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(Not) Studying Sex in the Christian School

Sex-(non)Ed

I grew in the Christian school and church. And by that I don’t mean we went to church every Sunday. I mean we went twice every Sunday, to visitation on Tuesday, prayer meeting on Wednesday, and I went to at least one youth group activity on the weekend. On top of all that, I also went to school where I went to church. I’ve seen a lot there. I’ve gotten lectures on how high my socks are, and for complaining that generic static guard sucks. We had different books that have kids dressed modestly on the cover and in pictures. We had no opportunities to take AP courses or to alter our course load at all, for that matter. Sometimes we didn’t even have real teachers. For several of my courses, I sat starting at an interactive teacher on a television and using a phone to call in my answers. However, the most crushing failure of my Christian education was sex non-education. Not only did we skip the reproductive chapter, but we were given wrong ideas and bad principles throughout our time in school and church. Here are the worst and why.

The first major failure: Put the emphasis on virginity.

First of all, all they ever really talked about when they talked about sex was the first time. None of the other times were given much significance except in one terrible analogy which I’ll share later.  That’s the most important thing- don’t lose your virginity. The CDC reports that 7.6% of teens who have had sex, had a non-voluntary intercourse the first time. We all know that those rates are truly much higher. I, myself, was one of that percentage, however, I never would have said so because I loved the guy I was with. The emphasis on virginity was detrimental for me, because I’d lost my virginity and whether or not it was my choice didn’t matter; it was gone. Therefore, I like so many other girls, went hog wild. I started to use sex to bury pain caused by having sex. It’s not uncommon. Several of my friends felt the same way. That is a part of the reason that when Christian girls have sex outside of marriage, they often have lots of sex. If you’ve failed, what do you have left to lose?

Then there are the lies about what takes away your virginity. Because  of the emphasis on virginity, there is a good bit of discussion on what “counts.” According to the church, I actually lost my virginity when I was seven. I broke my hymen getting out of the back of my Dad’s pick up truck. When I was taken to the doctor because I was complaining of pain, they discussed whether or not stitching it was the way to go. I thank my parents for telling them to leave it be. But getting out of trucks, riding bikes and horses aren’t the only things that can take away your virginity; tampons can too. Oh, you didn’t know that? Yeah. I wish someone would have grown up and told us that the only thing that takes away your virginity is having sex. When your partner asks you if you’re a virgin, they aren’t asking of your hymen is intact. They would probably look at you funny if you said, “Well as a matter of fact, no. My hymen is broken; I got out of my Dad’s pickup truck when I was seven and that was that.”

The second major failure: Be aware of your sexuality always.

When I entered seventh grade, one of the first classes I had was a class in modesty. They separated the boys and girls and taught us about our periods, how to use pads, proper underwear; about how to dress modestly, shirts no more than three fingers down from that dip in your collarbone and skirts that cover you knees while you sit and the ever important slip. They taught us how to sit down and stand up like a lady; how to cross our ankles, but keep our knees closed. How not to be alone with the opposite sex, EVER. How we have so much power over men’s sexuality. This was the only sex education I ever had and they never even mentioned where babies come from.

The biggest problem with all of this was that we seemed to be in control of the sexuality of men. We were never told that they need to control their own sexuality; we were told the way we dress controlled it. This is so dangerous. It’s another little part of why I would never say that my first time was non-consensual. You see, I put myself in that position. I got his engine going and I invited it. I gave him all the signs up to the point of intercourse and so, I’m the one who did it. Girls already have a guilt complex built in when it comes to sexual abuse and rape. Adding to it by saying that there was something I could do to deserve it, doesn’t help. There is nothing a woman can do to deserve being raped or molested. They should be able able to walk down the street naked without inciting blame, because it is the rapist who is guilty, not the raped.

Every second of everyday, we were supposed to be aware of our affect on men. We were always supposed to vigilant in not promoting lust. It’s such a paradox. Your mind must always be on sex, but it must always be on not having it.

The third problem: Sex is a beautiful expression of love. (married love)

Why is it a beautiful expression of love for marriage only? Because sex is for conception. (Yes, that’s political,but that’s for another blog.) It’s pleasurable, yes, but only so that you can make a little baby. It’s another paradox that leaves much to be desired for the woman. Women don’t need to orgasm for conception to happen, only men do. Women don’t even have to enjoy sex, only men do. Also, women are only useful in marriage if they have children. If you get married to have sex, you get married to make babies. If you don’t make babies, your marriage sucks. What about the women who can’t conceive?

