Kathy Martin of Kansas: Abstinence Queen

Kathy Martin of Kansas

Kathy Martin of Kansas

If you don’t know who Kathy Martin is, you’re probably new to The Controversy between evolution and creationism.

Back in 2005, just before the Kitzmiller trial, Kansas was the focus of the battle about teaching creationism in state schools, and the queen of the Kansas creationists was Kathy Martin, pictured above. Many of you remember when, with the overt assistance of the neo-theocrats at the Discovery Institute’s Center for Science and Culture (a/k/a the Discoveroids), the Kansas State Board of Education actually voted to change the definition of science so that it would include supernatural phenomena.

Here’s a Wikipedia article on the Kansas evolution hearings. We recently posted a retrospective on it here: Kansas Flashback: The Crazy Days.

We are delighted to inform you that Kathy is back in the news. In the Topeka Capital-Journal we read State BOE talks abstinence. Here are some excerpts, with bold added by us:

After staying largely quiet since the evolution hearings several years ago, a conservative member of the Kansas State Board of Education made her voice heard this past week on a subject she describes as “dear” to her.

What was the subject that brought Kathy back into the news? Let’s read on:

During the board’s December meeting in Topeka, Kathy Martin, a Republican from Clay Center, asked her fellow board members to not support the Kansas State Department of Education’s monetary contribution to an annual HIV/AIDS conference unless there is a balance of abstinence information provided at the event.

We think Kathy should volunteer her picture to be used as the national symbol of abstinence. The article quotes her as saying:

“This is something that is dear to me. As an educator, I can’t in good conscience tell a teenager, ‘sure, honey, put on a condom and have a good time with your boyfriend’,” she said. “It’s an issue that’s being talked about. Certain political factions are for it. Some are against it. Some of us believe it’s the best way to educate our students about sex education.”

Creationism and abstinence — what a pair of issues! And Kathy’s got ’em both. Hey, get this:

Martin said she was bringing up the issue of KSDE [Kansas State Department of Education’] providing the $8,000 because the conference, to be held in June, is in the planning stages and if the board voted not to provide the money, the conference planners should know now.

Wow — $8,000. That’s a lot of money! It’s good to attach strings to such a sum. Okay, we know you’re wondering: What happened with Kathy’s suggestion? It’s in our last excerpt:

Once her motions to not financially support the CDC conference and to put abstinence on a future board agenda were defeated, Martin said she doesn’t plan to bring the issue up again until the K-12 health standards are up for review again in 2014.

It’s a long article, with some interesting comments from other board members. If you’re a Kathy Martin fan — and who isn’t? — you should click over to the Topeka Capital-Journal and read it all. You can always count on a good time with Kathy.

Copyright © 2010. The Sensuous Curmudgeon. All rights reserved.

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14 responses to “Kathy Martin of Kansas: Abstinence Queen

  1. retiredsciguy

    You’re right about the use of her photo, Curmy. I’ll bet she has no problem practicing what she teaches.

  2. She could perhaps choose a middle ground, like the girl in Animal House who used surgical gloves to, umm, caress her boyfriend. It’s like using a condom and abstaining at the same time.

    I would really like to see the you-tube video of her pitching that idea to the school board.

  3. Note that she hypothetically addresses a GIRLfriend. Why doesn’t she address the BOYfriend directly, too?

    Oh, that’s right! Because boys will be boys, but sexually active girls are sluts.

    😡

  4. You know, after a few beers …

  5. Benjamin Franklin

    LRA said;

    Note that she hypothetically addresses a GIRLfriend.

    What I found disturbing was that she ruminated about telling “her” to put on a condom.

    Kathy, Birth Control – ur doing it rong*.

    * my quest to eliminate silent “w”‘s is going better than I could have possibly imagined. Come, Sancho – the intertubes await!

  6. Well, I don’t have a problem with teaching abstinence provided that other sexual information is neglected, but I can’t figure out what there is about it to teach. It’s quite simple, the only way to be absolutely sure of not catching anything is to not put anything into other people or allow other people to put anything in you. Even high schoolers can grasp this. The fact that this is the opposite of what they want to do is the problem, not that they don’t know what not to do.

