Tuesday, 5 May 2009

Bristol Palin and abstinence


Bristol Palin has been appointed as a Teen Ambassador for The Candie's Foundation.

I visited their website to see what it's all about. Yes, you guessed, it's all about abstinence. They have loads of links to other abstinence preaching websites.

I also did some searching to find out how effective abstinence is in preventing teenage pregnancies and what their model for sex education contains.

The misinformation out there is truly frightening. Some examples:


Many abstinence-only curricula contain false, misleading or distorted information:

  • A 43-day-old fetus is a "thinking person.”
  • HIV can be spread via sweat and tears.
  • Half of gay male teenagers in the United States have tested positive for HIV.
  • Pregnancy can result from touching another person’s genitals.
  • Condoms fail to prevent HIV transmission as often as 31 percent of the time in heterosexual intercourse.
  • Women who have an abortion "are more prone to suicide."
  • As many as 10 percent of women who have an abortion become sterile.
A study conducted for the Department of Health and Human Services during the last Bush administration showed that teenagers who took abstinence-only classes were just as likely to have sex as those who didn't.

Other studies have shown that adolescents in abstinence-only programs were less likely to use contraception, perhaps because those programs emphasize only the failure rates of even the best methods.

I don't wish to discuss Bristol Palin's sexual behaviour, but I don't think she became a teenage mother by having sex only once and bingo, an accidental conception occurred. She's not the only teenager to be sexually active and by feeling guilty about engaging in sex, she was less likely to use protection, therefore more likely to get pregnant.

The combination of ignorance and guilt is the best way to ensure teenagers will become pregnant or contract sexually transmitted diseases.

Let's be realistic. Teenagers have sex. Abstinence only programs funded by the Bush administration didn't stop teenagers having sex, but left them woefully misinformed about their sexual health and wellbeing.

I believe Bristol is pushing her mother's agenda by becoming the poster girl for an abstinence only organisation. Bristol is living proof that these ideas don't work.

I would have a lot more respect for Bristol if she had joined Advocates for Youth, which have a much more honest and realistic approach to teenage sexual behaviour.

Story about sex education in Alaska
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41 comments:

lisabeth said...

You write such good articles! Can you tell us where the list of misleading/false information is from? I really still think you should submit articles to Huffington. You would probably just have to add more references. If you want help, let me know. I can email you....... I just think the more info gets out there the better. We could think of other places to send your articles too and email them (?)
Just an idea.......
I am so frustrated with Palin and the GOP and really can't stand it anymore. I want to start DOING something more to help raise awareness of how corrupt and ignorant a lot of politicians are. I will start a blog at some point, but I want to think of some other things.....
It really makes me sick that SP gets away with all that she does. Her supporters think we are nuts and she doesn't care. Luckily the majority of America sees her for who she is. I am pretty convinced she will never be POTUS. Thank God

regina said...

Lisabeth,

Thanks for the compliment...

The link to the misinformation is the actual word "misinformation".

When I use various sources I put the links throughout the post, otherwise I put links at the bottom.

I had a look at HuffPo and couldn't find any info on how to blog for them.

I've posted a couple of diaries on Daily Kos but they were "buried" within minutes of publication. They have incredibly prolific and numerous diarists.

I get lots of hits, they're increasing all the time. Lots of people link me and it helps.

I'm glad my posts have some impact, it makes it worthwhile. I enjoy writing them and enjoy the comments and discussions.

Cheers,

Reg

ravenstrick said...

Like mother like daughter. Bristol now has her own fan base that will be paying for her to fly all over the country for personal appearances.

At least she doesn't have a job to neglect while doing so, unlike her mother.

Wonder if she'll be bringing Tripp and Trig along.

basheert said...

Yeah right - well she doesn't have a job or a husband. She's a poster child all right.

Like mother like daughter.

Regina, I agree - you should somehow connect with HuffingtonPost. You research your articles and source them so well.

FW said...

Bristol being a spokesperson for abstinence is the equivalent of a blind person being a drivers ed instructor, is she f'ing kidding me? Bristol's been ridden more times than than a thoroughbred...please, spare me the hypocricy, this is over the top ridiculous. Enough already with this trailer trash family of liars and fame whores.

What's Bristol going to do, decalre herself a born again virgin after being the 18 year old unwed mother of two babies? Uh, didn't she just say on Fox News abstinence was not "realistic"???

Bristol needs to STFU, take care of her kids, and get an education, because the Palin gravy train is coming to an end soon. Sarah and Todd will be caught up with the IRS, FBI, and Alaskan governement soon enough. I am going to contact this foundation and give them a piece of my mind.

bucks_and_bron said...

