Sex Education: Respect & Protect.

When it comes to the topic of sex education and how to teach it to our children, there are a lot of differing opinions.
There are a lot of arguments that since abstinence is the only way to ensure 100% that you don’t end up with an STD or an unwanted or unplanned pregnancy, that we should be teaching our children abstinence and nothing else. For the most part, these people believe that offering teenagers contraceptives such as condoms and birth control pills only encourages them to engage in sexual behavior. I’ve spoken to people who believe in abstinence-only based sex education both in schools and in the home. Their hope is to instill their children with a set of morals and values that will teach them that “true love waits”, and to hold off on participating in sexual activities until marriage.

And then there are people like me, who see absolutely nothing wrong with premarital sex as long as you are being safe. We are all born with sex organs, and eventually, we become interested in using them. There is nothing wrong with this. Sex is not dirty, it’s not unnatural, and it’s not wrong. When sex becomes a problem is when people engage in it irresponsibly, and don’t educate and protect themselves. That’s how diseases spread and that’s how people get into trouble.

Of course, that’s where my morals and the morals of the “no sex until marriage” crowd differ. I see nothing wrong with experimenting sexually as long as you do it responsibly. To be perfectly and utterly frank, I could not imagine marrying someone without having had sex with them. But that’s just me.

I understand the difference in morals and in core values. I can agree to disagree with people who think that sex needs to wait until the vows are exchanged. What I can’t agree to disagree with is teaching our teenagers that abstinence is the one and only method of birth control, and I will tell you why.

I fully plan on educating my daughter and empowering her to respect and protect both her body and her vagina. As her mother, it’s my job to guide and teach her in all aspects of her life and this includes the topic of her sexuality, when she gets old enough for the subject to be brought up. I know that she is only human; she is not perfect and by ignoring the fact that she will one day have hormones and desires like every other human being on the face of the planet is setting her up to get into trouble. Do I want her to engage in sex as a teenager? Not particularly. Am I going to celebrate and take her out to dinner if she decides to have it? No. I want to teach my daughter that her body is something to be respected and that she doesn’t have to just give it to the first boy who looks at it appreciatively but I’m also not going to teach her that enjoying sex is a horrible, dirty thing that makes her a whore.

My plan is to have a conversation with her and talk to her honestly. Explain the consequences that having sex can have, and be very plain with her the responsibility that being sexually active holds. I want my daughter to feel safe in coming to me with questions, with problems, and to not be afraid that I’m going to judge her or get angry. If my daughter is going to have sex, I would rather her be armed with the knowledge and the tools to engage in it in a safe and responsible manner. I had sex when I was a teenager. I lost my virginity at the age of 16 to someone I was very much in love with at the time. I don’t regret my decision at all. We were protected; we used a condom and I was on the Pill. This is because my mom taught me to be safe. If she had “forbidden” me to do it and hadn’t taken me to get birth control pills, you know what? I would have done it anyway. Just without the extra protection of the Pill.

The trouble with abstinence-only sex education is that it’s relying on the hope that your children will abide and live by your morals and standards. Hope, and that’s all. You can grind into their heads that “sex can wait” all you want but the fact remains that they’re eventually going to have minds and wills of their own… And the bottom line is that they simply may not share your beliefs. Hope all you want to, but hoping isn’t going to keep your daughter from getting pregnant if she finds herself in the throes of passion and ends up having unprotected sex with her boyfriend, because you didn’t teach her the importance of using a condom.. The subject of condoms never even came up because you didn’t want to encourage her to have sex. If you are so adamant in your teachings and so unapproachable when it comes to the matter of sex, do you think your teenager is going to come to you with questions about how to be safe should they decide they might want to experiment? No. They’re going to be afraid of disappointing and angering you. They’re probably going to do it anyway, but without the knowledge to protect themselves.

