« Pre-Perspective Jitters | Main | Sorry for the Monotony »

Competing Interests

I'm going to break my normal rule of not blogging whilst inebriated. (My Perspectives final is done, the Reg State one holds little fear, and frankly, cheap Stella Artois is too good to pass up.) So forgive me if the spelling is pretty grim, but this makes a good Reg State topic.

Will Baude is hoping that the new policy in some areas of Britain--to encourage kids to have oral sex and thus delay intercourse--is going to be a good thing. He thinks it will discourage teen pregnancy. I have my skepticism. States Baude:

I know that oral sex isn't necessarily 100% safe from disease (or from whatever moral decay some people think attaches to certain kinds of sex), but it is 100% safe from pregnancy, which is especially important when some kinds of birth control are unavailable to the young (though the British system of medicine is different from the one we have here).

Well, let's look at the 'evidence' put forward by the scheme's proponents?
Now the government will recommend the scheme, called A Pause, to schools throughout England and Wales following the success of the trial in 104 schools where sexual intercourse among 16-year-olds fell by up to 20 per cent, according to Dr John Tripp of the Department of Child Health at the University of Exeter, who helped to design the course.

But does that tell you anything? How many of the girls involved were having oral sex at 16, and graduated to straight intercourse at 17? Are we any better off as a society because those acts of intercourse were delayed by a year? How much of this was merely a delay of the problem by a statistically meaningless fraction? We don't know. (Though the study does say that, "Schoolchildren, particularly girls, who received such training developed a 'more mature' response to sex." How lovely.)

More to the point, oral sex carries its own risks. Baude mentions that "I know that oral sex isn't necessarily 100% safe from disease (or from whatever moral decay some people think attaches to certain kinds of sex), but it is 100% safe from pregnancy, which is especially important when some kinds of birth control are unavailable to the young (though the British system of medicine is different from the one we have here)." You'll excuse me if the idea of raising a generation of girls with a higher rate of oral herpes or genital warts--both nicely spread through unprotected oral sex--doesn't seem like a sterling policy victory.

My dismay at this program basically rests in its uselessness. Somehow I can't imagine that British teenagers need training in the fact that oral sex is a 'safer' alternative to normal sex, expecially with relation to pregnancy. I base this on the fact that even the benighted young gentleman of Alabama, where I spent my youth, were often quite ready to encourage a young lady to participate in fellatio as a sign of affection that didn't risk pregnancy, and I never got the impression that the men or women of England were substantially less-inclined to the obvious. In the meantime, by encouraging oral sex as a way-point, you might actually be promoting health problems, a far cry from the Observer's conclusion that this "dispel[s] the fears of family campaigners who believe such methods actually arouse the sexual interest of teenagers."

To make this conclusion, you'd need more than the Observer's hope and assertion: you'd need data that these women (and, let's not forget, their partners) didn't suffer from a greater rate of oral herpes or genital warts. You'd need some idea of the baseline number of girls who were engaging in fellatio anyway. You'd need, in short, a solid defense and reasonable data, instead of the sort of article the Observer likes to print because it can score cheap points against "family campaigners."

The relationship ot Reg State, of course, is that this is the kind of hole you have to pick in a fact-pattern: how did the proponent of the idea fail to get from X to Y. But mostly, it's just an example of why I think the Observer isn't a particularly good newspaper, unless you already agree with what it says. In which case, I can't imagine why it's useful.

TrackBack

TrackBack URL for this entry:
http://www.threeyearsofhell.com/cgi-user/mt/mtPleaseLinktoMe.cgi/538

Comments

I ask only for a little elaboration. Where did you get cheap Stella? [This is a serious question, I need beer to even comprehend Reg. St., and Stella fits the bill. It will fit the budget too, if you can tell me where to get it cheap]
Shame on you for not reading the fucking article "Those behind the course stress the scheme does not suggest teenagers experiment with oral sex." They are I imagine more likely to know than an Observer hack looking for a headline. It's also worth noting that over the age of 16 it's their own damn business anyway. Teaching them how to use condoms beats the hell out of 'wait for marriage'. None of this makes Mr Baud any less foolish since he probably hasn't read it either, but I'd have expected you to have at least read the original piece.
Sorry, just remembered you're drunk. Your failure to check sources is excused. Plus, congratulations on beating another round of exams. Don't know how many are left before you're officially a scary lawyer - but you're getting there!
Fellow Servant: Split pitchers at the West End. So it wasn't really cheap, per se, as much as a team-Stella matter. Martin: I caught that, and actually I read the article two days ago. I'll admit to that being a source of some significant confusion on my part, even whilst sober. Assuming that it isn't encouraging oral sex--the implication of a stopping point is 'do this instead'--I'm sort of unclear on how the course differs from a sex-ed course of normal vintage? I assumed that the sentence you quote was some kind of pro forma denial. Thanks for the congrats, though! I'm still two years from lawyerhood, so it's not that close.
It's a sticky question, that's for sure. I'm wondering if the success of the study is not due to teens having more oral (and thus less genital) sex, but perhaps to the open discussions of previously hush-hush topics, thereby making the "forbidden fruits" somewhat less attractive (well, more 'ho-hum' anyway) to young adults eager to learn the rules of the game... I think most social conservatives would even agree that removing the shame and secretiveness from the topic of sex would lead to a more mature attitude among youngsters, but how to go about doing so without actually saying "go ahead, give it a try" is problematic.
The whole thing sounds a lot like normal sex ed. I'd guess 'stopping points' do indeed involve things like 'do this instead' such as 'walk out of the room'.
I'm sure in a lot of people would rather have oral sex and take away the rate of pregnancies. Although it is not the same feeling(s) I think it is a better alternative.
I'm sure in a lot of people would rather have oral sex and take away the rate of pregnancies. Although it is not the same feeling(s) I think it is a better alternative.
Oral sex is not that safe... You can catch both AIDS and herpes and some other deseases. The safest was to have sex is to use both oral contraceptive medicines and condoms. And even if you use condoms only, the protection is quite high. The society has to support safe sex. If we can't prevent teens from having sex, they should know all the safety rules.

