamie or the teacher that you are hoping like heck your life doesn't turn you into thirty years from now? I think this is a lot of what is going wrong. Not necessarily Jamie Lynn but the fact that people always seem to be romanticizing someone like her. Many Hollywood leading ladies have chosen to be unwed single mothers and few of them address how hard that is for someone without a six figure income. The glamorization of pregnancy in our country has just reached ludicrous proportions.

Finally, I'll just say that many parents do have a hard time talking about and that is probably the number one reason for the problem. If we can't talk to our kids. the product of our own sex lives, about sex what message does that send in and of itself?

maggie b.
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LizE



Joined: 22 Mar 2007
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 03, 2008 11:04 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Some people believe passionately that sex education does not belong in public schools. Others believe with equal passion that it does. Who's right? Both. This is a free country . . . isn't it?

You can't please two groups of people with opposing viewpoints. Whenever someone wins, someone else loses--the classic zero sum game. This is why I don't believe in public education. Personally, I think our children are being used as pawns for various political agendas with little or no consideration of what is actually best for them.

This is how strongly I feel about it: I don't send my child to a public school. Am I rich? Hell, no. This decision required me and my dh to radically redesign our lives, and after the basic necessities, everything else comes after tuition. Our families think we're crazy ("public school was good enough for my kids--and it was good enough for you!") but it's worth it. Not just for the quality of the education, but for the values reflected by the school of our choice, which we feel are at least as important as the curriculum.

I don't mind paying for public education, too, but I wish I could write off some tuition on my taxes. But no. In this country, it's public school, meaning a government-dictated curriculum and politically decided values--("Heather Has Two Mommies"--in or out? Intelligent Design--yes or no? Sex ed--when? what?) and if you don't agree, too bad. Frankly, I think that bites.
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Margaret



Joined: 23 Mar 2007
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 03, 2008 11:05 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
The glamorization of pregnancy in our country has just reached ludicrous proportions.


maggie b.
[/quote]

We see the same thing in Canada. JamieLynn Spears selling her story and baby pics for magazine covers...even my own daughter thought it was so 'cute'. We have a very open diaglogue and had a long discussion about what happens when the cameras aren't there.

And just today on The View Elizabeth was gushing about how remarkable she thought is was about Bristol having a baby. I don't think that's what she said about the message JL Spears was sending.
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Yulie



Joined: 22 Mar 2007
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 03, 2008 11:06 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

maggie b. wrote:
According to the World Health Organization:
Quote:
Estimated pregnancy rates during perfect use of condoms, that is for those who report using the method exactly as it should be used (correctly) and at every act of intercourse (consistently), is 3 percent at 12 months.


The reason the pregnancy rate with condoms can be higher is for incorrect usage or because people often have the crazy idea of not wearing them every time.

whenever I talk contraceptive I talk condoms because pregnancy is not the worst thing that can happen. An effectively used condom protects you from disease and pregnancy. An effectively used pill just protects you from the one and still leaves you having to use the other. Why make things hard (and expensive) on yourself? Use the condom.

I could have sworn the effectiveness for condoms was lower. My mistake. I did look it up on the FDA website (first result on Google, I'm lazy) and according to that pills are more effective, both for typical use and for lowest expected rate - especially for the former. Pills aren't that expensive here, and many people do enjoy sex more without a condom. I think in a long-term monogomous relationship it's the better choice, provided you have regular checkups. But really this is different for each person.

maggie b wrote:
Finally, I'll just say that many parents do have a hard time talking about and that is probably the number one reason for the problem. If we can't talk to our kids. the product of our own sex lives, about sex what message does that send in and of itself?

I totally agree. Excellent point.
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Tee



Joined: 22 Mar 2007
Posts: 4223
Location: Detroit Metro

PostPosted: Wed Sep 03, 2008 11:11 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

maggie b. wrote:
I don't think they steal them because of a stigma on them. I think they steal them because they are easy to steal.

Probably true, maggie. When Yulie mentioned buying condoms as maybe being a stigma (which could be true in some cases), I had to think back to the "boys" who used to carry the requisite wrapped condom in their wallets. They proudly displayed it as a badge of "something." Doesn't sound like they were ashamed (but maybe boasting). Who knows--maybe that's why they carry them in their wallets--to display and not to use? Very Happy
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Maggie AAR
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 03, 2008 12:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yulie wrote:

I think in a long-term monogomous relationship it's the better choice, provided you have regular checkups. But really this is different for each person.


This is probably true but since we are talking about teen sex, I would say in the teen situation, no. The disease issue is just too important. And what would be long term and monogamous to an adult might not be the same to a teen.

