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Conclusions misleading at best

2010-09-12T00:00:00Z Conclusions misleading at bestDr. Julie Danaher, Letter to the editor Helena Independent Record
September 12, 2010 12:00 am  • 

As a Montana-licensed, board-certified ob-gyn who has been practicing for 20 years, I read with interest the coverage of Dr. Miriam Grossman’s visit to Helena. Dr. Grossman is a psychiatrist, not a specialist in the field of women’s reproductive health. The medical information she presented regarding the “vulnerability” of adolescents’ cervical tissue was incomplete. The conclusions she drew were misleading at best. In fact, her opinions regarding prevention of sexual disease and teen pregnancy are simply not based on scientific evidence.

On Wednesday, Dr. Grossman repeated her oft-stated phrase that “when sexual freedom reigns, sexual health suffers.” This psychiatrist ignores the multiple studies published in well respected, peer reviewed, medical journals which have shown that comprehensive sex education programs do not lead to increased rates of sexual initiation, do not lead to a drop in the age at which teens initiate sexual activity, and do not increase the number of sexual partners a teenager will have. In fact, comprehensive sex education has been positively linked to reductions in number of sexual partners, frequency of sex and incidence of unprotected sex. Rigorous studies have proven the connection between comprehensive sex education and lower rates of pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections among teens.

As the medical director for Planned Parenthood of Montana, I am personally and professionally committed to educating young people about their bodies, their responsibilities and their future. I have seen too many pregnant 12-year-old girls during my career. Their situations are heartbreaking. Sexual education needs to start early. It must be accessible, in an age-appropriate manner, through trusted adults in our children’s lives, including parents, teachers and clergy. The Helena health curriculum, in its entirety, establishes common-sense standards to help our children grow into responsible, informed and healthy adults.

Dr. Julie Danaher


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(14) Comments

  1. AntiXenophobia
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    AntiXenophobia - September 17, 2010 4:41 pm

    Dietz1963, it is because there are more than a couple of stds and more teen pregnancies that sex education is needed. I graduated from HS in montana over 20 years ago, and I got almost no information from my schools (in Helena and Missoula) about stds, safe sex, or things of that nature. I did have one biology teacher in high school who gave a fairly good lesson on pregnancy and he even brought condoms into the class, but he was acting alone, the pe teachers were the ones who were supposed to teach sex ed, and they were all coaches for sports teams and couldn't teach their way out of a paper bag. I remember hearing stuff on Helena playgrounds in 2nd, 3rd, and 4th grades about sex. I also learned all kinds of stuff from porn magazines that my friends and I would find, all this when I was younger than 10 years old. Women having sex with animals, you name it, we eventually found pictures of it. Today, kids don't even have to wait to get lucky to find porn, they can all get it on the internet. The same sex education that got my mom pregnant at 19 and my wife's mom pregnant at 15 is not good enough in the modern world.

