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February 21, 2006

Comments

Wendy Shalit

Merav, it seems to me you've said it all already. When 15-year-olds act like jaded 33 year-olds, it is time for a little celibacy. It's nice that some of them are actually starting to realize this. It will probably take a few more girls to actually turn things around, but at least the idea is out there.

Here's to more conversations, and fewer hookups!

Mary B.

Personally, I’ve witnessed a decline in the use of conversation as the use of contraception has increased. Coincidence? Perhaps not. According to the “Humanae Vitae (1968)”:

“Another effect that gives cause for alarm is that a man who grows accustomed to the use of contraceptive methods may forget the reverence due to a woman, and, disregarding her physical and emotional equilibrium, reduce her to being a mere instrument for the satisfaction of his own desires, no longer considering her as his partner whom he should surround with care and affection.”

Why converse when you can go right for the groin?

I come from a large extended family that is in part Irish. We love to talk. When I first visited Ireland in the mid 80’s I found myself frequently and easily engaged in many heartwarming and colorful conversations. At the time birth control was not legal in Ireland. Coincidence? I wonder. Rare is the type of verbal sparring that even comes close that of Elizabeth Bennett and Mr. Darcy in “Pride and Prejudice.” Unfortunately, my verbal flirting is met with blank stares and rolling eyes in recent years. I’m uncomfortable with the type of flirting that I now encounter. It’s almost entirely physical.

Jeannine

When I hear stuff like this, it's a reminder of the alarming statistics that I and others have blogged about in earlier posts--the sharp increase in sexually transmitted diseases in very young girls. Their future health, both physical and emotional, are in serious jeopardy. Being jaded, worn out, numb at age 15 is very sad.

Derek

Jesus. I mean, I came to that when I was 21, after two years of what some might call indulgent emotional irresponsibility. But a 15 year old?

I'm calling my brother and having my nieces put in boarding school, ASAP. Heh.

Liz Neville

Merav, this conversation you overheard strikes fear in the heart of anyone raising a daughter-- or a son, for that matter. Because no matter what we do, this sort of early numbing and emotional jading is happening to kids all around us. Those poor girls will never know the thrill of a first kiss, after the buildup of a crush and flirting, that remains only a kiss, and becomes the basis of thrilling dreams and hopes. They've already been there and done way beyond that-- how can they ever thrill to the little things again? And where are their princes, their knights, who'll go to the ends of the earth just to kiss their cheek? It's just too depressing. And that doesn't even begin to chronicle the physical and emotional damage done by this too-early sexual activity. I wish you'd had a card to hand them-- with our web address. Then they could maybe sample the "other side".

Merav

Good points, all of you.

Liz, you brought up such a valid point that has haunted me as well. What is there left for them to look forward to? If this has been their experience thus far with relationships, how will it continue by the time they reach...gasp.. 16? ... or 18?
It is heartwrenching to hear that children are experiencing the unfulfilled, heartbreak and soul-tearing emptiness of experienced jaded ex-lovers of many, or should I rather say partners of many, since one has to love in order to be a lover. How can they know the meaning of love, when they barely know each other's name?

What struck me about this young girl's experience, was that it was revolutionary. She experienced a connection with someone for the first time, that was NOT physical. And it was something to reflect on while all her (and her friends) other experiences were draining, rather than uplifting.

Mary, you are right that many seem to have lost interest in the ancient art of communitcation. The art of enjoying the prescence of ones soul, before that of their body. We have become a physically stimulated society, where attraction between two people cannot be real unless it takes place between the sheets as well.
But is that attaction even real? Does it only constitute as true love if one feels attracted enough to a persons body without bothering to get to know the depths of their soul?

It may be my traditional background, or my commonsense, (the two seem to be intertwined at times) but I think it is important for a couple to develop a "hands-off" connection before they try the "hands-on" activities. Souls and hearts are too fragile to be played with, and can be more easily broken without the proper cushioning.

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