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Author Topic: Dear Abby - it's OK to tell kids not to have sex!  (Read 422 times)

Curelom

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Dear Abby - it's OK to tell kids not to have sex!
« on: April 13, 2018, 02:33:50 am »
Just my two cents worth: much of what needs fixing about the moral state of the society we live in can be summarized in these two recent “Dear Abby” letters. In the first one, the worker’s attitude, & in the second one, both the girl’s actions & Abby’s reply. In the first, Abby finds it appropriate to give advice about the right or wrong of what the employee did, & most of us would probably do the same. In the second, she takes care not to judge what the girl did & offers no moral or practical advice. Can it be that she is afraid to tell a teenager to go easy on the sex or bed hopping?

Quote
DEAR ABBY: Recently I was late to work because I slept in and my boss was upset about it. But the thing is -- it's really none of his business, is it? What I do on my own time isn't the business of my employer. I don't ask him what he does when he isn't here.
This has happened a few times and I know it might present a problem, but I don't think it's his place to tell me what to do outside of work. How is that legal?
I need the extra sleep in the mornings because I like to stay out late at night, which is my right as an American. If I need extra sleep in order to perform my job at a higher level, then isn't it better for the company that I sleep in? I'm hearing blame when I should be hearing thank you. -- MY BUSINESS IN INDIANA

DEAR MY BUSINESS: Forgive me if this seems harsh, but your boss's business IS his business. Businesses have regular hours of operation, which are usually stated in the employee handbook you should have read when you were being hired. It's the duty of an employee to show up on time and in condition to perform his/her job.
I'm not surprised your boss is upset. It's a natural response when an employee who's relied upon acts irresponsibly, which is what you have been doing. Because you prioritize your social life above your work life, consider looking for a job that starts later or has flexible hours. You may need it.

and

Quote
DEAR ABBY: I am a 17-year-old senior and have been dating the same boy for two years. A month ago, he told me he wanted to break up "because he needed some time to figure out what he wanted." I was devastated but agreed. Two weeks later, he told me he was sorry and he loves me.
We are back together now, but the weekend after our breakup, I went to visit a college girlfriend. We went to a party and I ended up having sex with a boy I didn't even know. I feel guilty and unworthy. What should I do? If I tell my boyfriend, I'm sure I'll lose him for good. If I don't tell him, I'll always worry that he will find out from someone else. -- UNWORTHY IN THE MIDWEST

DEAR UNWORTHY: You are acting like you have something to feel guilty about. You don't. At the time you visited your college girlfriend, your boyfriend had broken things off with you. You do not owe him an explanation or a confession as long as you haven't given him an STD. Contact your physician and be checked to be sure.
 
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Iggy

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Re: Dear Abby - it's OK to tell kids not to have sex!
« Reply #1 on: April 13, 2018, 10:18:29 am »
Regarding the teen - THAT is not the Abby I grew up reading. Nor is it the same Abby who answered the employee. After Abby died in 2000, her daughter took over the column - and after reading her Milquetoast advice, I quit reading the column.

I am 65 years old, had no children - but if I had, then it would be my grandchildren's generation who have not been taught morals. My children's generation also were not taught enough morals, but then they totally did not raise their children. Fed them, barely clothed them, gave them free reign - thus resulting in a generation pretty much devoid of a Good Moral Compass.

This is why I don't watch TV, except for a very few shows, listen to only one radio program and mute when the national news comes on, and only read our local twice weekly newspaper. I let Hubby get the ulcers, stress head aches, etc. from reading Fox, listening to Fox, and he goes to sleep listening to *Coast to Coast* w/ George Noory.
 

Taalcon

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Re: Dear Abby - it's OK to tell kids not to have sex!
« Reply #2 on: April 13, 2018, 10:53:04 am »
I don't know. In the first, it was someone who was in an arangement/contract with someone, and clearly and blatantly was not living by the standards of that arrangement/contract, and was mad when the manager was angry. That's ... pretty clear cut no matter who you are.

For the second? The question she was asking was in regard to how she should feel and her obligations to another individual in a specified context. Taking assumptions of religious moral codes out of it ... I get the reason for what was said. In the context of relationships, the girl DIDN'T break any norms. She didn't cheat on him while he believed they were in an exclusive relationship. She had a serial relationship, for which she shouldn't feel 'unworthy' or like a cheater to the other guy. Basically, the columnist was making sure the boy wasn't being placed in a position to have power over her by being able to shame her for something that, really, by the norms as presented, he would have had no claims to. He didn't have claim over her in any way. In the first example, the individual was VERY much obligated to a standard.

