No. 539



Have you ever been severely chastised about something, especially when you really didn't think it was your fault? If you have, then you know how I felt the other day when I got a letter from a female reader who really took me to task over a recent column. The column in question was one I had written several months ago about teaching "Abstinence Sex Education" in our nation's public schools. The letter was unsigned with no address, and since it was very brief, I will just share it with you. There is certainly a valid reason for sharing this, as you will see later.
It begins, "I am absolutely appalled that you would preach abstinence for girls and not once mention the same for boys. Talk about a double standard. Morals are for both sexes." When I said earlier that I didn't think it was my fault, it was because of my heart and my intent and not what I said, which was my fault. I am 100 percent in agreement with the basis for this lady's letter. Morals are for both sexes, and boys have the same or more responsibility in this matter than girls. I was just so focused on what I was saying I just assumed this would be understood. So there is my correction, along with my apology.
I heard from a good number of readers regarding this column, and one that really stood out was from a counselor at our local high school. Again a lady, and her name is Linda Hammontree. I have heard from Linda before on other columns, and I have really come to appreciate and respect her, because I know she really cares about students. We need more like her all across the nation. I would also like to share with you what Linda had to say, because she was very candid and because she is the voice of experience, having interaction with students day after day.
Linda begins, "I read your article recently about abstinence. We need the message to go to boys as well as girls. Boys put a lot of pressure on the girls. After talking with today's teens, I don't think the word abstinence is in their vocabulary. They are so open about their sexual experiences. There is no shame, no regrets; it is an unbelievably common occurrence among them. I wish it were as simple as just saying, 'Abstain.' Until we get the smut off the Internet and television and we get parents to stop being babysitters and actually be parents, I don't see the situation improving. Most of the pregnant girls that I see have a poor or no relationship with dad. These boyfriend/lovers become the dad figure in their lives. So sad, but so true."
For most of us this subject is very uncomfortable and I don't wade-in because I think I have all the answers. I wade-in because, like Linda Hammontree, I care about boys and girls and also understand that an unwanted pregnancy severely limits the chances of success and a long and happy life for most of these young girls. Like the Internet and television, there are other forces at work that makes it much more difficult to help our young people develop good character and moral values and to make wise choices.
As I stated in my previous column, one of these is the ACLU, which over the years has become "America's Bully." While I am not a big fan of Bill O'Reilly on Fox News, he has taken these people to task and compiled a list of things they support and the things they oppose. You can check this out by going to and placing the words, "ACLU opposes" in your search bar. If you don't already know, you might read and consider carefully a few of the things on his list. The ACLU is opposed to parental notification for minors having abortion, filters on public library computers, sex offender registries, broadcast decency laws, prayers before high school football games, parental consent laws, "Abstinence before marriage," sex education and many others.
(EDITOR'S NOTE: Jim Davidson is a motivational speaker and syndicated columnist. You may contact him at 2 Bentley Drive, Conway, AR 72034. To support literacy, buy his book "Learning, Earning & Giving Back.")