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» Scarleteen Boards: 2000 - 2014 (Archive) » SCARLETEEN CENTRAL » Sexual Ethics and Politics » What do you think about this statement?

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Author Topic: What do you think about this statement?
Girle
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Unless you are ready for the responsibility of becoming pregnant, you are not ready for the responsibility of sexual intercourse.

That, personally, is my opinion.

[This message has been edited by Girle (edited 12-28-2001).]


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Ashy
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I think you meant to say "Unless you are ready for the responsibility of becoming pregnant, you are not ready for the responsibility of sexual intercourse." Otherwise, your statement says that "except under the circumstances that you are ready for the responsibility of becoming pregnant, you are ready for the responsibility of sexual intercourse"

Not only is there the risk of pregnancy, but there are other issues as well, covered in our Ready or Not? article.

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Ash
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"Calm. Yes. Calm. Calm. Calm! Calm!! CALM!!"
--Ash, while attempting to work instead of bouncing off the walls.


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PoetgirlNY
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<Unless you are ready for the responsibility of becoming pregnant, you are not ready for the responsibility of sexual intercourse.>

I would say, unless you are ready for the responsibility of becoming pregnant or contracting an STD, or the responsibility of preventing pregnancy and STDs, you are not ready for the responsibility of any sex which could result in pregnancy or STDs.

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"I'll be a Venus on a chocolate clamshell rising on a sea of marshmallow foam."
-Hedwig


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EvilKiwi
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I think the statment should be more like: "If your not responsible enough to practice safe sex, then your not mature enough for sexual intercourse."
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Celtic Daisy
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I agree with EvilKiwi. I think it all comes down to being responsible enough to practice safer sex. If you can do that responsibly, and you feel ready, then you're prolly ready.

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"where'ths my mommy?"
-Shawna

Akimsa (non-violence)

~Erin~


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Heather
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Lemme throw a monkey wrench in here, while mentioning that in an ideal world, I would agree.

But what about peope or countires in which sex education is not available or prevalent, or even BASIC education? What about those people who have mental disabilities or developmental delays?

Does that mean they can't ever be sexually acttive? If so, how do you rectify basically saying that any group of people are not "ready" for something which their bodies do on some level draw them to do, and for which they simply may not understand the consequences, nor even have the ability or resources with which to do so?

And/or, how do, say, women in many third world countires, who HAVE to marry, not of their own choiuce, and are expected to have intercourse within marriage fit into this ideology?

(Might also want to think about this: the reason most religious right and conservative groups, as well as groups of people who are even more liberal hold the opinion that no teen should have sex is that they do not feel a minor of any age is capable of being ready for, or understanding, those consequences. Obviously, here at ST we do not agree with that, but it might be worth figuring out how it fits into this philosophy)

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Heather Corinna
Editor and Founder, Scarleteen

My epitaph should read: "She worked herself into this ground."
-- Kay Bailey Hutchinson


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Gumdrop Girl
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Girle's statement, while true for heterosexuals, does not cover acts between members of the same sex. does that mean they are allowed to be any less responsible for their actions? not in the least.

so yes, i agree with those who added that practicing safer sex is paramount as far as responsibility is concerned. can't handle buying the right supplies, getting regular checkups at the doctor, and dealing with problems in a mature manner as they arise? then you're definitely not ready to handle sex.

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srm? wtf? iyhta ... rtfm!


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Girle
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Yes, STD's of course, but also there is no guaranteed form of birth control or no guaranteed way to prevent an STD but by not having intercourse. Just because you practice 'safe' sex, doesn't mean you will not get pregnant or not contract an STD.

If you DO have intercourse, no matter what you use, no matter what method you use, there is the possiblity there.

With that in mind, it just boggles my mind why people do this and get pregnant or get a disease and are surprised about it.


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Kite
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quote:
And/or, how do, say, women in many third world countires, who HAVE to marry, not of their own choiuce, and are expected to have intercourse within marriage fit into this ideology?

