Meen's Reviews > The Purity Myth: How America's Obsession with Virginity Is Hurting Young Women

The Purity Myth by Jessica Valenti
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Feb 25, 09

bookshelves: to-read, feminist-womanist-gender, sexy-sexy-splashy-splashy, politics-rants-opinion-policy
Recommended to Meen by: http://www.feministing.com/

I saw this book on an ad on this page:

http://www.feministing.com/archives/0...

which is making me throw up a little in my mouth every time I think about it. At some point we have to start calling some aspects of religion what they are, just plain abuse.
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Comments (showing 1-50 of 52) (52 new)


message 1: by Trevor (new)

Trevor My daughter told me about this t-shirt campaign. I like to think of it as the ex-wanker, current half-wit ministry.


Joshua Nomen-Mutatio Holy fucking Zoroaster! I never thought I'd see people wearing "ex-masturbator" t-shirts, with the exception of a parody of neurotically sex-obsessed "abstinence only" crowd. But in earnest? Thinking this is helping people? Improving people's well-being and pleasing an Imaginary Friend? Sometimes you really gotta step back and deal with the fact that this is the world we live in.

Wow.


message 3: by Walker (new)

Walker I would never wear a shirt like this, but on the flip side, I'm sick of having to deal with people telling me that because I'd like to save myself for marriage that I'm an extremist and a zealot. I can't get my head around the fact that I'm constantly bombarded with these persecutions for my personal decisions. Why is it OK to bash religious types, and the second we make a stand, we get torn down? Seems like some people can't see both sides of the coin..


Joshua Nomen-Mutatio There's nothing wrong with choosing abstinence or teaching the virtues of it, but when "abstinence only" policies jettison sensible sex education I have a serious problem with this sort of thing.


message 5: by Jimmy (last edited Feb 25, 2009 09:58PM) (new)

Jimmy Walker: Are you trying to say that "religious types" are the only human beings that practice abstinence, what's more, are the only ones that are ridiculed for practicing it? That sounds like a religious fallacy to me. Also, please be specific about which "religious type". Satanism is at least considered a religion.

As for myself, abstinence, bah! Who needs it. While promiscuity does have it's consequences; STD's are biological diseases, not theological punishment. I agree with MyFlesh (hehe), there is nothing wrong with sex education, but "abstinence only" policies are oppressive. Don't get me wrong here, they are oppressive if they are enforced by secular or non-secular powers. I guess this ends in yet another ridiculous, futile, and fruitless, religious belief debate; especially one concerning how religion influences decisions such as these. It shouldn't fall into one, but unfortunately it does.

One more thing, it's not OK to just flat out bash religious types based on their beliefs, just as much as it is not OK to ridicule people for their own secular opinions. People are criticized either way. Seems like some people can't see both sides of the coin? Of course not! One word; war. What, did you just fall out of the sky? Yeah, it's unfortunate, but yours is a pretty poor example of why it is, or even how it is for that matter.


message 6: by Walker (new)

Walker Jimmy: Your rebuttal is exactly what I'm talking about in my argument.

1. Don't play word games, you know precisely what I'm saying about 'religious types.'

2. I never pushed abstinence on anyone, I simply stated that I didn't appreciate being looked down on and persecuted because I made a conscious decision to abstain. So how are my policies oppressive? I chose this lifestyle based on something I believe in, but apparently you can't accept that.

3. How does war fit at all into the argument it hand, it seems to me that when people run out of things to say they fall back to 'war.' My coin is one of sexual abstinence, not war, read my argument before you blow your answer out of proportion.




message 7: by Meen (new) - added it

Meen Sorry, Walker, but once people with religious beliefs start trying to base government policy on them, then your religious beliefs get to be criticized. And they SHOULD be criticized, especially when what they teach is not only completely worthless and ineffective public policy but also psychologically damaging. Shaming is a VERY effective method for keeping group members adhering to group norms, but it is also psychologically destructive. If someone wants to make an informed decision (based on NOT just religious beliefs but FACTUAL information), to save their virginity for marriage, that's fine. Just make sure you DO have al the information, and trust me, your religion does not give you all the information. Beyond that, I'll be damned if religious beliefs, especially when they shame CHILDREN, are not going to be up for criticism. Religious people do not get a pass because they have religious beliefs. If religious people don't want their religious beliefs criticized, keep them out of the public arena.


message 8: by Walker (last edited Feb 26, 2009 06:59AM) (new)

Walker Mindy, I understand what you're saying, and I agree on many points, religion in government doesn't mix, but morals in government does. I'm not saying my morals are everyone's morals, but give me some credit that we do need to have some sort of social standard, whatever that may be, correct?