Apparently Bristol has an interview airing tomorrow- don't remember the show (one of the morning ones, I think). As for your post- she can't be an advocate for abstinence if she says it doesn't work. And if she wants to go on tv shows and talk about teen pregnancy and thinks abstinence doesn't work, she's gonna have to talk about birth control- you know, kinda like Levi did and got attacked for? They should call it what it is- Bristol's turn in the back-and-forth between two teenage parents, started in public by the baby's grandmother, who used her government office to do so.

Anonymous said...

I would like to compliment you, Regina, on your wonderful research and writing. I suggest that you try to get your writing out there in as many places as possible, as often as you can. I read a number of "liberal" websites. Some of them are looking for interns or reporters, while others have a box or space for a tip or story. It can't hurt to send them a story-- something well researched, quick and to the point. (I'd start with short and work my way up to longer). Send them something every day along with the note that you'd like to be considered as one of their contributors. By way of encouragement, I'll offer a little anecdote that has nothing to do with politics and everything to do with trying. The Ellen Degeneres show has contests, and winners get a chance to appear on the show and compete for prizes. One loyal viewer entered every contest for years, without every getting onto the show. Finally, in frustration, she laid out her case to them and something about her caught their eye. She's still there in Google as Ellen's intern, Jeannie, including YouTube clips of her appearances on Ellen's show. If Jeannie can do it, you can, too! Remember, it's Sarah Palin who talked about pushing through the door even though it's only been opened a crack. There are lots of door out there; keep knocking and some one is bound to let you in! Good Luck!

sandra said...

Abstinence education seems to play on fears of pregnancy. Where is the aspect of building relationships? Teenagers need to know why they have hormones raging and understand why our social structure no longer needs them to populate the earth.

Perhaps the understanding of why abstinence is so difficult is too bound up in theories of evolution. To admit one would be to admit the other.

The Palins certainly know how to make lemons into lemonade.

Anonymous said...

Yes, this is what I visualize when I think abstinence only.

http://www.candies.com/

Talk about mixed messages. Candies promoting abstinence only is kind of like the oil companies promoting themselves as stewards of the planet.

LisanTX said...

Another well done post! Clear, concise, and easy to read. With the best pictures, of course.

You're doing a wonderful job. Thanks so much.

Anonymous said...

Yikes! I just saw the "Be Sexy Tees" on the foundation's website. Hello?!

SoCalWolfGal said...

Regina, you just keep writing the well researched articles that you do and I think eventually you will get there (the big time that is). In the meantime, you are one of the blogs that I visit everyday.

I hate to say this but I am beginning to have as little respect for Bristol as I do for her mother, which is minus 1,000 % at this point. As far as these idiots that are putting her in front of a camera to talk about abstinence; this is beyond belief. This young woman went in front of another camera not too long ago and said abstinence "really didn't work that well", or something to that effect. In addition to world peace, I now pray/meditate on a world without Palins - any of them!

Sarah in SC said...

How can it be completely lost on these Palin people that it is LAUGHABLE to tout BP as an "advocate for abstinence?" OMG, it's enough to make my blood boil.

"You should all be abstinent, even tho I wasn't, and have (at least) this baby to prove I wasn't, but NOW, I'm going to never do it again until the next time."

OMG. I just can't stand it. Their hypocrisy knows no bounds.

WHY won't they JUST GO AWAY???

(Thank you, Regina, for another great post, BTW.)

Dianne said...

I curse John McCain and the day the dumb SOB unleashed these creatures on the world!!!! They're like a bad sit-com that never gets cancelled!!!

Now that I'm done ranting - great post, Reg. Keep up the excellent work.

onejrkitty said...

Bristol was for it before she was against it.

With Van Sustern, Bristol stated abstinence did not work.

So why is she now an advocate FOR abstinance.

No, it is NOT because she found abstinence doesn't work and by the way, want to bet she is having sex with the pool guy at the Wasilla school that she was (is?) dating?

Bristol is a single mother, with no job and NO high school diploma.

IF NOT FOR HER MOTHER, HOW WOULD BRISTOL SUPPORT HERSELF, HER CHILD AND ----HOW WOULD SHE HAVE ANY MONEY TO FIGHT LEVI FOR VISITATION AND CUSTODY RIGHTS NOW THAT LEVI HAS AN ATTORNEY AND BODY GUARD???

