Teaching Abstinance Until Marriage - Page 3 - Mothering Forums

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#61 of 280 Old 06-14-2003, 01:00 AM
 
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First, I think that everyone is basically on the same page in a lot of ways. I don't see anyone talking about forcing their daughters to do something (and btw, I find it interesting that this discussion is overwhelmingly about daughters), but in giving them the information and encouragement necessary to make a decision that they are comfortable with. As long as the information is there -- that the 17-year-old who is really, really hot for her boyfriend knows what her options are if she suddenly decides abstinence is not for her, and feels that she can talk to her parents about it -- I have no objection to a position of encouraging your children to do one thing or another. I am under no illusions that I can decide what my daughter will or won't do, I can just give her the tools she needs and make sure she knows I am there to support her.

Second, I understand that the stats were asked for, and I really wish I had time to go through all of them and point out the weaknesses. I don't, so here's a big chunk of rebuttals, from this site. It refers to a specific study that I don't think was mentioned in ameliabediliaky's stats, but is very much along the same lines:

- Many of the media reports about the study exaggerate the link between cohabitation and divorce. The study found a small difference (9%) in the rate of divorce in the first ten years for spouses who cohabited before marriage compared to those who didn't. However, many other studies find that most or all of this link is explained by the differences between the kinds of people who cohabit and those who don't. Since most couples who marry today are already living together, those who don't are a more religious, conservative group with different divorce patterns. As sociologist Judith Seltzer wrote in a 2000 article in the Journal of Marriage and the Family, "Claims that individuals who cohabit before marriage hurt their chances of a good marriage pay too little attention to this evidence."

- The study did not demonstrate that cohabitation causes people to have a higher divorce rate. The two factors are correlated, but that doesn't mean that one necessarily caused the other. As CNN.com reported, "One of the study's authors said the report did not draw the conclusion that living together before marriage was the cause of the relationship ending. 'It may not be the experience of cohabiting but the people who cohabit,' said William Mosher. 'What we're saying about that is that we think that couples who cohabit before marriage may have different values than couples who do not," he said.'"

- The researchers found much larger differences in divorce rates for other factors they considered. While there was a 9% difference in the ten-year divorce rate between couples who cohabited and those who didn't, the difference was 30% by family income (couples with an income of $50,000 or more are much less likely to get divorced), 24% by age at marriage (women who marry when they're 25 or older are less likely to divorce), 14% by religion (religious women are less likely to divorce), and 13% by education (women with education beyond high school are less likely to divorce).

- The study considered only women ages 15-44.

(Emphasis mine.)

My own opinion is that there is not enough solid evidence showing the positives or negatives of cohabitation before marriage -- it is too individualized. Good for some, not for others. I definitely don't think it should be forbidden, but don't think it should be required, either. To each his/ her own.
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#62 of 280 Old 06-14-2003, 02:28 AM - Thread Starter
 
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"Most couples who live together never end up getting married, but those who do tie the knot are almost twice as likely to divorce as couples who don't live together before marriage"ii Bumpass and Sweet 1995; Hall and Zhao 1995

Just to address this one stat posted; I think it's a good thing that most couples that live together don't get married. That proves the point of living together is working. You don't end up marrying someone that you won't be happy with.

As far couples that do get married after living together, I'm not surprised that they would have a higher divorce rate than those that didn't. Specifically because I think that people that marry as virgins and/or don't live together before marriage are more likely to stay in a marriage that doesn't work. They are more likely to have religious or other beliefs that make divorce unacceptable. So for statistics to really matter, they should compare similar types people with similar values. Otherwise it really doesn't show if living together results in more successful marriages. Which I do think it does. A successful marriage is not defined by divorce rates but by the safisfaction levels of the couple.

