Monday, August 5, 2013

Is Being A Virgin A Social Pariah?

I've been seeing billboards of this new movie popping up all over town. While I haven't seen its trailer or heard anything about it, I am more concerned about the message it sends regarding sexual attitudes in this country. The movie poster appears to suggest that the family in the movie is a bunch of social pariahs you wouldn't want living next door to you--a father figure who may be a drug dealer, a mom who may be a night club stripper, a daughter whose antisocial behavior has turned her into a runaway (check out her I-don't-give-a-f*** facial expression). But the last member of the family is an innocent looking boy who has a big black arrow labeled "virgin" pointing straight at his head. Really? Is being a virgin in America nowadays the equivalent of a neighborhood drug dealer?

Has Hollywood's portrayal of virginity reached such scorn that it is almost unacceptable for a male to remain a virgin? In the "40 Year Old Virgin", the main character had remained a virgin because of several sexual misadventures in his past. But he was perfectly satisfied with his current social situation, even if it is nerdy to the extreme. However his buddies just knew that nobody can be right if they haven't had any sex, even if it is only with a one night stand. Spoiler ahead. Once he does lose his virginity, he does a little happy dance to a Bollywood style musical. So losing it will solve all of life's problems and make you a complete man?

Hollywood's cultural influence doesn't just affect immature and vulnerable teenagers. A few weeks ago there was a Craigslist help wanted ad from a mom in Philadelphia who wanted to hire a girl to help her son lose his virginity before he leaves for college (Harvard just in case you think the kid is some low life loser). She goes into great detail about how handsome and fit her son is but is just too shy to approach girls to lose his cherry. The mom even offers to pay off any prospective candidate's debts if she is successful in this scheme. How creepy and sickening is that?

Perhaps if we had a more conservative attitude towards sex in this country, we wouldn't be having so many problems with teenage pregnancies. If teen boys are conditioned in this country to start their sexual activities early, guess who they are going to jump on. That's right, teen girls Maybe if we didn't associate virgins with a social misfits, we wouldn't have to give every girl an HPV vaccine to prevent cervical cancer down the road. If virginity was not a dirty word, maybe we wouldn't have millions of new cases of STD's every year.

I know I sound like a prude, somebody who is still living in the 1950's. But this blatant movie poster just drew out my moral outrage. There are many problems in our country. Keeping one's virginity is not one of them. Losing it the wrong way just for the sake of getting rid of it to fit into societal expectations is. How refreshing and original would it be to poke fun at sexually promiscuous movie characters instead of holding them up as an ideal. Sometimes doctors can only treat the consequences of bad choices. We all need to do our parts to help promote a healthier population.

1 comment:

  1. THANK YOU. You're right on here.

    -Canadian Anesthesia resident