I think that teaching our teenagers that abstinence as the only true way to stay safe is fine, because that is absolutely the truth. However, I feel that if you’re going to take that route with your children you should at least make them aware of the other methods of birth control that are available to them. Telling your children about condoms and even giving them condoms isn’t going to motivate them to have sex, it’s just going to ensure that if they do find themselves in a weak moment, they’re going to be safe. In my opinion, it’s my job as a parent to make sure my daughter is safe in all aspects of her life.

So, what do you think? Where do you stand when it comes to the topic of sex education?


Ignorance is Everywhere. Even at the Redbox.

Yesterday afternoon after picking up some weekly essentials from the grocery store, we decided to swing by the Redbox and pick up a movie. We finished our discs of Queer As Folk on Netflix, so we were without anything to watch after Nellie went to bed.

We pulled up into the parking lot and I got out and walked to the Redbox. I was perusing the selection displayed when I noticed what looked like a note taped over one of the movies. I stepped up for a closer look, when I saw that it was in fact a hand-written note that read:

“WARNING: I Love You Phillip Morris has man on man action. GROSS!” and underneath, someone had drawn a “yucky” face.

I was suddenly filled with so much outrage, anger and I felt so insulted that I stormed back to the car where Josh was sitting waiting on me. He looked at me, puzzled and I said, “Do you have a pen?”
“What?” he asked.
“Is there a pen in there?!”
He handed me one and asked me what I needed it for. I didn’t answer him and I hurried back over to the Redbox. Before I knew what I was doing or why I was doing it, I scribbled beside it:

“Ignorance like this is what’s REALLY gross. NO H8.”

I went back to give Josh the pen back and explain what I had done. I walked back over to the Redbox and looked at the hateful, ignorant note with my two cents written next to it. I stood there and read both sets of words, wishing that the idiotic person who wrote the first statement would come by and read what I’d written. The longer I stood there, the more I realized that scenario most likely would not come to fruition and someone else would come along and read the words the first person had written. Maybe they would agree with those words. Maybe they would agree with mine. After another moment of contemplation I decided to peel the piece of paper – which was taped multiple times over the picture of the movie I Love You Phillip Morris – off the Redbox and throw it in the trash so no one would have to read that ignorance. As much as I wanted my voice to be heard too, and as much as I wanted the person who wrote those words to see that there are people out there who vehemently disagree.. I decided in the end that it’d be better for the words to be tossed in the garbage.

It kills me. I guarantee that at least one, if not more, of the movies for rent there include sex and love scenes between heterosexual couples. I can also pretty much guarantee that you’ll never walk up to a Redbox and find a hand-written note warning you that a particular movie contains said sex and love scene. No, just because the people engaged in a sex scene happen to have the same reproductive organs, that makes it “gross”. Fucking stupid. I’m sorry, but it’s fucking stupid. I cannot wrap my brain around that. We can show movies with women and men screwing, people getting their guts ripped out and faces torn off but a sex scene between two men is “gross” and warrants a warning? That’s fucked up.

We left the parking lot shaking our heads at whomever took time out of their lives to spread such ignorance and hate. It’s just one more thing that makes me hope with every fiber of my being that my little girl grows up in a very different world… I know there will never be a world completely void of discrimination and hate, but maybe – just maybe – when she is grown, she will be allowed to publicly, and legally, love whomever she chooses   and do so with less judgment than people face today. Maybe I’m being too optimistic and naive, but that’s my hope for my daughter. I know that I’m going to raise her to believe the truth: that love is love, and everyone deserves to express their love. To deny someone the right to do that? THAT is what’s gross.

An Open Letter to the Idiots at PETA

Dear PETA:

FUCK. YOU.

Let me explain.

We all know that your intentions are good. People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals. Woot! I like animals. They’re fluffy and cute, and deserve to be treated nicely and ethically. However, PETA, you have the tendency to completely fuck up your message and give yourself a really bad name over and over again.

This week is no exception. You have secured your standing as Douchebag of the Week Month Award (and with Charlie Sheen running around, this is no easy feat) with your ‘Win a Vasectomy From PETA!’ campaign:

“Every year in the U.S., an estimated 6 to 8 million lost, abandoned, or unwanted dogs and cats enter animal shelters. The best way to combat the companion-animal overpopulation crisis is to have your cat or dog neutered. And with a global population of almost 7 billion humans, more of our species could use a (voluntary) snip too.