Question for you, are you saying that the government policy is 'completely worthless,' or the beliefs themselves?

Shaming is wrong, and I would not dream of doing it to anyone because of religion, but that's what I don't understand. I'm mocked everyday because I'm vocal about my beliefs. I'm not trying to convert people, but when they found out I'm Christian I get ridiculed, is that fair? If we're supposed to keep our opinions out of the public arena, why can everyone else have theirs?

Again, I'm not pushing religion, and I'm not condoning shaming children who think differently than me, I'm fine with other beliefs, I just don't understand why people can't think the same of me.


message 9: by Meen (new) - added it

Meen Let me jump around here a little in my answer:

The abstinence only policy IS completely worthless. It DOES NOT work. I also think that religious beliefs about abstinence, particularly when uninformed by social science, are not especially psychologically healthy. You can make an abstinence argument: it's the only 100% way not to get pregnant or get an STD without bringing religion into it. Once you bring religion in, you bring in the shame.

Morals and religion are not the same thing. The social standard that we have to come up with is one that promotes the well-being of all people. Shame-based religious beliefs about sex don't do that.

You agree that shaming is wrong, but do you not see that shaming is a component of this religious compulsion towards purity? Do you condone shaming children who DO believe like you? If you have a child who does a very natural thing and touches her genitalia, what are you going to tell her about that? What are you going to tell her about pre-marital sex? About extra-marital sex? About homosexual sex? If you tell her that all of these are sins and that God doesn't like sin and that the wages of sin is death, well then you have just shamed her. Shaming IS an undeniable part of the sexual morals of the Abrahamic monotheisms. I won't let you or any other Christian (or Muslim or Jew) have a pass on that.

If your fundamentalist Christian brethren hadn't been so intent upon taking over the government, you probably wouldn't get "ridiculed" for your beliefs, but you also have to ask yourself if there is something about your beliefs that is worthy of criticism (e.g., the shaming). Religious people don't HAVE to keep their beliefs out of the public arena. Just know that if you put them out, they are free game for criticism.


message 10: by Walker (new)

Walker I believe that everyone should make their own choice. As far as I'm concerned, if someone had a question about religion, or about what I deemed right and wrong, I would answer them, but I wouldn't go out of my way to shame or guilt someone. I'd say that's pretty fair. But I'll come back to my other question, if I'm accepting of these other beliefs, is it too much to ask to be accepted for mine?


Joshua Nomen-Mutatio People don't respect people's beliefs just because they're beliefs, people respect people's reasons for their beliefs.


Joshua Nomen-Mutatio I would say that no one truly keeps their beliefs out of the public arena, as beliefs are deeply connected to subsequent thought and action. Sure, people can conceal their beliefs from being made explicit or the implications really examined, but belief informs behavior regardless.


message 13: by Walker (new)

Walker The reason behind belief is a different argument entirely. What I'm getting at right now has to do with the way we treat each other, regardless of belief.


message 14: by Walker (new)

Walker Didn't see your second post. A very valid point, and I'm definitely not claiming to conceal my beliefs, and yes, they do affect my behavior, but I don't think it's detrimental to my health or anything.


Joshua Nomen-Mutatio That's my point: what people believe informs how we treat one another. If a person believes they should go on a killing spree we are inevitably going to treat them differently than if they believed that they believe that killing sprees are a terrible idea to even consider.

To crib an example from Sam Harris: imagine how much your thought and behavior would be transformed if you were to get a phone call from a kidnapper telling you they've taken your child. Your belief about this state of affairs immediately translates into a totally different mindset and physiology. The point is that beliefs matter. They have effects great and small. None of them are truly causally neutral.


message 16: by Walker (new)

Walker Good observation, I think we're on the same page here now that I'm a little more understanding of where you're coming from. Are we arguing about something? Or just talking the philosophy behind beliefs haha, because I can't find a quarrel with what you're typing.


Joshua Nomen-Mutatio I don't feel like there's really an argument going on. Just some chattin'.


message 18: by Walker (new)

Walker Yeah that's what I was feeling too, good, I'm kinda burned out about the issue.

It's a very hard subject to gauge, as both sides are so heated you know? No one will give ground, which I suppose is admirable.

Just took a look at your member page. Your library is very impressive. Have you ever read anything dealing with the inner meanings behind casual body language? I've been looking for something entertaining and informative about it.


message 19: by Meen (new) - added it

Meen if I'm accepting of these other beliefs, is it too much to ask to be accepted for mine?

