‘contraception’

New York City Makes the Moral Choice: School Sex Ed

New York City has just mandated sex education in all public schools. Students in middle school and high school will get one semester each. The city’s logic is pretty simple: * New York teens have an unacceptably high rate of unintended pregnancy and STIs; * These outcomes are clearly linked with poverty, domestic violence and adult health problems; * Comprehensive sex education is scientifically proven to reduce these outcomes. As we say in school, 1+ 1 = 2. Parents should be celebrating the city’s decision. Medical and mental health organizations should be supporting it. The juvenile justice system should embrace…

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Is Michelle Bachman Obsessed With Sex? It Depends On The Day

This week I described the morality pledge that Republican Presidential candidates are being asked to sign. It includes promises to oppose abortion, pornography, same-sex marriage, and non-monogamy, and to promote large families. As a bonus, candidates pledge to be faithful to their spouses. I reported that Rick Santorum and Michelle Bachmann had already signed. Now it seems that Bachmann’s husband Marcus is a psychologist, and that together they own and operate a counseling clinic in Minnesota. Let’s overlook the extraordinary hypocrisy that they’ve collected over $100,000 in government subsidies for the clinic-—while Michelle is making her career by damning all…

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GOP Nominees Asked to Pledge Marital Fidelity…And More

As next month’s GOP straw poll in Iowa draws ever closer, all Republicans who wish to be President are being urged to sign “The Marriage Vow: A Declaration of Dependence Upon Marriage & Family.” Michelle Bachmann and Rick Santorum have already signed. The Pledge is a bizarre combination of 1950s sexual conservatism and Cold War-style doomsday-ism (it opposes “infanticide” and the “enslavement” of military wives), which it blends into an obsession with marriage and morality. It claims, with an absolutely straight face, that “candidates’ positions on core values, such as marriage, correlate directly to their moral stances on energy issues,…

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Arizona Outlaws Non-Existent Abortions

The Arizona legislature, to its eternal frustration, can’t simply make abortion illegal. Its phony “conservative” Republicans want to shrink “Big Government” just small enough to fit under people’s bedroom doors. But the state is still part of America, however much they—or we—might regret this. Arizona can, of course, make the experience of a simple abortion as miserable as possible for residents who have the nerve to pursue a legal medical procedure. And the state can throw a fit and just invent reasons that people can’t have abortions. One imagines them criminalizing abortions taking place on February 30; banning abortions if…

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Sex Ed & China: Ambivalent to the Core

If you’ve been following my travel blog, you know that I’ve been in China, training sex education teachers and psychology graduate students. China has 1.35 BILLION people (4 times the size of the U.S.), and has been involved in policy debates regarding family planning and sexual behavior for decades. They’re currently reevaluating their “one family, one child policy,” and of course sex education is part of the policy debate. The other night I lectured for two hours to sex education teachers-in-training at Chengdu University, in south-central China. The topic was “Teaching Sexuality Education: How? Why?” About 100 students, most between…

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America’s War On Sex: Second Edition?

You may have read my most recent book, America’s War On Sex. It’s won a couple of awards, and I’ve lectured on the subject in dozens of cities. I’m pretty proud of it. The publisher (Praeger) has asked me about doing a second edition—updating it and perhaps adding other material. In some ways, it would be more complicated than just writing a whole new book. So I’ve been thinking about how to do it. How’s the War on Sex been going since the book was published? My initial answer is: “mixed.” Here’s the initial scorecard for the four years since…

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