February 20, 2002
Secretary of State Colin Powell is to be commended for speaking out in favor of condom use ("Unlike His Boss, Powell Takes Pro-Condom Stand," Feb. 15). As for those who are criticizing him for doing so, it's clear that they're more interested in advancing a sex-negative agenda than they are in saving lives. Yes, abstinence should be taught. But it should be taught as part of a complete program of sex education, including information on masturbation and all forms of contraception. While it is true that abstinence is the surest way to avoid sexually transmitted disease and pregnancy, it's also true that proper condom use greatly reduces those risks.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
May 17, 1986
Hurray for Abstinence! Thank you for running the article by Cal Thomas (Editorial Pages, May 5), "Why Not Tell Teen-Agers to Avoid Premarital Sex?" I'm no longer a voice crying in an indifferent wilderness, beginning to feel hopelessly out of date. For years I have spoken and written to friends and acquaintances in the youth welfare field, both locally and nationally, urging them to start a national movement with the theme of "Abstinence, not Abortion!" And in the last year I've changed it to "Abstinence, not Abortion or AIDS."
March 3, 2002 |
At the YMCA in this northern outpost of Appalachia is a rarity: a federal social program that President Bush wants to beef up. A group of teens and preteens is gathered in a windowless cinder-block room playing a game called "basket of consequences." A boy whose flattop looks like freshly mowed grass reaches into a basket, pulls out a plastic egg, cracks it open and takes out a picture of a ghost.
March 3, 2011 |
Actor Charlie Sheen's recent rambling rants included several tirades against the 12-step program popularized by Alcoholics Anonymous: He called it a "bootleg cult" and claimed it had only a 5% success rate. While we're not believing much of what Sheen is spouting, that 5% statistic has people talking. Does the massively popular program really do that bad a job at combating alcohol abuse? AA stats are hard to come by, since the organization doesn't conduct studies on itself.
December 29, 2008 |
Teenagers who pledge to remain virgins until marriage are just as likely to have premarital sex as those who do not promise abstinence, and they are significantly less likely to use birth control when they do, according to a study. The new analysis of data from a large federal survey found that more than half of youths became sexually active before marriage regardless of whether they had taken a "virginity pledge." The percentage who took precautions against pregnancy or STDs was 10 points lower for pledgers than for nonpledgers.
April 12, 2007
Re "Abstaining from federal sex-ed funds," April 8 Since when does intolerant religious dogma dictate the national policy on sexual education for our children? Since President Bush and Republicans forced an abstinence-only agenda on states for federal funding. The stated goal: Achieve chastity for our hormonally active children. I would have had to lock my six daughters in their rooms for the duration of their teenage years to achieve this goal. The absurdity of the abstinence-based programs became apparent last year when the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services issued a memo stating that states "must not" promote contraceptive and condom use to receive funding.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
April 3, 2001
I was glad to see "Churches Confront Sex Addiction" (March 30), taking up a sensitive subject. I was also sad, though, being reminded that as a culture we flip back and forth between compulsive, irresponsible sexuality and stern, tense abstinence: "sex recovery." What's missing is the lifting up of a lovely sexual intimacy in a lasting relationship as one of several possible ideals in a satisfying and productive life. TOM ARMBRUSTER Orange
January 3, 2011 |
Sexually transmitted diseases -- so easy to get, so difficult to remember how or when. That's not quite the conclusion of a new study published Monday in Pediatrics, but suffice to say: Don't take a young adult's claim of abstinence as proof he or she is disease-free. (The same may well hold true for older adults, but this study was limited to the young variety.) Researchers at Emory University analyzed data from the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health and tested 14,012 of the respondents (with their permission)
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
August 2, 1986
Teaching sexual self-control is a very legitimate option with a desirable goal. Not only does sexual abstinence avoid pregnancy, it also avoids sexually transmitted diseases and a lot of possible emotional instability. Proper promotion of abstinence emphasizes the proper role of sex, that of enhancing a long-term love relationship. It is not "ignoring" teen-agers' sexuality, as you claim. Rather, making contraceptives easily available gives a covert permission to go ahead and "indulge."