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Thursday, April 8, 2010

The Stupid Never Stops

Posted by on Thu, Apr 8, 2010 at 8:14 AM

Meanwhile in Wisconsin...

A district attorney is telling Juneau County schools to abandon their sex education courses, saying a new curriculum law could lead to criminal charges against teachers for contributing to the delinquency of minors.

Starting in the fall, the new law requires schools that have sex education programs to tell students how to use condoms and other contraceptives. Juneau County District Attorney Scott Southworth said such education encourages sex among children, which is illegal, and could lead to charges against teachers.

The new law "promotes the sexualization—and sexual assault—of our children," Southworth wrote in a March 24 letter to officials in five school districts. He urged the districts to suspend their sex education programs and transfer their curriculum on anatomy to a science course.

Democrats backed the new law requiring comprehensive sex education—which includes information about using contraceptives—and Republicans opposed it. Southworth is a Republican and, like Republicans who opposed the new law requiring comprehensive sex ed, he believes the schools should teach children to abstain from sex until marriage. An approach which leads to higher rates of sexually transmitted infections and higher rates of teen pregnancy.


Comments (49) RSS

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raindrop 1
Kids are smart. Teach them about contraception but there's no reason to actually demonstrate them. Really, let’s have at least some amount of decorum in these delicate matters.
Posted by raindrop on April 8, 2010 at 8:25 AM · Report this
Republicans are bad bad men.
Posted by quietly weeping on April 8, 2010 at 8:26 AM · Report this
Oh, but the stupidity gets even better: one of the doofus relys on is the fact that any sexual contact with anybody under the age of 18 is illegal (unless you're married to a 16-17 year old). Yep, _anybody_ who boffs a 17 year old is committing a crime, punishable by up to a year in jail. Doesn't matter if both are age 17 -- it's still illegal.

So nice to know that over half of all people are commiting (or having their partner commit) a crime. Talk about sex-negative.
Posted by spudbeach on April 8, 2010 at 8:28 AM · Report this
In all my years I have never seen or heard anything of any value coming out of the conservative worldview.

Time to give them Virginia and then wall the place off.
Posted by True Baby, True on April 8, 2010 at 8:33 AM · Report this
Half of all people are banging someone under 18?
I never realized I was missing out.
Posted by the other half :( on April 8, 2010 at 8:33 AM · Report this
Fifty-Two-Eighty 6
Yeah, I read this yesterday. Unfortunately, since there's no requirement to teach sex ed at all, most teachers will respond to this by simply dropping the class. "Stupid" doesn't even begin to describe this.
Posted by Fifty-Two-Eighty on April 8, 2010 at 8:33 AM · Report this
Max Solomon 7
the GOP motto: "do as i say, not as i do"
Posted by Max Solomon on April 8, 2010 at 8:42 AM · Report this
Vince 8
Republicans keep hoping that ignorance will pay off for them. Everything about them is based on ideology. A horribly and repeatedly failed ideology. It's really too bad that the Republican Party can't be charged for the cost of unwanted children.
Posted by Vince on April 8, 2010 at 8:43 AM · Report this
rob! 9
@1, would unrolling an actual condom on an actual banana be going too far? Drawings of a condom being unrolled on a penis? Verbal description of a condom and its intended use? What would you see as acceptable methodology? I'm asking seriously what you feel would accomplish the education mission without being inappropriately prurient.
Posted by rob! on April 8, 2010 at 8:45 AM · Report this
I am so glad that I got out of that state.
Posted by Justin on April 8, 2010 at 8:56 AM · Report this
How the hell does learning about safe sex encourage sexual assault by or of anyone?

"Now that I know how to use a condom, I'm totally going to RAPE SOMEONE!"

