Calling All Virgins

I’ve been to meetings where speakers have gotten up praising God that their teenage daughters were still virgins. The only thing that kept me from going completely through the floor was the fact that the pronouncements were made at Christian women’s conferences where stuff like purity, chastity, godliness, self-discipline are highly touted. (Before you ask the question, the answer is no. Noone’s ever gotten up and boasted that their teenage son was still a virgin.) But still it’s unsettling to me to hear someone boast about a daughter’s virginity in a public meeting. For one, modesty is as much a virtue as virginity. Two, some things are private and the intactness (or not) of a daughter’s private parts is one of them. And three, well, gulp, what teenage girl tells her mother the whole truth? I didn’t.

 Glamour magazine reported last year about the growing popularity among some evangelical   Christians of “purity balls.” “Also known as “Abstinence Balls” and “Viriginity Balls,” these elaborate parties that young women and girls attend, gowns and all, with their fathers are evolving into the cutting edge of the teen abstinence movement. The theme is the girls’ sexual purity. The girls pledge to stay “pure” until marriage. The idea of confining sex to marriage is hardly new, of course. But at some of these balls a father presents his adolescent daughter with a tiny lock. The key will be given by the father to her husband on her wedding day. Creepy right?

I expect many of my readers to take issue, like I do, with the notion of male patriarchal control over a girl’s sexuality. Except that I have a daughter and have looked into the eyes of her beau when he’s come over to visit and seen that while I strike respect in the young boy, her father strikes fear and dread.

Five years ago, in a little-known provision of the Welfare Reform Bill, conservatives in Congress set aside almost half a billion dollars in state and federal funding for programs that attempt to steer young people away from sex—and away from any positive mention of birth control for that matter. With one year left for Bush’s pro-abstinence administration there’s a rush to safeguard the loins of America youth. I share the disdain of many toward Conservatives and their campaign to control female sexuality. But what if it’s true that the average young person has had dozens of sexual partners by the time they reach adulthood? Is anyone else frightened by the HIV/AIDS epidemic afflicting our African American youth? What does reproductive rights mean when we’re talking about a sexually promisicuous fifteen year old who doesn’t know crap from crapola (another one of my Aunt Dora’s expressions)?

You and I both know that “just say no” never worked. It didn’t work in biblical days. It didn’t work in my parent’s day and neither in mine. It doesn’t work now.

I’m a big fan of youth Rites-of-Passage ceremonies, but the notion of purity and abstinence balls strikes me as laughable. Especially since there isn’t any parallel ceremony where sons pledge their virginity to their mothers and mothers hand vials of saltpeter to their sons to help them keep their vows. Perhaps I shouldn’t be such a cynic. After all, I am a minister. Hey, I’m a minister who’s actually involved in the day to day life of a local church. I’ve had the privilege (and also the heartbreak) of watching a whole group of girls in my church grow up before my eyes. I’ve watched them grow from the eager face, ashy leg, snag-tooth six year olds they once were with cornrows in their hair and multi-color bubbles at the end of their nappy braids who brought their report cards for me, the pastor’s wife, to make a big deal over to now young, giggly, leggy, weave-down-to-their-backs, nubile, adolescent girls wearing skin tight jeans with thongs that peep up over their low riders.

If I had my way I’d round up all the teenage girls in my church, my daughter included, drive them out to a remote place on the outskirts of the city and stick them in a Red Tent, safe from the predatory stares and clutches of boys and men, safe from the predatory impulses of their own budding bodies. I’d keep them under guard there until, until, until… I don’t know how long. That’s the problem. (Girls were married off by the time they were twelve in biblical days. It’s possible today to reach your late 30s and have never married.)  How long would I hold the teenage girls from my church in my imaginary Red Tent? Until husbands could be found for them? I know better. Until they learn how to use a condom or birth control pills? That’s only part of the problem. Until they know the difference between crap and crapola? Now there’s a thought.

