Baby steps…


Ms. Jackie,

The speech that you gave to our class the other day was flawless. You made me actually think about the things I do and why. There are far more things that are more important to me than having sex, but I never thought past my spontaneous sexual arousal.

If I would have taken health before my senior year, I may have never started having sex; but I didn’t and I did. But, what you taught me is to respect women even when they want me to disrespect them, to value their sexuality and NOT take advantage of them.

If you knew who I am, it may be hard to imagine me writing what I am writing. It may be a surprise to a number of people, but your words touched me and that’s enough said.


Although these letters are written to me anonymously, I have a pretty good idea who wrote this letter. If it was who I think it was, this young man had been very cavalier about his sexual decisions (practically bragging about his sexual past).

What I’ve come to realize is that many times the students who are the most cavalier or defensive in class are the ones who are being impacted the most. Of course they would never let that fact be known in front of the class, which is perfectly OK with me. I’m more concerned with them “getting it” internally than I am with them acknowledging that they “get it” externally.

The funny thing is that even the guys who aren’t having sex will pretend in class that they are sexually active. A young man at another school spoke in class as if he was an expert on sex. When everyone else left the classroom, he stayed behind and said, “Even though you heard me say everything that I said in class, I’m still a virgin.”  On the way out the door, he turned around and said, “And that’s just between me and you, OK?” I said, “Your secret is safe with me!” šŸ˜‰

The first hurdle is getting them to change their behavior; then we can tackle changing the culture where they can be proud to admit to that changed behavior in public. At least we’re taking steps in the right direction.

In the words of a high school student:

You are a very inspirational person with a powerful voice. I’m not having sex but your speech made me think twice before I do. Thanks for speaking to our class and inspiring females as well as our males to keep their ‘golden ticket’. It’s not easy knowing the challenges in our society are getting harder and harder every day. Change comes baby step by baby step. You paved a big footprint.

Do you have any ideas about how we could change the culture so that students, especially young men, would be proud to admit that they are or will begin abstaining from sex? Please share them!

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