Note: attitudes about sexual morality have significantly changed since Fog wrote this. To site just one example, when "Fog" wrote this couples living together without marriage was considered a major sin.  Now, millions of couples do so and it has largely become a non-issue. 

The Price of Prudery

I sort of figured that when I got old I'd somehow "get religion"...

...and like many in my generation start lambasting youngsters for (among other things) their sexual immorality.

Maybe even sound like some of those fundamentalist preachers who equate sex with immorality and immorality with sex*...

...or some of those women libbers who equate sex between loving partners with violence - and even rape.

The older I get the more I feel certain that the real immorality is in these attitudes.

>>Okay, so what's it matter — prudery is its own punishment — so why shouldn't we just let the bluenoses have their way?

For starters sexual prudery is costing thousands of lives around the world because of successful efforts to keep people from learning about safe sex...

...not to mention costing hundreds of millions of dollars in medical bills.

With sexual diseases among young people leading all other types, the political-religious opposition to taking truly realistic and effective measures to control these diseases constitutes nothing short of criminal neglect.

As if this wasn't enough, this opposition has gone so far as [under the Bush Administration] to bury or discredit studies originally posted on government web sites that show that the safe sex measures are effective.

>>Those who say that we need to spend even more millions on preaching abstinence* need to look at the facts.

All wishful thinking aside, the teaching of safe sex has been far more effective in curbing such sexually transmitted disease as AIDS.**

And then there are the millions of unwanted and hungry children in the world which are associated with the opposition toward safe sex and condoms, but that's a story for a different time

>>What's being blissfully ignored today is that despite abstinence pledges, most young people engage in sex.*

The secret's out; why don't we all wake up and accept reality?

>>Some day our prudish, unrealistic and repressive attitudes about sex will be just as ridiculous... the beliefs we once had that the world was flat and that the sun revolved around the earth...

...beliefs, incidentally, that the religions of the day staunchly supported, backed by threats of eternal damnation.

It only took them a few centuries to get around to seeing the errors of their ways.

>>I wonder how long it will take for today's self-appointed guardians of our morality to wake up to practical and responsible values?

And how much unnecessary suffering and death will result in the meantime?

* According to the Los Angeles Times, a 2006 study of 14,000 young people reveals that more than half of people who signed an abstinence program pledge to remain virgins until marriage broke their pledge within the fist year of signing. Some studies show that this group is less apt to use safe-sex measures, resulting in both STD and pregnancies.

** According to USA Today, 50% of young people in the United States will contract a venereal disease before age 25.

Nicholas Kristof of The New York Times, said,

By restricting sex education funds to abstinence, it looks as if the administration is more interested in showing that it shares the Christian Right's sexual squeamishness than in fighting AIDS. And all over Africa you see heartbreaking evidence both that sex kills, and that so does this kind of blushing prudishness. 

>>According to The New York Times, since President Bush came into office information that supports the effectiveness of condoms in the prevention of disease, as well as studies that show the use of condoms do not result in earlier sexual activity, has disappeared from government health sites.

Since the outcomes of the scientific studies that support these findings haven't changed, it is assumed that the present conservative agenda, which opposes these views, has influenced these changes.

Abstinence Programs Strike Out contains more data.

* Since Fog wrote this, we've seen some of the more progressive protestant churches start to promote marital sex as a way of maintaining good marriages. Even so, some of the world's largest religions officially hold that sex should be reserved for procreation and enjoying sex is a sin.

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