Post-Birth Abortion

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tstorm823:
Entirely unrelated? You think it's coincidence that you consistently disregard the stated motives of people you disagree with? That is something you've chosen to do.

You're disregarding my stated motive right now.

I have said several times now that I don't intend to put forward the idea that everyone who disagrees with me is lying or that none of them have sincere points, and you're still trying to prove that's what I really mean. If you think it's some terrible wrong not to consider someone's stated motive, then you need to stop and apologise to me, because this has gone too far.

Fortunately, I don't think that this has gone too far, which is why I'm still indulging this discussion. See, I think I know my own motives, but I could be wrong. I have an imperfect understanding of myself, and I have cognitive biases which shape my perception and which I can't challenge purely on my own. That's why, to some extent, I feel I need to be responsible for the consequences of what I say, not just what I felt I meant by saying it, and if you feel that what I say is having unfair consequences, I'm willing to hear you out if you give me something.

Stated motive is not and should not be the end of a discussion. It should not be considered absolutely trustworthy, exempt from criticism, or taken as inviolable.

tstorm823:
But why do you believe that? Why do you think people in pro-life politics aren't doing everything else they can to avoid abortion?

Because they consistently oppose the most effective means of tackling social problems in the name of some ideological opposition to secular institutions.

Earlier, you mentioned the debate around religious adoption agencies refusing to place children with same-sex couples. What you left out is that the reason that is a problem is that those religious adoption agencies are dependent on state funding, and thus subject to the same equality legislation as any arm of government is obliged to follow. They are not private Christian institutions, they are a semi-autonomous branch of a secular national welfare system with a paper thin veneer of Christianity.

Thoughts and prayers are not enough. Organising a bake sale now and again is not enough. Donating a few old baby clothes is not enough. It might be enough to fix a church roof, but it will not tackle serious problems like poverty, mental health, addiction or social instability which lead a person to feel they cannot afford to have a child. The veneer of superficial "good works" is not enough, it requires real organised action backed up by real funding.

There are also pro-life people, even quite important influential people, who recognize the problem with the broad alignment between American pro-life politics and American conservatism. Catholics in particular (such as the late Cardinal Joseph Bernardin) sometimes do approach being pro-life as a consistent moral philosophy, because they can draw on a global theological tradition which is not bound to the conservative American right and its battle against secularism. But this is not the normal or typical pro-life position, it is at odds with that position.

tstorm823:
But why do you believe that? Why do you think people in pro-life politics aren't doing everything else they can to avoid abortion?

Speaking as someone who has historically devoted a lot of time to abortion debates? It naturally varies by individual, but a great many of the more vocal Pro-Lifers simply aren't doing everything else they can to avoid abortion. Point of fact, a good deal of them champion abstinence-only education, which is infamously ineffective. This was a persistent source of frustration when I was more active in such arguments, that the Pro-Lifers I was arguing against said they wanted to reduce the number of abortions[1], but frequently treated methods of reducing the need for it as anathema.

For many of those I argued against, there was a common underlying trend that makes me more inclined to characterize their position as focusing on "sexual immorality" than pregnancy termination. I don't make such speculation lightly, but when the most common arguments I hear are about how abortion is "avoiding responsibility", and that condoms, IUDs and spermicide should be discouraged in lieu of abstinence-only education so kids will be taught that not having sex is the only viable contraceptive choice? That a couple with an unplanned and unwanted pregnancy should go through with it because they should have known better when they decided to have sex? When I see a persistent characterization of the Pro-Choice position as championing - and I quote - "consequence-free sex"? This paints a pretty vivid picture of these people that suggests they're more concerned with the sex than the abortion.

But less anecdotally, shall we look at some of the larger Pro-Life organizations in the States for a moment? Outside of dedicated Pro-Life organizations, we have the Roman Catholic Church, which is quite infamously anti-contraception. National Right to Life? Officially neutral, on the matter of contraception, but its lobbying history suggests that it's unofficially opposed to contraceptive access. Susan B. Anthony List? Let me just quote their president: "the bottom line is that to lose the connection between sex and having children leads to problems". American Life League? Well to use their own words: "American Life League denies the moral acceptability of artificial contraception and we endorse the moral use of natural methods for spacing children and for trying to have children." There's a bit of a trend here.

So to directly answer your question of why we think people in pro-life politics aren't doing everything else they can to avoid abortion, the answer is that we have a lot of precedence.

[1] Which, mind you, is itself an uncontroversial point. It's always unfortunate when an abortion is needed, and ideally the world will eventually hit a point where abortion is not needed. That's something that Pro-Lifers and Pro-Choicers actually have broad agreement on

Smithnikov:

tstorm823:
Never want to have kids? Don't sleep with people.

There's also birth control and sterilization though, but a certain side of the political divide fought against that too.

Remind me, was it the right or left who opposed legalization of the pill?

"Pro-life" movements have been more interested in controlling women's bodies than preventing abortions and they always have.

evilthecat:

Fortunately, I don't think that this has gone too far, which is why I'm still indulging this discussion. See, I think I know my own motives, but I could be wrong. I have an imperfect understanding of myself, and I have cognitive biases which shape my perception and which I can't challenge purely on my own. That's why, to some extent, I feel I need to be responsible for the consequences of what I say, not just what I felt I meant by saying it, and if you feel that what I say is having unfair consequences, I'm willing to hear you out if you give me something.

Should I give you more of your own words back?

Pro-lifes don't care what happens to children who aren't aborted, because it's not about them, it's about whether their parents really love Jesus, and whether the state really loves Jesus. That's all it ever is, and all it ever was. Any fake concern on top of that is fake.

You've made some absurd claims. That people don't care about neonaticide, they don't care about children, they don't even actually care about abortion, that it's all fake. I don't think this is a fair characterization of even the most fake politicians. And your words demonize the people you disagree with. Much like Asita below you commenting on unfair characterization of the pro-choice position, your unfair characterization of the pro-life position can be seen as illustrative of underlying priorities. Your arguments here contain a lot more "screw these people, get Jesus out of here" than any fair criticism. Because pro-life people do care about the unborn, and the new-born, and children, and adults, and spend a lot of time, money, and effort caring for people. Perhaps you're just unaware.

There are also pro-life people, even quite important influential people, who recognize the problem with the broad alignment between American pro-life politics and American conservatism. Catholics in particular (such as the late Cardinal Joseph Bernardin) sometimes do approach being pro-life as a consistent moral philosophy, because they can draw on a global theological tradition which is not bound to the conservative American right and its battle against secularism. But this is not the normal or typical pro-life position, it is at odds with that position.

