Tag Archives: abstinence only

Abstain If You Will

I have written several posts about my opposition to abstinence-only-until-marriage “education”. I oppose these programs for a variety of reasons based on strong evidence and sound reasoning. Today I would like to discuss the subject of abstinence until marriage from a slightly different angle.

I have never intentionally implied, nor would I want it said, that I oppose abstinence. Well, I oppose it for myself, but I’m a forty-two year old woman who is well-informed, mature and responsible enough to make that choice. Oh, and I’m married, but as you may already know, marriage is not a deciding factor for me when it comes to making decisions about sex.

What other people choose to do or not do, and under what circumstances, is their own business, though. And that is the subject of this post.

According to an article by Julie Sternberg, senior staff attorney with the ACLU Reproductive Freedom Project, by age 20, 75% of Americans have had sex without being married. By age 40, that number increases to 95%. Premarital sex is a cultural norm in the U.S. — and has been for decades.

That said, it has never been my intention to criticize those who do choose to abstain until marriage. If that is important and right for you, then that’s what you should do. But you should also realize that your choice is not based on science or facts, but on your personal values and ideologies that may not be shared by the next person — and that’s OK!

We are all entitled to our own views about sex and marriage, and to make our own choices about them. But what abstinence-only-until-marriage programs try to do is take moral and religious ideology and dress it up as science in an attempt to frighten, control and manipulate people into following a religious moral code. That is what I have a problem with, rather than with people abstaining for personal reasons.

Abstain, if you will. You don’t need to explain or justify it to anyone. It is your choice, and your choice alone. You don’t even need a reason, much less a bunch of factually incorrect reasons. And if you abstain because of your religious beliefs or your faith; because God says premarital sex is a sin, shouldn’t that be enough?

It seems to me that you do your faith a huge injustice and undermine your god by attempting to justify your decision in some other way. Especially when that way is a lie.

Bottom line: do it, or don’t. I support your right to make that choice for yourself. But don’t lie about it, and don’t try to impose your moral code or religious principles on me or my child, especially not on my tax dime.

Posted by Lottie — Copyright © 2008 Rambling On


Abstinence Or Orgies: The Eternal Dilemma

The subject of abstinence-only-until-marriage “education” seems to be rearing its ignorant little head again.

In Abstinence-Only: Stop The Madness! I wrote about my reasons for opposing abstinence-only programs. One of my reasons is that they are thinly-veiled religious programs to promote an ideology which encompasses ignoring and even lying about the facts regarding condoms and other forms of contraception.

I said it then, and I say it now, aside from religious ideology, there is no basis for teaching abstinence only until marriage. I invited readers to enlighten me; to give me one measly little logical reason to reserve sex for marriage.

To date, no one has been able to do so.

I’ve been given reasons to abstain which I agree with. I’ve been given reasons to abstain until adulthood which I agree with. And yet, despite efforts both here and on other forums, no one has been able to explain the mystical power of marriage contracts that allegedly protects against unwanted pregnancy or STDs.

Before you decide to take me on and show me the error of my ways, I recommend reading the comments section under the above-linked post. It could very likely save us both a lot of time.

While I want to avoid getting too long-winded and repeating every point I’ve posted on the subject, there are a few things I would like to address again.

The first is the apparent confusion towards those of us who want to provide comprehensive sex education for our children. You see, there are a lot of people who seem to think that it’s the same thing as telling our children to go and have all the sex they possibly can as if it’s all or nothing, abstinence or orgies, with no other possibilities.

Some people seem to sincerely believe that there are only two options we can give our children in regard to having sex: to have none at all, not ever, or to have indiscriminate sex any time, any place, with anyone at all. It’s really a rather bizarre and disturbing train of thought, isn’t it?

This subject seems to generate some pretty weird questions, too: “So, when you’re telling your son how wonderful sex is, do you plan to also tell him that sex can lead to pregnancy and STD’s? Huh? Huh? Do you? Huh?”

