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This Is Our Social & Cultural Issues Thread

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4 minutes ago, Court said:

I did. We practiced on bananas after the teacher showed us. I also know this was taught in the life skills class for the students in special needs. I was in 8th grade and I graduated in 2001. It's honestly the only thing I remember from sex ed.

My parents did have to sign a release form for me to take it. 

That is cool and, honestly, that is the first time I've heard of it being done in a public school (but I might just be out of the loop).  And, hey, if you are only going to remember one thing from Sex Ed, that's not a bad thing for it to be!

Bananas--that works.  We used wooden (yes!), ahem, "models."  (I hesitate to call them dildos because I can't imagine anyone would use those particular models for any purpose than condom education.)

Edited by OtterMommy

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8 minutes ago, OtterMommy said:

That's not what I said.  What I said was to wrap up all the issues around birth control and reproductive rights into a pithy "it's your responsibility" is unrealistic.  Yes, people are responsible for their own actions and I'm not denying that.  But you also can't say that this is all a personal responsibility issue and then hand-wave away issues of sexual assault and say, "oh, well, THAT is different."  It would be nice if it were different, but in reality it is all tied together.

And expecting people to learn about birth control from TV or sex ed in school (unless the sex ed offered now is VASTLY different than what it was when I was in school) is unrealistic--I *think* it is still the policy in my state to teach only abstinence (just checked...apparently in my state sex ed in public school only "promotes" abstinence, but can "mention" other forms).  Unless informed parents or other adults sit down and talk to young people about all the facets of this issue, the information is not going to get out there.  

I'm just curious for anyone who took sex ed in school....did any of you receive instruction about how to properly use a condom?  I don't mean someone telling you...I mean someone giving you a condom and, um, something to practice on?  Honestly, I've never heard of anyone having that in sex ed.  When I was training in AIDS education, we went through that--but that training was done by medical professionals and was not affiliated with a school.  Oh, and it had nothing to do with birth control....  Anyway, *properly* using a condom is not as straightforward as one would think.

Finally, I think going with this "it's your responsibility.  Grow up" line is, I'm sorry, judgmental.   It assumes that every sexual encounter between two people is 100% consensual and both people are completely aware of all the options and consequences.  Again, it would be nice if that were the case but, sadly, it is not.

I don't think that it's your responsibility is unrealistic at all.  It is your responsibility.  Excuses are excuses.  Rape 'is' a different.  All the children in our country who are living in situations where they are not getting the food they need or the basic needs deserve are not victims of rape. 

If you have a TV, your education does not only come from your state.  The national news is on every night.  Network programs and news is not about your state.  Excuses.  And what about parents?  Using a condom is not rocket science.

I don't think that grow up is judgemental at all.  Not in this age.  Eighty eight percent of the people in our country have internet.  Sure, it can vary but claiming ignorance?   Not so much.

http://www.internetlivestats.com/internet-users/us/

Bottom line for me is there is too many children who aren't getting what they deserve because of decisions made by their parents.  There are too many claims of ignorance and a whole lot of excuses.  And far too often, these children are victims of their parents' excuses.  Ignorance or excuses just don't fly in today's world.  Strong statement?  Yes.  We have to give people options yet at the same time we have to recognize and expect responsibility.

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  We had no sex-ed at all in my school but we all knew that we could get pregnant if we had sex unless we were on the pill or had an IUD.  My friends didn't even consider condoms, that was something unreliable that boys used.  Even while still in high school we knew it was the girl who paid the big price so she would be smart to take care of the birth control herself.  As for rape, or entirely unexpected sex, that's what the morning after pill is for.

If a single woman with a good job chooses to have and raise a child by herself, that's fine, but in most single-mother cases the woman is not prepared, doesn't even want to have a baby, and boom there it is, all because she neglected to do one simple thing.   I sometimes think our fear of being considered judgmental of the women has let down an entire generation of children.  I think of unprotected sex like drinking and driving.  It happens, we all make mistakes and sometimes take chances,  but calling those things irresponsible isn't judgmental, it's just a fact. If the teen boy next door gets in a wreck because he was drinking and driving, I'm not going to say how brave and wonderful he was. Other lives are at stake.

ETA, I was a single (divorced) mother myself.  I speak from experience and regret when  say it was ruination for my child.

Edited by JudyObscure
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Banana?  WHEW!  At least I can live up to that.  I was just afraid someone was going to say 'cucumber.'   *runs and hides*

In a perfect world everyone would be sexually responsible and I totally get the argument that it's not MY responsibility to pay for someone else's birth control.  However, since we don't live in a perfect world, I would much rather have a portion of my tax dollars providing birth control for those who cannot afford it, than to have a larger part of my tax dollars raising the children that are born as a result of someone's unplanned pregnancy.

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I don't know about other people, but I was completely freaked out by sex because all the magazines (Seventeen, YM, Sassy...especially Sassy) in the early 90s had article after article (okay, maybe I'm exaggerating) about HIV and other STDs.  I was kind of glad I went to an all-girls school because I didn't have to..."deal."  Sure, I went to dances, and yeah, I was asked to dance by boys (not often, but I was asked), but I didn't really go to parties (more to do with being scared of my helicopter GRANDMOTHER who lived with us, but that was a whole other story (okay, I'll keep it short:  doing anything that involved boys would be criticized as being a "bad Chinese girl")) and the only time I saw boys from the guys' schools were at inter-school concerts and plays where we were too busy being involved with what we were doing at the time (rehearsals, building sets, etc...)).

That said, we learned A LOT about sex in middle school, though I think I actually put a condom on a banana ONCE. 

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7 hours ago, breezy424 said:

http://obamacarefacts.com/2015/07/13/free-contraception-for-employees-at-exempt-employers/

Certainly not easy but there are ways around it.  And, I admittedly don't know the statistics, how many companies are actually using this excuse?   In any case, there is easy access to condoms and it's your responsibility to use one responsibly.  There is easy access to the morning after pill at a drug store.  This comes back to personal responsibility.  Having sex is a responsibility.  If you don't want to become pregnant, whether you're a man or woman, you are responsible.  'You' have to deal with it.  Grow up.  It's not my responsibility.  It's yours.

