April 28th, 2009

breaking bad

Abstinence education

You can well imagine that I am not a massive fan of 'abstinence education'. However, I had no idea how bad it was until I read a recent comment thread on slacktivist. A regular commenter called 'hapax' was complaining about the abstinence education textbook at her daughter's school.

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Jake: "I just cannot bring myself to believe that it is possible that a textbook would contain that phrase, or anything close enough to it to be called "direct quote"."

Hapax: I had trouble believing it myself until my daughter brought the book home. Here you go:
From CHOOSING THE BEST LIFE: An Abstinence-Focused Curriculum, by Bruce Cook. Student Manual, 4th ed.

p. 13. Lesson Two: What Do You Know About 'Date Rape'?

Question 5. True or False: The victim shares in the blame of the rape.

(answer: True).
That's all the context that's in the book, but my daughter informs me (and later pages in the workbook back her up) that the accompanying video made it very clear that any female who is slutty enough to be alone with a male is pretty much asking for it, since males ... are incapable of controlling their base animal desires.

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That seems like a reliable reference to me. Anyway, I think this shows that so-called 'Abstinence' education is not about abstinence at all. Teaching 14 year old boys that if they rape someone it is (partly) someone else's fault is the opposite of abstinence. Telling boys that they can't be expected to control themselves is the opposite of teaching them mature adult sexual behaviour.
breaking bad

Rockabilly Revival

I've been listening to a lot of Swing revival. It seems to be merging into a Rockabilly Revival these days. Here's the Brian Setzer Orchestra doing Pennsylvania 6-5000 and In the Mood. It's like punk-swing. The singing floozies are magnificent.

Also, have you heard the Irish singer Imelda May? She's really great. My favourite by her is Big Bad Handsome Man. That's unplugged. Here's the full production version but alas without visuals. Excellent work.