Palin has total control over her daughter's life and Bristol knows it. Bristol will do whatever her mother tells her or PALIN WILL THROW BRISTOL UNDER THE BUS IN A NEW YORK MINUTE !

One point to remember. Both Levi AND BRISTOL KNOW IF PALIN IS TRIGG'S MOTHER ! THAT IS A BIG THREAT TO PALIN. BRISTOL ( AS WELL AS LEVI'S) LIFE IS IN DANGER IF SHE OPPOSES HER MOTHER AND DO NOT THINK FOR ONE MINUTE PALIN WOULD NOT HURT (PHSYICALLY) BRISTOL !

Levi has a body guard ( Sherman "Tank" Jones) because if he is the father of Trigg and calls for and gets a DNA test proving he is the father, then PALIN IS FINISHED WHETHER SHE IS THE MOTHER OR NOT.

Palin's extreme narcissism is up against the wall and as her house of cards begins to fall, Palin WILL DO WHATEVER SHE WANTS TO DO TO "DEFEND" HERSELF.

It is going to get bloody before Palin is finished.

basheert said...

When will Bristol grow up and tell her mom to BUTT OUT? And yes it WILL happen.

Candies has some interesting "partners" - a soap opera??? If anyone is familiar with soap characters practicing ABSTINENCE please let me know.

And as for the little "teaser" T-shirts??? ''

http://www.candiesfoundation.org/tshirts.html

regina said...

basheert,

The site is full of mixed messages and hypocrisy. The t-shirts are a bit sick... it's OK to tease, yes? No contraception, so sex education, but a "come and get me" slogan is OK.

Do me a favour...

Regina

FW said...

I did not realize that this is the very same Candies that makes the "F me" high heel shoes and runs ads featuring Britney Spears and Hayden Panettiere posing half naked and eating ice cream and licking lollipops like cheap $20 street hookers and porno stars. Nothing wrong with that, and I am not offended by them at all, but seriously, what kinds of mixed messages are they trying to send to young girls? Dress like a slut, entice all the boys...but be abstinent?

Riiigght...this has been on all the news channels this afternoon, so I will wait to see when Olbermann and everyone else rips this apart. Fabulous.

Anonymous said...

If the religious right was against an ambassador affiliated with a commercial enterprise what would they do?
They'd organize grandmothers to write and complain. Wasn't Candie once embroiled in an ad campaign that crossed the line of decency? What happened with that? They formed a foundation? Candie is a corporation that continues to use sex to attract teens to their product and they are countering this by offering up a belief that obviously doesn't work? More teen exploitation and manipulation from Candie? If they are planning good debates from different points of view, that could be helpful. Teen pregnancy is at critical mass. Bristol, as just another fluff face, has doom written all over it. Britney and Bristol.
http://www.candies.com/
At least, Jamie Lynn did earn her own way. Has she signed up with Candie?

There are many bright and articulate teens that can counter the abstinence-only misinformation. A real advocate would take up debates and it would not only be a one sided use of a celebrity name. I hope Bristol has the balls to accept the challenges of an advocate worth their weight or it will be obvious this is just another faux commercial endeavor that will do more harm than good. There are people who link the unwed teen rise to finishing off the economy. Abstinence-only has no way to show that it works, it is a threat to the economy. With Bristol how can religion be left out of this? You have to take her and this subject with blind faith. There will be those appearances on TV with flacks that won't challenge her, book deals where it becomes a NYT best seller because of all the conservative corporations that buy crates of books and all the regular promotional tactics.

I'd like to see town hall meetings with panels, debates and fair moderation. What is Bristol going to offer, her experience as a rich, isolated teen living in luxury bemoaning she is has no husband? She shares the unwed part with teens but most teens do not have her cushion. Candie could not have picked a worse example. Whatever her spiel, she will repeat it and never answer questions or speak beyond what she is scripted. I pity our teens. I know Europe has it's fascination with sexy shoes, the Palin's and celebrity, do their teens need this?

Bristol Palin will need to stand on her own and speak up loud and clear if she is not to turn into another clown act. Bring it on Bristol. I am glad this issue has a chance for publicity and to grab some attention. I hope the religious right are not the best organized.

Regina, I, too, compliment you on all you do. This is the best blog.

Sarah is happy for a moment, how long will it last?
http://tiny.cc/UNcandie

FEDUP!!! said...

onejrkitty : I have to agree with you - this story most likely will end up bloddy - in the literal sense of the word, because GINO is a sociopath and narcisist. AND she owns tons of guns, including an AK-47...

regina said...

