Advertisement
YOU ARE HERE: LAT HomeCollections

Avoid the Double-Talk

November 30, 1986

Call me ungrateful, since outspoken support for us virgins comes along about as often as Halley's Comet, but I'm afraid I'll have to "Just Say No" to my tax dollars going for rigidly dogmatic, one-sided, blatantly anti-sexual "chastity" propaganda. ("Sex Education Aimed at Teen-Agers Turns to an Old Standby--Chastity" by Lynn Smith, Nov. 16).

Promoting responsible, constructive attitudes toward self and sexuality involves more than preaching inflexible "thou shalt nots" and ignoring contraception. What's required is to do one of the most difficult things a human being can do: admit that there might be more than one right answer or choice.

Premarital virginity is a wonderfully good choice that many want to choose. Not out of fear, shame, or ignorance, but because the best way to make sexuality as special as it has the potential to be, is to postpone it until it can be associated only with a very secure, genuinely loving relationship with a very special person--even if all that doesn't come along conveniently early, or often, in life.

True, not everyone will want to make that choice or commitment. Nor should they. Diversity is an essential part of our humanness, and we're definitely not all identical clones meant to live identical lives. But by teaching that there are choices to be made, rather than unbending, unquestionable orders to be followed, we adults might be believed (or at least listened to) when we say that some things really are absolutely wrong: sex induced by peer, partner, or media pressures, or without thorough protection against unwanted pregnancies and disease.

I totally agree that irresponsible sex is exploitative and self-destructive, and applaud efforts to condemn it. But there are two equally respectable alternatives to it. Saying "no" is one, but practicing monogamous, freely chosen, well-contracepted sex is another. Pretending that teens can have a right to say "no" without a right to say "yes" is the kind of double-talking hypocrisy that won't fool anyone or solve anything.

DAVID M. DISMORE

Los Angeles

Advertisement
Los Angeles Times Articles
|
|
|