"Now that I'm teaching children how to use condoms, I'm totally going to RAPE THEM!"
Posted by Gloria on April 8, 2010 at 9:03 AM · Report this
raindrop 12
@9: Textual and verbal descriptions, that go into guidelines and proper usage tips, are quite sufficient. No visuals, bananas, or other proxies. Many will be giggling and making snide jokes anyway. And why not show some amount of respect for those kids and parents who have more conservative dispositions on these matters?
Posted by raindrop on April 8, 2010 at 9:18 AM · Report this
OuterCow 13
@12: LOL, because we actually want to effect positive change. You shouldn't have to respect stupidity, when you do you just end up helping to validate it.
Posted by OuterCow on April 8, 2010 at 9:27 AM · Report this
OuterCow 14
-that should be 'affect.' My bad, self flagellation time again, I guess.
Posted by OuterCow on April 8, 2010 at 9:29 AM · Report this
doesurmindglow 15
@4: There's a lot of good values that have come out of the conservative worldview - deficit reduction, to name one. The problem is not conservatism as much as it is conservatives, who, these days, don't really pay any attention to even their own values. (Certainly not deficit reduction, we all saw what they did with that one.) It's not really that principled a movement anymore, as it was in the Goldwater/Reagan days. It's mostly just the movement of celebrated stupidity.

@11: Is this sorta like the rule where if you drink too much at a bar and then get behind the wheel, the bartender can get a DUI?

@12, 13: And because it's not realistic. Teen sex creates very real problems - STDs, unplanned pregnancy - if not practiced responsibly. So as much as whatever parents might want to fantasize that their teenagers will never grow up, a lot of their teenagers already have. Conservative parents' dispositions can change. Biology cannot.
Posted by doesurmindglow on April 8, 2010 at 9:36 AM · Report this
Loveschild 16
There's no stupidity in sending your kids to school an expecting those who've you entrusted with your childs education to be respectful of the values and morals that one is imparting in one's home. There are some serious flaws with the type of sex education that's currently being taught in some schools that are in clear contradiction with many teachings of morality and faith, so for something like this to work properly parental notice and approval is something that must come first. The school can have whatever classes they want concerning sex but since to many sex is more than just an act and given all the religious and moral connotations involved, this should be something to which each parent must agree to before their kids partake in such classes.
Posted by Loveschild on April 8, 2010 at 9:45 AM · Report this
doesurmindglow 17
@16: I'm guessing that, if they do it like they do here, the parents have to sign the typical "sex ed permission form" before they take the classes. As far as I know, no one's taking away the principle of "parents must agree."

That being said, I don't think anyone intends sex education to be some sort of bastion of moral authority. But we intend it to be realistic and not pretend we live in a fantasy world where we can successfully shelter kids from sex in a bubble of "morality and faith."
Posted by doesurmindglow on April 8, 2010 at 10:03 AM · Report this
What morals and values are trampled on by having comprehensive sex ed? Sex ed is simply a biology lesson on human sexuality, much like the middle school classes that teach you about the effects of drugs and human reproduction, and elementary classes that teach you about puberty. The only "moral" that's being stepped on is the one of ignorance, and I'm sorry, that's not something we can afford.
Posted by kersy on April 8, 2010 at 10:18 AM · Report this
Hernandez 19
Repeat after me: "Teenagers are having sex with each other regardless of the moral value systems they have been raised with."

