Editor’s note: A recent report by two Texas State University educators, “Just Say Don’t Know: Sexuality Education in Texas Public Schools,” showed that 94 percent of the state’s public schools teach students only to abstain from sex until marriage. Though Texas receives more abstinence-only funding than any other state, it ranks third in the nation in teen pregnancies (thanks, Mississippi and New Mexico).
To address the outcry following this report, the Observer decided to run a recent column by Texas’ noted no-sex advice columnist, Miss Abstinence, which includes a lively defense of abstinence-only education.
Dear Miss Abstinence: My husband, Elvis, and I are disturbed by rumors abstinence-only education does not work. In our small town, we know of three pregnant teenagers (half our cheerleading squad!). What’s wrong?-Puzzled
Dear Puzzled: No matter how well abstinence-only education is taught, our young people live in a dangerous, deranged culture. Everywhere Miss Abstinence looks, she sees sex, sex, sex. Athletic shoe companies tell our youth to “Just do it!” Young men “rap” about filthy acts. Young women dress like harlots. Miss Abstinence grieves for a simpler, more wholesome time when sex was considered to be a dirty little secret.
Just think of how many illegitimate pregnancies there would be if we didn’t have abstinence-only education in our public schools! There wouldn’t be a cheerleading squad left in Texas!
Dear Miss Abstinence: I would like to report an exciting story that proves abstinence-only education can save an impressionable child’s life. After several years of intense instruction about the dangers of copulation (bleeding genital warts, pus, painful rashes-not to mention the severe beating his father would give him), our son Kevin decided he wasn’t yet ready to date any of the girls at our church. Since then, to keep himself sexually pure, he has been living with his roommate, Trevor, in a beautifully decorated downtown loft. Someday, when both these attractive, well-dressed men are ready, they are going to make some lucky young women very happy.
“I’m so glad you listened to your parents about abstinence-and waited!” I always tell Kevin and Trevor. Then we all laugh together, really hard!-Mamma Mia
Dear Mamma: What a lovely story! Miss Abstinence has dated a few young men like Kevin and Trevor, and she can assure you they always acted like complete gentlemen.
Dear Miss A: My mom is making me write you ’cause she’s afraid my girlfriend and I are “doing it.” (She’s right, ha ha!) You know what I think? I think you’re an ugly old broad that needs to get laid. Send me your phone number.-Jason, high school stud
P.S. My girlfriend, Heather, says I’m the best she’s ever had!
Dear Young Man: Actually, Miss Abstinence is an attractive, sensual woman who struggles to fend off numerous improper offers from men who do not understand she has high moral standards and is saving herself for her wedding night. However, since you are so desperate for solace, she will try to help you work through your problems; 555-472-1251, after 6 p.m.
Dear Miss Abstinence: I think about sex all the time, even when I’m in church. What’s wrong with me?-Sweet Sixteen and Been Kissed Quite a Few Times, If You Want to Know the Truth
Dear Kissed: You’re a slut. That’s what’s wrong with you.
Dear Miss Abstinence: Even though our daughter, Layla, is only 3 years old, my husband and I are already concerned about her turning into “that kind” of girl. (You know what I mean.) What can we do?-Moral Mom
Dear Moral: You are right to be worried. Miss Abstinence only hopes that you’re acting soon enough to dissuade your precocious tot from making the biggest mistake of her life.
Fortunately, Miss Abstinence’s Web site, donotfornicate.com, offers a treasure trove of merchandise that will help ease your daughter’s path into righteousness, such as the “I’m Waiting to Say ‘I Do’ Before I Do ‘It'” T-shirts available in children’s sizes ($21.95, plus tax) and “Precious Virgin Cargo On Board” bumper stickers that can be affixed to any stroller or car (only $12.95, plus tax). Also, a child of 3, however trampy, is the perfect age for Miss Abstinence’s best-selling children’s book, G is for Gonorrhea and Genital Herpes, which is beautifully illustrated with full-color photographs of the ravages of sexually transmitted diseases.
Miss Abstinence also suggests that you consider changing your daughter’s first name from Layla, which may be giving others the wrong impression. She always thought Sonny and Cher made a lovely point by naming their daughter Chastity. Miss Abstinence doesn’t know what happened to little Chastity Bono, but she’s sure that any girl with a first name like that has stayed pure! n
Commentator and author Ruth Pennebaker lives in Austin and blogs at www.geezersisters.com.