Posted by: bridget | 26 June 2007

Tuesday Round-Up

Quick Tuesday blogging on items of interest:

A British girl sued her school for the right to wear her chastity ring.

Mr. Nettley acknowledged that Ms. Playfoot had had been punished for wearing the ring in May 2005, by being separated from other students for an afternoon. And, he said, he had permitted students of other faiths to wear items, like a Muslim headscarf, known as a hijab, and Kara bangles worn by Sikhs.

But, he said, he believed such items were a religious requirement while Ms. Playfoot’s ring was “just one of several methods of publicizing a specific view within the Christian faith.”

It is really odd to state that a school is best-equipped to determine what articles of clothing, accessories, or jewelry are necessary to one’s faith. It is also odd to prohibit one item on the grounds that there are other items that express the same belief. The student is then prohibited from wearing any item that is not a unique identifier of faith (as both the desired item and the alternate are but one method of publicising one’s faith), or the school is in the position of determining which article is the best expression of faith.

Chastity rings are not disruptive. As the pachyderm understands them, they are a lot like wedding rings, except the wearer is pledged to God until marriage instead of being pledged to a spouse until death. Unless the school would ban the wearing of wedding rings for married persons, there is little reason to ban chastity rings, especially when they carry religious significance.

A study determined that the eldest children in a family have slightly higher IQs than their siblings. The authors of the study attributed the differential to family dynamics, including care by the parents.

Something else is at work, Dr. Zajonc said, and he has found evidence that tutoring — a natural role for older siblings — benefits the teacher more than it does the student. “Explaining something to a younger sibling solidifies your knowledge and allows you to grow more extensively,” he said. “The younger one is asking questions, and challenging meanings and explanations, and that will contribute to the intellectual maturity of the older one.”

While the pachyderm doesn’t have much more than a passing interest in intelligence testing, she is a raging feminist who would like to note that there is more than family dynamics at play here. The IQ test is highly g-loaded; there are many people who think it is a near-perfect test of intellectual capability (not achievement). Many people also focus on minor differentials in IQ (most notably, to work backwards from them and determine that women are inherently inferiour to men). One thing that this new study shows us is that environment – even that which does not influence biology (unlike, for example, nutritional levels or womb environment) can influence “innate” intelligence.

More weird headlines: “Abortion procedure cased death, lawsuit alleges.” A couple sued Planned Parenthood after their daughter died from infection caused by a badly-performed abortion procedure.

First and foremost: abortion deaths (and other harm, such as infertility, haemorrhaging, or infection) are horrible results of abortion that only create more problems. These are not as rare as one may think:

Goode’s is the third known death among Planned Parenthood patients in California in the last four years. Holly Patterson, 18, of Livermore, Calif., died of an infection after a nonsurgical abortion [RU-486] in 2003. Diana Lopez, a 25-year-old Huntington Park woman, bled to death a year earlier after her cervix was punctured during the procedure.

That said, it is strange that these parents are utterly unconcerned that Planned Parenthood had the purposeful intention of killing their grandchild, but are suing over the death of their daughter. It is only logical to sue over both events or neither event. The double-speak is astonishing:

Vince Hall, director of communications for Planned Parenthood of San Diego and Riverside counties, said his office could not comment on pending litigation. But he said that the “health and safety of our patients is our highest priority.” …. A Riverside County coroner’s report listed the causes of death as toxic shock syndrome, prolonged retention of laminaria cervical dilators and intrauterine pregnancy.

Well, obviously, he doesn’t consider children to be his patients – abortion is neither healthy nor safe for them. This young woman’s death was not caused by intrauterine pregnancy; by all accounts, the pregnancy was progressing quite well. Listing this as a cause of death, however, changes the mortality rates for pregnancy. If every abortion which results in a death is cross-listed as a pregnancy death, then the mortality rate for abortion will always be lower than that of childbirth, as the latter invariably includes all of the former.

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Responses

  1. oh that abortion thing makes me so made- the mortality rate. Argh.

    Chastity ring- are you kidding me. everytime i see the story I am so annoyed at this school. We should be so blessed that more kids would stop sleeping around a wear freaking chastity rings. Please.

  2. They are obviously fearful of the Islamic groups and are catering to them. The net result is the tortured logic towards other groups.

  3. Zabs,

    I agree. When pregnancy is riskier than abortion, it justifies abortion. When young women die after abortion, it’s not reported as a risk. Sickening.

    I wish I weren’t kidding about the chastity ring. Is there something WRONG with kids – and I do mean kids! – being abstinent? Through that act, they make it easier for other people to be comfortable with chastity in a society that makes people feel badly when they graduate as virgins.

    Neil,

    You’re right… although why bother with a group that is asking to take over? Aren’t the Muslims also big fans of chastity, especially in women?

  4. I can always tell when MZ gets fired up. She lets that freaking term fly :) . I love it — it’s obviously a term I use too much, but she uses discretion and saves it for really important matters. I’m not as well disciplined.

  5. “Listing this as a cause of death, however, changes the mortality rates for pregnancy.”

    Excellent point.

  6. Tammi,

    But you’re not as much fun when you’re restrained! :)

    TT – thank you! :) :::curtsies::

  7. Oh Bridget you shouldn’t encourage me!


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