There is nothing, NOTHING we can do to change that, but we can take steps to make sure they don't end up with two kids and a case of herpes by the time they're 18. Medically accurate, comprehensive sex education in schools is an important step.
Posted by Hernandez on April 8, 2010 at 10:27 AM · Report this
I'm betting that Juneau County District Attorney Scott Southworth is the same Scott Southworth who sued the University of Wisconsin because he didn't like that the money collected in mandatory student fees supported university organizations he didn't agree with (i.e., liberalish stuff).
Posted by livedinwisconsin on April 8, 2010 at 10:29 AM · Report this
I went to private schools. I had my first sex-ed class when I was 10 at a Sacred Heart school. At 13, at another (but secular) private school, I saw my first demonstration on how to put on a condom. None of my peers at my school ended up having babies in their teens, and I and many of my circle waited until we were in college or later to have sex. My cousins went to public schools, where the sex education is far more limited. Their circles of friends are rife with people who had children in their teens, and I know most of my cousins had had unprotected sex well before graduating high school. In my experience, sex ed is a very very good thing.
Posted by JrzWrld on April 8, 2010 at 10:32 AM · Report this
@19 Agreed. Telling children to not have sex before marriage is just silly. They're doing it anyway, only less informed. I remember when I had to tell a friend of mine how to use condoms, and yes, they have expiry dates. It was a facepalm moment for me. Seriously this stuff should be taught... sure children are laughing when teacher is rolling a condom onto a bananna, but they're doing it so their friends don't know that they are actually paying attention.
Posted by Taliko on April 8, 2010 at 10:37 AM · Report this
I actually like the idea of making sex ed part of the science curriculum. Crazy religious crap has no place in a science curriculum, but human reproductive biology and epidemiology sure do!
Posted by drewm1980 on April 8, 2010 at 10:44 AM · Report this
Half of children get out of High School without ever having sex. Abstinence works well for a lot more people than hipsters seem to realize or want to admit.
Posted by just because all your friends were sluts.... on April 8, 2010 at 10:45 AM · Report this
Loveschild 25
@18: Comprehensive sex ed to you includes things that go against the moral values of many families and as such are not appropriate teachings for their kids. You may believe that teaching a minor how to perform sodomy with a condom, bondage or whatever homosexual acts is something appropriate and you may wish to teach thar to your kids (if you have any) but to many us they aren't. Your type of ideology is what really many of us cannot afford to allow our kids to be submerged and brainwashed in. Many of us are doing are very fine job, even in the face of so much wrong messages coming from the pop culture these days. We don't need to be also worrying about the schools just because people like you want to use them, to be blunt, as laboratories for your ideological purposes. Colleges and universities can be a place for that, but the formative years of my kids are going to be centered around our values not those of groups that are the moral opposite from the faith and family life principles that we are passing on to them in my house and in their church.
Posted by Loveschild on April 8, 2010 at 10:48 AM · Report this
Fifty-Two-Eighty 26
@24, that's just because they were such lame-assed dorks that nobody wanted to fuck them. No moral high ground there.
Posted by Fifty-Two-Eighty on April 8, 2010 at 10:55 AM · Report this
@25, Who is proposing teaching bondage during sex ed?

Getting hysterical over non-existent stuff doesn't help this discussion.
Posted by B. Betherton on April 8, 2010 at 10:56 AM · Report this
teacher bondage, sodomy, *and* homosexual acts? Why weren't the sex ed in my schools that cool?

Oh yeah, I forgot, I don't live in the alternate reality of Fuckwit's brain...
Posted by Faer on April 8, 2010 at 11:05 AM · Report this
Hernandez 29
@24 Just because a high schooler doesn't feel like they're ready to have sex yet, or lacks the social skills or motivation to go out and get laid, doesn't automatically mean that they're saving themselves for marriage (or even if they intend to, that they will). Three-quarters of Americans have engaged in pre-marital sexual activity by the age of 20, so those who wait until after high school typically aren't waiting very long.
Posted by Hernandez on April 8, 2010 at 11:09 AM · Report this
Don't extrapolate your experiences onto everyone else. ButtUgly and Halitosis is not everyones path to virtue...
Posted by oh yeah, and Pimpled on April 8, 2010 at 11:10 AM · Report this
John Horstman 31
Ohh... my state is so nuts; please flood the Juneau County, WI District Attorney's Office inbox with e-mails.

@raindrop (1, 12): In fact, many people, whether teens or adults, do NOT learn how to properly use e.g. condoms without visual and hands-on models. They might be giggling, but people are REALLY interested in sex, so even if they're giggling, they're gonna be paying attention. By "more conservative dispositions on these matters", I take you to mean they want to "protect" teens from factual, accurate information? They can do that if they wish, by opting-out of the sex-ed classes, but there's no reason to keep information from EVERYONE because a few people don't think others should have that info if they want it.