Post a comment

NOTICE TO SPAMMERS, COMMENT ROBOTS, TRACKBACK SPAMMERS AND OTHER NON-HUMAN VISITORS: No comment or trackback left via a robot is ever welcome at Three Years of Hell. Your interference imposes significant costs upon me and my legitimate users. The owner, user or affiliate who advertises using non-human visitors and leaves a comment or trackback on this site therefore agrees to the following: (a) they will pay fifty cents (US$0.50) to Anthony Rickey (hereinafter, the "Host") for every spam trackback or comment processed through any blogs hosted on threeyearsofhell.com, morgrave.com or housevirgo.com, irrespective of whether that comment or trackback is actually posted on the publicly-accessible site, such fees to cover Host's costs of hosting and bandwidth, time in tending to your comment or trackback and costs of enforcement; (b) if such comment or trackback is published on the publicly-accessible site, an additional fee of one dollar (US$1.00) per day per URL included in the comment or trackback for every day the comment or trackback remains publicly available, such fee to represent the value of publicity and search-engine placement advantages.

Giving The Devil His Due

Choose Stylesheet

What I'm Reading

cover
D.C. Noir

My city. But darker.
cover
A Clockwork Orange

About time I read this...


Shopping

Projects I've Been Involved With

A Round-the-World Travel Blog: Devil May Care (A new round-the-world travel blog, co-written with my wife)
Parents for Inclusive Education (From my Clinic)

Syndicated from other sites

The Columbia Continuum
Other Blogs by CLS students

De Novo
Theory and Practice
Liberal Federalism?
Good News, No Foolin'


Althouse
Nancy Pelosi covers her head and visits the head of John the Baptist.
Vlogging in from Austin.
Omikase/"American Idol"


Jeremy Blachman's Weblog: 2007
Happy Passover
Looking for Advice re: LA
Google Books


Stay of Execution
What I've Learned From This Blog, or My Yellow Underpants
The End
Mid Thirties


Legal Theory Blog
Program Announcement: Summer Programs on the Constitution at George Washington
Book Announement: Political Foundations of Judicial Supremacy by Whittington
Entry Level Hiring Report


The Volokh Conspiracy
Making the Daily Show:
Civil unions pass New Hampshire House:
Profile of Yale Law Dean Harold Koh:


Crescat Sententia
Hillary II
Hillary
Politics and Principal/Agents


Law Dork
Election Approaches
Following Lewis
New Jersey High Court: 'Same Rights and Benefits'


IrishLaw
Homecoming
Surveying the revival
Birds of paradise


Half the Sins of Mankind
Cheney Has Spoken Religious conservatives who may ...
Does Ahmadinejad Know Christianity Better Than MSN...
Borders as Genocide In discussions of climate chan...


pf.org
Progress
For lovers of garden gnomes...and any China-freaks out there
We Interrupt Your Regularly Scheduled Programming


Ideoblog
Does SOX explain the flight from NY?
More Litvak on SOX effect on cross-listed firms
What did the market learn from internal controls reporting?


The Yin Blog
Iowa City = Riyadh
Jeffrey Rosen's "The Supreme Court"
Geek alert -- who would win between Battlestar Galactica and the U.S.S. Enterprise?


Letters of Marque
Graduation
And there we are
Oil!


BuffaloWings&Vodka
Signing Off


Dark Bilious Vapors
Jim (The Waco Kid): Where you headed, cowboy?
Bart: Nowhere special.
Jim: Nowhere special. I always wanted to go there.
Bart: Come on.
--"Blazing Saddles"

Technical Difficulties... please stand by....
The Onion should have gotten a patent first....


Legal Ethics Forum
Interesting new Expert DQ case
Decency, Due Care, and The Yoo-Delahunty Memorandum
Thinking About the Fired U.S. Attorneys


Ex Post
Student Symposium- Chicago!
More Hmong - Now at Law School
Good Samaritan Laws: Good For America?


Appellate Law & Practice
Those turned over documents
CA1: courts can’t help people acquitted of crimes purge the taint of acquitted conduct
CA1: restrictions on chain liquor stores in Rhode Island are STILL okay


the imbroglio
High schoolers turn in plagiarism screeners for copyright infringement
talisman
Paris to offer 20,600 bikes at 1,450 stations to rent by the end of the year


The Republic of T.
The Secret of the Snack Attack
links for 2007-04-04
Where You Link is What You Get

Distractions for stressed law students

The Other Side: Twisted AnimationsSomething Positive, a truly good webcomic

Syndicate This Site

Sitemeter

Technologies


Stop Spam Harvesters, Join Project Honey Pot