Dodgy student alcohol and sex survey

I have just taken part in the Tertiary Student Health Project survey, an Otago University project looking into alcohol use and sexual behaviour among students. Unfortunately the questions were designed such that even myself, a happily married monogomous father with no risk of contracting STDs, would have sounded like a risk-taking no-condom-using childless student! There just weren’t options to choose to describe my actual situation, which will make the results highly questionable.

Fortunately they had a comments section at the end, this is what I wrote:

I have a number of concerns about the accuracy of the data collected in this survey.

Your questions on sexual behaviour are designed assuming all sexual behaviour is casual. Although you would never guess it reading the response to this survey, many people are still married before having sex. If you did not realise this, you may have just consulted with one sector of the student population in designing your survey, and it may be advisable to consult wider before the next one. Your survey equates “a long-term relationship” (whatever that is defined as) and engagement with marriage, when there is a world of difference between the three, especially in terms of duration and break-up rates.

You never ask in what situation the respondent had their first sexual contact, which is far more likely to have been influenced by alcohol than what they happened to be doing in the past 12 months.

You also ask whether you have ever unintentionally got someone pregnant, without asking whether you had intentionally got someone pregnant – there seems to be an assumption that pregnancy is always accidental and undesirable, which is nonsense. As a result your survey will under-record the true rate of pregnancy among students.

You ask about condom use without asking about risk factors for STDs. For example:
– You ask whether you have only had the one partner, but not whether if you have had more you have tested clear for STDs and thus have none to pass on.
– You never ask whether your partner was a virgin before you, or whether she has tested clear of STDs.
If both partners are clear of STDs, they may be unlikely to use condoms. This will bias condom use rates downwards, while having no bearing on STD risk.
– You have equated a long-term-relationship (“long-term” for one respondent may mean 10 years, for another 1 month: high break-up rate and children are usually not desired) and engagement, with marriage (lowest break-up rate as intended to be permanent, children are generally desired), so the condom use between these relationships will be markedly different but never identified in your survey.
– You never asked whether the respondent was trying for a baby.
– You never asked whether the respondent’s partner was using alternative forms of contraception. (You may have asked female respondents this, but you never asked male respondents, despite the major influence this will have on male condom use. Remember not all partners are students.)

Because of these issues your survey is likely to show a low rate of condom use and therefore imply a high risk of STD contraction, which could be used to push policies encouraging condom use on campus, when in actual fact you have no idea what the actual rate of condom use among those at risk of contracting STDs is, because you never asked the right questions.

Having been in this survey I will have to be highly skeptical of the results when they are published unfortunately, especially when making just a couple of extra answers available to pick could have made this information actually useful. However students are behaving this survey will come up with some statistics that could be used to push a particular political line (that of the Family Planning Association), rather than obtaining well-rounded factual data that can be used by people of all opinions. This is very disappointing, because alcohol and sex are highly important issues at university, and need to be understood well in order to help students.

I trust that you will publicise the actual questions asked alongside the results, to ensure people can judge the accuracy for themselves. It would be advisable to consult wider in formulating the questions for your next survey.

Unfortunately, I must advise you to take the results of the Tertiary Student Health Project with a pinch of salt when they are finally published. Which is a great shame, this project is no doubt expensive and could easily have been very useful.

The State arrogantly claiming our children

The following letter was published in the Malvern News on Friday 21 November:

