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November 29, 2005


Denise Noe

It seems to me that there is an easy way to work to lower the rate of problem pregnancies and STDs among young people -- while working against what are often called "sexual dysfunctions" and that is to revive the custom of chaperoned dating.

I've been condemned as retro and chided for wanting to "go back to the Big Band era" (although I'm no Glen Miller fan) for making this suggestion. However, the pattern young people fall into in one-on-one dating is, in my opinion, inherently conducive to what are often termed sexual problems and to a sort of adversary relationship between males and females.

That pattern, of course, is for the male to try to see "how far he can get" and the female to allow so much, push him away, the male trying again, all the while attempting to get her aroused enough to engage in an activity likely to be thoroughly unsatisfying to her and to harm both of their futures if a pregnancy or STD should result.

The presence of a chaperone would mean that both parties would tend to preserve their modesty and actually get to know each other as individuals, finding out each others' values, attitudes, quirks, hobbies, and interests. Yes, the presence of a chaperone would be somewhat constraining in some aspects of conversation as well. However, the lack of one means that dates -- and "hook-ups" are even worse -- turn into destructive wrestling matches.


There are sooooo many people out there, so many singles, lookings in all the wrong places for love. I give you credit, a lot of credit, for looking for something real, something loving, something hopeful, something long term. Too many, like you said, desperately grab for the immediate touch, and end up hurt. We all have to search carefully, love can be so frequently elusive. But giving up, and "hooking up" guarantees one will never find it. I hope you find a man worthy of your affections, you deserve that!


You wouldn't even need maiden aunties to do the chaperoning; just send a ten year old along with assurances that you will match any bribes the young couple offers to get lost, and you will have a full accounting of every lurid detail!

In all seriousness, this is why our church advises youth to avoid dating of any kind until age 16, and to date in groups until they are ready for courting.

Shevy Friedman

This is the first time I've ever been compelled to write into a blog but I had to recount what just happened to me today that connects to this idea. I was brought up Orthodox and went to an all-girls Orthodox high school. I was explaining the "shidduch" (matchmaking) system to my non-Jewish facialist, answering her query if I had a boyfriend with the answer, "No, I'm looking for a husband!" I mentioned that though it might sound strange to date and be engaged for so short, I was looking for a life mate and not just someone to get to know and have fun with now. I then told her that I really believe in the system because of the 54 girls in my class, not one of them had divorced parents. She replied, "No f---in' way!" So....something's working!
BTW- I LOVE this blog- keep up the awesome posts!

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