2.Tse - Tammie Tse 1 RHE 306 Liz Jones PAPER #2: EVALUATE...

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Tammie Tse RHE 306 – Liz Jones 1 PAPER #2: EVALUATE AN ARTICLE ADVOCATES OF ABSTINENCE EDUCATION ARE HYPOCRITES is written by Sarah Goff, a sophomore at Yale University. In this article, Goff argues that abstinence-only education programs are ineffective in reducing unwanted pregnancies and diseases. She also argues that advocates of such programs are hypocrites. Goff uses various persuasive literary devices in order to convince readers that such a conclusion stated in the previous sentences are true. One of Goff’s main value assumptions is individual responsibility over collective responsibility. Abstinence education implies that the government can help reduce the amount of sexual activity among young people, while responsible sex education suggests that the government can teach individuals to make correct decisions. Goff defends this assumption by quoting a NARAL (National Abortion and Reproductive Rights Action League) report in the article. The report argues that, “Abstinence programs have not been proven effective and may result in riskier behavior by teenagers. Responsible sex education programs, on the other hand, have demonstrated positive results such as delayed initiation of sex, reduced frequency of sex, and increased contraceptive use.” While this is a good argument about which sex education program is more effective, it would not be persuasive to abstinence education advocates because teenagers are still having sex. The advocates value abstinence, not only because it is safer, but also because it is morally correct to wait until marriage. Goff would lose this argument when the advocates point out that she has committed the Searching for Perfect Solution fallacy. Another value assumption that is present in Goff’s article is prioritizing autonomy over security. This assumption is controversial because Goff has put the sexual freedom of teenagers over the government’s attempt to keep them safe. Goff tries to validate this by stating that the advocates of abstinence education were more than likely sexually active when they were young; therefore, the current generation should be able to experience the same kind of freedom. Many people would disagree with
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2.Tse - Tammie Tse 1 RHE 306 Liz Jones PAPER #2: EVALUATE...

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