31 Responses to “Calling All Virgins”

  1. Tamecia Says:

    Having watching the obsession with sex of 7th and 8th grade students on a daily basis, I’d say go ahead and build the tent, but you’d have to take music, internet, and tv away from them also. Then make them pass tests to distinguish the difference between crap and crapola…preferably with a series of smooth-talking, attractive, nicely dressed males and the throw a few saved and sincere ones in there. Add a virgin male and watch this all play out. You might soon be in support of arranged marriages.

    The downfall to your tent, Rev, is that the definition for virginity has changed. You can be types of virgins now. Think of the options and stratifications and those are virgins that you can be. The other downfall is that unless you can put together a team of screeners, the interaction with the opposite sex is one way that most of us learn to tell the difference between crap and crapola. They don’t always listen to each other or our mothers (or fathers, for that matter). But they might listen to those who were willing to be more honest and transparent than just “Don’t do it.” Virginity Balls might not even get support from all parents, and Chastity Rings have been placed on nightstands to be remembered the next day. Girls play roles for their parents and churches all the time, and they still might not understand the “Big Deal.” There are things that Rites of Passage ministries sometimes leave out for the sake of being scriptural or not being too risque.

    I don’t appreciate the double standard, but I don’t fail to recognize that ‘the marrying kind’ of girl has fewer dates even into teens, 20s, 30s, and 40s. In high school and college, I always wondered how I was going to get married if I never went on dates. That is a hard pill to swallow. Most loss of virginity comes as a result of answering questions. What if…? How…? Why does my body…? We have not sufficiently and honestly answered questions for young girls. Young boys and men give answers, whether they are accurate or sincere. I don’t believe we are giving them answers to their questions. Bring in some men they don’t know, and let them talk to the girls in the tent. Bring in the teenage moms, the HIV/AIDS victims, and the very young grandmothers. Then talk about labor, babies, money, STDs. Tell the embarrassing stories. Admit the mistakes. Women can be private and still personal, but if you already got them in a tent, sacredness and priority have been established. This could too progressive coming from somebody who has no daughter, but I have seen the boy with the weakest game, most disrespectful attitude, worst hygiene, and lack of ambition get plenty from girls who otherwise make sound decisions. Clearly they did not have conversations. Semantics is killing us. Can we just teach them how to make decisions? The Bible has always left out things about women. We don’t have to.

  2. wisdomteachesme Says:

    rev. weems, that is too funny to me! hahaha
    and i have a quick question, can i bring our 2 girls to that tent? lolo
    they are budding and asking questions–it’s like OVERNIGHT!!
    ok, i am serious-haha- wheew, i mean, you are saying, they have this ‘Big-Time Ball’ and do
    all this show for what again?
    i had not heard of ths–it sounds country! and before anyone says anything–i live-was born and raised here-i can call it country-lol]

    you make some very good points, and so do you tamecia. especially from the ‘weakest game boy’-sent me rolling again–LOL..
    there are very good points in your comment.

    please know that i do take this issue very seriously, i really thought living here, in partial bible belt country. that i had heard a whole lot–but not this…
    yeah, that bush thing,, didn’t work–we hated it–you are sitting there trying to teach all around the issue-because you can’t say certian things and when you do say them it sounds just plain stupid. talking this government sex speech to a class of 30-35 5 of the girls are pregnant, and 7 or 8 of the guys have at least one child & more than not-they have at least 2 by the time they graduate or drop out.

    then you have the 14 yr. who is preg. for the second time by a 20 yr. old who, by the way lives in the home with the girl and her family…

    it is so much that we have to face because they have to face it daily in these schools and their homes–as GA said in the last post you did sister weems,

    “the bigger problem is that we live in a society where sex is marketed like ice cream.”

    and as tomecia said she sees this daily where she works, i have seen it in high school, 9th-12th graders. it just gets worse by then. you see it in the church. as i’m sure others here see a fair share of in their days.

    good post rev. weems
    Honey and Oil from The Rock

  3. Renita Says:

    It’s a testament to how smart my readers are and how deeply everyone feels about the topics discussed on this blog that your comments sometimes rival my own in terms of lengths.

