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View Diary: GOP "Abstinence Only" Rep Cassidy's unwed teen daughter is pregnant. Can he work AND be good father? (218 comments)

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  •  This abstinence thing is crazy and should stop (3+ / 0-)

    The only thing that makes it possible for people to believe this stuff is that the stories of what happens to young girls are out of sight and out of mind.  

    I once happened to have one of those seasonal gigs reading and scoring standardized tests.  We scored English essays by a system judging for writing competence.  But the interesting thing was was these kids were all writing about things that happened to them.  Car wrecks.  Parents missing from important school events.  Accidents and broken bones. What happened when a girl found out she was pregnant.  

    My sense was that I read hundreds of these pregnancy stories. They all started with a huge sense of stress over what the test would show, and mostly it was a moment of being alone.  They were eloquent, powerful.  

    What struck me most was that these stories described a world in which abstinence education had robbed these young women of a way to understand their world just when they needed that the most.  There were teenage kids who celebrated a year of going steady by going to a hotel.  Then they were surprised when a pregnancy resulted, with no birth control at all.  

    Most of these girls were confident that their boyfriend would help them and were very disappointed to discover he was not emotionally ready and was highly likely to bolt.  One guy was dealing with having gotten two girls pregnant in a single weekend.  

    Parents locked their daughters out of the house and made them fend on their own.  Not every parent, certainly, but many of them. This seems to be a standard way of getting it across to young women that they should not get pregnant.  The cost is to be shunned and shut out and it is very painful.

    Many times the story goes that the teenager who gets pregnant is the daughter of a young woman who got pregnant and was forced to live on her own.  So abstinence only education is now victimizing a second generation and probably a third.  

    Should it be a major revelation that people caught in a trap of poverty tend to repeat the same mistakes from one generation to the next?  

    We have always known this, if we are open to what we in fact do know.  

    The best thing we can do is to assist women and support them so that they can be fully in control of their own sexuality and bodies and to have the support and resources made available to them to break the ancient set up for failure.  

    As a man, I see this as empowering us all.  We have to do something to stop this abstinence superstition from claiming more victims.  A life wasted is surely a casualty and a victim for life.  

    hope that the idiots who have no constructive and creative solutions but only look to tear down will not win the day.

    by Stuart Heady on Sat Jul 05, 2014 at 09:43:46 PM PDT

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