Posts filed under ‘News’

The Lamentations of Lowry – Chapter 12: Let’s Talk about Sex

Who doesn’t think of the immortal and saucily-named Salt-n-Pepa when they read the title of this chapter? I’ve always wondered how Spinderella felt, being relegated to the middle “n” position while Salt & Pepa had higher profile positions. She was definitely the hot one…but I digress.

I want to talk about sex. A recent study highlighted the following fact: Teens who take abstinence pledges are just as likely to have sex as teens that don’t. CNN broke it down for me just like that. According to a Johns Hopkins OBGYN, they seem to be “useless.” Fascinating…but there’s more.

William McGurn at the Wall Street Journal points out what may be deemed “the fine print.” The headlines mask the real message of the study:

The first to notice something lost in the translation was Dr. Bernadine Healy, the former head of both the Red Cross and the National Institutes of Health. Today she serves as health editor for U.S. News & World Report. And in her dispatch on this study, Dr. Healy pointed out that “virginity pledging teens were considerably more conservative in their overall sexual behaviors than teens in general — a fact that many media reports have missed cold.”

What Dr. Healy was getting at is that the pledge itself is not what distinguishes these kids from most other teenagers. The real difference is their more conservative and religious home and social environment. As she notes, when you compare both groups in this study with teens at large, the behavioral differences are striking. Here are just a few:

– These teens generally have less risky sex, i.e., fewer sexual partners.

– These teens are less likely to have a teenage pregnancy, or to have friends who use drugs.

– These teens have less premarital vaginal sex.

– When these teens lose their virginity they tend to do so at age 21 — compared to 17 for the typical American teen.

– And very much overlooked, one out of four of these teens do in fact keep the pledge to remain chaste — amid much cheap ridicule and just about zero support outside their homes or churches.

Let’s put this another way. The real headline from this study is this: “Religious Teens Differ Little in Sexual Behavior Whether or Not They Take a Pledge.”

 The doctor quoted is named Bernardine- no offense to the Bernardines out there, but I wonder what kind of an impact names have on sexual behavior? This could be another tool for parents concerned about preventing early sexual behavior. Name your child Pincus or Herpesia or Pedofile and they won’t lose their virginity for a long time- maybe never! Again I digress…must be the subject matter.

So as McGurn concludes (If I was him I would give my child the sex-proof name of Chlamydia McGurn) what is more critical is the broader belief set of the youth, more than any specific pledge. This jives with what we learned from previous studies, explained by ABCNews in 2006 (“Racy TV Shows Increase Teen Sex Activity, Study Says”) and CBSNews earlier this year (“Study: Racy TV Linked To Teen Pregnancy”).

Mere exposure to racy TV increases sexual activity, and may even get your daughter pregnant! As an advocate for individual rights I find myself troubled by what may be an effort to control what is on the tube. I can already see the TV rights slogan (modeled after the one used by gun owners): Racy TV Shows don’t get girls pregnant, seemingly polite boys who make bogus virginity pledges get girls pregnant.

Actually, these studies only demonstrate a correlation between sexual activity and risque television programs. As with the virginity pledge study discussed above, the headlines fail to address the sociological factors that affect a variety of choices, including what TV to watch. It just reveals the shocking truth that involved parenting and familial mores has a lot to do with a child’s behavior, sexual and otherwise.

But if you remain unconvinced, name your child Rapist Pervert {Last Name}, R.P for short, and make sure they only watch Veggietales. Better safe than sorry.


January 8, 2009 at 4:47 pm 2 comments

A Tale of Two Six-Year Olds

Rarely do six-year olds make the news. What’s even more rare is when two of their stories provide the perfect back drop for the polar opposite ways one can raise her child.

Tiernan Paul, a kindergartener, is still breastfed by his mother, Robyn.  She feels it creates a closer bond between them and allows her to soothe her son. Tiernan’s two older siblings also breastfed until the age of six and they have only fond memories of their days being nursed. Robyn says she enjoys very open communication and strong relationships with her kids, due in part to their prolonged breastfeeding.

Six is definitely too old in my book for this, but you can’t argue that this mom has earned a medal of valor for her efforts in being there for her kids. (We complained to my sister that her two and a half year old was too old for it, since he was eating hot dogs in one hand and leaning in for sips in between bites. She might have been on ABC News in Robyn’s place had she not thrown in the towel shortly after she became pregnant around her son’s third birthday).

