"Can I voice my opinion? :) As another Christian parent, I'm already praying for my daughters' purity and for them to meet Godly men to marry. And in the meantime, I am going to teach them about sexuality, but also about being modest and pure."
I'm posting the comments to my previous post here because I want to comment on the comments, but not in the "comment" section!
First, I just want to say thanks for the feedback! I love to get people thinking about this topic, and when you get kind of fired up, it just means you have strong beliefs. I think that's awesome. Please don't think you're going to offend me by leaving comments or even disagreeing with what I say. I've developed a pretty tough skin being in my profession! :) Also, my opinions are what they are. I'm not so arrogant to think that they are always right or that they will always stay the same. They aren't the same as they were three years ago, and certainly aren't the same as 8 or 10 years ago. And I fully accept that my opinions (especially on this topic) tend to be more liberal than most (Christian) people's, and I'm okay with that.
Paula- I totally agree! I think part of the point I was trying to make is that it isn't any easier to raise boys than girls. It's not a gender issue!
I think what gets me is that I feel that there is so much shame wrapped into the sexuality issue, especially when it is taught in the Christian homes. I feel good to say that it wasn't this way in my home growing up, or even in my youth group. Where I started feeling the pressure of sexuality and shame was at Bible college. Anyone who has been to a conservative Christian school will understand what I'm talking about, or even if you were brought up in an ultra-conservative church. There is so much pressure put on girls to remain "pure" and be modest that girls are terrified to express any sexuality at all, lest it cause a brother to "stumble." I don't think that's fair. It's not fair to put the responsibility of a man sinning on the actions of women. I feel we should have the right to be who we are without the uncertainty or shame of causing another to sin.
I do understand that men are stimulated differently than women. I get that. But I also think every person, man or woman, has to be responsible for their thoughts, actions, etc.
I think the problem with the way we teach purity is that we expect girls to be demure, burlap-covered, non-sexual creatures until their wedding night. Until that point, thinking about, fantasizing, touching, and any kind of sexual "temptation" is 100% wrong. Shameful. Sinful. Then the veil is lifted and we are expected to please our husbands in any way they need or want. But it doesn't work that way, does it? There's no magic switch we can turn that undoes 20+ years of the opposite teaching.
And the same goes for guys! I've talked with so many young (and older) men that struggle with being intimate with their wives because as a child there was so much shame associated with masturbation or wet dreams (can I say that here?). And Christian young men have had it drilled into their heads that "you don't lust", and consequently have a difficult time being okay with lusting after their own wife.
So anyway, I'm not saying that we tell them it's okay to lust. And I don't pretend to have all the answers about how it should be done. But I know there's got to be a better way than how it is right now. I see too many people who can not reconcile Christianity and sexuality to think that Christian parents are doing a good job of this. That's all I'm trying to say.