Only abstinence offers total safety

Regarding “Sex educator clues in curious youths” in the Jan. 4 edition, with its “safe sex” push and dismissal of sexual abstinence, Asuka Someya’s organization Pilcon is actually putting young Japanese at more — not less — risk of the negative consequences of sex. Scoff at abstinence until marriage as uncool, folks, but its practice offers 100 percent guaranteed protection against pregnancy and disease — fact, not opinion. Someya herself never would have gotten pregnant at age 20 had she practiced it — again, fact, not opinion.

Premarital abstinence and marital fidelity are far superior to Pilcon’s “safe sex” charade — no one can deny this, unless they let their emotions and hormones overrun their logic! They eliminate the risk of pregnancy and disease in a way that Someya’s condoms cannot, and guide young people to see each other as human beings with dignity — not merely as pleasure-providers.

My advice to any young people reading this is: Resist society’s mantra that you must have sex. It’s cool to be a rebel, after all — so be counter-cultural, and rebel against this popular secular attitude that saving yourself for marriage means you’re a loser. You’re a human being — treat yourself and others as one. Don’t use people, and that especially goes for sex. Your sexuality and your bodies are gifts from God, so avoid “giving them up” to just anyone who sees in you little else than a chance for a sexual thrill.

JENNIFER KIM
OBIHIRO, HOKKAIDO

The opinions expressed in this letter to the editor are the writer’s own and do not necessarily reflect the policies of The Japan Times.

  • Joe Kurosu, M.D.

    I could not find evidence of “dismissal of sexual abstinence” by Ms. Someya or Pilcon in the article or on their website, and do not see where the evidence is that she or her organization is putting Japanese people at increased risk. Accurate information regarding not only the benefits of abstinence, but the facts regarding sexually transmitted infections is crucial for prevention and, when necessary, treatment and appropriate follow up. Drug resistant gonorrhea, pelvic inflammatory disease from chlamydia, syphilis, HIV, herpes, HPV, trichomonas….these fine gifts from god, can only be dealt with by empowering people with information, me thinks.

  • http://registeredalien.weebly.com gpiper

    Good points. But abstinence is no guarantee of good health or “total safety.” It is irresponsibly (immorally) unrealistic. First, sex is good. God gave us bodies to reproduce and made sex both fun and good. Sex is physically and mentally healthy. Abstinence may contribute to public mental health issues. (So does pornography.) Human beings are sexual creatures. We are going to have sex one way or another, regardless of moral teaching or good sense, so it’s best to deal with it. Dealing with it means providing empowering information. With information individuals can decide for themselves what to do. Having sex is normal, and ‘normal’ sex covers a wide spectrum of behaviors: total abstinence; premarital; extramarital; group; homosexual; bisexual; multiple partners; fetish, etc. Second, abstinence has never been ‘normal.’ With modern diseases like AIDS we might say this is a good time to start making it so, but once again that is not realistic. Sex might be described as a skill, like playing an instrument. To be good at it requires practice, and mistakes are inevitable. To be fully human requires maximum leeway to err because only then are we capable of bearing responsibility for our decisions, good or bad. We have to make decisions first, and making decisions means having information and the freedom to act on it. But I could be wrong.

  • MacTire

    I’ve stopped reading the Japan Times regularly, as the drivel is too depressingly predictable. But it’s always a joy to hear from Jennifer Kim in Obihiro, who has the courage, the wisdom, and the linguistic gift to speak the truth, even when it is unpopular. Blessings on her!

  • MacTire

    I’ve stopped reading the Japan Times regularly, as the drivel is too depressingly predictable. But it’s always a joy to hear from Jennifer Kim in Obihiro, who has the courage, the wisdom, and the linguistic gift to speak the truth, even when it is unpopular. Blessings on her!

  • Starviking

    Premarital abstinence and marital fidelity are far superior to Pilcon’s “safe sex” charade — no one can deny this, unless they let their emotions and hormones overrun their logic!

    Problem one: One of the defining states of being a teenager/young adult is that emotions and hormones are dominant.

    Problem two: Jennifer Kim’s approach, abstinence, usually involves denying protective contraception and advice on sexual relations – which leads to young people’s hormone-driven decisions having much bigger impacts than they need have.

  • Sam Gilman

    If your goal as a policy maker charged with the protection of young people’s health is to make yourself personally feel all virtuous according to your morality, then the promotion of abstinence programmes is definitely the way to go.

    However, if your goal is to reduce the number of unwanted pregnancies and sexually transmitted diseases, it isn’t. If your goal is to delay first sexual experiences, it isn’t.

    It turns out that simply telling teenagers and twenty-somethings not to have sex until they’re married doesn’t work. On the other hand, helping them to be well-informed and empowered about the decisions they do make (particularly for young women) does seem to work, based on evidence from sexual health education programmes around the world. This does include explaining that not having sex at all avoids the risks of sex (it’s true) but not with the moralising packaging. The result of such programmes is that you get fewer diseases, fewer unwanted pregnancies and later first sexual experiences – and apparently healthier relationships too.

    So if Jennifer Kim wants to choose abstinence as her own path to good sexual health, that’s fine. But as a public policy, it just doesn’t work.