It depends on what your beliefs are and what are the political and social implications of those beliefs. If you believe that homosexuality is an abomination and that homosexuals should not have the same civil rights as you do, then no, I do not accept your beliefs. If your beliefs teach you and your children that masturbation is shameful, no, I do not accept those beliefs, either.

Yes there is no really keeping beliefs out of the public arena b/c in some way everything is belief, but there is a difference in religious belief and all the rest, especially those beliefs that try to be based on factual evidence.


message 20: by Joshua Nomen-Mutatio (last edited Feb 26, 2009 10:42AM) (new)

Joshua Nomen-Mutatio Mindy wrote: "Yes there is no really keeping beliefs out of the public arena b/c in some way everything is belief, but there is a difference in religious belief and all the rest, especially those beliefs that try to be based on factual evidence."

Yeah, I was just making a more general point about the nature of belief. I have serious problems with religion, but to be fair there's a serious lack of clear headed thinking in both religious and secular realms. Being secular doesn't automatically equate to "I'm thinking logically", etc. I think that one finds unsubstantiated, poorly supported beliefs all over the place. BUT the reason religion is being singled out more publicly these days is that there really has been and still is a taboo through out American (and beyond) culture about criticizing religion or at least criticizing popular, mainstream religion. Really, people don't leap out of their seats when physicists argue about the nature of light, or when democrats and republicans duke it out on TV over political issues, but as soon as someone says "This religious idea is without merit" we tend to encounter things like "You gotta respect people's faith." Do I? Why? Because it's "faith"? Sorry, not good enough. Imagine how crazy it would sound to say this in any other context like in the context of a political debate: "Excuse me, stop grilling the opponent about their reasoning behind their political ideology and just respect their political ideology." Or "I just have faith that the Holocaust never happened", etc, etc, etc. Religion receives a kind of shelter from meaningful critique through this taboo. Sam Harris has a lot of good insights into these issues in my opinion.




message 21: by Meen (new) - added it

Meen True dat, I heart Sam Harris!

:)


message 22: by Jimmy (last edited Mar 26, 2009 07:43PM) (new)

Jimmy These are word games though. All of this is a word game. Is my rebuttal exactly what you're talking about? Okay, so your beliefs influence your opinion. My opinions can't stand your beliefs, as I'm pretty sure what they now are, and you're beliefs think that "our" secular opinions are always giving them shit, but they do have do behave in the context of a discussion for us to get anywhere. I actually didn't know what you meant by "religious types". You really can't just toss that out there assuming that every one understands your meaning of what a religious type is. The word religion itself has myriad connotations.

If you're not pushing beliefs, then why can't you just say that you are pushing abstinence. Complaining about how much flack you get for being a Christian is irrelevant. That was part of my point. Argue your point. That's like me complaining about how nobody agrees with my point of view because its cynical. Whatever point you're arguing, it's going to be ridiculed, questioned, criticized, etc. This happens whether these beliefs come from a religious background or not.

You're right, the war comment has nothing to do with this discussion. Just using an example to illustrate how some people can't see both sides of the coin, you're right, but I think that this has been established awhile ago. No need lamenting it. It's as needless as lamenting war.

I think that you're just dancing around what you really want to say here. Some "social standard"? Would that by any chance be total abstinence and nothing else. Who's standard is that exactly? I have an idea. I'd rather you just clearly explain to me exactly how abstinence is a morally supreme standard. Explain that. Because that question has nothing to do with why people criticize you for your religious beliefs. If you could explain that (shit, even with supporting religious examples) logically enough, I'd take your word for it.





message 23: by Trevor (last edited Feb 26, 2009 10:44AM) (new)

Trevor It is amusing listening to anyone talk about abstinence as a sensible means of combatting sexual desire. One need only look to Sara Palin's daughter to see how remarkably effective that method proved to be.

There is a wonderful book called Predictibly Irrational which documents research into the decisions people make when in a heightened state of sexual arousal as compared to their normal (non-aroused) state. The clear implication of this study is that (rather than the great lie - that only abstinence is an effective contraceptive) abstinence is not effective and if you want to save people from unwanted teenage pregnancy telling them to just say no, or to rely on their faith, is actually going to ensure more pregnancies.

Walker, you keep saying you have been suffering persecutions for your beliefs. Look, I understand you are young and possibly prone to exaggeration, but really, persecution is somewhat different to what you have been experiencing. I mean, the Jews in Nazi Germany were persecuted. I'm even prepared to say that Jesus was persecuted on the cross - but waht you are experiencing is hardly persecution.