@Loveschild (16): There absolutely IS a problem with expecting public education to advocate YOUR SPECIFIC values. NOT teaching your values, by presenting factual information about e.g. the fact that there are genderqueer folks, non-heterosexual people, that there is (LEGAL! LEGAL! LEGAL!) contraception and it works like this, etc. is not the same thing as teaching AGAINST your values e.g. "You should have non-marital sex". Your suggested solution is exactly what already happens; parents are notified when sex-education curricula are going to be taught in health classes and given the option to opt their children out of that class. I actually disagree with this policy, as I don't think we should be facillitating parents in actively lying to their children or keeping information from them that is important and relevant to their lives because the parents' "values", though not necessarily the child's, preclude knowing certain facts about societies/the world/the universe - I mean, we all know that people kill people, but because it's wrong, most of us don't do it; if sex is so wrong, just knowing about it should not be enough to "encourage" the behavior; however, I also recognize that allowing parents to opt-out is the socially-neutral position, so I won't actively oppose it.

@doesurmindglow (15): Goldwater and Reagan were not classically conservative either: they sought to dismantle protections of public properties that had existed since the founding of this country, they were strong proponents of a model of capitalism that didn't even exist until after WWII, Reagan in particular sought to (and succeeded in) expanding corporations to well beyond what their original role was, and of course Reagan also support expansion of Federal power with respect to things like drug laws, domestic spying, corporate subsidies, directly contradicting the ideas of individual and states' rights. Hell, they don't even want to conserve one of the founding principles of the country i.e. religious freedom (and the ban on state-enacted religious policy that facilitates this). I'm at a loss to explain what exactly it is that "conservatives" since WWII are trying to conserve - from what I can tell, their only consistent policy has been aimed at establishing a corporate-governed, privately-owned police state, which is hardly as what USA was founded. And, of course, from WWII to Obama, Democrats have been categorically more-fiscally-conservative than Republicans (thanks entirely to corporate subsidies and "defense" spending by "The Right"). This idea that "Conservatives" are in fact conservative comes from the Republican Party's 1984-style propaganda machine (and it is an extremely impressive one; Joe Goebbels would be quite impressed, though he lacked modern mass media). They don't want to conserve anything about USA, they want to go back to Despotism with a privileged aristocracy and serfs.
Posted by John Horstman on April 8, 2010 at 11:11 AM · Report this
If your home values are so important to you and yet so fragile that few class sessions describing how to put on a condom-no saying where that penis wil be going once it's covered-will destroy them you sure aren't very effective as a parent are you? Nor are your values strong enough to be seen as worthwhile by you childrens once they've gotten a glimpse of something different.
No one forces you to put your kids in public schools. Public schools are where kids get taught what our society thinks they should know. How to not get pregnant or an STD are among those things.
Posted by BakerB on April 8, 2010 at 11:16 AM · Report this
Dingo 33
Surely sex AMONG children isn't illegal.
Posted by Dingo on April 8, 2010 at 11:17 AM · Report this
venomlash 34
@25: If you care so much, send your children to a private Christian school. Public schools are government funded, and we try to separate the church and state here. Basically, you and your value system has no more right to tell the schools what to teach then anyone else does.
I'm Jewish and do not eat pork. If I had kids, I would not demand that public schools keep pepperoni out of culinary classes; I'd just tell my kids not to eat it. If you don't want your kids learning where babies come from (and how to avoid having babies come from there), just tell them not to listen in class. You have no right to make other people's children suffer.
Posted by venomlash on April 8, 2010 at 11:17 AM · Report this
prompt 35
I find this especially interesting as I'm performing in Spring Awakening at UW starting next week. It's about children (14 or so) who end up exploring their sexuality on their own because the adults refuse to teach them anything about it with predictably terrible results. It was written in 1890 and subsequently banned. You're all invited to watch.
Posted by prompt on April 8, 2010 at 12:02 PM · Report this
It amazes me how far backward we have gone. In my 11th grade health class in high school (1987 or 88 or so), my teacher actually brought in a realistic dildo and showed us how to put a condom on it. Of course, it was too late for several of the girls in th class by that point, but still.

