Waxman Waxes Wrong
With all the pages of curriculum Teen-Aid produces, only a few citations were found in the highly publicized but poorly crafted Waxman Report. Since all the Teen-Aid criticisms were footnoted, all had been cited by the opposition and refuted for many years by Teen-Aid; it seemed silly to pay attention to such recycled nonsense.
1) Is the standard peer-review journal citations? All the Teen-Aid citations in the Waxman report had medically referenced documentation. Someone is changing the rules because when curricula like Teen-Aid use such citations, they are called inaccurate not because they are or because they did not use peer review journals. But because state offices, opposing ideological position organizations and now Congressional staffers don’t like the footnotes. In fact, the standard is not peer review but the loudest opinion.
2) Teen-Aid medical materials are written by licensed practicing medical doctors in the field. The comments written by a practicing adolescent medicine physician intended to lessen fear in pubescent boys and girls was erroneously attacked. This puberty misquote is another example of a poorly crafted report, notice the following comment, The entire teacher note says,
Reassure students that small lumps in breast tissue is common in both boys and girls in puberty. The condition is called gynecomastia and is a normal sign of hormonal changes. Testicular growth is usually symmetrical and very gradual, if growth is asymmetrical or rapid this is considered unusual and should be evaluated by a physician. In general, students should be advised to seek a medical examination if they have any physical changes, which cause them prolonged anxiety.
The Waxman Report ignores the fact that the process of small lumps developing occurs in girls too but no one but the girls consider it anything to worry about. There is a difference of professional opinion on this term as you can see; according to the http://www.gynecomastia.org/content/general/gynart.shtml
The term comes from the Greek words gyne meaning "woman" and mastos meaning "breast." In practical terms, this means abnormally large breasts on men.
The condition is relatively common in adolescent boys, and 90% of the time symptoms disappear in a matter of months, or, as adolescence wanes, a few years later. But the remaining 10% are burdened with a social handicap that causes a deep and complex shame, and puts one's relationship with one's body at risk.
There are several potential causes: puberty ,steroid abuse (bitch tits), obesity, marijuana use (this is in question), tumors, genetic disorders, chronic liver disease, side effects of many medications, castration, Klinefelter Syndrome, Gilbert's Syndrome and aging.
In cases of obesity, weight loss can alter the gynecomastic condition, but for many it will not eliminate it. For all other causes, surgery is the only known physical remedy. Once the physical encumbrance is lifted, psychological scars still need to be addressed. One must come to terms with one's body, accept it, and heal the wounds from the past.
Gilbert's Syndrome rarely requires any treatment. People with the disorder lead normal, healthy lives. It is much more common in males, and usually first appears when people are in their teens or early adulthood (20s and 30s). However, girls can also have Gilbert’s Syndrome. Therefore, the comment is accurate and the criticism is not.
3) Medical accuracy is a misnomer, all doctors know medical knowledge is ever changing and more than one opinion is still considered respected professional advice. A second opinion is even paid for by the insurance company. Waxman condemns the use of Weller but Teen-Aid uses six other condom studies along with Weller for a more academically honest assessment of risk reduction.
4) Abstinence materials are used to educate youth ages 10 to about 16, most are 14 and under. (By age 16, most schools stop teaching abstinence.) The phrase, “Planned responses beyond reflexes to avoid a painful stimulus” is translated into junior high language by using the word “thinking”. The curriculum says, “At 43 days, electrical brain wave patterns can be recorded, evidence that mental activity is taking place.” That is the language used legally to define viable life. The language used to discuss complex medical concepts must be age appropriate so the student can understand the facts and fairly consider the ramifications of their behaviors. Were the Congressional staffers who reviewed this material either educators or medical doctors? Obviously not since, they deny basic fetal development facts regarding eye and hearing development as well.
Level the Playing Field
Ø When will a study be done on “comprehensive programs” that rarely use footnotes? WA state HIV program was last updated in 1992 yet it is the current standard for information throughout the state. Bureaucratically controlled information is censorship especially when it is controlled from the state and federal level. It is slow or non-responsive to the rapid change in the health care field.
Ø Better yet, when will studies be done that compare “comprehensive programs” with abstinence skill-building programs throughout the country? On the playground this ”name-calling” without producing or participating is called, “chicken.”
Ø When will “comprehensive programs” start teaching the HPV skin-to-skin contact information? Programs suggesting that condoms protect from all STI’s rather than reduce rates are rampant and no authority calls them on that factual error.
Ø When will “comprehensive programs” teach that contraception including the condom have a cumulative failure rate and that the “one year usage” rates suggest that the method will only be used one year or that the individual doesn’t have a collective existence that will be impacted by failure at another point in his/her life. Waxman (D-CA) said, “A gag rule on information is no way to solve a serious public health problem.”
Ø When will the consumers of reports such as the Waxman report notice that the report coincides with the promotion of yet another funding bill that he just happens to support? His report is part of a state-by-state strategy to demand state controlled knowledge and afford key benefactors of his bill to sue states, schools and abstinence education providers. In the information age, doesn’t it seem odd to constrict information? Notice that the only programs under scrutiny are those who received federal funding, not the worst, not the best, not the biggest or oldest. If you doubt this premise, note all the states that had legislative bills regarding the control of sex education content this current session.
Ø When will the consumers of the Waxman report notice that the points of attack are most notably agenda driven. They do not want information to reach youth about the potential consequences of abortion or the rapid independent growth of the unborn. Ten percent of all women will only conceive one time in their life. If that pregnancy is aborted with or without abortion side effects, she will never conceive again. Does that have to be further explained to such knowledgeable people as the Waxman staff? It is common medical knowledge. Other mentions are equally well documented with peer review journals from here and around the world.
Another fetal development criticism, “Fertilization (or conception) occurs when one of the father’s sperm unites with one of the mother’s eggs (ovum). At that instant, a new human life is formed.” And the argument with that fact is? Certainly, the new cell is not a hippopotamus and prior to conception; the individual cells are not able to reproduce themselves, which is a trait of new life.
Ø When will the consumers of the Waxman report notice the academic hypocrisy? They want only the effectiveness of devices noted not the ineffectiveness circumventing a rational decision by the youthful consumer. A driver never notices the side impact rating until after the accident and then only if it fails, crushing a passenger.
Ø When will someone challenge Waxman researchers on the bias regarding the pledge cards? There are several reports leaning toward the importance of incremental social changes creating trends yet the one evaluator who has a bias against pledges is the only source of information. The information was not even stated as an arguable debate or the potential to change a social trend.
Ø When will condom promoters have to use the same adverbs describing their products as car manufactures? Highly effective for a Ford means that they start and get you to your desired destination safely 99.9% of the time. Granted user failure rate can result in deadly accidents just like condom usage but if the car breaks or has manufacturer defects there is a recall for repair. Condoms are expected to have a 4 per 1,000 defect from the factory, and are called highly effective if they break only 3-7% of the time. A Ford dealership would be out of business under the Lemon Law if his product failed to start 3% of the time or get you there safely with a 10% failure rate. Waxman says, Weller is inaccurate but the study he supports uses misleading languages especially when presented to 12 year olds.
This is the rebuttal of the Teen-Aid portion of the Waxman report, however, other curriculum providers have noted their own discrepancies with the Waxman staff and should be contacted for specifics.