The problem I have with beliefs such as yours about abstinence is that they generally are not just about a young woman saying, "I've decided to save myself for my husband" - as silly and sad as such a notion is in itself - but once you have ticked that particular box you generally tick a whole series of other boxes - use of condoms, BAD, homosexuality, Evil, teaching evolution, UNBALANCED or AGAINST GODS LAW. These views have real and measurable consequences in society. For example, the religious belief that condom use must be stopped at all costs is responsible for hundreds of thousands of deaths in Africa. If you share the belief that condoms are evil and that we much stop their use in combatting HIV/AIDS then you must also share the responsibility for the deaths your beliefs bring about.

The real problem is that no one believes for a second that the poor kids convinced to wear the t-shirts that started this discussion really are ex-masturbators. Just that they are another example of the sexual abuse religions seem especially good at inflicting on the young.


message 24: by Joshua Nomen-Mutatio (last edited Feb 26, 2009 11:07AM) (new)

Joshua Nomen-Mutatio In case people don't already know, there've been numerous studies which draw strong correlations between increased levels of pregnancy and STD infection in areas where abstinence only education plans are implemented. Its failure in terms of ethical utility has been documented. The jury is not out on this issue. It's obvious what's happening here. And on the truly extreme end of opposition to sex ed, contraception, pre-marital sex, etc, there are preachers and mullahs of various faiths and sects within them bellowing about how HIV cures shouldn't be sought after because then there'd be nothing to really scare teens away from sex with. This is also seen in the attempts to ban the mandatory HPV vaccine for girls, a vaccine which without a doubt would (if given to enough females before the average age that they begin to engage in sexual activity) greatly reduce the numbers of women developing cervical cancer. These people see the curing of disease--fatal disease--as the tragic loss of a tool to scare people into abstinence with. As if each girl will exit the vaccination and immediately start humping the first cute boy she sees (and if they're in a place where "abstinence only" education is implemented she surely won't think to use a condom let alone have one available). Yeah, the kinds of neuroses that religious people often have about sex really leads to more problems than there would otherwise be if people could just be reasonable about it.


message 25: by Trevor (new)

Trevor Yeah, if this was just a question of a few kids being sexually frustrated I could smile about it, but it is much more serious than that. They are more to be pitied than laughed at.


message 26: by Walker (new)

Walker Jimmy: You're right, I did come across as being a bit whiny in my first post. I appreciate you bringing that to my attention and I'm sorry you weren't clear on 'religious types' agreed it's vague.

I am however a little off put by your allegations that I'm pushing a morally superior social doctrine. The last thing I want from this is to portray a holier than thou attitude in an issue like this. Yes, I do push abstinence as a personal choice, but I wouldn't condemn someone for not following it. I would, however, condemn someone who would not allow me to cite that opinion. Is that fair?

Trevor: You sir, go above and beyond, I can handle a debate about religious policy or moral issues. But you seem to have cut straight through and insulted me personally. "I understand you are young and possibly prone to exaggeration." It is not only a poor assumption, but it is an underhanded tactic, Playing the 'age card' has caused me to lose a deal of credibility with your argument as well as cause some hostility.

If it's not bad enough already, you insert snide quips, dripping with sarcasm throughout the rest of your argument 'silly and sad as such a notion is in itself,' 'sexual abuse religions.' You're name calling.

Finally, you have assumed that I condemn the use of condoms and then go on to write a paragraph about that. You're wrong, I support the use of condoms in addition to other forms of birth control. Please, show some respect when debating.


message 27: by Jimmy (last edited Feb 26, 2009 03:59PM) (new)

Jimmy Walker, I hope that I didn't sound too insulting. I can sound a bit coarse in discussion sometimes. I'm glad that you don't condemn the use of condoms. And yes, that sounds pretty fair. I'm really just against any sort of oppression when it comes to certain personal freedoms. As I said, promiscuity does have grave consequences. It's unfortunate, but if people are educated about why it does before they consent to living that sort of lifestyle it might help. Basically, I'm just saying that people have the right to be sexually free. I will not condemn you for pushing abstinence as a personal choice. I'm also glad that you would not condemn someone for not following it. I think that is great. Maybe we both learned something here. Which is also good.


message 28: by Jimmy (new)

Jimmy I am in agreement with the failure of abstinence only education plans though.


message 29: by Walker (new)

