Certainly not me…

Gonorrhea may soon be an untreatable disease.

The problem of antibacterial resistance is, if you’ll pardon the pun, a growing one and it’s looking like Gonorrhea is near to joining the already too-long list:

Gonorrhea Could Join Growing List of Untreatable Diseases – Yahoo! News

Gonorrhea is one of the most common sexually transmitted diseases in the world with about 600,000 cases diagnosed in the U.S. each year. A few years ago, investigators started seeing cases of infection that did not easily respond to treatment with a group of drugs called cephalosporins, which are currently the last line of defense against this particular infection. Now, the number of drug-resistant cases has grown so much in the U.S. and elsewhere that gonorrheal infection may soon become untreatable, according to doctors writing in the February 9 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

There have been reports on resistant forms of E. colituberculosis, and pneumonia in the recent past and there isn’t a whole lot of research being done on new antibiotics to replace the ones that are becoming useless. I wonder if the potential for Gonorrhea becoming untreatable will motivate some companies to invest in the research. Think of the profits that could be made.

In the meantime, be careful who you bump uglies with. There’s more than AIDS out there to be worried about.

Seems young Christians can’t keep it in their pants any better than anyone else.

Over the years there’s been a lot of press over the various Christian movements to promote chastity until marriage. From “True Love Waits” to purity rings and pledges, the goal is the same: Keep young Christians from bumping uglies until their honeymoons.

Philosophically I don’t really have a problem with these movements. If you want to promise that you won’t have sex until you’re married, for whatever reason, then more power to you. It’s not that it’s a bad plan — you avoid STDs and unplanned pregnancies by waiting — it’s just that the number of people with the willpower to actually accomplish that goal is pretty small. A fact borne out from many recent studies:

The article in Relevant magazine, entitled “(Almost) Everyone’s Doing It,” cited several studies examining the sexual activity of single Christians. One of the biggest surprises was a December 2009 study, conducted by the National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy, which included information on sexual activity.

While the study’s primary report did not explore religion, some additional analysis focusing on sexual activity and religious identification yielded this result: 80 percent of unmarried evangelical young adults (18 to 29) said that they have had sex – slightly less than 88 percent of unmarried adults, according to the teen pregnancy prevention organization.

The desire to fuck is a strong one and can be hard to resist, which is probably pretty obvious to most people. It doesn’t help that age at which people are getting married is much older than in the past:

Relevant notes that in biblical times, people married earlier. The average age for marriage has been increasing in the U.S for the last 40 years.

Today, it’s not unusual to meet a Christian who is single at 30 – or 40 or 50, for that matter. So what do you tell them? Keep waiting?

The article doesn’t have any answers to that question. I do:

Recognize that most people are going to have sex regardless of any promise they might have made not to and stop pushing abstinence as the only thing they need to have knowledge of. By all means, encourage abstinence as the best choice if you must, but then say “If you’re going to have sex then make sure you are protected.” And then follow that up with some comprehensive sex education so that if they do find that they can’t wait they’re armed with the knowledge they need to minimize the risks.

And for Christ’s sake, stop trying to make everyone feel guilty about sex. You can encourage abstinence without using guilt as a motivating factor. People — even good Christian ones — are gonna fuck from time to time. Best to deal with it honestly and openly because the shit you’ve been trying for so long obviously isn’t working.

This is a very good point.

Thief does $20,000+ in damages to steal one $150 sex toy.

I’ve had my fair share of blue balls over the years, but I’ve never been so hard up that I considered smashing my car through a sex shop:

BROWNHELM TWP. — The thief who crashed his car through AdultMart here early Wednesday knew exactly what he wanted: He picked up a $300 sex toy, discarded it for a smaller, less expensive model and then drove off — all of which was captured quite clearly on security video.

“Desperate people do desperate things,” said Tracy Holmes, the store’s manager. “At 6 o’clock in the morning when I got here, we had no doors at all.”

Yes, there’s video:

Folks, that there is a man in desperate need of some hot latex lovin’ and only one sex toy will do! Alas the article doesn’t mention which toy was worth such a daring robbery, which is probably a missed promotional opportunity. COME GET THE SEX TOY THAT’S WORTH DRIVING YOUR CAR THROUGH THE STORE FOR!

