National Abstinence Education Assn. push polling?

I just received a called from the National Abstinence Educ. Assn. When I tried for the third time to hear the question, the system stopped allowing me to answer that question, which was:

Do you believe that Ohio students should continue to have access to abstinence education?

Note, it doesn’t say abstinence-only, which is the only program in danger of not being used. Abstinence has been and will continue to be taught in Ohio schools. Do not believe otherwise.

I’ve left a message for Patra Stephan, the group’s communications director, at 202-248-5420, who, I’m told, is the only person who can answer questions about the poll such as:

1. Why at the beginning does it refer to itself as an “FEC Survey” – what is that if not elections?

2. What’s the survey sample they’re working on? Only in Ohio? Across the country?

3. Why didn’t I get a chance to answer the questions?

4. Why were the remaining questions:

Are you a parent or grandparent of a school-aged child?

Are you male? (not “Are you female” – so, who are they calling?)

Are you between the ages of 35 and 65? (why that age group – younger women’s opinions are…what?)

Anyone else get this call?

Here’s the group’s board of directors and advisory board.

11 thoughts on “National Abstinence Education Assn. push polling?

  1. Hi Earl – I am guessing you left that comment because you felt you had to after what Mary Anne wrote. I just want you to know that I didn’t find that you needed to, partly because I’m pretty sure we’ve circled around many of the Ohio blogs before and I’m familiar with things you’ve written.

    But for readers, I think it’s great what you’ve written and I completely agree with all your points.

    Sadly, I am guessing that proponents of abstinence until marriage may simply not care about gay and lesbian people, at all, and that, obviously, is, to me, one of the worst things of all.

    Health is health is health. I don’t care who you are.

    Mary Anne – again – feel free to provide links etc. for your point of view – there are conservatives who read this blog and possibly proponents of abstinence only education too.

    If you’ve worked this long and hard for this cause, please, I’m sure you have more than invective to contribute. 🙂


  2. Oh, my.

    Just so you know, Jill, Mary Anne is now on the board of the National Abstinence Education Association, and works for a group called the A & M Partnership (or something like that) in Illinois. She’s no longer with Operation Keepsake.

    I actually spend a relatively small amount of time on Abstinence Only Until Marriage — most of the reserach on that issue is done by others, and is out there. But I will say that one of the reasons we as an organization have weighed in on the issue is that “Abstinence Only Until Marriage” categorically excludes gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender youth, who cannot legally marry in Ohio. When I’ve asked leaders of the Abstinence Only Until Marriage movement about that, these are the responses I’ve received:

    #1: “We didn’t write the laws.”

    My response: Then will you join with us to work against laws that exclude a whole group of people?

    #2: “We are providing education that addresses the normative values of most Americans.”

    My response: Abstinence from all sexual activity until heterosexually married is not normative–in fact, most people have sex before marriage.

    #3: “In health education, you do what you can. If we wanted to do programs on the benefits of exercise, for example, would we stop doing it just because some people are unable to execize?”

    My response: Of course not. But comparing “unable to exercize” to “unable to get married” ignores one fundamental reality: no one is forbidden to exercize, as a matter of law. But gay and lesbian people are forbidden to marry. It’s illegal.

    So . . . I guess that until I see the leaders of the Abstinence Only Until Marriage movement address the fundamental exclusion of gay and lesbian people in their message, I’ll continue to say something about it. The question no one has ever been able to ask — the question that gets dodged every time, as I’m sure it will be again — is this: are you saying that since gay and lesbian people cannot marry those they love, they should be abstinent from all sexual activity (again with those they love) for their entire lives?

    Earl Pike
    AIDS Taskforce of Greater Cleveland

  3. Oh – and Mary Anne – I am very serious: you say that I’ve provided misinformation.

    Could you please ID that misinformation and correct it?

    What’s odd is that this post is the re-telling of what happened when I got a push poll survey call from the National Abstinence Education Assn. I’m not quite sure how there is misinformation in there since I experienced the call – but again, the best tactic with blogs is to point out the problems and continue the conversation.


  4. Earl’s comment doesn’t make accusations about another commenter – he provided information about the post for readers to consider.

    You didn’t provide information about the post I wrote. You only wrote about Earl. When commenters start picking on other commenters, I find myself far more interested in figuring out what’s going on.

    As I suggested, please feel free to provide all the links you like about Earl and yourself.

    Thanks again for reading and commenting.

  5. Hmm… I didn’t see where Earl was scolded for not identifying himself or is that something that is only reserved for those who do not agree with your misinformation?

  6. Mary Anne – Thanks for reading and commenting.

    According to this article, you are the head of Operation Keepsake which identifies itself as “a sex education program that seeks to empower and encourage young people to remain sexually abstinent until marriage.”

    When you leave comments on blogs, you really should ID yourself.

    Now – if the person who left the comment above is not Mary Anne Mosack, I hope we can get that info too.

    Is the Abstinence and Marriage Partnership org. okay with you leaving comments in this vein?

    As for the substance of your comment, I don’t see anything that indicates Earl’s predisposition against abstinence education. Probably abstinence-only education, like myself, but abstinence as part of a sex ed program that explores the range of issues and options? I don’t see that.

    When you return here, you should feel free to link to places where you think we should be reading.


  7. It is amazing to me the amount of time Earl Pike has to trash the message of abstinence and ivestigate his opposition. As Executive Director of the AIDS TASK Force of Greater Cleveland you would think he would have better things to do than to berate telling kids that waiting to have sex is a good idea. He has apparently made this the centerpiece of his mission and wastes tax dollars and time with this crazed obsession. Get to work Earl – you have a growing epidemic out there and abstinence education is not your enemy!!

  8. Hi Earl – Thanks for reading and commenting.

    I did find a bit of that from googling. No one has called me back yet so I’ll probably call one more time. I didn’t e-mail the group but I’ll do that too.

    Thanks for that info re: Creative Response Concepts. Creative doesn’t begin to describe what they do, hm?

    Also – the FRC connection?! That’s why I wrote in a post last night that Huckabee is a total no-go for me because he’s hired, as his communications director, the FRC’s communications maven, Charmaine Yoest. Very scary indeed.

  9. This might explain a bit: Patra Stehpan was on the staff of Rep. John Duncan (R, TN) — Duncan received a perfect record (they really like him) from the Family Reserach Council — the folks who believe that gay marriage is sinful, that feminism is dead, and that only Christians — and really, fundamentalist Christians — should get to be President.

    You’re right: it’s push polling. And not even very well disguised.

    By the way, the NAEA contracts with Creative Response Concepts — the folks who brought us the swift-boating of John Kerry — to design and implement their public relations campaigns.

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