Open letter to the Malvern District school community.
I wish to take this opportunity to remind parents/caregivers/guardians of students currently enrolled at schools in the Malvern District of their legal requirements in relation to their children’s education.
The Education Act 1989 (the Act) states that: Every person who is not a foreign student is required to be enrolled at a registered school at all times beginning on the person’s 6th birthday and ending on the person’s 16th birthday. (Section 20)
Students required to enrol must attend: Every student of a registered school who is required by Section 20 of this Act to be enrolled at a registered school shall attend the school whenever it is open. (Section 25)
Parents/guardians/caregivers are responsible for their child’s regular attendance at school: every parent/caregiver/guardian of a person who while enrolled at a registered school, does not attend…..commits an offence, and is liable on summary conviction to a fine. (Section 29)
A child should only be absent from school for the following reasons – sickness, family bereavement, or family emergency. If you are planning on, or have recently allowed your child to be absent from their school, you need to consider the following:
An absence explained by a parent is not necessarily a justified absence.
Parents do not have the right to excuse their child from school, without just cause.
What message are you sending your child in relation to education?
How will this impact on your child’s education?
What impact will your decision have on the school?
Calendared school holidays along with statutory holidays, throughout the year give ample time in advance to plan or organise family trips, holidays etc. If a parent/caregiver/guardian wants their child to be away from school for any other reasons than those specified above, this MUST be discussed with the school.

How arrogant is that! Who do they think my son belongs to, me or the State? Fortunately he isn’t old enough yet for me to have to deal with this rubbish, but that time will come soon.

The purpose of this law is to stop children bunking school and getting into trouble. But the effect of it is that it forces all children to attend daily state indoctrination sessions, where biased views can be fed into trusting young minds.

Much of the time children spend at school is spent doing nothing because most of the class is ahead of them and they don’t understand what to do, or bored because most of the class is behind them and they are waiting for them to catch up. Very little of the school day is really spent in true productive learning for an individual child, because every child is different. Education is very important, but there are many opportunities for more useful education outside of school.

A parent needs the freedom to raise their own child how they believe is best.

But responsible parents are criminalised if they allow their child to do something that is more educational then school for a couple of days (such as helping on the farm and learning work skills, seeing NZ and learning geography). And the misbehaving students continue to bunk because they don’t care about the law.

Maori history in school far from reality

Contra Celsum has an excellent post on Maori history, cannibalism and the like that I would encourage you to read. It should be the start of a series which may be interesting to follow.

Through school, the Maori culture is portrayed as being in harmony with nature. You are taught about (nice) Maori customs, the Maori pantheistic religion (which is state-funded religious teaching by the way), various Maori legends, Kupe and his voyage to New Zealand, Maori songs and language, and happy-clappy stuff like that. You are then taught about how the horrible Europeans came with muskets, stole the land, started the musket wars, and how Maori were oppressed. You generally only hear good things about Maori and bad things about the Europeans (as I recall from school, some years ago now).

But this is extremely biased, and that should be obvious to anyone. Every culture has good things and bad things in their history, if any culture is portrayed as wholly good or wholly bad you should know immediately that something is being hidden.

What you won’t learn in school is that the Maori burnt down more forest area than the Europeans ever did – the tussock grasslands of the South Island were forest before the Maori came along. You won’t learn how many species the Maori drove to extinction. You won’t learn about the widespread cannibalism among Maori.

You certainly won’t hear about how many Maori embraced Christianity as freeing them from their former culture of death. You certainly won’t hear how Maori tribes were commonly at war with one another (I understand the Maori had no concept of NZ as one country, it was ruled by many warring chiefs), and you won’t hear how despite the initial musket wars NZ has had internal peace since the coming of the British. But in order to have a balanced view of history you need to hear both sides.

If anyone speaks up and tries to tell the other side of NZ history, such as Maori cannibalism, they are hounded as being racist. This is a crazy situation, where it is not PC to tell the truth about history.

I’ll just finish with some insightful words from The Lads

If you are starving on an air-plane
‘cos you’re in economy
And if you have crashed down in the ocean
and you’re allergic to sea food
By eating me you could stay strong
And I could learn to hop along
Apart from this
Cannibalism’s wrong

Cannibalism’s wrong
Even if they deserve it, you can’t eat them ‘cos it’s wrong

Sex education in the UK

The problems with sex education are reaching the mainstream newspapers in the UK. It would be great to see an article like this one (from the Times) published here:

Those who can, do, according to the old saying, and those who can’t, teach. That has always seemed to me unfair. However, I have come to think that those who can’t teach, teach sex education.

