Saturday, 26 May 2012

Why I Don't Like Giving Chastity Talks

This is my second post for the day, so I'll keep it short.

Here is Simcha Fisher on an incredibly short-sighted form of abstinence education.

Young people are like sponges that soak everything up, and they don't always know what is true and what is false, what is now and what is past. My childhood and teenage attitudes towards sexuality were marked by stuff I read, stuff the average adult would probably not think would have such an effect on a child. And my expectations about married life were way off base, thanks to two or three chastity lecturers.

I live in fear that I will say or write something that will mess up a young person, and that is why I never knowingly reply to an email from teenager without suggesting she discuss my letter with her mother or favourite aunt. I would never, ever, ever want the responsibility of being a chastity lecturer, except to my own children.

Having linked to Simcha's article, however, I will say that I am as horrified as she is that non-virgins are being compared to glasses of dirty water, licked Hersey's kisses and bitten apples. That's way worse than the stuff I heard from chastity lecturers when I was a teenager.

H/T Mark Shea.


Lena said...

I always hated the term pure for unmarried virgins. Because if unmarried virgins are pure, what does that make married non-virgins? See, that just doesn't work out nicely.

Once I read in a pro-life book about how wrong the phrase damaged goods is. A woman is not goods like you would find in a store. A woman is a human person. Sure a woman's soul or psyche maybe be damaged or there may be a damaged physical part (like damaged or bruised nerve or leg), but our worth is never damaged. It just may feel damaged.

rachel said...

Well said Seraph :). I think that these talks end up doing more harm than good. Teenagers have a lot on their plate, especially the women. I am still dealing with years of bad self-esteem, etc due to how I was treated (being called names, etc). These types of chastity talks can probably end up making the girls feel worse than they already are. One of the reasons girls become promiscuous is due to poor self-esteem, image, and respect. That could be brought on by their family life, etc. I don't think you can use a one size fits all approach to chastity/abstinence talks which is why the parents need to be the ones who talk to their children about it, not some talk in school.

Miss Doyle said...

St Josemaria Escriva never talked about chastity per se, that is a parental responsibility - but he was big on purity in all its various meanings. I think sometimes we're a little too willing to talk about stuff that perhaps should remain in the realm of the private and discrete, just we won't be blamed about having hang ups about sex.

theobromophile said...

We are ALL somewhat damaged. Life does that to us, but it's absolutely infuriating to be told that such "damage" makes us incapable of love, whether that damage be a sexual past or psychological scars.

When I was 18, I got one of the best chastity talks I've ever heard. The woman, a few years older than me, married a virgin but was not. He asked her what there was for just them - what was special that set their relationship apart from any other. She said she wished she had waited.

Part of how we say "yes" to Heaven is to say "no" to earthly things. Likewise, some of the "yes" to our future husbands (if such creatures exist) belongs in saying "no" to every non-husband out there.

Emma said...

Totally agree with you (and Simcha) on this count! I had this same talk when I was in high scool. I was never overly impressed with the chastity talks given, but sometimes it seems as though you can't admit that without people thinking you're some kind of heretic.