Now, one lucky man can be reproduction-free, free of charge, just like his pooch or feline friend. In honor of National Infertility Awareness Week (April 24 to 30), PETA will give one free vasectomy to a man who has recently had his companion cat or dog neutered. Don’t worry boys—you’ll still be able to enjoy sex. But your neutered dog will be less likely to face the health and behavioral problems that unneutered dogs experience.”

I’m sorry. What the actual fuck?

Oh. Ha ha. I get it. Humans are overpopulating the Earth, so like animals, a few of our guys could use a little snip-snip to help there be less little critters running around. Funny. Edgy. I would normally agree with you, PETA, and your little sociological statement. I would even laugh at the tongue-in-cheek nature and how you’re poking fun at us breeders and our excessive sexing and procreating. Except for one little fact. You are saying that you are honoring National Infertility Awareness Week with a free vasectomy. And that? Is not okay. You are mocking those who suffer from real, actual infertility. I never reached the point where I was Infertile but I wasn’t far off, and I hung around the Internets with a lot of ladies who WERE Infertile.. And I felt their pain. Their agony. The heartache of month after month of disappointment.

PETA? That’s not a fucking joking matter. You’re mocking people and their pain by breezily offering a free vasectomy in “honor” of National Infertility Awareness Week. Having a vasectomy is not the same thing as being Infertile and to even imply that it is is a big slap in the face to couples who are living with Infertility. Infertility is not a fucking choice. It’s not a procedure that you walk into a clinic and sign papers to have done. Infertility is something that people DON’T WANT TO HAVE and spend thousands of dollars trying to combat, just so they can have a child of their own. You can joke all you want about population control but to these people living with Infertility every day, it’s not a goddamned joke.

You can’t take back what you’ve said, PETA, but you can take the stupid, ignorant message down. I know that thinking before you speak is not one of your strong qualities and isn’t something you’re well known for, but maybe just once you can pretend that you’re not a complete and total failure at life and end the campaign/contest/whatever the fuck you’re calling it, hmm?

Sin-fucking-cerely,

P.S. If you’re actually interested in reading something relevant and helpful to National Infertility Awareness Week, please go here. Infertility is not even a little bit funny, light-hearted, or a joking matter. Odds are, someone you know and love has suffered from Infertility and has felt its pain. Educate yourself, and help break the silence.

 

10 Years Old and Pregnant: Your Opinion

A friend of mine tuned me into an article about a 10 year old girl in Mexico who is pregnant after being allegedly raped by her step-father. Now, some may say immediately: abortion. Here’s the kicker:

She’s already almost 18 weeks pregnant.

So what do you do? Where the girl lives, abortion is legal in the case of rape up to 90 days past conception. There are two children involved in this case; the 10 year old girl, and the unborn baby. Not only would having a child at the age of 10 (or 11, depending on when she turned 11) be beyond psychologically damaging but the girl’s life is at risk as well considering her age and physical development.

You can read the entire article here. Please do so, and comment with your thoughts. I’m really interested to see what everyone thinks about this.

My thoughts? I am 100%, very passionately pro-choice. I believe that a woman’s body is her own, and that she should ultimately have the right to do with it as she pleases. It would be a very, very scary place to live if the government could control what we do and don’t do with our bodies. That being said, the only way I would ever have an abortion is if my life AND the life of my baby was in jeopardy (if it were just my life, Josh and I would have to have a serious debate. Because I have Nellie to think about) or if I were raped and there was NO possible way the baby could be Josh’s.

But this is tough. How can you expect a 10 year old CHILD to do something so grown up as carry a baby to term and deliver it, when she had no choice in the matter? But on the other hand, how do you end the life of an unborn soul who is formed, has fingers and toes, and is visibly male or female? How do you do that?

So what are your thoughts?

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