Well, garsh! I don’t know. I mean, in the context of talking to my child about sex, it hadn’t actually crossed my mind to mention pregnancy and STD’s. Good thing I’m surrounded by geniuses who can remind me that I might want to mention that little tidbit somewhere between buying his condoms and taking him to cruise the red-light district.

Engage your brains, people! You’re posing this ridiculous and redundant question to someone who consistently emphasizes the importance of teaching kids about condoms and other forms of contraceptives! In what context would these things be discussed, if not in the context of discussing pregnancy and STD’s?

“Look at these pretty red condoms, Honey! This should really put her in the mood!”

“Oh, let’s get these pills! They look just like smarties! And be sure and tell all the boys! They’ll start beating down your door!”

Of course I’m talking about pregnancy and STDs! Good grief! The fact that you’re even asking this only serves to confirm what I’ve suspected all along: that you’re not reading all the words, or you can’t or won’t comprehend them.

And people always seem so earnest in their questioning. Why, just this morning I logged in to find this little gem:

Are you going to teach your son also, that if he gets a woman pregnant to make sure he is a father figure in that child’s life for the rest of his own life? Are you going to teach him to take responsibility for one night stands? Are you going to have these discussions with him?

I hope you will.

Nah, I thought I’d just hand him a box of condoms, point him toward the nearest brothel and wish him the best of luck.

You really should read the rest of that comment as well as my response, if only for the entertainment value.

Once again, for the record: I have no intention of encouraging my son to have sex. I have consistently stated that I will encourage abstinence, first and foremost. But I will not treat sex like it’s something shameful, and I absolutely refuse to promote the lie that marriage contracts are more effective than condoms in guarding against STDs or unwanted pregnancy.

I can guarantee you that when the time comes for my son to make the decision of whether or not to have sex, he will be able to do so based on complete and accurate information. And you know what else? If he has doubts or questions, or just needs to talk, I’ll betcha he comes to Mike or me. Unfortunately, those parents who shut the door on the communication with their No sex, end of discussion mantra won’t be able to say the same.

I wonder where their kids will go looking for information.

Posted by Lottie – Copyright © 2008 Rambling On


The Obligatory Sarah Palin Post

I wish people would stop making me defend McCain and company; it makes me feel like I need to scrub myself. All the mud-slinging in reference to Sarah Palin’s daughter is the kind of bottom-feeding, slimy tactics I would expect from the McCain campaign.

First, I would like to respond to claims that none of this would have happened if only Sarah Palin had stayed home and raised her kids. While some feminists have abused the term “misogynist” to the point of rendering it virtually meaningless, I can’t think of another word to describe this line of thinking. Well, “stupid” comes to mind, but that’s rather obvious.

Bristol Palin has a mother and a father! Why aren’t people outraged by the fact that he didn’t stay home and raise his children? It’s classic misogynistic thinking.

Then there’s the finger-wagging of “See what happens when you leave children unattended?”

Bristol Palin will be eighteen-years old next month! She is not a child. It’s not rational to think that someone her age should be “attended” around the clock. She’s perfectly capable of consenting to sex and of legal age to do so. The results of her consensual sexual activity are her responsibility and do not reflect on her mother, father or anyone else.
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Lazy Sunday Round-up

I’m really enjoying these round-ups. While I have a few blogs that I read every day or at least stop by regularly, this little project forces me to venture a little further into the blogosphere in search of new material. It’s interesting, fun and educational. I’m definitely going to keep doing this!

Let’s start the morning off with a laugh: Archie posted an oldie but a goody that’s sure to make you chuckle. He also has tons of other great stuff you’ll want to check out while you’re there.

Bad at the Bad Idea Blog wrote an excellent piece discussing the work of Oxford psychologist Olivera Petrovich, who claims in a recent interview that her research has shown that the concept of God is essentially endemic to toddlers, while atheism has to be learned later on.