BTW, I find it interesting that rates of marriage counseling are viewed as a negative thing. Since when is dedication to the relationship to the extent of being willing to go to couseling a bad thing? I think every couple can benefit from counseling at some point. Another example how something positive is viewed as a negative. This just buys into the theory that only "cartain" people or couples have problems and so lets hide ours and be unhappy rather than do something about it and make our life better. confusing.

regarding the issue of daughters, I know I am only refering to daughters because I only have a daughter and I'm not having any more children. If I had a son, they would get the same education and be treated the same way regarding sex.

regarding peer pressure, I wonder if anyone here would attribute their sexual experience to peer pressure?? I know I don't, I had sex later than some of my friends but regardless I did it because I wanted to. We actually didn't talk about who was having sex that much, so maybe my situation was unique?
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#63 of 280 Old 06-14-2003, 03:06 AM
 
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actually, PL, i found the story very beautiful...ya know how that first kiss feels...that would make the wedding day that much more memorable and meaningful.
I wish that my dh had been my first...we even lived together before we got married...he did ask my father for his blessing to marry me. I found it to be very gentlemanly and chivalrous.
I expect my dc to keep their bodies as their own until they are married. courting would be my ideal for their future "dating" time.
I believe that if a child is raised with the idea of abstinance while having their feelings explained from a biblical viewpont and isn't ever given the idea to have pre-marital sex...it will not be a problem.
...my dc will be hs and sheltered....
aren't I evil...
As for what some of the other posts said about the groom asking permission....because of my Xian beliefs, I believe that our children are born to be under the protection of the father until the day which either our daughters move under teh protection of their husbands or our sons marry and become the protectors of their wives and children.
Yes, I also believe that women should submit themselves to thier husbands.
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#64 of 280 Old 06-14-2003, 03:08 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally posted by PerfectLove

The girl herself wanted it this way. I think as a way to signify her choice to remain pure until her and her DH were committed to each other before God. (that I share).

I don't see sex as impure.

I think there should be a seperate thread for Christians on this topic because the arguement will never ever be resolved and cannot be discussed without both sides being offended. We are arguing core beliefs and what is the point of that?

I see this thread turning into a "you think THAT? You are so backwards!" when speaking about Christian ideals. I say this because I am not a Christian and disagree very strongly with some of the more Xian comments reagarding sex equalling impurity, etc. I have to stop myself from jumping on ideals that PL and others hold sacred; and really, I have no place doing that. Not to mention that that is the quickest way to close an otherwise interesting thread.

So, instead of falling into THAT trap, because I know it will never be resolved and too many feelings are at stake, I will leave with my hands behind my back, whistling a cheerful tune.

Anyone want to join me?
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#65 of 280 Old 06-14-2003, 03:34 AM
 
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I just thought I would mention that I doubt it was intended to mean that SEX is impure...I know at least that I as a Xian see sex as a beautiful God made thing that can be VERY enjoyable and can bring forth some wonderful blessings...I think the point is that sex before marriage is seen as being impure. Way before I became a Xian I viewed at least some, if not all, of the times I had sex as "impure"...especially with certain people...some of the times had nothing to do with love and were actually because I felt I had to or just for the heck of it. For me the only time it felt truly pure was after I was married...and yes we had had sex prior. (Hey that kind of makes me think of that Madona song, Like a Virgin )
Another way to word might be "keeping oneself pure and UNTOUCHED" since I think that is the point PL was trying to make...forgive me PL if I am wrong.
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#66 of 280 Old 06-14-2003, 03:50 AM
 
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I get your point, t-elaine, I just think its moot. I do not see anyof my prior sexual experiences as unpure or making me tainted in any way. They made me who I am and taught me lessons, shaped me to be ready to be married to my partner.

The Christian way of thinking on this will always be different from mine (and others, I assume) and I refuse to take the bait that somehow I am "wrong" or others are "right." Or worse, that others' ideas on this matter are weird, wrong, backwards or whatever some may think.

this discussion cannot be had by Christians and non-Christians without feelings getting hurt.

But that's just my opinion. I'm not queen of the world. At least not yet....
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#67 of 280 Old 06-14-2003, 07:32 AM
 
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#68 of 280 Old 06-14-2003, 08:35 AM
 
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Well, I'm Christian, but certainly far from fundamentalist. The more fundamentalist among us do not speak for all Christians.

The vast majority of Christians that I know have had premarital sex. Many teach abstinence along with knowledge about birth control and realize that their children will make their own decisions about their bodies and their lives (and their religious beliefs, for that matter, too).
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#69 of 280 Old 06-14-2003, 09:40 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally posted by EFmom
Well, I'm Christian, but certainly far from fundamentalist. The more fundamentalist among us do not speak for all Christians.

