Wednesday, November 17, 2010

The Situation Loves Abstinence

OK, today we’re taking the day off from salvaging your sex life to talk about something serious.

First, watch this:

Abstinence is probably one of the most dangerous messages we’re feeding our children. It’s, hands down, the worst form of birth control out there (look how well it worked for “B. Palin”).

Yes, it’s nice that there’s someone telling kids who aren’t physically or emotionally ready for sex that it’s OK to wait until you’re responsible enough, but the message can’t end there. Safe sex has to be more than just an afterthought, which is how it’s treated in this PSA.

Most kids aren’t going to wait till marriage to have sex, which makes abstinence pretty unrealistic. And when they stop living in the fantasyland where sexual desires are something to be overcome, they don’t know how to protect themselves from the very real consequences of unprotected sex.

Trying to prevent pregnancy with abstinence is like trying to lose weight by limiting your diet to carrots. It works when you stick with it, but it’s unsustainable in the long run, and when you do start craving “sugar,” you don’t have the tools (like portion control and calorie counts/condoms and oral contraceptives) to indulge without destroying your waistline.

Then there’s the absurdity of having Bristol Palin as a spokesperson for abstinence. But not because she got knocked up two years ago, which seems to be everyone else’s complaint, but because it’s absurd to believe that she’s back to saying no today.

How many people do you know who have sex and then swear off it? If sex wasn’t an enjoyable pastime, the human race would be in serious trouble, and if people could decide it just wasn’t for them, China wouldn’t have to tell its citizens to do it less.

There’s no way this girl is “not going to get into a situation before she’s married,” which means she’s probably practicing safe sex herself. For someone who’s realized that safe sex is the better alternative to push young girls down the path she’s already been down (i.e., saying no until you do and then not using a condom to pretend it isn’t real) is fucked up.

Refusing the condom at the end is probably the worst part. Having condoms doesn’t make kids have sex, but it does protect them if they end up in situations they didn’t plan for.

Having sexy ads coupled with abstinence PSAs is the worst thing a company can do. It’s selling kids sex and then telling them not to have it. Which message do you think prevails?

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