Teen Sex Not Always Bad for School Performance

Bloged in Culture, Musings, Parenting, Society, World by Mel Tuesday August 17, 2010

One of the items to make the headline news today / yesterday / recently was an Associated Press report (and variations thereof) on the findings of the Americian Sociological Association in Atlanta, that teen sex does not necessarily affect school grades : see truncated article at TIME here.  In what the report claims is a challenge "to some extent assumptions that sexually active teens do poorer in schools", it was said that

It’s not so much whether a teen has sex that determines academic success, the researchers say, but the type of sexual relationship they’re engaged in. Teens in serious relationships may find social and emotional support in their sex partners, reducing their anxiety and stress levels in life and in school.


Researchers found that those who have casual flings get lower grades and have more school-related problems compared with those who abstain.

From this it appears that several experts in the US have asked for sex education to be reviewed in schools, to emphasise "importance of relationships and spell out the consequences of casual sex" (Albright). 

I’m not sure what that means exactly since I don’t have the benefit of reading the quote in context, though it sounds suspiciously like a an attempt to justify a more permissive attitude towards sex so long as teenagers are taught that sexual activity is confined to stable or committed relationships.

My thoughts are :

(1)  Society’s concern about teenage sex, whether casual or within in a more stable or committed relationship, transcends more than just grades.  There are issues such as teenage pregnancies, sexually transmitted infections and emotional hurt that a teenager may not be prepared to cope with (when a relationship finally breaks down), which society needs to grapple with.

(2)  If teenage sex within the confines of a stable or committed relationship is not as bad an idea as the report claims it to be, perhaps it is now time for society to pour resources into getting teenagers into the ultimate form of a stable, committed relationship — marriage !  If teenage sex is almost unavoidable, which is what liberals believe nowadays, we might as well get them married first !  That way, they’ll still make it to university.

Two Happy Songs

Bloged in Life, Generally by Mel Thursday August 12, 2010

These two happy songs, variations of the same melody from Jason Mraz, make me want to relive my childhood days (on Sesame Street) and go on a holiday !

I have to confess to liking the Sesame Street version better, in some ways. Aren’t there days when you feel like walking up to the boss, and telling him with wide-eyed childlike innocence that “I wont stay inside no more no more I cannot wait to go outdoors …”


To Singapore on her 45th Birthday

Bloged in Faith, Musings, Society by Mel Monday August 9, 2010

On your 45th birthday, I pray that you never lose sight of God or stop seeking the eternal. 

Your temples, your churches, your mosques do not point to one God, one view of eternity, not now.  But they are constant reminders that human hands are not sufficient for success, that there is a spiritual beyond the secular, that the immediate can impact the afterlife.

When we tear down your temples to erect malls, convert churches to casinos, turn mosques into museums, then we would have lost God, lost our soul, lost hope.

May that never be. 

Even as we materially prosper and feast at buffet tables, may we realise that success is not measured by money alone, that fullness does not follow from an abundance of food.

If we continue to realise our need for God, to long for what is eternal, then in that we would find hope, find God, find our soul.

"You will seek Me and find Me when you seek Me with all your heart." (Jeremiah 29 : 13)

"What good is it for a man, to gain the whole world, yet forfeit his soul ?" (Mark 8 : 36)

Aware about Censorship

Bloged in Life, Generally by Mel Saturday August 7, 2010

I read on Straits Times online, an article on a petition against censorship — "Censorship Isn’t Working : Regulate Instead". 

Petitions and online forums intrigue me, because they are one of the few avenues in which Singaporeans openly express their opinions, and also because they have been accused in the past of having been manipulated to inflate online signatures or participants.

I was also intrigued that Singaporeans are for once calling for more regluation instead of less.

Now doubly intrigued, I googled "Censorship Isn’t Working : Regulate Instead".

Google Results -

And was surprised to see that the third link, after the Arts Engage the group responsible for the petition, and ahead of even the Straits Times article, pointed to AWARE, the Association of Women for Action and Research.

AWARE has in the past been accused of allowing itself to be hijacked for causes that had more to do with conservative Christian objections to homosexuality at one end and, at the other extreme, liberal gay and lesbian rights, than with women.  (In brief, several conservative Christians took the view that AWARE was being used as a platform to advocate for gay and lesbian rights, and got themselves elected into the AWARE Executive Committee, in order to steer AWARE back to its original causes.  This prompted a backlash from, I suppose, people who felt that a society should not be hijacked by conservative Christians with a common objection to gay and lesbian rights, and I assume advocates for gay and lesbian rights, who convened an extraordinary general meeting to vote them out).

The link to AWARE left me truly intrigued.  How are arts and women connected ?  Is AWARE now being hijacked by anti-censorship advocates ?



The AWARE article on "Have you said NO to censorship" doesn’t disclose why AWARE has any interest in the issue of censorship of the arts.  It doesn’t, for example, suggest that such censorship prevents women from freely expressing their opinions through art, or that it affects the liberty or livelihood of women in the arts industry.  It does, however, invite readers to sign the petition by clicking on a link at the bottom of the page.  Furthermore, I note that "Have you said NO to censorship" is unlike the other articles on the same page which deal with issues that are more clearly related to women’s concerns, such as eating disorders, helping someone deal with domestic violence and sexual harassment.

So I don’t have answers to the questions I’ve posed above, not that it really matters to me (since I’m male), other than to say that there appears to be merit to the allegations that AWARE has allowed itself to become a platform for causes other than women’s causes.

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