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Malcolm
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PostSubject: A few questions about American culture/education, etc.........   Wed Aug 24, 2011 10:16 pm

Well, I've a few questions that have been bugging me for the past couple of months about you North Americans, that I would like you to answer me.

1) Do you guys really make such a big deal out of Sex Education in High School and in your houses and such? I mean, I've heard cases where parents get all upset because in school teachers taught their childrens about condoms and stuff. Really? This is knowledge we see here like when we're 5 or something. We don't see Sex Ed in Highschool. Anyone that doesn't know about sex at that age is considered a burden to society.

2) Abstinence............. Are you kidding me? Do people in USA actually consider that? Really? Not saying all do, but the ones that do....... Shouldn't they be burned with fire or something?

3) Bullying. Is it such a big problem like TV makes it out to be? I mean, here there is bullying, but it's really occasional, you would have to be like the most pathetic person. In bottom line, someone worth bullying here is also bullied by the geeks. People usually mind their own business.

4) Geography. I've read in several places that most american kids can't find USA or other major countries in a map. Is that true?

I've a couple more, but I would like this ones answered first.
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Ixidor Asgrod
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PostSubject: Re: A few questions about American culture/education, etc.........   Wed Aug 24, 2011 10:50 pm

Malcom Malorne wrote:
1) Do you guys really make such a big deal out of Sex Education in High School and in your houses and such? I mean, I've heard cases where parents get all upset because in school teachers taught their childrens about condoms and stuff. Really? This is knowledge we see here like when we're 5 or something. We don't see Sex Ed in Highschool. Anyone that doesn't know about sex at that age is considered a burden to society.

Sex Education in High School really isn't a big deal, everyone has some form of it (usually in the form of a class). Although there are still options for those who don't agree for political or religious reasons. They can opt out of the class and perform different, or less sexually explicit tasks for a grade. It should be noted that these people (who keep their kids out of the classes) are the vast minority, as in 1 out of every few hundred students. Most people have no issues with it.

Malcom Malorne wrote:

2) Abstinence............. Are you kidding me? Do people in USA actually consider that? Really? Not saying all do, but the ones that do....... Shouldn't they be burned with fire or something?

Yes, Sex ed teachers can't tell you to use a condom, but it's fine for them to do anything up to that, it's also made rather clear that you should use a condom. There is heavy opposition to Abstinence-only education, but no serious movement to change this on a national level as the issue usually becomes one of religion (which is a prevailing force in the US).

Malcom Malorne wrote:

3) Bullying. Is it such a big problem like TV makes it out to be? I mean, here there is bullying, but it's really occasional, you would have to be like the most pathetic person. In bottom line, someone worth bullying here is also bullied by the geeks. People usually mind their own business.

It exists in a multitude of forms, I can't give you a serious psychological breakdown of everything but I think it would be safe to assume that many of the bullies are people who are themselves bullied at home. I'd also assume that they have some deficiency, likely emotional, or something to hide that causes them to use violence over other people. Also, penalties for such a thing are rather weak in many cases.

Malcom Malorne wrote:

4) Geography. I've read in several places that most american kids can't find USA or other major countries in a map. Is that true?

There are some people who don't know Geography very well. It's not particularly common that no one knows where Iraq or Florida is on a map, but there are some people that have issues with it. I think it's a stereotype that has a tendency to get overplayed, kind of like the idea of how Canadians always say "eh?" at the end of every sentence.

I'd also point out how that the United States is culturally in a very different situation than other places, this also goes along with learning other languages. The US has been, for a long time, rather stable with only minor differences in culture from state to state (like Minnesota Nice). In contrast is Europe with several countries who speak different languages, have traditionally lived at each other's throats, and many of whom have very rich cultures with a long history of interesting or important products. This just isn't the same with the US, there isn't a huge need to know who your neighbor is, nor speak their same language because we haven't really been at war with Canada or Mexico in a long time, and English is a very common language in both countries. If the US were split into states as nations, then if Kansas spoke a different language than Oklahoma, or if Georgia constantly was fighting with South Carolina then maybe things would be different. Also, many Americans spend their entire lives in the United States encountering only a few people who don't speak English, or only go overseas to tourist traps where English is also common. Geography in the US is also considered a class that you take if you are forced to, or need it for a middle school or high school credit meaning that by the time you are in college you've probably forgotten some of it. It's generally given once or twice . Consolidating all of that, it is rather easy (IMO), to see how you could end up with a country of only English speakers with a statistically relevant percentage of people who have a less than perfect knowledge of Geography.

