Virginity is a scam

America needs to drop its obsession with virginity and adequately educate its youth.

Defining virginity in one manner is a misogynistic, noninclusive and unrealistic idea that does not prepare students for any situation.

The biggest problem with young women (and men) being told to save themselves until marriage, is that everyone defines virginity differently.

The dictionary itself includes very misogynistic definitions of what virginity is. Miriam Webster defines virginity as “an absolutely chaste young woman” and sites like define virgin as “a person who has never had sexual intercourse”. Definitions like these do not take individuals definitions of virginity into consideration and often fail to be inclusive of the LGBTQ community.

Many people in America want to emphasize Miriam Webster’s idea of virginity so much that as a whole, teenagers in this country are not being properly educated on other methods of birth control, and/or protection. Instead of comprehensive sex education, students are receiving abstinence-only sex education.

A study in the Journal of Adolescent Health showed that teen pregnancy rates went down, and while different political parties tried to take responsibility for this, the improved use of contraceptive is responsible for 86 percent of the decline in the U.S. adolescent pregnancy rate between 1995 and 2002.

The same study found that “14 percent of the change among 15- to 19-year-olds was attributable to a decrease in the percentage of sexually active young women.”

Also, Impacts of Four Title VA, a study that Congress had ordered, found that there was no difference in the likeliness of middle schoolers to have sex when they had received abstinence-only education and a middle schooler who hadn’t.

The same report had results that showed that those who had taken abstinence-only education were more likely 20 percent more likely to think condoms were ineffective to protect sexually transmitted diseases (STDs).

Although condoms have been shown to be ineffective, abstinence-only sex education programs are still receiving federal funds.

It appeared that this issue was starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel in 2010 when President Obama introduced the Teen Pregnancy Prevention Program, providing funding to sex education programs that are medically accurate and age-appropriate.

However, last year, the Trump administration canceled funding for 81 different projects that were a part of the Teen Pregnancy Prevention Program without consulting Congress. These grants are set to end in June 2018, two years earlier than planned.

Sex-ed in this country is not uninformed and varies state by state. For example, as of right now, sex education is not a requirement at California schools. If a school in California does offer funded sex-ed it must be comprehensive.

To some, it might appear that this is not in our control, but it falls into our hands as we push for a more inclusive and roundabout sex education. There is not comprehensive sex education nationwide so we need to use our voices to push for more requirements like these.

If federal funds are going anywhere, we should push them to be towards a comprehensive sex education.

We cannot continue to miseducate our children, miseducated teenagers are at higher risk of improperly using contraceptives and being exposed to STD’s.

Young women and men could remain abstinent if it is their choice, but it is not a man’s place, the government’s place or their school’s place to tell her that they are wrong for going about their virginity in the manner they choose. America needs to drop abstinence-only education, and comprehensively educate its youth.