Wednesday, November 01, 2006

The Sex Talk

I'm 48, have two children, and have been married for 25 years, so I've figured out the basics of the birds and the bees thing. But there's stuff I didn't know, and the Bush administration is going to make sure I know it, bless their little hearts (and littler brains).

Check this out. They're moving beyond abstinence-only sex education for teenagers and targeting young adults up to age 29. Unless you're married, sex is bad. Avoiding sex before marriage saves you from
Infertility, isolation, jealousy, poverty, heartbreak, substance abuse, AIDS, pregnancy, cervical cancer, genital herpes, unstable long-term commitments, depression, embarrassment, meaningless wedding, sexual violence, personal disappointment, suicide, feelings of being used, loss of honesty, loneliness, loss of personal goals, distrust of others, pelvic inflammatory disease, loss of reputation, fear of pregnancy, disappointed parents, loss of self-esteem...

Who knew??

Here's a thing. I'm actually fairly conservative on this subject. I don't think high school kids should be sexually active. But 29????? Come on. If it's premature pregnancy when you're, say, 25 and unmarried, what makes pregnancy timely just because there was a wedding? I suppose in principle there's an argument to be made against casual sex. I may not in the end agree with it, but at least it would be logical. But they haven't (oh, big surprise) actually made it. Timeliness cannot be the issue; nothing about marriage guarantees maturity.

Moreover, how can avoiding premarital sex spare one a meaningless wedding? Assuming anyone at all buys into this pile of hogwash, wouldn't it encourage rather than discourage less well-considered weddings? And playing the ruined reputation card is really cheap. I'm sure people are going to talk negatively about a 29-year-old who's in a relationship that involves sexual activity. Puh-lease. But, I have to say, if I'd known that avoiding premarital sex would save me forevermore from embarrassment, I might have made a different decision lo those many years ago ;)

What can the source for this almost lewd interest in the sex lives of adults come from? It's hard to avoid the conclusion that they don't want women to be independent of men. If we have the audacity to make our own sexual decisions, parent our own children, and generally lead our own lives without benefit of wise counsel from men, well then.... what IS the world coming to?

I'm not actually sure how they plan to disseminate this "information". At least with teenagers, they have a captive audience in the high school classrooms. It does seem clear, however, that just as the high school abstinence-only curriculum censors important health information, there is no greater concern for accuracy for the young adult population.


Michael said...

I think this prurient interest in the sex lives of other people comes from a deeply rooted fear that somewhere, someone not them is having sex and enjoying it. And that can't be allowed to happen.

Andrea Rusin said...

What with the long-suffering spouse being away, it sure isn't ME! But then I'm not in their target age-population, either ;)

Lisa :-] said...

It has been said that the Republicans want government to be just big enough to fit under the beds of private citizens... :P

Wil Robinson said...

It always seems like the same Republicans argue that Iran's Islamic theocracy is bad because of the very same reason - trying to legislate morality.

It's the old "do as I say and not as I do..."