On its face, it's not such a bad thing. After about a decade of the hypersexed Britneys, Christinas, and Paris Hiltons of the world displaying their visibly stretched out cooches for all the world to see, its somewhat refreshing to see kids keeping their oh so trendy clothes on, sporting their virginity vows with a single silver ring.
Let's face it. Abstinence is the cool thing now. Kids everywhere are sporting their purity rings and saying, "I'm waiting for true love." Which is really cute and all. The devotion to abstract concepts always is.
Everyone knows abstinence works. Or at least it does until the mid teen years. After kids turn 15 or 16, however, hormones are going to take over no matter how chaste their upbringing or how great their fear in a higher power. Its just the natural way. And nature always wins: Especially when you've got a group of outwardly happy yet inwardly frustrated sexually preoccupied kids hanging out together.
Once kids hit those mid-teens, screw the purity ring. They're better off with some old-fashioned sex-ed, a box of condoms and birth control. That purity ring will only come in handy when they need to pawn it for some back alley abortion procedure, penicillin, or diapers.
Here are the facts. No matter what virginity pledge a pre-teen takes or jewelry they wear, he or she is just as likely to have premarital sex as the kid who didn't take a vow. More disturbing, however, is that those taking virginity pledges are 10% less likely to practice safe sex than those that haven't.
What does this say about purity rings, purity balls, and the like?
Well, let me tell you a story. A friend of mine was hanging out with a girl. She was a veritable poster child of chastity, going with her church on state to state virginity pilgrimages, touting the virtues of abstinence, wearing the purity ring. Point is, she was anything but chaste with my friend. And, according to him, he wasn't her first.
So, from what I know about purity rings, public virginity vows and the like, its all grand theatre, but doesn't work in practice. Because virginity vows are more about the parents than the children.
When the idea of a chastity vow is first proposed, its usually the parents who bring it up. Parents, especially fervently religious churchgoing parents, want their children to remain chaste until marriage. One reason is its what their religion demands.
Another, however, is far more selfish. Parents (especially fathers with daughters) don't want to think of their kids having sex. Much like the asshole pushing hockey on the kid who wants to play baseball, these parents push chastity on kids who really don't understand the ramifications of the concept. And if pressure doesn't work, they resort to bribing their kids with the purity ball, a big party not unlike a Sweet 16, except celibacy is the cause for celebration.
So, sure: The kid is more than happy to get the cool ring and the awesome party, and promises to remain a virgin until marriage. But then there's another question: What constitutes virginity? Is mutual masturbation ok? Oral sex? Anal?
Here's what I gather from the article. Abstinence only parents aren't clear enough with their children as to what sex is. Of course, if they were perfectly clear with their kids about sex, that wouldn't be true abstinence only education.
Well, the kids are going to find out what sex is, whether their parents like it or not. They're going to learn what they're missing from friends and popular culture. And they're going to rebel. Say, "Fuck what my parents think". And they'll screw the first gangly piece of garbage they meet at a drunken toga party at that totally uncool off campus frat. And who would've thought they'd get the clap/herpes/pregnant from a lackluster unprotected one-nighter?
So, let's cut the charade already, Jonas Brothers. Purity rings and abstinence vows don't work. But at least they aren't as stupid as taking nude pictures/videos of yourself and sending it over the net to someone you really, really like, because he/she would never share it with anyone else, right?
Next: Part 3.