    But hey you guys, we’re gonna gobble up all my allotted space on my server if you keep it up.

    By all means, keep commenting. I learn a lot from you. But let’s tighten things up and confine yourself to a paragraph or two. I’m gonna have to start editing your comments for the sake of length.

  4. Angela Says:

    Interesting that this is your topic today. I just had a conversation about the lack of information that comes with many abstinence programs. As Tamecia stated, we can’t be selective in what we teach. To borrow the title of the Black Church Initiative’s program, we have to “Keep It Real” with our youth when it comes to sex. No sugar coating it. This should include the financial and legal ramifications for pregnancy, AIDS/HIV, etc. The one thing that must begin to happen is dialogue. If it they are not getting it at home, then they need to get it from the next person in this “village.” As much as we harp on not addressing a male’s responsibility, there are a lot of young women nowadays who also fail to be responsible and in a sad attempt to be “equal” have become very aggressive. I agree with you Dr. Weems Purity/abstinence balls are laughable–it doesn’t mean a thing if there isn’t more being taught before and after that dance.

  5. TammiD Says:

    To the comment (Bring in the teenage moms, the HIV/AIDS victims, and the very young grandmothers. Then talk about labor, babies, money, STDs. Tell the embarrassing stories). Bah hum bug! A tent come on that is not even a real answer needless to say with technology and text messages the boys that you all are keeping them from will get the message to come and rescue them. Secondly, for that matter many of us were told the same stories didn’t stop us from wanting to know what the hype (sex that is) was all about. The reality is sex has not only always been a issue in the church but the real issue is what the heck is a teenage girl supposed to do when she comes into the enlightenment of her hormones and that the boys she once thought were gross look really good now. Then bringing in someone who in most cases is a stranger to them to talk about the consequences of sex well then that’s like showing a health video in school. I see it but doesn’t relate. How about the real women in their lives who they trust and believe get real with them. Get transparent and tell them about their own personal experiences. The real issue is transparency. Who’s really ready to tell the teenage girl in their life what pitfalls sex took them thru?
    Okay final point and then I am done. Bring in some men they don’t know, and let them talk to the girls in the tent. Another bah hum bug! Many of these same men are giving their sons the go ahead of I know your going to have sex so here is a condom. Come on! Men don’t worry about their sons heterosexual virginity status (homosexuality yes) but for real!-their fathers teach them safe sex practices if they are around! Let’s first get transparent for those of us who have teenagers around us. Then we need to not let up on them. The biggest issue is we don’t develop a bond where if they were considering sex they would come to us as trusted adult (most likely not their parent) to talk to them.
    And anyway is anybody providing any alternative solution for them to deal with the real issue (hormones that don’t go away). Smile from someone who use to be a teenager in the 90’s.

  6. Tonya Says:

    My father’s wife actually did that to me when I went to visit them after my freshman year inb college. They were both ministers in a church in Ohio. I was never so embarrassed in my life and I rushed out to have sex that next semester.

    Not out of love–just tired of holding onto it like it was going to make me privy to some special knowlegde, when to the best that I could tell, all thoughout history and fiction, virgins were going to be the first one’s to be sacrificed if anything went down.

  7. jbd Says:

    I agree, Tammi D, transparency is key when talking with young folk about sex. The young women at my church not only want transparency from the adults working with them, they have tendacy to DEMAND it.

