Abstinence-only craziness

hymen
I, Jill Filipovic, pledge to never let tampons violate the sanctity of my hoo-hoo, because tampons are really nothing more than thirsty little albino penises.

Amanda has a great post up about an abstinence-only program which involves using tape to rip the skin and hair off of students’ arms in order to demonstrate the negative consequences of pre-marital sex. Seriously. At the end of the demonstration, the piece of tape — designated Miss Tape, to represent the girl who gets around — is tossed in the trashcan, as Amanda says, “to demonstrate the proper use of sexually active women.”

This isn’t the only wacky abstinence-promoting program that tells women we’re used up and unwanted if we have sex before marriage. As bean points out in the comments at Pandagon, the used-up woman is an ongoing theme in abstinence education.

A peppermint patty is unwrapped and passed around the class. Once returned, the teacher asks if a student would like to eat it. The teacher is instructed to ask, “Why is this patty no longer appealing?” The answer they give is “No one wants food that has been passed around. Neither would you want your future husband or wife to have been passed around.”


And it gets better:

One of the classroom exercises recommended by Free Teens is one in which students spit into a cup, trade cups with another student, and then drink from that cup. Students are told that sex is more intimate than drinking someone else’s spit.

Interestingly, other abstinence programs teach students that HIV can be spread through spit:

While explaining the various ways in which HIV is transmitted, some curricula state that transmission can occur through tears and open mouth kissing. This is false and inaccurate information. Similarly, Sex Respect chooses to focus on open mouth kissing to imply that it is highly likely for HIV to be transmitted through saliva, which is not possible.

Women and girls are the usual targets of abstinence-only campaigns, which remind us that we are both sexual temptresses and sexual subjects who are guaranteed to be soiled if we have sex for pleasure instead of in exchange for a wedding ring:

Nevada recently used some of its Title V abstinence-only-until-marriage funding to run two public service radio ads. One ad, written by the state’s abstinence-only coordinator, suggested that girls will feel “dirty and cheap” when they “lose” their boyfriends after having sex. The ads were eventually pulled by Nevada’s Health Division.

It’s not just radio ads — it’s what students hear in the classroom.

“Men sexually are like microwaves and women sexually are like crockpots…a woman is stimulated more by touch and romantic words. She is far more attracted by a man’s personality while a man is stimulated by sight. A man is usually less discriminating about those to whom he is physically attracted.”

“Girls need to be aware they may be able to tell when a kiss is leading to something else. The girl may need to put the brakes on first in order to help the boy.”

“A guy who wants to respect girls is distracted by sexy clothes and remembers her for one thing. Is it fair that guys are turned on by their senses and women by their hearts?”

“One thing that sex education and the media fail to communicate is the power of sex. Spies, who are trained not to give away government secrets, even lose their sensibilities and give in to the power of sex, often because of what a woman is wearing.”

Even spies will be brought to their knees by a miniskirt! Didn’t you know that’s why Russia lost the Cold War?

“Each time a sexually active person gives that most personal part of himself or herself away, that person can lose a sense of personal value and worth. It all comes down to self-respect.”

Women and girls are crockpots, peppermint patties, pieces of tape, spit, and beautiful, beautiful roses — unless they’re de-flowered:

Messages of shame are effectively dramatized in an exercise called “The Rose.” The teacher brings three roses to class and begins the exercise by explaining that all roses are “beautiful, unique, and valuable—just like the students are.” The teacher then begins peeling the petals off one rose and explains: “This rose illustrates a person who has chosen to be sexually active. When we are sexually active, we are giving ourselves—our body, our heart, our mind.” The students are instructed to pass the rose around the room and each pull off a few petals. They are told that “each petal symbolizes a sexual relationship.” After it is passed back, the curriculum tells teachers to “explain that 10 years have passed, and now this person wants to get married. What does this person feel that he/she has left to give?”

The teacher then presents the second rose which has all of its petals intact and tells students that this flower represents someone who has chosen to be abstinent until marriage. Students are told to imagine that it is 10 years later and this person wants to get married. “What does this person have left to give? Abstinence is about saving and preserving who you are and what you have.”