It's interesting that many states passed laws regarding stopping increased welfare payments when a person on welfare has additional children.  One would think legislature of this type would have an impact.  Generally, it hasn't.  Says a lot about the attitude that can be involved here. 

One of my children (who of course does not know it) is here courtesy of a failure of contraception.  Surprise babies are not uncommon at all, we weren't irresponsible, we in fact could afford another child, it was just not ideal timing.  But I have lots of room for sympathy/empathy for people who have our experience, but aren't so financially able.  Because we're all human, and lots of us got here the unplanned way.  It's an issue where I feel it's sort of useless to generalize about how 'wrong' people are for not being 100% successful at getting the whole reproduction thing 'right'. 

I don't know how much education there is about the morning after pill being available OTC, but it could be one of the reasons for a falling teen birth rate.  I think the younger women are pretty aware of it, but maybe I overestimate that.  My daughters college friends were well aware. 

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8 hours ago, OtterMommy said:

I'm just curious for anyone who took sex ed in school....did any of you receive instruction about how to properly use a condom?  I don't mean someone telling you...I mean someone giving you a condom and, um, something to practice on?  Honestly, I've never heard of anyone having that in sex ed.  When I was training in AIDS education, we went through that--but that training was done by medical professionals and was not affiliated with a school.  Oh, and it had nothing to do with birth control....  Anyway, *properly* using a condom is not as straightforward as one would think.

We had about a 2-week unit in my freshman year health class that served as our "sex education." There was no mention of ways to have safe sex. Birth control, condoms, etc. were almost never mentioned. Most of the unit was spent researching various STIs, but we never learned how to prevent those infections. We did have a day or two where we were able to anonymously submit whatever questions we had and no matter how embarrassing, our teacher would answer them for the class. In that time, I remember learning that there were sheepskin condoms (only time where condoms were mentioned) in case someone was allergic to latex, but they tended to break more easily. We also learned that if you have sex while you are already pregnant, you cannot get pregnant again and that is not how twins are made. So yeah, my sex ed was severely lacking.

While condoms are readily available in grocery stores, drug stores, etc., that puts the responsibility on the man. As a woman, I want to be able to take charge of my own birth control. There are plenty of guys out there who refuse to wear condoms. While yes, you can refuse to have sex with someone who refuses to wear a condom, that can be significantly easier said than done when you are in a committed relationship. Many male domestic abusers will refuse to use condoms in hopes of getting their partner pregnant, which further ties their partner to them. Plenty of guys just say they don't like how condoms feel. Plus, if you live in a really rural area, drug stores and grocery stores can be miles away. 

In addition, most of the women I know who use hormonal birth control don't use them only to prevent pregnancy. They have endometriosis or severe cramping. When I went on hormonal birth control, it was partly because I was in a sexual relationship for the first time, but more because my cramps were largely unbearable. Taking the pill helped to ease my monthly pain. I was on the pill for about 4 years before I learned that my mood stabilizer reduced the effectiveness of hormonal birth control to about 75%. The only reason I learned this was because I was at a training for domestic and sexual abuse victim advocacy. That was also the first place I learned that antibiotics reduce the effectiveness of the pill. I ultimately switched to a non-hormonal IUD, so I have horrid cramps again, but at least I know it's reliable. The only reason I was able to switch was because I was still on my parents' insurance and the detailed statements were being sent to my apartment. My father is super conservative, so even though I was engaged and living with my significant other, he still would have been opposed to me having sex. 

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13 minutes ago, AmandaPanda said:

We had about a 2-week unit in my freshman year health class that served as our "sex education." There was no mention of ways to have safe sex. Birth control, condoms, etc. were almost never mentioned. Most of the unit was spent researching various STIs, but we never learned how to prevent those infections. We did have a day or two where we were able to anonymously submit whatever questions we had and no matter how embarrassing, our teacher would answer them for the class. In that time, I remember learning that there were sheepskin condoms (only time where condoms were mentioned) in case someone was allergic to latex, but they tended to break more easily. We also learned that if you have sex while you are already pregnant, you cannot get pregnant again and that is not how twins are made. So yeah, my sex ed was severely lacking.

 

HIGH SCHOOL?!  Man, I knew about this in middle school (but that could be because my mom allowed me to read Seventeen at the age of 12) - we did learn about reproduction though.  We also had "the talk" in Grade 5 or so - you know, when girls and boys are pulled apart in gym class to be given a lecture on their "changing bodies."  I also recalled a woman coming to speak to the entire senior school (made up of middle and high school grades) about HIV/AIDS on World AIDS Day.  She was the first person I saw in-person who was open about being HIV+.  This was circa 1995.  At a girls-only prep school.  And while most of the Canadian students had fairly open-minded families, international boarding students were likely from more old fashioned households (foreign students mostly came from Hong Kong, Taiwan or middle eastern countries). 

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7 hours ago, JudyObscure said:

If a single woman with a good job chooses to have and raise a child by herself, that's fine, but in most single-mother cases the woman is not prepared, doesn't even want to have a baby, and boom there it is, all because she neglected to do one simple thing.   I sometimes think our fear of being considered judgmental of the women has let down an entire generation of children.  I think of unprotected sex like drinking and driving.  It happens, we all make mistakes and sometimes take chances,  but calling those things irresponsible isn't judgmental, it's just a fact. If the teen boy next door gets in a wreck because he was drinking and driving, I'm not going to say how brave and wonderful he was. Other lives are at stake.

I don't disagree with you, but I still feel the blanket "responsibility" statement is, well, too big of a blanket.

