Sunday, May 22, 2005

Virginity or Death!

There have been successful trials of a vaccine that will immunize young women against the human pampilloma virus -- a sexually transmitted virus that is responsible for about 70% of all cervical cancer. Good news, right? Not according to the Christian right who seem to think that reducing the risk of getting cancer in middle age is going to figure into the sexual choices of teenagers. This article calls it "honor killing on the installment plan". O.K., a bit dramatic, but it's quite appalling that such a simple thing -- a single shot! -- that could prevent women from dying of cancer is a matter of controversy. These people *want* sex to mean death.

These conservative Christians can't even keep their own kids from having sex before marriage, although I suspect they start sexual activity at later ages, and marry a bit earlier. Nearly 90% of teenagers that sign those "virginity pledges" default. If the intense pressure put on these kids doesn't work, then nothing will, short of locking the girls up in convents and rushing them from there to their wedding, strictly chaperoned.

It's not that I'm against chastity, especially for vulnerable young girls, but if they can't quite live up to the ideal, I don't think they ought to die for it.

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