Don't Ban Porn, Ban Abstinence-Only Sex Education

Don't Ban Porn, Ban Abstinence-Only Sex Education

Earlier this month, Tennessee passed a resolution declaring porn a public health crisis.
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In January, Pornhub's 2016 Year in Review highlighted a fact that many conservatives condemn—the United States loves porn.

A whopping 40 percent of Pornhub's traffic comes from North America, and with more monthly page views than Amazon, YouTube and Netflix combined, the Internet truly is the mecca of porn.

Some states worry that too much of a good thing is making the future of America sick. Earlier this month, Tennessee joined South Dakota, Virginia, and Utah in declaring pornography a public health crisis. To counter the “sexually toxic environment" mainstream porn has created, the unanimously passed resolution calls for efforts to mitigate its “exposure and addiction" and to “educate individuals and families concerning its harms."

But senators are wrong to blame pornography for creating the so-called “sexually toxic environment." The abundance of porn isn't the culprit — poor sexual education coupled with easy access to porn is.

A great paradox of American society is our obsession with sex and reluctance to talk about it. Only 24 states require that public schools teach sex education, and in Tennessee, only counties with high teen pregnancy rates must teach abstinence-only programs. Currently, 38 percent of counties meet the quota.

The bible belt preaches that if we don't tell our kids how to have sex, they won't do it. Abstinence-only programs stress celibacy until marriage and usually exclude information about contraceptives, but this approach has been proven ineffective in lowering teen pregnancy rates. All it does is leave many teens unprepared to engage in safe sex and healthy relationships.

Prudish officials pushing abstinence only agendas argue that sex-ed should be taught at home. But only 30 percent of parents feel comfortable talking to their kids about sex, and more than 70 percent feel inadequately prepared to do so. As a last resort, teens as young as 12-years-old turn to porn to fill the gaps in their education.

In nine out of 10 mainstream porn videos, a woman is hit, beaten or yelled at and always responds pleasurably or neutrally, according to a study published in Violence Against Women. There's no counter message in the videos that says “no, this doesn't actually feel good," so when kids view porn for the first time without an inkling of what healthy sex looks like, there's no reason for them to think violent acts aren't pleasurable. A 2010 meta-analysis found an overall significant positive association between porn and attitudes supporting violence against women, suggesting the effects of adult content show up as rape, unrealistic sex expectations, and dating violence.

Money shot angles in porn distort the realities of messy, awkward, hilarious and consensual sex. But that's okay because porn is simply masturbation material. It can open doors to sexually curious individuals, but it can't teach naïve children how to use condoms, or that women don't actually like it when men come on their faces.

Much like abstinence-only-until-marriage programs, the war against porn has been futile. Adult content is so pervasive in society that it's impossible and unnecessary to eradicate. The Tennessee resolution calls for efforts to mitigate the harmful effects of porn, but eliminating it isn't the solution. The only way to counter the “sexually toxic environment" is to leave outdated, Victorian morals outside the classroom, and to open the dialogue of sex.

Cover Image Credit: NBCNews

Literally, so hot RN

Literally, so hot RN

How Much Do You REALLY Know About Contracting STDs? Take This Quiz To Test Yourself

Time to find out how much you really know.

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I don't care what anyone says, safe sex is better than unprotected sex. There are a ton of myths regarding sex, STDs, and germs. It's time to learn the facts. Be kind to your body and protect it. Be honest with yourself and a partner. Even if it's a one night stand, STDs should be on your mind–don't let it be a turnoff. STDs have been on the rise and "The United States continues to have the highest STD rates in the industrialized world." This is your wake-up call.





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My Parents Didn’t Tell Me To Stay Pure Until Marriage, I Made That Decision On My Own

So, please respect my decision.

tiannat
tiannat
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As we evolve into a more open and accepting world, the one thing that is getting less taboo is sex. It's not something that is talked about behind closed doors. It's something that is on the television screens and easily accessible on our phones. People talk about it and promote it like it's small talk. It's so hard to escape, especially as a young adult.

To say that I am staying pure until marriage is a very uncommon thing, at least in my opinion. Sure, I have friends who are in the same boat as I am. But, even at a Christian college, sex is everywhere and most people are partaking in it. However, I decided to not.

Growing up, my parents never told me to stay pure until marriage directly. I went to church and heard about it in sermons. I knew that by keeping myself pure until marriage, I would enjoy it more knowing that I waited for my future husband. I understand that some people may not agree with me on this topic, but here's why I am saving myself.

1. I want to know that the man loves me.

For me, I want to have sex with someone that I love. Now, you may defend this with the fact that your boyfriend loves you. That's great. But, dating isn't always a sure thing. Boys (and girls) can say that they love you, just to get in your pants. And, they will. It happens all the time. And, because you are blinded by love, you will end up giving in and doing it. But, see, I don't want to be blinded by love. I want to know that the person I am with, is with me forever. By making the biggest commitment aka marriage, that is a clear sign that they love me and want me forever. This is a good example of actions show more than words do. They can say they love me, but when they showcase that love, that's when I know it is real.

2. I want to give all of me to one person.

I heard this great example my senior year that discusses this exact thing. For someone like Hugh Hefner, who was with HUNDREDS of women, when he got older, he said he didn't feel anything anymore when it came to sex. He was numbed by the whole experience. It wasn't pleasurable or for love. By having sex with countless women, he had given a little part of himself to each of them, until he had nothing left. Therefore, by saving myself for one person, they would be getting all of me. As a whole. 100%. This is special because no one else has that except for my future husband.

3. The idea of getting pregnant scares me because of the lack of security.

For the past three generations in my family, they have all had children young. 15, to 17, to 20 years old. Blinded by love. Manipulated by their hormones. They had sex and got pregnant. To see not only 1 woman, but 3 women in my life go through that, I know how difficult it is. You're a kid yourself. Personally, I do want children. However, I have so many dreams and goals for myself. I want to graduate from college. Get a good career. Travel. Fall in love. A lot of that can be halted by a child. I don't know if I would get to achieve everything I want to, especially if I would have to raise the child alone (which usually happens). So, by waiting for marriage, I am using the biggest form of birth control.

4. There's no comparing, if you have only been with one person.

Now, this is different for every relationship. However, everyone feels insecure or uncomfortable when it comes to dating and relationships. Knowing that someone has had sex prior, you wonder if you are shaping up or doing better than the previous. By only having sex with one person, it relieves the stress of comparison.

5. It brings me closer to God.

One important lesson I have learned from friends, college, and personal experience, is that relationships (when it isn't built on God), you tend to stray away from Him. Therefore, by making my relationship with God stronger, I fall in love with Him first. Then, I am capable of loving a boy and committing to something like marriage and sex.

So, no, my parents never convinced me to stay pure until marriage. It was my own decision. I have reasoning for staying pure and it's my choice. So, please stop shaming virginity in the 21st century, because I'm not shaming you if you aren't one.

tiannat
tiannat

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