Personally, I have issues with Africa. I can point out Northern Africa, and some of the middle ones like Liberia or Ivory Coast, plus South Africa, but I can't really put a name to some of the middle countries or coastal countries. I can however, name a large majority of them though. If you started asking me where different countries are located, I could likely give you a general location (Central America, Eastern Europe, etc) with rather high accuracy.
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PostSubject: Re: A few questions about American culture/education, etc.........   Wed Aug 24, 2011 11:23 pm

Ixidor Asgrod wrote:
Sex Education in High School really isn't a big deal, everyone has some form of it (usually in the form of a class). Although there are still options for those who don't agree for political or religious reasons. They can opt out of the class and perform different, or less sexually explicit tasks for a grade. It should be noted that these people (who keep their kids out of the classes) are the vast minority, as in 1 out of every few hundred students. Most people have no issues with it.

I see, that's less than what I previously thought. I can see that being such a big country there would be differents political and religious looks.

Ixidor Asgrod wrote:
Yes, Sex ed teachers can't tell you to use a condom, but it's fine for them to do anything up to that, it's also made rather clear that you should use a condom. There is heavy opposition to Abstinence-only education, but no serious movement to change this on a national level as the issue usually becomes one of religion (which is a prevailing force in the US).

So, in general, Sex Ed is about abstinence, but it secretly teaches you how to have sex?

Ixidor Asgrod wrote:
It exists in a multitude of forms, I can't give you a serious psychological breakdown of everything but I think it would be safe to assume that many of the bullies are people who are themselves bullied at home. I'd also assume that they have some deficiency, likely emotional, or something to hide that causes them to use violence over other people. Also, penalties for such a thing are rather weak in many cases.

Yeah, that's what I've mostly read. Abuse in home translate to abuse in school and such, but what I meant is that if it is very common? And why are the penalties so weak?

Ixidor Asgrod wrote:
There are some people who don't know Geography very well. It's not particularly common that no one knows where Iraq or Florida is on a map, but there are some people that have issues with it. I think it's a stereotype that has a tendency to get overplayed, kind of like the idea of how Canadians always say "eh?" at the end of every sentence.

I'd also point out how that the United States is culturally in a very different situation than other places, this also goes along with learning other languages. The US has been, for a long time, rather stable with only minor differences in culture from state to state (like Minnesota Nice). In contrast is Europe with several countries who speak different languages, have traditionally lived at each other's throats, and many of whom have very rich cultures with a long history of interesting or important products. This just isn't the same with the US, there isn't a huge need to know who your neighbor is, nor speak their same language because we haven't really been at war with Canada or Mexico in a long time, and English is a very common language in both countries. If the US were split into states as nations, then if Kansas spoke a different language than Oklahoma, or if Georgia constantly was fighting with South Carolina then maybe things would be different. Also, many Americans spend their entire lives in the United States encountering only a few people who don't speak English, or only go overseas to tourist traps where English is also common. Geography in the US is also considered a class that you take if you are forced to, or need it for a middle school or high school credit meaning that by the time you are in college you've probably forgotten some of it. It's generally given once or twice . Consolidating all of that, it is rather easy (IMO), to see how you could end up with a country of only English speakers with a statistically relevant percentage of people who have a less than perfect knowledge of Geography.

Personally, I have issues with Africa. I can point out Northern Africa, and some of the middle ones like Liberia or Ivory Coast, plus South Africa, but I can't really put a name to some of the middle countries or coastal countries. I can however, name a large majority of them though. If you started asking me where different countries are located, I could likely give you a general location (Central America, Eastern Europe, etc) with rather high accuracy.

So, the major problem its that no one gives a damn about geography? That's interesting. Here it's something pretty common, you see it each year during highschool in one way or another.

Anyways, thank you very much Ix, those answer are really appreciated.
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PostSubject: Re: A few questions about American culture/education, etc.........   Wed Aug 24, 2011 11:50 pm

As a follow-up:

Quote :
So, in general, Sex Ed is about abstinence, but it secretly teaches you how to have sex?

Sort of. I think our sex education is more general. They teach you about the ways to not get pregnant as well as about STDs and so forth, but there is a strong undertone of "It's better to just not have sex at your age".

