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» Got Questions? Get Answers. » SCARLETEEN CENTRAL » Sexual Ethics and Politics » The "new" abstinence argument

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Author Topic: The "new" abstinence argument
morganlh85
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Last year we had a lady visit our class for health to talk about abstinence. I was expecting the usual - pregnancy, STDs, etc. But what we got angered me beyond belief.

This lady didn't talk AT ALL about avoiding sex due to the dangers of pregnancy and STDs. Basically, her argument was this. If you have sex before you are married, then once you ARE married, the sex won't be as "mysterious" or "intriguing" so the sex won't be any fun. And - if the sex in your marriage isn't any fun, this will inevitably lead to divorce.

She gave us this analogy - Imagine you have a piece of tape on your arm. Right now it sticks really well. But if you pull it off, it's not as sticky this time. If you pull it off your arm again, it's barely sticky at all. Basically, the tape is your sexual activity, and the stickiness is how much it means to you emotionally. So she's saying that after you have sex so many times, it doesn't mean anything anymore, which is a BUNCH OF SHITOLA!

I wanted to SLAP this woman. That has got to be THE most ridiculous thing I have ever heard. For one, she made it seem like a marriage's foundation is based completely on SEX, and SEX only. i'm sure there are couples that NEVER have sex that are still perfectly happy. She made it seem like, if you don't give your man any good *** , he'll leave you! What does everyone think?

[This message has been edited by morganlh85 (edited 07-18-2001).]


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Lucky1402
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That's the biggest load of bull I've heard yet! Sex stops being good if you continue to do it before marriage? Some people don't even believe in marriage, so what is her stance on that? Geez... I think what makes me the angriest about that is that she claimed that without good sex, marriage will end in divorce. Maybe that's some peoples' opinions, but I deffinately do not agree. To some people sex may be extremely important in a relationship, but that doesn't apply to everyone. Some people don't even like penis-in-vagina sex (assuming that she was talking mainly about that type of sex)- it may not be appealing or pleasurable to them. I know a couple of people who only participate in other types of sex, because they don't especially like it. I also know some people who are mentally or physically incapable of having that kind of sex (or consenting to it).

I try to imagine what was going through her mind when she did that lecture- I assume it was just another ploy to try and scare teenagers away from having sex. Tssk, tssk.

------------------
*^Lucky^*

"I could rip your eyelid off..."

"No, Don't do it! I need it to seal my plan.."

"Why?"

"Because it's so devious I need to wink."


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'rin
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wowy. do you go to a public school? that is one of the main ways my youthgroup leader, a methodist paster, used to explain why premarital sex was a bad thing. that's a very christian message, just with god's "name" taken out of it. it's completely out of place in a public school, and not even a good tactic in my opinion. i know from personal experience that the idea of getting pregnant or catching an STD made me wait a bit longer before having sex, where as that argument didn't sway me at all. it's not logical - if sex eventually means nothing and it's all that holds marriages together then how do you explain couples that have been married 70 years or so and are still very much in love? stuff like that just makes me mad, too. i can totally empathize with your being annoyed with her.
'rin

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"-and i hope i'm not shooting my mouth off...again...and i pray i'm not tempting the fates....."
-james, off millionaires


Posts: 219 | From: lost in yonkers | Registered: Nov 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Daniel
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I post at a couple of message boards with a typical userbase of mid-teen American schoolkids, where most of them say that they're going to wait until marriage to have sex, and as such I see this sort of stuff all the time; "sex before marriage is WRONG". Because they simply can't tolerate other people making their own personal choices which happen to be different, they invent reasons why you shoulda bstain from sex until marriage, because obviously, once you have a legal document, you don't have a thing to worry about...

Here's some actual quotes of theirs...
"The only reason really to have full-on sex is to have a baby." (simple naivity)
"Sex. The socially overblown aspect of life. It was created for the soul purpose of generating children. Sex is supposed to be reserved until AFTER marriage, and then only with your spouse (duh!). ... Therefore, sex is not - and should not - be part of a pre-marital relationship." (come on, respect other peoples' chioces please)
"Sex outside of marriage is very damaging. ... Its a proven fact that after sex there is some psychological bond between the partners which is created in the act and when the couple is not married this bond stagnates. Its like giving away a peice of yourself. After a while your spread too thin among too many people. Sex between one couple for a lifetime fixes that. Its not just a religious, dogmatic rule. Its a way of preserving oneself and the one you love." (Why the need to lie to reaffirm your own opinion?)