Well, the battle between the conservative American right and secularism is some hot Protestant nonsense. They worked so hard for centuries to take away the power of the Vatican they accidentally took away their own power. Protestants did things like secularize marriage in Europe and America so that people wouldn't go to priests for that purpose and then gay marriage showed up and demanded the same removal of religious traditions; sort of like the meme where the guy shoves a stick in his own bike wheel. There's an inherent contradiction when the forces that created the secular world are trying to about face and argue for morality in law, and I don't think the Evangelicals have found a clear position yet on where they see morality in law, but I don't think that's because of any inauthenticity of morals. If you ignore the mess of self-contradictory policy positions for a moment and consider these people by their personal behavior, there's abundant evidence that they work to lift burdens off of others, and that seems to me more than enough evidence that their concern for the unborn is genuine.

Asita:

Speaking as someone who has historically devoted a lot of time to abortion debates? It naturally varies by individual, but a great many of the more vocal Pro-Lifers simply aren't doing everything else they can to avoid abortion. Point of fact, a good deal of them champion abstinence-only education, which is infamously ineffective. This was a persistent source of frustration when I was more active in such arguments, that the Pro-Lifers I was arguing against said they wanted to reduce the number of abortions, but frequently treated methods of reducing the need for it as anathema.

It's ineffectiveness is infamous, but I'm not sure it's earned infamy. The trends they use to justify it have a couple noteworthy flaws, the largest of which is that they specifically compare to "teen birth rates" which is a composite of "teen pregnancy rate" and "abortion rate". When you look instead at all unintended pregnancies, places like New York or California suddenly join the outliers, and then get pulled down when you don't count aborted pregnancies. It's not totally surprising that states passing abstinence education also have fewer abortions among teen pregnancies. And if you compare maps of unintended pregnancies with maps of abstinence only education, you find abstinence only education in some of the places with most pregnancies as well as some of the places with the fewest, and it really feels like there's not a correlation. The map of unintended pregnancy rate has at least as much correlation with population density as it does with form of sex-ed, with just as easy a hot-take to make (the kids are closer together, *wink wink*).

tstorm823:
It's ineffectiveness is infamous, but I'm not sure it's earned infamy.

It has. There are absolutely no shortage of studies demonstrating it is not effective, and even if you want to quibble about the methods of one, that still leaves dozens more out there, e.g.
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3194801/
https://journals.lww.com/ajnonline/Fulltext/2012/03000/Comprehensive_Sex_Education_for_Teens_Is_More.5.aspx
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5913747/

Abstinence only education doesn't appear to make things worse than no education, I guess, so I suppose people can fund it if they want. However, if there's government money, laws and effort going into it, it's pouring tax dollars down the drain and generating sub-optimal outcomes for citizenry, which is into the territory objectionable. Especially from the supposed party of small government.

The second thing to consider is that if the aim really is to reduce unwanted pregnancies and STDs, the same sorts of evidence that show abstinence-only to be ineffective show that comprehensive sex education is effective. Thus, logically, if the aim is to reduce unwanted pregnancy and STDs, you want comprehensive sex ed.

And thus we really can judge some of these organisations: clearly what they want is religious sexual morality, because if their aim really was to stop the unfortunate complications of underage / premarital sex, they'd be using strategies that worked.

Agema:

tstorm823:
It's ineffectiveness is infamous, but I'm not sure it's earned infamy.

It has. There are absolutely no shortage of studies demonstrating it is not effective, and even if you want to quibble about the methods of one, that still leaves dozens more out there, e.g.
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3194801/
https://journals.lww.com/ajnonline/Fulltext/2012/03000/Comprehensive_Sex_Education_for_Teens_Is_More.5.aspx
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5913747/

Abstinence only education doesn't appear to make things worse than no education, I guess, so I suppose people can fund it if they want. However, if there's government money, laws and effort going into it, it's pouring tax dollars down the drain and generating sub-optimal outcomes for citizenry, which is into the territory objectionable. Especially from the supposed party of small government.

The second thing to consider is that if the aim really is to reduce unwanted pregnancies and STDs, the same sorts of evidence that show abstinence-only to be ineffective show that comprehensive sex education is effective. Thus, logically, if the aim is to reduce unwanted pregnancy and STDs, you want comprehensive sex ed.

And thus we really can judge some of these organisations: clearly what they want is religious sexual morality, because if their aim really was to stop the unfortunate complications of underage / premarital sex, they'd be using strategies that worked.

Here's a paradox for you: the evidence that abstinence education is ineffective also show comprehensive sex-ed is effective, in fact it shows this more clearly than studies about only the effectiveness of sex-ed in general. Studies about the effectiveness of sex ed at decreasing teen pregnancy are pretty uninspiring: that places with sex ed were not immune when rates of teen pregnancy were on the rise, and places without sex ed aren't being left behind now that rates are dropping. While I'd argue the correlation between abstinence-only and teen pregnancy is weak, it's more statistically significant that the effectiveness of sex-ed overall. Why?

I think it's a case of correlation =/= causation. Well, I'm not sure it's even fairly correlation, cause we're comparing these maps
image
image

where the split in teen pregnancy is largely a north and south split. One might presume that there are regional cultural and sociological factors that would create that north to south gradient. The state of abstinence education is not that explanatory variable, there are states across the north teaching abstinence and doing fine, and states far disconnected from abstinence education doing poorly. If we suggest that there's a difference between the north and the south that has nothing to do with sex-ed (a few more off the top of my head: average outdoor temperature, concentration of country music, the civil war. Take into account New York showing up, and it could be a map of places in the US most likely to have a shirtless man yelling in a stupid accent), then the fact that more Southern states use abstinence education would generate a false positive that it's less effective if you're studying the correlation between abstinence education and teen pregnancy, especially if the overall effect of sex-ed is minimal.

If I feel particularly ambitious after dinner, I might chart the data from the first study by latitude and see how much stronger a correlation that makes than sex-ed types.

tstorm823:

Agema:

tstorm823:
It's ineffectiveness is infamous, but I'm not sure it's earned infamy.

It has. There are absolutely no shortage of studies demonstrating it is not effective, and even if you want to quibble about the methods of one, that still leaves dozens more out there, e.g.
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3194801/
https://journals.lww.com/ajnonline/Fulltext/2012/03000/Comprehensive_Sex_Education_for_Teens_Is_More.5.aspx
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5913747/

Abstinence only education doesn't appear to make things worse than no education, I guess, so I suppose people can fund it if they want. However, if there's government money, laws and effort going into it, it's pouring tax dollars down the drain and generating sub-optimal outcomes for citizenry, which is into the territory objectionable. Especially from the supposed party of small government.

The second thing to consider is that if the aim really is to reduce unwanted pregnancies and STDs, the same sorts of evidence that show abstinence-only to be ineffective show that comprehensive sex education is effective. Thus, logically, if the aim is to reduce unwanted pregnancy and STDs, you want comprehensive sex ed.

And thus we really can judge some of these organisations: clearly what they want is religious sexual morality, because if their aim really was to stop the unfortunate complications of underage / premarital sex, they'd be using strategies that worked.

