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One Mom's Mission: To Keep Daughters 'Pure'

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Guest blogger Michelle Kemper Brownlow: "Sex is sacred. Sex is serious. Sex is for married people only." That's how I teach it in my house, and ain't no one gonna change my mind.

teenage girl
As a teacher-turned-SAHM, I have seen it time and time again: If we parents settle for the minimum our children can do, that's what we will get. But when we set our standards high and raise the bar, THAT is what we'll get -- and sometimes even more. 

In my personal opinion, parents give up too soon on their children when it comes to the subject of purity. Granted, it IS a tough subject; there are some ridiculous obstacles children of the 21st century will come up against that we parents have no experience with. But that doesn't mean we should give up. When a parent says to me, "Well, they're going to do it anyway. Nothing I say will stop them, so why not make sure they are protected?" I want to scream! That makes NO sense to me! 

Let me put it another way. "Our child will most likely be born with health issues, so smoking while I am pregnant isn't doing any harm." "My toddler is going to walk into the street anyway, so I have his hospital room reserved." "My teen is going to text while driving no matter what I say, so I've already purchased her burial plot." Do you want to strangle the imaginary people making these comments? So do I. And that's exactly the way I feel when people don't set the bar high on their girls' self-esteem and self-respect. 

Everyone knows teen boys don't respect the girls they sleep with. You know this. So why would you open your daughter up to the chastising she will face when a guy splashes her name on the bathroom wall as his latest conquest? Why would YOU risk HER reputation because you are too lazy to expect the most from her? 

Organizations like The Best Friends Foundation, the HumanLife Alliance and Just Say Yes have statistics proving that kids WANT us to give them boundaries. It makes them feel safer, it makes them feel loved and they will thank you later. Think about it! Give your daughter the benefit of the doubt. She's worth it.

next: Can SAHMs EVER Get a Break?!
24 comments so far | Post a comment now
Leah September 30, 2010, 5:58 AM

I don’t believe it’s my right to tell my daughter or son when or when they cannot have sex. I can talk openly about birth control and emotions and all sorts of stuff, but in the end it is their body, their decision.

I really don’t believe people need to stay “pure” until marriage or anything like that, but I do believe they need to wait until they are mature enough and in a mutually respectful and emotionally healthy relationship. I talk very openly with my children about how long I waited (23) and how great it was that I was able to have more freedom in high school/most of college because I wasn’t in a serious relationship.

I 100% disagree w/this statement “Everyone knows teen boys don’t respect the girls they sleep with” Both my sisters married their high school sweethearts and had sex in high school - and I’ve never met 2 guys that respect girls more.

Russell September 30, 2010, 6:11 AM

I agree that people should wait until marriage to have sex. There are too many high school girls that become teen moms and then they are forced to make a choice, 1) have an abortion which leaves a emontional scar on the girls forever, or 2) keep the baby and that limits their ability to study, attend school, and to get a good job.

I’m a man and I was once a teen boy and 99.9% of teen boys don’t respect girls. Because teen boys are not taught either by their parents or the school to respect teen girls. If teen boys really respected themselves or girls then they would want to wait until marriage.

Russell September 30, 2010, 6:16 AM

I agree that people should wait until marriage to have sex. With teen girls becoming teen moms and the teen dads not wanting to become teen dads and dumps it all on the girls laps.

Not to mention with the chance to catch STDs, including HIV. More moms should be on a mission to keep their daughters pure and dads should also be on a mission to keep their sons pure as well.

It shouldn’t be all up to the girls, boys have a role to play too.

Hannah September 30, 2010, 6:40 AM

Leah, it IS your right to tell your kids anything! It IS your right and dare I say responsibility as a parent to tell your kids what they can and cannot do. No one would ever say, “How dare you!” if they witnessed you telling your five year old to put on a coat. No one would say, “What right do YOU have?” if you tell your fifteen year old he can’t get a tattoo. At the VERY LEAST, until he or she is 18, you DO have the right to tell your child what to do. Kids don’t always obey, of course. But to say you don’t think you have the right to tell them what to do? I think the author had people like you in mind when writing this article.

Carrie September 30, 2010, 7:30 AM

100% Dead On Leah!! Those people choosing to use untrue scare tactics and unreasonable anger against sex will have 15 years having sex!!