Walker Jimmy, that comment is a breath of fresh air to me haha. I had a government teacher who once said (it's kinda cheesy) 'I may not agree with what you say, but I'll defend to the death your right to say it.' I think this can apply here, I chose abstinence, but I'd fight to the death to see that it remains a choice and not a mandate.


message 30: by Trevor (new)

Trevor Abstinence is silly and sad, religions do sexually abuse kids (as the t-shirt example clearly shows), and you have exaggerated by saying you are being persecuted. How, exactly, have I gone over and beyond?


message 31: by Walker (new)

Walker If you read the sentences following that one I listed many reasons.


message 32: by Anthony D (new)

Anthony D Buckley What adults do in bed is up to them. In such matters, no sensible person will do what their parents or teachers told them. I certainly never did. Nor do I expect my grown up kids. We all, quite properly, make our own minds up. The task of educators is to help young people think about the moral, biological and other issues clearly so they can make their minds up sensibly. If somebody tells me to abstain from sex, to become homosexual or to screw the woman living opposite, they can take a running jump. It's my business what I do.


message 33: by Jimmy (last edited Feb 26, 2009 12:35PM) (new)

Jimmy Well put Anthony. I couldn't agree more. I think the importance of educating children on these issues is the important thing, not shaming them, or flat out telling them how to live.





message 34: by Trevor (new)

Trevor You have mentioned you support the use of condoms and this was counter to my assumption - but what about my other assumptions? Homosexuality? Creationism? I'll take 2 out of 3 as a pass in the assumption game.


message 35: by Walker (new)

Walker I had a homosexual uncle who passed away from AIDS and an aunt who is currently seeing another woman. It is important to love people regardless of their sexual orientation.

As far as creationism, it's a mixed stance, I believe it was kick started by God, but that evolution does exist. Science is extremely important, but I don't think that a divine being should be shunned as an explanation.

Forgive me for not previously setting my stance on these issues, I was focused on the main part of the discussion, I hope I have now adequately made my position known.


message 36: by Trevor (new)

Trevor Oh well, I was wrong - it seems god and abstinence are your only silly beliefs. Mia culpa


message 37: by Joshua Nomen-Mutatio (last edited Feb 26, 2009 01:53PM) (new)

Joshua Nomen-Mutatio There's a difference between the sort of "hate the sin, love the sinner" kind of thing (which is utter nonsense on so many levels) he describes above and being truly accepting of homosexuality as just another sexual orientation no inherently better or worse than being heterosexual. But here's what I suspect: Walker, like the majority of modern day Christians, thinks of Christianity mostly being about nice Jesus love your neighbor stuff, "God" as a source of emotional strength, etc, and ignores the contradictions, the moral failings, the absurd supernatural claims, etc, etc, etc, embedded within the tradition. Cherry picking scripture is something all religious people do. Someone who wants to emphasize that homosexuality is a sin will cite the various verses that support this, someone that wants to emphasize "loving thy neighor" will cite the appropriate verses. Someone like me will read the bible and say "You're all wrong, this is just another ancient book filled with a multitude of differing viewpoints and commands, many which outright contradict one another. Nothing about this book when taken as a whole supports the basic tenets of Christianity."


message 38: by Walker (new)

Walker Ok, so what are the basic tenets of Christianity? I mean seriously, I'm not debating, I'm genuinely curious.


Joshua Nomen-Mutatio That God exists, that Jesus is God, that Jesus died, rose again, that everyone has an eternal soul, that the afterlife exists.


message 40: by Walker (new)

Walker Very well put, simple and effective.


message 41: by Anthony D (new)

Anthony D Buckley I thought Biblical Christianity was all about giving away all you had to the poor; turning your cheek when somebody wrongs you; and taking no thought for the morrow. In short, it is about abandoning one's family and the "world" and living the life of an itinerant hermit, just like Jesus and the early disciples.

I doubt that this very extreme repudiation of the world has much relevance to the problems of a modern teenager encountering sex for the first time in a modern city.

I have no problem about looking to ancient texts for insights (as it happens, I am just about to read a book about the Stoics), but surely one should try to tackle modern problems in a modern way.


message 42: by Joshua Nomen-Mutatio (last edited Feb 26, 2009 04:24PM) (new)

Joshua Nomen-Mutatio Christianity is not merely about those things though. It is in part, but like I said before, the whole thing's a giant contradictory mess. Even within the words of Jesus. He doesn't do away with the nasty bits of the bible (of which there are many, many, many to choose from), in fact he plainly legitimizes them for all time. Here's my little cut-n-paste from an earlier disagreement on another discussion forum about interpreting "true Christianity", "the real Jesus", etc:

The problem is that Jesus is a literary figure and that it’s remarkably easy to project whatever people want upon him. Like "Jesus wouldn’t like neo-conservatives" or "Jesus would kick ass" (2 Thessalonians 1:6-9), or whatever.