Here's a paradox for you: the evidence that abstinence education is ineffective also show comprehensive sex-ed is effective, in fact it shows this more clearly than studies about only the effectiveness of sex-ed in general. Studies about the effectiveness of sex ed at decreasing teen pregnancy are pretty uninspiring: that places with sex ed were not immune when rates of teen pregnancy were on the rise, and places without sex ed aren't being left behind now that rates are dropping. While I'd argue the correlation between abstinence-only and teen pregnancy is weak, it's more statistically significant that the effectiveness of sex-ed overall. Why?

I think it's a case of correlation =/= causation. Well, I'm not sure it's even fairly correlation, cause we're comparing these maps
image
image

where the split in teen pregnancy is largely a north and south split. One might presume that there are regional cultural and sociological factors that would create that north to south gradient. The state of abstinence education is not that explanatory variable, there are states across the north teaching abstinence and doing fine, and states far disconnected from abstinence education doing poorly. If we suggest that there's a difference between the north and the south that has nothing to do with sex-ed (a few more off the top of my head: average outdoor temperature, concentration of country music, the civil war. Take into account New York showing up, and it could be a map of places in the US most likely to have a shirtless man yelling in a stupid accent), then the fact that more Southern states use abstinence education would generate a false positive that it's less effective if you're studying the correlation between abstinence education and teen pregnancy, especially if the overall effect of sex-ed is minimal.

If I feel particularly ambitious after dinner, I might chart the data from the first study by latitude and see how much stronger a correlation that makes than sex-ed types.

Okay, the red map states that they have to teach abstinence but don't have to teach contraception. That doesn't mean that can't teach contraception if I'm reading this correctly. Have you for the data on what is actually taught. Becuase I could imagine many places in those red states choose to teach contraception, I'd also take into account where Pllanned Parenthood and similar services get stacked, becuase I can remember Nevada, California, Texas and Lousiana of the top of my head. School sex-ed is rudimentary, and secondary organisations like this would reinforce sex ed. Thus these attacks and replacements by Christian organisation might be another variable.

trunkage:
Okay, the red map states that they have to teach abstinence but don't have to teach contraception. That doesn't mean that can't teach contraception if I'm reading this correctly. Have you for the data on what is actually taught. Becuase I could imagine many places in those red states choose to teach contraception, I'd also take into account where Pllanned Parenthood and similar services get stacked, becuase I can remember Nevada, California, Texas and Lousiana of the top of my head. School sex-ed is rudimentary, and secondary organisations like this would reinforce sex ed. Thus these attacks and replacements by Christian organisation might be another variable.

I'm making some graphs now. I went off the data from the first study Agema linked. They describe their categories a for abstinence education a little bit. This one, though not exactly cause they did some corrections I can't replicate with certainty without digging deeper. But the important parts are that I used their classifications for abstinence education policies and I used their original data source for rates of teen pregnancy. This one.

Give me a few minutes. Statistics are funny.

I came back.

So first, to post the source graph, they group the states into 4 categories based on what level of abstinence education is being employed, where 0 is no policy and 4 is the stand in for abstinence only.

image

And they did a bunch more analysis removing outliers and making confidence intervals and whatnot. I'm not going to be replicating their methodology alone in a reasonable amount of time, so I gladly concede their statistical analysis is way more rigorous and professional than mine. But even without the further analysis, the trend is visible in this graph, more focus on abstinence correlates with higher rates of teen pregnancy.

That being said, I looked at the map in the post above and noticed a geographical trend in teen pregnancy and did some incredibly shallow analysis. First, I graphed the teen pregnancy rates against latitude. Then I made the graph a second time without Alaska and Hawaii, because those states have average teen pregnancy rates but their latitudes are outliers.

image

Unofrtunately, I made this graph in such a way that south is left and north is right, but it's fine. So as you might expect looking at the map of the US by teen pregnancy, the further north you go (right) the lower the rate tends to be (down). The fit of that line obviously isn't perfect, but comparing trends of human behavior to latitude should be pretty dumb, and that graph is pretty convincing that it isn't. I labeled New Hampshire and Nevada because those states were tossed from the other analysis as extreme outliers. I Labeled New Mexico because it's the highest in their data set. And then I labeled Florida, Virginia, Utah, and New York as states whose colors stand out in that map, to sort of demonstrate if the state is darker than its would be in a perfect gradient it's above the line (New York) and if it's brighter it's below (Utah).

Then once I had my vague correlation, I attempted to correct their data for it. I calculated the residuals from my graph (the distance from each state to the trendline, positive means more pregnancies than predicted, negative means fewer), and then put those residuals against their abstinence education categories. My theory being that if the geography explains all of the differences, then each group based on sex-ed policy would be centered around zero, indicating a state is equally likely to succeed or fail with that policy once latitude is correct for. Where if any grouping of sex-ed policy bucked the geographic trends, the average residuals for that grouping would be further from zero. And here's the result.

image

4 groupings nearly perfectly centered around zero. So for some context, in the left-most group, way at the bottom is their very low outlier New Hampshire with 19 fewer teen pregnancies than geographically predicted, and at the top is the high outlier Nevada with nearly 17 more. But all 4 of those categories are roughly centered around 0. For clarity, the averages are +1.26, -1.32, -1.43, +0.21 for the 4 categories. If you wanted to be so bold as to assume this graph actually means something important, it would suggest the most consistent and most effective policy is group 2, which they describe as the promotion of abstinence without prohibiting discussion of contraception. And also by looking at the two groups that were still higher than expected, you can justify saying Agema is right, that abstinence only education is most similar to not even mentioning abstinence in the first place.

Does all this mean anything? Maybe not. It could just mean that being ignorant of sex-ed is directly correlated with how south you are regardless of the state's official policy. It could mean that sex ed is hardly a factor at all. I just find it fascinating how the one mitigating variable of how far North or South you are in the US corrects out the effects of abstinence-only education they observed. Statistics are basically the art of lying, but if you feel like employing some of that, you can pretty accurately say that a state's policy on abstinence in sex-ed makes no significant difference in teen pregnancy once you correct for the south being terrible.

tstorm823:
You've made some absurd claims. That people don't care about neonaticide, they don't care about children, they don't even actually care about abortion, that it's all fake.

I think it should be obvious from context (which, admittedly, can be conveniently snipped out of a quoted half-paragraph) that when I say "don't care" in this context, I'm not referring purely to some kind of emotional indifference, but rather to an inadequate response.

If it wasn't obvious, treat it as my expressed intent, and remember, questioning my expressed intent is demonising me.

I'm going to make a very obvious comparison to the "thoughts and prayers" which inevitably follow a mass shooting. In a certain sense, meditating on the human tragedy of a mass shooting and praying for the victims and their families does indicate a kind of care. The problem, and the reason "thoughts and prayers" has taken on a somewhat sardonic meaning over the years, is when this kind of emotional response does not translate into a material willingness to resolve the problem.

