SEX!22 July, 2009
By this time, most of you (at the very least, the six regular readers I have) should know that I am a naturalist. Which means, of course, that I do not by into the Genesis version of the creation of the world, the universe, life, or the myriad species inhabiting our earth. And I view evolution as an established fact (it is only called a theory because we do not yet (and probably will never) know all of the exact details regarding every event).
One of the reasons that I found evolution rather boring in the science classes I took was a neglect of sex. Oh, the instructors (those who bothered to teach evolution) were big into adaptive and non-adaptive mutations, the small benefit that a mutation can create. What they never mentioned, though, was that the mutation, in order to propagate through a population, must be passed on. And the only way to do that within sexual beings (the so-called higher animals (including mammals (including primates (including humans)))) is to breed. If you don’t create offspring, whatever mutation, good or bad, within your genes is lost. What good is a slightly better animal if the ladies ain’t interested?
Many of the adaptations within animals do not improve survivability. What they do, though, is make mating more likely. Those bizarre head pieces on some species of hadrosaurs? Sex. The bigger neck frill of a ceratopsian? Sex. The feathers and dances of the birds-of-paradise? Sex. The big rack on a Wapiti? Sex. The soft eyes, the big tits, the soft round ass of a female human? Sex. The broad shoulders, muscular chest and taught buttocks of a male human? Sex. It’s all about sex.
Sex is a biological drive. This drive is not dependent upon psychological or intellectual maturity. The only thing needed is physical maturity (which, with better nutrition, better medical care, and (possibly) the hormones in our food, is getting younger every generation since about 1900). Which is unfortunate. It means that boys and girls are ready to do their biological duty to the species, sexual reproduction, long before they are ready psychologically or intellectually. The body wants it before the brain is ready.
One sure fire way to reduce (not eliminate — remember we are fighting millions of years of evolution (and we are the descendents of the ones who fucked successfully)) teen pregnancy is through comprehensive sex education. My memory of sex ed was, basically, “The best way to avoid unintended consequences is to not do it. If you do, here are ways to reduce the chances of unintended consequences. And here are the possible unintended consequences.”
Of course, over the last decade, a horrible lie called abstinence-only-sex-education (AOSE from here on out) has been rammed down the throats of the children in many states. Despite study after study showing not just the ineffectiveness of AOSE, but the dangerof AOSE. Here is yet one more study showing that ‘just say no to millions of years of successful fucking’ does not work (and this is from the Guardian in the UK (odd that the ‘liberal’ American media isn’t making hay with this report)) (with my emphasis):
Teenage pregnancies and syphilis have risen sharply among a generation of American school girls who were urged to avoid sex before marriage under George Bush’s evangelically-driven education policy, according to a new report by the US’s major public health body.
In a report that will surprise few of Bush’s critics on the issue, the Centres for Disease Control says years of falling rates of teenage pregnancies and sexually transmitted disease infections under previous administrations were reversed or stalled in the Bush years. According to the CDC, birth rates among teenagers aged 15 or older had been in decline since 1991 but are up sharply in more than half of American states since 2005. The study also revealed that the number of teenage females with syphilis has risen by nearly half after a significant decrease while a two-decade fall in the gonorrhea infection rate is being reversed. The number of Aids cases in adolescent boys has nearly doubled.
The CDC says that southern states, where there is often the greatest emphasis on abstinence and religion, tend to have the highest rates of teenage pregnancy and STDs.
. . . .
Although the CDC does not attribute a cause, groups that support comprehensive sex education have seized on the report as evidence of the failure of religiously-driven policies that shy away from teaching about contraception in favour of emphasising avoiding sexual contact.
Planned Parenthood said the CDC report is “alarming” and confirms that teenagers need “medically accurate, age-appropriate, comprehensive sex education”.
This report is, to say the least, damning. Two generations of progress reducing unwanted pregnancies and disease has been severely damaged, possibly reversed, by a faith-based approach to sex. I refer to it as faith-based because the evidence that it does not work, time and again, has been ignored by (as Philly puts it) the FoF (Foes of Fucking).
Of course, the proponents of religious faith-based wishful thinking disagree. They claim that “. . . the new report shows that there is too little not too much emphasis on discouraging sex before marriage.” That’s right, folks. It doesn’t work, so we need more of it.
This doesn’t surprise me at all. This is a natural linear progression. If you abandon education, facts, and reality, and embrace the myths, wishful thinking, ideology and fantasy of god(s) and the GOP, bad things happen. In this case, more sexually transmitted disease and more unwanted pregnancies and more abortions.
But, then again, if you believe that the earth is 6,000 years old, that Genesis is a factual and scientific account of the history of the earth, that a woman created sin in the world and corrupted everything, and that a mythical bronze-age psychopath takes a personal interest in your life, then I suppose believing that ‘just say no’ will trump millions of years of successful sex is understandable.