Well, I would argue that a good deal of those women are not ready to have sex. From what I have seen (I'm originally from Egypt), most women* only have a foggy notion of where babies come from before getting married, let alone know what to expect from the first time they'll be left alone with a man behind a closed door. Other than being expected to produce a blood-stained handkerchief the next morning, of course
. I think those women are not ready to have sex, and it is a shame that they are made to without any preparation or education other than an injunction to obey their husband and satisfy him.


* I mean most women who are forced into marriage.


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Dude_who_writes
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I have to say, I agree with you, Heather. I don't think that anyone should ever, ever be told that they cannot experience sexual activity if they want to. It's an inalienable right that is bistowed upon us biologically, and it should not be tampered with by outside forces.

In most undeveloped countries, I believe that most women who are interested in sexual activity understand what sex is and what pregnancy is, on a basic level. And, they also understand that one is the consequence of the other. Because of this, I think that they are mature enough to have sex.

STDs and STIs, I think, are another story, entirely. While I think that everyone should in the "developed" world should have an understanding of safe-sex (through a revamped sex-ed program, but that's for another post ) and safe-sex pratices, I do not think that their choice to not be "responsible" about using safe-sex measures should not make them ineligble to have sex.

In this country, and other developed ones around the world, I think that this statement holds true. Most people who are of a sexual age understand that if you have sex, then you can get pregnant. Therefore, if they understand this, then it's their biologically-granted right to have sex.

In the situation of forced-marriages, however, I think that there is something inheirantly wrong with these types of situations. In the same respect where I believe that no one has the right to tell you that you can't have sex, I don't think anyone should have the right to put you into a situation where you will have sex. Something needs to be done about forced marriages in the third world. Although, that might just be my "American-Superpower-raised-attiude-towards-the-Developed-World-policeing-the-undeveloped-world" talking again.

The bottom line: NO ONE'S right to partake in sexual activty should ever be alienated, as long as they are willingly partaking in the act.

Whew, that was a little bit of a rant. I hope none of you got lost while reading.

[Edited for clairty.]
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Tim (a.k.a. the dude)
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"Don't knock masturbation-- it's sex with someone I love" -- Woody Allen

[This message has been edited by Dude_who_writes (edited 12-28-2001).]

[This message has been edited by Dude_who_writes (edited 12-28-2001).]


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Gumdrop Girl
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Time to rebutt what Dude who writes said.

The right to practice religion freely has been enumerated by Americans in the Bill of Rights.

Take the example of an American Muslim mujahideen (holy warrior) who believes it is okay to practice jihad as part of his or her religious beliefs, and in the process kills a lot of people in the name of religion. Do we allow this person to continue practicing his or her religion in the manner because they have an unalienable right to practice religion as they see fit? The answer would be a resounding no!

Analogously, should a person who practices unsafe sexual activities be allowed to continue their activity without any sort of warnings? If a person knows he or she is HIV positive and he or she continues to be unsafe and promiscuous, should we let them go on without offering some words of admonishment? No, because what they are doing jeopardizes the health of other people. If the carrier informs his or her partner of their infection status, and the other party consents to unprotected activity anyway, fine, that's between them. But what we're saying is, while you can't exactly bar people from having sex, you can still tell them that what they're doing is unsafe or a bad idea.

in the end, it think it all comes down to do no harm.

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srm? wtf? iyhta ... rtfm!

[This message has been edited by Gumdrop Girl (edited 12-29-2001).]


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Gumdrop Girl
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i'm shipping this over to Ethics and Pols. See ya there!

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srm? wtf? iyhta ... rtfm!


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Communist Revolution
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quote:
Originally posted by Girle:
[B]Unless you are ready for the responsibility of becoming pregnant, you are not ready for the responsibility of sexual intercourse.[B]

It'll happen anyway so long as pleasure is valued more than common sense in our society. I personally do not agree with you, though.


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Heather
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Why is the assumption being made that pleasure and common sense are mutually exclusive?

