and the Disgruntled Teen
More proof that *not* having sex is sad and
dangerousóeven in Texas. What is wrong with us?
February 25, 2005
By Mark Morford, SF Gate Columnist
Abstinence is a gnarled wart on the big toe of hot wet
life. This much we know.
Or, rather, more specifically, those silly little
abstinence programs wrought by the neocon Right and jammed uncomfortably into
Americaís increasingly crumbling and confused public schools and all of
which aim to force-feed teens bogus evidence that sex is deadly and icky and
fraught and poisonous and should be avoided completely if not somehow
surgically eradicated, and if you really must indulge in things prurient and
sticky then please go home and whip out your Bible and be sure to avoid your
dadís Hustler or the shower massager you little demonic heathen slut. Such
programs are bogus and false and misleading and harmful and stupid and wrong.
In a nutshell.
Did you see this story? Itís the latest finding, the
outcome of the most recent and quite thorough nonpartisan study, from Texas
A&M no less, surveying teens in 29 Texas schools and all proving once
again that these insidious and dangerous programs have absolutely zero effect
on curbing teen sexual appetites and activity, and, if anything, actually
induce teens to have more sex.
Itís an outcome the likes of which we have all seen a
thousand times before and for which we all can already pre-emptively guess the
results, and that makes any moderately enlightened or sexually aware or even
slightly educated human anywhere on the planet only say, well, duh.
After all, hormones have always trumped uptight
conservative dogma. Sex and testosterone and raw human heat always laugh in
the gnarled face of any oppressive and misdirected authority that attempts to
curb it or reject it or shut it all down. Just ask all those gay priests in
the seminary, shuffling between beds every night, just after lights-out. Shhh.
Of course teens are having sex anyway, in straight-up
defiance of what they sense is pure governmental ignorance and outright lie.
But the nasty catch is, as a direct result of these insidious
programsóprograms that cannot, for example, contain any information about
birth control or sensual awareness or moist philosophies of
pleasureótheyíre just doing it badly.
Which is to say, you want to virtually guarantee more
unsafe sex and increased rates of teen pregnancy and more disrespect for the
flesh and a tragic ignorance of all things sensual and delicious and naked in
the world? You want more sullen teens and violent youth culture and a virulent
50-percent divorce rate among people who have no idea what good sex is really
all about? Keep advocating those abstinence programs, senator.
After all, donít we all know, you might reasonably ask,
that when you stab at the blood-rich heart of youthful prurience and aim your
uptight dogmas in the general direction of all those white-hot urges currently
flooding through just about any human body like Coors through Jenna Bush, you
merely create a negative charge, a deep resentment, all coupled with general
bitter mistrust of authority and the urge to smack your establishment
misinformers (i.e.; parents governments teachers bosses seething joyless
Christian gods) upside the head with the pig iron of their own sad ignorance?
Really, donít we know this?
I mean (you might further inquire, your bones of
indignation now aflame), have we learned nothing from repressive third world
regimes and dictators and fundamentalists and the Catholic Church? Have we
gleaned no lesson from those who would deign to shove happily rigid doctrines
down the throats of the masses only to see that oppression regurgitate as war
and discord and a black cloud of joylessness and spiritual poverty and
degrading sacklike clothing?
Look. We all know that telling teens to abstain from sex
is like telling tequila to abstain from the lime. Telling teens to repress
their burgeoning beautiful natural chemical lustful cosmic urges that have
been only recently delivered to them on the wings of salacious and well-lubed
angels is like telling a fervent piano devotee that Mozart is a hack.
People who advocate such nastiness should be ashamed.
Ashamed and humiliated and then flogged with the dead fish of their own tepid
and miserable sex lives. Just an opinion.
So then why the hell do we do it? Why do abstinence
programs exist? Why does BushCo (and why do even some irritating Dems) insist
on wasting millions of dollars pushing such worthless and dangerous curricula
through our schools, programs that limit the minds of our youth and taint
their bodily awareness and work about as well as the war on drugs? Donít you
already know the answer?
One reason and one reason only: the programs are a
flaccid bone thrown to the quivering dogs of the Midwestern born-agains, that
rather desperate and deeply unhappy sect of overly religious voters whose fear
and dread and homophobia helped Bush con his way into a second term and who
have somehow, some way swiped the reins and who have an unexpected choke hold
on the national agenda. Period.
And oh my great goddess would it not just be goddamn
shockingly fabulous if we could somehow be bold and different? If we could,
for example and across all of Americaís public schools, teach the absolute
opposite of abstinence? What a utopia we could envision. What a radical and
gorgeous and messy and funky and delirious new world we could perhaps slowly,
slyly nudge into being. Donít you think?
Which is to say, what if our schools, from kindergarten
on, from our earliest textbooks and curricula and chalkboard diagrams,
contained unashamed and unembarrassed and all-natural and healthily playful
and (as time and age permitted) deeply informative and honest and raw and real
information about human sexuality, all woven naturally into the curriculum
much like math and reading and biology and revisionist world history and all
those lies about World War II and Vietnam and Communism and religion? I mean,
can you imagine?
And what if said information was designed to be all about
natural, respectful, consensual sexuality, as honest and fleshy and
complicated and potentially harmful but as ultimately gorgeous and peculiar
and raw as human sexuality is so stickily wont to be?
Would that not, as I truly believe it would, be a major
step toward curing many of the ailments plaguing our youth, and, by extension,
In other words, would a relaxed, sex-positive education
planted like a hot seed from a very early age not affect a gradual and rather
luscious sea change in the overall sexual attitudes of the culture, much the
way you can slowly train the ear to hear nuances in music in or the eye to see
the divine in nature the tongue to taste God in a bottle of Lagavulin 16?
Youíre goddamn right it would.
Which is, of course, exactly why the Right canít have
it. And why the culture seems so many light-years away from allowing such a
mentality to invade our children and taint their precious minds with thoughts
of what it means to truly respect the luminous flesh of the body and take all
responsibility for its machinations and gyrations and quivering needs.
We simply donít believe we are allowed to enjoy life in
such a way. We simply are not here to dig deep into what it means to be human,
fleshed, meaty and tremulous and whole. This is the prevalent dogma of our
current leadership, the unhappy worldview of the currently dominant
quasi-religious Right, the violently antihuman ethos of our time.
The body is a disgusting shameful vehicle and the Earth
is an exploitable sandbox to be abused at will and life is merely miserable
purgatory where you scratch and claw for money and power and survival while
you eagerly await ... what was it again? Oh right. The Second Coming.
Charming. And right now, sadly, a belief thatís all too prevalent.
So on they go, these silly programs, sucking millions of
tax dollars ($160 million next year alone, despite all the studies) all wasted
on teachings that are a running joke to sentient adults and a degrading slap
at our youth and a giant middle finger to what the sexual human experience is
Good thing teens see right through it all and have more
sex anyway. But how very sad that we simply refuse, absolutely refuse, to open
wide the thighs of education to teach them how to do it right, full of juicy
respect, reverence, delight and true understanding. Oh, what a world we could
make. Donít you think?
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