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Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Ignorance About Sex Is Not Limited to Right Wing Culture Wars

World Contraception Day was September 26, 2011 this year.  Organizations, like USAID, provide contraceptive assistance and education to 54 developing countries, under direction from the State Department. 

Unfortunately, we don't do as well for our own citizens.

The rate of increase in unsafe sex is  among the worst in the United States, of the countries listed in this article.  This can be linked to abstinence-only sex ed funding, like the insertion of funding for failed abstinence only sex ed in 'Obamacare':
The bill restores $250 million over five years for states to sponsor programs aimed at preventing pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases by focusing exclusively on encouraging children and adolescents to avoid sex. The funding provides at least a partial reprieve for the approach, which faced losing all federal support under President Obama's first two budgets.
"We're very happy to see that funding will continue so the important sexual health message of risk avoidance will reach American teens," said Valerie Huber, executive director of the National Abstinence Education Association, a Washington-based lobbying group. "What better place to see such an important health issue addressed than in the health legislation?"
But the funding was condemned by critics, who were stupefied by the eleventh-hour rescue.
"To spend a quarter-billion dollars on abstinence-only-until-marriage programs that have already been proven to fail is reckless and irresponsible," said James Wagoner of the Washington group Advocates for Youth. "When on top of that you add the fact that this puts the health and lives of young people at risk, this becomes outrageous."
No surprise, that right wingers like Presidential Candidate contender Rick Perry promotes abstinence-only sex ed as 'working' despite Texas having one of the highest rates of unintended pregnancies - and he highest  rate of  REPEAT unintended pregnancies.  It's not just a war on sex ed and accurate medical information being provided to kids and adults, in Texas, there IS an actual war on contraception :


Yet another instance where right wing ideology is not fiscally responsible, and is misogynistic.
From the Ottawa, Sun:

More young people having unsafe sex: Study


LONDON - Young people across the globe are having more unprotected sex and know less about effective contraception options, a multinational survey revealed on Monday.
The “Clueless or Clued Up: Your Right to be informed about contraception” study prepared for World Contraception Day (WCD) reports that the number of young people having unsafe sex with a new partner increased by 111% in France, 39% in the U.S. and 19% in Britain in the last three years.
“No matter where you are in the world, barriers exist which prevent teenagers from receiving trustworthy information about sex and contraception, which is probably why myths and misconceptions remain so widespread even today,” a member of the WCD task force, Denise Keller, said in a statement with the results of the study. 
“When young people have access to contraceptive information and services, they can make choices that affect every aspect of their lives which is why it’s so important that accurate and unbiased information is easily available for young people to obtain,” Keller said. 
The survey, commissioned by Bayer Healthcare Pharmaceuticals and endorsed by 11 international non-governmental organisations, questioned more than 6,000 young people from 26 countries including Chile, Poland and China, on their attitudes towards sex and contraception.
The level of unplanned pregnancies among young people is a major global issue, campaigners say, and the rise in unprotected sex in several counties has sparked concern about the quality of sex education available to youngsters.
In Europe, only half of respondents receive sex education from school, compared to three quarters across Latin America, Asia Pacific and the USA.
Many respondents also said that they felt too embarrassed to ask a healthcare professional for contraception.
“What young people are telling us is that they are not receiving enough sex education or the wrong type of information about sex and sexuality,” spokeswoman for the International Planned Parenthood Federation, Jennifer Woodside said in a statement.
“The results show that too many young people either lack good knowledge about sexual health, do not feel empowered enough to ask for contraception or have not learned the skills to negotiate contraceptive use with their partners to protect themselves from unwanted pregnancies or STIs (sexually transmitted infections),” she said.
More than a third of respondents in Egypt believe bathing or showering after sex will prevent pregnancy, and more than a quarter of those in Thailand and India believe that having intercourse during menstruation is an effective form of contraception.
But the fact that many young people engage in unprotected sex and the prevalence of harmful myths should not come as a surprise, Woodside said.
“How can young people make decisions that are right for them and protect them from unwanted pregnancy and STIs, if we do not empower them and enable them to acquire the skills they need to make those choices?” she said.
The War on Contraception and Sex Education about contraception is a dangerous and costly problem for our national Public Health policy.  According to the web site of the National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancies, unplanned pregnancies result in a cost of BILLIONS of dollars in direct health care costs each year That doesn't begin to address the indirect costs, and the related costs of STDs.

Can we AFFORD misogynistic right wing ideology and policies?

I don't think so.

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