Last night I watched Eli Stone. I’m not sure if it was the most recent one because of my beloved Tivo. Anyway, it was about a girl who got expelled from school because during an Abstinence Only assembly she played “I Want Your Sex” by George Michael.
George Michael heard about this and wanted Eli Stone (he’s a lawyer in case you don’t watch the show) to represent her.
The whole thing ended up being that the girl felt like Abstinence Only is not really education. Some of her friends had contracted STDs and one got pregnant because they believed the ridiculous claims that condoms don’t work and girls who have abortions are more likely to commit suicide.
The principal said they had no other course of action because the government only gave them money for Abstinence Only. The girl was touted as a hero. The government as religious zealots (yes, “separation of church and state” was mentioned).
Now, I will step onto my soapbox.
What in the heck?! A teenager and George Michael give us statistics and the “facts” about Abstinence Only education? There are so many things that were just WRONG (not immoral, although there was that, too), just wrong and illogical.
I understand the argument that Abstinence Only glosses over “safe sex”. But since when do teenagers pay attention and follow anything safe? Can you really imagine a 14 year old girl who is about to have sex with her 16 year old “partner” and they are in the throws of making out and she says, “Oh wait. Let’s get a condom.” And he’s too excited to stop and ignores her. Is she going to stop him and remind him of the statistics she learned in her Safe Sex class? I’m sorry, but it’s just not going to happen!
When I was in college, I worked at an outlet mall. One of the teenage girls I worked with was dating a guy probably 5 years older than her. She told me that she confronted her brother about having unsafe sex with his girlfriend. The brother asked, “Do you always use a condom?” She said, “PRACTICALLY.” I almost laughed in her face. Practically?!
I just don’t understand why Abstinence Only can’t be considered education. Not to mention it makes the millions of people who do practice abstinence before marriage seem silly and immature. Which is not the case. I’m one of them.
When I was in college I took a speech class and because I’m a decent public speaker, I got good grades in there. But the only speech I got a 100 on was about abstaining from sex before marriage. I gave some examples of people in my family who had kids out of marriage and how their lives where affected–not just by the kids, but in other areas of their life, too.
In this speech class, we made comments on every speech we heard and gave it to the speech maker. I remember several of the notes I received said things like, “I know from experience that what you say is true.” Or “I’ve been thinking about sleeping with my boyfriend, I’m so glad I heard your speech first.”
I always remember this, and I say it now because those were real people. Not lawmakers or educators trying to make a pc class. Real people who had been affected by sex when they weren’t ready for it.
One of my favorite quotes sums up quite nicely what I believe about sex:
Strong desire is like a river. As long as it flows within the banks of God’s will—be the current strong or weak—all is well. But when it overruns those boundaries and seeks its own channels, then disaster lurks in the rampage below. –James Dobson, Sr.
So yeah, for me it’s a moral issue. But I also think it makes good logical sense. I just don’t think teenagers need education about how to have a better sex life.
Wow! Thanks for such great open and honest comments! I’m loving this conversation. I just wanted to link to another abstinence-only post I wrote sometime last year. It has a few actual statistics and then my “plan of action” for bringing up my children to protect their bodies and sexuality.