In essence, if you assert feeling sad about something is, in a sense, a sign of "caring" about it, but if that care does not translate into a willingness to embrace solutions, if "caring" is just an excuse to do nothing while appearing compassionate, then there is another perspective (one which, in this case, I would agree with) which states that the level of "care" is not very sincere, or at the very least is inadequate.

tstorm823:
Because pro-life people do care about the unborn, and the new-born, and children, and adults, and spend a lot of time, money, and effort caring for people.

So did the Nazis.

Shh.. hush my child. I know, it is the law of the Godwins and therefore the internet is sad, but hear me out.

In keeping with the concept of volksgemeinschaft The Nazis engaged in absolutely massive displays of collective charity, particularly the annual winterhilfswerk, which was a program to help German citizens struggling during winter. The Nazi elite would make a huge spectacle of donating to the fund each year.

The fact that the Nazis introduced a robust social welfare program is often cited by right-wingers opposed to social welfare programs (the same people, incidentally, also tend to claim that the Nazis were some kind of libertine pro-choice paradise.. we'll get to that) but they were also extremely into charity and good works. They had a very strong sense of themselves as a compassionate society where everyone would be taken care of, and this translated over into all areas of public life.

Every single group of people with horrible or even murderous politics has generally been composed of people who were perfectly capable of compassion, who did care for others and where they could often attempted to help others. The question is, did they consistently apply that compassion? Were they effective in their helpfulness? Did they materially support those who needed care, and the answer is no. The Nazis banned abortion for German women, but forced abortions on Jewish and Roma women. They made public shows of generosity when it came to winter poverty, but euthanized the disabled on the principle that they would cost too much to care for. They cared, but they also didn't care.

The fact that a person makes a show of caring for others, or the fact that they (on a low level) may even help others in some way does not absolve them of responsibility for supporting shitty politics which lead to cruelty, inhumanity or deprivation. It is not good enough to help out at a homeless shelter once a week while voting for a politician who will cut social housing and income support. It is not good enough to let an AA group meet at your church while supporting politicians who pursue punitive solutions to addiction over more effective medical and social solutions. These are not good enough to count as "caring".

tstorm823:

trunkage:
Okay, the red map states that they have to teach abstinence but don't have to teach contraception. That doesn't mean that can't teach contraception if I'm reading this correctly. Have you for the data on what is actually taught. Becuase I could imagine many places in those red states choose to teach contraception, I'd also take into account where Pllanned Parenthood and similar services get stacked, becuase I can remember Nevada, California, Texas and Lousiana of the top of my head. School sex-ed is rudimentary, and secondary organisations like this would reinforce sex ed. Thus these attacks and replacements by Christian organisation might be another variable.

I'm making some graphs now. I went off the data from the first study Agema linked. They describe their categories a for abstinence education a little bit. This one, though not exactly cause they did some corrections I can't replicate with certainty without digging deeper. But the important parts are that I used their classifications for abstinence education policies and I used their original data source for rates of teen pregnancy. This one.
Give me a few minutes. Statistics are funny.

Okay, so maybe this is where there is some room for disagreement. And just trying to sum everything up.

Your saying that abstinence sex ed has lessened teen prefenancies since the 90s. Agema made the comment that this was untrue. Your proving evidence that does correlate abstinence only training with less teenage pregnancies.

But he was also stating that teaching contraception usage was better than just abstinence training, which your second link was pointing as true as there points like dramatic increases in usage of products like Merinas.

Your third overall point was that abortions were high in place like NY which skew the results. Just doing a rough calculation, maybe 25 % increase from birth to pregnancies stats from the data you provided. I'd argue that this seems to be localised to some states, and I could imagine that some schools do a terrible job. But more data would be needed for me to think one way or another.

Also, one study is over a decade old. I also wonder if economic downturns, like the GFC, would effect this.

Edit: Clearly we were writing at the same time, and don't know if your newest posts answers these questions

trunkage:

Okay, so maybe this is where there is some room for disagreement. And just trying to sum everything up.

Your saying that abstinence sex ed has lessened teen prefenancies since the 90s. Agema made the comment that this was untrue. Your proving evidence that does correlate abstinence only training with less teenage pregnancies.

But he was also stating that teaching contraception usage was better than just abstinence training, which your second link was pointing as true as there points like dramatic increases in usage of products like Merinas.

Your third overall point was that abortions were high in place like NY which skew the results. Just doing a rough calculation, maybe 25 % increase from birth to pregnancies stats from the data you provided. I'd argue that this seems to be localised to some states, and I could imagine that some schools do a terrible job. But more data would be needed for me to think one way or another.

Also, one study is over a decade old. I also wonder if economic downturns, like the GFC, would effect this

The theory often posed is that abstinence-only education leads to notably higher rates of teen pregnancy than more comprehensive education. My thoughts are that those two things correlate, but that might not be the fault of the form of of sex-ed, that could just mean areas employing abstinence only education (largely the south) are also places that independently have high rates of teen pregnancy (also the south), and it wouldn't make a difference what sex-ed they employ, it's just a correlation rather than cause and effect. I put the fun graphs I made into my post above for the world's amusement.

To be clear, I'm not sure any sex ed has lessened teen pregnancy since the 90s. Teen pregnancy has lessened, but I'm not sure sex-ed in school in any form can take responsibility for that. Which is not to say there's no value in sex-ed, just that education might not have any meaningful effect on specifically pregnancy rates.

tstorm823:
snip .

Well, I could imagine it's not just sex ed either. condoms are the literal worst, and with every partner I've had, we ended up giving up on them after a few tries. We found other means.

Some women are notoriously bad at taking the pill, even when it's helps with reducing period pain, not just pregnancies. Having a long term device that doesn't require your input everyday would help too. As far as I remember, there were new laws in the early 2000s were parents DIDNT need to be with a minor at the doctors for certain procedures, especially around sexual health. Maybe that helped too.

tstorm823:
where the split in teen pregnancy is largely a north and south split.

It's not just the USA, though. Sex education is a global concept: data from Europe also finds good quality sex education beneficial in terms of outcomes - although Europe doesn't have much of an specific abstinence movement.

There are certainly a lot of contributing factors to teenage pregnancy rates (etc.) other than sex education. They span social factors: parental involvement, general education, socio-economic status, etc. Benefits of sex education of any sort could easily be outweighed by these other factors, whether positive or negative. We also have to accept that some sex education is likely to be poorly designed or taught, so potentially ineffective.

Nevertheless, no matter how one looks at it, the evidence base for comprehensive sex ed is significantly better than it is for abstinence.

tstorm823:
Here's a paradox for you: the evidence that abstinence education is ineffective also show comprehensive sex-ed is effective, in fact it shows this more clearly than studies about only the effectiveness of sex-ed in general. Studies about the effectiveness of sex ed at decreasing teen pregnancy are pretty uninspiring: that places with sex ed were not immune when rates of teen pregnancy were on the rise, and places without sex ed aren't being left behind now that rates are dropping. While I'd argue the correlation between abstinence-only and teen pregnancy is weak, it's more statistically significant that the effectiveness of sex-ed overall. Why?

