Tuesday, February 02, 2010

Life Links 2/2/10

The Washington Post has an article on a new study showing that abstinence-only education was more successful in delaying sexual activities among African-American middle-school students than other types of sex education.
The study released Monday involved 662 African American students from four public middle schools in a city in the Northeastern United States. It was conducted between 2001 and 2004.

Students were randomly assigned to go through one of the following: an eight-hour curriculum that encouraged them to delay having sex; an eight-hour program focused on teaching safe sex; an eight- or 12-hour program that did both; or an eight-hour program focused on teaching them other ways to be healthy, such as eating well and exercising. The abstinence-only portion involved a series of sessions in which instructors talked to students in small groups about their views about abstinence and their knowledge of HIV and other sexually transmitted diseases. They also conducted role-playing exercises and brainstorming sessions designed to correct misconceptions about sex and sexually transmitted diseases, encourage abstinence and offer ways to resist pressure to have sex.

Over the next two years, about 33 percent of the students who went through the abstinence program started having sex, compared with about 52 percent who were taught only safe sex. About 42 percent of the students who went through the comprehensive program started having sex, and about 47 percent of those who learned about other ways to be healthy did.
I'm amazed that a single 8-hour program could have this kind of significant results.

Never known from shying away from saying something incredibly stupid, the View's Joy Behar said that Tim Tebow could have "easily become some kind of a rapist pedophile."

A group of stem cell researchers are claiming that a small group of scientists are blocking their work from being published.
The open letter to the major scientific journals claims that "papers that are scientifically flawed or comprise only modest technical increments often attract undue profile. At the same time publication of truly original findings may be delayed or rejected"....

These kinds of allegations are not new and not confined to stem cell research. But professors Smith and Lovell-Badge believe that the problem has become particularly acute in their field of research recently for two reasons.

Firstly, research grants and career progression are now determined almost entirely by whether a scientist gets published in a major research journal. Secondly, in stem cell science, hundreds of millions of pounds are available for research - and so there is a greater temptation for those that want the money to behave unscrupulously.

In the UK, the papers are ablaze with the story of soccer star John Terry's affair with an ex-teammate's now former girlfriend and how she had an abortion after becoming pregnant.

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