Thursday, December 13, 2007

Abstinence Only Education Does Not Work!

How much do you want to bet it won't work?

In a new online campaign, the AIDS Resource Center of Wisconsin and Milwaukee's Serve Marketing take a less dogmatic approach to convincing teens to postpone sex.

This local effort relies on humor and participation to make its point.

"I know there's research out there that says abstinence campaigns don't work," said Gary Mueller, creative director of Serve. "But no one's done anything like this."

Oh really? And what is so different this time around?

The infomercial parodies feature a man with the improbable name of Richard Woody, Ph.D., who promotes a faux product called the Abstinator. The kit - "designed to protect you from the temptation of sex" - includes garlic-flavored gum, anti-sexy specs and B.O. brand body spray. At the end of the videos, a tagline acknowledges the joke but encourages viewers to visit the Web site, where statistics on teen pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases await.

"It uses humor in such a powerful way to get people's attention on a critical health issue: young people engaging in unprotected sex," said Mike Gifford, chief operations officer at AIDS Resource Center of Wisconsin. "People are receiving the Abstinator clip, and they choose to go to the site."

I have seen the site. I have seen the videos. I can tell you right now this won't work. At the front page to the site, you are treated to two options: choose, "I want sex right now" and you are treated to a web page with Genital Herpes "facts." I will not spend time debating the validity of the assertions on that page.

If you choose, "I would like to know the value of waiting," then you are treated to an extremely boring dialogue. If you click on "watch the tv spot," these completely horrid movies that prove nothing at all except for the stupidity of those who made it. I'm sorry guys, but kids are not that stupid. The cornier you make that shit, the less likely they will take you seriously.

And yes, once again abstinence only education DOES NOT WORK. And why is sex so bad in the first place? Why should we recreate a social stigma about a perfectly normal part of human life? Secondly, even if you manage to scare the shit out of kids at a young age, chances are they still won't be waiting until marriage. At that point, don't you wish you would have spent more time telling them how a condom could protect against STD's and pregnancy?

For more on why it won't work:

Here.

And here.

3 comments:

Agogong said...

Hey I would like to say that abstinence works or atleast it is working for me. Am a Ugandan female, 26 years old and a virgin, am not engaging in any oral sex or what so ever..am proud of my "true love waits" pledge. So i just wanted to let you know that it only is impossible if you dont give it a committed try.

Thank you
http://agogong.multiply.com/
http://weareabstaining.multiply.com

1000 Needles said...

It is great, and I commend you on your commitment to health and abstinence. I am not against abstinence per se, I am against abstinence education in American schools because the records show that it does not work. It also does not adequately prepare kids for the use of prophylactics when they actually DO decide to have sex.

You say it is only impossible if you don't give it a committed try. This is more or less true, however, the problem is that most people do not want to give it a committed try, and why I think that we should teach a different form of sexual education.

Again, for people like you who choose to abstain, I highly respect your choice and I believe it is a wise one. It is not you who I doubt, it is our educational system.

Carly-Anne said...

Interesting debate ... it is true that abstinence education has failed our youth in not only preventing STDs, but also unwanted pregnancy.

I would have hoped for a more serious approach from AIDS Resource Wisconsin... nice job 1000 Needles!