Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Hormones, Schmormones

A few weekends ago, I attended a talk at the church I've been going to entitled, "Why Premarital Sex is Stupid." It was pretty much the same mumbo-jumbo I heard at my youth group talks when I was a teenager--a presentation that relied less on actual statistics and more on Bible verses and loaded words designed to elicit extreme emotions from the listeners.* But the one thing that got to me, the one thing that downright pissed me off, was a remark the priest made in closing: "Girls, SET THE TONE. Guys have so many hormones, they don't even know their own names. SET. THE. TONE." Translation: "It is inevitable that guys will try to take your precious virginity because they're hornier than a twelve-point buck. It is up to YOU to ward off their dishonorable advances and keep your legs closed lest you wind up shamed and disgraced. You are a woman of God, after all." Again, this was not unlike what I heard growing up, except now it just gets under my skin.

Why does all the pressure fall on the woman to "set the tone" when it comes to chastity in dating and relationships? Why are guys excused for acting like pigs just because of their hormones? Girls can be just as horny as guys, and the pressure to "set the tone" shouldn't fall solely on us. Humans are equipped with this amazing organ called a brain, which lets us do all sorts of cool stuff, like think for ourselves, reason and write entertaining blog posts like this. It's what sets us apart from animals (among other things). Guess what? Guys are humans! And guess what else! They have brains too! So they're more than the sum of their hormones! They can think about the consequences of their actions and act accordingly! They can be held responsible!

So why aren't they, especially in the church? If the church wants to cultivate respectable, chaste Christian men, why is it excusing their dishonorable actions concerning chastity because of hormones? Responsibility should be equally placed on both sexes. Guys shouldn't be let off the hook because of raging hormones. It's a cop out. Instead, they should be challenged to man up and think through their actions and the consequences of those actions, using the brains God gave them. They should also be encouraged to "set the tone." Otherwise, how can they be the strong, respectable men the church wants them to be if the church doesn't call them to rise to the challenge?

*Despite what it looks like, I do think having talks about the cons of premarital sex are important; I just don't approve of how people go about such presentations. I think people would take abstinence more seriously if more solid health statistics were used instead of a bunch of Bible verses and loaded words. I think arguments that rely too much on emotion are shallow. Something is to be said for logic and facts and figures, after all.

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