They, of course, gave us no information about contraceptive except that birth control is having an abortion every month. So again, the woman is screwed. If she is having children and she thinks that she needs to be done, she can’t. Birth control = human control instead of God’s control. If God wanted you to be done having children, then you would be done. If you take matters into your own hands using a hormone therapy, you’re aborting babies. My mother-in-law came to me one day with an article in Bob Jones Press that talked about this. She was scared out of her wits because she used birth control pills for a couple of years and I was using them at the time. It said that each egg was allowed to be fertilized, but not implanted. As I’m sure you know, from their perspective life begins at conception. I assured her with the facts though: only the low dose pills do that. The traditional pill tricks the body into feeling pregnant creating a thick mucus and preventing the release of eggs. She looked skeptical, but when I reminded her that her ovaries were dormant after being on the pill, it all made sense. How could your ovaries go dormant if they were producing and releasing an egg each month?

Now, you have received an almost complete Christian sex education class. However, I promised you some bad analogies that I’ve heard in my time.

  • First the common: why buy the cow if you can get the milk for free. This is awful on many levels. First we’re cows? Second we’re for sale? Third, the only thing we give of value is sex?
  • The next one I heard from a youth pastor. I am a Snickers bar. That’s right Snickers. Again, I’m for sale. This one is a little different though, because he actually takes the discussion beyond virginity in saying that no one would want a Snickers bar if it had been passed around and licked by a bunch of people.
  • The last one is just reminiscent of the whole experience. Ultimate gift. Your virginity is the ultimate gift that you can give your husband. If you give it away too soon you’ll have to buy the next guy a sweater. I hope at this point you can see the problems here. How are men supposed to value us for anything else if sex is the ultimate gift we can give them? How are we supposed to think we’re good for anything else?

I wrote this blog, not to give ammo to the people who hate Christianity, and not because I do. I wrote it because I love it. I love it enough to call it out when it’s killing my faith. At the end of Capitalism: A Love Story, Micheal Moore says: “I refuse to live in a country like this, and I’m not leaving.” And so with this blog I say: I refuse to worship a religion like this, and I’m not stopping. I’m going to change it, or at least I’m going to try. So please, if you’re a Christian parent think honestly about these things and consider having honest and open conversations with your kids. You can save them from so much with truth and love. If you’re a Christian young person, approach your parents maturely and ask the tough questions. If you’re too embarrassed, feel free to contact me and I can give you a truthful, Christian view on sex, with love.

15 thoughts on “(Not) Studying Sex in the Christian School

  1. This is wonderful! I was afraid to go to your blog, thinking I was going to read some disgusting argument against sex education. Instead I found this. I wish you had been in my Psychology of Women classes. Also, please watch my blog. Soon I’ll be discussing what I think is an important book detailing so many fascinating things about reproduction — things new to me even after all my years of teaching about female sexuality. Thanks so much for this. And yes, I am a follower of Jesus, though I sometimes resist the term “Christian,” given what people like your non-sex educators do to distort the word.

    I hesitate to sound like I’m here to sell my book, but I’d like your take on the marriage night scene in Mrs. Job, as well as the description of her pregnancy and birthing. http://www.amazon.com/Mrs-Mona-Gustafson-Affinito-Ph-D/dp/1440115818/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1347821298&sr=1-1&keywords=Mrs.+Job

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  2. For years I have been trying to figure out what is wrong with me, but thank you for showing me that I have been indoctrinated as a Christian man to objectify women, sex and marriage. I agree with your last statement wholeheartedly, the best way to change something is to be there to change it.

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  3. I absolutely agree with “Trying to Feed My Soul” above. The “church” teaching on sex has been and continues to be one of the greatest travesties perpetrated on its people over centuries. This teaching is no doubt responsible for more young people abandoning any faith they ever had than any other single doctrine. Anyone who has ever really read the Bible as a whole discovers very quickly that the Bible has a different problem with sex than the church of the last 400 years has.

    Does anyone realize that the lovers in Song of Solomon are never shown be married; never mind show what they are actually up to. If the teaching of the church crowded young people with impractical information of no value which would create a mind set in a future married couple that shackle their minds with so much guild that they would never allow themselves to fully enjoy their sexuality. Therefore to never bond their marriage as it should be and then be a factor in the dismal divorce rates that christian suffers from in exactly the same levels as the “non-believer” counterparts, maybe even higher.

    The “church” spouts none-sense to the people before marriage , AND THEN SILENCE AFTER MARRIAGE. Young couple are left with no instruction and yet still must negotiate the “no do” list,, It appears sex is limited in approach as “loving sex” that slides right into boredom, and then the end of a marriage. The western church has failed its people and they do not even know why,

    This appears a very old thread, I wonder if it is still being followed?

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    • It is sad. We ill prepare our children about their own bodies and then wonder why our tee pregnancy and abortion rates are high.
      This one is old, but I get everything. And it’s still a favorite and one I still think is necessary.

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