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Nadine Dorries abstinence education bill

(17 Posts)
effblinder Fri 20-Jan-12 10:56:52

I have been following this story and think everyone should know about it.

My opinion is that teenagers need proper education and the focus needs to be on educating both sexes thoroughly rather than focussing on making it girls' responsibility to say no to sex to avoid pregnancy. The thought of going 'backwards' in the way Dorries is suggesting really makes me feel sick for the future of this country.

MrsJamJam Fri 20-Jan-12 11:03:56

Our teenagers need to have a proper understanding of the facts and the biology, so that they don't believe all the rumours they hear 'behind the bike shed', and they certainly need to educated that pregnancy in the responsibility of both partners equally - and that a child is a responsibility for LIFE, not just till you lose interest.

Nadine Dorries clearly doesn't talk to teenagers and I think her ideas are positively dangerous.

bagitha Fri 20-Jan-12 11:07:02

Somehow, I doubt the abstinence idea will catch on.

Ariadne Fri 20-Jan-12 11:08:07

Couldn't agree more! Boys must be part of this, they are anyway in the "practical" aspect!

Of course abstinence is the best contraceptive, but I wasn't very good at it....

Butternut Fri 20-Jan-12 11:20:15

Good grief!

JessM Fri 20-Jan-12 11:26:30

Well I am all for girls having their self esteem boosted so that they can have the confidence to say no. They are under pressure to say yes from about the age of 11 these days due to the sexualisation of our culture.
But this is just far right USA style attention grabbing nonsense. Private members bills rarely get anywhere unless governments take up the cudgels.
Just had a scary Gove thought...

Butternut Fri 20-Jan-12 11:33:31

Yes, you're right Jess - definitely a far right USA thing - and unfortunately it goes hand in hand with religious hard-liners - which is a double worry - as they are a strong force in American politics.

effblinder Fri 20-Jan-12 11:34:38

bagitha grin

I completely agree, JessM. Confidence is crucial, and I hate how sexualised everything is these days. It's a real 'bashing the issue over the head with a hammer' approach.

In any case, news is now out that Dorries has dropped her bill (due to threats of protests?) - but it may be proposed again at a later date.

absentgrana Fri 20-Jan-12 11:42:13

There are many reasons for saying no besides a fear of pregnancy. Factual information in sex education classes should be combined with (and probably is already) discussions about peer pressure, sexualisation of society, relationships, etc. Abstinence should be part of a general survey of matters sexual, not extracted and treated in a special way. Like you, effblinder I am tired of the onus always being put upon the girls to be sexually responsible. Wouldn't it be nice to get away from the tired old idea that men's sexual urges are so powerful, they simply can't control them?

bagitha Fri 20-Jan-12 11:56:35

Last I heard, teenage unplanned pregnancies were more common in places where abstinence is encouraged by itself (and usually for religious reasons, if they qualify as reasons at all) than in places where a rounded education in sexual matters is given.

Jacey Fri 20-Jan-12 12:10:50

In some areas teenage pregnancies are recognised as a 'career choice' ...thanx to our benefits system! shock

Notsogrand Fri 20-Jan-12 12:47:12

The Guardian is reporting that the bill has been withdrawn.

Granny23 Fri 20-Jan-12 13:13:49

TMI ALERT - sensitive souls do not read!

Seven years ago I had 3 trainees, all young women, 16-17yo, whose lunch time conversations were an eye opener for me. I suppose I assumed that the 'dating game' was much the same as in my teenage years, i.e. boys wanting to taking things further and girls wanting a bit of committment first. Not so! Apparantly all the boys wanted was a quick BJ, followed by a refusal to kiss, 'because I know where that mouth has been'. From the male's point of view this was eminently 'satisfactory' - quick, clean, no chance of pregnancy, or VD, (or so they thought!) no condoms required, no stripping off required, no effort on their part, very little chance of a 'failure' or having their own shortcomings, lack of experience or talent in this department exposed.

My trainees, railed against this state of affairs, saying that it was demeaning to women, there was no pleasure for them in it, no romance or closeness, that they felt 'used'. On the plus side some girls remained technically virgins, they did not have to worry about going out on the pull when they had a period, and they avoided the dreaded pregnancy. They certainly thought that school sex-ed bore no relation to the current scene and that there was a growing culture of disgust with regard to female parts, deemed smelly and ugly, and shock horror sometimes HAIRY! If a girl wanted full sex then she had to look for a (much) older man.

Now I know this was a very small sample, but I discussed the issue, in general terms, with my 40yo DD and some of my younger friends and they confirmed that this was a decided trend among the current generation of teenagers. Sorry this is so long, but just meant to illustrate the danger of trying to apply yesterday's solutions to today's problems.

bagitha Fri 20-Jan-12 13:36:10

If those young women thought it was demeaning to women, I hope they did more than rail against it. No use railing and then giving in.

Granny23 Fri 20-Jan-12 19:02:07

I wish Bagitha. The conversations came about because the fiesty, cool (I believe today's word is FIT) feminist trainee was berating the other two, (both bonnie but well plump, and lacking in self confidence) for going along with this scenario.

JessM Fri 20-Jan-12 19:34:07

I'm not sure about the benefits jacey but teenagers do sometimes actively want babies. The only term pregnancy we have had in our school in recent years was such a case. (This is in a school where there was a very high pregnancy rate a few years ago) We have a fantastic school nurse (she does pregnancy tests and helps them get morning after pills), free condom scheme running locally, Brook clinics on school premises etc. So they don't have babies unless they are really keen on the idea.
But they do apparently video themselves having sex using their phones and send it to their friends!!!!!
I read something recently that there is a correlation between early birth, life expectancy of mothers and cultures where mothers help to raise kids. So if your mother is not going to live a long time, and you need her help to raise kids, you need to get started young. Interesting research.

Joan Sat 21-Jan-12 03:44:38

My son's high school gave every year 12 child a new born chicken as part of their biology course. They had to let it imprint them as it's Mum, and look after it to adulthood. They combined this with sex education, and teaching the kids about how much responsibility and lack of freedom is involved in raising a child. Not one of the kids got pregnant that year!!

Trouble is, my lad ended up with two chickens as one lad was cruel to his and tried to lock it in his locker for the weekend. My son's 2 chickens followed him everywhere, and when he left school the janitor, who had a smallholding, took them off his hands.

As for that silly woman and her abstinence call - just another religious nutter I guess. They had a woman here (Australia) like that, called Rona Joyner. I remember how the young 'uns took the mick of her, and the Queensland University gay student's room was nicknamed 'the Rona Room' as Rona Joyner was also homophobic.

I agree that boys and girls should be reminded that abstinence is also an option, and that they can say 'no' at one time, and 'yes' at another time. Not being a virgin is no reason to agree to sex with just any friend. They should be reminded that they have the choice to do what is right for themselves.

But as they are young and randy we all know that they will have as much sex as they can manage! And why not? But this is why contraception and safe sex advice is essential.(Oh, and we should advise them to make sure their is no mobile phone, digital camera, or online computer around when they are making out - they don't want to unknowingly star on facebook)