Roundup: G8 Makes Big Promises on AIDS, Religious Right and Your Orgasms

Brady Swenson

G8 promises $60 billion to fight disease in Africa, A book review on the Religious Right and sex, Obama needs women, UK's Family Planning Association proposes new comprehensive sex ed plan.

G8 Makes Big Promises to Fight AIDS in Africa, Again … The G8 summit began in Hokkaido, Japan yesterday with a commitment from the eight richest nations in the world to spend $60 billion to fight diseases in Africa. However, if history is any indication the G8 is typically heavy on promises and light on the follow-through. In fact, the G8 also "reconfirmed" pledges yesterday from the 2005 summit that have yet to be fulfilled.

Jesus Loves You — and Your Monogomous Orgasm … Please take a moment to check out Louis Bayard’s Salon review of Sex in Crisis, a newly released book by Dagmar Herzog.  While Bayard declares the outward thesis of the book, that we are in the midst of a sexual devolution, to be "pretty damned soft" he writes that Herzog has a more intersting agenda for the book:

She wants to anatomize the subtle and unsubtle ways in
which the Religious Right (a rubric that, in her cosmos, must always be
capitalized) has warped our sexual politics and forced even the most
hardened secular humanists to sing from the Christian hymnal.

Bayard’s review then proceeds to cite some examples of how the Religious Right has done with sex what they do so well with any issue on which they care to focus energy: they reframe the discussion in their favor often by taking control of the language of the discussion.  The Religious Right has realized that simple demonization of sex no longer works and the movement is now embracing sex as natural and even healthy, but only heterosexual, monogomous sex.

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Obama for Women … Gloria Feldt has a good piece of advice for Senator Obama
in his quest for the White House: you need women, Senator.  She points
out that John Kerry garnered just 51% of women in 2004, a margin too
small to put a Democrat in the White House.  A large margin among women
will likely prove both easier and more imporatant than winning over a
pro-lifers from the GOP, as Obama seems to be attempting by backing off
his harsh criticism of the federal abortion ban and his questionable
language on the mental health exception last week.  

UK’s Family Planning Association Advocates Sex and Relationship Education from Age 4 … Policy makers in the UK have been learning from our bad experiences with Abstinence-only sex education.  The Family Planning Association in Britain has proposed a bold new comprehensive sex education plan that begins age-appropriate sex education, such as the names of reproductive organs and the components of healthy relationships, to students from the start of their school lives. 

The Brook chief executive, Simon Blake, said: "If we get high-quality sex and
relationships education in every primary and secondary school across the UK all
the evidence shows teenage pregnancy rates will continue to fall and will
improve young people’s sexual health.

"While sex and relationships education continues to be patchy, another
generation of children and young people do not get the education they need to
form healthy relationships and protect their sexual health." He wants every
primary and secondary school to be legally required to provide sex and
relationships education and secondary schools to ensure young people have access
to free confidential contraceptive and sexual health services.

He told the BBC: "Many young people are having sex because they want to find
out what it is, because they were drunk or because their mates were." He added:
"All the evidence shows that if you start sex and relationships education early
– before children start puberty, before they feel sexual attraction – they start
having sex later. They are much more likely to use contraception and practise
safe sex."


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