The vast majority of Christians that I know have had premarital sex. Many teach abstinence along with knowledge about birth control and realize that their children will make their own decisions about their bodies and their lives (and their religious beliefs, for that matter, too).
while I'm not "far" from being a fundamentalist....I just hate that term...even if I am

I agree with the statement above. While there are certain ideals that christians hold to most of us...or some of us....well, there are christians that also live in reality! My own mother...does not live in reality and nor does she care to. She prefers being sheltered even as an adult....of course after her childhood I'd want to forget everything too

Anyway, I'm realistic in what I expect from my children. Of course I want them to see everything "my" way.....but I know it won't happen...thats what happens when we all have a free will (much to the utter dismay of Gary Ezzo )

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#70 of 280 Old 06-14-2003, 09:44 AM - Thread Starter
 
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and if I may be so bold as to say, I probably I know many more people with strong religious values better than you do

oh, I am so not taking the bait on that one, good try though.
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#71 of 280 Old 06-14-2003, 10:32 AM
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Indiegirl, you're on the money... this is giong to turn into a Christian vs. everyone else thing. It's totally pointless and will never be resolved. The abstinence faction will quote a bunch of "studies" done by right-wing Christian organizations and think tanks, which are about as indicative of the truth as studies on co-sleeping done by crib manufacturers; and many will continue to find those beliefs close-minded and abhorrent but can't really say so and won't change any minds anyway.

I'm following you out!
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#72 of 280 Old 06-14-2003, 10:47 AM
 
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ameliab: I read your stats but what I find confusing is that those stats had to do with cohabitation as opposed to abstainance. I thought this was about whether virginity (or chastity) until marriage was the issue not whether or not you lived together. Actually dh and I did live together. So did my bro. and his wife before marriage. And now my sis and her bf.

Obviously whether or not you're a religious person makes a huge issue. Those among us who are religious conservatives are less likely to to be pleased about this if their kids do not choose to remain virgins/chaste until marriage. Which brings up the obvious question: Do you think your kids will tell you if they know this is how you feel?

While I am IMO realistic about sex before marriage with my kids, I certainly hope that they will feel free to come to me ( their dad) about their relationships.

Quote:
Way before I became a Xian I viewed at least some, if not all, of the times I had sex as "impure"...especially with certain people...some of the times had nothing to do with love and were actually because I felt I had to or just for the heck of it.
Yeah but how did your parents teach you? Were they open with you or were they conservative?
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#73 of 280 Old 06-14-2003, 11:00 AM
 
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#74 of 280 Old 06-14-2003, 11:03 AM
 
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I do not see anyof my prior sexual experiences as unpure or making me tainted in any way. They made me who I am and taught me lessons, shaped me to be ready to be married to my partner.
Yes! Exactly! Contrary to popular belief, I am not "tainted," "damaged goods," and no, my dh would not love me more if I had been a virgin. Oh yeah, I'm also not going to Hell, but I agree that the religious people and the non-religious people will probably not agree on this issue.

Sometimes even people of the same religion disagree on this issue.

Anyway, if I tried to teach a value to my children and they rejected it, I may be disappointed but would try to accept it and see things from their side.

I will VOMIT if I ever hear my dd wanting to be submissive to her future dh! That is, if she even chooses to marry in the first place.
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#75 of 280 Old 06-14-2003, 11:07 AM
 
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#76 of 280 Old 06-14-2003, 11:15 AM
 
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All those last statistics were about living together before marriage, which is a totally different issue.

I didn't say anything about that.. I said that women who married later were less likely to divorce. Those latest statistics do not refute that in any way.

Nor do they say anything about having SEX before marrying vs. virginity. They are about living together before marriage.

Anyway, I too am now leaving the discussion because it has become unproductive.. and I'm sorry if I contributed to that.

Clearly some of us will raise children according to a religious belief that values abstinance. There's really nothing to say about that.

For those of us who do not hold those religious beliefs.. it is a more complex question. And I don't think "abstinance only" is realistic, helpful or adequate to answer it. I will teach my son that sexuality is powerful and needs to be handled responsibly. I just hope he will be an honorable person.. if he is, he will likely make good choices for himself. All I can do is give him good information and my own opinions. It is ultimately up to him to decide what sex will mean in his life, not me.
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#77 of 280 Old 06-14-2003, 11:24 AM
 
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#78 of 280 Old 06-14-2003, 11:28 AM
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I think all of us would agree that we at least want our children to *delay* having sex until they're older (say older than teenagers!!)

I heard of a study that suggests the best thing we can to to help our children wait is to be close to them...this is more effective in teens delaying sex until they're older, more effective than nagging and preaching.