...Excuse you? I'm sorry, but I cannot seem to read this in a way that doesn't make me question your understanding of averages. You literally seem to be questioning why when something effective and something ineffective are counted together their average result is lower than that of the effective method when viewed on its own. Ie, "Something's fishy here. Billy has a score of 25 and Sammy has a score of 75...but when I look at them together their average score is only 50, far below Sammy's score."

And uninspiring? 77% of the drop in the teen pregnancy risk index is attributed to improved contraceptive use.

Asita:

...Excuse you? I'm sorry, but I cannot seem to read this in a way that doesn't make me question your understanding of averages. You literally seem to be questioning why when something effective and something ineffective are counted together their average result is lower than that of the effective method when viewed on its own. Ie, "Something's fishy here. Billy has a score of 25 and Sammy has a score of 75...but when I look at them together their average score is only 50, far bellow Sammy's score."

And uninspiring? 77% of the drop in the teen pregnancy risk index is attributed to improved contraceptive use.

It's not a misunderstanding of averages because it's not a comparison to averages, it's a comparison to doing nothing. It's not that comprehensive sex-ed had questionable results comparing places with it to average places, it's that it had questionable results compared to the same places without it.

77% of the drop is attributed to improved contraceptive use, but the rate of teen pregnancy is dropping everywhere, including places with abstinence only education, including places with no mandated sex-ed policy. The accessibility of both contraception and information about contraception has expanded in far more substantial ways than what's taught in schools, why would you attribute that improved contraceptive use to sex-ed?

evilthecat:
[
The fact that a person makes a show of caring for others, or the fact that they (on a low level) may even help others in some way does not absolve them of responsibility for supporting shitty politics which lead to cruelty, inhumanity or deprivation. It is not good enough to help out at a homeless shelter once a week while voting for a politician who will cut social housing and income support. It is not good enough to let an AA group meet at your church while supporting politicians who pursue punitive solutions to addiction over more effective medical and social solutions. These are not good enough to count as "caring".

You understand that many people view morality as a personal responsibility and not a government one? You seem to suggest that if someone really thinks it's moral to shelter the homeless, they are obligated to vote for policies that shelter the homeless through government action. The whole idea of secularism is to separate religion and government, and here you're expecting all Christians to enact the corporal works of mercy by law. If one can't separate personal morality from political positions, then secularism is impossible from the start.

tstorm823:

77% of the drop is attributed to improved contraceptive use, but the rate of teen pregnancy is dropping everywhere, including places with abstinence only education, including places with no mandated sex-ed policy. The accessibility of both contraception and information about contraception has expanded in far more substantial ways than what's taught in schools, why would you attribute that improved contraceptive use to sex-ed?

Because sex education isn't just limited to what is taught in schools (formal sex-ed). It also entails what is being taught by parents and caregivers, public health campaigns, and other sources. And may I remind you in the context of this conversation, we're comparing the efficacy of comprehensive sex education and that of abstinence-only sex education, with a greater context of Pro-lifers tending to favor abstinence-only education, which was claimed to be "infamously ineffective". So let me just go ahead and circle back around to what started this conversation:

My point to you was that the simple fact that Pro-Lifers have tended to favor abstinence-only education and tend to demonize comprehensive education gives us ample reason to believe that "people in pro-life politics aren't doing everything else they can to avoid abortion". The fact that increased use of contraception - which abstinence-only education tends strongly to either turn its nose up to or outright vilify - is attributed as responsible for 77% of the drop in teen pregnancy provides pretty solid evidence in support of that.

If you want to continue on the topic of the efficacy of abstinence only education, I refer you to the following:

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5913747/

The federal government invests over 175 million dollars annually in 'abstinence-only-until-marriage' programs. These programs are required to withhold information on contraception and condom use, except for information on failure rates. Abstinence-only curricula have been found to contain scientifically inaccurate information, distorting data on topics such as condom efficacy, and promote gender stereotypes. An independent evaluation of the federal program, several systematic reviews, and cohort data from population-based surveys find little evidence of efficacy and evidence of possible harm. In contrast, comprehensive sexuality education programs have been found to help teens delay initiation of intercourse and reduce sexual risk behaviors. Abstinence-only polices violate the human rights of adolescents because they withhold potentially life-saving information on HIV and other STIs.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27677440

Interventions were categorised into five types that segment this review literature. Unfortunately, many reviews reported weak and inconsistent evidence of behaviour change. Nonetheless, integration of review findings generated a list of 32 design, content and implementation characteristics that may enhance effectiveness of school-based, sexual-health interventions. Abstinence-only interventions were found to be ineffective in promoting positive changes in sexual behaviour. By contrast, comprehensive interventions, those specifically targeting HIV prevention, and school-based clinics were found to be effective in improving knowledge and changing attitudes, behaviours and health-relevant outcomes.

https://pediatrics.aappublications.org/content/126/3/576

Television, film, music, and the Internet are all becoming increasingly sexually explicit, yet information on abstinence, sexual responsibility, and birth control remains rare. It is unwise to promote "abstinence-only" sex education when it has been shown to be ineffective and when the media have become such an important source of information about "nonabstinence." Recommendations are presented to help pediatricians address this important issue.

...

Federal money should be spent on comprehensive sex education programs but not on abstinence-only programs, which have been found to be ineffective

tstorm823:

You understand that many people view morality as a personal responsibility and not a government one?

And that's the issue with individualism: it misses the Forest for the trees.

tstorm823:

It's not a misunderstanding of averages because it's not a comparison to averages, it's a comparison to doing nothing. It's not that comprehensive sex-ed had questionable results comparing places with it to average places, it's that it had questionable results compared to the same places without it.

77% of the drop is attributed to improved contraceptive use, but the rate of teen pregnancy is dropping everywhere, including places with abstinence only education, including places with no mandated sex-ed policy. The accessibility of both contraception and information about contraception has expanded in far more substantial ways than what's taught in schools, why would you attribute that improved contraceptive use to sex-ed?

A lot of the advantage of sex ed is accepting that teenage sex is just going to happen to some degree, but urging teenagers to have sex as responsibly as possible - often pointing them towards use of contraception, and even things like trying to ensure healthy relationships.

Abstinence-only education promotes distrust of contraception and condoms, even to an extent conceals them. The most horrifying part of it is that there's no good evidence it even significantly reduces teenage sex. It can have no function if it cannot achieve that, because its entire rationale is dependent on it.

tstorm823:
You understand that many people view morality as a personal responsibility and not a government one? You seem to suggest that if someone really thinks it's moral to shelter the homeless, they are obligated to vote for policies that shelter the homeless through government action. The whole idea of secularism is to separate religion and government, and here you're expecting all Christians to enact the corporal works of mercy by law. If one can't separate personal morality from political positions, then secularism is impossible from the start.