The exercise then continues with one more rose that is missing just a few of its petals. “This person says, ‘I’m not feeling very good about myself, and I don’t have to keep doing this. It doesn’t matter what I’ve done in the past, I’m going to stop and save myself for marriage. Although one or two petals are gone, the rose is still beautiful, and so am I, even though I’ve already been sexually active.’ ” To conclude the rose exercise, the three roses are held up and students are told: “The choice is yours to make. Which rose would you like to be?” (Game Plan, Coach’s Clipboard, p. 12)

Candy is used in a similar exercise:

In one exercise, “Candy in the Bag,” students are given pieces of hard candy and told to unwrap them and put them in their mouths. The students are instructed not to chew or swallow the candy, but to spit it out after a few seconds and wrap it back up. The teacher then collects the re-wrapped candies and places them in a bag along with a few pieces of “fresh candy.” The teacher asks a student volunteer to “Reach into the bag and without looking or feeling around, take out the first piece that you touch and eat it.” The student will most likely refuse the candy; if he doesn’t the teacher is told to stop him from eating it. The teacher then holds up an unopened bag of candy and asks the student, “Would you rather have a piece from this bag?” (Game Plan, Coach’s Clipboard, p. 39)

My very favorite, though, might be this:

Throughout the curriculum, marriage is not only presented as the only positive venue for sexual activity but as the ultimate goal. In keeping with the sports metaphor, the section on marriage is called “Winning the Prize” and teens are told, “It’s the big day. You have trained all your life for this day—your wedding day.”

So… don’t you want to practice?


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About Jill

Jill began blogging for Feministe in 2005. She has since written as a weekly columnist for the Guardian newspaper and in April 2014 she was appointed as senior political writer for Cosmopolitan magazine.
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64 Responses to Abstinence-only craziness

  1. Alex says:

    This really makes me glad that abstinence-only sex education doesn’t actually work.

  2. MrSoul says:

    The abstinence-oriented program my daughter attended used a similar metaphor. They said to imagine a wedding dress, a “beautiful white pure silk dress” passed down through the generations. It’s been kept nice by everyone who has used it, grandmothers, great-grandmothers, and so on, until some poor, modern, confused promiscuous girl (as they are always presented) takes the dress out to wear it, just once, and then wears it again, again, again, and finally, it is dirty, torn and ragged, from partying in it. It is no longer beautiful. Just another raggedy old dress in someone’s attic.

    How will the girl’s wedding day be, they asked, with her family-heirloom dress all in shreds like that? What does that say about her?!?

    My daughter said unequivocally that was the dumbest thing she ever heard: “She needs to just buy another one, then.”
    And she was only 14 at the time.

    Needless to say, she didn’t pay much attention, and neither did her friends.

  3. johanna says:

    I am now in love with the Iron Hymen/Sex is for Fags websites, and I am looking forward to some silly silly anti-sex blogger to start extolling their praises.

    But seriously, abstinence only sex-ed is such an atrocity and a total disservice to our youth. It’s downright sick.

  4. nik says:

    This really makes me glad that abstinence-only sex education doesn’t actually work.

    Yeah, I’m absolutely delighted these kids are going to end up pregnant and riddled with syphilis – I can’t wait to see the look on the faces of the abstinence-only crowd.

  5. Hysterical Woman says:

    Spies, who are trained not to give away government secrets, even lose their sensibilities and give in to the power of sex, often because of what a woman is wearing.

    Somebody has been watching to much Bond. Only really bad spies do that. Hell, not even Bond is guilty of giving away secrets because what a woman is wearing!

  6. Alex says:

    Yeah, I’m absolutely delighted these kids are going to end up pregnant and riddled with syphilis – I can’t wait to see the look on the faces of the abstinence-only crowd.

    I’m just looking for the bright side. That was all I could come up with.

    Somebody has been watching to much Bond. Only really bad spies do that. Hell, not even Bond is guilty of giving away secrets because what a woman is wearing!

    In fact, I distinctly remember several women who were willing to give away government secrets to get into Bond’s pants.

  7. On the drink others’ spit in a cup: What is this, the Ozzy Osbourne abstinence program?

    On the Nevada ads: Yeah, because I know when I think sexual purity and high standards of personal conduct, I think “Nevada.”

    On the “boys are microwaves” thang: microwaves are “stimulated by sight”? Why would you trust what someone says about teh sex if they don’t even understand how their microwaves work?

