Tuesday, December 15, 2009

The problem with abstinence only "education"

Oh my goodness. There's an article on the CNN website today in the health section entitled "Gaps found in young people's sex knowledge". Here's an excerpt:

Myths about pregnancy and sexual activity continue to permeate circles of young people. For instance, 28 percent of men incorrectly believe they will get extra protection from wearing two condoms at once, a practice that actually leads to condom breakage. At the same time, 18 percent of men wrongly believe that having sex standing up reduces the chance that they will get a female partner pregnant.

These are the kinds of myths often heard in [Dr. Yolanda] Wimberly's office. Wimberly, who sees young people from age 12 to 30 about sexual health issues, commonly hears rumors like these that have spread among friends. Anecdotal evidence that a behavior is safe is sometimes more convincing for young adults than the recommendations of health professionals.

"If other people have been doing it, and nothing bad has happened, then they'll do it," she said. "We have definitely got to do a better job of dispelling myths."

[Chief program officer of National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy, Bill] Albert said it was shocking that about four in 10 respondents said it doesn't matter whether people use birth control, believing that people get pregnant when it's their "time."

Shocking. Yes, indeed, it's shocking. And you're less likely to get pregnant if you have sex standing up???? Good grief.

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