Tag Archives: Behavior

Obama administration wants birth control to be covered by health insurance

Here’s the raw story from U.S. News and World Report.

Excerpt:

Beginning Aug. 1, 2012, women in the United States will have their birth control covered by insurance companies, free of co-pays, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services announced Monday.

“Most private health care plans, including the private health care plan available to members of Congress, already include most of these services, including contraception. Family planning is something that keeps women healthy, and it was an important piece of today’s announcement,” Stephanie Cutter, a White House advisor, told ABC News Monday.

The move to make contraception free to women is one of eight new measures aimed at providing “preventive health services” to women, the HHS said. They follow on recommendations from a report issued July 19 by the Institute of Medicine (IOM), which advises the federal government.

The new initiatives are based on those recommendations and seek to expand women’s access to preventive services under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.

“The Affordable Care Act helps stop health problems before they start,” HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius said in an agency statement released Monday. “These historic guidelines are based on science and existing literature, and will help ensure women get the preventive health benefits they need.”

The IOM report was commissioned by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to identify “gaps in preventive services for women as well as measures that will further ensure women’s health and well-being,” the agency said.

The problem with this is that taxpayer-funded contraception has been tried in the UK and it has been found to raise unwanted pregnancy rates. So why would anyone do this? Well, because more premarital sex means fewer stable marriages. And marital breakdown results in fatherlessness, which gives the state a crisis to solve. And whenever the state has a crisis to solve, they can push for higher taxes and more social engineering. For example, they can equalize life outcomes between single mothers and married couples by subsidizing the one former with the wealth generated by the latter.  Besides, children accept what public schools teach them much better when there is no pesky father around to compete with the government-run schools.

But there’s a more sinister reason. More unwanted pregnancies means more abortions, which are mainly provided by Planned Parenthood. Planned Parenthood will get more fees and the Democrat Party will get more donations.

I think that Dr. Jennifer Roback Morse is going to be discussing this tonight on Catholic Radio of San Diego from 6 to 7 PM Pacific Standard Time.

New study finds that gays can change their sexual orientation

From Life Site News.

Excerpt:

Researchers at Fordham University in New York have publisheda study in the March edition of the Journal of Men’s Studies, showing that positive results can be gained by homosexual men seeking to change their “orientation” by developing healthy non-sexual relationships with other men.

According to the National Association for Research and Therapy of Homoseuxality (NARTH), the study rovides “valuable empirical evidence” from the mainstream of psychological research supporting environmental factors as the cause of homosexuality.

The study, by Dr. Elan Y. Karten and Dr. Jay C. Wade, examined the “social and psychological characteristics” of men who experience unwanted homosexual attractions and who seek “sexual orientation change efforts” (SOCE).

Investigating these characteristics in cases of “self-reported change,” Karten and Wade found that clients reported that they experienced “a decrease in homosexual feelings and behavior, an increase in heterosexual feelings and behavior, and a positive change in psychological functioning” with SOCE.

The researchers discovered that the most significant factors correlating to successful orientation change were “reduced conflict in expressing nonsexual affection with other men, being married, and feeling disconnected with men prior to treatment.”

NARTH commented that the factors like “reduced conflict in expressing nonsexual affection with men,” provide “valuable empirical evidence” that homosexual thoughts and feelings are greatly influenced by social and psychological factors,” instead of being biologically pre-determined.

NARTH also noted that the study demonstrated that there is a growing body of mainstream literature that is “beginning to give voice” to the value of SOCE.

You won’t hear this reported in the mainstream media… or in the speeches of Democrat politicians.

Previously I wrote a post entitled “What causes homosexuality? Is there a gay gene?” which is also useful.

What works to halt the spread of AIDS? Morality or condoms?

New Map of Africa
New Map of Africa

From MercatorNet.

Excerpt:

Earlier this year, the journal PLoS Medicine published a stunning report about the prevalence of AIDS in Zimbabwe. Over the ten years to 2007 HIV prevalence was halved. This decline is almost unique in sub-Saharan Africa.

Aha! you might say. Despite the disastrous state of its economy, Zimbabwe has been distributing condoms by the millions to bring down adult prevalence from 27 percent to 16 percent. But you would be quite wrong. It is not condoms which are saving the lives of thousands of Zimbabweans, say researchers, but changes in behaviour, “mainly reductions in extramarital, commercial, and casual sexual relations”.

In other words, it looks like abstinence and fidelity are the secret to turning around the devastating AIDS epidemic which has killed 30 million people and infected 33 million and orphaned 16 million children.