What if a couple does use a condom to the best of their knowledge (in other words, not bananas or cucumbers were used in their education!) and something goes wrong.  Or what if they did use it 100% properly and something just went wrong...should we then label them--no, excuse me--the woman as irresponsible?  What if a woman is on oral contaceptives, gets a sinus infection for which she receives antibiotics and neither her doctor (who prescribed both the birth control AND the antibiotics) nor the pharmacist (who, if s/he is at the woman's regular pharmacy, would have a record of her medications) never mention that he should use back up methods for a month or so?  Does that make the woman irresponsible? (By the way, that did happen to a family member of mine).

There is a difference between unprotected sex and something just going wrong.  The thing is that, unless you are one of the two involved parties (and sometimes not even then), how would anyone really know what happened?  Unless you know what happened, making call about it IS judgmental.

And, finally, back to the the statement that stated all this.  Taxpayers don't pay for birth control.  There is some federal funding for organizations like PP, but they provide far more than birth control and, honestly, the amount of money out a single taxpayer's return that goes to them is minute.  (And, hey, thanks to Mike Pence, PP is very well funded at the moment without any federal funds!).  I think if we want to discuss if taxpayer money *should* go to BC, there are better places to have that discussion.  Hell, I'm not even entirely sure how we got on this topic in the first place!

(Hey....my reply was magically saved when the site went down!  Hooray!)

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7 hours ago, J.D. said:

In a perfect world everyone would be sexually responsible and I totally get the argument that it's not MY responsibility to pay for someone else's birth control.  However, since we don't live in a perfect world, I would much rather have a portion of my tax dollars providing birth control for those who cannot afford it, than to have a larger part of my tax dollars raising the children that are born as a result of someone's unplanned pregnancy.

Totally agree. In states that offer free long-term birth control to young, disadvantaged women, the teen pregnancy rates dropped significantly. It happened in Colorado, partially due to a very generous donation, not just tax-payer money. Paying for people's birth control certainly has more overarching benefits for us as a society then trying to pay for every unplanned child. It's pretty much a no brainer, imho.

http://www.cnn.com/2014/07/10/health/colorado-teen-pregnancy/index.html

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5 hours ago, PRgal said:

HIGH SCHOOL?!  Man, I knew about this in middle school (but that could be because my mom allowed me to read Seventeen at the age of 12) - we did learn about reproduction though.  We also had "the talk" in Grade 5 or so - you know, when girls and boys are pulled apart in gym class to be given a lecture on their "changing bodies."  I also recalled a woman coming to speak to the entire senior school (made up of middle and high school grades) about HIV/AIDS on World AIDS Day.  She was the first person I saw in-person who was open about being HIV+.  This was circa 1995.  At a girls-only prep school.  And while most of the Canadian students had fairly open-minded families, international boarding students were likely from more old fashioned households (foreign students mostly came from Hong Kong, Taiwan or middle eastern countries). 

Yep. This was in 2004 in Missouri. We did get the "changing bodies" talk in fifth and sixth grade, but that was just focused on getting our period. Then we learned the science behind reproduction (splitting of cells and stuff like that) in science classes, but it wasn't attached to sex as a concept.

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3 hours ago, OtterMommy said:

I don't disagree with you, but I still feel the blanket "responsibility" statement is, well, too big of a blanket.

What if a couple does use a condom to the best of their knowledge (in other words, not bananas or cucumbers were used in their education!) and something goes wrong.  Or what if they did use it 100% properly and something just went wrong...should we then label them--no, excuse me--the woman as irresponsible?  What if a woman is on oral contaceptives, gets a sinus infection for which she receives antibiotics and neither her doctor (who prescribed both the birth control AND the antibiotics) nor the pharmacist (who, if s/he is at the woman's regular pharmacy, would have a record of her medications) never mention that he should use back up methods for a month or so?  Does that make the woman irresponsible? (By the way, that did happen to a family member of mine).

There is a difference between unprotected sex and something just going wrong.  The thing is that, unless you are one of the two involved parties (and sometimes not even then), how would anyone really know what happened?  Unless you know what happened, making call about it IS judgmental.

And, finally, back to the the statement that stated all this.  Taxpayers don't pay for birth control.  There is some federal funding for organizations like PP, but they provide far more than birth control and, honestly, the amount of money out a single taxpayer's return that goes to them is minute.  (And, hey, thanks to Mike Pence, PP is very well funded at the moment without any federal funds!).  I think if we want to discuss if taxpayer money *should* go to BC, there are better places to have that discussion.  Hell, I'm not even entirely sure how we got on this topic in the first place!

(Hey....my reply was magically saved when the site went down!  Hooray!)

Last paragraph first, I'm not sure what statement your talking about and I never thought tax payers paid for birth control, although it sounds like a good idea to me and I'm all for planned parenthood so I'm not sure why the tax stuff is directed at me or even if we disagree about any of that.

 

As to the first two paragraphs.  If the woman was using birth control and something went wrong then she hardly comes under the category of unprotected sex to me, she was using birth control.  In any case,   no one is running up to any individual woman and judging her so whether she used birth control or did not or something went wrong doesn't enter into it.   Would you say in general that drunk driving is wrong?  If so does that make you judgmental?  Even though some of those drivers may have not known they were going to have to drive but an emergency came up?  There are forms of birth control that are 99.9% effective.  Yet whenever this subject comes up we seem to do nothing but talk about that 1 out of 1000 case where "something went wrong."  That's not who we're talking about when we say women need to be more responsible.

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15 hours ago, OtterMommy said:

I'm just curious for anyone who took sex ed in school....did any of you receive instruction about how to properly use a condom?  I don't mean someone telling you...I mean someone giving you a condom and, um, something to practice on?  Honestly, I've never heard of anyone having that in sex ed.  When I was training in AIDS education, we went through that--but that training was done by medical professionals and was not affiliated with a school.  Oh, and it had nothing to do with birth control....  Anyway, *properly* using a condom is not as straightforward as one would think.

