From Ghana: "Virginity Clubs" blame women for HIV
Esther Kaplan printable version print page     Bookmark and Share
Tue Jan 24, 2006 at 04:02:06 PM EST
I came across a disturbing piece by Dinah Kpodo in the Ghanaian paper Public Agenda, published on January 20. It gives a ground's-eye view of how damaging the United States' dogmatic promotion of abstinence-only programs can be to girls and women.
In it, Kpodo writes:

It is amazing how fast virgin clubs are springing up in the country.

Different groups, non-governmental organizations and even secondary schools are actively involved in the formation of these clubs. These clubs are said to be formed to educate members on topics such as HIV/AIDS, teenage pregnancy etc. Interestingly, members of these clubs are only girls....

It baffles my mind anytime I see young girls paraded on television as virgins fighting against HIV/AIDS, teenage pregnancy or Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs) with the boys nowhere in sight on this campaign. Virginity clubbing, virginity testing or virginity promotion places the responsibility of practicing sexual restraint on women and girls ONLY, meanwhile in our society, women have no control over their own sexuality, they even lack the power to negotiate for safe or protected sex.

How are these virgins found? ... I heard a leader of one of these virgin clubs stating that the girls are tested and even examined by medical doctors before they are permitted to be members of the club; that is if they pass the test.

Virginity testing is nothing but discrimination and violence against women that violates their rights. The process of establishing one's virginity status violates women's rights as stated in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action in 1995. No one actually
has the right to insert fingers, instruments, and other objects into a female's vagina to check if her hymen is intact or not.

Simply put, virginity testing is a gender approach that places the onus of sexual restraint on girls only and sends the signal that it is alright for a man to infect his newly wed virgin with the deadly virus. It also gives the impression that women are responsible for the spread of the virus so if measures are put in place to control their sexual conduct HIV would be an issue of the past.

In some Ghanaian communities for instance, a boiled egg is inserted into the young girl's vagina and the ease or difficulty with which it enters would indicate if she is a virgin or not. Readers the rest is left to your imagination.

Since sexual intercourse is not the only means of breaking ones hymen, what then happens to a young girl who does not have her hymen intact due to several reasons such as sporting activity? Is she turned away from the club, how does she explain to herself, her family and friends? Who bears the disappointment and shame? What about those girls who were defiled (we are aware of the high rate of defilement and incest in the country)? Are they further blamed for the injustice that was done them?

Both parents and young women have been made to believe that this is the best way to protect their daughters and themselves from teenage pregnancy, HIV/AIDS and other Sexually Transmitted Infections. Interestingly, these girls are expected to stay chaste till they get married; however, we forget that they would be getting married to men who did not go through any form of sexual restrain, control or discipline. Don't they still stand the risk of contracting HIV/AIDS after several years of abstinence, or are the boys secretly maintaining virginity and keeping 'holy'?

She ends with the following question, one that should be put directly to Randall Tobias and others charged with implementing Bush's global AIDS plan:

Since sexual intercourse accounts for 85% of transmission of HIV/AIDS and under normal circumstances sex takes place between a man and a woman, why then is the pressure to prevent its spread placed squarely on the shoulders of women?

"Texas state law requires abstinence be taught as the "preferred choice of behavior for unmarried people of school age." Schools are allowed to teach about contraception but are not required to do so, and they may not distribute condoms to students." [ source ]

THE POLICY : "HIV, STD, and Pregnancy Prevention Education
Texas does not require schools to provide instruction in HIV, STD, or pregnancy prevention education, although these topics are included throughout the Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills for Health Education (1997) guidance document. If school districts choose to provide this instruction, Texas Education Code 28.004 (2001) requires that they must "present abstinence from sexual activity as the preferred choice of behavior in relationship to all sexual activity for unmarried persons of school age; devote more attention to abstinence from sexual activity than to any other behavior; emphasize that abstinence from sexual activity, if used consistently and correctly, is the only method that is 100 percent effective in preventing pregnancy, sexually transmitted diseases, infection with human immunodeficiency virus or acquired immune deficiency syndrome, and the emotional trauma associated with adolescent sexual activity; direct adolescents to a standard of behavior in which abstinence from sexual activity before marriage is the most effective way to prevent pregnancy, sexually transmitted diseases, and infection with human immunodeficiency virus or acquired immune deficiency syndrome; and teach contraception and condom use in terms of human use reality rates instead of theoretical laboratory rates, if instruction on contraception and condoms is included in curriculum content. A school district may not distribute condoms in connection with instruction relating to human sexuality." Curriculum must be approved by "a local school health education advisory council to assist the district in ensuring that local community values are reflected in the district's health education instruction." [ source ]