Apparently, many teens have sex before they're ready in order to be close to someone, if they have a close relationship with their parents this, in and of itself, satisfies the need to be close to someone and prevents a lot of premature sex.

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#79 of 280 Old 06-14-2003, 11:40 AM
 
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#80 of 280 Old 06-14-2003, 12:00 PM
 
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No....i wasn't saying that not having premarital sex is attainable....I did it...even if I did get married at 21...sex was not why (just a wonderful benefit)

I just think that if we teach our children we teach our children...but they will make their own ultimate decision. Which is why we must equip them with everything possible.....

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#81 of 280 Old 06-14-2003, 12:03 PM
 
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Quote:
I think all of us would agree that we at least want our children to *delay* having sex until they're older (say older than teenagers!!)

Nope, not me...I think older teens (16+) can sometimes be old enough to have sex with others of the same age, but I think it's really too young to get married.

If dd (or a future ds) had sex as young as I did, I would be very concerned and I will do everything I can to discourage that. But my concern would be that they did not really want to take part in it. My concern would be for their happiness and not their moral "purity."

As far as it being the worst thing to get a girl pregnant, my pregnancy was unplanned and unwed and it was the best thing ever!

I think the non-religious arguments raise some interesting points and am more likely to get something out of them. Just like with abortion; I am interested in the non-religious reasons for not supporting abortion becuase I've already heard the religious ones and I just can't relate. (This is off topic, I know, please no one respond to that in this thread!)

Although certain groups of people may not have a monetary gain for promoting their cause, I think mainstream society and popular views have other, more symbolic gains when people go along with them.

And the Psychological and Psychiatric associations do have a bias; they are funded by drug companies. So are the National Institute for Health and the CDC and most university studies, as well as most doctors.
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#82 of 280 Old 06-14-2003, 12:24 PM
 
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#83 of 280 Old 06-14-2003, 01:29 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I think all of us would agree that we at least want our children to *delay* having sex until they're older (say older than teenagers!!)


actually nope from me too on this one. I completely agree with what greasball said.
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#84 of 280 Old 06-14-2003, 02:10 PM
 
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So the opinion is that we Christains need to be segregated to our own thread to answer the OP there? :
The OP asked opinions on abstinance. Obviously, one of the main reasons to remain so is because of religion. But then when we answer, no one wants to hear it and thinks we should go to our own thread somewhere else.

Maybe the people who don't plan on teaching abstinance should leave and start their own thread, since the OP wasn't addressing them. I suggest everyone go back and read the question.

There are certian practices I have heard mentioned here that certainly make me feel like I would like to "vomit" as well, but I have the respect and decency not to single them out and say so.

People can and do remain virgins until marriage. Sure it is a little harder in today's culture. So is EBF, HB, CD, HS, and taking the time to look into vaxing. But it all can be done, and frequently is. I think there are great benefits to all of these, healthwise and otherwise.

I also just wanted to add that of course you can be conservative AND open. We are extremely open with our kids about all things, and will continue to be so.
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#85 of 280 Old 06-14-2003, 02:23 PM
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PL, I don't think anyone was suggesting segregating Christians. I think the general consensus was that we will never agree on the issues of religion. You and I will never see eye to eye on absitnence. I have been interested in why you would teach that, or why you feel it is a good thing, but I don't agree with the religious reasoning behind it.

I think that is what people were trying to say. That the discussion has degenerated into whose right, whose wrong, who can stomach what.

I can't really see the point in having the discussion without both sides being represented, regardless of whether or not I disagree with anything. I find that discussions like the solidify what I feel I want to teach my children. And hearing from both sides helps with that.

I think that the thing is that we are all good people here. We are all thinking rational adults, who care about the welfare of our kids. No one on this thread is impure, tainted, more likely to get divorced, more likely to have an affair, more likely to win the lottery than anyone else. None of this is personal.

I am finding this discussion interesting, and would hate to see it closed because everyone got their feathers ruffled.

Each person's choice is right for them based on their feelings and their beliefs. I can't judge what PL has done anymore that I can judge what Arduinna has done...because I am not them. I haven't lived through what they have. That is the joy of human...no one turns out the same.

Anyway , end of public service announcement.