  2. FrankD
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    FrankD - September 17, 2010 4:05 pm
    In one point, I agree with the doctor..."It must be accessible, in an age-appropriate manner"... Unfortunately, the maturity rate of our children is not the same. And to have the government DICTATE that my immature daughter/son learn this subject before their age-appropriate mind can grasp this subject, is tyrannical. Not to mention the fact that educating my children morals contrary to mine is wrong.
  3. stonebuck
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    stonebuck - September 13, 2010 7:51 pm
    The real crux here is basic, some persuasive person talked Messenger into this line of progressive curriculim. Who is the persusive little devil who talked him into it and what are her/his/its credentials and political leanings? I doubt this will be allowed to remain, but if it does, is there anyone out there beside me who would like to know just who the "one" is who convinced Mr. Mess how dreadfully right it is for the "cause"??!!
  4. gun961960
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    gun961960 - September 13, 2010 7:39 pm
    yes dolphin, the proposal was tabled and I think the changes Messinger is making are just fine. I hate to see him crumble under the pressure of distortions with little to no basis on fact, but I get it. Move the sex ed portion to the 6th grade and eliminate the human loving another human of the same sex. Hopefully teachers don't tolerate and gay slurs anyway. I NEVER said this proposal was perfect, just that it was a great improvement on a very weak, broad overview of very general termanology. Thank you for allowing me my opinion dolphin, but as you read through this blog in particular, do you see anyone, let alone EVERYONE disagreeing with me DUDE? Please remind me again where anyone pointed out a factual error on my part and I didn't admit that I was wrong. It might take you a while, but I can wait. LOL You are completely entitled to your opinion, but as of late the only opinion you have is that I am wrong, oh yeah and I call names and I have no credibility. I am just asking you to focus your opinions on the subject matter and NOT ON ME ALL THE TIME!! YOU dolphin are the only one I can recall that whines about this alleged name calling....get over it! And lastly I am I can't call you or your ideas moronic but you can "make fun" of me for my use of the word dude?? How does that work? I like the word, and at 35 I suppose I am still a young kid and consider myself quite hip, thank you very much!! I have no interest in showing you any respect, I don't respect you in any way, so feel free to drop the "lady" act, as I can guarantee you aren't using it out of respect. Man you love yourself...see ya!!
  5. dietz1963
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    dietz1963 - September 13, 2010 11:25 am
    Dr. Danaher, I certainly don't have your credentials just common sense. So please explain to me something about these studies. As far as I know, this education is very new beginning in the UK 2008. So how in the world can any "study" conclude this will work? The only way to "know" is 5 or so more years from now to see where pregnancies stand after implementation. Conclusion, this cirriculum is a "theory". So lets now look at sex education theory as a whole. This started what, 25 years ago? I graduated 30 years ago from HS, a time where there was maybe 2 types of sex diseases and maybe a handful of teen pregnancies. Now all these years later we have more sex diseases, more teen pregnacies and you've seen in the last 20 years age 12 pregnancies? My conclusion on that is, sex education hasn't been working too well.

    My overall "assumption" parallels the Health and Safety Office in that the biggest problem is home life that leads to this. Unless you're prepared to raise the kid outside of the homelife that leads to this, sex ed is not going to work too well. Plus, look at how many contriceptives are advertised now a days...even pills for guys. That alone opens up the sex door as teens believe with the contriception no pregancies. Oh and by the way, the more and more our society broadens whats acceptable, here again sex education is just a warm fuzzy feeling. It will change very little.
  6. dolphind3
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    dolphind3 - September 13, 2010 11:09 am
    The funny thing about all of this is it does not matter, The proposed curriculum was tabled and is being re-done, so for all of the banter that is going on that it was perfect and flawless I have news for you. You don't change something that is perfect. Gun you have the right to your opinion and everyone else has the right to disagree with you lady. Like I said, atlewast I admit when I am wrong, even when numerous people heve pointed out things to you, you continue to push your agenda which is what we all expect. I never tell anyone to leave move or go away because I believe that everyone should have an opinion, un-like you, you think that we all have the right to have only your opinion and if we dis agree you start telling us how we are morons or un-educated and you bully people off of the blog. I have news for you, your opinion doesn't sway people one way or the other anymore than mine but one thing is for sure, many people on here are very tired of the name calling that people of your ilk can't seem to blog with out doing. You say dude alot, that sounds like an young kid, is that your attempt at being hip? I atleast try and show you a little respect and call you a lady, but that is probably yet another mistake on my part.
  7. Smart_V_Wise
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    Smart_V_Wise - September 12, 2010 10:56 pm
    “As the medical director for Planned Parenthood of Montana, I am personally and professionally committed to educating young people about their bodies”. --- As the parent of several younger children I am personally and professionally committed to educating my young people about their bodies. I will teach mine as I choose, without the education system indoctrinating them.