And they did teach that abstinence was the best way to avoid STIs and pregnancy, but they were realistic enough to know that not many teenagers are going to choose abstinence.
Posted by Sheryl on April 8, 2010 at 12:03 PM · Report this
@24"Half of children get out of High School without ever having sex. Abstinence works well for a lot more people than hipsters seem to realize or want to admit."

Assuming your statistic is correct, that means Half of children get out of High School WITH having had sex. And if you remember your schooling getting a 50 is a failing grade. We NEED to ensure that those kids who are having sex, do so safely, otherwise their lives and our society are fucked.
Posted by valeanora on April 8, 2010 at 12:17 PM · Report this
Roadflare 38
*News Flash* Teenagers have sex, even 13 and some 12. I waited until after high school, but not that long. Only a couple of my friends were virgins when we graduated. Adults and Parents really have no idea what young adults are doing in school. Hormones are raging and they are fucking like rabbits. I'm pretty sure these idiot "consevatives" were doing the same thing as well, I know my parents did. I swear, the only "facts" they look at are religiously biased and have nothing to do with actual sociological studies done by non biased organizations. Fucking Idiots, all of them.
Posted by Roadflare on April 8, 2010 at 12:26 PM · Report this
kim in portland 39
The life of an avowed victim is fascinating. Every thing is out to get you, attacking your "moral and values". Why doesn't the world stop? Because, dear Loveschild, you are not the center of the universe. It is not the world's responsibility to make sure you go through life un-offended and make sure your "morals and values" are protected. Hence, if you don't want your children to have comprehensive sex education, then you can review the course work and have your children removed from the class if you so deem it. You also have the right to either homeschool your children or put them in a private institution that shares your "morals and values". Perhaps, you should spend a little less time on SLOG, and educate yourself on your districts sex education program. Become proactive about your children's education instead of whining about your "morals and values" being assaulted and expecting the schools to guard, protect, and instill, your "morals and values".

Posted by kim in portland on April 8, 2010 at 12:38 PM · Report this
warreno 40
What's more, apparently it's illegal for anyone under the age of 18 to have sex at all in Wisconsin.

They've criminalized sex.

Think about that.
Posted by warreno on April 8, 2010 at 1:03 PM · Report this
warreno 41

"Comprehensive sex ed to you includes things that go against the moral values of many families and as such are not appropriate teachings for their kids."

But your rights end where mine begin. Remember?
Posted by warreno on April 8, 2010 at 1:04 PM · Report this
doesurmindglow 42
@24, 37: Yeah. And safe to say at least half of the remainder will have sex in college. I think maybe 10% of people, especially around here, "wait till marriage." And when they do do this, it's because they get married right away out of high school.

Just because they abstain in high school doesn't mean they abstain till marriage. In fact, usually it very much doesn't mean that. So yeah, hipsters still got it, bro, they still got it.
Posted by doesurmindglow on April 8, 2010 at 1:10 PM · Report this
beckysharp 43
"You may believe that teaching a minor how to perform sodomy with a condom, bondage or whatever homosexual acts is something appropriate..."

Obviously never saw the inside of a health or science classroom, but what an imagination!