My parents never made me feel like my “purity” was my only value. Like you, they taught me that it is my body to decide what to do but they gave me the tools to make mature decisions. Like you they taught me about birth control, but they also taught me about mature relationships and good reasons for waiting - no just the trite “wait for marriage” bs.

I’m proud to say I waited until I was 21 and in my second long term relationship to have sex. My friends who preached “abstinence & purity” ALL had sex in high school.

Leah September 30, 2010, 7:33 AM

Hannah, clearly you did not gradp my meaning at all. Instructing a child to put on a coat is far far different than raising a child into adulthood who will be able to make informed decisions on what to do with his or her body.

Simply demanding your 16 year not have sex, Hannah, is the quickest way to ensure that they will. But teaching your child responsibility, self-respect and what it means to be in a mature, mutually respectful, emotionally sound relationship will ensure your teen/young adult takes more time until engaging in sexual activity.

Anonymous September 30, 2010, 7:36 AM

WOW - why only girls remain pure? Can we get a little more caveman? And just the wording - like somehow a girl is suddenly “dirty” if she has sex? This is the most backward thing I’ve read - like basing a girl’s worth on whether or not she remains a virgin so you can get her a good husband back when guys paid more for virgins. Yuck.

Katie September 30, 2010, 8:24 AM

I love this article! I have two boys and I am planning on encouraging them strongly to wait for marriage. My husband and I waited until our wedding night and we have the most amazing sex life. Because we loved and respected each other enough to wait.
Russell, you are so right! Boys have to be taught the importance of waiting just as much as girls. And to RESPECT girls!

Anonymous September 30, 2010, 10:28 AM

Waiting for marriage is pretty much thoughtless. It’s not encouraging people to make choices based on self-respect or even their own beliefs. I’d rather teach my kids to engage when they are ready as opposed to all the divorced couples I’ve represented over the years (I’m a lawyer) because they married ridiculously young solely so they could have sex.

KMayer September 30, 2010, 10:45 AM

Ew, ew, ew. Purity? What is this 1800s? Jeeez, grab your kids cell phone or any of her friends and cruise down the texts. Then take a glimpse at the photos. Then Facebook stalk for an afternoon. Then get that kid some facts and information so her brain can make the decisions her body won’t.
Purity-schmurity. Put condom next to the pledge card cuz I guarantee one will be much more practical than the other. And don’t even get me going on the lack of attention to BOYS! JEEEEESSSSHHHHHHH!
okay. done now.

REALMOM September 30, 2010, 11:47 AM

i agree that kids should not be having sex, i think that waiting until married is reasonable. Reality is that kids are going to have sex and yes when my boys start paying attention to girls in that way i will scream. I just would love for kids to stay kids and not engage in sexual activity. I just don’t think they should have those types of thoughts and relationships. It’s just so scary and i do wish you luck with your girls.

CC September 30, 2010, 3:05 PM

You know, I respect your sentiment, but I’m not sure I agree 100%. I don’t think it’s necessary to wait for marriage to have sex, but I think it’s really important to wait for love. And it’s hard to figure out what love is when you’re a young teen. But I lost my virginity at 18 to my boyfriend (also 18, also a virgin) and we’re still together. He respected me and loved (and still loves!) me. So, raise your kids to know when they’re ready. I think marriage is kind of an arbitrary cut off point (you should be in love before marriage right? so what changes when the ring is on your finger as opposed to beforehand?). But that all depends on your spiritual beliefs. Wait for love, wait for maturity, and respect your faith. Good advice for any teen - boy OR girl!

Physicist father September 30, 2010, 7:22 PM

Yet another ridiculous article on this website. You obviously don’t understand that we are biological machines meant to reproduce. Now we have evolved to the point where we can control the birth rate, why not utilize this to make a healthier society. Many studies have been proving the health benefits of sexual relations. I also disagree that boys don’t respect girls. This is yet another article written by a 20th century woman stuck in the 21st century.

Lisa September 30, 2010, 9:37 PM

Sorry, but someone who writes “ain’t” can’t be taken seriously.

Tish October 5, 2010, 7:59 AM

I wonder if Physicist Father has a teenage daughter. I wonder how healthy he’d want her to be at 17, 15, even 13? How would he feel about the boys keeping his daughter “healthy”?