    But though I can say that my own sexual experiences as a teenager aren’t too different from the ones my young women are facing (I too was a teenager in the 90s), the fact is: in many ways, they were a lot different. As someone noted above, the conversation about virginity (and sex, I might add), has changed. These young women are schoolin’ me on sexual experiences (and positions) that I’ve never heard of, much less dreamed of. Not only that, but their conversation about sex is also reaching beyond the bounds of heteronormativity. Many of my young women are having more sexual experiences with other young women than young men (did I mention they are members of my church??). Now, what does this mean for our conversation about exactly whose hormones to protect our young girls from?

    My point is that while transperancy is needed, we also need to work on non-judgmental listening. Young women aren’t expecting us to have all the answers. They already know we don’t. What they need is someone willing to listen and to give them the wisdom and the agency to make the right decisions.

  8. Fal Says:

    The Red Tent is one of my favorite books. It was a wise Ole Silver Nappy who recommended I read it.

    I think its great how so many people on the blog agree that we should talk openly and honestly about sex education with youth.

    However, what I find interesting is that heterosexuality seems to be the focal point for discussion which leaves two groups of young black women out of the conversation, young black lesbian women and young bi-sexual black women. (Of course, some of you will say, “Fal we’re talking about virginity therefore heterosexuality.” Well, my answer is simply, lesbians can also be virgins and practice celibacy too.)

    At this very moment, many of you are asking with anticipation, Fal, why is this important?

    Well, I’m glad you asked.

    If we’re going to engage in conversations about sex education and virginity we should also discuss safe sex for all our children irrespective of sexuality because some of the young women in the Red Tent are lesbian/bi too. And aren’t their health important too?

    (The transference of HIV does not only occur with semen and breast milk, but also through vaginal intercourse and oral sex.)

    Furthermore, we need to tell young lesbians that the same crap and crapola heterosexual women deal with from men can also come from women too. And that crap and crapola should not make you want to have intercourse if you do not want to and if you are not prepared to protect your body.

    Yes, female “crap and crapola!”

  9. Georgia's Angels Says:

    Dr. Weems;

    Let it never be said that you are not on point when it comes to our issues. I started an abstinence program at my church (Queen Vasthi Court), got the idea after I read Just A Sister Away for the fifteenth time. Not talking as much about sex as the importance of having self ownership. I try to use the queens view of herself rather than what the king wanted, to get our young women to see that just because he ask for it you don’t have to say yes. These are all young women that are members of various church’s in the community. Last week I had a question and answer seeeion after our meeting, trying to find out if anything that was said would encourage them not to have sex, they said no. I asked what can I say that would make a difference, one young lady said maybe I should get some nice church girls. I said I thought you all were nice church girls they all laughed. My grand daughter said grandma nobody is listening to old ladies talking about sex. She informed me that the nuns in her school have a abstinence program they don’t pay attention to them either. Five seconds after that statement her friend picked up her cell phone, she had a fit don’t touch my phone, I said to her if you think as much of your body and the rest of your life as you do that phone you’ll live a long and happy life. Despite their smart remarks they show up every Tuesday and discuss the topic of the evening.
    I guess this generation is more open with their thoughts. I just pray that they take some thngs to heart. In my day I might have thought it, but I sure would not have said it. I know this had I said it in a church meeting they probably would have tied me to the alter, slapped me with holy oil and rebuked demoms until i got married LOL.

  10. Renita Says:


    With all due respect to my beloved lesbian readers, one of these days real soon I’m going to blog about identity politics and how difficult it has become to engage in public conversation without offending someone, without someone feeling their issues have not been properly represented.

  11. NDK Says:

    I must confess…I work with a group of teen girls and had actually considered a purity ceremony until we attended the graduation of an abstinence program at another church. It was so portentous and phony! My girls thought it was so funny, and so did I. I’ve opted instead for honest, constant, open dialogue. A steady drip always erodes. We’ve talked about everything from self-respect in relationships (what time they allow their phones to ring, nicknames they answer to, choices they allow to be imposed on them, etc.) to reproductive health (normal discharge, where to get paps/birth control as teenagers without parental consent). I figure…I may not be able to stop them, but I can equip them.