[image error]


Etc.

The fact remains that Jesus in the canonical Gospels was not merely about forgiveness and tolerance and peace and love. He doesn’t even manage to repudiate the institution of slavery (something now almost universally agreed upon to be wrong), he references slavery in his parables with no implied sense that it’s unethical (Luke 12:47-48). He confirms the absolute legitimacy of all scripture (including Levitical Law, etc) and every apologists attempt to invoke New Covenant Theology fails, repeatedly. I’ve debated our moderator on this point before and really do not care to again, but I’ll just say that no amount of "love thy neighbor" pronouncements or references to a few vague passages in other New Testament books gets around the words of Jesus himself:

"Do not think that I have come to abolish the law or the prophets. I have come not to abolish but to fulfill. Amen, I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, not the smallest part or the smallest part of a letter will pass from the law, until all things have taken place." -Matthew 5:17

"For truly, I say to you, till heaven and earth pass away, not an iota, not a dot, will pass the law until all is accomplished. Whoever then relaxes one of the least of these commandments and teaches men so, shall be called least in the kingdom of heaven; but he who does them and teaches them shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven." -Matthew 5:18-19

"...the scripture cannot be broken." -John 10:35

or the other scripture not directly attributed to Jesus like:

"All scripture is inspired by God and is useful for teaching, for refutation, for correction, and for training in righteousness..." -2 Timothy 3:16

"Know this first of all, that there is no prophecy of scripture that is a matter of personal interpretation, for no prophecy ever came through human will; but rather human beings moved by the holy Spirit spoke under the influence of God." -2 Peter 20-21.

I suspect some esoteric interpretations along the lines of New Covenant Theology will be coming soon...let the silly ass apologetics begin!



message 43: by Meen (new) - added it

Meen No apologetics from me! I'm scared to 'cause Jesus don't tap out!

(*falls out of chair laughing*)


message 44: by Anthony D (last edited Feb 27, 2009 02:08AM) (new)

Anthony D Buckley To return to the topic. For many people in the west, sex is one of the more important mechanisms that allow them to establish social and psychological independence from parents, the natal home, teachers and the previous generation. Of course, parents and teachers have a responsibility to provide information and guidance. Nevertheless, we should not be too eager to second-guess our kids as they start to make decisions for themselves.


Kahla MyFleshSingsOut wrote: "People don't respect people's beliefs just because they're beliefs, people respect people's reasons for their beliefs. "

SOOOOOO true.


message 46: by Gerd (new)

Gerd “Abstinence is silly and sad,”
Sorry (not really), but that is a silly thing to say.
The decision to have or have not sexual intercourse, and if, when and how, and under which circumstances is solely up to each persons own discretion, and should as such be respected.

To call it in grand sweeping generality silly, not knowing the reason, is a sad thing to do as it is equal to saying that all the things we do out of mere principle are to be considered worthless, and where would leave us that?


message 47: by Trevor (new)

Trevor and of course you are right Gerd - a function of these types of debates I suspect. You might be interested to read the chapter on precisely the topic of this debate (the dangers of abstinence as a solution to issues of teenage pregnancy) in the wonderful book Predictably Irrational: The Hidden Forces That Shape Our Decisions. I'm delighted people do things out of principle - so rare these days - but when something so clearly doesn't work redoubling our efforts would seem to be the least effective of all possible solutions, don't you think?


message 48: by Meen (new) - added it

Meen If abstinence is a fully informed personal decision, fine, maybe it's not silly or sad, but abstinence as sexual education policy is absolutely silly and sad. Actually, "silly" is probably too light a term b/c the social ramifications of the insidious policy are damaging and even deadly.


message 49: by Trevor (new)

Trevor It looks like we are drawing you back to good reads by inches, Mindy.

Love etc


message 50: by Gerd (new)

Gerd I can live with that, I guess in our hyper-sexualised society abstinence must seem a silly decision to some, but I would hate to see the debate to take a swing in the wrong direction and give young people the feeling that they have to be sexually active whether they want or not only to comply with a idea of "normalcy".
Naturally I completely agree that a open minded, and healthy sex-education is needed, to give young people the means to build their decisions on.


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