You’re The One

Ken AshfordSex/Morality/Family ValuesLeave a Comment

"You know, abstinence works. It honestly, truly does. That having been said, it doesn’t help much when you’re having sex." – Jesse Taylor of Pandagon.

He’s right, you know.  It’s part of the problem with abstinence-only education, as highlighted in Jesse’s post and this article:

Half a dozen 13-year-old boys munch pizza and slurp soda as they watch a video on how to resist peer pressure.

Afterwards, a counselor asks them how they might be able to counteract social pressure to engage in sexual activity. But most of the boys aren’t listening. Even after one of them is ejected from the Maryland classroom, they push and shove, make rude noises and insult the counselor and each other. Eventually, the session wraps up without any real discussion.

Welcome to sexual abstinence-only education in 2005.

But Jesse gets to the heart — um, yeah, heart — of the problem:

But, if you ever sit down and read abstinence materials, most of them describe sex as a product of monogamous love – almost always within marriage, but as an act symbolizing love between two people. It provides the biggest out in the world for teenagers and young adults – because if you think that a 16-year-old will show bad judgement about sex, you haven’t seen a 16-year-old’s judgement about love.

Read any abstinence-only program. It valories love, attachment, devotion; almost always within the confines of marriage. But you’d be surprised how much you can convince yourself that you’re in love when you’re starting to bust the zipper on your pants. It creates a sort of contraceptive barrier of emotion, wherein you’re convinced that you will be protected from disease and pregnancy because it’s true love – casual sex between contraceptive users virtually gurantees a baby (and probably a crack-addicted one, at that), while true love somehow produces a natural spiritual spermicide. Yes, you’re told that abstinence is the only 100% effective method of having sex. But you’re given a perverse incentive to "wait" until you’re sure someone is "the one", even if that "one" is no more than whoever gets you hot enough to think you’re never going to want to have someone else long enough to have them.