Quote :
Yeah, that's what I've mostly read. Abuse in home translate to abuse in school and such, but what I meant is that if it is very common? And why are the penalties so weak?

I don't think bullying is all THAT common in the US. Certainly no more than anywhere else in terms of its severity. I think there might be more instances of bullying in the US than in other countries, but I think that's a direct result of the US having more schools and a larger population. I think the only part that's probably accurate is that we don't have very good measures to prevent bullying or punish it when it occurs. I think it's more that there has recently been a push to try and eliminate it all together from the school system. Whereas it used to be considered just "part of the experience" or that the kids that were bullied just needed to "toughen up", it's being recognized now as something that is a threat to students, and the schools are trying to catch up to stop it from happening.

Quote :
So, the major problem its that no one gives a damn about geography? That's interesting. Here it's something pretty common, you see it each year during highschool in one way or another.

I don't even think it's that no one cares, but more that it isn't really emphasized. As Ix pointed out, people in the United States have never had a terrible need for geography. It's a similar mentality to math and calculators, i.e. why do I need to know how to do math by hand when I have a calculator? Is applied as why do I need to be able to identify where a country is when maps have the names on them? I'm not suggesting that's a good mentality to have, but it's somewhat true in this day and age.

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PostSubject: Re: A few questions about American culture/education, etc.........   Wed Aug 24, 2011 11:57 pm

Sergei Meranov wrote:
I don't even think it's that no one cares, but more that it isn't really emphasized. As Ix pointed out, people in the United States have never had a terrible need for geography. It's a similar mentality to math and calculators, i.e. why do I need to know how to do math by hand when I have a calculator? Is applied as why do I need to be able to identify where a country is when maps have the names on them? I'm not suggesting that's a good mentality to have, but it's somewhat true in this day and age.

You do make a very good point here. The calculator example works perfect. Except with my old math teacher Razz . He didn't allowed us to use a calculator for almost anything. It was hard, but we learned quite a few things in the process. Mostly how to use the calculator without him noticing facepalm
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PostSubject: Re: A few questions about American culture/education, etc.........   Thu Aug 25, 2011 1:16 am

Malcom Malorne wrote:
Well, I've a few questions that have been bugging me for the past couple of months about you North Americans, that I would like you to answer me.

1) Do you guys really make such a big deal out of Sex Education in High School and in your houses and such? I mean, I've heard cases where parents get all upset because in school teachers taught their childrens about condoms and stuff. Really? This is knowledge we see here like when we're 5 or something. We don't see Sex Ed in Highschool. Anyone that doesn't know about sex at that age is considered a burden to society.

2) Abstinence............. Are you kidding me? Do people in USA actually consider that? Really? Not saying all do, but the ones that do....... Shouldn't they be burned with fire or something?

3) Bullying. Is it such a big problem like TV makes it out to be? I mean, here there is bullying, but it's really occasional, you would have to be like the most pathetic person. In bottom line, someone worth bullying here is also bullied by the geeks. People usually mind their own business.

4) Geography. I've read in several places that most american kids can't find USA or other major countries in a map. Is that true?

I've a couple more, but I would like this ones answered first.

1. I think I remember Sex Ed... but really I learned about sex when I was younger and hanging out with friends. The class was more or less a joke to us... because most of us knew what it was already. I've never talked to my parents about sex... to them Josh was born by magical means. Razz

2. I know kids at college here (mostly the Christian extremists) that do the whole abstinence thing... again I was brought up where sex was just something that happened. There wasn't really a reason to not do it, other than STDs and Kids (we all see how much I learned now).

3. Bullying... I don't think it's as much as people make it out to be. Then again... I was never bullied, so maybe I don't know.

4. I've never met someone that can't point out the US and major countries to you on a global map. Minus someone who isn't old enough to know better.

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PostSubject: Re: A few questions about American culture/education, etc.........   Thu Aug 25, 2011 2:38 am

Scott Chain wrote:


1. I think I remember Sex Ed... but really I learned about sex when I was younger and hanging out with friends. The class was more or less a joke to us... because most of us knew what it was already. I've never talked to my parents about sex... to them Josh was born by magical means. Razz

3. Bullying... I don't think it's as much as people make it out to be. Then again... I was never bullied, so maybe I don't know.