I did.  Someone from Planned Parenthood came to my school and we had to practice on a cucumber.  BTW, that was in the mid 1970's, in a private school, in NYC.

Edited by Neurochick
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Just now, JudyObscure said:

Last paragraph first, I'm not sure what statement your talking about and I never thought tax payers paid for birth control, although it sounds like a good idea to me and I'm all for planned parenthood so I'm not sure why the tax stuff is directed at me or even if we disagree about any of that.

 

As to the first two paragraphs.  If the woman was using birth control and something went wrong then she hardly comes under the category of unprotected sex to me, she was using birth control.  In any case,   no one is running up to any individual woman and judging her so whether she used birth control or did not or something went wrong doesn't enter into it.   Would you say in general that drunk driving is wrong?  If so does that make you judgmental?  Even though some of those drivers may have not known they were going to have to drive but an emergency came up?  There are forms of birth control that are 99.9% effective.  Yet whenever this subject comes up we seem to do nothing but talk about that 1 out of 1000 case where "something went wrong."  That's not who we're talking about when we say women need to be more responsible.

First off, my apologies.  I never meant to direct my last paragraph at you (although, re-reading what I wrote, I understand how it sounds that way).  I was referring to a comment made upthread by someone else.

I think the reason why we talk about that 1 out of 1000 case is because, for one thing, the odds are higher than that, depending of the method.  I'm coming at it from the point that, if a woman is pregnant and in a situation where she doesn't want to be or cannot be, the collective "we" don't know the circumstances around that.  I agree that unprotected sex is, frankly, a dumb thing to do if you are not prepared to deal with the consequences.  However, we (again, the collective we) really don't know the how/why/if said sex was actually unprotected.  If it doesn't affect us directly, why judge at all?

I have an estranged family member who is currently dealing what we are told is an unplanned pregnancy.  Personally, I think she is going to have enough to deal with in the very near future without me adding my two cents and judgment to it.

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12 minutes ago, JudyObscure said:

That's not who we're talking about when we say women need to be more responsible.

So are we talking about the 4 fifteen year olds in the midwest (I think) who got pregnant purposefully so their children could be best friends or what? Honestly what grown ass woman with a brain, who can't afford it, is getting pregnant on purpose? There are states that now require you to pay for a funeral if you have a miscarriage or abortion so even if you got pregnant, wanted to terminate because you're not in a situation to really handle it; it's been made virtually untenable due to cost, distance, etc.

Quote

 no one is running up to any individual woman and judging her so whether she used birth control 

Then what would you call the assholes who scream at women outside of Planned Parenthood and other clinics?

I can't find the post now or I'd quote it but no taxpayer money goes to abortions no matter the provider. The Hyde Amendment prevents tax money from being spent on abortions. 

To bring it back to the show and characters, I think it's interesting that no one pointed out that had Randall's name not been changed those kids would have been the KKK. [insert crying laughing emoji here]

Edited by Drumpf1737
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3 minutes ago, Drumpf1737 said:

To bring it back to the show and characters, I think it's interesting that no one pointed out that had Randall's name not been changed those kids would have been the KKK. [insert crying laughing emoji here]

I was wondering that ever since the Thanksgiving episode when 80's Rebecca told William that Kyle was now Randall....

I also wonder if TPTB knew what they were doing with Kate, Kevin, and Kyle or was it all just a really unfortunate coincidence/brain fart (or a combination of the two....)

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13 minutes ago, Drumpf1737 said:

I think it's interesting that no one pointed out that had Randall's name not been changed those kids would have been the KKK

A lot of people pointed it out in the episode thread. Definitely a good change!

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28 minutes ago, Drumpf1737 said:

Then what would you call the assholes who scream at women outside of Planned Parenthood and other clinics?

I would call them assholes.  But then I don't understand why saying anything negative about the huge number of women who are getting pregnant before marriage is "judging" them while saying negative things about the women who picket outside abortion clinics is apparently not judging.

34 minutes ago, Drumpf1737 said:

Honestly what grown ass woman with a brain, who can't afford it, is getting pregnant on purpose?

The majority of them report that they weren't trying to get pregnant but weren't using any birth control either.  It's this cavalier approach to mother hood that some of us have dared to call irresponsible.

44 minutes ago, OtterMommy said:

 If it doesn't affect us directly, why judge at all?

Again I would call it criticism, not judgment, no one is suggesting anyone  burn in hell.  No one is thinking of going to an individual single mother and making her feel bad over a decision that it's too late to change, but we should be able to talk about this among ourselves because it effects all of us.

 We criticize people all the time.  On this thread alone there's been some pretty harsh words about people who didn't call before stopping by.  Why didn't you accuse them of being judgmental?  Why are these particular women on such a pedestal?

  You're right It doesn't affect me directly.  It doesn't effect me directly if  our public schools are well funded or if children have enough to eat, but I still care because I care about children and believe their well being effects our whole society.

 The children who are born to single mothers are three times as likely to go to a juvenile detention center, three times as likely to have a severe mental illness, far more likely to end up in prison.  Children of single parents are more likely to be victims of child abuse, twice as likely to commit suicide, far more likely to live in poverty.   Children of all ages sleep better when there's a father in the house.  Over 80% of rapists come from fatherless homes.  We've gone from a world where fatherless homes were very rare to 40%.  

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1 minute ago, JudyObscure said:

 We criticize people all the time.  On this thread alone there's been some pretty harsh words about people who didn't call before stopping by.  Why didn't you accuse them of being judgmental?  Why are these particular women on such a pedestal?

Because the conversation about people just dropping by went waaaay beyond my interest in the subject.  I'm not saying the discussion shouldn't have happened, I just checked out of it.

I don't think we're putting anyone on a pedestal.  My original argument--and I'm going back to it only because I think this conversation may have gone in too many directions at once--was that this statement was made (not by you.  You can scroll up to see the poster if you are interested):

Quote

  If you don't want to become pregnant, whether you're a man or woman, you are responsible.  'You' have to deal with it.  Grow up.  It's not my responsibility.  It's yours.