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Heather Corinna
Editor and Founder, Scarleteen

My epitaph should read: "She worked herself into this ground."
-- Kay Bailey Hutchinson


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Confused boy
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Not mutually exclusive but one should be put above the other in decision making.

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'An Anarchist is a Liberal with a bomb' Trotsky


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Girle
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Yes, having sex is a right...people have the right to do whatever they want, but IMO most teenagers (and many adults alike) really do not think about the true consequences of having sexual intercourse whether it be diseases, emotional ties or changes for the rest of their lives.

Many times, I think by not having sexual intercourse gives people a more rational mind in a relationship. Many young women seem to make decsions based on the emotional ties that are present because of sexual activity more than anything else. When you're looking for a monogomous relationship, this can become decieving as far as what the whole point of the relationship is in the first place.


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Confused boy
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Some people are not looking for a monogamous relationship .

Though I agree on the physical medical side. In fact, I think it is important to remember that it is not just intercourse that can cause STDs or even pregnancy. So really people should think through any sexual activity before doing it and weigh up the risks and be prepared to accept them.

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'An Anarchist is a Liberal with a bomb' Trotsky


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Heather
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I think perhaps Confused and Communist, that "hedonism" and "pleasure" are being confused.

Honestly, I find that I can't really find pleasure if I'm being self-destructive, or if I'm harming myself or others, and so for me, the two are not only not mutually exclusive, nor is one above the other, but they are very much linked directly TO one another.

Girle, I have to say I think you're making some heavy assumptions, both about young women in general and about sexuality. Sexual activity may or may not be tied in with romantic love, or within the context of a relationship. Thinking through my life, I can say quite honestly that sexual activities and partnerships havne't made huge changes in my life. Relationships have, be they friendships or romantic relationships (and often both at the same time), as have more clearly and singularly emotional things in my life. But I highly suspect that had I not chosed to be sexually active in my teens I wouldn't be very different than I am for having chosen to do so.

While I'll concede that point that sometimes, some folks can't separate sex from love and that that can cause a LOT of confusion, I'm not sure that being ready to handle a pregnancy or a disease or infection is going to help much with that aspect.

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Heather Corinna
Editor and Founder, Scarleteen

My epitaph should read: "She worked herself into this ground."
-- Kay Bailey Hutchinson


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Confused boy
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I think perhaps we are taking a different viewpoint on "pleasure" and we are considering the more short term kind. I am sure you will agree that it is important to use your sense of logic before you get it off with someone! You might gain pleasure out of a very destructive act and that is putting VERY short term pleasure before long term... well pleasure and life I suppose.

Perhaps its harder for you to understand because a need to think of the possible effects on yourself and others is hardwired into your decision making. But there are some who are perfectly willing to have sex and just hope for the best. This is what we mean when we say basic logic and knowledge should be a priority before any potentially dangerous sexual act.

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'An Anarchist is a Liberal with a bomb' Trotsky


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Heather
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To be frank, I'm not sure how that could be hard-wired into me any more than it is into anyone else, Confused. About the only thing I'll concede to on that point is that from a very early age I think it was clear to me that everyone's luck runs out way quicker than they think it will. But in terms of safer sex and the like, given that I grew up far eariler than most of our users, right out of the late sixties and early seventies when HIV wasn't even known of, it's a bit iffy. And given the era I "came of age" in, and how my life went then, I assure you that I can understand hedonism all too well. Remember too, that the culture we are in now in the west is actually a good deal more conservative in many respects than it was in my teens and childhood.

In terms of what I said before and your reply regarding pleasure, that is why I suggested the confusion. Whatt hedonism means is behaviour based on the idea that short-term pleasure is the highest aim, or is what is most important.

What "pleasure" literally means is a feeling of joy. And I'd question whether earnest joy could even be dervied from that which is self-destructive or destructive to others.

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Heather Corinna
Editor and Founder, Scarleteen

My epitaph should read: "She worked herself into this ground."
-- Kay Bailey Hutchinson


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