On Friday’s CBS "Early Show," co-host Julie Chen teased her upcoming interview with "Gray’s Anatomy" actress Kate Walsh on sex education: "She is one of the hottest actresses in
"…there just needs to be a comprehensive sex education program, and we can't be relying on, you know, private foundations, or parents, or, you know, teens' peers, to be educating each other. We really do need government help on this. It's, you know, it's a shame to me that we spend money educating our kids on, you know, history, math, science, and English literature, and we -- we can't educate them sexually. And, you know, and it's proof in these -- in these statistics (20% of girls ages 14-19 have STDs). It's just shameful to me that in our country that these young women are being infected because they honestly just don't have the information. Abstinence is one -- abstinence is one aspect of sex education, but it is not the complete aspect. And to expect, I think, everybody to remain abstinent is just -- it's like asking them not to grow. It's like we don't ask people to not try out for sports. We don't ask people to stop learning. It's just a natural human process, and we need to be educating people. If abstinence-only did work, we wouldn't be seeing these kind of statistics. We wouldn't be seeing these young women suffering like this."
OK… I’ve never seen Gray’s Anatomy. I’ve never seen Private Practice. I wouldn’t know Kate Walsh from J-Lo if she stood naked in front of me. I have no clue who this person is or what makes her, you know, HOT…at least for today.
It seems like we have a strange idea of what qualifies a person to, you know, speak authoritatively on an issue. The “hotter” you are, apparently the more respect you command. If you are, you know, the star of TWO hit shows, maybe that means you think with BOTH sides of your brain. In fairness, I will grant that the fact that she does work in television it means she can read, and perhaps has read some stuff about this topic.
Fine. Enough ad hominem cheap shots. The real concern is in the assumptions that don’t even lay beneath the surface of what she is espousing here. Let me just take her comments in order of appearance:
“…and we can't be relying on, you know, private foundations, or parents, or, you know, teens' peers, to be educating each other. We really do need government help on this.”
The government educating our children about sex? What can the government say about sex to ANYONE, much less a teenager? Even if it WANTED to, it cannot say anything based on morality or religion. It cannot offer a theological explanation of the sacredness of the body, the sanctity of sexuality, the holiness and beauty of virginity, the spiritual/psychological damage of premarital/extramarital sex, the objectivity of the human being in the image of God and all that means. All the government can say with its own self imposed post modern restrictions is, “Hey kids, these are the polite names of your parts. This is how they fit together if you are male and female. This is where they go if you're homosexual. You decide what’s best for yourself, but here’s some information about disease and here’s some free condoms. Be careful out there. But if you’re not, we have a government program that will pay you for not listening to us.” So now kids have “information” from the government.
Information. Information is the savior of the western world. If anyone does anything stupid it is generally because of “lack of information”. The American mantra is, if we just had more education, more information, more booklets, more videos, more commercials, more warning labels people would stop doing stupid things. “Education” is the key to Utopia. In Kate’s
Kate goes on to say, “…abstinence is one aspect of sex education, but it is not the complete aspect. And to expect, I think, everybody to remain abstinent is just -- it's like asking them not to grow. ”
I agree, that abstinence is just one aspect of sex education. However, the “other aspects” that she brings out here need to be unpacked. To ask someone to remain abstinent is asking them to “not grow”? Kate…tell me, grow into WHAT? What is it that a human being can grow into that REQUIRES premarital sex as a teenager (or even as an adult)? What aspect of the heart, soul and psyche of the human being is stunted and weakened for not having sex as a teenager? What bit of self knowledge, what revelation will come that will enlighten and illumine a teenager who “makes love” with someone when they have one year of experience (more or less) knowing what “love” is? What emotional and spiritual maturity comes with knowing how to give someone a blow job? What growth takes place when a girl finds out she’s a sperm depository for guys who say anything to get in their pants even if it takes them months? What great epiphany comes when a teenager discovers that sex won’t keep a boyfriend or girlfriend? What maturity comes with having to explain to your current boyfriend about the guys before? What does a boy grow into who has “governmentally informed” sex with “informed” girlfriends? Have you ever visited a dog park? Been around a pig pen? Ask any man who was 16 what his imagination was about. To be a slave to hormones, feelings, passions, or just plain fun is “growth”? To hook up with anyone who will provide an orgasm is “growth”? Or even to give in to the biological urge based on “loving feelings”, it is de-evolution to the level of dogs, not growth as a human being gifted with reason, rationality, and a heart and soul connected mysteriously to the act of sex. We do not “grow” from having sex. We grow up then have sex as grown ups who know who we are, what people are, what relationships need, and where our sexuality fits in the big picture of what it means to be a human being and not a dog in heat.
Kate goes on to say, “…. It's like we don't ask people to not try out for sports….. It's just a natural human process, and we need to be educating people.” Oh, Kate. So, sex is like professional sports, only natural. It’s just a game people play, scream a little, bump around and sweat a little, score some points, then go home. In the end its just touch football with an orgasm instead of a touchdown. Its all about how “good” you were in bed, or under the dining room table or whatever. You sound like the Boston Medical Group appeal to men’s fragile sexual egos: “Get examined today, perform tonight!” So how many men have you tried out? What is your criteria for a “first string” sex partner? Would you settle from someone coming off the bench if you’re REALLY horny? How many guys think of you as their starting quarterback? Do you know how many think you are second string? How much education do you need to learn to do like a superstar what is “natural”? Dogs don’t need education to do what is natural, except when they are trying to slam dunk on your leg, but then all you have to do is kick them. Don’t you, somewhere in the depth of your soul, find this the slightest bit DE-humanizing? You are a human being reduced to a performer of sex acts, and how well your human pretzel performance matches up with his internet porn queen fantasies determines how “deep” your relationship is going to get. You try out, and if your partner is as vapid, inhuman and soulless as you are, depending on how skillfully you drive his hot rod, you may or may not get invited to sit on the “pole position” at the next race. Does it ever occur to you that you are being used for a cheap thrill (or even an expensive one…since you are really “hot”, I’m sure you’re not cheap anymore). Do you ever feel hollow using someone else for a good performance. Do you ever feel heartless when you discard a human being because your orgasm wasn’t a Cosmo screamer? Or did it occur to you that maybe he really didn’t care about yours because he got his anyway.
Kate finishes, “We wouldn't be seeing these young women suffering like this (referring to having an STD).” Given the choice, I think I’d rather suffer with an STD than suffer the ultimate loneliness and dehumanization of the mechanistic soullessness of Kate’s philosophy of sex. I’d rather sleep with one woman for my entire life than try out for the team with a dozen like her. I’d rather spend a lifetime learning to have decent sex with someone I know loves me and will care about me when our bodies fail and our bed is for sleeping, than try to please someone who tomorrow will spread her legs for someone who looks just a little hotter than me. In the nights she spends alone and she lays in bed staring at the ceiling (or even when she’s staring at the ceiling with some new rookie on top of her who isn’t making the team), I wonder what really goes on in the dark empty corners of her heart? STD’s can be cured and you can still become a human being. I don’t know how you can cure not having a human soul.