Another study shows “virginity pledges” are ineffective.

We’ve already seen lots of studies showing that abstinence only sex education is a miserable failure, but what about the popular-among-the-True-Believers virginity pledges where a daughter pledges to her father that she’ll abstain from sex until marriage? As it turns out the best they do is delay how soon someone has sex for the first time from the national average of 17 years-old to 21 years-old. Beyond that they don’t stop people from having premarital sex though they do increase the likelihood that someone won’t use proper contraceptive methods increasing their chances of getting pregnant and catching a STD. Ultimately it seems the pledges themselves have no effect at all compared to a person’s religious viewpoint:

In the new study, Janet Rosenbaum, Ph.D., of Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health in Baltimore, Maryland, analyzed the large chunk of data used in all the studies that have looked at virginity pledges: the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health. In this survey, middle and high school students were asked about their sexual behaviors and opinions starting in 1995-96.

In the analysis, Rosenbaum compared 289 young adults who took virginity pledges in their teens with 645 young people who did not take such a pledge. The researcher was careful to only compare teens who had similar views on religion, birth control and sex in general, regardless of whether or not they took a pledge.

Five years after the initial survey the study subjects were aged 20 to 23. Eighty-two percent of pledge takers denied (or forgot) they had ever taken such a vow. Overall pledge takers were no different from non-pledge takers in terms of their premarital sex, anal and oral sexual practices, and their probability of having a sexually transmitted disease.

Both groups lost their virginity at an average age of 21, had about three lifetime partners, and had similar rates of STDs. “And the majority were having premarital sex, over 50 percent,” says Rosenbaum. Overall, roughly 75 percent of pledgers and non-pledgers were sexually active, and about one in five was married.

So if you’re very religious you’re likely to start having sex several years after the national average, but beyond that you’re just as sinful as everyone else. Plus you’re more likely to not use protection:

Unmarried pledgers, however, were less likely than non-pledgers to use birth control (64 percent of pledge takers and 70 percent of non-pledge takers said they used it most of the time) or condoms (42 percent of pledge takers and 54 percent of non-pledge takers said they used them most of the time).

“There’s been some speculation about whether teenagers were substituting oral or anal sex for vaginal sex and I found that wasn’t so,” says Rosenbaum. “But I did uphold a previous finding that they are less likely to use birth control and drastically less likely in fact to use condoms—it’s a ten percentage point difference.”

Rosenbaum is concerned that abstinence-only sex education programs that promote virginity pledges may also promote a negative view of condoms and birth control. The result may be teens and young adults who are less likely than their peers to protect themselves from sexually transmitted diseases and unplanned pregnancies.

[…] “Studies find that kids in abstinence-only programs have negative, biased views about whether condoms work,” she says. Since such programs promote abstinence only they tend to give only the disadvantages of birth control, she says. Teens learn condoms don’t protect you completely from human papillomavirus (HPV) and herpes, which is true, but they may not realize that they protect against all the “fluid-based STDs,” she says. “People end up thinking you may as well not bother using birth control or condoms.”

I guess it’s arguable which is the better situation: People having safer sex at a younger age or unsafe sex at an older age. Personally I’d think the ideal would be to encourage kids to put off sex until they’re older, but to encourage them to use protection if they give in to the temptation. That’s the approach I took with my own daughter and it seems to have worked pretty well.

News item sent in by SEB reader Gary.

Teenage pregnancy on the rise for the first time in 15 years.

So how well are all those abstinence-only over funded sex education programs doing anyway? If this report is anything to go buy the answer is “not very well.”

The birth rate had been dropping since its peak in 1991, although the decline had slowed in recent years. Yesterday, government statisticians said that it rose 3 percent from 2005 to 2006.

U.S. health officials said that it was possibly a one-year statistical blip and not the beginning of an upward trend.

But several experts said that they have been expecting an increase. They attribute the rise to increased federal financing for abstinence-only health-education programs that do not teach teenagers how to use contraceptives.