Judged by its results – not a bad way of judging – sex education has been an utter failure. The increase in sex education here in recent years has coincided with an explosion of unwanted pregnancies and sexually transmitted disease (STD) far worse than anywhere else in Europe. Since the government’s teenage pregnancy strategy was introduced in 1999, the number of girls having abortions has soared. You might well be tempted to argue that sex education causes sexual delinquency.

This is exactly what we have seen in New Zealand. It is great to see a frank article on the issue. Sex education isn’t working. The solution is not more of the same to younger and younger children, but actually changing tack.

Hat tip: Semper Vita

Free thought repressed

I believe there are many parallels between Global Warming and Evolution. Both are the most popular views accepted by the media and the scientific majority, or at least the scientists that are most commonly talked to by the media. Both are questioned by some scientists. Both have strong supporters and opposers, and heated scientific debates around them.

But both are claimed to be the “consensus”, absolute fact, and any “dissenter” must be a nutcase. It doesn’t really matter whether they are true or not – regardless, labelling any scientist a nutter is very unhealthy. Science progresses through debate. It is important to consider opposing views to your own, whether or not they are correct, because it is the consideration of alternative views that develops reason and wisdom.

One example of how “dissenters” are being repressed is the fact that Dr David Bellamy has been blacklisted (according to himself) by the BBC. You probably recognise him in the photo – he used to be on many different nature TV programs. But he hasn’t been hired for anything much for years now, because he is a “climate skeptic”. In other words, a scientist who has the guts to think for himself.

Proverbs 3:13-14 states: Blessed is the one who finds wisdom, and the one who gets understanding, for the gain from her is better than gain from silver and her profit better than gold.

There is a big difference between knowledge and wisdom. Being able to remember exactly what your teacher told you was true is knowledge. Being able to analyse it for yourself and decide whether or not it actually is true is wisdom. And you only gain this from considering alternative views to your own.

If you only teach students knowledge, they can be indoctrinated with whatever you like.

Hat tip: Not PC

More dumbing-down of the curriculum

If you thought children these days weren’t taught to the standard they used to be, look out. The new curriculum will dumb down classes even further, and could see studying Shakespeare dropped in some schools in favour of studying blogs. Much as we all like blogs, I’m sure we can agree that there is a lot more to be learnt about the English language from studying Shakespeare than studying the English you often confront in the blogosphere… Furthermore there is a lot more scope to choose blogs that reflect the political or moral views of the teacher and subtly indoctrinate the children, we had enough of that when I was at school through the selection of heavily feminist literature to study, this just opens the door even wider for abuse.

This erosion of the standards of English is strongly reminiscent of Orwell’s “Newspeak” (from his book “1984”), where the language was being dumbed down heavily, a bit like text language, in an effort to suppress free thought in the population. For example, instead of the words “good”, “excellent”, “great”, “bad”, “poor” etc, you had “good” and “ungood”. This limited vocabulary made it more difficult for people to express dissent. Although I doubt there is any blatant plot to do the same here, and Orwell’s example is obviously extreme, the effect is still concerning. Shakespeare expands the vocabulary in a way that blogs are unlikely to.

This is why we need to encourage private schooling and home schooling, rather than allowing the State to indoctrinate our children.

Hat tip: NZ Conservative

Care workers told to help clients masturbate

Ok, now this is just disgusting if the allegations are true. Basically care workers allege that they were instructed to help mentally disabled clients masturbate if that was what they wanted, which they rightly refused to do, and they claim this is asking them to be prostitutes. I fully agree. But we can expect further cases like this in a country where prostitution is legal.

In addition to the entire case being ridiculous and disgusting:

None of the six women had masturbated any clients, including the one remaining employee, who is Maori and said she had been told she was exempt on cultural grounds.