--and I felt that it was judgmental in tone and overly simplistic.  The conversation evolved from there.  

I do think that some good points were made and interesting discussion took place, but I also think it has become more combative than it needs to be.  I don't have much more to add to what I've already said and I'm more than happy to agree to disagree with people.

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1 minute ago, JudyObscure said:

The majority of them report that they weren't trying to get pregnant but weren't using any birth control either.  It's this cavalier approach to mother hood that some of us have dared to call irresponsible.

I want to know, why isn't there more burden on men to wrap it up, though? Yes, I get it, there is more effective birth control for women out there then men, and yes, there are some women who lie about being on BC. But men shouldn't get a get out of jail free card. Trust men, men can be veeeerrry irresponsible regarding BC, mostly due to it not "feeling good" to them. I think if we a) finally got a few more modes of male BC on the market and b) started putting more pressure on men to step up in regards to BC and unplanned pregnancies, we might actually start to see a drop in unintended parenthood. I just don't think it is fair or effective in the long run to dismiss men's roles and responsibilities in regards to preventing pregnancies.

Also I want to add that just because a person/couple has financial security does not mean they will make any better parents then those who don't. Plenty of unwanted, neglected and abused children are growing up in middle and upper middle-class homes. The only real difference is they aren't a "burden" to us taxpayers, I guess. Nor does it mean that poor parents, single or otherwise, are unanimously terrible or that they all rely on the state to support them. Trust me, not all states have generous welfare benefits nor can most families live off them alone.

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51 minutes ago, HeySandyStrange said:

I just don't think it is fair or effective in the long run to dismiss men's roles and responsibilities in regards to preventing pregnancies.

I think this attitude of, "It's not fair!  It's his responsibility, too!"  is actually part of the problem and why some women don't do anything about birth control themselves.  Who cares about fairness when a child's whole future is at stake?  Men have one, uncomfortable choice that has to be planned for over and over and used at the last minute.   They also don't have the motivating factor of carrying a baby for nine months in their mind. Condoms also have a much bigger chance of failure.  Women have things they can go see the doctor about once and then forget the whole subject for ten years.  Women are mad not to take care of this themselves, it's their body!   Make the man buy dinner if you're all about keeping score.

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3 hours ago, JudyObscure said:

Last paragraph first, I'm not sure what statement your talking about and I never thought tax payers paid for birth control, although it sounds like a good idea to me and I'm all for planned parenthood so I'm not sure why the tax stuff is directed at me or even if we disagree about any of that.

As to the first two paragraphs.  If the woman was using birth control and something went wrong then she hardly comes under the category of unprotected sex to me, she was using birth control.  In any case,   no one is running up to any individual woman and judging her so whether she used birth control or did not or something went wrong doesn't enter into it.   Would you say in general that drunk driving is wrong?  If so does that make you judgmental?  Even though some of those drivers may have not known they were going to have to drive but an emergency came up?  There are forms of birth control that are 99.9% effective.  Yet whenever this subject comes up we seem to do nothing but talk about that 1 out of 1000 case where "something went wrong."  That's not who we're talking about when we say women need to be more responsible.

3 hours ago, OtterMommy said:

First off, my apologies.  I never meant to direct my last paragraph at you (although, re-reading what I wrote, I understand how it sounds that way).  I was referring to a comment made upthread by someone else.

I think the reason why we talk about that 1 out of 1000 case is because, for one thing, the odds are higher than that, depending of the method.  I'm coming at it from the point that, if a woman is pregnant and in a situation where she doesn't want to be or cannot be, the collective "we" don't know the circumstances around that.  I agree that unprotected sex is, frankly, a dumb thing to do if you are not prepared to deal with the consequences.  However, we (again, the collective we) really don't know the how/why/if said sex was actually unprotected.  If it doesn't affect us directly, why judge at all?

I have an estranged family member who is currently dealing what we are told is an unplanned pregnancy.  Personally, I think she is going to have enough to deal with in the very near future without me adding my two cents and judgment to it.

That was me who posted about not wanting tax dollars used to for condoms, birth control, etc,. 

I'm not interested in getting into an inevitably ugly debate, so I'll simply say there are a lot of things I don't think the government should be involved in and/or paying for. 

I work really hard and have made A LOT of sacrafices, and it makes me sick how much money is taken out of my paycheck by the government.  

Edited by Tiger
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On 12/8/2016 at 10:38 PM, Tiger said:

This is simply not true.  Anyone can walk into any grocery store, pharmacy, or big box and get condoms, birth control, etc,. It is not the role of government to provide these things.  

If someone wants to have sex, then they need to pay for these things themselves.  As a tax payer I should not be paying for someone else's birth control pills, condoms, etc,. 

That's just, like, your opinion, man.  I believe as a taxpayer you should be paying for those things.  And if my side wins (it's not good at the moment, but our day will come again just as it has in the past), you will be paying for them.

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Hey, here's the good news.  Teen pregnancies are down.  Unwanted pregnancies are down.  Why?  Because of access to birth control, pregnancy termination and education. 

The States who do mandate sex education, and fortunately most do, have lower rates of unplanned pregnancies.  The States who don't (I'm looking at you Texas) have higher rates of unplanned pregnancies and have higher costs because of unwanted pregnancies.

Under the ACA, most women have access to free birth control.   Under medicaid, most women have access to free birth control.  Even women who have a medical plan that doesn't provide birth control because of religious beliefs can go directly to the insurer for coverage.  There are many health clinics who will provide birth control to women free of charge.  Yeah, a minor is in a difficult situation when using a parent's insurance because the parent will find out about it through statements provided by the healthcare provider and sometimes they have to use a different source. 