Why can’t we merge the two sides of this arguement? As a mother of two teenage daughters, and a preteen son, and as a woman who lost her virginity in college and not to the man she ended up marrying, I plan to teach both. Sex is sacred. Sex is serious. Sex, as we as Christians believe, is for married people. However, being committed to wait for marriage is not easy, I tried, I failed, and while I’m sorry I wasn’t able to “save myself” for my husband, I have no regrets about who I gave my virginity to. Why not? Because I was raised that sex is sacred, sex is serious, and sex is for marriage. Does that mean my mother failed because I didn’t wait? Not at all. Had she not taught me that, I may have had sex sooner than I had, or made a poor choice, or choices, in whom I gave myself to. If we teach our children these things, and don’t encourage premarital sex, they will learn to respect their bodies, themselves, their partners, and wait til marriage, hopefully, but if not, they’ll respect themselves and each other to make smart decisions, resulting in less disease, less broken hearts, and most likely, never having their name written on a bathroom wall as a latest conquest.

And lighten up. The use of the word “ain’t” was used for that purpose.

Alexis Nasya October 5, 2010, 11:27 AM

While I think it is absolutely your right to teach your children your values and to instill in them vey rigid standards, I find this article mildly sexist.

The idea that all boys are after sex and that all girls have an obligation to be the gatekeepers of sex is an idea I had thought was dead.

The fact is, your daughter isn’t the only one who could use such lessons. Sons should be taught the same standards as daughters regardless of what that is. If we don’t do so, on the excuse that male sexuality is more powerful and virulant, we diminish femal sexuality and dehumanize men. The men become beasts and the woman’s desires are ignored.

I think that there is nothing wrong with emphasizing purity, but please make the argument morally valid by excluding sexism from the argument.

N. October 10, 2010, 1:55 PM

I have to say I strongly disagree and I grew up with high values and expectations for myself. I met my husband at the tender age of 15 while he was 19 at CHURCH! We started dating right away and he was my first everything. From 15 to 16 I experienced everything from my kiss to oral sex to full intercourse and I don’t regret a single thing. I graduated high school at 16 and receieved my Bachelor’s in Nursing at 20, he graduated college at 22 with a Bachelor’s in computer programming and analysis. We got married when I was 18 and he was 22. I a now 35 and we’ve been together for 20 years, we have three beautiful children; A 15 year old daughter, a 13 year old son and a 7 year old daughter. All of whom I’m teaching what my parents taught me; Wait until you find the right person. Finish your education, don’t let any boy (or girl) get in the way of your dreams, make sure they have the same goals as you so you can share your hopes and goals and grow TOGETHER as individuals and as a team!!! Sex is a wonderful thing and I’ve enjoyed it since 15 with one amazing person!!! There is NOTHING wrong with sex as long as it is in a committed, loving relationship with plans to be married someday.

Berenice October 12, 2010, 8:24 AM

Waiting until marriage is an option, and a good one, but we all know that it will be very hard for that to happen, we shall not give up on them that easily. If we have raised our kids in the best of ways they will know what to do. Even if it means saying no to Kamagra Jelly or to just keep pure until they seem fit.

Jack November 11, 2010, 8:17 AM

I have to say, as a male, that It’s pretty harsh when you say that no guy ever has respect for a girl. I’m 19 and have always - and always will - treat every girl I sleep with, with the utmost respect and care. None were one night stands and there are no regrets, so much so that I am still friends with all of them but one. Three years in and there have been no pregnancies and no STIs because I took the responsibility of arming myself with all the facts I needed to allow both the girls I slept with and myself to have excellent fun but to stay safe at the same time. This wouldn’t have happened if I was brought up in a pro-abstinence household and taught in a pro-abstinence education system and my life would have been a lot less fun as a result. We are biologically built to ENJOY sex. If one can enjoy sex responsibly then why the hell not? It’s up to the parents, however, to make sure that their child knows everything they need to know - not that all men are evil.

Saralzie November 30, 2010, 2:17 AM

Michelle, thank you for this article. It’s nice to finally see other people who believe in “old fashioned” morals and values. I will never, ever understand why some parents feel it’s okay to allow their teenagers to sleep around. It just seems like bad parenting to me!

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