Tom Ramcigam (magicmarmot) wrote,
Tom Ramcigam
magicmarmot

Abstinence vs. Predator

Listening to the radio on the way in to work this morning, I heard a public service announcement promoting abstinence.

You know, I am absolutely fine with abstinence. I am currently practicing it myself for reasons that I think are quite good.
This PSA made several good points: avoiding STDs and unwanted pregnancy are two that I agree with wholeheartedly.
But it mentioned a couple of things that got under my skin:

1.) Abstinence is "waiting until marriage" to have sex.
I disagree with this in a fundamental way. Abstinence is choosing to not have sex at this time. It is a responsible decision, but it doesn't require marriage as a precondition. That would be abstinence until marriage. And I am fine with that; I believe that abstinence from sex until you are married is an honorable personal choice, if made responsibly. And that is the fundamental difference: I don't promote abstinence specifically, I promote sexual responsibility.
Abstinence is one of many choices that can be made. The thing is, knowledge about how to be sexually responsible requires education, and I am 100% behind sex education. I believe that it should be taught in schools as a basic course. I don't believe that sex education promotes promiscuity. I think that it does acknowledge that the human/meat side of puberty actually exists, and that teenagers are sexual beings.
Waiting for marriage to me runs the risk of premature marriage.

2.) Marriage is to your one-and-only life partner.
In the ideal world maybe. Over half of all marriages end in divorce. And a good number of those divorces are for good reasons. Perhaps those folks shouldn't have been married in the first place (see the 'premature marriage' comment above). Perhaps there were changes that one or both people went through.
When I got married, I thought it would be forever. It lasted a year. My next relationship lasted 12 years, though it probably should have ended sooner. Nobody goes through life with a little gem in their hand that turns red when they find their one true life-partner.

3.) Having a baby is something that you should only do with your life partner.
Having a baby should be another responsible decision. You should have a support structure to help raise a child. A village, in the colloquial. A child should have role models of both primary genders, and preferably multiple role models.

4.) Your virginity is the greatest gift that you could bestow.
Understanding. Patience. Kindness. Love. All better gifts than virginity.

The whole point of this PSA seemed to be that our children are incapable of making decisions for themselves, and they need simple "just say NO" kinds of rules to help them. I say that we need to provide our children with the skills they need to make responsible decisions in their lives.
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