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Re: [Provocateurs] Elizabeth Smart blames abstinence-only education

From: Jennifer
Sent on: 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.

On Wed, May 15, 2013 at 9:13 AM, Anna Smith <[address removed]> wrote:

Who is "they"? I have never in my life heard a comparison to a stick of gum, or any other metaphor even close to that. In any case, I'm sure she is trying to find ways to justify not escaping in her own mind. It must be terrible guilt to have to deal with.

On Mon, May 13,[masked]:43 AM CDT Lynne wrote:

>I was watching the Melissa Harris-Perry Show today, and they showed a recent clip of Elizabeth Smart talking about abstinence education. In case you don't remember, she was the teenager kidnapped and raped for months. She was talking about how they teach that a girl is like a stick of gum and sex is being chewed/used and if you are used too many times, no one will want you. So she thought what is the point of trying to escape....she felt worthless. I knew AO was wrong for being ineffective, but I had no idea how truely evil it could be. What a horrible thing to say to girls, and what a terrible message to send to boys about the worth of girls/women.
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