Margaret wrote:
And just today on The View Elizabeth was gushing about how remarkable she thought is was about Bristol having a baby. I don't think that's what she said about the message JL Spears was sending.


Yesterday, I read that the boys Mom said they were all very happy about the couple getting married and the baby coming. I vaguely remember The Palins issuing the same kind of statement. THAT bothers me. I don't want Bristol raked through the coals for what she has done but that doesn't mean we give her an award either.

maggie b.
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xina



Joined: 22 Mar 2007
Posts: 6635
Location: minneapolis

PostPosted: Wed Sep 03, 2008 12:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Margaret wrote:
And just today on The View Elizabeth was gushing about how remarkable she thought is was about Bristol having a baby. I don't think that's what she said about the message JL Spears was sending.


Yesterday, I read that the boys Mom said they were all very happy about the couple getting married and the baby coming. I vaguely remember The Palins issuing the same kind of statement. THAT bothers me. I don't want Bristol raked through the coals for what she has done but that doesn't mean we give her an award either.

maggie b.[/quote]




Yes, I saw Elizabeth on The View today. I know it is cynical and all, but something tells me if the tables were turned...she'd be tearing down the morals of the other side. I'm just going by her regular stance politically.
As for the boy's mother commenting...I read that she stated that they were planning on marrying anyway (at 17? Doubt it) and that the baby was just icing on the cake...or some such words. Apparently his My Space pages stated that he didn't want children. (his page has since been taken down). Not sure he posted that before or after he knew of the pregnancy.
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Yulie



Joined: 22 Mar 2007
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 03, 2008 12:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Here's the Palin family statement about the pregnancy. I think it strikes a good balance between acknowledging the difficulty of the situation and being supportive of Bristol and her boyfriend (fiance?). It's certainly not all puppies and roses.

Quote:
"We have been blessed with five wonderful children who we love with all our heart and mean everything to us. Our beautiful daughter Bristol came to us with news that as parents we knew would make her grow up faster than we had ever planned. We're proud of Bristol's decision to have her baby and even prouder to become grandparents. As Bristol faces the responsibilities of adulthood, she knows she has our unconditional love and support.

"Bristol and the young man she will marry are going to realize very quickly the difficulties of raising a child, which is why they will have the love and support of our entire family. We ask the media to respect our daughter and Levi's privacy as has always been the tradition of children of candidates."

(I got it here - scroll down)


Xina wrote:
I read that she stated that they were planning on marrying anyway (at 17? Doubt it)

Well, maybe it was more like they were planning to marry at some vague point in the future? I really don't understand how any parent can consider their child becoming a parent while still in high school icing on the cake.


Quote:
And just today on The View Elizabeth was gushing about how remarkable she thought is was about Bristol having a baby.
O/T I miss the days when Elisabeth Hasselbeck was just the cute girl from Survivor Australia.
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Margaret



Joined: 23 Mar 2007
Posts: 880

PostPosted: Wed Sep 03, 2008 12:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
O/T I miss the days when Elisabeth Hasselbeck was just the cute girl from Survivor Australia.


So true. I'm pretty sure she got The View job because of her republican voice. She knows what she's there to do and how to keep her job. Whoopi has done a great job of showing exactly how poor Elizabeth's debating and reasoning skills are. She (Elizabeth) yells and then cries.
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xina



Joined: 22 Mar 2007
Posts: 6635
Location: minneapolis

PostPosted: Wed Sep 03, 2008 1:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Xina wrote:
I read that she stated that they were planning on marrying anyway (at 17? Doubt it)

Well, maybe it was more like they were planning to marry at some vague point in the future? I really don't understand how any parent can consider their child becoming a parent while still in high school icing on the cake.


Quote:
And just today on The View Elizabeth was gushing about how remarkable she thought is was about Bristol having a baby.
O/T I miss the days when Elisabeth Hasselbeck was just the cute girl from Survivor Australia.[/quote]




Sorry, not icing on the cake but rather "a bonus", which is just as ridiculous IMO.
As for Elizabeth, I've found her more palpable since Whoopi started, or possibly I'm just used to her opposite view. I find myself liking her at times when she's not voicing her political ideas.
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KayWebbHarrison



Joined: 22 Mar 2007
Posts: 1239
Location: SE VA. USA

PostPosted: Wed Sep 03, 2008 3:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Tee wrote:
I think in this day and age it is almost impossible for teens not to be aware of contraception. Information about it is found all throughout the media--
What I'm getting at here is there is plenty of information out there regarding contraception and much of it IS geared toward the younger set. So why is the percentage of pregnancies still so high after so many years of having it available?
I just can't accept that these kids don't know.


