Since this little tid-bit of information got quite a chuckle at our staff meeting today, I thought I’d let you in on the “joke”.
The federal government has recently expanded the targeted age group for which abstinence-only-until-marriage funds are directed. Now, it won’t just be children who receive inaccurate and biased information about sex and sexuality. Unmarried adults up to the age of 29 are the latest age group that the federal government is trying to make chaste. From yesterday’s USA Today:
“They’ve stepped over the line of common sense,” said James Wagoner, president of Advocates for Youth, a Washington, D.C.-based non-profit that supports sex education. “To be preaching abstinence when 90% of people are having sex [according to the National Center for Health Statistics for ages 20-29] is in essence to lose touch with reality. It’s an ideological campaign. It has nothing to do with public health.”
For many of us, it’s not such a surprise that the Bush administration has lost touch with reality. But, since the majority of us think in terms of the real world, let’s think about how this would play out.
Imagine that a 29 year-old single male might be told,
For condoms to be used correctly, over 10 specific difficult steps must be followed every time. This tends to minimize the romance and spontaneity of the sex act. (Choosing the Best, p. 25).
Or, a 25 year-old female would be told this about how her needs differ from a male partner (because that is the only possible option–apparently, if we ignore homosexuality it will not exist):
“Women need affection while men need sexual fulfillment; women need conversation while men need recreation companionship; women need honest and openness while men need physical attractiveness; women need financial support while men need admiration, and women need family commitment while men need domestic support” (WAIT Training, p. 199).
While I can’t help but laugh, it’s quite scary to think about how this new “clarification” in the federal government’s grant guidelines may impact public health.
Remember, if you’re in your late 20s and still single (whether or not getting married is in your life plan and/or legal for you and your partner), it’s not too late to take a virginity pledge!
Julie in Philly