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LilBlueSmurf
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This is sort of a touchy subject ... B/c so many people do believe sex is only something to be done in marriage. While this is ok for them, it's not ok for them to be telling other people what to do w/ their lives (including their sex lives)

It's important to remember that sex means different things to different people. And that there are people like me who do'nt believe in marriage at all. Does that mean i'm going to die a virgin? Not really. I go by my own morals and values ... And i try not to look down on others for having their own point of view. What bugs me is that this lady came into your class/school trying to push her morals/values onto others, especially teenagers of all people, and that's just not right.

Using protection applies to everyone tho, if you respect yourself and your partners. This affects the 'emotional value' of your sexual relationships b/c respect is an important part of this. What does or doesn't lead to divorce is also different for everyone. And it's usually not just one thing in particular.

So, in short, do what your tape what you will. But don't think yourself better than others b/c you choose to pull it off now or wait to pull it off. As long as your safe when doing so, it's none of anyone elses business.


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Celtic Daisy
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In my opinion, i believe that this is completely untrue and stupid. But, some people may actually believe this, which i find kinda sad.

I'm a virgin, and i seriously doubt i'll be one when i get married, but i don't think that's true at all.

I think it should prolly get better, and it doesn't matter that much when in the relationship it's done, as long as you feel ready and are in love.

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...Everybody knows what a store-bought sweater looks like. But man, when you see a home-knitter on the street, it's obvoius, you know?"
-Hawksley Workman


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Milke
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Marriage has special-tape-stickiness-affecting properties? Totally cool, and one of the reasons I'm not going to duct-tape another binder until there's a ring on my finger

There's got to be a better way to teach teens sexual responsibility, and I think this (being Scarleteen, and the like) is it. I guess because the idea of catching some nasty and possibly life-threatening disease, or makiing a baby bothers me, because I know it's something that could happen -- and that I can prevent, but the idea of weird-marriage-tape just confuses me. Honestly, my sexual morals are based a lot more on ethics (what's good for everyone's physical and emotional health) than religion (what's good for my) spiritual health, because it just seems a lot more important. And it's not like telling kids that using condoms is going to make them have sex if they weren't going to anyway. What better 'gift' to give to a potential partner than a happy, healthy you, married or not?


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Etch
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You know, my mom used the EXACT same analogy of the tape stickiness thing with me. My best friend's mom lectured me when i lost my virginity about how "Sex is better if you are only with one person! Experience doesnt make you better because it makes you less sensitive and you dont feel as much!"

HAHAHHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

Im sorry, but i think that morals are something that someone else cannot decide for you. Sex doesnt get worse, nor does it necessarily get better, based on how many partners or how many times you have done it.

For some people, sex is a "bad" thing for them to be engaging in before marriage, for some it is perfectly fine.

And i also think that there is a psychological emotional bond (of course emotional responses are always psychological) between people who have sex. But there is an emotional bond between friends, and friends dont always stick around and you have TONS of friends in life, does that mean that you are "spreading yourself too thin" when it comes to friends?

And i bet all those kids who say "sex is just for procreation" were fed that by family, church, or school. And i bet they go to their rooms and masurbate and feel completely shameful because someone else emparted their morals on them and they cant think for themselves. I feel sorry for those individuals.


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Pixie69
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If I was in that classroom....or on those message boards....or with those people...I'd

*wave my hand in the air*
"My girlfriend and I think we're ready for sex. We both believe in waiting for marriage, but we can't get married, so what do we do?"

or

"My girlfriend and I believe in procreation, but we can't create. Does that mean we can have all the sex we want now?"

or

"Well, I've been using my industrial powered vibe for a few years now and I can honestly say that sex doesn't make you less sensitive"

*sigh* Sometimes I wonder if I'm placed on this earth just to piss some people off, because I really do like to make over-zealous in-your-face be-<insert religion>-or-go-to-hell angry. And flustered.

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Brittany
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"Just say no" fights teen pregnancy the way "hey, cheer up" fights manic depression.