Keep in mind that unwanted pregnancies aren't just about teenagers.  And my original post on this wasn't about 'teenagers'.  It was about parents who decide to have a child who cannot afford it but at the same time they're not doing what they are responsible for in preventing a pregnancy.  It's about those people who expect government to provide for their children.  This is the crux of what angers so many people especially those who take the responsibility of giving a child what he or she needs and make the decision to not have a child or another child because of this responsibility.

Yes, accidents do happen but most unwanted pregnancies are not purely accidents.   And there are exceptions to the rule.  The most blatant example is rape.  I'll pay for whatever a rape victim decides to do. 

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23 hours ago, Court said:

I did. We practiced on bananas after the teacher showed us. I also know this was taught in the life skills class for the students in special needs. I was in 8th grade and I graduated in 2001. It's honestly the only thing I remember from sex ed.

My parents did have to sign a release form for me to take it. 

That must have been before the Bush administration pushed through all that "abstinence only" sex ed funding.  In my town in Missouri, that's still what they were doing as of last year when my middle school daughter would have taken it.  I say "would have" because when they sent the form home allowing parents to opt out, I did so.  She ended up sitting in a room with some kids from evangelical Christian homes (I'm an atheist).  So everyone else opting out was because even "abstinence only" was too racy for their tastes; mine was because I don't agree with that approach.  So instead we directed her to a great progressive sex-ed website called Scarleteen.

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9 hours ago, JudyObscure said:

But then I don't understand why saying anything negative about the huge number of women who are getting pregnant before marriage is "judging" them while saying negative things about the women who picket outside abortion clinics is apparently not judging.

There is no "huge" number of women getting pregnant anymore--that's propaganda. 

The difference is this, one group is imposing their values and morals on others while the other group (women) are just living their lives the best way they can for themselves. 

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2 hours ago, Drumpf1737 said:

There is no "huge" number of women getting pregnant anymore--that's propaganda. 

Jun 13, 2016 - Number of live births to unmarried women: 1,604,870.  Percent of all births to unmarried women: 40.2%

 Center of Disease Control government statistics 

2 hours ago, Drumpf1737 said:

The difference is this, one group is imposing their values and morals on others while the other group (women) are just living their lives the best way they can for themselves. 

One group is causing our poverty and crime levels to greatly increase and millions of children to live sub-standard lives.  I don't agree that that's the best they can do.  Before the 1960's the unmarried birth rate among white women was 2%.  That's the best they can do. No one at all, that I can see, is imposing their values and morals on anyone else.  All anyone on this board has done is encourage greater use of birth control.  That's not a moral value it's a practical suggestion.  Like putting gas in your car so you don't break down on the highway.  No one has suggested passing laws to prohibit premarital sex, that would be "imposing morals."  I'm pro-choice.  I'm also  free-speech and I feel free to say I wish more women would choose to take a few minutes out of their busy social life to use birth control.

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It's even more complicated than what we've been talking about.  The marriage rate is declining in the US so of course that will mean more births to unmarried women.  But the fertility rate is also falling.  That isn't necessarily a good thing.  The countries that haven't experienced a decline, and who want to replace their aging workforce and grow their economies, have family-friendly policies which are lacking here.  We're obviously a long way from making forward progress with any of that.

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7 hours ago, SlackerInc said:

That must have been before the Bush administration pushed through all that "abstinence only" sex ed funding.  In my town in Missouri, that's still what they were doing as of last year when my middle school daughter would have taken it.  I say "would have" because when they sent the form home allowing parents to opt out, I did so.  She ended up sitting in a room with some kids from evangelical Christian homes (I'm an atheist).  So everyone else opting out was because even "abstinence only" was too racy for their tastes; mine was because I don't agree with that approach.  So instead we directed her to a great progressive sex-ed website called Scarleteen.

It's still happening in that district as well as where I currently live in a different state. 

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It's ironic how the group of people who don't want a bunch of unwanted and abandoned children living in orphanages and foster homes are the same group of people who are against same-sex couples adopting.

Edited by J.D.
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4 hours ago, JudyObscure said:

One group is causing our poverty and crime levels to greatly increase and millions of children to live sub-standard lives. 

except the president of the united states is the child of an unmarried woman so there's that....

Edited by Drumpf1737
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Regardless of ideology, we need a pragmatic policy. I don't think anyone is arguing for "irresponsible behavior" of any kind. But the question on the ground becomes: what is causing people to do things that are irresponsible, and what will stop them from doing it, and what are the relative costs/benefits and practical effects of any policy enacted to address the situation?

Once a child is conceived, we have to decide what to do.

Do we force an abortion if the mother doesn't want it?  Force the parents to pay for the abortion if they do (or if they don't) want it? Pay for an abortion with tax payer money from the general pool of taxes? Enforce fines on the parents to pay for the abortion? What if they don't have the money to pay the fine? Do we put them in jail (very expensive, by the way, in dollars even if you ignore the other effects of doing this).

Alternatively, do we force the mother to carry the child to term if she doesn't want to? Take the child from the parents against their will? Tell them to raise the child even if they don't want to, and hope for the best no matter how badly they do it?

Who decides whether the parents were responsible enough, or whether they should have done better, before conception (or after the birth)? Do we means test pregnant women and put them through "parenting fitness" evaluations, and how do we verify whether they actually used a condom or pill or diaphragm or other method correctly? If they did or didn't, what do we do next? Do we forcibly sterilize women below a certain poverty level, or who fail to use birth control, or to use it correctly, or who have failed the parental fitness exam?

What happens in countries who have tried any of these options and do we want to see that happen here? I think everyone agrees that "responsible behavior" is the best course of action in all situations (not just about this, but about every issue), and even if we all agreed on what would be responsible behavior, that still leaves us with the question of how to evaluate each pregnancy and what to do about it.

I think the more you look into what is happening and why people are doing what they do, and what policies have resulted in what outcomes around the world as well as in the USA (from state to state or era to era), the less some answers make sense and the more others do. Legislating from the gut often doesn't work out the way people think it will.

