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Author Topic: Penn and Teller: Bullshit! on Abstinence  (Read 4662 times)
Cauton
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« on: August 25, 2006, 05:45:27 AM »

Linky. -- EDIT (Spoiler?!) -- Contains Nudity.

Informing kids about the risk of unprotected sex: Good.

Telling kids that they should not be allowed to have sex before marriage: Wrong.

Pretending condoms isn't an effective method of preventing STDs and teenage pregnancy? Saying that you can get AIDS from sweat and tears? Claiming that you can get pregnant from touch. Saying that even masturbation is a bad idea:   Fucking insane.

The missinformation in the abstinence movement is rampant. Discuss.
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Leo
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« Reply #1 on: August 25, 2006, 07:01:09 AM »

All of those assertions are absurd, and downright silly. As far as abstinence is concerned, it's up to the individual. It's not wise to dictate one's lifestyle, with extreme restrictions, however, that's not to say kids are ready to have sex at young ages. And I mean an age range of 11-17.

I confess, I didn't watch much of that video, as the beginning looked odd. :P But I thought I'd add my two cents, anyway.
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Marshmallow
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« Reply #2 on: August 25, 2006, 09:39:39 AM »

I love Bullshit--it's a great show. I have a couple issues with the whole abstinence movement. While I'd rather teenagers and the like lean towards not having casual, unsafe sex, I completely detest lying or misinformation in any form, so I'm pretty enraged about some of the tactics used by the abstinence movement. Some of that shit sounds like it came straight out of the 1950's, though. Getting pregnant from touch? Yeah fucking right.
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Ramza
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« Reply #3 on: August 25, 2006, 12:56:13 PM »

I know we don't specifically have a rule against it in our boards list, but I for one would appreciate a *warning* regarding nudity in anything you link to. Y'know, the Asian girl that masturbates that they stick all over the show? Yeah, that'd be something worth warning people about.

My thoughts about the topic:

"Abstinence Only" is kind of silly education; it's a kind of prosyletizing, and it's generally done by Christians who find preaching abstinence as holy a practice as preaching salvation.

Rather, if a teenager *decides* they would prefer abstinence only, then it may be worth having an abstinence course for them, in which you can preach to the choir.

To everyone else (and hey, why not, even the abstinent teens too), basics on contraceptives and the like, it can't hurt to know. I know not every teenager is wildly intelligent and thoughtful, but one can assume that after giving the INFORMATION, teens can make moral decisions for themselves.

I'd like to point out, however, that the Penn and Teller episode was shamefully low-brow and more of a jab at conservatives than anything else. They went beyond villainizing the abstinence movement to actually villainizing abstinence, as though it were some IMPOSSIBLE feat (and they also called marriage an "arbitrary line," which is a pretty stupid comment IMO).

In my high school, we were taught all about everything...no abstinence-only preaching. The teaching actually bothered me enough to align myself with groups like CCLI, the Catholic no-contraceptives-so-you-can-be-makin'-babies-like-crazy organization (NFP, Natural Family Planning, all that...my high school gave it a bad rap). So, with enough luck, teaching kids the facts in an objective manner *ought* to push the already-backward-conservative kids (such as myself) to where their conservative parents want them to be, and everyone else has wild sex without getting their bodies into too much havok. Everybody wins.

Ramza
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Cauton
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« Reply #4 on: August 25, 2006, 01:15:10 PM »

Quote from: "Ramza"
I know we don't specifically have a rule against it in our boards list, but I for one would appreciate a *warning* regarding nudity in anything you link to. Y'know, the Asian girl that masturbates that they stick all over the show? Yeah, that'd be something worth warning people about.


Uh, I quite cleary remember a case where Dade linked to tubgirl, and noone raised an eyebrow over that, so excuse me for not warning about a naked woman. Besides, I didn't think to warn about it because, frankly, I fail to see why it would be offensive. Not like it was hardcore porn or anything.