Why is it that all religious fundamentalists think that teaching about something is the same as promoting it? Next LC will want to join up with the Muslims to ban Shakespeare's 'Romeo and Juliet' (teens having teh sex!) or 'Macbeth' (witches!).
Posted by beckysharp on April 8, 2010 at 1:11 PM · Report this
Dingo 44
What's with your obsession with sodomy, Loveschild? Are you really that ignorant of what happens in sex ed classes? Children are not actually taught how to have sex in sex ed classes. They learn about things like puberty, STIs, pregnancy, abstinence and birth control.
Posted by Dingo on April 8, 2010 at 1:22 PM · Report this
You Look Like I Need A Drink! 45
If lack of sex education was good for Loves- er I mean HATESchilds mother and Uncle (I mean dad), then it's good enough for any other illegitimate crack baby...

So y’alls shut it!
Posted by You Look Like I Need A Drink! on April 8, 2010 at 1:51 PM · Report this
@25 No one teaches those things in sex ed, dipshit! They talk about how STDs are transmitted and how contraception works and at what rates of success. Nothing about sodomy or homosexual acts or bondage. Nothing morally wrong, only information about sexual protections. It is no different than teaching kids about drugs and alcohol in middle school - it does NOT teach them how to do it or advocates them to or undermines parents teaching their kids not to!
Posted by kersy on April 8, 2010 at 2:41 PM · Report this
This guy's argument is that teaching kids about birth control is contributing to the deliquency of a minor, by enabling informed sexual activity. The studies seem to show the opposite -- that ignorant underage populations have just as much sex, and end up with many more unwanted underage pregnancies and STD's.

If underage sex=delinquency, then surely underage sex + underage pregnancies + underage STD's=greater delinquency.

In other words, of the available options, his plan causes the greater delinquency. Apparently Dipshit DA needs to go arrest himself.
Posted by avast2006 on April 8, 2010 at 2:42 PM · Report this
Sigh... The kids I'd worry MOST about are not the ones from religious households that make their expectations clear (which is worth something) nor the ones whose parents have open discussions with them about sex and responsibility with the understanding they likely will have sex well before they are married. In both those cases, the kids got at least SOME guidance. The kids I worry about are the ones whose parents and schools tell them ... nothing.

The Internet makes it easier for them to get information, but reliability is all over the map, and judging from what Dan has said elsewhere, kids probably should not be relying on their friends for useful information.

When I was about 13, my mother gave me the lecture about "wifely duty." It was awful. When I was 14 (a freshman in high school), I took the mandated health class, which included the standard sex-ed anti-STD training, delivered in the same monotone, matter-of-fact approach with which we got lectures about the food pyramid and why we should say no to drugs.

My now-husband took a similar class in high school, which was probably good, as the only conversation he ever had about sex with his parents entailed his father saying "So... about sex... They taught you about that at school, right? Good..."

For all the school-provided "indoctrination" about sex, I was in no hurry. I was in my mid-20s before I had sex. I waited until I was ready. The ironic thing is that for many years, friends who had gone to private schools or more conservative public schools with no sex ed asked ME for advice about pregnancy and STD prevention--this was pre-internet, so their options were limited, plus I kind of have this big-sister vibe about me.
Posted by s.n.c. on April 8, 2010 at 4:39 PM · Report this
As a former Wisconsin high schooler I feel the need to speak up. This was 8 or 9 years ago and our sex ed was quite good. We were taught about contraceptives and show research into effectiveness. I mean yes, the focus was that abstinence is the safest way, but we had other options presented. Now that I think about it, homosexuality was ignored. Not looked down on or presented as gross, just never came up. And considering they talked about oral and anal, I don't think that was a loss. The assumption seemed to be "Look, we know you all want to and we're not going to deny that it is fun, but here are the risks." We were shown pictures of diseased genitals (and mouths) and we came through it ok. Of my class of 300 or so, there were maybe 3 or 4 pregnancies (granted people may have gotten secret abortions and never told anyone, but secrets didn't seem to stay secrets long at my high school). I think that is well below the national average. And thanks to that education, I've gone my whole life, or about 6 years of sexual activity, without an STI or getting a girl pregnant.
Posted by Bojac6 on April 9, 2010 at 6:42 AM · Report this

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