Abstain from Lies

August 2, 2007 at 8:03 pm (feminism, opinions, politics, rants, religion)

Humans are sexual beings. Perhaps above all else, we are driven by that fact since it is what has kept our species alive and prospering (all too well) for thousands and thousands of years. So why do our (religious-right) leaders try to continually deny this fact? I was just reminded of this while I was reading an entry on a great website written and maintained by intelligent women of my generation. It sounds like maybe some sensible people are trying to make some inroads into the ridiculous policy of abstinence only education. Why is it such a difficult, dirty thing to admit that teenagers have sex? Why are children lied to and mislead about sex? It unfortunately comes down to religion and the conservative mind-set in most cases. No one vilifies the beautiful and natural act of sex more than Christians.

I have to relate a story that G told me about his Catholic school sex education. When G was 16 or 17 years old, he was being “taught” about sex and contraceptives. Now we all know how Catholics feel about contraceptives, so it may surprise you that they were actually covering the topic of condoms. But before you get excited, this is what G was told. He was told, through an ingenious visual demonstration, that condoms are porous, and that if a condom pore were proportionately as large as a doorway, a single AIDS virus is the size of a tennis ball. Now throw that tennis ball threw the doorway. WOW! Condoms are completely useless! That’s a GREAT lesson to teach a bunch of horny 17 year olds! Now to address the validity of that demonstration: even if the AIDS virus is smaller than a condom pore (and that’s a big if), the AIDS virus doesn’t just float around by itself. It is either attached to or inside white blood cells, which are MUCH bigger than a condom pore. Not to mention all of the scientific and empirical evidence that shows that condoms do indeed prevent the transfer of AIDS. Again (related to my last post), kids are being taught lessons based on ignorance and fear.

Besides the blatant lies kids are told about sex and contraception, there is the whole topic of what kids are NOT told. In an abstinence only program, there are no lessons taught about safe and respectful sexual practices, not to even remotely mention sexual desire, homosexuality, sexual dysfunction, etc. When we aren’t taught about these things in a safe and proper environment, we pick it up where and when we can. When kids are taught that abstinence is the only way to go, they will find “creative” ways to remain virgins. I knew a couple a number of years ago (in college) that would only have anal sex because they wanted to remain virgins until marriage. HUH?

Are we really supposed to swallow the heap of dung being fed to us by our right-wing leaders and not think that they ever had sex before marriage? We are being led by a generation of men (yes I said men) that were coming of age in the era that pregnant teenage girls were still sent away to hide their “condition” from the public. We need to demystify sex and present it as a fact of life, not a sin. Sex can lead to babies and disease, but it is also an integral part of a healthy, mature, intimate relationship. It is something to be done in a responsible and respectful manner.

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3 Comments

  1. Minal said,

    >>No one vilifies the beautiful and natural act of sex more than Christians.

    Erm…I think Muslims and Hindus are equally bad. Virginity (specially for woman) is something of high regard in India.

    I agree with you, religious interference in public education needs to stop.

  2. mysterybea said,

    OK, I stand corrected. Most religions view sex and dirty and horrible. Maybe I should have said, “In American, no one vilifies the beautiful and natural act of sex more than Christians”…elsewhere in the world, the predominant religion of the region does the job of subjugating women. Although I’m pretty ignorant about how Buddhists view treat women. Maybe I should look into that.

  3. HeJunkie said,

    buddhism as practiced in india and the rest of east asia is pretty much as patriarchal as any other religion. it is basically male dominated societies practicing various religions, each finding a way to use religion to enforce control on women and their bodies.

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