The other morning on the radio I heard a abstinence based message to tell kids to wait to have sex. It had a few girls talking, and the advice was given to the one girl that felt that she might be pressured by her boyfriend to have sex. The positive message was that if the boyfriend did not respect her, she shouldn’t be with him in the first place.
So, what’s my problem? I mean, it tells them to wait. It tells them that a boy’s not worth it if he doesn’t love her enough to respect her.
My problem is that this commercial, along with much of the other abstinence based messages, do not go far enough. Let’s examine this commercial, and see what I mean.
The slogan “not me, not now” begs the question– then who and when? It implies that she can tell that boyfriend that right now, when she feels a little hint that he’s asking for it, “not now” is a good answer. It lacks the follow up, though. When? When he puts more pressure on? When they’re in a committed relationship (ie. going steady)? When they’re
engaged? When they’re married?
Granted, telling this kind of pressuring boyfriend “not me” might be enough for him to look elsewhere. It may also have him turn up the pressure and get her to cave.
What about helping this girl avoid boys that will pressure her into sex? They attempt to get into this by saying that the boy is not worth it if he’s not going to respect her, but how about the fact that she feels that he might be wanting it? The danger signs are already present. And usually it’s a gradual build up, not a immediate thing. More on that in a moment.
How about the ad in the mall I saw the other day with this same campaign?
We have a picture of a young girl with short shorts on with a flirtacious smile over looking at your saying “not me, not now.” This is clearly a conflicted poster. It’s tryiing to show a sexually attractive girl saying no to sex.
Herein lies the second problem. This campaign ignores the fact that rarely is it just sex that’s ask for– there’s usually a build up. Teens hold hands, they kiss, they hug, they make other contact and then feel like they’re morally ok because they did not have intercourse.
If these campaigns wanted to really put a dent in teen pregnancy, teen sex, etc. they would do well to encourage responsible relationships that aren’t based on physical contact. They would encourage parental involvement, chaperones, and when one person in the relationship even hints at pressure for sex (boy or girl), that should end the relationship.
Of course, the greatest problem here is the lack of a moral directive. The Creator of this Universe said that we are to only have sex in marriage. There are many lesser reasons why not to do it, but this is the greatest– that is sin to do otherwise.