Saturday, December 04, 2004
The Trouble with Abstinence
Rev. Jerry Falwell has a problem with Rep. Henry Waxman's report of the failure of sexual abstinence education. Falwell pens his opinion piece at WorldNetDaily, a right-wing echo chamber if there ever was one. Yes, Falwell has completely abandonded any pretense of being nonpartisan.
Falwell doesn't start his piece with credibility:
It is important that Americans understand that Rep. Waxman is a leading proponent of condom-distribution programs. He is not simply an unbiased observer in this situation.
It is important that Americans understand that Rev. Falwell is a leading proponent of sexual abstinence as the sole program in sexual education. He is not simply an unbiased observer in this situation.
Falwell implies in the above statement that the distribution of condoms is doesn't belong in sexual education. And that's wrong.
It seems to me that Falwell hasn't read Waxman's report. Sexual abstinence prevents sexual transmission of HIV, STDs and pregnancy. No one doubts or contradicts that statement. But presenting only one possible solution - the most difficult to implement - to American teenagers fails far more often than not. Exercising sexual abstinence has been an unreal expectation throughout history in every culture. And this is an overwhelming fact in the State of Texas.
Sexual abstinence as the sole element in sexual education doesn't address reality. You know it. I know it. Falwell really can't be that blind to now know it as well.
But maybe Falwell somehow missed the onset of puberty, skipping ages 14 through 22. Maybe he never had to experience the sudden flooding of a young man's system with testosterone. Maybe he was never EVER enamored of a young lady to the point of fantasizing how soft her little hand might feel while held in his, how she might respond to a kiss, what it might feel like to be hugged by that girl and how her breasts might feel pushed against his chest. It appears he never had those thoughts or any other thoughts that might progress beyond that last question. But if he did, I'd be willing to wager a dollar that he didn't keep those thoughts bottled up without trying.
Jerry Falwell doesn't live in reality.
Sexual abstinence as the sole solution is a blind faith attempt for a puritanical solution. It didn't work in Medieval Europe with chasity belts. It doesn't work in the State of Texas.
It doesn't work. Welcome to reality.