You understand that many people view solutions to social problems as an opportunity to perform virtue with ineffective token sacrifices, not anything that will actually do much to help? You seem to suggest that if someone really thinks it's moral to shelter the homeless, they are obligated to do something that will actually cause them to become sheltered. The whole idea of individualism is to separate individuals from effective means of changing their circumstances, and here you're expecting all people who buy into the 'personal responsibility' myth to deliver the resources of society to those who need them. If one can't separate personal morality from the practical effects of one's actions, then performative individual charity without mass coordination is doomed to be recognized for the smug and self-satisfying band-aid applied absurdly to serious mortal wounds that it is.

Seanchaidh:

You understand that many people view solutions to social problems as an opportunity to perform virtue with ineffective token sacrifices, not anything that will actually do much to help? You seem to suggest that if someone really thinks it's moral to shelter the homeless, they are obligated to do something that will actually cause them to become sheltered. The whole idea of individualism is to separate individuals from effective means of changing their circumstances, and here you're expecting all people who buy into the 'personal responsibility' myth to deliver the resources of society to those who need them. If one can't separate personal morality from the practical effects of one's actions, then performative individual charity without mass coordination is doomed to be recognized for the smug and self-satisfying band-aid applied absurdly to serious mortal wounds that it is.

Well, I know you think any problem not solved by the government can never be solved. You pointing this out doesn't do much to advance the dialog here.

Agema:

Abstinence-only education promotes distrust of contraception and condoms, even to an extent conceals them. The most horrifying part of it is that there's no good evidence it even significantly reduces teenage sex. It can have no function if it cannot achieve that, because its entire rationale is dependent on it.

Well sure, as it turns out, sitting teenagers down and telling them what not to do has approximately no impact on their behavior. The cultural circumstances around them are what have an impact. Teaching kids about contraceptives in school is a symptom of a culture that promotes contraceptive use, not the cause of it. Kids who's parents vote to have contraceptives taught in school are going to know about them anyway.Any sex-ed you could teach kids will either be a reinforcement of their existing values or ignored. I don't mean to suggest that abstinence-only education is effective, just that it's shouldn't be infamously ineffective, as earning that infamy would imply it's worse than all the other do-nothings. My whole point here is that the evidence of sex-ed doing anything in any form relies on regional comparisons between places with notably different cultural norms about sexuality in the first place.

Asita:

Because sex education isn't just limited to what is taught in schools (formal sex-ed). It also entails what is being taught by parents and caregivers, public health campaigns, and other sources.

And friends, and strangers on reddit, the list is expansive, I agree.

My point to you was that the simple fact that Pro-Lifers have tended to favor abstinence-only education and tend to demonize comprehensive education gives us ample reason to believe that "people in pro-life politics aren't doing everything else they can to avoid abortion". The fact that increased use of contraception - which abstinence-only education tends strongly to either turn its nose up to or outright vilify - is attributed as responsible for 77% of the drop in teen pregnancy provides pretty solid evidence in support of that.

If you want to continue on the topic of the efficacy of abstinence only education, I refer you to the following:

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5913747/

The federal government invests over 175 million dollars annually in ?abstinence-only-until-marriage? programs. These programs are required to withhold information on contraception and condom use, except for information on failure rates. Abstinence-only curricula have been found to contain scientifically inaccurate information, distorting data on topics such as condom efficacy, and promote gender stereotypes. An independent evaluation of the federal program, several systematic reviews, and cohort data from population-based surveys find little evidence of efficacy and evidence of possible harm. In contrast, comprehensive sexuality education programs have been found to help teens delay initiation of intercourse and reduce sexual risk behaviors. Abstinence-only polices violate the human rights of adolescents because they withhold potentially life-saving information on HIV and other STIs.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27677440

Interventions were categorised into five types that segment this review literature. Unfortunately, many reviews reported weak and inconsistent evidence of behaviour change. Nonetheless, integration of review findings generated a list of 32 design, content and implementation characteristics that may enhance effectiveness of school-based, sexual-health interventions. Abstinence-only interventions were found to be ineffective in promoting positive changes in sexual behaviour. By contrast, comprehensive interventions, those specifically targeting HIV prevention, and school-based clinics were found to be effective in improving knowledge and changing attitudes, behaviours and health-relevant outcomes.

https://pediatrics.aappublications.org/content/126/3/576

Television, film, music, and the Internet are all becoming increasingly sexually explicit, yet information on abstinence, sexual responsibility, and birth control remains rare. It is unwise to promote ?abstinence-only? sex education when it has been shown to be ineffective and when the media have become such an important source of information about ?nonabstinence.? Recommendations are presented to help pediatricians address this important issue.

?

Federal money should be spent on comprehensive sex education programs but not on abstinence-only programs, which have been found to be ineffective

Each of those citations in their own way hint at what I think is the truth.

The first one suggests that comprehensive programs, that is to say those that include information on contraceptives, delayed initiation of intercourse. Is that really a reasonable conclusion? That teaching kids about condoms makes them have less sex? I don't think that's a particularly reasonable conclusion. I'm sure what their data says is that comprehensive sex-ed correlates with delayed initiation of intercourse. I think the much more reasonable thing to think is that places providing comprehensive sex-ed are more likely to have culture of responsible sexual habits.

The second one flatly says there is weak and inconsistent evidence of behavioral change. I think that's an important sentence, because behavioral change is usually both the goal and failure of studies of youth behavior. There is certainly a positive correlation between what people are shown and what their perception is, but not so much behavior. A lot of the studies reporting positive results of sex-ed are reporting on the changes in knowledge and perception during the program, less so on changes in behavior. Both those first two sources with a little reading are upset at studies for failing to better measure actual sexual habits and outcomes in stis/pregnancy, and instead reporting essentially on how well they did on quizzes. Read that paragraph closely: they judge abstinence-only education by failure in the most difficult metric, changing behavior, and then praise comprehensive programs for doing all sorts of things, most of which are left unstated for abstinence-only. I can't blame people for assuming from that paragraph that the abstinence programs were utter failures even while the door is left open for studies to have observed the same drops in knowledge, attitudes, and health outcomes. Unfortunately, these are all meta-analyses of meta-analyses behind paywalls behind paywalls, so to actually find out the results being reported would require a thesis worth of research.

The third one is basically crossing it's eyes trying to track its own logic to the conclusion: sexuality is becoming more prominently displayed (and we won't mention that responsible sexual behavior is up while most negative effects are dropping) therefore let's spend federal money to display it even further? "Our little babies are seeing sex on tv... we need to do something before they follow current trends and becoming increasing safer sexually than we ever were!"

Pro-life people may have some misplaced belief that a school class on abstinence will increase abstinence. But I think everyone else has a misplaced belief that sex-ed works at all for that purpose.

tstorm823:

The first one suggests that comprehensive programs, that is to say those that include information on contraceptives, delayed initiation of intercourse. Is that really a reasonable conclusion? That teaching kids about condoms makes them have less sex?

No, that's not a reasonable conclusion. But it's based on a misunderstanding, as that's not what comprehensive sex ed is.

