Don’t think about white mice. Don’t give white mice another thought. Really, if white mice come to mind, just stop thinking about those cute little white mice. It really isn’t hard to stop thinking about white mice. When you start thinking about white mice, just start telling yourself that there are far more important things to think about than adorable little white mice. And don’t let that computer mouse make you think about white mice.
I’m lucky, I have a track pad on my laptop, so I don’t think about white mice. Although when I see the dish of cotton balls in the bathroom it reminds me of white mice sometimes. When I think of white mice, I usually remember the elevator in grad school that always seemed to have a pharmacy grad student with cages of white mice being brought from the animal care center. Then I repeat over and over, “stop thinking about white mice“.
But I digress, don’t let elevators or cotton balls make you think about white mice. Don’t even let little white baby shoes remind you of white mice. Remember, when these things remind you of white mice, just keep telling yourself that you’re not going to think any more about white mice. Not even when you hear a door squeak or a child’s squeaky toy, or even when you see a scooter. Forget the white mice. White mice are just not important.
That’s the way it goes with comprehensive sex education, and with ‘value-neutral’ abstinence programs. The more we discuss sex, the more we think about it. The more we discuss ways of avoiding the consequences of sex the more empowered we feel about sallying forth into carnal bliss.
Discussed in such a permissive manner, trained in the culture of readily available ‘protection’, there isn’t an inclination to defer gratification.
Small wonder then that this week we’ve heard of the latest study telling us that the more we discuss white mice, er, sex, with kids the more they go out and have sex.
William Kilpatrick cited several such studies well over a decade ago in his book Why Johnny Can’t Tell Right From Wrong.
Abstinence education works somewhat better than comprehensive sex education, by as much as 30% in some studies. If abstinence, however, is nothing more than saying no to primal urges, it’s inherently problematic. Such a ‘just say no’ approach is to the development of mature sexuality what a bread and water diet is to developing healthy nutritional habits over a lifetime.
Authentic sexuality is about subordinating one’s self to God’s wise plan for ALL of His creation. When such subordination achieves the status of habit, one is more rightly disposed to the self-mastery requisite for marital fidelity. Our bodies are not our own to do with as we will. Entering marriage after a lifestyle that caters to just that understanding, that our bodies are our own to do with as we will, predisposes us to disaster in marriage.
Fidelity is a virtue. And virtue as we know is a MORALLY GOOD OPERATIVE HABIT. Vice is a morally bad operative habit.
We need to be instilling these very concepts in our young. Morality, Goodness, Habits: Those qualities that define one’s character.
Just saying no, without the tempering influence of a larger moral vision can degenerate into trying in vain not to think about white mice.
Teaching them to cave to inpulse, to eschew morality, to indulge the self in a moment’s notice is simply the wrong preparation for when one’s spouse simply isn’t up to gratifying needs on demand.
This is so much more than ‘staying safe’. It isn’t sitting and saying that I won’t think about white mice. It’s about attaching one’s yearning to a love greater than oneself. It’s about dying to self in order to live for God and one’s future spouse, before we have even met him or her. It is the grain of wheat falling to the ground and dying as a grain so as to yield far more grain in due season.