I have just discovered that the ‘virginity as gift’ discourse is not the only anti-sexual freedom discourse; the movement is more varied than I had suspected. I apologise for this ommission. I really want my blog to be accurate and properly referenced – watch this space for referenced, peer-reviewed articles on lone motherhood and sexual repression in the next few days – and I don’t want to misrepresent anything. I want you all to be able to check out my sources and challenge my assertions on a factual basis, should you wish to do so; and this blog is going to get more political.
Anyway, I have found a blogger here who presents a religious motive for abstinence (ie admittedly religious, not subtly religious like the gift discourse). He actually disagrees with the gift discourse, as his motivation is legal or law-based. Thus, three types of abstinence discourse can be indentified: Pragmatic (to protect from STDs/pregnancy); to give a gift; and to obey God’s law.
Of course, all three types are religious/control motivated, but they range in how openly religious they are – for example, the pragmatic approach is marketed as nonreligious and as such the movement gained much power under the Bush regime when the Government began to control sexuality by making teens abstinent (abstinence education) and later adults with marriage programs which contained abstinence. This type of abstinence education was attempted by Dorries in January and revived in May in America. It also forms part of “comprehensive” sex ed programs in America, unlike the UK where there is no mention of abstinence in sex ed programs in state schools (so nobody has heard of the word “abstinence”.). It appears to be the most dangerous and politically viable type of abstinence movement and discourse in the West. By contrast, the religio-legal ‘God’s law’ basis is the least politically viable, for obvious reasons, and therefore the least dangerous. So don’t worry about it! I will post more on abstinence very soon, but I just wanted to clarify the incompleteness of what I said before. I’ve been researching abstinence for 2 years so I’m sorry for the ommission. The guy’s blog (in which he explains why he disagrees with Lolo Jones’ gift discourse stance in favour of a God’s Law discourse stance) is here, although it is quite offensive; however, I like it and I did get wet reading it. It is also well-written if a bit long-winded: http://revealchristmission.wordpress.com/2012/06/04/open-letter-to-miss-lolo-miss-lori-regarding-a-few-choice-words-i-hope-proves-helpful-to-a-woman-as-so-stated-by-you-in-last-months-news-more-or-less/
I enjoyed reading the above post, although I realise it would be disturbing to most people.
Although Orthodox Jews and Muslims are also abstinent, personally I do not believe their abstinence movements (if any even exist) to be dangerous; they seem to promote abstinence only within their religious communities and have not made attempts at controlling the freedom of non-Muslims/non-Jews. (I do not refer to terrorists as “Muslims” since Muslims do not feel that terrorists are Muslims, because terrorism is a violation of the principles and values of the Qur’an). This is why I’ll be talking about Christian-based abstinence; it is the most prevalent and politically powerful and the abstinence activists, leaders and their followers do not identify as Jew or Muslim.