Quote from: "Ramza"
I'd like to point out, however, that the Penn and Teller episode was shamefully low-brow and more of a jab at conservatives than anything else. They went beyond villainizing the abstinence movement to actually villainizing abstinence, as though it were some IMPOSSIBLE feat (and they also called marriage an "arbitrary line," which is a pretty stupid comment IMO).


Of course it was, it's supposed to be entertainment after all. However, that doesn't change the fact that the abstinence movement is spreading misinformation and trying to scare teenages into abstinence. And they called marriage an "arbitrary line" in regards to when one should stop being abstinent. And it *IS* an arbitrary line. How does sex magically become a good thing after marriage, and when it is not before it?
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Marshmallow
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« Reply #5 on: August 25, 2006, 02:17:50 PM »

Quote from: "Cauton"
Quote from: "Ramza"
I know we don't specifically have a rule against it in our boards list, but I for one would appreciate a *warning* regarding nudity in anything you link to. Y'know, the Asian girl that masturbates that they stick all over the show? Yeah, that'd be something worth warning people about.


Uh, I quite cleary remember a case where Dade linked to tubgirl, and noone raised an eyebrow over that, so excuse me for not warning about a naked woman. Besides, I didn't think to warn about it because, frankly, I fail to see why it would be offensive. Not like it was hardcore porn or anything.


Umm, Dade doesn't count. He's been linking to tubgirl since way before I joined the boards, and it doesn't look like he's gonna stop.

Also, offensive or not, maybe Ramza was at work or something. I certainly know I wouldn't like it if my boss walked by as I had a picture of a naked woman on my screen. . . . still better than if it were a naked man, but still.
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Parn
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« Reply #6 on: August 25, 2006, 02:23:32 PM »

Quote from: "Cauton"
Besides, I didn't think to warn about it because, frankly, I fail to see why it would be offensive. Not like it was hardcore porn or anything.

Don't play dumb Cauton.  You're most certainly aware of American culture and how things of this nature are generally censored on public television here.  As if a nearly naked woman masturbating is something appropriate for all viewing ages.  Come on now.  And I'm not defending Dade's linking either.

Quote from: "Cauton"
However, that doesn't change the fact that the abstinence movement is spreading misinformation and trying to scare teenages into abstinence.

Ramza already acknowledged the whole misinformation deal.  He's in agreement on that issue, so why you felt the need to remind everyone of it makes one scratch his/her head.

Quote from: "Cauton"
And they called marriage an "arbitrary line" in regards to when one should stop being abstinent. And it *IS* an arbitrary line. How does sex magically become a good thing after marriage, and when it is not before it?

It's an arbitrary line for you perhaps, but believe it or not, there are people on this planet who might actually disagree with this position!  Some people practice this crazy thing on Earth called "religion", and often times they take those things that they're taught to heart.

It is entirely possible to agree with the notion of this abstinence-only program being harmful due to it leaving students completely ignorant of contraceptives, but yet still believe that marriage is important.  For example, I think marriage is important and not some arbitrary line.  This isn't a black-and-white scenario, and it is feasible to agree with some of, but not all of an opinion piece.
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Cauton
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« Reply #7 on: August 25, 2006, 02:34:13 PM »

Quote from: "Parn"

Don't play dumb Cauton.  You're most certainly aware of American culture and how things of this nature are generally censored on public television here.  As if a nearly naked woman masturbating is something appropriate for all viewing ages.  Come on now.  And I'm not defending Dade's linking either.


Alright, true enough. But honestly, the reason I didn't warny about it was because it was a small segment of the show, and I didn't even consider it when I posted. It wasn't really the point of the show, or of my post, and so it slipped my mind.

Quote from: "Parn"

Ramza already acknowledged the whole misinformation deal.  He's in agreement on that issue, so why you felt the need to remind everyone of it makes one scratch his/her head.


I did restate it because Ramza attacked the show and made it sound like Penn and Teller were to hard on the abstinence movement. I agreed with this, but said that even so that does not diminish the stupidity of their misinformation.

