Let’s clamp down not on sex, but on promiscuity
by Melvyn L. Fein
Columnist
February 18, 2013 02:15 AM | 3560 views | 7 7 comments | 6 6 recommendations | email to a friend | print
The subject is a delicate one — which is why I brought it up very cautiously during my discussion with two Jehovah’s Witnesses several weeks ago. This pair of middle-aged gentlemen had come to my door and, as is my custom, I engaged them in conversation.

For the most part, we reviewed the perilous state of moral values in the United States today. In fact, even though they were coming from a religious perspective and I from a secular one, we agreed on almost every issue. This is what gave me the courage to bring up the question of premarital sex.

I began by explaining that the average age at which women now marry is 26, while that for men is currently 28. Then I suggested that since this is more than a decade past puberty, it is foolish to expect people to remain virgins until they marry.

My assumption was that my guests would disagree. I expected them to tell me that premarital sex was a sin and must therefore be forbidden. But no, both of them agreed with me. They too recognized that physiologically mature individuals are likely to experiment with sex, given how long they remain unwed.

Indeed, statistically speaking, there is a lot of experimentation going on. Males have their first sexual encounter, on average, at 16. Meanwhile, the age at which females first engage in intercourse is also 16. For many years, it had been 19, but things have apparently sped up.

The reason we must now examine what is taking place is that concurrent with these developments there has been an explosion of out-of-wedlock births. Fully 40 percent of American children are presently being born to unmarried parents. What is more, most of these parents are poor.

There has been a lot of talk in recent days about trying to even the economic playing field by transferring tax money from the rich to the poor. Whatever the merits of this policy, it is doomed to fail poor children who are raised by single parents. As sociologists know, such children are frequently ill-prepared to achieve success in a society such as ours.

So what to do? If more unmarried people are having sex, and more of these are parenting children who suffer from being raised without both a mother and a father, how should we deal with pre-marital sex?

Here, it turns out, is another area in which my Jehovah’s Witnesses guests and I agreed. Pre-marital sexual encounters may be impossible to eradicate, but they do not have to be indiscriminant. Both men and women are going to test the sexual waters, yet they need not be promiscuous.

In fact, most are not — especially women. These latter know that if they are too easily available sexually, they will get a reputation for being “sluts.” This is not a nice word, but neither is being regarded as sexually uninhibited. For rather obvious reasons, most men are wary of marrying a woman they fear might cheat.

No doubt, this is unfair — yet it is the way things are. So what to do? If young people have sex, and most do so carefully, what should our collective attitude be? Shouldn’t we recognize the current state of affairs and try to control it with reasonable restrictions?

Let me be clear. I am suggesting that we stop being hypocritical. Let us not condemn people for simply having sex before they marry. But let us also make it plain that promiscuity is frowned upon. Too often, in the media, we see wanton sexuality portrayed as if it were penalty-free fun. This is troubling.

No society has ever sanctioned haphazard sex. The consequences, most notably for the young, are too dangerous. Our society is not exempt. We too must draw the line regarding what is acceptable. I am therefore suggesting that it is promiscuity, not sex per se, that should be vigorously discouraged.

Melvyn L. Fein, Ph.D., is a professor of sociology at Kennesaw State University.

Comments
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tonyspe
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February 19, 2013
Are you sure those were Jehovah's Witnesses? Maybe they were someone else. I am one of Jehovah's Witnesses and we do not condone premarital sex because the Bible does not condone premarital sex, and the Bible is our Father's guide to man (who (man) has little in the way of instinctual wisdom, unlike animals). Yet, we do not force people to see things our way if they don't want to. That is their opinion. But if they test out the counsel in God's word, they will find for themselves it is wise counsel in the long run, whether or not it is easy counsel to follow in a sex-crazed and increasingly career-focused world.
Danny Haszard
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February 21, 2013


Jehovah’s Witnesses hit with $28 million sex abuse settlement Oakland,Calif.-Google it.

Jehovah’s Witnesses have many issues with sexual molestation of children.The religion and its members are more concerned about protecting the group image than the victims.

TWO WITNESSES required.

The Jehovah’s Witnesses require ‘two witnesses’ to a crime or it didn’t happen,you are supposed to ‘leave it in

Jehovah’s hands’ wait on the lord.

How many pedophiles allow an eyewitness?

These people engage in a door to door ministry, possibly exposing children to pedophiles.

The Watchtower corporation has paid out millions in settlement money already.

--

Danny Haszard *tell the truth don't be afraid*
Aleg
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February 27, 2013
Essentially here is the organizational wide child abuse policy of Jehovah's Witnesses

1. Jehovah's Witnesses disfellowship, even announcing the name from the platform, and shun proven or confessed practicing child molesters.

2. Any molesters deemed repentant are announced from the platform as well, thus publicly reproving him and a talk is given about their type of sin. All thus receive a warning.

3. Elders report abuse to the authorities when required by law or if a child is in danger.

4. Elders are instructed never tell anyone not to report abuse to the authorities and there are no sanctions for reporting abuse.

5. If a minor reports molesting to an elder, the elder offers to accompany the minor to talk to the authorities.

6. All in the congregation are encouraged to report child abuse to the authorities if they are aware of it.

7. If there is only one witness and the accused denies it, several steps are taken to protect the children.

8. Any accused of molesting by one person is likely removed as servants until the matter is cleared up since he is no longer 'free of accusation'.

9. The Watchtower Society keeps a detailed database of molesters and former molesters, even if the molesting took place before baptism, to assure that they do not receive authority in the congregation.

10. Former child molesters are never allowed to be servants and do not receive even minor privileges.

11. A letter follows former molesters (and usually those who have been accused by one witness) for the rest of their life whenever they move to another congregation.

12. Elders keep an eye out and warn others when there is a cause for concern about former molesters.

13. Former molesters have many other restrictions placed upon them, including not holding children, not having children spend the night, not working with children or alone in field service, and so on.
frogbreath
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February 18, 2013
I am waiting to see what Foley could possibly find wrong with Dr Fein's column today.
Kevin Foley
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February 18, 2013
Great advice for Newt Gingrich, David Vitter, Larry Craig, Mark Sanford, John Ensign, and all the other family value conservative types.
Devlin Adams
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February 18, 2013
Foley, I notice you failed to mention Bill Clinton, Gary Hart, John Kennedy, Robert Kennedy,

Ted Kennedy, etc, etc, etc.

But then, you never see but one side of any issue.
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