Not condoms.

This report supports the thesis of the authors of the fascinating book Affirming Love, Avoiding AIDS, Matthew Hanley and Jokin de Irala.

[…]Hanley and de Irala show that “primary behaviour change” is the best weapon for fighting AIDS, not “harm reduction”. In fact, the rapid spread of AIDS in sub-Saharan Africa, despite a thorough understanding of how it spreads and billions spent on risk reduction, is “one of the greatest failures in the history of public health”. The South African strategy assumed, for instance, that the spread of AIDS has little to do with sexual responsibility. Authorities there promoted condoms with a “have fun but play safely” campaign. The results have been disastrous. About 18 percent of men and women between 18 and 49 live with HIV/AIDS.

The AIDS bureaucracy is committed to technical fixes despite lip service to abstinence and fidelity. Condoms, voluntary counselling and testing and treatment of other sexually transmitted diseases are their strategies. All of these are effective to some degree, but they ignore mounting evidence that HIV transmission rates remain high despite widespread distribution of condoms. In Botswana, the authors point out, condom sales increased from 1 million in 1993 to 3 million in 2001, while HIV prevalence rose from 27 to 45 percent among pregnant urban women. Between 1990 and 2002 life expectancy fell by 30 years in Botswana, a decline “unprecedented in the history of the human race”.

Why don’t condoms work? It’s not a question of permeability or breakage, but of how they are used. For one thing, only consistent condom use is effective in warding off AIDS. Yet it appears that most men use condoms very irregularly. And the evidence is mounting that condoms actually promote risky sexual behaviour because users feel that they are protected.

The engine of the epidemic is multiple sex partners, a growing number of AIDS researchers believe. When people have stopped engaging in casual sex and participating in a web of sex relationships, as has happened in Uganda and Zimbabwe, AIDS rates have fallen dramatically.

Here’s the abstract from the paper:

There is growing recognition that primary prevention, including behavior change, must be central in the fight against HIV/AIDS. The earlier successes in Thailand and Uganda may not be fully relevant to the severely affected countries of southern Africa.

We conducted an extensive multi-disciplinary synthesis of the available data on the causes of the remarkable HIV decline that has occurred in Zimbabwe (29% estimated adult prevalence in 1997 to 16% in 2007), in the context of severe social, political, and economic disruption.

The behavioral changes associated with HIV reduction—mainly reductions in extramarital, commercial, and casual sexual relations, and associated reductions in partner concurrency—appear to have been stimulated primarily by increased awareness of AIDS deaths and secondarily by the country’s economic deterioration. These changes were probably aided by prevention programs utilizing both mass media and church-based, workplace-based, and other inter-personal communication activities.

Focusing on partner reduction, in addition to promoting condom use for casual sex and other evidence-based approaches, is crucial for developing more effective prevention programs, especially in regions with generalized HIV epidemics.

Government programs that basically try to take promiscuity as a given and then reshuffle wealth around to make the promiscuous avoid the consequences of their own choices. Why is that? Well, government bureaucrats would be out of a job if people behaved responsibly – they have every incentive NOT to solve social problems. The bigger the social problems, the more money they can collect in taxes. The more money they collect in taxes, the more they can play Robin Hood and get accolades from the public for their generosity. That is the real reason that people on the left, who love to feel as though they are solving problems for people by shuffling money around, oppose personal responsibility.

MUST-READ: Jennifer Roback Morse explains why two-parent families matter

Article here in Policy Review, a publication of the Hoover Institute at Stanford University.

Excerpt:

A free society needs people with consciences. The vast majority of people must obey the law voluntarily. If people don’t conform themselves to the law, someone will either have to compel them to do so or protect the public when they do not. It costs a great deal of money to catch, convict, and incarcerate lawbreakers — not to mention that the surveillance and monitoring of potential criminals tax everybody’s freedom if habitual lawbreakers comprise too large a percentage of the population.

The basic self-control and reciprocity that a free society takes for granted do not develop automatically. Conscience development takes place in childhood. Children need to develop empathy so they will care whether they hurt someone or whether they treat others fairly. They need to develop self-control so they can follow through on these impulses and do the right thing even if it might benefit them to do otherwise.

All this development takes place inside the family. Children attach to the rest of the human race through their first relationships with their parents. They learn reciprocity, trust, and empathy from these primal relationships. Disrupting those foundational relations has a major negative impact on children as well as on the people around them. In particular, children of single parents — or completely absent parents — are more likely to commit crimes.