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velocette
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At my school (private, Catholic... eww ) we had a lady give us a talking that was EXACTLY like you were describing. Not only was she giving us stupid analogies, but she was very condecending to teenagers in general. She would speak in the whiney falsetto and say "but he loveeeed me" to describe a "naive teenage girl" who just had sex. She really irked me. Even one of my friends teachers (theology, go figure) said that she thought the lady had no right to say some of the things she said. I can't remember her name for the life of me... but I wouldn't be surprised if it was the same woman. The only things I remember distinctly was that she was very bitter and yelled at the students in the audience.

This was all before I knew of Scarleteen. I hope she comes back next year so I can give her a verbal *** whoopin! Well, maybe not that *exactly*, but I can give her a few more facts


-Veronica

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You're So Disco! : My Online Diary


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Lucky1402
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I can actually see where some people have the morals or beliefs that sex should be for after marriage, or only used to procreate. I have absolutely nothing against that belief- let people follow whatever beliefs they may have, I suppose. I just don't think that that woman should have tried to pawn the idea off on her students, since I'm sure that every person there had their own beliefs on the subject. It also kinda sucks that she would try to scare teens away from sex by using a stupid arguement like "well, sex isn't as good once you've done it a few times."

It's funny that she didn't mention anything about STDs or pregnancy risks, or any of that to back herself up. Or, better yet- why not tell the students about STD and pregnancy risks, while also explaining how to use birth control and what options are available? I mean, people are probably going to have sex no matter what she tells them- but if she explains how to practice safe sex and use birth control, that would be much more sensible.

I dunno- I question her theory on that subject. What did she plan on accomplishing by telling teens that sex is less fun every time you do it? Actual sex education is much more helpful and useful in highschools and colleges.

------------------
*^Lucky^*

"I could rip your eyelid off..."

"No, Don't do it! I need it to seal my plan.."

"Why?"

"Because it's so devious I need to wink."


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Lynne
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I got something like this in sixth grade sex ed. Except instead of tape, it was gum. Essentially the argument was that you were gum, and having sex with somebody was akin to being chewed, and you wouldn't want to make your husband chew used gum, would you?

Gah. Must they make up nonsense like this? I think that (not that this is going to happen soon) giving teens the actual facts about sex a la Scarleteen -- like what STDs you can get and what they do, how you can get pregnant, how safer sex is more extensive than merely a condom, and something along the lines of the sex readiness checklist that's here -- would be more effective if they want to keep teens from having sex. Sure, some of them are going to go off and foolishly have unsafe sex anyway, but the more mature ones would realize just how much responsibility is needed for sex and possibly decide to wait. The knowledge that you have to have the money for, purchase, and use safer sex supplies, and have a plan for when things go wrong (and the ability to go through with that plan) seems like a much better deterrant than "Nobody wants to chew used gum."

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'rin
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i must agree with the above. i didn't have any personal opinion about having or not having sex until i had a through sex ed unit (that included "some people also choose celabacy for religious/personal/moral reasons" but didn't harp on it overly) complete with exactly what pregnancy does to one's body and how easy it is to catch an STD. after learnig this stuff i decided that i wasn't going to have sex until i was at least 18, it sounded like a really adult decision to make and i didn't want to make it until i was an "adult". i don't think an abstinance based scare tactic would have brought me to that decision.
'rin

------------------
"-and i hope i'm not shooting my mouth off...again...and i pray i'm not tempting the fates....."
-james, off millionaires


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JunkiePanda
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i am waiting untill marriage...not for god(i am atheist)...and it isn't because i think doing it before is wrong(to each his/her own) it is just a choice i made a long time ago and i think it is the best way to go for me. sex is a very important and big part of a relationship in my opinion...i want it to mean as much as it can when i do have sex for the first time.
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Ashy
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Gum? Tape? Who are these people kidding? Yeah, I can just see them talking to a group of adults. "Only have sex with your spouse, so you'll be less chewed/sticky for him/her" Also, I noticed something similar in these posts; aren't the speakers all making it sound like it's the woman's choice to choose whether to have sex or not? It seems like it...

Our sex ed class was quite good, now that I think about it. Although safe sex & abstinence was encouraged, there were no silly analogies.

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Ash


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Heather
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Morgan,
If you give me the e-mail of said person, I'd be oh-so-happy to say, forward them all of the sexual advice letters I get in a week, the majority of which are from married couples, and always have been. None of us are immune to sexual issues, changes, boredom or problems.

