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» Scarleteen Boards: 2000 - 2014 (Archive) » SCARLETEEN CENTRAL » Sexual Ethics and Politics » Your Body, your choice?

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Author Topic: Your Body, your choice?
Member # 10430

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Listen to this and tell me what you think:
The other day I was doing research for a sociology assignment on sex and teens. I found a "sex readiness checklist" quite similar to the one on scarleteen, except for one thing. Where scarleteen says you should abstain from sex if its against YOUR OWN religious or moral beliefs, this list said you should abstain if it's against your family/parent's beliefs. It made no mention to the individuals feelings towards the subject, but only if your family approved. Personally, I fall under the 'my body, my choice' ideal. Naturally, my parents were traditional and "didn't think I would be ready for sex until marriage." They also hold a lot of religious beliefs against sex before marriage, but I DON'T share these same beliefs. So for me, despite what my family thinks, I believe I am ready for sex and am 'in the right' when I am having it. Me and partner care very much for one another, we discussed it a long time, and I soley decided that I was ready for sex, without any influence. I take the precautions, am willing to accept the responsibities and the same goes for my partner. So what my family thinks, though is important for me to know, comes second to how I feel about myself. So tell me, what do you think? Should your family's beliefs hold a great impact on your thinking, even if you do not share the same beliefs? Or do you fall under 'your body, your choice"? Would love to hear your opinions on this. =)

Love is natural, and everything that goes with it. ;)

Posts: 153 | From: Oakville, Ontario. | Registered: Oct 2002  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Gumdrop Girl
Scarleteen Volunteer
Member # 568

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I think the problem here is that the person who compiled the list assumed that people would largely base their belief and ethics systems in what their parents believed. After all, environment is a major influence for everybody.

Moreover, they are also attaching as a corollary that should a young person act against their parents' beliefs, they will be subject to punishment by their parents. In this case, I would agree that it is better to abstain until punishment is no longer a serious concern. Therefore, it is better to consider your parents' ethical values in one's own sex life. Of course, this only applies if you are still dependent on your parents for things like shelter and support.

When it has come up in the forums, the moderators and I seem to agree that if there is real concern about punishment, then the person shouldn't really consider themselves "ready."

Yes, I do agree that if it is your body, it is really your choice. But there is such thing as making bad choices about your own body. That includes unsafe sexual practices and sexual practices that violate your parents' rules and/or trust (esp. if you rely on your parents to provide you with your basic necessities).

Don't be coward like shrimp, be brave like PRAWN!

Posts: 12677 | From: Los Angeles, CA ... somewhere off the 10 | Registered: Jul 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Member # 7897

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I'm very much with the policy of "my body, my choice." I have also been lucky that my parents have always been supportive of my choices, and give me a lot of freedom based on the fact that I've earned it through my responsible behavior and trustworthiness.
That said, I CAN see how a person would include the parents/family bit if only for the fact that, like Gumdrop said, some individuals ARE dependants. My friend lives a life of terror that her parents will find out about her sex-life and take away the money for her college. Therefore, while I don't say your decisions should be based entirely on your family's beliefs, they sometimes are important to take into context. . . Because those beliefs can make life a lot easier, or a living hell, depending on the circumstances.
Of course, when it comes right down to it, it IS your body and your choice. To say that your family gets to determine your choices is wrong, because they don't. However, your family can add to the long list of possible consequences when it comes to making those choices.

Posts: 218 | Registered: Apr 2002  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Member # 5578

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I think that it's your body and your choice.

I also think that just because you want to do something doesn't mean it's the right thing to do right then.

That said, I agree with Gumdrop Girl. No matter how you feel about your parents' beliefs, rules, and morals, they're usually going to abide by them.

If your parents don't believe in sex before marriage and they find out that you had sex, they're not really going to care about how you feel about pre-marital sex because they're chief and they make the laws. And ultimately since you're living with them they can punish you however they want to.

Did that make any sense? When I feel a lot about a subject I often forget everything I'm going to say and it ends up coming out really unorganized.

"Time is the glue that bonds a broken heart, but love is the air which dries the glue." -J. Franklin

"Today is a smooth white seashell, hold it close and listen to the beauty of the hours."

Posts: 1619 | From: TEXAS | Registered: Oct 2001  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Scarleteen Volunteer
Member # 94

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I think it depends on the consequences of your actions. If you were going to have intercourse, and your parents (due to religious beliefs) would not wish to pay for STD/STI treatments, an abortion or raising a child, then I think that the beliefs of your parents need to play a role in your decision. However, if you were capable of handling these things yourself, then I'd think it was your decision.

For something that has no possible problems associated with it- for instance, masturbation- then I'd say it's always your decision, because it is of course your body.

Posts: 2710 | From: Australia | Registered: Jun 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Member # 7052

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i believe in the "your body, your decisions", and my parents believe in the "you arent ready until marriage to have sex". i know that i'm not ready for sex right now though, and i think a large influence is my parents and their beliefs. i think i would feel really guilty if i had sex... and my father made it clear that he wouldnt be suprised if i did have sex, but he would not be very happy about it AT ALL if he ever found out. i think its good that my parents made it clear about how they feel about sex, because if i do go and have sex (which would be in a way defying them) it will be with someone i really care about and i really love... or so i hope! anyway... i think because they believed that premaritual sex is a no-no, i picked that up too... altho now my beliefs are a bit more flexible thn they used to be

i dunno if that really helped any, but okie thats all i have to say.

dont worrie b happie... its like a law! =)

hunting for (not real fur) clothes is perfectly fine... hunting for animals is prfectly NOT!

Posts: 239 | From: new york, USA | Registered: Feb 2002  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator

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