The Null Device

Posts matching tags 'abstinence'


US Citizenship and Immigration Services has denied a Filipino man residency because his wife had had a sex change 24 years earlier, and thus was legally a man, making their marriage unlawful. The funny thing, though, is that the wife had been legally living as a woman in the United States for the past 24 years, and had been recognised as such on her US citizenship certificate.

Meanwhile, the CBS and NBC are refusing to air a church's television advertisement as it's "too controversial". The controversy has to do with the advertisement implying acceptance of gay and lesbian couples.

And in Alabama, a lawmaker has proposed a bill to ban novels with gay protagonists from public libraries, to protect children from the "homosexual agenda". The bill will also prohibit books which suggest that homosexuality, or any lifestyle prohibited by Alabama's sodomy laws, is natural.

Meanwhile, a recent report claims that abstinence-only sex-education programmes, as promoted by the Bush Whitehouse, are riddled with inaccuracies, including claims that touching a person's genitals can lead to pregnancy, AIDS can be transmitted in sweat or tears, half of gay male teenagers in the US are HIV-positive, condoms don't work, and a 43-day-old fetus is a "thinking person".

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So what will the culture-warriors in Canberra do to follow up their anti-gay marriage bill? How about withdrawing the morning-after birth-control pill from prescription-free sale. All in the name of protecting young girls from the dangers of sex, of course. Presumably the need to get parental consent for a prescription will scare a lot of teenagers into abstinence, or so the theory goes. (Do the Silent Majority Of Suburban Battlers really vote for such reactionary gestures?)

Anyone want to start a book on when the Howard government's US-style abstinence-only sex education push will be unveiled?

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An ironilicious archive of "social hygiene" posters, on topics such as sexual self-control and the perils of "self-pollution". (via bOING bOING)

(After seeing it, I found this page, linking to one particular image, which made me wonder whether Plastic Bertrand's "Ca Plane Pour Moi" was actually about masturbation, much as "Turning Japanese" (another Saturday-night-at-the-Rob-Roy favourite) was. But I digress.)

Though are "social hygiene" posters really a quaint relic of a bygone era? There should be some good examples coming out of the Bush/Ashcroft Era's abstinence-only sex-education programmes, probably designed to look like something off MTV or a girls' fashion magazine.

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A sex education group in the U.S. claims it is being targeted with punitive audits by the Bush administration for its advocacy of comprehensive sex education, as opposed to the "abstinence-only" programmes pushed by the Whitehouse. Advocates for Youth have been audited three times in the past year; meanwhile, comparable pro-abstinence groups have been left alone. (via

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The Bush administration vetoes a UN declaration on children's rights, refusing to sign it unless provisions for sexual health services are removed, replaced with abstinence-based programmes. The US is supported by the Vatican in this (and possibly the Australian government as well). It is predicted that if the US gets its way, it will exacerbate the AIDS crisis in the third world, not to mention the other consequences of unwanted children being born. But hey, think of all the souls that will be saved...

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This is not the Onion: The Islamic theocracy of Iran is ahead of the U.S. in sex education. Mostly because of the U.S.'s federally-mandated "abstinence-only" sex education and panic about regarding under-18s as sexual beings. (For example, the Missouri legislature, presumably taking a break from the War On Goths, recently voted to cut $100,000 from a University's budget to punish a professor who claimed that the 'moral panic' over paedophilia is exaggerated.)

Update: An AlterNet story about the issue, and about a controversial book criticising the whole notion of protecting minors from the very knowledge of sex.

(via Unknown News, The Fix)

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US Roundup: And now, the latest news from the World's Leading Nation: Firstly, it comes out that George W. Bush's successful missile defense test was a fake, with the target missile being rigged with a GPS beacon for the "kill vehicle" to lock onto. Now if we could persuade Saddam to make GPS beacons standard equipment, then everything would be fine and dandy, but failing that, the test is a sham. Meanwhile, ancient superstition has triumphed over scientific progress with the House of Representatives voting to ban stem cell research, on Scriptural grounds. And the White House's reproductive health policy, surprisingly enough, will divert funds from those subversive pinko feminists in the family-planning movement towards an abstinence-based strategy, closely tied to evangelical Christian groups.

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