Tuesday, 2 September 2008

Standards in public life

OK, here's the score. The candidate for vice-president of the United States of America for the Republican Party is a woman of 44, who has been governor of the State of Alaska for 2 years or so. As a high-profile public figure, her private life will be splashed across the front pages of every news publication within sight.

Before Sen McCain selected her as his 'running mate', he knew that there was a metaphorical skeleton in the cupboard of Ms Palin. It takes the shape of the lady's daughter, aged 17, who is pregnant outwith wedlock. The dad has promised to marry the girl, but that's actually beside the point. Ms Palin is professed pro-life (i.e. anti abortion), and the 17-year old will complete the pregnancy and have the child.

Now, we're all adults on here, and we all know teenagers will dabble with sex before they're married. It is up to adults therefore to educate our youngsters on the subject and be frank, open and honest about it. When you have sex, a pregnancy may ensue. If you don't want that, you take measures. The US Sex Ed system (as pointed out to me by the BBC) generally suggests to exercise abstinence until marriage.


I have never heard such stupidity in my life. The word pragmatism seems to be alien to the US administration in this matter. Why don't they talk about condoms, the pill and other contraceptive methods to youngsters? Is it a surprise therefore, that in the US, every third girl falls pregnant before the age of 20? No, I'm not making this up, these are official government statistics.

What really grinds me is this downright hypocrisy of people like Ms Palin who block proposals towards more sensible sex education on moralistic grounds - and don't bother to educate their own kids, even if the state fails to do so. And she's potentially the American Commander in Chief?

Give me strength.


  1. I would think every young girl in the US knows about the prevention of birth but ignores it, taking a chance hoping she will not get caught. They all seems to do what they want to reguardless of things they have been taught, boys and girls alike. Helen

  2. I agree with Helen, they all get sex ed in the public schools. (As early as 6th grade.) They have access to all sorts of free birth control thru Planned Parenthood (and their parents don't have to know) and other agencies.  They all know they can get pregnant when having unprotected sex but they continue because they all feel "it won't happen to me."   Sad but true.   Linda in WA  

  3. I agree that most girls think it won't happen to me. when I was at school it was a big thing to be on the pill, kind of made you"cool". prehaps now it is "cool" to take the risk? They seem to take that approach with the TV ads here. I have two beautiful boys both of which were planned when i wanted them. take care mrs t x

  4. Ok, I do not agree with the first person who commented here. People need to realize that there is more than one way of looking at things. Not every damn American girl wants to spread her legs regardless of the consequences.

    personally, this Palin chick should have NOT be in the game....she has her hands full and as a mom, i would want to be home and taking care of my family, not politics. The 17 yr old CHILD needs guidance and her mom. As do the other children.

    Great entry, Guido.

  5. Guildo let me correct my wording a little on my first entry. I did not mean to imply that every girl in the US took chances on getting pregnant. What I meant was that I believe most girls get sex education in schools and homes but some of them, not all get carried away and ignore all they have been taught and take chances. Some of them do take heed to their teachings. Sadly some do not get taught that imformation. Sorry that I stepped on some toes with that entry. Helen

  6. I don't think they want to discuss methods of birth control publicly since it would/could offend certain religions who do not believe in birth control.  That's just my take on it.   I know an 8th grade teacher at one of the local suburban schools ~ they had 12 girls pregnant last year.  That is ridiculous and what frosts me even more is a high school in the city where I work has DAY CARE.  God help us.

  7. Hi, I found your journal via Magic Smoke. It might interest folks to know that Palin has stated previously that sex ed programs in schools will not find her support. If that's been her position while she is governor, and her daughter is pregnant, maybe for the second time as some are speculating, then I think it's safe to say she isn't going to be very instrumental in finding a solution to this issue if elected to the White House.


  8. BTW, the "health" ed class, a required course, i.e., high school graduation depends upon a passing grade (unless parental signatures for the student to be opted out and I think some substitute is given), includes discussion of birth control such as you mention.  At least in my county, in my state.  That's for middle-schoolers and repeated again in high school.   One focused more on "bodily changes" is given in older elementary (I forget if birth control, abstinence or otherwise, is mentioned in that one.)  Just so you know.  The bigger "should and how should it be discussed" issues seem to revolve around homosexuality.  I have been following this for years now, including with my daughter going through "the system" as well as me having done so myself.  

    I'm unfamiliar with 1/3 of the girls in the U.S. becoming pregnant before the age of 20.  I've never seen such a high percentage, not in the youth I've worked with nor friends of my daughter's nor in her classes (friends or not), and would be interested to see the specific statistics if you are able to locate them.  (I realize not all pregnancies come to term, so not seeing / knowing about a pregnancy may still mask that one has existed.)

  9. I read that article after I wrote, obviously:)  I'm surprised at their 1/3 figure, and am curious about it.  Also, what Governor Palin proposes as sex ed IS ridiculous, but thankfully in many areas, that's not how things are taught.  Many do push for the "head in the sand" approach, I know.  Heck, they're given condom samples and told how to use them.  I suppose she wouldn't like that, but oh well.  I do believe it's a good idea for teenagers to abstain from sexual relations (and oftentimes adults should abstain as well, but they are sometimes more capable of handle potential oops results (STD's, pregnancies) if they don't), but it's not realistic to think that teenagers or adults will do that.  They HAVE to be told how to protect themselves.  Sheesz, wonder if she's against the Gardasil vaccination, also (while I think boys should also be given it -- guess she wouldn't like my viewpoints any more than I'm thinking I care for hers).  Sigh.  Oh, and while my church has a sex-ed class, also, forget the name, and of course they say to abstain, they're also realistic and provide information and sources for protection, etc., just not as in-depth detailed as the (public and private) schools provide.  I can't speak for parochial schools teachings.  Personally, I figure the discussions only add to what I talk about with my daughter, and gives her a more private place to ask questions she may have if she doesn't wish to ask me, or her dad (which she won't ask him).

  10. I will have to add my "mite" here.  My son received sex education in his school starting with the sixth grade; of course we had already talked to him about sex before that, which included answering his questions, discussing sex before/without marriage, and the consequences of sex including pregnancies, disease, and emotional problems.  We also discussed respect for the other person.  Since I home school our daughter she has received her "sex education" entirely at home, and we've answered her questions and gone over all the other issues as well.  And it is not a one-time thing.  This is an issue that has been and will continue to be discussed here in our home, and we cover it from all aspects -- our own personal religious beliefs, realistic and societal expectations, physical and emotional long-term consequences.  Some children, no matter how much they "know", no matter what examples have been set for them, and sometimes no matter how "careful" they are, will still end up pregnant or fathering a child.  I personally have known some girls who WANT to get pregnant.  I know a girl who has had sex since she was 12, was pregnant at 13 and again at 16, and it wasn't because she wasn't careful or didn't know how to be careful.  It was because she liked having sex.  So Palin could very well have educated her daughter, and the daughter may have actually thought she was being careful.  It can happen no matter the precautions.  One of my sisters got pregnant while she was taking the pill.  So hypocrite she may very well be (most politicians are in my opinion), but the fact that her daughter is pregnant doesn't necessarily say anything to me about the mother, what kind of mother she is or what kind of VP she'd make.

  11. I was so scared of getting pregnant even in my 4th year in college with my dad paying for it, that I refused to have sex because I did not want to have to take a slow boat to China  Gerry