    These people actually do have something of a point, in their extremely effed-up way. There is something wrong with allowing yourself to be used sexually or being completely passive sexually. No one wants to be “passed around.” Enter Amanda’s “How to conquer feeling like a slut by being a slut” series.

  8. R. Mildred says:

    Only really bad spies do that.

    what I think they’re trying to say is that the only good spy is a gay spy.

    Why do they hate the secret police? Has someone told Malkin of this multiculturalist travesty?

  9. Elizabeth says:

    On the Iron Hymans site it states that:

    When a boy’s disgusting private goes inside of a girl’s shameful unmentionable, there is a serious risk of it breaking off and causing excruciating pain while it travels throughout your body like a giant trichinosis worm.

    Up until the moment in your wedding when he says “I do,” a boy’s privates sport a treacherous spine of jagged scales, which may or may not secrete acid and weapons-grade anthrax – for which, apparently, only Ann Coulter has developed the antibodies.

    I love it. They really are just amazing. Hahaha. Oh how we love Ann Coulter, a wonderwoman for sure.

  10. prairielily says:

    There is absolutely NO DOUBT in my mind that my boyfriend would have eaten the peppermint patty. Fuck, I don’t even LIKE peppermint patties, and I probably would have eaten it to make a point.

  11. FashionablyEvil says:

    I don’t see how people can think that teaching someone about sex or handing them a condom is going to make them run out and have sex. Does this work for any other health behavior you can think of? “Don’t smoke!” “Okay, let me go toss my cigarettes!” “Trans fat is the spawn of Satan!” “Well, no Doritos for me!” Give me a break.

    Incidentally, I passed a guy today wearing a t-shit that said,
    “I gave my word to stop at third. Teen Abstinence Day 2007”

    There are no words…(although I did start hearing “Paradise by the Dashboard Light” in my head…)

  12. ako says:

    “Girls need to be aware they may be able to tell when a kiss is leading to something else. The girl may need to put the brakes on first in order to help the boy.”

    Had this come from anyone less insane than abstinence-only educators, I could see a good message being lost through bad expression. Girls (and boys) are generally better off if they’re ready with a firm, “No!” when their partner pushes too far. And if you’re in a relationship where both parties care about each other, it is helping your partner to let them know when you seriously don’t want to do that.

    But putting the breaks on sexual activity shouldn’t be about the woman guarding the man’s “purity” for him. It should be one of the fundamentals of human dignity, far more basic than political rights that you are allowed to refuse any sexual activity with anyone at any time. Telling a girl that “I don’t want to,” “I don’t want to yet,” or “I don’t want to this time” are in of themselves perfectly good justifications is much better than “but you can be helping the boy,” even if you’re working with a relatively healthy definition of helping.

  13. lindsay says:

    I’m going to go out on a limb here and say wholeheartedly that our youth are too smart to actually consider this bullshit to be worth listening to. Unless you have some kids that have been brainwashed their entire lives, but for the most part I bet that’s not the case.

  14. MissPrism says:

    Bloody hell. What a horrible, hopeless view of love and life and people.

    O my Luve’s like a red, red rose
    That no-one else can clutch
    O my love’s like a crockpot
    I prefer a tepid touch

    O my Luve’s like a piece of tape
    That’s very firmly stuck
    O, my Luve’s like a peppermint
    That no-one else can suck

    So fair art thou, I’d like to spit
    Inside your paper cup
    And I will love thee still, my dear,
    Until you’re all used up.

  15. ako says:

    The teacher then presents the second rose which has all of its petals intact and tells students that this flower represents someone who has chosen to be abstinent until marriage. Students are told to imagine that it is 10 years later and this person wants to get married.

    Am I the only one imagining a dried up old rose that’s been left in a vase for ten years? Because the petals fall off anyways. Even if you leave the rose on the bush, the petals fall off. The only difference is whether someone gets to have a fresh velvety petal to hold, or they land untouched in a shriveled and dried-up heap on the ground. In both cases, you’re left with a bare stem.

  16. Nicely done, MissPrism. And I believe the “I gave my word…to stop at third” shirt is a joke.

  17. Lindsay, I agree that kids are too smart for this crap, but the problem is that while they’re being taught all this abstinence, they’re not being taught about how to safely (both physically and emotionally) go about not/having sex.