Comprehensive sex education is about responsible sexual activity... but only some of that is contraception. It also covers fostering healthy relationships, the importance of mutual respect and the place of sex within relationships. Knowledge, attitudes, skills and values that attempt to empower teenagers to make their own decisions constructively. By attempting to engage with reality, specifically the reality that teenagers are going to have sex, it can help guide them to do so as safely as possible. Things like waiting for relationships to develop further before having sex than otherwise, resisting peer pressure or not putting peer pressure on others, and so on.

But abstinence-only education is not about individual empowerment: quite the opposite. It starts from a position of unreality that children can just be told not have sex. After that, it is effectively an intimidation tactic to drive children to religiously-inspired behaviour. Obey religious morality, and your life shall be fine - have a carrot. But by witholding advice to make best decisions for those having sex, all the more likely disobedience will end in "punishment" with adverse events. That punishment is the stick to scare kids into desired moral activity. And it fails.

tstorm823:

Well, I know you think any problem not solved by the government can never be solved. You pointing this out doesn't do much to advance the dialog here.

Not at all. Private individuals are absolutely capable of solving virtually any problem if they combine together and coordinate and they have the resources at their disposal. Charity has not solved homelessness. And I'm not really in the mood to wait around until it does. Especially as there is no particular reason to believe that it will.

Charity is theoretically capable of solving homelessness. Government is demonstrably capable of solving homelessness. You can wait on Bezos or Gates or Buffett if you like, but don't think for a second that amounts to a real desire to solve the problem.

People who claim to not want the government infringing on their personal liberties should stop supporting the government from infringing on personal liberties.

Seanchaidh:

Not at all. Private individuals are absolutely capable of solving virtually any problem if they combine together and coordinate and they have the resources at their disposal. Charity has not solved homelessness. And I'm not really in the mood to wait around until it does. Especially as there is no particular reason to believe that it will.

Charity is theoretically capable of solving homelessness. Government is demonstrably capable of solving homelessness. You can wait on Bezos or Gates or Buffett if you like, but don't think for a second that amounts to a real desire to solve the problem.

I would love to see your demonstrations of government solving homelessness. I'm sure they aren't more propaganda pieces from dictatorships.

tstorm823:

Seanchaidh:

Not at all. Private individuals are absolutely capable of solving virtually any problem if they combine together and coordinate and they have the resources at their disposal. Charity has not solved homelessness. And I'm not really in the mood to wait around until it does. Especially as there is no particular reason to believe that it will.

Charity is theoretically capable of solving homelessness. Government is demonstrably capable of solving homelessness. You can wait on Bezos or Gates or Buffett if you like, but don't think for a second that amounts to a real desire to solve the problem.

I would love to see your demonstrations of government solving homelessness. I'm sure they aren't more propaganda pieces from dictatorships.

Say what you will about Utah (and some other places), but I wouldn't call it a dictatorship.

Seanchaidh:

Say what you will about Utah (and some other places), but I wouldn't call it a dictatorship.

So, there are still homeless in Utah? Sounds solved to me!

More seriously, you're pointing to a policy of housing most of the homeless left over after charities get to people first, and the charities are helping most of the people who don't have homes without help, and the vast majority of people have homes without anyone giving it to them.

I was hoping you'd try and point to some socialist utopia, because the thing about free will is that the only way to truly eradicate homelessness involves prison.

tstorm823:

Seanchaidh:

Say what you will about Utah (and some other places), but I wouldn't call it a dictatorship.

So, there are still homeless in Utah? Sounds solved to me!

More seriously, you're pointing to a policy of housing most of the homeless left over after charities get to people first, and the charities are helping most of the people who don't have homes without help, and the vast majority of people have homes without anyone giving it to them.

I was hoping you'd try and point to some socialist utopia, because the thing about free will is that the only way to truly eradicate homelessness involves prison.

If everyone who wants housing has housing that is acceptable to them, then homelessness is solved. Utah and other places cut homelessness dramatically and the method they used-- simply giving people homes-- is easy for a government to accomplish. Buy their construction. Give them away. Easy. Government is demonstrably capable of solving the problem. Bezos, by himself, could give $100,000 to every homeless person in the United States and still have billions left over. But I'm not going to wait for him to do that because I actually want to solve the problem.

tstorm823:

I would love to see your demonstrations of government solving homelessness. I'm sure they aren't more propaganda pieces from dictatorships.

Ending homelessness down to the last individual is probably impossible. Nevertheless, it's both child's play and cheap for the government to support socialised housing which would greatly mitigate homelessness.

In the UK, for instance, the rate of rough sleepers has increased anywhere from twofold to fivefold since 2010 (the difference depending on how it's measured and the fact it's estimated). Why? Because the government has slashed local council funding which led to drastic cuts facilities for such people, and support for people at risk of losing their homes. If we could pay for it in 2010, there's no earthly reason it can't be paid for in 2019 except that the government doesn't want to. If we included wider homelessness, even that used to be well covered - until they forced the sale of socialised housing in the 1980-90s and didn't replace it with new builds. Christ - it didn't even save money in the end, just ensured public money was poured into the pockets of private landlords instead.

tstorm823:

Seanchaidh:

Say what you will about Utah (and some other places), but I wouldn't call it a dictatorship.

So, there are still homeless in Utah? Sounds solved to me!

More seriously, you're pointing to a policy of housing most of the homeless left over after charities get to people first, and the charities are helping most of the people who don't have homes without help, and the vast majority of people have homes without anyone giving it to them.

I was hoping you'd try and point to some socialist utopia, because the thing about free will is that the only way to truly eradicate homelessness involves prison.

Just because a solution doesn't permanent eradicate 100% of a problem doesn't mean it doesn't work nor should be implemented.

After all, a wall wouldn't stop all illegal immigration but since it solves some of it you claim it's necessary. So what's the difference?

undeadsuitor:

Just because a solution doesn't permanent eradicate 100% of a problem doesn't mean it doesn't work nor should be implemented.

After all, a wall wouldn't stop all illegal immigration but since it solves some of it you claim it's necessary. So what's the difference?

I couldn't have said it better myself! Somewhere around 99.9% of people in the US have a roof over their heads based on normal economic forces along with the generosity of people before the government gets involved, and the person I was interacting with is known for calling for the swift end of our current economic structure.

tstorm823:

undeadsuitor:

Just because a solution doesn't permanent eradicate 100% of a problem doesn't mean it doesn't work nor should be implemented.

After all, a wall wouldn't stop all illegal immigration but since it solves some of it you claim it's necessary. So what's the difference?

I couldn't have said it better myself! Somewhere around 99.9% of people in the US have a roof over their heads based on normal economic forces along with the generosity of people before the government gets involved, and the person I was interacting with is known for calling for the swift end of our current economic structure.

If homelessness were the only reason, it might indeed be a weak argument.

