Please read this with the humor I intend-- my daughter is a well adjusted college student!
Half MD wrote a very funny blog about the people in med school. The one that I am linking to is about the Evangelical Christians. I had to laugh because I used to be like them. Life has taken some funny turns. If my life were like I had wanted it when I was American Evangelical I would be a Ph.D. in Christian counseling and have two kids which according to the plan I made when I was wise, I'd have had at the ages of 36 and 38. I had my baby, number 9 (TeaCup!) six weeks before I turned 36.
His story made me think of a situation with my eldest daughter. Now do not get me wrong. I believe that abstinence till marriage is really the best thing. Women who are selective and men who are selective don't spend $$$ on court battles or have the heartache I had over my eldest two children. (Alas, a good friend did everything right and still wound up with an abusive husband and was s divorced mother five years later.) That being said, me having children, I do not expect my kids to wait to have sex until they get married, preferably after college-- can we reasonably expect them to wait when their sexual peak is between the ages of 16 and 24? That doesn't sit well with me. I have told my teenagers, "If you want to screw around, wait until you can have some privacy which you won't get here. Use two forms of birth control because your mother is a fertility goddess and you probably are, too." My daughters have so far been careful.
When my eldest was in high school, I got called in. She'd been in abstinence training discussions and got irritated with the "peer leaders," the professional virgins who with their mothers ran the discussions. My daughter thought (rightfully so!) that discussion what you weren't doing as an upright Christian was as bad as discussing what you were doing as some of the girls in other groups were wont to do. The other mothers were furious over her saying that, but she explained that a certain percentage of the ones saying it were not virgins, just like a certain percentage of the ones claiming they were Doing It weren't actually doing anything.
I asked what the problem was. They really didn't like what my daughter said and wanted an apology. I said that if you have to demand it, it probably isn't sincere, by the way, "What did you say, Tiger?" Apparently the girls started talking in code with each other in the group, about how they didn't do whatever and my daughter said this wasn't what the rumors were.
Tiger told the girls that everyone knew what they did and that their virginity meant nothing. The girls didn't like it. One of the girls was dating the captain of one of the athletic teams and she said in the office, "You have known what he's said about you. Why don't you break up?"
The whole thing was a cat fight and I told my daughter, "I will disown you if you do apologize." The disciplinarian was there and keeping a straight face but he said there was nothing he could do. I could tell he found the whole thing a waste of time and later told me that he liked how I handled it, and I would tell the other women to not have their daughters around my children or to discuss such matters. End of discussion.
I get really annoyed with the attitudes that people have. I think that with sex education that we need to discuss the consequences of the actions. I was talking to a few of my daughters friends as they studied Hamlet. We discussed what Ophelia keeping her virginity meant-- that noble women in those times did not have sex before marriage partly for religious reasons, but for bigger ones. It wasn't about Heaven or Hell-- a woman who had not had sex was free of diseases. Her eggs were for one man to impregnate. A man-- well, it was a double standard, but men were (and are) geared to impregnate as many females as possible for his DNA to be handed down. A man with a woman who'd been chaste would know that her offspring were only his. The girls came up with a term for women who'd dishonored their eggs, "DEW's"-- Dishonored Egg Women. Of course this is what I am with my children of different marriages and somehow I have made well with my husband. Their term was funny as it makes "Do the DEW" a different meaning!
I think that the lessons on that can be applied to modern life as well and I am happy to see it mattering to what appears to be more kids or at least the ones my daughters know who seem to care about this. They are not self righteous about it though and this is something that I am doubly proud of-- it's not something that they need to wear diamond rings over till they marry, it's a personal, private decision.
My daughter has plenty of friends, especially in college now. She has found more people like her. For the most part, she thinks like a guy. She has a lot more self control. Her boyfriend flew in on Saturday and around six yesterday I asked about him and she said she wanted to call him as he'd come in the day before but she would let him call her. She went to her room for her phone and came out, ashen. She showed me that someone had put her cell phone into a. . . glass of water. She was understandably upset as she was expecting him to call her. She checked her email only to discover he'd been trying to reach her. Oops. She called him from mine and they made arrangements to go out. The great thing was, she wasn't pining for him all day. She said he never left her thoughts but she didn't want her sisters to think that was how you acted with a boyfriend. She showed me a few e-mails from her friends from high school who are now in college-- they weren't talking about college or volunteer work or even work-- they were discussing. . . relationships. I told her that they are biologically programmed to want relationships. she said, "And what did you say makes us different from the apes? It's not our opposable thumbs!" She wiggled her thumbs at me, "It's our ability to rise above our biology! These friends think with their brain stems." Just as it was back in the day when she was upsetting the professional virgins-- relationships were minor. It was the whole picture, the life one was living that mattered. I was so impressed with her then and she is keeping the attitude.