  18. Raincitygirl says:

    Off-topic, but the link to the funny merch reminded me I wanted to order some Feministe stuff from http://www.radicalrags.com/ and it appears they’re no longer selling the baby doll shirts.

    Pout.

  19. Jill says:

    Really? I just ordered two shirts the other day, and when I go to Radical Rags the Feministe shirts are still there. Scroll to the bottom.

    Also (and I’ll make an official announcement about this later), we should be offering plus-sized shirts within the next couple of weeks.

  20. Raincitygirl says:

    Sorry, I wasn’t clear before. The Feministe shirts are still there, but they seem to only have the T-shirt style available, none in a baby doll style. Could be a site glitch. I’ll check it again tomorrow.

  21. norbizness says:

    I thought Peppermint Patty was a lesbian.

  22. Nick Kiddle says:

    “but the problem is that while they’re being taught all this abstinence, they’re not being taught about how to safely (both physically and emotionally) go about not/having sex.”

    This is the thing that worries me. When I imagine the xCLP learning about sex, I very much don’t want her to learn that it’s BADWRONGSCARY, but I even more don’t want her to not learn that there are people out there who will use sex as a tool to manipulate and even if it’s not deliberate situations can arise that end up with one or other party getting badly hurt. And although I’ve got a few years to work out what to tell her, I have an uncomfortable feeling it’s not as many years as I’d like…

  23. Nick Kiddle says:

    “but the problem is that while they’re being taught all this abstinence, they’re not being taught about how to safely (both physically and emotionally) go about not/having sex.”

    This is the thing that worries me. When I imagine the xCLP learning about sex, I very much don’t want her to learn that it’s BADWRONGSCARY, but I even more don’t want her to not learn that there are people out there who will use sex as a tool to manipulate and even if it’s not deliberate situations can arise that end up with one or other party getting badly hurt. And although I’ve got a few years to work out what to tell her, I have an uncomfortable feeling it’s not as many years as I’d like…

  24. Nick Kiddle says:

    Sorry for the double posting, I got an error the first time.

  25. maja says:

    So how many times can you have sex with your husband until your petals fall off? They owe us more advice on this most important topic.

    My all-time favorite abstinence treats are these, ahem, suckers:

    http://www.abstinence.net/store/00040.html

  26. Pingback: Re:Generator Magazine » Blog Archive » Iron hymen

  27. Lauren says:

    “And, boys, you don’t want to get caught fucking a crock pot.”

  28. Krystel says:

    Am I the only one who sees the irony in making an abstinence-only themed THONG?

  29. Jill says:

    Ha. It’s a joke, Krystel — go to the site. Hilarious.

  30. Ferox says:

    Growing up and living in Arkansas, I can say with confidence that “smart enough” isn’t enough to avoid the problems abstinence-only education creates. Kids surrounded completely by a culture telling them that if women have sex, they’re devaluing themselves, are set up for classes like this that simply reinforce that idea for everyone. In high school the most vicious rumor set against girls was always “X had an abortion.” It just tied up all the shame in a neat bundle.

    Abstinence-only education is terrible. And as much as kids who are educated about sex before they start hearing this stuff are likely to laugh at it, many children never get that leg up and abstinence-only sex ed fits perfectly into their forming view of sex.

  31. Random Observer 3 says:

    What this sort of stuff makes plainly obvious is that abstinence only sex-ed isn’t about preventing pregnancy or disease, it is about enforcing somebodies morals.

    Why concentrate on how “used-up” women become with sex? That isn’t a health related message.

    In these people’s minds pregnancy is not the problem, STDs are not the problem – sex itself is the problem.

    That is why the argument that abstinence-only education doesn’t work is no-sold by its proponents. They aren’t *trying* to accomplish what sex-ed accomplishes. They are explictly trying to make sex into something evil so abstinence-only education is a great success even if it leads to more pregnancy and more disease.

  32. raging red says:

    The student will most likely refuse the candy; if he doesn’t the teacher is told to stop him from eating it.