I think that it is more a matter of believing than knowing. I taught on the high school level for over twenty years. I have observed and interacted with hundreds of teenagers. Unless some immediate, personal catastrophe occurs in a teen's own life or in that of a friend or family member, most teens believe that they are invulnerable. They can drink alcoholic beverages in excess and function normally. They can engage in unprotected sexual intercourse and not get pregnant or contract a/an STD. They can give birth to a child, keep it, and raise it, and still enjoy all the "fun" of adolescence and young adulthood.

This is the "attitude" that previous posters have commented on. Not many teens are able to view the unpleasant/tragic experiences of others, to apply the lessons that those experiences teach to their own lives, and so to avoid similar unpleasantness/tragedy.

Kay


Last edited by KayWebbHarrison on Wed Sep 03, 2008 10:03 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Tee



Joined: 22 Mar 2007
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 03, 2008 4:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

KayWebbHarrison wrote:
Not many teens are able to view the unpleasant/tragic experiences of others, to apply the lessons that those experiences teach to their own lives, and so to avoid similar unpleasantness/tragedy.

And that is sad, indeed. So what is the answer? If the information is out there, how can they be convinced? You can lead the camel to water, but can't make him drink. How can we avoid that last minute solution (baby or abortion) when there are so many other methods available to prevent one from even getting to that point? How can we stop the age at which kids have intercourse from getting any younger? Especially when these kids eventually become parents some day and feel they weren't harmed by the early-age experimentation? Everything gets passed on, only the ages become younger and younger.

It's said that everything comes full circle. I don't want to return to the '50s. But I don't want to see more sliding down the slope either.
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xina



Joined: 22 Mar 2007
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 03, 2008 5:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

KayWebbHarrison wrote:
Tee wrote:
I think in this day and age it is almost impossible for teens not to be aware of contraception. Information about it is found all throughout the media--
What I'm getting at here is there is plenty of information out there regarding contraception and much of it IS geared toward the younger set. So why is the percentage of pregnancies still so high after so many years of having it available?
I just can't accept that these kids don't know.


I think that it is more a matter of believing than knowing. I taught on the high school for over twenty years. I have observed and interacted with hundreds of teenagers. Unless some immediate, personal catastrophe occurs in a teen's own life or in that of a friend or family member, most teens believe that they are invulnerable. They can drink alcoholic beverages in excess and function normally. They can engage in unprotected sexual intercourse and not get pregnant or contract a/an STD. They can give birth to a child, keep it, and raise it, and still enjoy all the "fun" of adolescence and young adulthood.

This is the "attitude" that previous posters have commented on. Not many teens are able to view the unpleasant/tragic experiences of others, to apply the lessons that those experiences teach to their own lives, and so to avoid similar unpleasantness/tragedy.

Kay




I appreciate the fact that you have worked with teens, but I think it all depends on the teen. Not all of them act in such an extravagant manner, many do, but not all. In my years of knowing my son and daughter's friends and knowing their parents a lot of their behavior depends on what goes on at home. I have seen teens pushed and pulled all different ways and the parents think that pushing them constantly is for their own good. They go through lip service talking to them and think that is enough, when really, they don't know them at all, because they are too busy. I have seen a few teens who the parents thought were perfect angels, and didn't really know them....at all, and were shocked when things happened. People have to get to know their kids, and bad things can still happen, but it's worth the effort. And for the record...they are not all bad. There are some kids who are really on the ball and do just fine when they grow up.
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Maggie AAR
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 03, 2008 5:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

xina wrote:
I appreciate the fact that you have worked with teens, but I think it all depends on the teen. Not all of them act in such an extravagant manner, many do, but not all. In my years of knowing my son and daughter's friends and knowing their parents a lot of their behavior depends on what goes on at home. I have seen teens pushed and pulled all different ways and the parents think that pushing them constantly is for their own good. They go through lip service talking to them and think that is enough, when really, they don't know them at all, because they are too busy. I have seen a few teens who the parents thought were perfect angels, and didn't really know them....at all, and were shocked when things happened. People have to get to know their kids, and bad things can still happen, but it's worth the effort. And for the record...they are not all bad. There are some kids who are really on the ball and do just fine when they grow up.


I would agree that knowing the teen and being there for them is vastly important. I know too many parents who believe that their parenting should be done when their kids turn 10 or 11. Who feel like they have given them a good ground work and don't need to continue being an active parent by the time the child is in their teens. Nothing could be further from the truth -- teens really crave attention and affection at that point in their lives, even if that craving displays itself in less than easy to interpret signs.

maggie b.
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