Some key sexually transmitted disease rates have also been rising, including syphilis, gonorrhea and chlamydia. The rising teenage pregnancy rate is part of the same phenomenon, said Dr. Carol Hogue, a professor of maternal and child health at Emory University

“It’s not rocket science,” she said.

Indeed it’s not, but then we don’t have have any rocket scientists in the Bush administration.

Another report shows that Abstinence Only programs don’t do jack shit.

From the Haven’t-We-Heard-This-Before department comes word of yet another study that says despite the spending of tens of millions of taxpayer dollars abstinence only programs still don’t work:

“At present there does not exist any strong evidence that any abstinence program delays the initiation of sex, hastens the return to abstinence or reduces the number of sexual partners” among teenagers, the study concluded.

The report, which was based on a review of research into teenager sexual behavior, was being released Wednesday by the nonpartisan National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy.

The study found that while abstinence-only efforts appear to have little positive impact, more comprehensive sex education programs were having “positive outcomes” including teenagers “delaying the initiation of sex, reducing the frequency of sex, reducing the number of sexual partners and increasing condom or contraceptive use.”

“Two-thirds of the 48 comprehensive programs that supported both abstinence and the use of condoms and contraceptives for sexually active teens had positive behavior effect,” said the report.

Telling them ‘don’t do it’ doesn’t do shit. Let’s start spending the money on sex education programs that actually work.

When “I Love You” just won’t fit.

Image is clickable.

Thanks to the friends at harikari.

Pastor uses “spare the rod” verse to spank and rape female parishioners.

As if we needed more proof of the detrimental effect deep religious faith can have on one’s ability to think critically there’s the following news item out of Texas. A woman is suing the pastor of her church after her attempts at receiving spiritual guidance led to his using Biblical verses to forcibly spank and rape her:

According to the lawsuit filed by former church member Davina Kelly, she went to Mr. Allen for spiritual counseling in November 2001. At the sessions, he would talk to her and assign her biblical passages. If she didn’t read them, she would be punished, she said.

Ms. Kelly, a 34-year-old mother of three, said Mr. Allen then gave her a Bible and asked her to turn to passages such as the one that yielded the phrase “spare the rod, spoil the child.”

“It ended up being a lot of Scripture on spanking for the most part – parents disciplining their children,” she said in a February interview. “When he had me read them, it became obvious he meant for it to be spanking me.”

You’d think, assuming that this woman has more than a single kernel of candy corn for a brain, that this would be a major warning flag that perhaps this is not the spiritual guidance she is looking for. But perhaps it wasn’t immediately clear to this poor deluded woman at the time.

After the third meeting, she said, Mr. Allen told her to grab her ankles and swatted her once with a green wooden paddle.

“I felt a bit confused,” she said. “Afterward, he hugged me, told me he loved me. He just wanted me to obey.”

Here we have the second major warning flag that the dear pastor was interested in more than just her spiritual health. You’d think that’d be obvious at this point, but then you’d be under estimating the true power of faith!

The paddling escalated from there, she said, with Mr. Allen ordering her to pull down her jeans and then her underwear. Ms. Kelly said she was hesitant but believed so devoutly in Mr. Allen’s power that she viewed it as a spiritual father/daughter relationship.

“I looked at him as a man of God, my pastor,” she said. “I just revered him. I always thought he was hearing from God.”

It seemed wrong, but she just assumed God was telling him what to do so she went along with it. Makes perfect sense, if you have the brains of a trout.

Around March or April 2005, Mr. Allen made sexual advances and eventually added sex as part of her punishment, she said.

Because having sex with your pastor is a perfectly logical punishment for God to order upon someone, right? Perhaps we should be asking, “Who Would Jesus Do?”

What’s really amazing about this story is that since Ms. Kelly filed her lawsuit at least eight other women have come forward with similar accusations at least one of whom was 13 years old at the time she was assaulted. The pastor is accused of engaging in this behavior over a 25 year period and isn’t being charged with any criminal offenses at this point in time, though he has been suspended by the national body of the Church of God in Christ, which is something I suppose.