by Jillian Kearns, Student Contributor
In the last edition of The Crusader, there was an article describing why only abstinence should be taught to teenagers. Several of the arguments were flawed, so I would like to address the mistakes to the writer (Scott Kingsley ‘17). You comment on how a person’s chances of raping someone are zero if they remain abstinent, but this claim completely ignores what rape actually is. Rape is a crime of power, in which sex is implemented as a form of control. To be frank, rape is not about simply being horny. Even if people abstain from sex, the abuse that comes from rape will manifest in different forms, such as bullying or physical abuse. The mindset of a rapist does not change when the element of sex is taken away, so the idea that no sex means the problem of rape is solved is unfounded. This claim also portrays rape in light of the rapist, not the rape victim. Let’s say someone remains abstinent as per your instructions. This does not stop the actions of others. This person’s body will be violated in the worst ways, even though they did not have sex of their own accord. The most virtuous person in the world can still be a victim of rape, and then what? Because of programs such as the ones you support, these victims are unaware of the resources available to them, such as police reports, rape kits, anti-STD drugs, counseling, and abortion. Victims become marginalized and ignored because sex and sex related topics remain taboo due to improper education.
Sex education classes that promote abstinence also shame students who are developing their own sexuality. We are all adults here and have gone through puberty, a very natural process. With this comes excessive hormones, which make people more inclined to want to participate in consensual sexual activities. To look children in the eye and teach them they are wrong for experiencing something so natural and universal feeds into slut shaming culture, can induce self-hatred for having such urges, and can lead to a slew of mental illness. When an individual eventually decides they are ready for sex, they are unsure of the best ways to be safe. If we are being honest, abstinence is unrealistic. And to avoid giving children the tools they will need to practice safe sex is damaging.
Your claim that teen pregnancy is on the rise demonstrates your arrogance in thinking you already know everything about the topic of teenage sex. A quick Google search will reveal that teenage pregnancy rates have decreased by nine percent since 2013. Let’s also discuss your argument that a person needs two parents in order to thrive, and being raised by one leaves them with a bleak future. There are thousands of successful people with one parent: Angelina Jolie, Kanye West, and Barack Obama, just to name a few. I am sure Kanye West’s million dollar fortune or Barack Obama’s two presidential terms would like to discuss how vital a two-parent household was to their success. The nuclear family is dead—any combination of people who love each other can constitute a family and become the building blocks for a pleasant childhood. Your claim that mankind did not come this far from screwing around for fun is also wrong. There are biological reasons humans enjoy sex. If you enjoy it and do it for pleasure, you are bound to do it again. Hence the pleasure derived from sex contributes to the continuation of the human race. If older generations did not enjoy sex, they simply would not do it.
Later in your article, you compare people to used cars. Your comparison of people to cars, stating that you would not want a partner who has sexual experience in the same way you would not want a used car that has hundreds of thousands of miles, is degrading. It implies that people are only worth the number of sexual partners they have had. There is no correlation between a person’s character and whether they slept with zero, five, or twenty people. People are so much more complex than their sexual endeavours, and for you to devalue a person based off your beliefs in sex is highly insulting.
I would also like to point out your calling out the first writer’s spelling mistake. You had completely false information present in your article; how does this compare to a simple spelling error? Your SEVERAL allusions to this mistake are nothing but your attempt to discredit the writer, making her seem inferior to you despite having done actual research into the information she was presenting. There is no need for ridiculing the smallest mistakes, it just makes your argument seem so weak you have to rely on arbitrary details to complete your defense.
It is okay to have differing opinions, it is even okay to present a response to an argument in which you counter a person on their beliefs. What is NOT alright is your bullying. It is not okay to present an argument without understanding the facts, and it is not okay for you to think you have some moral high ground, unfounded and in instances, completely inaccurate. I am glad you are at an establishment of higher education, because clearly you have a lot to learn.