What is 'good'? 

Article lacked focus

I write today regarding Laura McPhee’s article “Good Girls Do! But Smart Girls Do It Better,” from the cover of your July 19-26 issue. I fully agree that men and women should not be held to different standards for sexual activity and that licentiousness is nothing new in our society. These points are not heard often enough, and I commend her for drawing attention to them.

However, the article seemed to lack focus, and by the end, I was uncertain if it was a defense of unwed sex, a call to use condoms, a lobby to change school curriculum or a celebration of vibrators and abortion. Further, some of her statistics need further explanation for fair reporting. For instance, she cites a “CDC survey of American women 20 to 70 years of age” where “58 percent of those married by 1950 were not virgins on their wedding night.”

Seventy-year-old women were 14 in 1950! While it was not uncommon then for women to marry much earlier than now, especially in the South, presenting this information as representative of 1950 is unquestionably a fallacy.

My biggest problem with the article, though, is that it claims “good girls do have sex before they get married,” yet never defines what a “good girl” is. I’m not here to say that everyone who has waited is good and those who haven’t are whores. But just because 90 percent of people do something doesn’t mean it’s good. That’s like agreeing with a tribe of cannibals who say, “Good men eat people.” The majority can clearly be wrong.

The problem with sex education is not that we ignore what people are doing. It’s that we ignore what sex can be: a wonderful, meaningful and powerful expression of intimacy and unconditional love. Now that’s good.

Lee Chambers


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