Sunday, December 30, 2007

What is education for?

Well one simple definition that I think would be understood by most is it is for teaching people to do stuff.

So it comes as no suprise at all to discover that teenage girls are still getting pregnant. After all if the schools keep on teaching sex education in the same way that they always did when I was at school, then, duh, children will have sex.

If I remember rightly sex education was the one constant in biology. Every term without fail from the age of eleven up in a desperate attempt to create some interest in the subject the teacher would proclaim, "Next week we will be doing sex education".

Of course anything that smacked of genitalia was of great interest so we all dutifuly settled down to the present task of disecting ants or defining xylem and phloem.

The point is that if the purpose of this constant stream of information, now being suggested for 5 year olds is to reduce unwanted or accidental childhood pregnancy then surely some form of abstinence education could be a better idea?

Of course we have a government that has only recently called for the pill to be given to girls who, just by having sex are breaking the law. How can that act as a disincentive to have under age sex?

We have a system that as failed in its stated aims for its entire period of existence. The fact that it hasn't been closed down of course begs the question. Why on earth not? Could it be that the framers and supporters of the policy do not really have the reduction in teenage pregnacy as their aim, but instead the undermining of the institution of marriage and the building blocks of what they see to be old fashioned conservative societal mores? Or are they just pig ignorant and refuse to acept the reality of failure, but as the net gainers - they after all get nice salaries and a sense of moral self-importance in their ring-fenced taxpayer funded lives, that the wreckage of hundreds of thousands of individual lives is of slight importance?


Anonymous said...

How about not jumping them up the public housing queue, for a start?

Incentives do matter, you know.

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The Aunt said...

I'm with Anonymous on this one. In my small, family circle survey of this phenomenon, it was the economic incentive that operated primarily.

Also, I'm getting a mixed message from your post. Is it the pregnancy that is the problem, or the having of sex? If it was pregnancy itself, then the Govt's policy of providing the Pill to underage girls wouldn't be a problem, and you wouldn't have raised the abstinence point. So the main thrust (sorry:-)) of your argument is that underage girls shouldn't be having sex at all.

Statistics coming out of the USA's Silver Ring Thing experiment have shown that abstinence tuition and even devout vows have little effect on teenage pregnancy rates. Abstinence tuition alone, unaccompanied by barrier methods ("ABC") has very sadly, for the individuals, failed to prevent AIDS infection as hoped in sub-Saharan Africa and has crippled the US's anti-AIDS development programmes by cutting funding to barrier contraceptives.

Given the dangers both of pregnancy and disease and most of all knowing the persuasive nature of young men and - much more dangerously - the surges of one's own hormones, were I blessed with a daughter, I'd rather work with her on the importance of using a condom and/or taking the Pill than swearing, for example, good behaviour on a Bible.

Anonymous said...

I would settle for the pig ignorant diagnosis

the doctor said...

I left my school in 1960 , not once did I receive any formal instruction to do with sex . Oh I did leave with some knowledge of sex , from the recountings of the exploits of other boys , for some strange reason most of the tale telling took place in the stockroom of the metalwork room .
Being a child of the 60's I did not stay uninformed for long , doing a medical course at university . At no time did I impregnate a girl or catch a STI , thanks to a series of anatomy and physiology lecturers who told us of the myriad of "bugs" that lurked in the recesses of the female anatomy . for the same reason I have never had an affair , did the lectures ruin my life ?

Elaib Harvey said...

Anon, yes absolutely, a key driver of course.
Well, please note the 'could', I do not think that something along the lines of the Silver Ring Thing will work.
However the actions of the Government have been proven to fail, so the current set up doesn't work. My feeling is that schools, text books and official govt. sponsored youff culture all seem to suggest that sex is normal and proper for those who the law itself forbids from having sex.
So the same politicians who shy away from changing the age of consent, because they know that society would be uhapy with further liberalisation are deliberatly undermining that position, but douin it by stealth. If they came out and campaigned and spoke on record about their desires to reduce the age of consent then so be it. That at least would be open and honest.

Do I think underage girls should be having sex? Too bloody right I don't. Am I foolish to think that it won't happen. Nope. But do I think that our taxes should be going to susidise the sexualisation of minors. No.

Doc, I was unusual but by no ,eans unique in waiting untill after leaving school. But that was mainly through fear and lack of opportunities. There again that leaves me more than two years past the age of consent. My reasonably well informed guuess is that less than 5% of those at my alcohol and drug ridden school had under age sex. Oh and they didn't ruin your life, just ruined the modern world for you.

Anonymous said...

Rod, you cannot be serious.

There can't be anyone left over the age of about nine who doesn't know how babies are made.

The points are (a) there's no significant DISincentive and therefore (b) they don't care very much.

Aunt mentions the hormones and the persuasiveness (a euphemism, surely) of young man. You need a pretty major disincentive to overcome those. In the UK, there isn't one.

Anonymous said...

I just discovered, over at Mark Wadsworth's place, that in The Netherlands, child benefit for underage mothers is paid to the mother's parents.

Now there's a good idea.

Daphne Wayne-Bough said...

Hold on a minute, if we stop teenage pregnancies and illegal immigrants, WHO'S GOING TO PAY FOR MY PENSION?? Have you thought of that, Outraged of Tunbridge Wells? We don't all have inherited wealth you know.

Elaib Harvey said...

I think the idea - deatils to be argued over - is that we pay for our own pensions. Why the devil should some unborn pay you for the privialge of being brought into the world that your generation has fouled up?

The way that pensions are paid out of curent NI is patent madness when the demographics of the baby boom pan out.

We have a generation now reaching retirement that on the whole was devoted to its own selfish pleasure, undermined society in every way possible, didn't breed nearly enough to maintain population stability - let alone growth and it wants to saddle a smaller generation with its own old age, or have its society utterely altered with mass imigration just to keep itself in buttered scones.

In a generational sense it all rather reminds me of the behaviour of the grasshopper.