Teens and Young Adults on sex issues

January 9th, 2012 at 9:19 am by David Farrar

Family First have released the results of some polling done amongst 16 to 21 year old New Zealanders by . The summary is:

When asked “Do you think in schools should teach values, abstinence and consequences such as pregnancy, or just teach safe sex?” only 19% supported just the ‘safe sex’ message currently being taught in schools, with one in three (34%) wanting ‘values, abstinence, and consequences such as pregnancy’ taught instead, and a further 42% asking for a combination of both – especially amongst older teens. The support for just the ‘safe sex’ message dropped even lower for the older teens. …

When asked “Provided it won’t put the girl in physical danger, should parents be told if their school-age daughter is pregnant and considering getting an ?” 59% of young respondents thought the parents should be told. 34% disagreed. More young men than women agreed, but both had majority agreement.

When asked “Do you believe an unborn child or foetus has a right to be born?” 56% of youth respondents said they believed an unborn child or foetus has a right to be born. Slightly more young women than young men agreed – 58% to 55%. Those aged 15 to 17 were strongest in support – 66%.

It was intriguing that young women were slightly more supportive than young men of there being a right to be born for an unborn child or foetus.

The parental notification results may surprise some, but thinking about it it is normal that most young people would expect to talk to parents about any unplanned pregnancy. The question did not specifically say “Should the law require parents to be told …” but at a minimum it makes clear that a majority thought parental notification should occur.

Note that of course the results do not necessarily represent my personal views.

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43 Responses to “Teens and Young Adults on sex issues”

  1. eszett (2,408 comments) says:

    What would interest me is whether the questions where given by Family First or did Curia have in put to it? And how much?
    On first glance it seems to me that questions are rather leading. More like: “This is what we would like to hear, what are the right questions to ask?”

    Cameron had a pretty good take on it.

    http://www.moderationblog.com/2012/01/teens-conservative-about-sex-yeah-right.html?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+ModerationBlog+%28Moderation+Blog%29

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  2. tristanb (1,127 comments) says:

    56% of youth respondents said they believed an unborn child or foetus has a right to be born.

    So despite the obviously leading “unborn child” question, nearly half the kids didn’t say the “child” had a right to life? Good.

    How about: “Should women be able to get rid of some extraneous cells from their uterus if they want?”

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  3. ephemera (556 comments) says:

    I don’t know any education provider that teaches “just safe sex” without discussing pregnancy.

    It’s a strange question.

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  4. DRBASS (10 comments) says:

    tristanb – apart from location and size, what’s the difference between you and those ‘extraneous cells’?

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  5. ephemera (556 comments) says:

    DRBASS – tristanb’s point was to reveal the underlying values in the question.

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  6. mikenmild (11,247 comments) says:

    DRBASS is apparently among those who would sing:
    “Every sperm is sacred
    Every sperm is great
    If a sperm is wasted
    God gets quite irate”

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  7. eszett (2,408 comments) says:

    DBRASS – you tell us

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  8. KevinH (1,227 comments) says:

    Predictably as @eszett observered, the questions are biased. If we are to have an adult conservation with teenagers regarding safe sex and pregnancy then we must be open and transparent in the process to gain any credibility with teens. If there is any bias teens will detect it and the conversation will have minimal impact.

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  9. Fletch (6,366 comments) says:

    How about: “Should women be able to get rid of some extraneous cells from their uterus if they want?”

    DRBASS – tristanb’s point was to reveal the underlying values in the question.

    Except it’s a medical fact that these “cells” mature into your son or daughter – eg, are not “extraneous” at all.

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  10. Clint Heine (1,570 comments) says:

    Oh boy. Be wary of anything Family First puts out. Farrar, you’re inviting the usual suspects to come in here and tell us that any sex before marriage is wrong. In fact, the ever charming Lucia Maria over at NZ Conservative did just that this week:

    “Contraception should be outlawed. It turns women into sexual playthings that can be discarded when something younger and prettier comes along. It takes away women’s power to withhold sex unless the man says “I do”. And it allows men to stay at a level of stunted development where they never have to grow up”
    http://nzconservative.blogspot.com/2012/01/approaching-night.html

    Yeah… and we wonder why people are turning their backs on not only catholics, but much of christianity in NZ.

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  11. Dazzaman (1,140 comments) says:

    …but at a minimum it makes clear that a majority thought parental notification should occur

    I would say it’s a given that parental notification should occur….the lame excuse trotted out that it would endanger the lives of young girls is a smokescreen that hides the idealogical fanaticism of the far left, and not so far left or right, concerning abortion…Abortion on demand, for all ages……blimmin’ nutjobs.

    Good on McCoskrie, one of the few voices of reason in a mad world.