In the other corner, we have a first grader who feels like he has to fend for himself.This poor little guy missed the school bus and  hopped in mom’s Taurus and drove himself 10 miles to get there.  He slammed into a utility pole and told the sheriff “he did not want to miss breakfast and PE.” The boy’s  father had been under court order not to leave his two sons alone with their mother, so sadly, the boys have now been placed in foster care. The mom is in jail.

Even though Tiernan is poised for some tortuous years of teenage teasing and some embarrassing slides in his wedding slide show, he he has nothing on what our little Taurus driver is going to have to deal with if this is the kind of supervision and parental involvement to which he’s grown accustomed.

January 7, 2009 at 12:53 pm 9 comments

Olympic Fever

So, IRF has been on a little posting sabbatical as we have all been mesmerized by the Olympic Games (I can’t imagine what kind of effect the games are having on SportsAttitude).

I wanted to share some of my thoughts, and please add your own in the comments section.

1) Are we sure Mary Carillo has two x-chromosomes?  Here is a conversation a friend and I had:

F:  Mary Carillo admitted to taking testosterone for years.
LM:  That would explain the pantsuits.
F:  And the attraction to Billie Jean King.

2) The magical swimsuits that are helping everyone beat world records…  The doctor friend had the quote of the day on this one:  “Did you hear that they take up to 30 minutes to put on?  Apparently they come off easily, though, because as soon as Michael Phelps is out of the pool, he’s got it down so low, I could check for hernias.”

3) Beach Volleyball.  HOW DID THE BIGGEST T&A SPORT OF THE OLYMPICS TAKE THE PRIME TIME SLOT?  The schedulers at NBC ought to be shot (and in China, they probably WOULD be).  Why do I have to wait until 11pm to watch gymnastics?  That’s what all the kids want to see, and yet, it is on well past ALL of our bedtimes…  so the Children of America are forced to think that olympic games are about flat-chested women playing volleyball in bikinis.  And hugging between every point.  And the BELGIANS.  They should have selected a tasteful tank and boyshort.  If Olympians can have belly-rolls, is there hope for the rest of us?

4) Chinese gymnasts.  I REALIZE that gymnastics stunts your maturation process.  Once upon a time, I was among the stunted.  However, despite my lack of puberty, I did still manage to lose my BABY TEETH!  Here is a 16 year old before puberty sets in:

LeMare - 1995

LeMare - 1995

Here is a “16 year old” Chinese gymnast.

Anyone who has shopped in Hong Kong has appreciated the Chinese ability to make a good fake, but COME ON.  Their BIRTH CERTIFICATES?

Oh, and by the way, am I the only one who finds Bob Costas to be tiresome?

Anyhow, God Bless America.  I can’t wait for your analysis!

August 16, 2008 at 12:43 pm 4 comments


John Edwards, American Populist.

Stay classy John.

August 8, 2008 at 4:32 pm 2 comments

Adult Diapers should never enter the picture

I saw this hard hitting piece of journalism about an Adult Diaper truck turning over and littering a Houston Freeway.

Like all of you clearly did, I immediately thought of Waiting for Guffman, “Montazuma’s Revenge is nothing more than good, old-fashioned America D*******.  Adult diapers should never enter the picture.”

August 7, 2008 at 4:16 pm Leave a comment

RIP, Sophia. This slice is for you.

Estelle Getty, Sophia Petrillo, on the golden girls has “gone to the big lanai in the sky” (according to TMZ).  She was 84 years old, just 3 days shy of her 85th birthday.

IRF reveres our favorite Sicilian and perhaps we need to go back and review IRF’s Tribute to the Golden Girls

I think all of us will sit around the kitchen table tonight, in our robes, having a slice of cheesecake in your honor.

July 22, 2008 at 1:50 pm 16 comments

Bathroom Hog

I thought I spent a long time in the bathroom.

I have so many questions.

1) What is so comforting about the bathroom that you can’t leave for two years?

2) Why would the boyfriend bring her meals, enabling her reclusive behavior?

3) Why did her boyfriend not leave her after seeing her eat meals on the toilet with her sweat pants around her knees?

4) Did she have a airplane-like neck pillow for sleeping on said toilet?

March 13, 2008 at 6:00 pm 7 comments

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