Abstinence is a dirty, dirty word in politics, isn't it? We all know that it works. We all know there are no pregnancies, STDs, AIDs and the rest of those nasty symptoms of teenage sexuality with abstinence. Planned Parenthood knows it. Your local Crisis Pregnancy Center knows it. Gloria Feldt knows it.
And, by golly! John McCain knows it.
What is abstinence? Strictly defined: the practice of abstaining from something. 99.9% of the time it means no sex. What kind of sex? Pretty much the whole kit and caboodle -- anything beyond (and, depending, also including) kissing. Mostly, it means intercourse.
No nooky-nooky until you are married is the short version of it all.
Abstinence has gained unnecessary political attributes. Why? One side thinks the other side is afraid of sex among teens, and the other side thinks it encourages sex among teens. It includes, of course, ages beyond teens, as college students are not famous for celibacy these days, and the ramifications of random sex includes AIDS and abortions, neither of which help the health of society.
FYI: By teens, in this case, it means under the age of consent. That's 17 or 18 in most states.
So, politics and sex. Watch the blogs today. That McCain showed up is political. Expect people to support him thinking he supports their values. Others will rant on with the tired, old young people's chant, "Stay out of my bedroom!" By bedroom, I think they mean "the backseat of my dad's SUV," but their point is as it is.
Abstinence will be played by the religious politicos as well. Those with religiophobia (hateful fear of religion, like homophobia, only against people of faith) will charge on that abstinence is a religious issue. While is actually a sociological issue that some religious sorts happen to agree with, those in the Darwin ate the fish camp will decry McCain as a right-winger.
John McCain, like Rudy Giuliani, is prochoice and doing the repeal Roe v Wade dance, so it might slow a few people down on both sides.
Why's McCain doing this now? He's doing this now for the same reason Bill Clinton voted in some key homosexual rights laws as soon as he took office the first time. He gains the support of those whose supports he wants, and gets the heat off by the time those who he'd like forget his support ASAP.
McCain might have made a political move, but he has gotten people talking.
This week, we'll all talk about abstinence, and McCain will have plucked some bucks and voters happily his way. Meanwhile, this time next month, there will be something new. A scandal, an issue, maybe a development in Iraq? Who knows. One way or another, no one will be bringing this up except abstinence campaign people at their monthly meeting.
It is pretty good logic to tell a kid to wait until she gets married not to have sex. Parents who look the other way might be the ones forking out the money to Planned Parenthood when it comes time to kill a fetus, and dealing with a girl whose hormones are messed up all the way through prom. Or, they might be the ones badgering the boy's father to swack him around for getting their daughter drunk and doing the nasty on her. It might be the daughter was completely sober, but that's another story.
Either way, it takes two to tango, and a village to deal with the consequences. Yes, some kids will have sex no matter what. Other kids just need to hear that waiting can be a good thing for religious reasons, medical reasons, parental reasons, big picture reasons, and so on.
McCain to stump at abstinence event in SC
Contra Costa Times - Feb 16, 2007
COLUMBIA, SC - Most presidential hopefuls are trying to get people to say "yes," but Sen. John McCain plans to urge a crowd in Spartanburg this weekend to say "no.
On the 2008 Campaign trail Boston Herald
McCain to campaign at abstinence rally in South Carolina Wilmington Morning Star
ABC News - KVOA.com - International Herald Tribune - Ely Times
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Sex & Abstinence - Teens