Promises and Pledges Promiscuity: Just Another Planned Parenthood Recipe

December 30, 2008 09:00 AM

No one who studies Planned Parenthood’s tactics would be surprised by a recent “news” item  that claims that, according to a "large federal survey," teens who pledge to remain virgins until marriage or promise to save themselves for marriage are just as likely to have sex as those who don't make take pledges or make promises.

This latest alleged revelation, which is hardly surprising when one considers the source, deserves a little research. First of all, the survey is not – by any stretch of the imagination – a scientifically valid study. For starters, the author of the report is Ms. Janet E. Rosenbaum of the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. Rosenbaum authored a study published in the American Journal of Public Health a couple of years ago entitled "Reborn a Virgin: Adolescents' Retracting of Virginity Pledges and Sexual Histories." That study concludes,

Adolescents who initiate sexual activity are likely to recant virginity pledges, whereas those who take pledges are likely to recant their sexual histories. Thus, evaluations of sexual abstinence programs are vulnerable to unreliable data. In addition, virginity pledgers may incorrectly assess the sexually transmitted disease risks associated with their prepledge sexual behavior.

Clearly, Rosenbaum is no stranger to the study of adolescent sexual behavior nor is she making the claim that teens who talk about their sexual adventures are people whose claims can be trusted. All the same, she and others like her are doing all they can to debunk any sort of program or project that emphasizes saving one's self for marriage. As one of her fans, Cory Silverberg, pointed out in his blog in 2006,

Basically the research shows that teens who promise to be virgins aren't keeping that promise, and teens who have had sex and then promise to be virgins may be behaving as if they've never had sex at all. Which raises the obvious concern that their new "re-virgined" status may make them believe they couldn't have an STD (or at least may make them unlikely to be tested for or talk to a potential sexual partner about STDs).

All of which makes you wonder why we're having teens go through the process in the first place. This research seems to support the majority of scientific research that suggests that virginity pledges don't work. But it also highlights a general problem in studying teen sexual behavior (not that researchers are really allowed to study much of it), which is the possible lack of reliability of the data. In a prepared statement the author of the study suggests that asking teens about their sexual behavior may not provide the best data and "a better and more reliable measure than adolescents' self-reported sexual history might be the straightforward results of medical STD tests."

Obviously, anyone who understands teens sees the fatal flaw in Rosenbaum's ongoing study of adolescent sexual behavior. The young people who are answering the questions and therefore providing a basis for all of this ongoing research are the same people who cannot make their bed, cannot hang up their clothing and forget to brush their teeth if their iPhone rings. I mean really! How much credibility can such a study have?

Oh! I think I know the answer, and you probably do as well. The time is fast approaching when Obamaism, the new philosophy of the White House and surrounding environs, will be examining how best to spend taxpayer dollars. And of course, we all know that Planned Parenthood sits in the driver's seat on that question, having had more than 35 years of experience in federal funding acquisition and now having the ear of the big man in Washington, D.C. So a small study here and there that proves Planned Parenthood's long-held position that abstinence education doesn’t work is good for its wallet. Planned Parenthood types have claimed for years that abstinence education is old fashioned, while sex instruction is extremely successful.

Let's not forget that, earlier this year, when it was reported that abortion rates were declining, Planned Parenthood was quick to take credit.  It asserted that it was its emphasis on birth control and its sex ed programs that resulted in the alleged decline.

Today, Rosenbaum's study adds fuel to that allegation and is going to go a long way toward helping Planned Parenthood to get its grubby hands on the millions of additional dollars it wants to acquire as it digs even deeper into federal coffers. Rob Stein writes in his Washington Post report, “The findings are reigniting the debate about the effectiveness of abstinence-focused sexual education just as Congress and the new Obama administration are about to reconsider the more than $176 million in annual funding for such programs.”

Oh, really? If I give you a multiple-choice question, can you guess where Planned Parenthood would like to see that money go?

Even if you get the answer right on the first guess, one has to wonder what it will take for well-balanced reporting to make its way into the public square. Why doesn't the Washington Post reporter provide a counter to the Rosenbaum study? All Stein was able to bring himself to share with the reader is that Valerie Huber, of the National Abstinence Education Association, expressed concern over Rosenbaum's "ideologically tainted and inaccurate analysis."

Stein could have contacted the Medical Institute for Sexual Health and found on its web site information about programs that involve parents in the education of their teens. One such program

capitalizes on the most important influence for teenagers – their parents. This initiative prioritizes training parents on effective parenting skills and communication skills, as well as providing medically accurate sexual health information. With age-appropriate, easy-to-use videos and discussion guides, parents may learn how to engage in open, honest, and informed conversations with their children regarding sexual health. This initiative includes the book Hooked, released in August 2008, which describes the emotional consequences of sexual activity on adolescents and young adults. It also includes the Tell Me NOW! DVD and educational guide that contains a fast-paced, entertaining 22-minute video filled with age-appropriate information about puberty and sex for 3rd-5th graders and their parents.

The results of the Tell me NOW! DVD project could have been reported by Stein – or even evaluated.
Stein could have also contacted Richard Wetzel, M.D. and learned more about Dr. Wetzel's work in the area of valid education that allows parents to share the facts with their teens. Dr. Wetzel even has a special program for Catholic parents. Where are his comments in the Washington Post?

Clearly, the timing of the reports on Rosenbaum's most recent study raises a number of questions, and those questions will remain unanswered by the mainstream media as long as its agenda is driven by the cultural fascination with sex devoid of responsibility. That is the challenge we face; that is the reason why we must persist in doing all we can unmask the deception and to defund Planned Parenthood.

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