Anonymous@22:50,

Is the Candies with Britney Spears connected to Candie's Foundation?

I'm not familiar with any of this, my research is all internet based, I don't have first hand experience through the American media.

Reg

Anonymous said...

Shouldn't Bristol finish her high school education before she attempts to become any sort of educator?

Anonymous said...

I don't know about Candies corp or foundation. I do recall some advertising scandal.
http://www.candiesfoundation.org/history.html
Where I live we have had many celebrities, foundations and charities. Most of them are garbage or scams. Celebrities use this for public relations and it hardly benefits what cause they might claim. Sometimes the "cause" is ripped off, non-profits earn money for their people and celebrity gets millions in free good publicity. The Candie Foundation looks like it is among the worst. They need to answer some serious questions and be exposed for what they are. Why can't a consumer group do something to show the public how shallow this foundation is?

Write to Neil Cole. Let him know you won't buy them trivializing one of the most dire problems we face. These people are toying with the hearts and minds of our youth. All sides have a right to have their say. Watch this foundation, is Bristol Palin representing one side in an issue and no one challenges or if she is challenged it is a total set-up? Tell Neil Cole you want to see all sides represented and Bristol needs to be more than a celebrity with a teleprompter.

This is creepy. Big corporate money sexing up product in a way that destroys society and getting by with a foundation scam.
The foundation needs to be dismantled if they can't do better for teens and a situation as important as this. Celebrity like Bristol needs to exploit a corp like Candie and Candie needs to exploit celebrity and teens. Sarah needs shoes! They are all disgusting beyond belief.

The Dame said...

I wonder if this is some kind of sick punishment Sarah is bringing down on Bristol, first for getting pregnant and impacting her political career, fill in the blank for who you think Trig's real parents are, and secondly for going on Greta and saying abstinence is unrealistic. I betcha doggonit, by golly that remark was not part of the game plan. If you listen to that joke of an interview on Fox news with Bristol, Sarah runs in to talk for Bristol on how she is such a role model or is going to be one. Right. Do you really think Bristol wants to get up there and be a role model for anything? I bet she would give anything to go back to before she got pregnant the 1st time. To have a better life unsaddled at such an early age with a kid, finished high school with her class and making plans for college. I am sure 2 years ago she would of laughed her ass off if anyone said she was going to be a spokes person for teen pregnancy or abstinence.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous 05 May 2009 23:12

The privileged don't need the same education as commoners. She will probably get "credits" through a diploma mill or home school on-line course.

Anonymous said...

As far as I am concerned Bristol Palin is now fair game. She is doing this as an ADULT woman, so all gloves are off.

Also is it just me, or did she just come out to the WORLD that she regrets having Tripp? Nice thing for him to see when he gets older huh? And the Palin's have the nerve to talk about Levi. Ugh!

basheert said...

Mudflats now has one of their "ads" - gross and hardly something any preteen or teen should emulate.

Oh wait, they get PAID for doing this right?

Anonymous said...

The Dame

Sarah is dangerous because she believes her lies. This is more than punishing Bristol. She is allowing the people she likes to groom her, saving Bristol is more like it in Sarah's mind. Bristol has been offered rewards and they let her know her alternatives are bleak. She has back-up for all they are teaching her. She will be monitored so they are sure she never utters an autonomous word again. The ambassador prop has nothing substantial behind it. Wait and see if they allow her to be anything except a well protected front.

There are other cults you can read about on-line. It is interesting to read the accounts of those that do break free. There is always hope for victims but the odds are against Bristol escaping.

LisanTX said...

See the incredible hypocrisy and mixed messages of Candie's and Candie's Foundation that Bristol supports at Mudflats under "Celebrating Mixed Messages":

http://www.themudflats.net/

The comments have links to other Candies ads that will make your eyes pop out.

Anonymous said...

If I were Levi, I'd be using this Candies association for Bristol in terms of parenting issues...

(How can this ever pan out well psychologically for Tripp?)

I'm sure Rex Butler will be very interested in this Bristol-Candies news...

basheert said...

OK hold onto your hats - I'm posting the Candie's infamous bathroom ad. These people use soft porn to suck kids in.

http://krajnc73.blog.siol.net/files/2007/11/candies.jpg

Anonymous said...

If people confront this head on, it could be the best gift of all from Sarah. I hope Candies will be taken on like nothing before.

It has been gloves off for Bristol since GVS and that will continue. It doesn't need to be petty sniping, Sarah has sacrificed Bristol in such a way that their opponents can take the high road. Media will be able to get into this without the whole Trig&Tripp birthing questions. News blogs to celebrity blogs can go at it. This could go viral.

