Check out this shit.
The Department of Health and Human Services lists evidence-based teen-pregnancy prevention programs. Good for them! I approve of it. (Of course, the best teen-pregnancy prevention program is ending poverty, but that’s neither here nor there.) Much to the grave displeasure of everyone with a thinking brain on the planet, the updated list includes something called Heritage Keepers Abstinence Education.
How bad is it? Let’s just take a look, shall we?
Sexual activity outside of marriage can lead to “sexually transmitted viruses, sexually transmitted bacteria, cervical cancer, AIDS, legal and financial responsibility for a child until he or she is at least 18, raising a child alone, emotional hurt and regret, increased chance of abuse from a partner.”
Well, those are all consequences of sexual activity outside of marriage, yes. I mean, they’re consequences of sexual activity in marriage too, a marriage license is not a magic protection against HIV. Hell, “emotional hurt and regret” is a consequence of relationships, not a consequence of sex. And some of them are somewhat exaggerating the consequences– I mean, a case of the clap is hardly going to ruin your life. And I don’t know what the FUCK is up with that abuse thing. But overall it doesn’t seem that–
Sex is like fire. Inside the appropriate boundary of marriage, sex is a great thing! Outside of marriage, sex can be dangerous!
Oh. Oh. Well, um.
HOW THE FUCK DID THIS GET APPROVED?
95% of Americans have had premarital sex. Just to give you an idea: if you had sex education that focused on only queer sex, and that extensively covered the use of dental dams by lesbians and the differences in sexual responses for trans men while leaving PIV intercourse among cis hets and sexual reproduction completely out, it would actually be relevant to MORE of the population than this is.
Not to mention that sex is dangerous period, this is the age of AIDS, sex can KILL YOU. Marriage is not a protection.
But not only is it a perpetrator of misinformation, only relevant to a tiny percentage of the US population, and prone to the cold-blooded murder of basic statistics (the link between premarital sex and divorce doesn’t mean premarital sex causes divorce! It could mean people that wait until they get married for sex are from very religious backgrounds that stigmatize divorce! Christ!) it’s also misandric as fuck!
Males and females are aroused at different levels of intimacy. Males are more sight oriented whereas females are more touch oriented.
I guess they hate porn, so they probably haven’t been looking at the (NSFW) James Deen tag on Tumblr lately. But seriously what is this nonsense? Men can’t be physically attractive? No straight woman’s ever been attracted to a dude with a nice pair of arms or a sweet crooked smile? Sexist fucking bullshit that’s designed to make men feel unattractive.
There are also two separate guided journeys where you’re asked to imagine your wedding day. Let’s look at the boys’.
The doors swing open and there stands your bride in her white dress, looking more gorgeous than you have ever seen her. Even though every eye in the place is on her she is looking at you. This is the woman you have waited for who has waited for you…This woman loves you and trusts you with all that she is and all that she has. You want to be strong, respectful and courageous for her. With all your heart, you want to protect her, and by waiting you have.
Knight/Beast Dichotomy up the ass. Men should be strong, respectful, courageous noble knights that protect women from all the evils of the world! This is definitely not a ridiculous way to view a relationship between human beings! I mean, seriously, assuming you’re not dating in a war zone, how often does “protect my partner” actually come up? I’m racking my brain trying to think of times it’s come up in my relationships, and there really aren’t any except for protecting me from myself.
Why can’t we have men wanting to love their partners, or emotionally support them, or even have fun with them? Why is it always the protection thing? Oh, yeah, because emotional support isn’t manly.
The girls’ guided journey thing, by the way, mostly discusses how she trusts her partner and is so happy that she doesn’t have any memories of other sex partners or guilt or anything that makes her cringe in her past. Which is good! I am firmly in support of that. Personally I accomplish it by not having internalized slut-shaming and not having sex I’ll regret in the morning, but everyone has their own path. By the way, someone ought to write a gender studies thesis on the idea that women preserve their virginities for themselves and men for their partners.
Basically: boo the Heritage Keepers Abstinence Education! They hate women, they hate men, they are completely irrelevant for queer people and people who don’t want to get married, they’re mostly irrelevant for 95% of the population, and worst of all they are encouraging innumeracy and statistical stupidity in the population at large.
You can contact the White House to ask that only scientifically valid and non-sexist sex education material be used. In addition, if you have some spare money, donate to Scarleteen, a great organization dedicated to doing all the queer-positive, sex-positive, feminist, consent-oriented sex education that those abstinence-only assholes don’t want to. With this thing approved, God knows we’ll need it.