  12. Amanda Says:

    This is just another stunning example of how society still leans (or walks or jogs or straight up sprints) towards the idea that a woman’s value can be measured by the sum of her (intact) parts. Why is a virginal woman more valuable than one who has experienced intercourse and why are we reinforcing the idea to young women that their (supposed) most valuable asset - their virginity - is something which doesn’t belong to them in the first place (it apparently belongs to their fathers) and whose purpose is at best a dowry for their future husbands (still not theirs to claim even when they are married).

    I agree with everyone that the consequences of sexual contact have to be candidly discussed in a safe environment, however, I also believe that the social and emotional constructs of and surrounding virginity need to be further explored and possibly demystified in order for young women to be able to better recognize that their worth is comprised of so many more important factors than an intact hymen.

  13. Woman in Transition Says:

    “…and mothers hand vials of saltpeter to their sons to help them keep their vows.” LMAO!!!

    I have a son and there are moments where I drift off into a fantasy about what kind of person I think (hope!) he’s going to be (old fashioned handsome, respectful, smart, God-fearing, great job, etc., you know, A REAL CATCH) and then I think about what kind of young women he will date and I shudder at the thought of MY son having sex! How I’d love to be able to scare him into abstaining with discussions about STDs, just like my mom tried to do with me (emphasis on tried). I love the spiritual idea behind chastity ceremonies (that’s how I refer to them) but those ceremonies have to go hand in hand with what’s going on in the real world, via BET, MTV, I Love New York (*yuck*) and whatever else young folk indulge in. A ceremony filled with scripture and sermon is useless without real conversation on the subject matter.

  14. wisdomteachesme Says:

    thank you rev. weems for your comment about writing and posting a message that highlights lesbians and their struggles in this soceity.
    yes, as fal stated, there are many young ladies that are confused, frightened, feel rejected because of ignorance, gossip and hate, and some
    are ‘hot pants’. and We are all around! and they need encouragment and guidance so that they are not laying out for just anyone that says, i like you or i love you-gimmesome!

    They need to know that God loves them as He created us ALL.

    they are at risk just as the ’straight’ girls and guys..
    thank you, and i look forward to reading that message when you write it.

  15. RevMamaAfrika Says:

    Whew! Sis. Rev. Weems,

    Why did you have to go there? :)

    First, for all the Bible scholars, can someone please tell me where in the Bible, in the New Testament, where did Jesus or anyone, say that a man and woman must be virgins, wait until after marriage to have sex? No one has been able to tell me this yet!

    A few years ago I attended a church conference and they had a workshop for girls only, something about “saving it.” I was greatly annoyed by this, thinking that they have no idea how such insistence, pressure on girls to “save it”, “be pure”, etc., before marriage, actually contributes to rape culture, i.e., “good girls” vs “bad girls”, etc. I wrote them a letter, respectfully stating my concerns; why didn’t they have such a workshop for the boys, seperately and at the same time? They never wrote me back and they never had such a workshop again either. I can’t help but notice that such folks who stress “saving it” and purity for girls are also the most sex-negative, dishonest and homophobic. Now, suppose you never get married? Suppose you don’t want to ever get married? I’m now 50 years old, no children, never been married (but I’ve been divorced) :) and no prospects in sight. Where does that leave a sister like me? :) :)

    All of us, our young people especially, need comprehensive, science-based human sexuality education to be properly informed and educated; this will go along way in preventing the spread of STDs/HIV/AIDS, unwanted/unplanned pregnancy, ignorant, arrogant homophobia, the sometimes emotional trauma of sex too soon, “what is rape?”, etc., for our daughters AND our sons. We have so much information today, but when some try to share such information in our public schools, it’s the church folks who scream and holler against it, then their son or daughter becomes a teen parent. Respectfully, and with all the information that has been out here for the past 45 years of the “sexual revolution”, human sexuality education, etc., I really wish our sister Banita Jacks had access to such information when she was 16 years.