We're not talking about a Church Worthiness Interview, or a New Era article.  That would begin with a very different set of assumptions, an agreed-upon and chosen standard, and also a general cultural understanding of the language.

In this context, telling the girl she shouldn't have sex without the context and guidance of someone like a parent or religious leader when a person comes up and says, "I did this, and I feel like a dirty person" would not have done good. The question was addressing her responsibility to that individual, and to make sure she isn't going to be further emotionally taken advantage of at a vulnerable state. She's trying to get a girl from starting a potential cycle of allowing herself to be emotionally abused.

Now, honestly, personally,  I DO think suggesting she be open about the circumstance with her partner would be the best idea. But I get the reason for wanting to make clear to the girl the principle that she didn't owe the individual (assumed to be another teenage boy) anything.

I believe if she stated they were preparing to be engaged, or otherwise being clear she was getting into a serious long-term commitment, the answer would have been different.
« Last Edit: April 13, 2018, 11:05:29 am by Taalcon »
 

Roper

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Re: Dear Abby - it's OK to tell kids not to have sex!
« Reply #3 on: April 13, 2018, 12:04:33 pm »
Well, it's Dear Abby, who doesn't give a nuanced response.  Abby needed more information.

As far as the unworthy part--that's another discussion.

In response to the guilty part:  We feel guilty when we believe we have caused harm to another, or when we feel we've acted contrary to our convictions. Guilt is our conscience, moral compass, whatever you want to call it, letting us know something is wrong.  Now, it may be that guilt is unwarranted. It may also be that guilt means we need to do something to make amends.

Maybe she feels guilty about casual sex being against her moral convictions.
Maybe she feels guilty about sex being part of commitment, and she had sex without any commitment to the party boy.
Maybe she feels guilty because she feels like she still had relationship expectations with her previous boyfriend.
Maybe she feels guilty because she believes knowledge of her having sex at the party will hurt her previous boyfriend.
Maybe there are hundreds of other reasons.

Abby certainly doesn't have enough information (or compassion) to make an informed conclusion. She simply dismissed the girl's feelings with "You don't have anything to feel guilty about. Go get checked for STDs."  But, that's Dear Abby. She's a columnist, not a counselor.
 
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Taalcon

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Re: Dear Abby - it's OK to tell kids not to have sex!
« Reply #4 on: April 13, 2018, 01:18:17 pm »
To use a twist on a commonly used lds phrase,  she's a general columnist and gives general advice. You get what you pay for. It's not the best, but it's also not the worst. I bet many of you could keep some of what was said, while overlaying additional Mormon nuance. IE, agree that guilt and shame should not be linked to responsibility to the boy, BUT, let's explore other reasons why you might feel that way, etc.
 
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Palmon

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Re: Dear Abby - it's OK to tell kids not to have sex!
« Reply #5 on: April 14, 2018, 01:22:25 am »
This article is a comment on the world our teenagers live in.  A former cheerleader of the Dolphins claims she has harassed because of her Christianity. The article tells of how she was treated by her teammates after she told them that she was a virgin waiting until marriage for sex.

[url]https://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/ex-dolphins-cheerleader-claims-she-faced-discrimination-after-admitting-being-n865541/url]
 
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Curelom

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Re: Dear Abby - it's OK to tell kids not to have sex!
« Reply #6 on: April 14, 2018, 03:21:36 am »
My point was not mainly about the advice Abby gave regarding any obligation the girl had to the boy she broke up with. As an adult, I think that when a teen asks an adult for advice & it’s clear the teen is sexually active & had a one-night-stand, the adult has an obligation to include, along with a response to the specific question, that a 17-yo should give careful consideration to being sexually active & jumping into bed with strangers.

Abby felt free to chastise the person who had a poor work ethic & inappropriate attitude about commitments made to an employer, saying “Forgive me if this seems harsh.” She could have written “Forgive me if this seems harsh” to the teenage bed-hopper, then given some wise advice about sex & self-restraint to a young person who (I think most of us agree) needs it.

As for Palmon’s story – it says a lot that according to the article, the cheerleader was “mocked after she admitted that she was a virgin.” In past generations, you “admitted” that you were NOT a virgin, or had multiple partners, or had children while unmarried. Today, you fess up to being a virgin as if it was something embarrassing.
 
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