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...]

Question: What Do Presents, Chocolate Bars, Roses, Chewing Gum, and Packing Tape Have in Common?

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Answer: Nobody wants them when they're used.Presents, chocolate bars, roses, chewing gum, and packing tape have all been used by abstinence educators and various Christian leaders and teachers to illustrate to young people how having sex before marriage will ruin them and leave them disgusting and unwanted. Those who grew up in the purity culture probably knew the answer to the question asked in the title before even opening this post.I was reminded of this when reader Laura left this … [Read more...]

The Three Weavers, Part III: The Fathers’ Advice

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So with her father's blessing light upon her, she rode away beside the prince; and ever after, all her life was crowned with happiness as it had been written for her in the stars. In part I of this series I gave some background to Annie Fellows Johnston's 1904 short story The Three Weavers. In part II, I posted the first part of the story, in which three weavers---Herthold, Hubert, and Hildgardmar---who live side-by-side and have similar fortunes, had three infant daughters---Hertha, Huberta, a … [Read more...]

What about Sex Ed for Younger Children?

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Yesterday I posted a roundup of advice on sex for teenagers, and ideas about how to help teenagers learn about and navigate their sexuality. But as a number of readers pointed out, sex education starts long before the teen years.One reader, AfricaTurtle, posted a comment: I posted a question elsewhere just this week concerning sexuality and younger children (my oldest is 7). Do you have any practical advice/links in this category? I feel really lost because we are always told that this is a … [Read more...]

Raised Quiverfull: Chryssie’s Story

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A post in the Raised Quiverfull series.Part 1: Introductory Questions Question 1: Please introduce yourself before we get started. Are you married or unmarried? Are you in school, holding down a job, or staying home? Do you have children? What religious beliefs or lack thereof do you ascribe to today? Provide whatever additional information you like.In an effort to be anonymous, I’ll go by Chryssie, and I am 21. I am the oldest of 9; 5 boys and 4 girls. I recently got married as of May, … [Read more...]

Raised Evangelical: Angie’s Story

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A post in the Raised Evangelical series.Section 1: Introductory Questions Question 1: Please introduce yourself before we get started, providing a brief snapshot of your background an overview of your beliefs today.I am Angie, a 24-year-old recent college graduate who is married. When I was around 5 years old my mom and dad became involved in the Church of God denomination; they became more and more involved as I grew up and my father served as youth pastor to our church during my teen y … [Read more...]

Raised Quiverfull: Kiery’s Story

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A post in the Raised Quiverfull series.Part 1: Introductory Questions Question 1: Please introduce yourself before we get started. Are you married or unmarried? Are you in school, holding down a job, or staying home? Do you have children? What religious beliefs or lack thereof do you ascribe to today? Provide whatever additional information you like.I’m 21, married and building my empire, which is a fancy way of saying I’m employing myself while not making very much money. I have a seaso … [Read more...]


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