  16. Neysa Says:

    I took a 2 year hiatus from my job to work w/Black teens (both girls and boys). In that time I had an enlightening discussion with a Black male who was over a different male program. In that discussion, I stated that “it is crazy for us to teach our girls to say no, and our boys to wear a condom. Where was the consistency of the message?” The male director replied, “You just don’t understand how strong the urgings are of men. We can’t tell our boys to say no. It’s impossible.” (And he really believed that statement.) I was speechless. Does he not realize that millions of magazines are sold on teh concept of having a better orgasm? That erotica Noir is selling better than ever? That sexual enhancement products are sold next to the tampons now? That we are tired of acting like we are not sexual beings and therefore undeserving of good sex? That type of male stupidity is what drives the disparity of sex ed/abstinence training. We should teach all of our kids to wait, but if they choose to partake in sex to be safe.

  17. Sis. K Says:

    I think purity balls and overt expressions of virginity and abstinence actually puts girls and young women at risk. If we put girls and young women in the “Red Tent” then I hope that we will have enough time to stop by and tell them our first-person stories about intimacy and sex.

    It is estimated that parents will have had more than 350 conversations with their children about the importance of a college education before the child becomes a college freshman. How many conversations do you think you can have with you child before their first sexual encounter? Let’s keep talking.

  18. birdy Says:

    Oh, Rev. Weems, PLEASE build the red tent!!!! (Smile).

    I share your feelings about parents publicly touting their daughters’ virginity. I was listening to a national radio morning show the other week and a male pastor was on the air discussing another issue, but in the midst of it, he mentioned that he was proud of his teenage daughter, who happened to be a virgin. I wanted to go through the floor!!! I felt horrible. All I could think about was his poor daughter, through no choice of her own, having her very private business broadcast across the United States during morning drive time. I just wanted to reach through the radio and choke the pastor. It didn’t matter to me that he was proud of his daughter’s virginity or even that she may have been proud of it. To me, the fact remained that something very personal to most young folks was displayed for all to hear and I think that’s a violation of trust.

    I feel so much for our young girls and boys these days. They have a hard way to go. I have a godsister who is a senior in high school and believe me when I say we have prayed her all the way through it. The pressure is incredible - from their peers to the media.

    While I prefer abstinence, I am faced with the reality of the situation. I think we owe it to our girls AND our boys to give them the facts about all of their “options”. I think those who are determined to engage in sexual intercourse need to be informed about teen pregnancy, teen parenthood, HIV/AIDS, etc. I think we have to arm them with information and then pray that they make the best decision.

    God bless those of you who are raising teens or who have teens in your lives that are special to you!!!

  19. Anonymous Says:

    I’m not a teenager but I am still a virgin. I’m sure these teenagers being told to abstain have or will have some of the same concerns and questions I’m still struggling with, like what to do with the frustrated desires, curiosity, yearning for intimate physical contact, etc. How to stay pure in mind? What are some healthy substitutes for sex? What are some unhealthy ones I should be on the lookout for? How do I know if I’m wanting to have sex as a substitute for some other need? When I was a teenager no one told me how to be a sane, well-adjusted happy virgin. (Except “Pray about it and read the Bible.”)

  20. Di Says:

    Rev. Weems, I enjoying reading all of your blogs, but feel that this blog speaks to me personally. I am 3 weeks away from being 27 years old, and to the shock of most of my friends am still a Virgin. Now some probably would think that I would take issue with your blog, but I cannot because I agree that these ceremonies are ridiculous. I have made the pesonal choice to not have sex until I am married because of my own personal reasons, but I do not hold my standards to anyone else as a measuring stick. As a seminary student I have discovered that our understanding of sexuality and the Bible may not be God’s concept of sexuality. I believe the Church would be better served to educate our youth on the benefits of a committed sexual relationship, and to also teach them how to be responsible when they choose to have sex. I think if the church is able to maintain an open line of communication with its people, we would hopefully see more people becoming responsible and intelligent in their sexual relationships.