Anonymous said...

Huffington Post is not doing much with Bristol in their Celebrity Kids section. What is with that?

Janet in Texas said...

Good Lord. If THAT website is the one advocating abstinence I think they should rename it "prick-teasing." I do not for one second believe those sluts in those ads are using abstinence. Unless it's a new name for a birth control pill.

Anonymous said...

A publicity stunt to make amends with GINO's base while generating potential votes from the young folks. Oh, yeah, GINO plans on running for POTUS. Even ol' Rush was tooting Palin's horn today!!

Great research, Regina! Thanks for everything!

FEDUP!!! said...

Well, I guess Levi will have it easy now proving that Bristol is NOT A FIT MOTHER!
Levi, are you listening? Show those frivolous ads to your lawyer, and have him petition the court to take away Bristols rights to your son(s)!

Anonymous said...

As a mother and grandmother or simply as a woman, did Palin even blink when Candies solicited Bristol for their teen spokesperson? Did she do any reasearch on the organization at all before blundering ahead, probably pushing and shoving Bristol into the spotlight?

It probably would not have even mattered to Palin if she had noticed the cognitive dissonance in Candies' sexually-focused advertising and the message of abstinence. Ding!Ding!Ding! Hello Palin.

Or, did she blindly and rabidly see a great opportunity for more press time? Palin is certainly no role model for anything positive I can think of, unless you count being opportunistic, selfish, mean-spirited, veangeful, sub-literate (is that a word?), and she certainly does not have a firm grasp of the English language.

Bristol is legally an adult; however, she is at a disadvantage inasmuch as she probably grew up in a family where "Mom" was/is the most important one. "Mom" first, everybody else...well, good luck!

Thank you Regina for your insight, your words, and this wonderful blog. You are a treasure.

espresso4me

AKPetMom said...

I was 11 years old. When I returned home from school one day on the kitchen table was a boxed set of 4 books called The Life Cycle Library. My parents had talked a bit about the birds and bees w/me but didn't cover all of it and they knew I loved to read. So here was all of this information regarding reproduction and menstruation and well, male and female physiology in general.

I'll always be grateful to them for leaving those books for me so that I could learn about things in my own time, at my own pace and not have them or myself be uncomfortable discussing sexual subjects.

We also had a very good semester long sex ed program in 8th grade that allowed us to discuss topics that we might not have been comfortable talking to our parents about.

At 16 my folks put me on the pill. My mother was surprised by me when she was 20 and they wanted for me to be able to survive my teens without risking my educational goals. I am grateful to them for always being so realistic and approaching my reproductive education in a manner that worked well for all involved.

Just my story...I feel so well adjusted compared to some of these poor kids today w/all of the mixed sexual messages that are sent their way, both by parents and by the media.

By the way, the abstinence/purity adherents often engage in other forms of sexual release. I guess you're only not being abstinent or pure if you engage in penile/vaginal stimulation. Other forms of sexual release, well seems anything goes except for the "old fashioned way". Seems that they horny teens who adhere to the abstinence/purity dogma have found their own loopholes in dealing with this dilemma.

jo said...

Rush has to support Palin they both have the same dumb base. They are so typical, hypocritical, do as I say, not as I do and if you don't agree I'll chew you up and spit you out. She doesn't even know how stupid it sounds to keep repeating Bristol is advocating abstinence, when Bristol already said it's not realistic. Even Sarah was pregnant before she got married, so it wasn't realistic for her either. Palins stupidity never ends, not only still pushing Bristol to advocate abstinence, but to have her speak for a company that is pushing soft kiddie porn to sell its products wont win her any brownie points. Get real Palin, to reduce the number of unwanted pregnancies birth control, sexual behavior, STDs, and emotional consequences need to be taught as well as just don't have sex.

Anonymous said...

Ms. magazine runs ads like Candies in a section called "No comment".
I can't be too hard on Bristol - if I was given the choice of being stuck in the house with 2 kids or jetting off to NYC with just Dad as a chaperone, I'd say give me the script.
The non-intercourse sex teens engage in has a very high rate of STDs - oral intercourse, for example - and it's practiced without any barrier protection.
Keep up the good work, Regina - throwing logic on these grifters is like water on the Wicked Witch - they're melting........

Helen said...

I was interested in the incredible misinformation spread by these abysmal abstinence campaigns.

Anti-science, Anti-facts, Anti-reality. Just incredible.

Thanks for looking this up.