Former cult abductee Elizabeth Smart slams abstinence sex ed

Elizabeth Smart, a Mormon girl who was abducted by a dodgy couple in 2002, becoming their sex slave/wife for nine months starting when she was 14, has been talking in public about her ordeal. She has spoken about being raised under the concept of abstinence-only education, and its psychological harm to her and how it made her even more susceptible to her captors. She was taught that women who engage in premarital sex are like chewed pieces of bum. Once chewed, who wants used gum?

Smart said: "It's feeling like 'who would ever want me now? I’m worthless.' That is what it was for me the first time I was raped".

Smart's situation is extreme, but it's awful to teach girls and young women to put their value on being devoid of sexual experience before marriage. Self esteem for young people is tough under normal circumstances. Telling women they are merchandise that becomes less marketable, or even unmarketable, if they have any sexual experience is rotten. The whole video is worth watching, but jumping to the 8:11 mark is particularly good (there's a low audio buzz):

Western religion has done quite a lot of damage due to its misogyny such as insistence on "purity" and women-as-property.

Elizabeth Smart Foundation