  21. Lois Espinosa Says:

    Wow. i did not know that you were this influential! I swear you and my uncle are way too modest. Keep doing what you do as I can see your writing is having a positive impact on young black girls/ women. I don’t know if building a Red Tent will work cos some girls will cut a hole right through that canvas and sneak out. The key is to educate them, let them listen to teenage mothers and young grandmothers talk about money, babies and the men who deserted them and then they’ll stay home with their legs crossed until the right man comes along.

  22. Renita Says:

    Welcome, niece. Thanks for your insights. It’s good to have the voice of a young, mature teen like yourself weighing in on the blog.

  23. lj Says:

    @ dr. weems, “I’ve watched them grow from the . . . six year olds they once were . . . who brought their report cards for me, the pastor’s wife, to make a big deal over . . .”

    wow! i would have never pegged you for a pastor’s wife. i’ve been in church forever (really. like me, my mother, grandmother and great grandmother - that constitutes forever right?) and i declare that pastors’ wives are the vanguard of keeping women in their places. while they may befriend (and that’s questionable) them, men don’t generally “choose” thinking women. men of faith even less so; and male faith leaders pretty much never. said all of that to say that i am even more impressed with your husband than i am with you: a man of faith w/a thinking woman of faith - now that’s good news!

  24. Al Paris Says:

    There are good reasons for all to be celibate if not married; some of which are: Health, Practical, Religious, Future Relationships, etc.
    St. Paul teaches that we leave apart of ourselves with eveery intimate relationship. And likewise we retain some of the other person with us. The more intimate relationship we engage in–the more “baggage” we will bring into the next relationship. This baggage can e good or bad. Sexual relationships are the most intimate. therefore one should refrain from sex outside marriage to insure that the marriage has the best chance to suceed. This is true for both male and female.
    It is tronic many males do their best to reduce the population of virgins and when he is too od or too slow he start to look for a virgin! Or at least a “good” woman
    Be blessed

  25. lakita garth-wright Says:

    found your article interesting, and yet disturbing. I am currently the Chairman of the largest abstinence education organization in existence (and yes I waited until I was married . . . at 36). No one in this country talks to more young people about this topic than I do. I’m very interested in hearing more of your thoughts as a minister, so if you find time in your busy sched, please send me an e-mail, thanks

  26. Kat Says:

    I love it. Absolutely love it! It is good to see that someone is addressing this notion of sexual purity gone wrong.
    Keep writing Rev. Mother..keep writing.

  27. LaLa Says:

    Well, Im 17 and i feel like this. There is nothing wrong with promoting abstinence, because as we see today, when people loose their respect for sex as being saved for marriege divorce rates go up, disease..etc. Saving sex for marriage, reguardless of what many think, really was working better for our moral state in this damn country than promoting birth control. While you musnt ignore birth control, it really isnt fair that people, especially those in power look towards being conservative as being old fashioned and snooty. Look here, i am 17 and have enough sense to realize this, if you call yourself a Christian, then aren’t you automatically a member of the Conservative group? Was it not God, who put such great emphasis on marriage and sex going hand in hand? If you call yourself a Christian then whats all the debate about Abstinence and bla bla? There are no if’s, and’s or but’s about it. And you also cant always look at tgings from a feminist point of view. EVERYTHING ISNT ABOUT US! Abstinence is for males too. But see thats the problem women. Our mental state. We vistimize oursleves more when we focus on how we have been treated, and when we have sons, we focus on the girls sexuality more because we feel we can relate. STOP IGNORING OUR SONS! ITS A CYCLE PEOPLE. We were victims, and now we just allow that to make us victimize ourselves. We can only move on if we GET OVER THE PAST, AND STOP TRYING TO BE BIG, BAD, AND ALL MIGHTY!. Save that description for God, and preach the Bible to your children as is, no self interpretations. Sex IS for marriage, and that’s that. You do it before, that’s between you and God, then get over it, screw what everyone thinks, get right with God and then move on and try not to do it again..SHEESH! GET RIGHT WOMEN! CHANGE IN THIS WORLD STARTS WITH THE SELF! VICTIMS DONT MAKE CHANGES.