But that's just the tip of the iceberg, as you well know. The fact of the matter is that government is demonstrably capable of solving homelessness and private charity hasn't and almost certainly won't. Though I'd be delighted if you convinced Emperor Bezos to donate the resources to do so in order to prove me wrong momentarily.

tstorm823:

undeadsuitor:

Just because a solution doesn't permanent eradicate 100% of a problem doesn't mean it doesn't work nor should be implemented.

After all, a wall wouldn't stop all illegal immigration but since it solves some of it you claim it's necessary. So what's the difference?

I couldn't have said it better myself! Somewhere around 99.9% of people in the US have a roof over their heads based on normal economic forces along with the generosity of people before the government gets involved, and the person I was interacting with is known for calling for the swift end of our current economic structure.

That is true, on a purely statistical level. However, the source I found states that overall, the number of homeless people went up 0.7% between 2016 and 2017.

Now, I will be completely fair. In that time gap, more states reported a drop in homeless rates than an increase. It's just that those states that reported increased rates more than canceled out the states that reported a decrease.

On a different note, there is a shift happening in terms of housing, with the focus now on permanent housing for homeless people rather than transitional housing. That is a promising sign for the future, although we'll just have to wait and see how it pans out.

thebobmaster:

tstorm823:

undeadsuitor:

Just because a solution doesn't permanent eradicate 100% of a problem doesn't mean it doesn't work nor should be implemented.

After all, a wall wouldn't stop all illegal immigration but since it solves some of it you claim it's necessary. So what's the difference?

I couldn't have said it better myself! Somewhere around 99.9% of people in the US have a roof over their heads based on normal economic forces along with the generosity of people before the government gets involved, and the person I was interacting with is known for calling for the swift end of our current economic structure.

That is true, on a purely statistical level. However, the source I found states that overall, the number of homeless people went up 0.7% between 2016 and 2017.

Now, I will be completely fair. In that time gap, more states reported a drop in homeless rates than an increase. It's just that those states that reported increased rates more than canceled out the states that reported a decrease.

On a different note, there is a shift happening in terms of housing, with the focus now on permanent housing for homeless people rather than transitional housing. That is a promising sign for the future, although we'll just have to wait and see how it pans out.

First of all, most homeless are not even counted and cities are notorious for burying and under reporting their homeless issues. Especially in well off suburbs where they have extreme shortages in affordable housing. We do not have anywhere near accurate numbers on the actual numbers of homeless that are rough sleepers. In addition, we have the other issue of cities making homelessness illegal and bussing their homeless out of state, frequently to California. Many of those homeless in California did not start there:

https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/ng-interactive/2017/dec/20/bussed-out-america-moves-homeless-people-country-study

Cities across the US do just about anything and everything to either ignore their homeless or get rid of them rather than actually help them. It isn't that there are not many rough sleeping homeless, it is that they make it so they cannot be counted because it is illegal for them to exist.

https://money.cnn.com/2014/07/16/pf/illegal-homeless/
https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-05-01/it-becoming-illegal-be-homeless-america
https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2014/07/16/criminalizing-homeless-no-camping-laws/12723745/

In addition, they consider those in homeless shelters to be "sheltered" when in fact the shelters can be more dangerous than rough sleeping in many cases. Even those sleeping in cars, closets, sheds or rat filled bins have been counted as "sheltered". Many homeless refuse to allow themselves to be counted out of fear of what will happen to them if they are. At the free clinic, we get many who are homeless but do not want to be reported as homeless due to it hurting their reputation, job prospects, ability to receive medication and many other issues that unfairly impact homeless moreso than the general population. Frequently when Hospitals and medical providers find out a person is homeless, they are less likely to prescribe them necessary pain medication or any valuable medication that could be abused,sold or stolen. The Homeless receive less quality of care out of any group due to hospitals being worried about not being reimbursed for the costs of care. They will literally ditch these patients in the street somewhere away from the hospital in the hopes they won't come back. It is seriously that bad. I do not blame people for not wanting people to find out they are homeless, as their treatment is extremely harsh. The vast majority of Homeless patients I deal with are not counted as being homeless due to them not wanting to be counted. It is honestly in their best interests not to be counted. Until that changes, do not expect accurate numbers on homelessness.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Homeless_dumping
https://www.vice.com/en_us/article/yvezpv/hospitals-are-dumping-mentally-ill-patients-in-los-angeles-skid-row

https://voiceofoc.org/2019/03/aclu-report-highlights-unsanitary-conditions-and-misconduct-at-oc-homeless-shelters/
https://www.ocregister.com/2018/12/19/234-homeless-people-who-have-died-in-orange-county-will-be-remembered-at-these-2018-memorial-services/
https://voiceofoc.org/2019/02/federal-judge-carter-calls-ocs-skyrocketing-homeless-deaths-a-public-health-crisis/

http://www.sfexaminer.com/city-struggles-get-accurate-measure-homeless-population/
https://www.nydailynews.com/new-york/city-lying-safety-homeless-shelters-article-1.3952889
https://www.pewtrusts.org/en/research-and-analysis/blogs/stateline/2017/07/07/a-hidden-population-youth-homelessness-is-on-the-rise

Seanchaidh:

If homelessness were the only reason, it might indeed be a weak argument.

But that's just the tip of the iceberg, as you well know. The fact of the matter is that government is demonstrably capable of solving homelessness and private charity hasn't and almost certainly won't. Though I'd be delighted if you convinced Emperor Bezos to donate the resources to do so in order to prove me wrong momentarily.

Repeating stupid things doesn't make them less stupid. You've demonstrated at best that government is capable of cleaning up most of what's left of a problem that's almost entirely solved before the government gets involved. Your dream system struggles with the last .1%, and you'd do away with the forces that manage the 99.9.

tstorm823:

Seanchaidh:

If homelessness were the only reason, it might indeed be a weak argument.

But that's just the tip of the iceberg, as you well know. The fact of the matter is that government is demonstrably capable of solving homelessness and private charity hasn't and almost certainly won't. Though I'd be delighted if you convinced Emperor Bezos to donate the resources to do so in order to prove me wrong momentarily.

Repeating stupid things doesn't make them less stupid. You've demonstrated at best that government is capable of cleaning up most of what's left of a problem that's almost entirely solved before the government gets involved. Your dream system struggles with the last .1%, and you'd do away with the forces that manage the 99.9.

Yeah solving the problem by private means was not a thing. It did it way worse than what the government has. Just becuase the government doesn't do a good job, doesn't mean private institutions did it better.

The government also doesn't ban private institutions from helping now. They could work in partnership rather than at each others throat like you. Becuase I'm sure that more ideas is better than less.

Lastly, the only reason why 99.9% are doing well is becuase of Capitalism working with Socialism. We saw 150 years ago that Capitalism failed and needed to be contained so that everyone could benefit. Putting in Socialist programs like Federal Banks, lawyers for everyone, monopoly break ups and laws against their creation, progressive taxes etc. helped everyone. And it even helped the rich, as the lower class has more buying power leads to more wealth

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