Dear Sister: On Your Thirteenth Birthday

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I can't believe you are almost thirteen. I remember holding you in my arms when you were a baby. I remember rocking you, smiling at you, cooing to you. I remember your tiny fingers and your dark, soft hair. I remember dressing you, bathing you, cuddling you close. I was always the first to jump up and volunteer to get you up when that sweet plaintive wail came from your cradle.Thirteen. Wow. You've grown so big, so tall and clever. I know what thirteen means. Dad will take you out to dinner a … [Read more...]

“Displayed in a Partially Unwrapped Condition”

candy bar

I recently came upon this from an article by Michael Pearl from a few years back: Most “Christian” young people are “damaged goods.” Church youth groups are hotbeds of immorality. And I am not limiting my evaluation just to those that have copulated. Would you buy a candy bar that had not been eaten, but the wrapper had been partially removed? What if it had not been handled, just displayed in a partially unwrapped condition? Would you buy the candy bar if it had not been eaten, but just licked? … [Read more...]

The Lesson of the 2013 MTV VMAs: Being Sexual While Female Is Worse Than Being Rapey or Racist

Miley

So. Miley Cyrus. It seems she sang a song at the 2013 MTV VMAs.Mostly I've just been watching the multiple conversations going on about Miley's performance. But since the discussion hasn't shown any signs of letting up yet, I thought I'd dip my toe in. But since so much has been said already, I want to do so by highlighting some of the work of others, and also by opening the floor for commenters to post additional articles they thought were particularly thought-provoking---or particularly … [Read more...]

My Brothers Too: Purity Culture and Double Standards

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Every time purity culture issues come up---purity rings, purity balls, saving your first kiss for the wedding---someone inevitably makes an argument about double standards. Sometimes these commenters are absolutely right---modesty discussions almost without fail involve a double standard---but other times, well, it's not so simple.In the conservative evangelical homeschool circles I ran in as a teen and young adult, boys didn't get a pass on not having sex before marriage. Guys were expected … [Read more...]

Rachel Held Evans: Missing the Mark on Sexual Ethics

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Rachel Held Evans has been a big critic of what I call the "purity culture"---and I think that's great!---but today she's written a post on why people should still wait for marriage to have sex. The problem with the evangelical purity culture, as I see it, isn’t that it teaches saving sex for marriage, but that it equates virginity with sexual wholeness and therefore as something that can be lost or given or taken away in a single moment. Perhaps instead of virginity…or even purity (which ca … [Read more...]

Dear Little Girl: Jesus Doesn’t Want Your Sex Life

Virginity

This little girl is pledging her sex life to Jesus:The O2 Experience is an organization that goes around the country giving talks on "Life, Death, Sex, and Romance"---which of course is code for "how to avoid both hell and sex before marriage." On their webpage they describe their conferences as "an opportunity for young people to hear the life-changing message of the gospel and understand God's plan for their sex lives." From a reading of the group's webpage, it looks like you take sex and … [Read more...]

In Which Sally Grasps Contraception

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"Mommy, what's this?"In her hand Sally held a condom, still in its wrapper. Sean had cleaned out his desk earlier in the day, and it had somehow ended up on the floor, a leftover from last summer between when Bobby was born and when I had my IUD put in. I could have just brushed the question off with a non-answer---Sally's only in preschool, by the way---but I decided against that. Instead, I pulled out my copy of Our Bodies Ourselves and showed Sally diagrams of the female reproductive … [Read more...]


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