You're right, they're being silly and unrealistic. I think we can safely say that if marriage in and of itself had those powers, not only would the rate of adultery nnot be such that the MAJORITY of married couples have affairs, but most people would get married just to save the dough on Viagra or therapy.

Sounds like this person was very seriously lacking any human sexuality background. Pity schools don't ask about that when they engage speakers.

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


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JHSCali
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quote:
Originally posted by velocette:
At my school (private, Catholic... eww ) we had a lady give us a talking that was EXACTLY like you were describing. Not only was she giving us stupid analogies, but she was very condecending to teenagers in general. She would speak in the whiney falsetto and say "but he loveeeed me" to describe a "naive teenage girl" who just had sex. She really irked me. Even one of my friends teachers (theology, go figure) said that she thought the lady had no right to say some of the things she said. I can't remember her name for the life of me... but I wouldn't be surprised if it was the same woman. The only things I remember distinctly was that she was very bitter and yelled at the students in the audience.

This was all before I knew of Scarleteen. I hope she comes back next year so I can give her a verbal *** whoopin! Well, maybe not that *exactly*, but I can give her a few more facts


-Veronica


I know exactly who you are talking about. Her name is Pam Stenzel. She came to my all guy school and gave the same talk. To be blunt, she scared all of us 1,100 guys s**tless. If you think you had her, there are 2 clues that is probably her: the "buuut he loved me" in a high and whiny voice or being able to rattle off STD's like she was Dr. Dre. This woman changed my life. I though "**** abstinence" before I heard her message. Now, I won't and haven't done anything. Why would you risk your life for an orgasm. Teenagers don't even know what love is. We are naive. We think physicality is love. We think the perfect relationship is sex. We are, to be blunt, wrong. Just think of how many things can go wrong while trying to have "safe sex." There is actual only one safe sex: abstinence. I go to a Jesuit school but am not much of a "practicer." Sex, moreover children, are part of marriage. When you ake your vows, you say "I Do" to "Do you accept children as a gift of your love from God?" I'm not saying you don't have love without a kid, but that's one of the points of marriage. Priests won't marry a couple if they specifically state they don't want kids. I could go on and on about this, but I'll wait for some more replies. I don't want to get worked up. I'll leave with one final thought: "How would you feel if your true love was a very religious person and refused to marry you because you weren't abstinent?"

Addition go here to see if she was in your town and you hear her. "4/9-10/01 Carmichael, CA
School Assemblies - contracted by Jesuit High School" That's me!

[This message has been edited by JHSCali (edited 08-03-2001).]


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Moth
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Strange . . . the more I explore my sexuality, the more pleasureable it becomes . . . because I'm more practiced. Like riding a bike or playing an instrument, the first few times are rough, and it gets more fun as you learn more.
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emsily0
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jhscali, please watch it with the generalizations. for one thing, not all teenagers like being told categorically that "we are naive" and "teenagers don't even know what love is." you may feel that you are naive and that you don't know what love is, but that certainly does not give you the right to assume the same thing about all teenagers.

furthermore, i don't think it's right for you to insert your religion, whether or not you "actively" practice it, into this discussion in such a way as to make value judgements. not everyone cares whether or not a priest will marry them. not everyone here wants to get married in the traditional sense, and certainly not everyone here wants children. again, it's fine if you want to get married and if you consider children to be a vital part of that, but please refrain from saying that that is the ideal arrangement for everyone.

and to be honest, i find it difficult to imagine falling in love with anyone who would be willing to judge me on the basis of my sexual experience. i hope you're not suggesting that it should be otherwise.

we know that there is no such thing as "safe sex." what we're talking about here at scarleteen is safer sex, which involves understanding the risks and dealing with them responsibly. if you take the time to do that, it's not really appropriate to melodramatically say that you are "risking your life for an orgasm" - especially since orgasms aren't the be-all and end-all of sexual activity.

if i were you, i would take some time to look around the site, and check out the guidelines to understand what we mean when we say that moral value judgements and generalizations aren't okay around here.

em

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Boys and girls in America have such a sad time together; sophistication demands that they submit to sex immediately without proper preliminary talk. Not courting talk - real straight talk about souls - for life is holy and every moment is precious. I heard the Denver and Rio Grande locamotive howling off in the mountains. I wanted to pursue my star further. -Kerouac


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