  7. I should have proofread more carefully before posting my comment above. I meant to say Kathy Martin should have no problem practicing what she *preaches*, not teaches. (Regarding abstinence.)

    LRA: “Because boys will be boys, but sexually active girls are sluts.”
    You’re so right about the double standard.

  8. Abstinance education works so well. Just ask Bristol Palin.

  9. Abstinance education works so well. Just ask Bristol Palin.

    And when the daughter of a prominent politician gets pregnant because a condom broke or her boyfriend put it on wrong I’m sure you will be equally snarky, right? Of course, you don’t know if that’s exactly what happened to Bristol Palin–and you don’t know that she received abstinence education. You’re just taking potshots at her mother, who wasn’t the subject.

  10. Sorry Gabe, but I must call shenanigans on that!

    Sarah Palin openly advocates for abstinence only sex “education” (if you can call the lack of education, “education”). Combine that with the higher teen pregnancy rates in states that advocate for abstinence only sex “ed” and the fact that her own daughter got knocked up and we have a textbook example of fundy right-wing nuttery.

    Attn Sarah Palin: You of ALL people should KNOW that abstinence only sex “ed” doesn’t work. WAKE UP!!!!

  11. LRA says:

    Attn Sarah Palin: You of ALL people should KNOW that abstinence only sex “ed” doesn’t work. WAKE UP!!!!

    Teaching abstinence to healthy teenagers is as effective as telling Adam & Eve to stay away from the delicious-looking low-hanging fruit on that pretty tree in the middle of the Garden.

  12. I find it disgusting that a politician would insist on their own brand of sex ed as the price for holding a conference on how to prevent a lethal, transmittable disease.

    Gabriel Hanna: And when the daughter of a prominent politician gets pregnant because a condom broke or her boyfriend put it on wrong I’m sure you will be equally snarky, right?

    You bring up a good point…in favor of regular sex ed and against abstinence education. Regular sex ed does (or should) talk about prophylactic failure rates and falling off the wagon. I.e., how often do people who practice X form of birth control do it wrong or forget to do it at all? But you rarely or never hear the fundies talk about the ‘fall off the wagon’ rate when they discuss abstinence. So when comparing success rates, they are typically including an error rate for prophylactic use which they are omitting when considering abstinence. This is statistical flim-flam: if you want to compare efficacy of method, you either count ‘failure to implement it correctly’ against all methods, or none. You don’t count it against the methods you don’t like and ignore it for the method you do. That’s completely biased.

  13. Benjamin Franklin

    From the 2004 U. S. House of Representatives, Special Investigations Division, Committee on Government Reform report ; “The Content of Federally Funded Abstinence-Only Education Programs”

    Analysis of federally funded abstinence-only curricula found that over 80% of curricula supported by the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services contained false, misleading, or distorted information about reproductive health. Specifically, they conveyed:

    * False information about the effectiveness of contraceptives;
    * False information about the risks of abortion;
    * Religious beliefs as scientific fact;
    * Stereotypes about boys and girls as scientific fact; and
    * Medical and scientific errors of fact

    In my opinion, this is worse than simply not including information about contraceptives.

    Also, as Kathy Martin is Roman Catholic, I am curious as to her thoughts on the Pope’s recent statements on condom use.

  14. Gabriel Hanna

    @LRA: Sorry Gabe, but I must call shenanigans on that!

    But you failed. You never cited any evidence that Bristol Palin HAD any abstinence-onpy education, or any evidence that it was that education, and not condom failure, that caused her pregnancy. INSTEAD, you talked about what you think Sarah Palin WOULD have taught in schools if she had her way–but unless she has a time machine Bristol Palin’s pregnancy cannot have been caused by that.

    @eric: This is statistical flim-flam: if you want to compare efficacy of method, you either count ‘failure to implement it correctly’ against all methods, or none.

    I don’t disagree with that. But suppose that a teen were taught condom use and other prohylactics, yet failed to use them and jumped gaily in bareback. Would you blame the condoms if the teen did not even attempt to use them, despite being educated to it? Is that reflected in the statistics? No. Fairness works both ways.

    @Ben Franklin: Analysis of federally funded abstinence-only curricula found that over 80% of curricula supported by the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services contained false, misleading, or distorted information about reproductive health.

    I don’t doubt it. Like everything else the government is in charge of…