Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Put That Thing Away, Cupid (AKA, You Can’t Spell Chastity Without “Tit”)

Abstinence was not a choice for a shy boy like me in high school, it was an affliction. Or at least it felt like one.

For some present-day high schoolers, St. Valentine has become the patron saint of chastity, and they’re planning to commemorate his day with flyers, t-shirts and special oaths
swearing off the dirty deed until matrimony.

Yup, this year Cupid is finally putting some pants on.

Despite the fact high schools aren’t crazy about t-shirts for a lot of “causes,” or ones with sex-related messages, some of them are allowing students to distribute anti-sex propaganda for Valentine’s Day.

I think these schools need to hand out
my earlier blog on abstinence for the other side of the story. It’s not scientific, but it’s what I’ve learned. Alas…

When I was in high school the faculty didn’t want kids wearing the “Like A Virgin” t-shirts they bought at the Madonna concert, because of the V-word. Isn’t that what they wanted kids to be? Would they prefer a “Like A Skank-Ho” t-shirt?

My school was always happy to present a one-sided, conservative view to us. Celibacy, Christianity (this was public school, mind you) and military service were the favored paths in life.

It was a clear program of indoctrination, and I resented every bit of it.

I’m not saying teens should knock boots. High school is pretty young for that. I wasn’t ready for it then, even though I was ready for it then.

Where I take issue with the so-called “purity” initiatives is that they’re borne out of a slanted religious agenda and/or out of ignorance.

Sure kids should wait, but many of them aren’t making an informed choice, they’re making a choice colored by talk of sin, chastisement, pregnancy and AIDS. Some folks are fine with that, but I don’t like lying to teens, even if it is “for their own good.” I’m still attuned to the adolescent in me.

I don’t think anyone should ever get half the story. Ideally, life’s choices are made with knowledge of the consequences and benefits; the flipside of that is ignorance. And that’s not what we go to school for.

Enjoy your chocolates, kids.

19 comments:

Paddys_Gal said...

Ack ! While I agree that many high schoolers shouldn't be having sex, the entire tone of the L.A Times article is really creepy. The religious right is now using Valentine's Day to promote their morally superior bullshit agenda ? How lame.

presidentbobo said...

I've read some interesting articles (sorry no links) that indicate teens might define "virgin" differently. We assume they mean total abstinece while in fact many teens think other forms of sex are OK- including oral and anal sex. I am not even sure how the virginity issue applies to gay teens because it isn't a pregnancy issue.
I guess you have to ask why some teens are opting to remain virgins. Is it to be morally superior? Is it because they don't feel they are ready? Is it simply because they don't want to get pregnant? Is it a matter of preaching one thing while practicing another? You can't even use whole "waiting for marriage" arguement when some in our society aren't allowed to marry. I guess gay teens get a free pass. Many of the religionists have written them off anyway. At 14 I was physically ready. Emotions weren't even a consideration. Teenage biology sure is odd.

presidentbobo said...

The virginity issue also raises an interesting question for the males in our culture. Traditionally, males are expected to be experts in the bedroom. That doesn't happen with just masturbation. Where are these males supposed to master their skills? If not with their peers then who? I think teens are better off practicing with their peers as opposed to those older or younger than themselves. I know other cultures do things differently. Yes, it would be better if they waited until they were old enough to appreciate the emotions and biology involved. Many people don't always act rationally when it comes to sex.

About this BS holiday - I still resent it. It is another excuse for our society to glorify "the family" at the expense of single people. I'd rather celebrate presiden't day.

Bogs - Sorry for the rant.

Pete Bogs said...

Pres - I did consider the topic of what constitutes virginity, but I decided not to open that can of worms... heavy petting? first base? second base? genital-to-genital contact... in the end I decided that this piece would be way too long, and that the question would best be left for a separate post...

I tend to think genital intercourse is the determining factor, and not just Bill Clinton said so... I can't explain why I feel that way, but I do...

the "purity" article I linked to doesn't go into that topic too much, but I have heard the argument before: best to stay away from any such stuff to avoid being drawn into more serious stuff, like going all the way...

the topic of masturbation is a good one to bring up, because fundies know that's not the same as sex, and it makes them uncomfortable... I once saw a "60 Minutes" segment on teen sex, and church-based opponents were convinced of a few things:

1) masturbation is the exclusive realm of teen boys; the girls don't do that cause it's icky...

2) masturbation often involves porno, and that's sinful...

