I have no problem with people who wish to remain virgins. Good on them. The issue here is whether it is entirely their choice. Do you think a 4 year old girl (as one example) understands what she is signing when she signs the pledge? What about a 10 year old? 13? 14? That is the problem. Remaining a virgin should be up to the individual and not up to her father or mother who has her take a pledge when she is too young to understand what she is pledging to and what she is promising. There is something seedy about signing away one's virginity to one's parent. I have two boys and there is no way in hell I would ever conceive of a day when I would expect them or ask them to pledge their virginity to me (their mother) or to their father. Their virginity is theirs and theirs alone. I would prefer they wait until they are older before they have sex.. much older.. when they are mature enough to understand what it entails, and the dangers that can be associated with sex.. But I could never make them promise to never ever have sex until they are married and then refuse to allow them to learn about safe sex, contraception and sex in general. It would be irresponsible of me to do so. Life expectancy is higher for one thing. Girls are supposed to now have a choice.. Some are going backwards though, as this thread shows quite clearly. Yes. Much better to keep kids completely ignorant of the facts of life and pray about it. Much better to never teach them about safe sex, about contraception, about sex and what constitutes sexual acts. Much better to have our kids sign virginity prayers, pray about it and then be shocked and horrified by the influence of the "pagan world" when your kids get STD's for having oral or anal sex.. because they don't know that oral and anal sex is sex and thus, should have used protection. So much better to keep them completely in the dark about what sex is. So much better than educating a child about sex and abstinence and bringing them up to know and be confident enough in and of themselves to make the right decision for themselves. Yes.. lets get our 4 year olds to sign virginity pledges and keep them completely in the dark. Lets do it your way. Oh wait.. that's right.. your way isn't working.. But hey.. we can pray about it, right? Sex education and safe sex education is "pushing promiscuous sex"? Condoms existed much longer than the pill existed. Even in the golden ages where kids married when they were kids so they didn't have sex outside of marriage and divorce was uncommon and a scandal. What does that tell you about the use of condoms and divorce rates during that time? Divorce rates are high because people, especially very young people, have an overly romantic view of marriage.. or more to the point, 'the wedding', without fully understanding what a marriage actually is. I have a cousin who married when she was 22. Her mother and father are like you.. marry young so that you don't have sex outside of marriage. She is filing for divorce less than 2 years later because her husband left her due to the simple fact that he was not ready to marry so young and so he left her.. That's because most people, unbeknown to you, use some form of birth control.. rhythm method is very popular for women who refuse to use artificial birth control methods because of their religious beliefs. Half the time, their husbands or partners don't even know. Do you know why? Because they don't want to spend the majority of their adult lives pregnant and popping out babies. But hey, lets all be like the Duggars and then relegate the upbringing of the middle and younger children to the older children while mummy and daddy bring yet another baby home to care for. That's responsible parenting. We'll just call it 'helping out'. The famine in Africa is caused not just by war, but by extensive drought periods where people were unable to grow any form of sustainable crops or maintain any cattle. I am not calling people who wish to remain virgins backwards or hillbillies. I am calling people who force their small children into signing pledges to remain virgins until marriage and have them go through a whole ceremony which is sexual in nature.. a ceremony that literally celebrates sex and sexuality.. to promise to remain virgins and put demands on children who are too young to understand what they are signing to and what they are promising.. children too young to even understand what sex is.. people who make their children do that.. yes.. they are backwards.. Virginity is something that is personal and it should be up to each individual to decide for themselves. No child should be forced or coerced into signing a contract or taking a pledge to remain a virgin or to hand her virginity over to her father until marriage. My very Catholic father would probably have a stroke if I had told him that he could have my virginity until I married. What you aren't seeming to understand is that studies have shown that girls and boys who take the pledge are more likely to have sex within a very short period of time of having taken it and they will lie or hide it from their parents. As a parent, I would prefer that my children don't have sex until they are older. But if they ever do decide to have sex earlier or even when they are older, we would prefer that they talk about it with us or another adult they trust so they can be advised of safe sex and also about sex itself and the responsibilities that should and could accompany it. To not explain anything to a child and then pray that they don't have sex is stupid, because they will have sex. I'd rather they know in advance the dangers involved and the responsibility involved so that they enter into the act fully aware and prepared than have no clue and put their own and the lives of others at risk. Responsible parenting involves preparing a child for the big world, as well as ensuring they are protected from the dangers that inhabit said world. You can't simply protect and not prepare them for anything at all. That to me is irresponsible. I could enjoy a life where I got to slay gnomes and night elves on a daily basis.Please Register or Log in to view the hidden image! Why not teach them both? Is it such a bad thing to ensure your daughter is aware of the dangers and risks and is prepared to deal with it if and when she chooses whatever it is she chooses to do? Yes. Lets advocate a keep them dumb and breeding ideology. I don't know about you, but when I did home economics, it was teaching about nutrition and cooking. We were also taught about safe sex, sex and abstinence being the best policy. You'd be surprised and afraid. Read some of the research out there who show that teenagers who are taught only abstinence and taught nothing at all about sex or safe sex don't even consider oral or anal sex to be sex. It really is quite frightening. Any parent would desire that their kids wait to have sex. But a responsible parent would want to make sure their kids were aware. Teenagers are still children.. mentally and emotionally. While some might be ready to be married and start having children, the greater majority are in no way near mature enough to even contemplate such a huge step and move in their lives. And while you can't seem to grasp that some 13 year old's are sexually active, the very simple fact of the matter is that some are and some fall pregnant. Irresponsible parenting, lack of education and stupidity on the parts of the parent and the child