Quote from: "Parn"

It's an arbitrary line for you perhaps, but believe it or not, there are people on this planet who might actually disagree with this position!  Some people practice this crazy thing on Earth called "religion", and often times they take those things that they're taught to heart.

It is entirely possible to agree with the notion of this abstinence-only program being harmful due to it leaving students completely ignorant of contraceptives, but yet still believe that marriage is important.  For example, I think marriage is important and not some arbitrary line.  This isn't a black-and-white scenario, and it is feasible to agree with some of, but not all of an opinion piece.


Well, of course it is only my opinion. I can only speak for myself. Just because I didn't preface my statement with an "in my opinion" doesn't mean that I think its a fact.

Besides, neither I nor P&T are saying that marriage in itself is an arbitrary line. Just that it's arbitrary to chose marriage as the point when sex magically becomse good, wholesome and morally correct.

And yes, I'm aware of the existance of religion. However, religion isn't the point of this topic, so I'm not going to touch that one. Way too inflammatory.
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Ashton
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« Reply #8 on: August 25, 2006, 02:41:19 PM »

So they're wasting our money on this bullshit? Wonderful.

I'd be shocked and awed, but really, this doesn't surprise me. The American Government puts forth taxpayers' money to a lot of stupid ass dipshit things, so it comes as no real surprise that this would be one of them. Paying people to lie to our children? What the fuck? Isn't that what the government was attempting to sue the videogame industry for? Talk about your double standards, eh?
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Parn
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« Reply #9 on: August 25, 2006, 02:49:16 PM »

Quote from: "Cauton"
Alright, true enough. But honestly, the reason I didn't warny about it was because it was a small segment of the show, and I didn't even consider it when I posted. It wasn't really the point of the show, or of my post, and so it slipped my mind.

I'll concede on that note.

Quote from: "Cauton"
I did restate it because Ramza attacked the show and made it sound like Penn and Teller were to hard on the abstinence movement. I agreed with this, but said that even so that does not diminish the stupidity of their misinformation.

He did no such thing.  He said that he felt they went beyond just villainizing the abstinence movement.  He agreed with the show's core point.

Quote from: "Cauton"
Besides, neither I nor P&T are saying that marriage in itself is an arbitrary line.   Just that it's arbitrary to chose marriage as the point when sex magically becomse good, wholesome and morally correct.

This sounds like a case of (mis)intepretation, due to multiple definitions of the word "arbitrary".  For example, my interpretation of the word usage based on the show's jabs at religion throughout the column, made me think of synonyms such as "unreasonable", rather than "an individual's whim or judgement".  Perhaps you meant the latter, but Penn and Teller made me think of the former.
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Ramza
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« Reply #10 on: August 25, 2006, 03:51:55 PM »

Quote from: "Parn"

Quote from: "Cauton"
I did restate it because Ramza attacked the show and made it sound like Penn and Teller were to hard on the abstinence movement. I agreed with this, but said that even so that does not diminish the stupidity of their misinformation.

He did no such thing.  He said that he felt they went beyond just villainizing the abstinence movement.  He agreed with the show's core point.


Thank you Parn.

Indeed, I did no such thing. I did not say, or even imply, that Penn and Teller were too hard on the abstinence movement. I said that they're too hard on ABSTINENCE...like, as a concept. They basically said, "if you have a brain, you know abstinence is one dumb-ass idea."

As for this...

Quote from: "Cauton"
Besides, neither I nor P&T are saying that marriage in itself is an arbitrary line.   Just that it's arbitrary to chose marriage as the point when sex magically becomse good, wholesome and morally correct.