Without two parents, working together as a team, the child has more difficulty learning the combination of empathy, reciprocity, fairness, and self-command that people ordinarily take for granted. If the child does not learn this at home, society will have to manage his behavior in some other way. He may have to be rehabilitated, incarcerated, or otherwise restrained. In this case, prisons will substitute for parents.

I am reading her book Love and Economics right now, and this argument is in the first couple of chapters, which is how I found this article.

Dr. J’s blog is here.

Navy SEALs face assault charges from Iraqi terrorist they captured

Let me start by quoting Jeralyn Merritt of TalkLeft, who doesn’t approve of punishing the Fort Hood terrorist with the death penalty.

She writes:

Major Nidal Hasan had his first hearing in the Ft. Hood murder case. The hearing was held in the hospital. His lawyer says he is paralyzed from the chest down, incontinent and in severe pain.

[…]How barbaric that the military will seek to kill a man with no sensation in his body from the chest down. He might prefer it (I certainly would) but it’s inexusable behavior for a civilized society and way beyond the pale of decency.

One wonders what she would say to the families of the victims.

The death penalty as a deterrent to future crimes

The trouble with Democrats is that they make decisions based on feelings and intentions, instead of based on knowledge and results. No one likes the death penalty, but that’s not the point of it. The point of the death penalty is that is deters future crimes.

The left-wing Washington Post reports on the latest research.

Excerpt:

“Science does really draw a conclusion. It did. There is no question about it,” said Naci Mocan, an economics professor at the University of Colorado at Denver. “The conclusion is there is a deterrent effect.”

A 2003 study he co-authored, and a 2006 study that re-examined the data, found that each execution results in five fewer homicides, and commuting a death sentence means five more homicides. “The results are robust, they don’t really go away,” he said. “I oppose the death penalty. But my results show that the death penalty (deters) – what am I going to do, hide them?”

Statistical studies like his are among a dozen papers since 2001 that capital punishment has deterrent effects. They all explore the same basic theory – if the cost of something (be it the purchase of an apple or the act of killing someone) becomes too high, people will change their behavior (forego apples or shy from murder).

[…]Among the conclusions:

– Each execution deters an average of 18 murders, according to a 2003 nationwide study by professors at Emory University. (Other studies have estimated the deterred murders per execution at three, five and 14).

– The Illinois moratorium on executions in 2000 led to 150 additional homicides over four years following, according to a 2006 study by professors at the University of Houston.

– Speeding up executions would strengthen the deterrent effect. For every 2.75 years cut from time spent on death row, one murder would be prevented, according to a 2004 study by an Emory University professor.

So, removing the death penalty encourages criminals to commit more crime. And this also applies to terrorism. If you want to coddle captured terrorists by giving them civilian trials and life imprisonment, instead of military trials and death sentences, then you get more terrorism.

Navy SEALS face criminal charges after capturing terrorist

Now let’s turn to this story from Fox News. (via The Weekly Standard via Fausta’s Blog)

Excerpt:

Navy SEALs have secretly captured one of the most wanted terrorists in Iraq — the alleged mastermind of the murder and mutilation of four Blackwater USA security guards in Fallujah in 2004. And three of the SEALs who captured him are now facing criminal charges, sources told FoxNews.com.

The three, all members of the Navy’s elite commando unit, have refused non-judicial punishment — called an admiral’s mast — and have requested a trial by court-martial.

Ahmed Hashim Abed, whom the military code-named “Objective Amber,” told investigators he was punched by his captors — and he had the bloody lip to prove it.

Now, instead of being lauded for bringing to justice a high-value target, three of the SEAL commandos, all enlisted, face assault charges and have retained lawyers.

Just consider the incentives being created by this prosecution of Navy SEALS. This is exactly what caused the Army and the FBI to keep silent when Major Nidal Hasan was giving all the warning signs of committing a terrorist attack, including communicating with terrorists. The Army and the FBI didn’t want to face the wrath of politically correct lawyers and judges.

So we have the left opposing the death penalty for terrorism on the one hand, and on the other hand the left is in favor of prosecuting Navy SEALs and CIA interrogators for their work in stopping terrorism.

How Modern Liberals Think

If you want to understand why people on the left call evil good and call good evil, be sure and watch Evan Sayet’s speech at the Heritage Foundation, entitled “How Modern Liberals Think”.

Here’s the lecture:

Democrats aren’t not serious about evil, and that disqualifies them from any office involving national security. In my opinion, they are not qualified to do anything of any importance.