Pillowtalker, author of Pillow Talk with a Sassy Sexpert, has written comprehensively about the many problems surrounding abstinence-only until marriage “education”. This is one of my pet topics and she covers many of the same points that I take issue with, points which cannot be emphasized enough.

In Hotbuttons at The Odd Blog, Mike shares his thoughts on the hotly debated topic of whether or not men can be feminists. It’s very good and, as usual, Mike tells it like it is. Do check it out!

I doubt I’ll ever do one of these and not mention Gary (unless, of course, he asked me not to). In the short time that he and I have been acquainted, I have grown very fond of him and, in fact, regard him as a true friend. But that’s not the only reason I keep up with his blog and link to it as often as I do. Gary is an outstanding writer with a brilliant mind and he’s one of the nicest, most genuine people I’ve ever had the pleasure of knowing. All that said, Gary has posted about his interview with The Pakistani Spectator this past week. Stop by Gary’s blog to find out what happened after the interview.

Pop Feminist discusses the history of The Beatles from a feminist perspective. She points out that “screaming girls” were way ahead of Ed Sullivan who is largely credited for delivering The Beatles to America. The title of the post is Erasing Women. A couple of excerpts:

With only a single gestured reference to Ed Sullivan’s witnessing of the British “screaming girls”, he— with his clear and reasoned masculine intelligence through which this emotive feminine display is interpreted– delivers the Beatles to America.

Given another imagining of this event, one can just as accurately say, “the girls’ demand for The Beatles forced Ed Sullivan, along with most other media outlets, to bring the Beatles to America.” In this telling, the women are the ones who “discovered” The Beatles, an account that certainly rings true to my ears.

[…]

The Beatles were the eye of a feminine hurricane, large groups of women were traveling long distances to see them, women were exercising tremendous consumer power to purchase their music and merchandise, women all over the world GOT LOUD, organizing a host of sexual anxieties around Beatles symbolism. Women, the first large group of Beatles fans, determined the shape of a world-wide pop culture. In an era before second wave feminism, this wasn’t just threatening– it was terrifying.

Very well stated!

I can’t think of a better place to wrap it up than this. Told you I was one of the true feminists. ::wink::

Posted by Lottie — Copyright © 2008 Rambling On


Three Strikes Over Texas

A few days ago, my son was being chased by a neighbor’s dog. Running as fast as he could, and periodically looking over his shoulder, he slammed into a pole. The impact caused the most gruesome swelling I’d ever seen on a person’s head or face. Usually when my son is injured, I keep my composure, reassuring him that everything will be OK. This time the injury was so startling that I literally gasped and cried out, “Oh no!” I took him inside the house and immediately called 911.

The paramedics arrived within a couple of minutes. They examined my son extensively, and determined that he was stable for the moment. As terrible as the injury appeared, there seemed to be no serious damage. As with all head injuries, though, there is a twenty-four hour window during which the injured party must be carefully observed for signs of more serious trauma. The paramedics gave me a list of instructions and warning signs, and advised me to keep my son home from school the following day – TAKS day!

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Mountain Dew or Clorox – What’ll It Be?

As you may already know, I am strongly opposed to abstinence-only “education”. For those who need clarification, this does not mean that I oppose teaching abstinence; just abstinence only until marriage without any comprehensive sex education to back it up.

It doesn’t work. Instead of being horny but equipped to deal with it, the kids on the receiving end of this “education” just end up horny and ignorant. As a Texan, I can tell you that it’s a dangerous combination.

And now we have yet another example of the kind of nonsense that is circulated among teenagers and accepted as fact in the absence of comprehensive sex education:

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Abstinence-Only: Stop the Madness!

I received a letter from the Director of Health Services of the school district my son attends. The title of the memo read as follows:

Fifth Grade Maturation/AIDS Education Program

In the body of the letter, however, it refers to “maturation and abstinence education”. I wanted to clarify this, to find out if it is an abstinence-only program. Well, sure enough, it is. She said that they teach the kids to avoid pregnancy and STD’s by abstaining from sex “until marriage”. What? I take issue with this on several different levels:

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