So it is ok to expect white women to act as prostitutes, but not brown women?

The woman who allegedly told the workers they were to assist their clients to masturbate is Claire Ryan, whom I assume is the “Relationships and Sexuality Advisor” by the same name at IHC. If you are interested in the sort of stuff that IHC teaches about sexuality, download their September 05 Networker newsletter. This newsletter discusses disabled children growing up and becoming sexual. Not once does it mention whether it is appropriate for teenagers to become sexually active – it just assumes that they will and parents just have to let them do it.

Very worrying stuff, but not surprising at all – this is the exact same rubbish that Family Planning spouts to teenagers at school. In the few encounters I have had with Family Planning, I have found:

  • A school educator boasting to a 6th-form class about how she had managed to convince 12-year-old boys that if they didn’t masturbate their balls would explode, and thinking this was hillarious.
  • The same woman maintaining in front of the class that you could not catch HPV (virus that causes genital warts and cervical cancer) while using a condom, even when challenged, but then admitting privately after the class that she knew full well this was incorrect.
  • A Family Planning nurse claiming that the morning after pill worked by stopping sperm working and preventing conception, not by allowing conception but preventing implantation (the truth, which I regard as an early abortion).
  • A GP who recommends all his patients to ignore everything Family Planning says because he is sick of fixing up all the messes their terrible advice has made for so many of his patients.

This is the state of sex education in NZ. You can walk into Family Planning and get a case of 144 taxpayer-funded condoms for a $3 prescription fee, while Pharmac struggles to fund medication that could potentially save lives. And no-one will even ask you whether you really think you should be having sex at 13 even though it is illegal.

This is why we need the Family Party to push abstinence first as the best option.

Long time no blog

It has been a few busy days since I was last on the blogs. I have been speaking, putting up billboards, doing up my campaign truck, and spending some much-needed time with my family. The campaign is going well and there is a lot of interest in the party.

I was in a great debate at Canterbury University last Thursday on tertiary policy, it went for 2 hours as the students were so interested and had so many questions. There was a lot of interest in our tertiary policy, especially taking GST off basic essentials and introducing achievement-based fees abatement (ie the higher your marks, the lower your fees) to encourage success rather than just handing everything over on a plate.

We now have a few billboards up around the place down here, I think we have the best billboards of any party, although the Green party has tried hard to have some half-decent ones too they just don’t come close to our own. National and Labour haven’t even tried to have attractive billboards.

Family Party billboard West Melton

Family Party billboard West Melton

Misbehaving students

High-decile schools are struggling with misbehaving students, and receive less support than low-decile schools:

NZEI vice-president Ian Leckie said extreme misbehaviour crossed class boundaries.

“You’ve only got to look at the child who is very spoiled and from a very well-to-do background whose mother won’t buy them the lollies in the supermarket,” Leckie said.

“What that indicates, too, is that some of these behaviours even manifest before they start school,” he said.

Well, what do you expect in a country where smacking is illegal, and the government focuses on the rights of children rather than on families. This situation is only going to get worse.

The best behaved children I have ever seen were in a village in Fiji. They had nothing, and played with sticks in the dirt. They loved clapping games, which have been almost completely forgotten in NZ. They weren’t sad until we gave them balloons and they had something to fight over.

Then we got on a plane to come home and had to put up with whining rich kids fighting over who got to use the GameBoy… You can’t tell me social problems are primarily caused by poverty.

Nanny state gone nuts

Just saw on Campbell Live, a kindergarten is struggling with crazy regulations around gate latches:

  • The Council, according to the building code, requires a gate latch to be low enough to allow disabled access.
  • The Ministry of Education (and all sensible parents) require a latch to be high enough to prevent children escaping onto the road.

These laws are mutually exclusive. This is the craziness you get when you have overly detailed building codes – buildings made to satisfy the book, rather than built logically. We need fewer, sensible laws, rather than the current bureaucratic nightmare.