One of Andrew Sullivan’s readers has an interesting and accurate seeming account of the effects of conservative American Christianity’s obsessive and draconian opposition to all premarital sex and its implications for contributing to the hysteria about children learning about same sex couples:
I teach at a large university in a conservative part of the country, and I think a large part of this fear of children learning that – gasp – people can be attracted to the same sex, has to do with the religious right’s emphasis on marriage as a primarily sexual institution. They would not agree with that, of course, but look at how they teach sexuality education to their children: “Abstinence til marriage. Nothing else need be said.” (Thus sending the message that sex and marriage are yoked at the hip.
The conservative youth group “Young Life” is very active where we live (high schools and college), and I cannot tell you how many young people (18-21) I know who have gotten married because they simply cannot hold out sexually any longer. They get married in order to have sex. They don’t get married because they love the person; they may be deeply in love, but that’s not why they’re getting married at that particular time — they’re getting married before they finish college, before they have decent-paying jobs, before they have health insurance, because they are afraid they won’t be able to control their sexual urges any longer.Sex is intrinsically linked to marriage. Sex=marriage=sex.
The full e-mail which further elaborates on his observations is here.