    Well, now that’s abstinence-only education in a nutshell. They’re predicting that in their little “used-up candy” exercise, which is orchestrated to make students think it’s gross to eat the candy, some kids will still want to eat the candy. And how do they keep them from eating the candy? By saying “Stop!”

    Yeah, that one’s a winner.

  33. Katy says:

    MisPrism, I love it! I am lost for words over your poem (I love Burns) and over the stupidity of abstinence only sex education.

    I’m lucky enough to have attended public school in Ontario and not Catholic school, so we got clear information on our bodies since grade four which lead up to sex ed in grade 7 and 8. I still complained to my high school because our curriculum is heterosexist (and because us girls ended up with mainly reproductive lectures instead of the joys of masturbation like the boys) but in comparison our schools are made of intellectual gold! My goodness!

  34. Betsy says:

    Brilliant work, Miss Prism.

  35. Emily Jane says:

    There is absolutely NO DOUBT in my mind that my boyfriend would have eaten the peppermint patty. Fuck, I don’t even LIKE peppermint patties, and I probably would have eaten it to make a point.

    I mean, one of the upsides of these metaphors is that they are incredibly easy to break with itty bitty acts of defiance, and well. Educators rarely know what do do from there.

    Oh definitely. When an abstinence-only group came through my high school (roughly 8 years ago for me) they had us stand underneath signs displaying to the whole class what sex acts we were comfortable with.

    Then they asked us to move to the signs representing what we’d be comfortable with *our daughter* taking part in. Three of us moved promptly to the sign which said “ANAL SEX” (listed as the most severe sex act in the spectrum.) We all said “It’s her body, it’s her choice” and the instructor didn’t know what to do besides awkwardly move on.

  36. preying mantis says:

    “I mean, one of the upsides of these metaphors is that they are incredibly easy to break with itty bitty acts of defiance, and well.”

    Of course they are. The metaphors are just the same as the rest of the lesson, reliant on disproportionate shame, irrational overreactions, and the unwillingness to break a social taboo in front of one’s peers.

  37. lauren says:

    I had the tape analogy presented to me, but it wasn’t in regards to worth of the woman after sex. Then again, we also didn’t rip out any hair, we just slapped the tape to the carpet.

    Anyways, the analogy they used was that the connection or “stick” of the tape was dulled every time you ripped it off and stuck it somewhere else. The lesson was for both men and women, and honestly had much more to do with emotional well-being than purity.

    Perhaps things have gotten more extreme in the past few years.

  38. Kids surrounded completely by a culture telling them that if women have sex, they’re devaluing themselves, are set up for classes like this that simply reinforce that idea for everyone.

    The best part is that that very same culture also tells us that women = sex:

    Want to use sex to sell your widget? Photograph a pretty woman holding the widget! or She was asking to be raped by wearing that top – men can’t be expected to control themselves when presented with the sight of female skin. So, class, women are defined by and equated with something inherently devaluing and degrading.

    But then how do women have any petals to begin with?

  39. Mnemosyne says:

    “A man is usually less discriminating about those to whom he is physically attracted.”

    Boy howdy, does this person not know girls or women. I’ve been physically attracted to all kinds of completely inappropriate guys in my lifetime. The kind of guys who one female comedian said, “If anyone ever found out I slept with him, I’d have to move off Earth.”

  40. Shira says:

    “Abstinence is about saving and preserving who you are and what you have.”

    Who would want to preserve who they are? I want to grow and change. I guess I’m not surprised that these people want everyone to stop maturing at 15.

  41. Epona the Bad Catholic Girl says:

    As someone mentioned above, this stuff is so psychologically damaging, espeically to girls. I got it constantly up through college (I went to a conservative Catholic College), and I remember nights of brain-aching guilt whenI *gasp* kissed my boyfriend for the first time (I was old enought to drink at the time), thus sulling myself. I wanted the lips to be as freshly sealed as the hymen.

