The Thing About Your Daughter’s Virginity…
Ashley Simpo

Can we not do both? Can we not teach our daughters that their bodies are their own, that they are not defined by their virginity, that they have the power to make choices about their sexuality . . . but also teach them the truth, which is that sex has risks? That no contraception is 100% effective, so unless they are prepared for the possibility of pregnancy and all of the choices that would entail, that they might want to wait until they are ready for that possibility? I feel like there’s such an either/or when it comes to this topic. It’s either shame-based abstinence education or handing out condoms with a “go for it, kid.” I have had two accidental pregnancies. My husband and I were planning on having more babies, just not when they happened, so it wasn’t a huge life changer for us, but I can’t imagine having that happen as a teen having sex just for sex’s sake, or even in a loving, committed relationship as a teen. We will teach our daughters everything we can about sex without any kind of shaming or personal value attached to their virginity, but that will include driving home the statistics about contraceptive efficacy (and yes, use examples of people we know who got pregnant unexpectedly—not as a way to shame anyone, but to share the reality that there is no such thing as “safe sex.”)