I wish the interviewer had pressed them on this issue... like, what if a kid uses only his imagination (no visual aids), and pictures only a woman his mind has fabricated, is that still a sin?

what it gets down to is, many of these people want their kids to be asexual... that's just not how we're built...

and as far as masturbation, girls have more options, and can get away with it more easily... ever hear the anecdotes about a woman riding a bicycle because it got her off without anyone noticing? I don't know if it's as common in females, but I bet it's close... again, these fundies can't stand to think of the possibility that their dear teenage daughter may be fiddling around inside her undies...

feel free to rant, Pres... this is my free speech zone...

look, I've gone and written a book here!

Jack K. said...

I wonder, did Bird influence you?

On a slightly more serious vein, you are right on target as far as I am concerned. My guess is that those folks who don't want their teenage daughters sexually active in any way may be that way due to some unfortunate experience early in life. Incest, rape, very strict parenting, no validation as a real human being, etc.

I could do some rants too. I think I wrote something in Things I Have Stumbled Across that may come close to responding. Read it if you care to, or not, your choice.

In the meantime, keep up your good works. Now it is time to water some plants before the cold weather returns to Northeast Kansas.

Zya said...

Don't worry Pete, you didn't miss a thing :) Thanks for the comment as usual.

I still have to reply to this post... but I'm thinking about it :p (And running late for work...)

Pete Bogs said...

Jack, I didn't know of Bird until recently... I am an original! ;-)

thanks for your kind words...

Zya, I look forward to seeing your thoughts on this...

Jack K. said...

Aren't we all? Original! Some of us just don't think about that. It is too damned scary, hence the gross (pun intended) effort to shackle the libido of others.

Ah well, there is always hope. Just look at the cool folks we meet in cyberspace.

ffff said...

Bloody Hell!!
Can't they keep out of anyone's lives? If kids can drive a car then they sould be given enough information to make informed, safe choices for themselves. Why on earth would I want my children to not experience 'love'? They are all grown now but I sure as hell didn't want them to be virgins on their wedding night!!! I told them..make love don't have sex... try before you buy...take care of your own health and that of the partner... and think beforehand so you will have no regrets. Also that there is more than one way to make love and intercouse is only ONE way! Bloody hell!

rusty shakelford said...

Bogs I think I may agree with you. School is the place where you learn the right answer to a problem, not the easy answer. Like it or not abstinence is the 100% effective way to prevent pregnancy and disease. Both those things will set a kid back and even make life miserable.
On the other hand parents need to provide 100% of the moral training. The public education system is having a hard enough time teaching kids to read. I don't think they need to tackle morality.

infinitesimal said...

happy valentines day boggsy!!

fatty ~ said...

if u wanna know - u can just ask the teenager!

the result of the generation SEX is gonna affect my generation for sure

and as someone raised before - many teens dont think oral sex is real sex

ali

Jack K. said...

Abstinence is 100% fool proof. No sex, no children. Now convince any individual in the full effects of natural hormones to be abstinent.

Seems to me morals and values training will help some. Another part missing though, is the mechanical training. The lack of such discussions and training help lead teens to the rationalization that oral sex is not sex.

Get real America, sex helped get us to where we are today. And, so did morals and values training, or the lack thereof.

Enough rambling.

Ciao.

Pete Bogs said...

Alison - an early draft of my previous blog on abstinence was titled "Try Before You Buy!" thanks for your contributions...

Infini - back at ya!

Ali - good to have an actual teen perspective here...

Rusty and Jack - you guys are right about the 100% effectiveness of abstinence... in my prior blog, linked to in this one, I touch on that... the possibility of dying in a car accident doesn't keep us off the road every day... we have to look at things not in such extreme terms, I believe...

thanks all for stopping by!

Zya said...

well, I meant to get to this, I really did I promise...

I've been brought up in a strict family who made the topic of sex very tabboo. I could have been scarred by it, but I wasn't! The way they would carry on, it was not even something to be discussed, and tv channels are *still* changed in my household!

Its sad in a way because I understand where they are coming from but could see how they could have affected my relationships if I hadn't worked it out myself. I was one of the lucky ones who will still manage to have a healthy relationship without thoughts of guilt riding through my head.

I know I went a bit off topic, but just wanted to add my bit about strict parents (or anyone else for that matter) and adding a tabboo to sex. Sex is important in relationships, and it should be something we feel comfortable about, something we are well informed about to make the right decision, and something we should really decide for ourselves with the right information and clarity.

Pete Bogs said...

well informed... clarity... exactly... don't make decisions out of ignorance, but out of knowledge... thx, zya

ffff said...

Well said, Zya,

As usual Jack you put it all into perspective!
Great blog, bogs

Pete Bogs said...

thx, Alison!

Smoke said...

Drugs are just bad, you should try to use Herbal Alternatives as a temporary replacement to loose the dependance!