    Popsy you said “why don't you pay and send your children to a religious school ...” I in fact do just that, however why should I have to continue to pay for your kids to be educated in propaganda I disagree with?
  8. gun961960
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    gun961960 - September 12, 2010 10:50 pm
    You know what dolphin...I find it so interesting that you are following me around on these blogs, "thinking" that you speak for everyone. That is twice now that I can recall that you claim that NOBODY gives any credibility to me or what I have to say. Funny thing is you are the only one who keeps persueing me? Who died and made you boss? Once again, let me reiderate that this is an O P I N I O N blog, of which I am entitled. You don't have to like what I have to say, but unlike you I don't make stuff up out of thin air or call people out for easy to find factual information and look like a total IDIOT (see Big Sky Tea Party Cans Chief blog if you are totally bored and need a good laugh). If people write moronic or stupid or idiotic BS, then I'll call em as I see em, much like people have done to me. There is plenty of "name calling" going on here on either side of many issues. GROW SOME THICKER SKIN dude and quit whining all the time. You haven't held me "accountable" for Jack bud. I am sure our fellow readers are getting as tired of our back and forth as I am...go A way, I will blog as I see fit and obviously I don't care that I am hurting your feelers. If the moderater doesn't approve of my language then he/she will not post my blogs. caribouboy...still waiting on that info I requested.
  9. dolphind3
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    dolphind3 - September 12, 2010 9:18 pm
    Well said justdafacts, you are spot on as usual. Again Gun, quit calling people names, by now you have no credibility with anyone on here because of your inability to have a civil discussion. You should be ashamed of yourself. I will not stop holding you accountable for your tirades.
  10. billhaslip
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    billhaslip - September 12, 2010 5:07 pm
    Yeah, Just What You Would Expect From A Doc On The Payroll At Planned Parenthood. Gotta Spin It So The Payments Keep Comming In At PP, Inspite Of The Damage To Our Children!!!!
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    JUSTDAFACTS - September 12, 2010 3:52 pm
    Well Dr. Julie Danaher...
    Since you pointed out that “Dr. Grossman is a psychiatrist, not a specialist in the field of women’s reproductive health” I feel I should point out that as a board-certified ob-gyn you have no certified knowledge on the mental health aspects of teaching children too much too soon. Do you REALLY want to play little games such as that? She is certified in an area extremely important to this discussion, mental health. As are you, in reproductive health. It occurs to me that neither of you are Board Certified in Pediatrics...maybe we should toss out both of your opinions then.

    On the other hand, which part of Dr. Grossman’s message do you actually disagree with? The part where she says the plan DOES NOT TEACH ENOUGH TO OLDER CHILDREN when they need the information most? Or the part where she feels the plan introduces certain information too soon to children under 7 years old? Or more you just disagree with anything said by someone other than yourself?

    I have always supported PP but such BS political nonsense does not help your cause and should cause anyone to distrust your opinion as just so much political BS instead of knowledgeable medical advice from an experienced physician.
  12. gun961960
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    gun961960 - September 12, 2010 8:48 am
    Oh please caribouboy, could you enlighten us with your wisdom and show us on what pg in the proposed curriculum it "teach 5th graders how to properly have oral, anal and vaginal sex"?? Furthermore, I wasn't aware there was a "proper" way to have these different forms of sex? I think what it does is teaches how to protect yourself should you choose to engage in these types of sexual intercourse. And when you really THINK about it, you are the one who is encouraging "planned abortions" by encouraging PLANNED IGNORANCE to continue in our community. You clearly oppose abortions caribouboy as does everyone I would think, but yet I find it so ironic you oppose education too. Is that like the biggest oxy MORON ever or what? YOU should be ashamed of your obvious ignorance and attempt at misleading other readers caribouboy!!
  13. Popsy
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    Popsy - September 12, 2010 8:26 am
    It is refreshing to read a well written letter using science instead of religion as a basis for teaching sex education. Those of you who don't agree have the option to opt out or better yet, why don't you pay and send your children to a relgious school to teach whatever your version of sex education or lack thereof you prefer. All of you Palin worshipers should be able to see that abstinence only does not work.
  14. caribouboy
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    caribouboy - September 12, 2010 7:33 am
    Shoulda known that that the lead doctor from Planned Abortions was thick in the middle of the new Helena curriculum that wants to teach 5th graders how to properly have oral, anal and vaginal sex. You should be ashamed of your self maam.

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