  28. mia's-journey Says:

    So I can already see that I’m late getting to this blog. But it definetly caught my eye. I’m 21 and I was one of the teenagers with multiple partners before adulthood… I was in the church too…a devoted choir member. Momma only told me not to make the same mistakes she did…she was a 15 year old mother. I tried my best not to…and I didn’t. I began going to church on my own…and while I found a woman to confide it about sex…the response as someone said earlier was pray. That’s ideal. But God wasn’t saying much…I couldn’t hear it at least.
    @Lala…keep living baby. Just keep living. These wise women have a lot to offer and while it is important to be conscious of God’s word…we have to be careful that we don’t let it jail us in a way that we discard other critically conscious Christians who also read and have grown up in the Word.

  29. DaTruthRuth Says:

    Hi Dr. Weems,

    I was doing some statistical research for my upcoming book on virginity that is geared toward boys and girls when I came across this blog. Very enlightening feedback so far from everyone, so i’ll add my 2 cents.

    I don’t think women/men who are virgins have greater value than those who are not in God’s eyes. I also believe there is plenty of scriptural reference that speaks toward the benefits of abstaining from sex before marriage.

    My reason for remaining a virgin was and still is my way of honoring God. There are many ways shown in scripture that we can honor God and this just happens to be one of the ways I choose to do so. God has not guaranteed me an easier life, better mate or more blessings as a result of this decision. It’s the least I can do(my “reasonable service and spiritual act of worship”) for all He’s done for me.

  30. Belle Says:

    I was so glad and refreshed to read this post.

    I am appalled at the way some churches handle the issue of abstinence. They draw this enormous distinction between the ‘pure’ and the ‘impure’ - especially for women! Can you imagine a woman regarding a male non-virgin as ‘damaged goods’? It’s so deeply sexist.

    At my last church, when I started dating someone, it became an issue that I had had sex once as a (drunk, rebellious) teenager (I’m in my late twenties now), because I was dating a virgin and he was understandably distraught to find out that I hadn’t waited for him as he’d been waiting for his wife. I just felt so terrible about how much I’d hurt him by an action deep in my past that I couldn’t change and deeply regretted, yet ultimately we broke up because I couldn’t get past the fact that he’d told me I had ‘less value as a wife’ because of what I’d done; and the way that the pastors we spoke to seemed to echo his sentiment. I don’t believe I have any less value now in any way than I did before I had sex. I can’t believe in a God who values me according to my virginity or lack of it - that’s for a backwards, patriarchal society to do, not my Creator. To get anywhere in our sex-obsessed society we need to stop drawing this essentially imaginary distinction between the pure and the impure.

    Also, things like ‘purity balls’ and ‘chastity pladges’, perverely, actually put a huge emphasis on sex. It’s weird.

  31. mitzi smith Says:

    Rev Dr. Renita, I agree with you and your readers. A woman’s sexual organs should not be the determining factor of her value nor should it be the measure of one’s morality (that is whether or not she has had sex before marriage). It’s like putting a bull’s eye on a woman’s vagina. And many men count it a challenge to take it and then leave it. Women must value each other based on their humanness–their intellect, compassion, etc. I think our churches in generally do more harm. I bought into the notion of abstinence regardless and without proper sexual education until marriage. I married at almost 45 yrs, and it was not a pretty sight, lol. I bought into the notion that if you wait everything else will take care of itself or God will take care of everything else. Young women need to be educated and not silenced and told their “virginity” is everything.

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