    What crap. I finally had sex for the first time this year, in my late twenties. What a most awsomest thing, finally, to realize what lies all the abstience only propaganda is…a few things I learned:

    a) Men do care about you the morning after. He actually got MORE romantic afterward. He called me at least five times that day to make sure I was *okay*. LOL. And screw you IWF and the rest of you pearl clutchers; he increased the dinners and dates that he took me ont after ward. Maybe becasue going on a date is about more than just leverage for sex when two people actually like each other. I feel real sorry for women who think that the only way they can earn a man’s love and payment for food is to withhold affection.

    b) choosing to have sex was empowering. The next day I sat around in red panties, smoked a stogie, and drank wine to celebrate. I was most definately *okay*

    c) My heart was not ripped in peices when we broke up. I broke up with him, and we stayed friends. He felt quite honored to help me grow up. It also felt good to know we could be mature adults about everything.

    d) Orgasms are cool :)

    e) “Deflower” is the most retarded termonology. Having sex for the first time is more like blossoming into full adult bloom than losing your petals, if we must use flower metaphors. Sheesh.

    f) when I told the next guy I dated that i wasn’t a Virgin he was actually relieved (a mutual friend had given him the impression that I was), rather than disgusted at my “sluttiness”. It was liberating to have an adult conversation about sex and be totally comfortable discussing my experience. Most girls I knew in college hid their sexual experience behind lies or penitential apologies.

    I’m sure none of this is new to ya’ll, but when you were raised to believe that premarital sex would make you a filthy disease filled bare stem incapable of love or childbearing, that your heart would get broken to shreds and men would dump you 2 seconds after they came, and you would either have to lie and say you were a Virgin or beat your breast in shame over your dirty past a la Mary Magdalen to attract a man, well, let me just say it was really liberating to learn that it was all crap.

    When it comes to down to it, I think the people who promote the abstinence propaganda are just afraid to love. They think men are pigs, love is about manipulation and withholding, and broken hearts can’t be healed. The people I feel sorry for are the ones who buy it all and get stuck in bad marraiges. I almost was one of those people…scary.

    I also love the “Rose” analogy that the abstinence people use; the man who gave me my first experience actually got me a red rose when we were out together a week after the first time; I dubbed it the “Deflower Flower” and it still has a prominant place on my knick knack shelf.

  42. peg says:

    I like the way these abstinence and modesty programs lay out this paradigm of the idiotic and weak man who simply can’t control his natural urges, leaving it up to the [weak, meek, and unequal] woman to rein in the sexual urges of both parties–lest she lose her petals in the microwave oven, and become an unappealing, sticky peppermint patty.

    Damn, I guess after fifteen years of having my peppermint patty handled, I should be glad that I found a microwave oven to settle down and make mini-crocks and little microwaves with.

  43. Ceylonna says:

    The more I read about abstience only education the angrier I become. However, I’m at a loss as to the best way to oppose/counter it.

    I definitely vote against the abstience only supporting politicians. I try to give more complete sexual information to teens I mentor (when appropriate). While I (maybe) could donate some money to an organization, I don’t know of any that are explicitly and primarily focused on comprehensive sex education. I would also prefer to take more direct action than just write a check.

    Any recommendations on ways to overcome/repair the damage being done by the abstience only movement?

  44. MM says:

    “Each time a sexually active person gives that most personal part of himself or herself away, that person can lose a sense of personal value and worth. It all comes down to self-respect.”

    Hmm….. It’s like a mad lib. “Each time a person (engages in some type of action that has the potential of risk or reward)that person could lose a sense of personal value and worth. It all comes down to self-respect.”

    Each time a person calls a friend who doesn’t call them back, that person could lose a sense of personal value and worth.

    Each time a person applies for a job and doesn’t get it, that person could lose a sense of personal value and worth.

    Each time a person breaks up with a significant other, that person could lose a sense of personal value and worth.

    My goodness. Abstinence education doesn’t go nearly far enough. We need to lock our youth in small cages until their wedding day.

    Or, you know, assume that people who have real self-respect can decide where, when and how to touch someone else’s naughty parts.

  45. Caja says:

    maja, I can’t get over those abstinence suckers. They’re cherry flavored!

  46. Lorelei says:

    i went to a catholic school and was raised by a mother who thought that abstinence is oh-so-important. i had my first ~*real boyfriend*~ when i was fourteen and the first time we had oral sex, i went back to my friend’s house and messaged him being like ‘OMG I’M AFRAID YOU’RE GONNA BREAK UP WITH ME NOW’

    ‘…what?

    ‘i mean, we did sexual things! now you think i’m worthless!’