If you wanna do some actual *study* on sexual ethics past & present, you'll understand why some people consider marriage the point where sex is morally acceptable. If you'd like to go through the song-and-dance of how it makes sense to a conservative Christian, it goes like this:

There's nothing "magic" about it. You are simply making a commitment to the public and your respective deity that you're going to unite with another person exclusively. Sex doesn't "magically" become good at that point: sex, as a concept, is always good. It's just that it goes bad when people can sleep with whoever, whenever, and set their OWN *arbitrary* standards as to when sex is a good or bad idea.

I'm not force-feeding that message to anyone, even my own children. But the way P&T systematically bash this line of thinking as though it were COMPLETELY unreasonable is about as shameful as...well, as shameful as that militant abstinence movement they're mocking.

Ramza
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Ashton
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« Reply #11 on: August 25, 2006, 03:56:45 PM »

I didn't really get the "bash abstinence" vibe from them in the video. I thought they were mainly bashing the "abstinence only" movement instead of abistinence itself.
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everluck
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« Reply #12 on: August 25, 2006, 04:03:34 PM »

This is why I like these boards. There's no 15 year old douche ranting about his immature sexual exploits or how much ass he thinks he gets in a week.

My view on sex is it's all up to the person. The only education I can see as being useful is real information on contraceptives, STDs, and pregnancy (and options for unwanted pregnancies). Being force-fed the idea of abstinence is ignorant. Abstaining from sex just because your religion tells you to is also ignorant. That's like saying a Democrat has to always vote for his party, not the person. Even if you're religious, you can't allow yourself to be brainwashed by that religion. Like the video said, everyone needs to make their own decisions. If you choose sex, good for you. If you choose abstinence, well, that's fine too. But... good luck.
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« Reply #13 on: August 25, 2006, 05:31:25 PM »

I have to agree with Pat on the issue of Penn & Teller bashing abstinance itself. They made halfhearted attempts to say that it was okay to be abstinant, but they really did make it out to be only for losers and ignorant fundies.

But having taught human anatomy, as well as reproduction & development in a Catholic school, I will say that I was surprised with how much I could get away with saying to them, but I also found myself very restricted in what I could not tell them. I think at my school we're lucky in that the parents generally educate their kids about this stuff, but that's by no means all of it, and I'm not privy to how outside the religion those parents go to educate about contraception.

HOWEVER, one thing I ALWAYS teach, and this is NOT something the Catholic church has a problem with (and no, I'm not Catholic or religious by any standard) is educating children about the dangers of STDs and what they cause. I teach my kids that the only way you can catch an STD is by transmission of semen or blood, and that with the latter it's actually much more difficult than the former. We discuss diseases such as HIV, syphillus, herpes, etc. in real terms.

Anyway, my 2 cents.
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Ramza
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« Reply #14 on: August 25, 2006, 05:39:22 PM »

Quote
I didn't really get the "bash abstinence" vibe from them in the video. I thought they were mainly bashing the "abstinence only" movement instead of abistinence itself.


"Tonight's show is about the arbitrary promise of sexual abstinence: remaining a virgin and holding off having sex until some arbitrary cutoff point, like, say...marriage. Might be some new kind of kink, but it's also, BULLSHIT!"

"Kids everywhere are taking pledges not to get laid until marriage...WHAT THE FUCK *hasn't* gotten into them?!"

Granted, after the interview with 4 virgin young adults, Penn says:

"Deciding to remain abstinent because you like the idea is just fine...but imagine deciding at 15 to wait to fuck til you're 25...that's a ten-year striptease."

So, yeah, on the surface, they say they're not bashing abstinence. But earlier quotes seem to imply the general idea that "pledging" abstinence is unrealistic and...well...bullshit, as he said.

Explicitly, they certainly don't go too far in bashing abstinence, but I'd still say there are subtle implications in the monologues that say "yeah...like anyone's REALLY gonna stay a virgin until marriage."

Quote
This is why I like these boards. There's no 15 year old douche ranting about his immature sexual exploits or how much ass he thinks he gets in a week.


Hear hear! Let's all give ourselves a pat on the back for not turning this thread into lame e-peen bragging or flamebait.

Ramza
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