One thing I know is that the more education women have (anywhere in the world) and the more rights they have and control over their lives, the fewer "irresponsible pregnancies" occur. It's been shown in numerous places and times. Improve women's lives and they are more able to resist both force and temptation. The more options they have, the more often they choose ones that result in fewer pregnancies. The more control over their lives, the less likely people are to be impulsive or irresponsible. A lot of the attempts to control, restrict, and enforce things about fertility actually backfire.

Abstinence only education has been shown to be a failure at preventing sexual activity and unwanted conceptions.

All methods of contraception have pros and cons, and the more options are available, the more likely they are to be used.

Women whose social status and value is dependent on their role as mothers/in the family, and who lack for equal opportunities for education and career and economic independence, are more likely to have children both early and often than those who have opportunities on par with men in other areas of life outside of childbearing.

People without confidence that their children will survive to adulthood will be more likely to have multiple children to ensure some make it, and people in despair will seek comfort where they can, which can mean through sex, and with less concern for consequences.

We can argue about whether any of that is right or wrong, or just shrug and chalk it up to "human nature" or "human stupidity" but it is what it is, either way.

How we organize our society in response to all of this will determine whether any of it changes, and whether the changes are ones we think are better or worse. In a way, it doesn't matter whether what people do is rational, irrational, stupid, smart, responsible, or otherwise. What matters is what the impacts are of how we deal with what is happening, because wishing it was otherwise and basing policy on how annoying it is hasn't proven all that effective in changing it, even when there's a widespread agreement on the goal of only having people have children they want and are able to adequately care for, and not having other people forced to take on the responsibility of paying for it. No one I know of disagrees with that goal.

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I am very surprised anyone is still teaching abstitence only.  I grew up in a fairly conversative, religious, and largely middle class area and in 7grade in I believe 1995 we had an entire semester of "Life Sciences" which was essentially a more modern home ect with sex education mixed in.  We learned about std's, household budgeting, college and non-college career paths, etc.,  

And then during whatwver they called that sexond semester of Science that year, we learned evolution and creationism.  Looking back, I think my schools from pre-k to 12th did a great job of presenting all sides/options and letting the students decide what to with that info/what choice to make.

ETA: I think of one of the biggest problems in this country today is that the people that really shouldnt be having kids are the ones having the most.  Look, if you're pulling in 30k/year, then you should not he having a gaggle of kids.   

Edited by Tiger
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28 minutes ago, Tiger said:

I am very surprised anyone is still teaching abstitence only.  I grew up in a fairly conversative, religious, and largely middle class area and in 7grade in I believe 1995 we had an entire semester of "Life Sciences" which was essentially a more modern home ect with sex education mixed in.  We learned about std's, household budgeting, college and non-college career paths, etc.,  

And then during whatwver they called that sexond semester of Science that year, we learned evolution and creationism.  Looking back, I think my schools from pre-k to 12th did a great job of presenting all sides/options and letting the students decide what to with that info/what choice to make.

ETA: I think of one of the biggest problems in this country today is that the people that really shouldnt be having kids are the ones having the most.  Look, if you're pulling in 30k/year, then you should not he having a gaggle of kids.   

Exactly.  But I think many of those people are uneducated, don't get the right kind of healthcare, including access, not just because of the lack of affordability, but because there aren't any clinics nearby, PERIOD.  How are they going to get birth control?  How are they going to even LEARN about it?  They aren't just going to go online and search - even if they have decent Internet at home.

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46 minutes ago, Tiger said:

I am very surprised anyone is still teaching abstitence only.  I grew up in a fairly conversative, religious, and largely middle class area and in 7grade in I believe 1995 we had an entire semester of "Life Sciences" which was essentially a more modern home ect with sex education mixed in.  We learned about std's, household budgeting, college and non-college career paths, etc.,  

I live in a very progressive Blue state, and they still can only "promote" abstinence in sex ed (although they can "mention" other forms of birth control).  So, you know, it's not always a religious thing.

That might also explain why, during my senior year in high school, all but one of the female varsity cheerleaders ended up pregnant.

Edited by OtterMommy
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5 hours ago, J.D. said:

It's ironic how the group of people who don't want a bunch of unwanted and abandoned children living in orphanages and foster homes are the same group of people who are against same-sex couples adopting.

Really?  Are you saying that you are in favor of same sex marriage and also in favor of unwanted and abandoned children?  I don't know anyone who  wants unwanted and abandoned children living in orphanages.  I'm in favor of same sex couples adopting and yet at the same time I'm sorry about unwanted children and I don't see the irony in that. 

4 hours ago, Drumpf1737 said:
8 hours ago, JudyObscure said:

One group is causing our poverty and crime levels to greatly increase and millions of children to live sub-standard lives. 

except the president of the united states is the child of an unmarried woman so there's that....

Our president is no exception.  The majority of children from single parent homes do fine.  It's the thousands that don't who are of concern to some of us.

3 hours ago, possibilities said:

Once a child is conceived, we have to decide what to do.

I think any after-the-fact action other than support for the child and support for the mother's choices, is out of the question.  It's before the child is conceived that I think education, social awareness, available contraception, and tax benefits could be useful.

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1 hour ago, JudyObscure said:

Really?  Are you saying that you are in favor of same sex marriage and also in favor of unwanted and abandoned children?  I don't know anyone who  wants unwanted and abandoned children living in orphanages.  I'm in favor of same sex couples adopting and yet at the same time I'm sorry about unwanted children and I don't see the irony in that. 

No.  The point I was trying to make is that IF the 'abstinence only' people were to have their way, nobody would have access to birth control.  And since it's unrealistic to think that people without access to birth control would refrain from having sex, it only stands to reason that 'no birth control' would lead to an increase in unwanted and abandoned children ending up in orphanages and foster homes.

