China, which carries out more executions than any country -- Iran comes in a semi-close second -- is pledging to reduce the number of people killed by the state. While far from abolishing the death penalty, the government is narrowing the definition of execution-worthy crime.
A new study looking at virginity pledges -- promises made by teenagers to wait until marriage for sex -- has found that such vows largely fell flaccid, as sexual behavior of pledged teens was little different than non-pledgers, and that, hilariously, a whopping 82 percent, five years later, had either forgotten or denied taking the pledge.
Yet more evidence that the abstinence-until-marriage crowd is deluding itself into believing that virginity pledges have any real value. (Above, virginity pledgers and their fathers at a so-called purity ball.)
New Truthdig contributor Gene Gerard, a longtime college professor of history, religion and ethics, examines the efforts of conservative legislators to stifle discussion of contraceptives in public schools--in favor of abstinence-only education.
An Op-Ed writer in The N Times says that it's no wonder chastity vows don't work: Christian communities don't meaningfully support those who make them .
States like Colorado are holding dances in which fathers goad their daughters into pledging to remain virgins until marriage. (Never mind that abstinence pledges actually increase risky sexual activity.) You won't believe the creepy anti-sex scripts the fathers read.