are to blame.. And you seem to forget that the world's resources can't extend to a massive population growth. What would you call 13 or 14 year old's having children when they themselves are still children? Do you honestly think a teenager is able to understand what it takes to make a marriage work? You think a 15 year old is able to understand that and make it work? As well as raising children, going to school, working to feed the family.. You think teenagers are able to take on that kind of responsibility... And if they fail? What then? What of the children of the marriage? Single parenthood for a teenager? Or simply find her another man to marry? Within reason. As a responsible parent, my job and role is to ensure my children are able to face the adult world and be able to cope with it.. responsibly.. People shouldn't marry until they are able to comprehend what a marriage actually is and if a parent allows or forces their children to marry to fulfill some archaic religious belief that sex outside of marriage is of the 'pagan world', then those parents are irresponsible individuals. I am guessing what I said was a bit beyond you. I wasn't talking about chaperon's. And that is, or was, you. Look around you. You have commented yourself that you couldn't believe all the people who acted irresponsibly when you were that age. You saw them for yourself. Now, how many other kids your age at that time did you meet or know who were exactly like you or responsible like yourself? Now count them and then look around you and see if the number of responsible and mature teenagers are equal to or more than the irresponsible one's you used to see everywhere when you were of the same age as them. That should give you a good indication of what it is I am trying to get across to you. Hah! Don't be naive. Even in your sarcasm, you are naive. Look at the mortality rates on the roads and I am positive you will find that the highest bracket includes the young people you are claiming are so mature. Yes, they have a license, but they also tend to survive or pay for their expenses via allowances or funds from their parents. How many work and actually pay for all of their expenses as well as go to school? And you wish to add the responsibility of caring for a spouse and children onto that? Heh! You have said so yourself that when you were younger and working delivering pizza, you couldn't believe how many people the same age as you were out drinking and driving. And now you're accusing me of underestimating them? Girls who give birth naturally or manage to do so without having to resort to a c-section or dying in child birth or losing the child or miscarrying often have to have corrective surgery because the baby can damage them so that they do leak urine constantly. It is very common in countries like Africa where young girls are raped and fall pregnant and then are rejected by their communities and unable to marry or have a future because they are literally leaking urine until they are able to have surgery to repair the damage of childbirth on her young body. Teenage pregnancies are dangerous, both for the mother and the baby. Teenage mothers are more likely to suffer from high blood pressure (which can in turn lead to pre-eclampsia.. a very dangerous condition during pregnancy which can result in the death of both the mother and child) during pregnancy, much more so than older women. They also tend to suffer more from anemia than older women during pregnancy. Not to mention the fact that as teenagers, their bodies are still growing and adapting to the hormonal changes they are naturally going through and pregnancy makes that worse, which can in turn lead to permanent damage later on. You mean it's wrong to tell teenagers and older women of the risk involved in pregnancy at their respective ages? 45 and want to have a child? Hey no problem at all.. nooo.. no danger at all.. we'll just keep the simple fact that they are more at risk of having a down syndrome child to ourselves.. The reason why doctors advise women of not having babies when too young or two old and not that close together, etc, is not because they don't want women to have children. They do it to ensure the safety and well being of the mother and the child. Maybe that is not important to you at all.. Maybe you do have the belief and attitude that a woman is only good for popping out the kids whenever she can and that's you. But some people do actually care for and wish for the physical and mental well being of the mother and the child. Strange, I know, but try and go with it. Hey, you can stick your bible wherever you so choose. What you choose to do with it is your own business. But yeah, lets go back to the good old days where the husband had to buy his wife with cattle and the father pays a dowry. Hell, lets go back to the days when women were property! Forget individuality and choice. Lets take away her choice! Sell her to the highest bidder of the guy with the most cows. I would suggest you visit some poverty stricken areas of the world and see starving children because their parents have too many mouths to feed. I've seen it with my own eyes. I'd suggest you speak to women in such countries who beg to have their tubes tied or to go on the pill or be given some form of contraception, only to have religious nut bags refuse them because of their beliefs in their God, who then have to sit there and watch their many children go hungry because they don't have the food or water to keep them alive. The irony of your whole argument against elitists while you are typing typing this on your computer, in the comfort of your own home where you are well fed, have access to the internet.. well.. I have a feeling that it has escaped you somewhat. I am well aware of the inherent horrors of the world and of the simple fact that food is a precious commodity for many. I am also well aware of the fact that having a lot of children when you are barely able to feed one is irresponsible and cruel to the children who will ultimately starve as a result. Sounds like the people people who voted for Bush and funnily enough, support exactly what you have been touting here in this thread.. abstinence only education, etc. Kind of amusing in a way. What exactly does that have to do with this topic? You can take your spiels about God and why God is needed to the religion forum. Yes. Of course! What were we thinking in trying to prevent the spread of STD's and unwanted pregnancies.. How utterly irresponsible of the world. Yes. Lets go back to sitting around a campfire and singing Kumbaya and ignoring the simple fact that the world is moving ahead of us and that planning children and being able to financially and emotionally care for children is vital for the future. Lets home school our children and teach them that evolution is a myth, but that God created the earth and man and woman and that we all stem from that relationship. Lets start selling our daughters to the highest bidders and make sure we keep the virginity contract in a safe place to make sure the husband to be is not receiving damaged goods.. And if all goes belly up and our numerous children start starving to death if the food supply dwindles or the fuel we use to power our homes, cars, etc, runs out.. we'll just sit back around that campfire and sing Kumbaya again and pray for the best. Forget about safe sex and STD's. *Puts fingers in ears*.. lalal lalalaaaa.. Yes, that sounds so much better.