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Sometimes the abstinence-only movements seem to be more interested in condemning sex generally than in trying to prevent teenage pregnancies. This is not surprising because much of the support it has appears to come conservative evangelical groups that aren't exactly sex-friendly.
In the Herald Tribune, Tom Lyons wrote a couple of years ago about abstinence-only advocate Pam Stenzel, a woman who speaks at schools and has a video that is often used:
I kept getting this creepy feeling as I watched her smack it to those kids with such messages as putting a finger to her head like a gun, to say that any kind of non-marital sex was as deadly as handgun roulette. Stenzel does not know the meaning of soft sell. If someone like her ever tried to sell me a car, I'd start riding a bike to work.
What she does is relentlessly hammer home the message that the world is full of sexual diseases and that anyone who ever has sex -- except with a spouse who has never had sex with anyone else and never will -- can expect to end up with a terrible sexual disease that is either incurable or at least very nasty and destructive and gross and which will render the person sterile or otherwise undesirable for marriage and forever scarred. That, she claimed, includes having any sort of contact with genitals. When she says no sex, she means no touching below the waist.
Though she is supposed to care about teens, she frequently portrays their sometimes naive or dangerous thoughts in such a mocking and belittling tone that she seemed anything but caring. She told of a job she had where she sometimes told worried teenage girls that they were not pregnant after all. But she was at her mocking best when she told of their shocked reactions when she told them they still needed to be checked for a long list of diseases. It seemed to me she savored the enjoyment of telling those little hussies a thing or two. Fierce believer in moral consequences that she is, I wasn't entirely sure what results she was hoping for when the tests came back, either.
And though Stenzel would deny it, she also gave the impression that she really thinks sex is not just dangerous but evil. ... [S]he seemed to be so full of contempt for anyone who makes any other decision that I have to wonder if most teenagers already in a gray area wouldn't be turned off. ... She told of a mistake she made by taking her daughter to see the movie "Titanic." The love story included some passionate sex, you might recall. ... The guy you thought was a hero was really a skunk. "It was a good thing that boy dies," she said. ... She said that while there are decent guys out there, one who seeks or has sex before marriage is an untrustworthy creep and, I take it, deserves to die. And nothing as easy as choosing to freeze to death to save his lover's life is to be taken as evidence to the contrary.
Pam Stenzel sounds positively frightening. I wouldn't want anyone's children to be subjected to her diatribes. She comes off here sounding like someone's worst nightmare, not like someone trying to help young people.