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Why "purity" is the wrong issue


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I was reading this thread:

http://community.babycenter.com/post/a3 ... kids_at_17 (a teen mom board, not a fundie site)

and couldn't help but notice the weird preoccupation these girls had with being considered "slutty".

In my head, I was thinking that's so NOT the issue.

It's not about whether you have sex, or the number of times that you have sex. It's about having some actual knowledge and demonstrating that you've actually thought through your actions and taken responsibility. It's about acknowledging that having 3 kids while you are still a child yourself is not a good life plan for either you or your children.

In other news, I was reading about the role that "magical thinking" plays in teen pregnancy:

http://www.parentcentral.ca/parent/babi ... nant-study

I also found these articles:

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/05/10/opini ... uthat.html

http://www.newyorker.com/reporting/2008 ... act_talbot

Now, I never had a fundie upbringing. Instead, my parents were all about making sure that we knew the potential dangers of sex (it was the height of the AIDS crisis, so that was a huge theme, plus they made it clear that they saw teen motherhood as something that would completely derail our education and career plans and set us up for a life of poverty), and how to manage them. We were definitely not all virgins, but I only knew of ONE pregnancy during my entire time in high school, even though it was a large school of 2,500. I have no idea if any students had abortions - if they did, they didn't talk about it, but I'll admit that in my circle it would have been far less scandalous than a teen pregnancy.

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In my exposure to teenagers over the last 11 years or so, I came to understand that secular girls are very concerned in general with the "slut" factor. I would argue that this attitude problem contributes mightily to teen pregnancy, because only slutty girls carry condoms. No one wants to be a "slut", so therefore, no girl is prepared to protect herself should she decide to have sex.

In other countries where female sexuality is accepted as a fact of life just like male sexuality is, and a girl is not considered a "slut" because she has a condom in her purse, teenage pregnancy rates are much lower. Go figure.

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Hooooooooo boy.

I grew up in a rural county in a Southern state which, from 2003ish to 2009, had shittastic sex education. And by that, I mean it was abstinence-only. Religion plays a big role here, and for those who aren't religious it's just traditional values, etc. I know of only one person who carried a condom in her purse, but she had moved here from Florida, and I don't know how Florida rolls, maybe it's different. North Carolina, however, does not roll that way.

I think there is a lot of magical thinking going on here, in fact, I had that magical thinking going on as well (NOT anymore, because I got tired of having anxiety attacks when reality would hit me). A lot of girls assume that since they have ovarian cysts or irregular periods, they're aren't fertile (or as fertile as 'usual') so they can't get pregnant. Or, they have the guy pull out at the right time and everything's okay, and it's only at a certain time of the month.

Condoms are very difficult to get in my town, since it's so small and gossip spreads like wildfire, plus the only condoms available are behind counters at gas stations and you have to ask for them. There are only two clinics in my whole county. Two reasons: most people and/or their parents work in Virginia, so clinics are closer to where they work and do pretty much everything else, and insurance from Virginia employers apparently doesn't cover anything in North Carolina unless it's urgent. Since everything in Virginia is about half an hour away, transportation is limited if you don't have a car and a license. So there goes going to the doctor by yourself or even going and buying condoms where nobody will really notice or care.

Add all this up, and you have half my graduating class (2010!) pregnant or with children. I know of three girls who have had multiple pregnancies, two of them had (according to rumor) abortions, but finally decided to keep the baby. I know a girl with two kids, one of whom was born at the end of our sophomore year.

As for the 'being seen as slutty' attitude, I don't think teens really view sexually active people as slutty just because they're having sex, but because of how open they are about it, if they sleep around, and yes even if they get pregnant multiple times. It's definitely a maturity thing- kids and teens want to be seen as mature, and look up to peers who they think are mature. Getting pregnant multiple times, all of those times within a short period of time and before graduating high school, does show a lack of maturity and awareness.

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This is why I don't understand fundy logic. They argue that abstinence-only sex ed will encourage teenagers to have sex yet in European countries where sex ed is taught from an early age the teen pregnancy rate is very low because they have been taught from an early age to be responsible for their bodies. Hell, I've learnt how to protect myself sexually from the age of twelve and it didn't make me want to jump into bed with someone. It made me aware that I could get pregnant from unprotected sex and you have to use a decent form of contraception (ie not the pullout method!)

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I went to high school in a town of 5,000 with 19 churches. The slutty girls were the ones who slept around WITHOUT protection, and the boys who didn't provide protection either were considered to be dickholes. Neither were looked upon favorably. It was fine to sleep around if you used condoms. It's weird, that school taught us what condoms were, yet had prayer before school assembled until my junior year. Then the condom-talk stopped because of a family who thought it was evil complaining, and pregnancy skyrocketed that very first year the condom-talk stopped. Girls were still slutty and boys were still dickholes if they slept around and didn't keep condoms.

That's the mindset of that town, and I agree, to be honest. My problem is with people who sleep around and don't use anything, ESPECIALLY with you know better. Having condom-talk a couple years and then a year without it isn't an excuse. You aren't going to forget that fast. But, sadly, the rumors about how jumping up and down right after is just as effective started going around and the school couldn't set the record straight.

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Not to be confused with the tranwrecky goodness of ThatWife, That Mom has some great things to say about purity in this post. I wasn't sure if she'd care about the linkage, so I broke link:


Also, the Mark Driscoll story in there makes him sound like a self-centered, spoiled brat. His poor wife!

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