    Flame away now liberals (of the left & right)……lol

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  12. Richard29 (377 comments) says:

    “This is a direct rebuke from young people to the ‘use a condom’ and ‘everyone’s doing it’ messages being pushed by groups like Family Planning, AIDS Foundation and Rainbow Youth,” saysBob McCoskrie, National Director of Family First NZ.

    I would be a little concerned if these agencies were not telling people to use condoms. I must have missed the “everyone’s doing it” promiscuity promotion campaign that these agencies ran – maybe because it doesn’t exist.

    “For those youth who are sexually active, they are not being told the truth. Groups like the Family Planning Association and the AIDS Foundation are perpetuating the myth that as long as you use a condom, you can pretty well do what you like in terms of promiscuity, experimentation, and fringe behaviours – with little or no information on the physical or emotional ramifications or prevention of disease.”

    Interesting to see that he tactfully dropped Rainbow Youth from the paragraph that mentions “fringe behaviours” although the homophobic dog whistle is still deafening.
    And I don’t know where he’s coming from saying that the AIDS foundation is not providing information on disease prevention (Acquired Immune Deficiency may be called a ‘Syndrome’ but he does get that the V in HIV stands for virus right?).
    From what I remember of sex-ed at school sexual health was a key feature and by far the most disturbing part of the whole thing – we even had a card sort game where you had to match the symptoms to the disease – weeping pustules, painful rashes, pubic insects or frothy discharge anyone? I’ve been careful to use a condom ever since! :)

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  13. Fletch (6,366 comments) says:

    ps, I don’t think the questions were too leading. I think questions should be asked in such a way as to make people think about and consider what they’re saying. I think if you ask a question such as “are you pro-life or pro-choice”, then people have been conditioned to automatically respond a certain way without thinking.

    As far as the results, the Families Commission did a study in 2010 where they also interviewed teenagers. The teens gave much the same response – that sex education is focused too much on mechanics rather than relationships.

    Sex education is too much about the mechanics of sex and not enough about relationships, the Families Commission says. An issues paper published by the commission yesterday says the health education curriculum is sound, officially covering relationship skills as well as sex. But it quotes high school students who say they learn little about relationships in practice.

    “The teacher gets a condom, gives a demonstration on how to use it, but they don’t talk about the emotional side,” one group of Wellington teens said. “They tell us you have sex, get pregnant or you get Aids and die. They don’t teach how to deal with a breakup.”

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10629780

    Note, Clint, the study discussed in the Herald article above is done by the Families Commission, but backs up the Family First study.

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  14. eszett (2,408 comments) says:

    @Fletch – develop, not mature.

    You are the prime example of a discontinuous mind. You just cannot comprehend that a fertilised egg is no human being, that the destinction between a child and a clump of cells is not a clearly defined a one certain point, not a conception nor at birth, but that the truth is more difficult and complex.

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  15. Dazzaman (1,140 comments) says:

    …and we wonder why people are turning their backs on not only catholics, but much of christianity in NZ.

    Really? For wanting to withhold contraception?

    I’d say it’d be because the unregenerate are naturally at enmity with God and there will only ever be a remnant throughout the ages….but then you obviously have no idea of such things being carnally minded.

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  16. eszett (2,408 comments) says:

    ps, I don’t think the questions were too leading

    just a bit leading, then

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  17. Fletch (6,366 comments) says:

    eszett, it’s simple to me. You have an object growing: on the one hand you can leave it alone and not interfere and it becomes your son or daughter. On the other you can surgically intervene and rip it out. No son or daughter results. It’s pretty obvious – cause and effect – doesn’t take a genius to figure out how one affects the other.

    Abortion is the killing of a child.

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  18. Scott Chris (6,133 comments) says:

    Problem with surveys like this is all they tell you is what kids think the survey sponsors want to hear. Kids are kinda sweet like that.

    The survey would have had more meaning had it been prepared by a body of experts in the field of adolescent psychology.

    The questions they would have asked would have been less leading and more objective.

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  19. wf (441 comments) says:

    “The support for just the ‘safe sex’ message dropped even lower for the older teens.”

    Could this be because of their growing maturity? That they have absorbed that part of the message? Is the incidence of pregnancy/STD higher among younger teenagers?

    When my kids were young it was all about resisting peer pressure.

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  20. Rufus (667 comments) says:

    You’re all incensed that the bias of the researchers is not your bias.

    Objectivity – neutrality – in such a hot topic?

    Get real.

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  21. Scott Chris (6,133 comments) says:

    Rufus says:- “You’re all incensed that the bias of the researchers is not your bias.”

    Well it depends if you want to find out the truth or whether you want to make a political statement.

