Years later, I'm thinking back on that talk, and realizing how screwed up it really was.
Let's switch it up! Now I want you to pretend you're a high school boy listening to a chastity talk. Is what you hear going to have as big of an impact on you as it does the girls? Are you going to feel as guilty, as dirty as a non-virgin female classmate? Probably not. Why? Because while girls are most often told they need to remain pure to find love and get married, putting all the pressure on them to keep themselves "intact", boys are cast into the "prince charming", "true man", or protector role. They are told the best type of girl to be with is a "pure" one, who will need to be protected. There's nothing about mutually supporting each other in a relationship or partnership. Boys are told that "pure" girls are delicate little flowers, and it's their job to make sure nothing "sullies" them.
Sure, this might not sound that bad at first glance, but these messages do nothing to empower young people, especially girls. They're not keeping themselves "pure" because they have a right to control what happens to their own bodies, or a right to embrace their sexuality in the way they think is most wholesome. No. They have to stay "pure", or they will never find true love. And for the boys? When they say they need to be "true men", it's a very specific understanding of what it means to be a man. Tough, strong, masculine, non-emotional, aggressive, take-charge...you get where I'm going with this? Not all boys are going to fit into this mold of what it means to "be a man", and this is far from the only way to "be a man"! However, when the Church is presenting it's understanding of what it means to be "pure" to young men and women, these deep gender divides in the language used and lessons taught feed into a much larger social problem. This kind of divide leads to women who are opinionated and aggressive being labeled "bossy" or "bitchy", and for men who