Image hosting by Photobucket

"Abstinence Only" does not work. It kills.

by Bruce Wilson on Wed Jan 25, 2006 at 12:11:04 PM EST

WWW Talk To Action

Cognitive Dissonance & Dominionism Denial
There is new research on why people are averse to hearing or learning about the views of ideological opponents. Based on evaluation of five......
By Frederick Clarkson (10 comments)
Will the Air Force Do Anything To Rein In Its Dynamic Duo of Gay-Bashing, Misogynistic Bloggers?
"I always get nervous when I see female pastors/chaplains. Here is why everyone should as well: "First, women are not called to be pastors,......
By Chris Rodda (10 comments)
The Legacy of Big Oil
The media is ablaze with the upcoming publication of David Grann's book, Killers of the Flower Moon. The shocking non fiction account of the......
By wilkyjr (6 comments)
Gimme That Old Time Dominionism Denial
Over the years, I have written a great deal here and in other venues about the explicitly theocratic movement called dominionism -- which has......
By Frederick Clarkson (6 comments)
History Advisor to Members of Congress Completely Twists Jefferson's Words to Support Muslim Ban
Pseudo-historian David Barton, best known for his misquoting of our country's founders to promote the notion that America was founded as a Christian nation,......
By Chris Rodda (8 comments)
"Christian Fighter Pilot" Calls First Lesbian Air Force Academy Commandant a Liar
In a new post on his "Christian Fighter Pilot" blog titled "BGen Kristin Goodwin and the USAFA Honor Code," Air Force Lieutenant Colonel Jonathan......
By Chris Rodda (6 comments)
Catholic Right Leader Unapologetic about Call for 'Death to Liberal Professors' -- UPDATED
Today, Donald Trump appointed C-FAM Executive Vice President Lisa Correnti to the US Delegation To UN Commission On Status Of Women. (C-FAM is a......
By Frederick Clarkson (6 comments)
Controlling Information
     Yesterday I listened to Russ Limbaugh.  Rush advised listeners it would be best that they not listen to CNN,MSNBC, ABC, CBS and......
By wilkyjr (6 comments)
Is Bannon Fifth-Columning the Pope?
In December 2016 I wrote about how White House chief strategist Steve Bannon, who likes to flash his Catholic credentials when it comes to......
By Frank Cocozzelli (4 comments)
Ross Douthat's Hackery on the Seemingly Incongruous Alliance of Bannon & Burke
Conservative Catholic writer Ross Douthat has dissembled again. This time, in a February 15, 2017 New York Times op-ed titled The Trump Era's Catholic......
By Frank Cocozzelli (3 comments)
`So-Called Patriots' Attack The Rule Of Law
Every so often, right-wing commentator Pat Buchanan lurches out of the far-right fever swamp where he has resided for the past 50 years to......
By Rob Boston (4 comments)
Bad Faith from Focus on the Family
Here is one from the archives, Feb 12, 2011, that serves as a reminder of how deeply disingenuous people can be. Appeals to seek......
By Frederick Clarkson (8 comments)
The Legacy of George Wallace
"One need not accept any of those views to agree that they had appealed to real concerns of real people, not to mindless, unreasoning......
By wilkyjr (6 comments)
Betsy DeVos's Mudsill View of Public Education
My Talk to Action colleague Rachel Tabachnick has been doing yeoman's work in explaining Betsy DeVos's long-term strategy for decimating universal public education. If......
By Frank Cocozzelli (7 comments)
Prince and DeVos Families at Intersection of Radical Free Market Privatizers and Religious Right
This post from 2011 surfaces important information about President-Elect Trump's nominee for Secretary of Education, Betsy DeVos. -- FC Erik Prince, Brother of Betsy......
By Rachel Tabachnick (22 comments)

