$10,000 Premarital Abstinence Prize Going Unclaimed

The Radical Religious Right sponsors these abstinence programs, and they’ve been funded by the Bush Administration. You can expect failure with that background. There’s enough stupidity to go around here, including the notion that the abstinence advocates ignore the facts about American sexual behavior.

Commentary By: Steven Reynolds

This is big example of the failure of the abstinence only sex education movement. There are no takers. It’s failing, and that’s no surprise, because it is supported by Bush Administration money. Feministing has some good comments on this story, but I’ll take my quotes from the Atlanta Journal Constitution:

There seems to be one small problem with a contest that would pay $10,000 to an engaged couple –- they can’t be engaged in premarital sex.

How else to explain that in this sinking economy, no one has stepped forward to enter the Marriage for a Lifetime contest?

Did we mention the cash prize? Or the free flowers, the invitations and other bridal goodies?

The Oct. 31 deadline is fast approaching –- but so far, no entries.

“Someone asked me, –Is anyone going to respond?’ ” said contest organizer Phillippia Faust, director of an abstinence education program for Rockdale, DeKalb and Newton counties. “In our society, it is going to be hard to find [a couple who has not had premarital sex]. … But the standard is the standard.”

There’s lots of people who could have predicted this result. Heck, the statistics about premarital sexuality in this country are what they are. Used to be that marriage was actually a license to engage in sex. Now there is no such license, but among those who used to feel marriage was a prerequisite, I’d guess the engagement is the license now. Yes, even among the constituency who might take up this offer they see the engagement as the permission slip to engage in sex.

But the whole contest is stupid. What are they going to do to assure the couple who comes forward to take the abstinence pledge and claim the prize actually carries through with the pledge. Are they going to test them every day?

Finally, who the F cares? If it is true that premarital sex is the overwhelming norm, and has been for decades, then let’s work with the facts, not the fantasies. The Bush Administration has been trying to work with fantasies instead of facts on this issue for a very long time. Yet another reason to kick all Republicans out of office.

January 20 can’t come too soon.

Tuesday, October 28th, 2008 by Steven Reynolds |

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