    ‘…omg what are you talking about?’

    he seriously had no idea what i was trying to say, haha (this was just about one of his kindest moments, actually). i stayed up all night wringing my hands over it. in any case, at the time i did it just to ‘get it out of the way’ and to prove to myself that what i was being told was bullshit.

    i got around to losing my PIV virginity last month and i’m just kind of like, ‘oh, yeah, that thing that happened.’ definitely not as dramatic as when i was 14. :P

  47. Boo hoo. It’s true, ladies. Deal with it. No man wants a passed-around Peppermint Patty.

    -Dick

  48. Isobel says:

    I wonder how these teachers would react to a student that refused the first peppermint patty because they don’t like the taste. I would have; I don’t like sugar. Would they have considered me a dirty lesbian?(I’m bi, but who says they would allow me to exist because of that?)

  49. Rhiannon says:

    Neither would you want your future husband or wife to have been passed around.”

    So many problems with that “analogy” it’s ridiculous… 1st. People don’t get “passed around” unless they’re gang raped. In other words, the analogy takes away the “peppemint patty”‘s autonomy and individuality. 2nd. If my future spouse were “passed around” I would NOT hold that against them, because it is NOT their fault if they are raped. IN fact it would be more of a reason to be kind, caring, understanding and patient with my “future spouse” and more open minded so that I don’t go around thinking of rape victims as used up and worthless.

    That whole analogy is just anti-rape victim! *makes me want to scream until my head explodes*

  50. preying mantis says:

    “My goodness. Abstinence education doesn’t go nearly far enough. We need to lock our youth in small cages until their wedding day.”

    Don’t be silly. We just need to drill it into their little heads that they can’t just go around giving it away–they need to charge for it. That way they’ll have a dollar amount to reference whenever they’re questioning their personal value and worth.

  51. Karinna says:

    Good grief! Do these abstinence-only proponents think that the shame and guilt they instill in their students around sex will magically disappear once the wedding vows are said?

    Thank God I went through school just before all this abstinence-only crap came into vogue. As it was, growing up in small towns in the Midwest, I absorbed enough of the shame around sex to make my first time unpleasant. It took me a few months to adjust to the idea that yep, I could enjoy boinking my bf and not feel guilt about it.

    Between this and the thread a few weeks ago about what young Christian men considered to be modest, I have to conclude that no one thinks so little of men but these abstinence-only, (usually) religious nutwing types.

  52. Vir Modestus says:

    I wish this was my joke, but it wasn’t. However, I think it is the best analogy EVAR.

    Abstinence only sex education is like “Just hold it” potty training

  53. Christina says:

    All arguments aside (but only because there are too many for me to even touch on…) ew. I heard of one class that passed around a stick of gum until everyone in the class had chewed it. Do you know how many germs are passed around in that spit cup or stick of gum?

    far more than have ever, ever touched my used-up (yet, well protected) hoo hoo.

    I would NOT want my kid in that class.

  54. Vir Modestus says:

    Okay, here’s the link. Go to Roy Zimmerman’s site and click on the Abstain with Me link.

  55. DataShade says:

    My mother and stepfather were terrible parents; my stepfather has actually called his oldest full-blood child a whore to her face when she came home from her first date. All their Jesus-loving fact-hiding approach to sexual development ever got them was me erasing them from my life, my brother moving to California then Ithaca NY, and my sister dropping out of college to get a job with an indie band who needed a road manager.

    And, amazingly, despite giving the finger to everything we were ever taught at home, none of us have ended up a nymphomaniac, a prostitute, nor even contracted an STD.

    All that aside, the peppermint patty analogy just seems irrelevant. If someone peeled open my girlfriend and had a room full of people rub their hands over the squishy bits inside, I’d certainly be hesitant to take her back – especially if she was still open.

    But I’m not sure why religious-education advocates are using teaching aids that imply it’s okay to skin people alive and play with their insides, that sounds like the kind of thing they told me I’d do if I played too much Dungeons and Dragons.

  56. Casey says:

    What if Driver’s Ed was just like Abstinence-Only education? I mean, if we teach teenagers how to drive, they’ll just run out and start driving all willy nilly and get themselves killed! Instead, we should devote the semester to telling them just about how awesome driving is and how super it is, but that they shouldn’t do it ever, and that it’s very dangerous to do it without a license, but on the magical day you get your license, you’ll instantly know how to drive safely. Seriously, crazies, get out of the schools.