    If it is the latter, then this is a disingenuous and dishonest way of going about it.

    I thought conservatism was founded on the principles of honesty and integrity.

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  22. Rufus (667 comments) says:

    Define “truth” Scott.

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  23. Rufus (667 comments) says:

    You seem to think that “experts”, whoever they are, operate with less bias.

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  24. Scott Chris (6,133 comments) says:

    Rufus says:- “define truth”

    Truth (as I see it, which therefore makes it my subjective truth) is a description of objective reality. It is what science and philosophy are striving to establish.

    >>”You seem to think that “experts”, whoever they are, operate with less bias.”

    Yes, I do. Judges are trained to be objective within the context of the written law for instance. And the diverse field of psychology relies primarily on the scientific method to be objective. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scientific_method

    Put it this way. If you were diagnosed with cancer, would you prefer to treat it with faith or with science?

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  25. Redbaiter (8,801 comments) says:

    “Note that of course the results do not necessarily represent my personal views.”

    Thank God for that small mercy.

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  26. Falafulu Fisi (2,179 comments) says:

    Scott Chris…

    The survey would have had more meaning had it been prepared by a body of experts in the field of adolescent psychology.

    Have you worked with one? I have worked 2 industrial psychologists in the past from JRA Ltd (best place to work survey) in Auckland. One guy has got an MA and the other one got a PhD. They designed the questionaires and I developed the analytic engine which was the multivariate algorithm (Multiple Linear Regression) used in their online analysis. They were using SPSS desktop statistical software but they wanted to make the same capability (as SPSS software does) but doing it online (company surveys) and that’s where I came in because developers from the software-house that did JRA development didn’t know how algorithms in SPSS software works.

    There you go Scott. David Farrar wants to hire you to work for his company for your insightful knowledge into how a survey should be designed.

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  27. simonway (387 comments) says:

    Do you think sex education in schools should teach values, abstinence and consequences such as pregnancy, or just teach safe sex?

    What an absurdly leading question.

    The FF release distorts it even further

    only 19% supported just the ‘safe sex’ message currently being taught in schools,

    Which is a complete lie about the nature of sex education currently taught in schools. Whoever wrote that is a liar.

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  28. Lucia Maria (2,423 comments) says:

    It seems I’ve had a huge effect on Clint. He’s still thinking about what I said AND telling everyone who will listen.

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  29. Scott Chris (6,133 comments) says:

    Falafulu, you sound like you’re disagreeing with me even when you’re agreeing with me. Sound like Farrar would be better off employing you, as you have relevant experience in this field. I’m just a schmo with an opinion.
    ________________________________________________________________________________________________________

    Lucia, I think you have a point, but banning contraception isn’t the way to go about things. Pandora’s box has already been opened, so the only way to achieve what you are suggesting is to somehow get women to *choose* the abstinence option. In a capitalist world, that involves marketing and selling your ideas. But people ain’t dumb. This survey won’t convert anyone.

    We’re dealing with the world as it is, and that world is resistant to coercion and compulsion.

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  30. Dick (80 comments) says:

    Lucia Maria (866) Says:
    January 9th, 2012 at 1:06 pm

    It seems I’ve had a huge effect on Clint. He’s still thinking about what I said AND telling everyone who will listen.

    If anything all you’ve shown, if Clint has quoted you correctly, is that you are a bitter older woman who has lost her looks and isn’t getting laid anymore.

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  31. Rufus (667 comments) says:

    Dick, you are.

    Scott. OK, but at least let’s agree everyone on whatever side of this argument has a bias.

    [As for cancer and faith/science - funny you should ask - I'm going through that at the moment. Instead of either/or, I'm taking option C: faith, science (ie. allopathic medicine), and alternative medicine since I see benefits in all 3.]

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  32. Scott Chris (6,133 comments) says:

    Rufus. Sorry to hear that. I think you are taking the right approach.

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  33. N8 (1 comment) says:

    If I recall correctly they asked about twenty questions, including weather or not gay people had the right to adopt. I suppose they only released the results to the questions that went in their favour.

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  34. Weihana (4,537 comments) says:

    # Fletch (2,280) Says:
    January 9th, 2012 at 10:45 am

    eszett, it’s simple to me. You have an object growing: on the one hand you can leave it alone and not interfere and it becomes your son or daughter. On the other you can surgically intervene and rip it out. No son or daughter results. It’s pretty obvious – cause and effect – doesn’t take a genius to figure out how one affects the other.

    Abortion is the killing of a child.

    By the same rationale you can have sex and a child will result (assuming conception, no miscarriage etc) Or you can not have sex and a child definitely will not result. Therefore not having sex is killing a child?