I learned it from Dr. Drew's Loveline, I'd listen to it before going to bed. It was really informative.

And I was picked on in some form from elementary to high school and I don't even think it's really terribly common, at least not in the emotional or physical sense that most people think.
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PostSubject: Re: A few questions about American culture/education, etc.........   Thu Aug 25, 2011 2:57 am

Malcom Malorne wrote:


Yeah, that's what I've mostly read. Abuse in home translate to abuse in school and such, but what I meant is that if it is very common? And why are the penalties so weak?


The penalties aren't that weak anymore. Or at least in Massachusetts. This chick (Phoebe Prince I think) a few towns away was being bullied and decided "Fuck this shit" and killed herself which created some huge national movement for there to be stronger laws against bullying. I'm not sure how they went on a national level but in Massachusetts it's VERY strict. (Didn't help that like a month later a kid from the city right next to me killed himself because he was being bullied too). Now if you were to call a kid a fag you aren't only in trouble with the school. I'm not complaining though, I'm glad to see an effort to stop it.
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PostSubject: Re: A few questions about American culture/education, etc.........   Thu Aug 25, 2011 6:48 am

Jagger Cyde wrote:
Malcom Malorne wrote:


Yeah, that's what I've mostly read. Abuse in home translate to abuse in school and such, but what I meant is that if it is very common? And why are the penalties so weak?


The penalties aren't that weak anymore. Or at least in Massachusetts. This chick (Phoebe Prince I think) a few towns away was being bullied and decided "Fuck this shit" and killed herself which created some huge national movement for there to be stronger laws against bullying. I'm not sure how they went on a national level but in Massachusetts it's VERY strict. (Didn't help that like a month later a kid from the city right next to me killed himself because he was being bullied too). Now if you were to call a kid a fag you aren't only in trouble with the school. I'm not complaining though, I'm glad to see an effort to stop it.

That's true, I suppose I was talking more from a point of view like 4-7 years ago and a lot has happened since then.

I guess Columbine may have had a little to do with that as well.
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PostSubject: Re: A few questions about American culture/education, etc.........   Thu Aug 25, 2011 10:22 am

The people that can't point the US out on a map are generally the people that live in the hood. Places where the people are more concerned about staying alive, rather than learning geography.

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PostSubject: Re: A few questions about American culture/education, etc.........   Thu Aug 25, 2011 9:36 pm

Brucil wrote:
The people that can't point the US out on a map are generally the people that live in the hood. Places where the people are more concerned about staying alive, rather than learning geography.

Brucil, can I say that your avatar is one of the most amazing things I've seen in my life?
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PostSubject: Re: A few questions about American culture/education, etc.........   Fri Aug 26, 2011 3:46 pm

Yes you may.


You can't touch it though.

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PostSubject: Re: A few questions about American culture/education, etc.........   Sat Aug 27, 2011 10:04 am

All the times I've taken sex ed, the teachers really only teach anatomy and such and answer basic questions. But it becomes purposely vague when it comes to condoms and birth control and such.
There are usually some religious undertones.

Funny story, sex ed teacher was telling the class that "abstinence is the only way to prevent pregnancies 100% of the time", and being the smart ass that I was, I answered "But what if God gets you pregnant with himself?"
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PostSubject: Re: A few questions about American culture/education, etc.........   Sat Aug 27, 2011 10:07 am

Nawkes wrote:
All the times I've taken sex ed, the teachers really only teach anatomy and such and answer basic questions. But it becomes purposely vague when it comes to condoms and birth control and such.
There are usually some religious undertones.

Funny story, sex ed teacher was telling the class that "abstinence is the only way to prevent pregnancies 100% of the time", and being the smart ass that I was, I answered "But what if God gets you pregnant with himself?"


POW! Right in the baby maker...

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PostSubject: Re: A few questions about American culture/education, etc.........   Sun Aug 28, 2011 7:47 pm

Nawkes wrote:
All the times I've taken sex ed, the teachers really only teach anatomy and such and answer basic questions. But it becomes purposely vague when it comes to condoms and birth control and such.
There are usually some religious undertones.

Funny story, sex ed teacher was telling the class that "abstinence is the only way to prevent pregnancies 100% of the time", and being the smart ass that I was, I answered "But what if God gets you pregnant with himself?"

If you didn't included the words "big" and "hommie" in that sentence, I'll be very dissapointed.
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