    Though once, I attended a women-only Bible group in college where they did the “passing around the rose” bit. Come to think of it, they talked about the whole “saving ourselves” stuff pretty much every week. I think it was a “let’s convince ourselves” move.

  57. R. Mildred says:

    But I’m not sure why religious-education advocates are using teaching aids that imply it’s okay to skin people alive and play with their insides, that sounds like the kind of thing they told me I’d do if I played too much Dungeons and Dragons.

    And of course the funny thing is that D&D is an effective form of contraception, unlike abstinence only education.

  58. Antigone says:

    Mildred, as a person who met my now fiance over a D&D game: trust me, it’s not ;-)

  59. BritGirlSF says:

    “Even spies will be brought to their knees by a miniskirt! Didn’t you know that’s why Russia lost the Cold War? ”
    And this is why I love you.
    The whole concept of abstinence only education is pretty messed up, but the actual methodology is downright creepy. Roses with their petals ripped off (interesting the unspoken violence in that metaphor). Spat-out candy. Inanimate objects all around.
    The telling thing is that there’s no mutuality in this model. One party is consumed/used by the other. The peppermint patty neither enjoys nor dislikes being eaten – it exists soley for someone else’s pleasure. It is also destined to be eaten at some point, so really, from it’s point of view, why should it care when it’s eaten or by whom?
    Bet that’s not the message they intended to send to girls.

  60. ako says:

    The whole concept of abstinence only education is pretty messed up, but the actual methodology is downright creepy. Roses with their petals ripped off (interesting the unspoken violence in that metaphor). Spat-out candy. Inanimate objects all around.

    Seriously. When the one teacher called the tape in the garbage can “Miss Tape,” it made my skin crawl.

    And having everyone spit in the cup is disturbingly reminiscent of the uglier sort of gangbang porn. You know, the kind where it’s not just about group sex, but about making it completely clear that the woman’s just a thing to be used? They’re likely to have all the guys spit at the ‘receptacle’ too.

  61. Fernmonkey says:

    I’ve thought about my own Anti-Abstinence Demonstration Seminar.

    Teacher: Good morning, class! Now, who here likes pizza?
    (A forest of hands shoot up, shouts of “Yes!” and “Me!”)
    Teacher: OK, well, I have some pizza right here.
    (Teacher goes out of the room, comes back with a box giving off clouds of black smoke. And opens the box to reveal something that looks more like a cinder.)
    Teacher: What do you think of this pizza?
    Class: Yuck!
    Teacher: Well, that pizza was made by someone who never made a pizza before in their life. But that’s OK, we have another pizza.
    (Teacher goes out of the room again, comes back with another box. Opens it to show a blob of uncooked dough, smeared with sauce and dangerously raw-looking ground meat.)
    Teacher: Well, class, what do you think of THIS pizza?
    Class: Yuck!
    Teacher: You’re right, it does look a bit yucky. And you probably wouldn’t feel too good if you ate it, right? That pizza was also made by someone who never made a pizza before in their life. But never mind, we have a third pizza right here.
    (Teacher goes out of the room again, comes back with a third box. As a mouth-watering aroma fills the room, Teacher opens the box to show a delicious-looking pie, done to a turn.)
    Teacher: OK, what do you think? Would you eat this pizza?
    (Various approving remarks from class.)
    Teacher: Now, THIS pizza was cooked by someone who’s been making pizzas for years. I don’t know how many pizzas this chef has made, but he’s pretty good at it by now. Now class, if you find someone you love and want to be with forever, do YOU want to make them a nasty burnt pizza or an icky raw pizza, or do you want them to have a really tasty pizza like this? Class dismissed.

  62. Rhiannon says:

    I have to agree with Antigone, Mildred. First guy I ever had sex with, I met through D&Ding.

  63. hipparchia says:

    my ex and i discovered each other first, then jointly discovered d&d. we had an awful lot of fun acting out the sex lives of various mythical beings.

  64. Count me in as someone who’s also dating a D&Der. I don’t think we could ever play together though, because when he does geeky things, it’s such a turn on.

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