It was interesting to note that almost all the Purity Pledge parties, balls, ceremonies, and pictures seem to focus on young women, while forgetting the other half of the baby-making equation.
Where are the programs where the mothers or fathers and SONS engage in dialogue about sexual abstinence, and teach their sons that “no means no,” and what constitutes rape?
Instead, we have Brock Turner’s father brushing off his son’s sexual assault on an unconscious woman behind a dumpster as “20 minutes of action.”
Karen Brown, RN, PhD
Albuquerque, New Mexico
I submit that even though the laws restricting sex ed are antiquated and counterproductive on many levels and need to be changed, we need to also look at the attitudes students bring to class, which can undermine even the best program.
I recently taught a lesson to my students about condoms and HIV prevention. After giving sound medical advice for condom use I told the class to go and get a condom and hold it in their hand to get familiar with it. One girl yelled, “Yew! Condoms cause cancer!”
Patrick M. DeVuono
West Hollywood, California
Re: “The Unintended Consequences of Purity Pledges,” by Olga Khazan, September 2016
“A new study suggests teens who vow to be sexually abstinent until marriage—and then break that vow—are more likely to wind up pregnant than those who never took the pledge to begin with.”
I’m a statistician. There’s phony logic involved in this study. I don’t think there’s any way to find out, for sure, whether these pledges are useful or not. It’s not possible, for example, to do a study where the pledgers and the non-pledgers are chosen at random. Pledgers would appear to have a more religious background than the general student population. Whether the pledge itself makes some difference would be extremely difficult to determine.
Vestal, New York
I never think reports on teen pregnancy are sufficient, so thank you for EVERYTHING you do. As adults we need to continue the job of child rearing when children reach adolescence. However, talking about human anatomy is only one component—we can’t dismiss our own stories about teen love, lust, and broken hearts. Ask anyone. They would tell those stories as if they happened yesterday. Share them with your children. Imagine helping to prevent a premature pregnancy, before it becomes a birth.
Providence, Rhode Island
I usually don’t have time to read your magazines when they arrive in the mail, but I always eventually get to them. And when I do, they always leave me feeling good because they give me hope that someone is doing something to improve the world! Thank you so much for keeping me posted.