Re: [Provocateurs] Elizabeth Smart blames abstinence-only education
Wednesday, May 15, 2013 10:49 AM
She could have been taught that at her school or her church.
The abstinence only education programs generally use shame a fear to attempt to keep kids from having sex. This is often reinforced at home or church.
They are told that "good" girls and boys don't have sex before marriage because if they do, they are not respecting their bodies. Implying that sex is "dirty" or that if you have it, that you are completely out-of-control and going to contract a disease and unwanted pregnancy.
I saw a video of an abstinence only educator claiming that if you had sex with your boyfriend/girlfriend that the "flames of passion" would destroy your relationship. She drove the point home by lighting a heart on fire. Implying that if you have sex before marriage, your relationship will fail, because all your partner wants is sex and they will leave you if you don't marry them first. Which is of course ridiculous!
When I was a teen it was the "purity ring" BS. Asking 12-14 year olds (and usually girls only) to make a commitment to wait to have sex until they are married. There was a lot of pressure from different groups in high school to either not have sex, because that was the "moral" thing to do, or the kids that were sex crazed and thought you were a loser if you hadn't had sex.
So I have no doubt that abstinence only education sends the message, whether said by the instructor or not, that having sex before you get married makes you gross, worthless, and that no one will want you if you've already had sex. Especially if you are girl.
The double standard was in full force when I was in school. Girls who had sex were sluts, guys who had sex were studs.
It's really messed up.