Respect for Others? or Political Correctness?
The term "political correctness" as used by Conservatives and Republicans has often puzzled me: what exactly do they mean by it? After reading Chip Berlin's piece here-- I thought about what he explained......
MTOLincoln (13 comments)
What I'm feeling now is fear.  I swear that it seems my nightmares are coming true with this new "president".  I'm also frustrated because so many people are not connecting all the dots! I've......
ArchaeoBob (8 comments)
"America - love it or LEAVE!"
I've been hearing that and similar sentiments fairly frequently in the last few days - far FAR more often than ever before.  Hearing about "consequences for burning the flag (actions) from Trump is chilling!......
ArchaeoBob (9 comments)
"Faked!" Meme
Keep your eyes and ears open for a possible move to try to discredit the people openly opposing Trump and the bigots, especially people who have experienced terrorism from the "Right"  (Christian Terrorism is......
ArchaeoBob (11 comments)
More aggressive proselytizing
My wife told me today of an experience she had this last week, where she was proselytized by a McDonald's employee while in the store. ......
ArchaeoBob (7 comments)
See if you recognize names on this list
This comes from the local newspaper, which was conservative before and took a hard right turn after it was sold. Hint: Sarah Palin's name is on it!  (It's also connected to Trump.) ......
ArchaeoBob (5 comments)
Unions: A Labor Day Discussion
This is a revision of an article which I posted on my personal board and also on Dailykos. I had an interesting discussion on a discussion board concerning Unions. I tried to piece it......
Xulon (6 comments)
Extremely obnoxious protesters at WitchsFest NYC: connected to NAR?
In July of this year, some extremely loud, obnoxious Christian-identified protesters showed up at WitchsFest, an annual Pagan street fair here in NYC.  Here's an account of the protest by Pagan writer Heather Greene......
Diane Vera (5 comments)
Capitalism and the Attack on the Imago Dei
I joined this site today, having been linked here by Crooksandliars' Blog Roundup. I thought I'd put up something I put up previously on my Wordpress blog and also at the DailyKos. As will......
Xulon (5 comments)
History of attitudes towards poverty and the churches.
Jesus is said to have stated that "The Poor will always be with you" and some Christians have used that to refuse to try to help the poor, because "they will always be with......
ArchaeoBob (14 comments)
Alternate economy medical treatment
Dogemperor wrote several times about the alternate economy structure that dominionists have built.  Well, it's actually made the news.  Pretty good article, although it doesn't get into how bad people could be (have been)......
ArchaeoBob (10 comments)
Evidence violence is more common than believed
Think I've been making things up about experiencing Christian Terrorism or exaggerating, or that it was an isolated incident?  I suggest you read this article (linked below in body), which is about our great......
ArchaeoBob (8 comments)
Central Florida Sheriff Preached Sermon in Uniform
If anyone has been following the craziness in Polk County Florida, they know that some really strange and troubling things have happened here.  We've had multiple separation of church and state lawsuits going at......
ArchaeoBob (2 comments)
Demon Mammon?
An anthropologist from outer space might be forgiven for concluding that the god of this world is Mammon. (Or, rather, The Market, as depicted by John McMurtry in his book The Cancer Stage of......
daerie (3 comments)
Anti-Sharia Fever in Texas: This is How It Starts
The mayor of a mid-size Texan city has emerged in recent months as the newest face of Islamophobia. Aligning herself with extremists hostile to Islam, Mayor Beth Van Duyne of Irving, Texas has helped......
JSanford (6 comments)

More Diaries...

All trademarks and copyrights on this page are owned by their respective companies. Comments, posts, stories, and all other content are owned by the authors. Everything else 2005 Talk to Action, LLC.