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#86 of 280 Old 06-14-2003, 02:45 PM
 
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This has been interesting - as a former member of a fundamentalist church, who has gone onto the pagan path. I have seen a lot. Both what works in a courtship type dating system (my church only allowed double dating) and what didn't work, do I have horror stories.

Personally, I believe in teaching and sharing all I have learning to my son - giving him the best possible foundation to make thoughtful and thought through decisions. I want him to understand the risks involved, as well as the pleasure.

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#87 of 280 Old 06-14-2003, 02:53 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by indiegirl

I think there should be a seperate thread for Christians on this topic because the arguement will never ever be resolved and cannot be discussed without both sides being offended. We are arguing core beliefs and what is the point of that?
At the risk of disagreeing with a MDC moderator, I cannot agree with this recommendation.

I have learned much from this comprehensive thread and like indigo, I have my own experiences with the 'courting' system and entire extended family subscribing and participating in that system.

Imo, one of the quickest ways to silence a thread is to invite others to not participate. I wouldn't have gained much if these posts didn't exist here.

Thank you everyone for your experiences and POV.
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#88 of 280 Old 06-14-2003, 03:03 PM
 
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One thing I don't like about the quote feature is it can give the impression of singling out people for personal attack.

There are things I have quoted, with or without using the feature, and I just want to say these are issues I would have brought up anyway. Quoting an individual member just lets people know I'm responding to the discussion and not randomly spouting thoughts.

I'm sorry if I have also contributed to things getting out of hand or off topic.

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#89 of 280 Old 06-14-2003, 04:20 PM
 
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3boys4us, to answer your question, yes my parents were conservative, but how I viewed sex in general was not what I was speaking of...there were certain encounters that I regretted even before I held the views I have today...for example, after finding out that an ex had molested his sister...I felt what I would consider unpure over that...a guy that I was with that was very controling, etc...
Ever since I became serious with my husband (we had one of those "buddyships" prior to realizing our love for each other), I have wished that he had been my first....not due to a feeling of impurity or being tainted, but because I feel that it would be so much more meaningful to not have the memories of "others" in the back of my head. This is one thing that I do not want my dc to have to experience....I mourn a bit over this sometimes. I do not want to think at all about past guys, but since they were in my life...they are in my brain and memories do pop up. There is more to my wanting to teach abstinence than my spiritual beliefs.
BTW - ameliabedeliaky - (Please know that I am only posting this to educate and not in any way to condemn or judge...something that I strive never to do - this is not to start a whole other debate either) The church of Christ, which is a non-denominational church that is prevalent all over the country, does speak out against and condemn divorce and remarriage and actually takes it further than the Catholic Church does. It is our belief that the bible gives only ONE viable reason for divorce and that is adultry...and the only acceptable reasons for remarriage are being a widow or widower or being the innocent party in an adultrus marriage that ended in divorce. This is the only times it was accepted in NT times and thus is all that is accepted by the church today. It is constantly being preached from the pulpits.
Also I wanted to let everyone know that my posts are meant in no way to say "I am right you are wrong" only to share my opinions...I know that there are many in the world who do not see things as I do and that is their right and choice... I believe must of us are doing what we feel is best and what we believe is right and that is what matters.
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#90 of 280 Old 06-14-2003, 04:25 PM
 
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My hand is aching, I have scrolled through this whole damn thread this morning. I have found in interesting, educating, and insightful. I know no one is probably reading now, everyone has gotten their hands behind their back and twidling their thumbs, all to keep from flaming .

I just had to share some thoughts, if anyone is still listening. Honestly, even if your not, I am that vain. I love to see my own words :

What I was taught about sex:
I was taught abstinence. I was also given a pretty thourough sex education by some very fundamentalist Xtian parents. I was taught that my body was a temple, I could not touch it, and I could not let others. I was never taught about bc at all. Abstinence was the only "acceptable" way in our house. I was taught that it was impure to have premarital sex, french kissing, heavy petting, etc. I was taught that anything remotely sexual in the "real world" was wrong. I was very sheltered, very loved and very religious.

Did this help?

I lost my virginity by fourteen. I searched everywhere for sexual things in "the real world" because it was so much fun. I was pregnant at age 16, got married, and had another by 18. Got divorced by age 20.

The rest of the story is much better, but not without a lot of therapy, hard work, and a loving dh.

I am a Xian, I am a mother, and nowhere does it say that I have to let my children fall through the same trap door I did. Love your children and please give them the tools to make life fair.

Jenny
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