I'm starting to notice that Newsweek's cover story last week and some of the responses it has provoked on various blogs is turning into a small phenomenon. I actually found a really great comment that makes me want to clarify two things about my two responses to the Newsweek article.

Over at Ward Entertainment, a guy named Josh posted this comment to the whole thing:
Too bad you guys feel that way. I'm a virgin, proud of it, and plan to stay that way until I get married. I'm going to be STD-free, have no regrets, no unwanted kids, and my bride will know she's the only girl I'll ever have, and that's a beautiful thing.

Yeah it sucks that there's a lot of hippocrits
[sic] out there, but I'm not one of them.

That's fabulous Josh. Honestly, I'm completely sincere when I say that. You've made a choice based on what you think is best for you, and the fact that it probably will greatly simplify your life is wonderful. But I really don't think it's your place, my place or anyone else's place to criticize the decision someone else makes. Everyone has to decide what's right for them.

Other responses I've seen to the various bloggers' discussing the Newsweek story suggest to me that perhaps some of you might have misunderstood my criticisms, in that they seem to think by criticizing the article I have criticized the subjects of the article, namely the kids who have chosen abstinence. I'll not speak for anyone else, because it might be that other bloggers feel differently, but if any of you feel that way, read my posts again. At no time do I ever criticize the kids who have chosen abstinence. I certainly do take Newsweek to task for writing such a poor and clearly not-well thought out article and making it the centerpiece of their weekly edition. As to the kids, I feel the same way about them as I do about Josh. Teens like Amanda Wing and Chris Nicoletti deserve my congratulations for taking such a confident stand on a difficult issue and for confidently making a difficult decision. Yes, I did criticize their parents for taking such a negative rule-oriented approach to their childrens' burgeoning sexuality. And whether Amanda and Chris, or any of the other kids elected to choose abstinence because of their parents' rules or not, I still congratulate them and have nothing but praise for them. As growing adults, I assume them to be capable of making whatever decision they think is best for them based on all the information available to them. They seem mature and intelligent enough to decide whether or not their parents' rules are good for them, just as the many teens I have known whose parents have imposed similar no sex rules have chosen for themselves to pursue their sexual curiosity.

I'm criticizing the article and the parents who are ignorant enough to think that their rules and or-else parenting had anything to do with their intelligent teen's decision to abstain from or engage in sex. I have nothing but praise for teens who have decided to abstain for simplifying their lives at the expense of their curiosity, and I generally have respect for teens who have decided to explore their curisoity and accept the potential complications, and I hope they do so responsibly for their sake and that of their partner(s).

Is that clear enough?