    The issue is whether the “object” is, at a specific point in time, a “child” or whether it’s more a clump of cells. What will eventuate doesn’t determine its nature at that specific point in time. Its nature at that specific point is determined by what it is at that point in time.

    The reality is that at conception it does not resemble anything that should be accorded rights. It is mere cells that should have less rights than a dog. But as it develops it gradually and continuously approaches the “baby” that is born after 9 months. There is no black and white line where one can say it is a baby after this date and not a baby before this date. My preference is to have abortion on demand up to three months, with more restrictions up to six months but taking into account matters like potential defects, rape, incest etc., and generally not allowed after 6 months unless the mother’s life is in danger and even then if the baby can be saved outside the womb then attempts should be made to do so.

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  35. Weihana (4,537 comments) says:

    Lucia,


    Contraception should be outlawed. It turns women into sexual playthings that can be discarded when something younger and prettier comes along. It takes away women’s power to withhold sex unless the man says “I do”. And it allows men to stay at a level of stunted development where they never have to grow up

    Religious busy-bodies should be outlawed first. :) Just get out of everyone else’s bedroom already.

    Further, how does contraception take away women’s power to withhold sex? Ever heard of the word no? You can withhold sex all you like and if a man violates you then he will be imprisoned. But don’t get upset if more liberal minded people go somewhere else to find a mate because you require marriage before sex. Go to a Christian chat room or something and find some other strange person who thinks marriage comes before sex. They are out there, they are just few and far between.

    Marriage is supposed to be a long term commitment and it’s understandable that many people would want to “try before you buy”. Who wants to marry a person if intimacy doesn’t work?

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  36. Mark (1,488 comments) says:

    “My preference is to have abortion on demand up to three months”

    18,000 abortions a year suggests you already have your wish

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  37. Lucia Maria (2,423 comments) says:

    Weihana,

    Your question, “Further, how does contraception take away women’s power to withhold sex?” is answered in your final paragraph, where you say, “… it’s understandable that many people would want to “try before you buy”. Who wants to marry a person if intimacy doesn’t work?”

    If a woman wants to get married and doesn’t want to be “tried out” before being bought, she has pretty much no choice if most men will only marry women they’ve tried. Contraception makes this possible.

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  38. Weihana (4,537 comments) says:

    Lucia Maria,

    So? Men are not entitlements for women. Finding a partner is a matter of negotiation with someone willing, it is not something you are entitled to as of right on terms you find agreeable. The terms must be MUTUALLY AGREEABLE. If most men can’t meet your standards then too bad for you. That’s your choice so live with it. Don’t barge into other people’s bedrooms with your government guns arresting people for having and using contraception.

    In short, live by your standards but leave the rest of us alone. PLEASE! :)

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  39. Weihana (4,537 comments) says:

    # Mark (385) Says:
    January 9th, 2012 at 4:21 pm


    “My preference is to have abortion on demand up to three months”

    18,000 abortions a year suggests you already have your wish

    I’m not familiar with the figures so it depends on whether those abortions are within three months or outside three months. Also, favouring abortion on demand up to three months does not mean I favour it as a means for birth control.

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  40. Don the Kiwi (1,750 comments) says:

    Weihana.

    You are an arrogant arsehole.

    Anyway, I would suspect that Lucia is a happily married woman with a fine man for a husband who thought more of the woman he was going to marry than just to bed her first.

    You ar typical of how our society has degenerated over the past few decades.

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  41. lcmortensen (38 comments) says:

    Take away the public funding for non-medical-related abortions. The $3000+ cost of an abortion could do two things: turn adolescents off unsafe sex, or send our teen pregnancy rate soaring – the adolescent pregnancy rate (births+abortions) was 55.9 per thousand in 1996 (birth rate 33.4, abortion rate 22.5)

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  42. Weihana (4,537 comments) says:

    Don the Kiwi (671) Says:
    January 9th, 2012 at 10:29 pm
    Weihana.

    You are an arrogant arsehole.

    At least I will not elect a government that uses its might to ensure you do not put a piece of rubber on your cock to prevent unwanted pregnancy. I guess minding one’s own business is a sign of arrogance.


    Anyway, I would suspect that Lucia is a happily married woman with a fine man for a husband who thought more of the woman he was going to marry than just to bed her first.

    Good for her. That gives her no right to interfere in the sexual practices of other adults.


    You ar typical of how our society has degenerated over the past few decades.

    Dry those tears you poor thing. If only we could go back to the good old days when sodomy was a crime and people couldn’t decide whether relations with apartheid south africa was acceptable.

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  43. chiz (1,144 comments) says:

    Fletch:Except it’s a medical fact that these “cells” mature into your son or daughter

    Except it’s not a medical fact. Time to learn some biology.

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