And since same-sex couples cannot organically conceive, their options are limited.  Short of hiring a surrogate if financially able, or garnering the help of a generous friend who agrees to surrogate on their behalf, many same-sex couples are looking to adopt.  Yet, the type of person who subscribes to the unrealistic view of 'abstinence only' is a person with the very same mindset that believes same-sex couples are pedophilic and unfit to parent.

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Hey all,

The discussion in this topic is taking a left turn away from the original purpose. We're here to discuss social issues as they relate to This Is Us. If you would like to discuss overarching political topics, take it over to the Current Events & Politics forum.

In addition, we do not have a ton of rules here at PTV, but our number one rule is Be Civil. Talk about the ideas put forth by other posters, but don't attack them or their views. 

We have already posted one mod note in here and it was largely ignored. If the tone does not improve in here, we will lock the thread for a few hours to give everyone a chance to cool down.

The discussions in here have been very interesting, but there are plenty of places to discuss politics on the Internet (and even on this site). It doesn't need to be in here as well. 

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On 12/8/2016 at 3:53 PM, PRgal said:

I'm a bit torn about William being gay/bi.  On one hand, it's great to see a gay/bi character who is older (how often do we see gay characters over, say, 45?), but on the other, I kind of agree with some people that it's a bit political/there for "diversity."  I don't know.  I would have preferred if we already knew he was gay/bi from a much earlier episode. 

I'm torn also, but maybe in a somewhat different way.  I relate to this instinct of feeling like they should have set it up earlier (or maybe started setting it up now, more slowly).  And I am very skeptical that they had intended him to be bi from the beginning.  It strikes me as highly likely that they got criticisms of having no gay characters and went "shit, they're right" and William was the only regular character who wasn't currently pursuing some kind of heterosexual relationship, so it had to be him (although it had to be "bi", because he waxed so romantic about Randall's birth mother in that flashback ep).

But then I interrogate myself about this, and I have to admit there's no reason we would have had to know this about William earlier.  And as you say, an older non-hetero character (nonwhite, as well) is a rare thing.  If the showrunners erred by not featuring diversity in sexuality, what's wrong with their fixing their mistake?

I do think it's silly to insist this was not a "political" move.  We are not anywhere close as a society to the point where making an elderly black man non-hetero, on a major network TV show that's the only real "hit" of the season, is just an artistic decision with no political considerations.  The fact that several people got their noses bent out of joint proves that it is political.  The showrunners aren't dumb: they know that in network family dramas, "straight" is still the default expectation of viewers, especially for older characters.  And when there are gay characters, there will usually be political developments related to that fact (cf. Brothers and Sisters).

But why is "political" necessarily a dirty word?  It's certainly not the first time they've gotten political.  All the stuff about young Randall and the black mother at the pool was very political as well, for example.

Edited by SlackerInc · Reason: Clarified an ambiguous sentence
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5 hours ago, SlackerInc said:

I'm torn also, but maybe in a somewhat different way.  I relate to this instinct of feeling like they should have set it up earlier (or maybe started setting it up now, more slowly).  And I am very skeptical that they had intended him to be bi from the beginning.  It strikes me as highly likely that they got criticisms of having no gay characters and went "shit, they're right" and William was the only regular character who wasn't currently pursuing some kind of heterosexual relationship, so it had to be him (although it had to be "bi", because he waxed so romantic about Randall's birth mother in that flashback ep).

My guess is it was planned, and not set up earlier on purpose.  It is inherently a bit political just because it is a hot-button societal issue, same-sex marriage equality notwithstanding.  I bet they were going for a) a big unexpected twist and b) some exploration of a dying man finding love at the end of life, both with the son he gave up and a partner.  They just didn't want to foreshadow the same sex partner.  As we have discussed in this or another thread, it doesn't have to be about life-long bisexuality, it can just be about finding love, period.  But sure, they were going for the surprise, too. 

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Right, and all but the most conservative viewers are unlikely to blanch these days if a well-coiffed young urban white professional man is revealed to be gay.  But there is more of an assumption that other types of characters (including older, scruffier black men who were known to carry on love affairs with women in the past) are just straight by default.  So when that assumption is upended, it's more jarring, even to a progressive ally like me.

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Guest

I think it was probably always planned as one more twist.  Was this one at least not at the end?

Have others noticed that articles about the show are still referring to the premise as 'three people who share a birthday'?   They must truly love that ep 1 twist to be guarding it this far in. 

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7 hours ago, Winston9-DT3 said:

Have others noticed that articles about the show are still referring to the premise as 'three people who share a birthday'?   They must truly love that ep 1 twist to be guarding it this far in. 

Shouldn't it be four people? (Randall, Kate, Kevin, and Jack.)

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31 minutes ago, dargosmydaddy said:

Shouldn't it be four people? (Randall, Kate, Kevin, and Jack.)

Do we know for sure that Randall was born on that day?  That was the day William dropped him off at the fire station, but he might have been born a day (or few days) before that.

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20 minutes ago, OtterMommy said:

Do we know for sure that Randall was born on that day?  That was the day William dropped him off at the fire station, but he might have been born a day (or few days) before that.

Randall's "official" birth date is whatever his birth certificate and government IDs say.  It may or may not be correct.  And there's no proof, even if William says it's the day before Kevin and Kate. 

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4 hours ago, OtterMommy said:

Do we know for sure that Randall was born on that day?  That was the day William dropped him off at the fire station, but he might have been born a day (or few days) before that.

He might have been born another day, no one knows that could be a "twist," but I think the show has made it clear that the family considers it his birthday. 

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I can't remember exactly what happened.  Was the third triplet stillborn or did he die during childbirth or right after?  Wouldn't it make it five people born on that day?

I also wondered what happened to the baby.  I apologize if this is a sensitive subject for some people but I found it a bit insensitive when Jack and Rebecca decided to call Randall "Kyle".....to Randall as well as the memory of Kyle. 

Wouldn't a full term baby be named by their parents and have been buried or cremated?  I couldn't find much on the internet and thankfully haven't experience this personally or know someone who has

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