Abstinence Educators Like Misinformation, Square DancingS

Infiltrator Harmon Leon's latest fish-shooting expedition was to the abstinence education group Life Choices, where he learned that people who run abstinence programs are uncool and do not get sexual innuendo.

Leon's last infiltration turned up the shocking information that Christian anti-porn groups are bad at both filmmaking and "hip hop language," and his recent foray into the anti-sex world proceeds in a similar vein. He showed up to train as a teen abstinence educator "dressed real sleazy-tight shirt and jean shorts, cut really high. So high, in fact, that I run a risk of one of my nads popping out. Why? To take God's test on this whole born-again-virgin thing. I've also decided to talk in sexual double entendres to see where that leads." The whole making-conservatives-uncomfortable-via-sex-jokes is sort of old hat at this point, and I find it sort of hard to be fully on the side of anyone who uses the word "nads." Still, as was almost assured, Leon witnesses some weird shit. Life Choices advises that teens simply "avoid arousal" (yeah right), and when Leon asks what to do if dancing turns you on, one of the trainers responds thus:

If you found that as a weak spot, then avoid it. Maybe they can pick a different kind of dance? Instead of freaky dancing, maybe try, I don't know, square dancing.

Unsurprisingly, the abstinence folks are also anti-condom: "Condoms will reduce risk of STDs, but not all STDs, but not eliminate it. There's still a 20 percent chance." It's not clear where this figure comes from or even what it signifies — a 20% chance of STD infection per sexual experience? — but it is clear that a group that tells teens to square dance may not be too concerned with reality. One trainer also says her son keeps a "honeymoon jar" of money to spend on his wife — once he actually meets her. This is certainly creepy, but none of it is groundbreaking, and Leon's antics — he tries to wrongfoot the two trainers by making threesome jokes and asking for "an assist-from someone with . . . Beautiful eyes" — seem like a way of distracting us from the fact that he's not actually finding out anything really interesting. I'm all for exposing the lies of groups that equate sex with sin and porn with Satan — but I'll take Oprah's gentle skepticism in response to Bristol Palin's abstinence pledge over Leon's nads-out tomfoolery. The game of mock-the-fundies has started to seem a little, well, easy.

Note: image is of a representative of the abstinence group Silver Ring Thing, not Life Choices.

In The Shadow Of The Palins: I Infiltrate A Teen Abstinence Educators Conference [True/Slant]

Earlier: Make This Sunday "Porn Sunday"