September 15, 2006| I wanted to highlight an article I read online recently, Virgin--It's Not a Dirty Word where I stumbled across the contribution of our very own Cassandra Debenedetto who helped found the Anscombe Society!

Now, as I read the anecdote in the first few paragraphs about the women on the subway, I got to thinking about what really gets me -- it's the psychological inevitability so many girls feel about having premarital sex. The definition of "inevitable"? "Cannot be avoided; certain to happen." As Fulkerson points out, where did these girls' options go? In our highly acclaimed culture of "free choice", what happens to girls' free will in this matter?

Well, I have a couple thoughts on this, from a psychological standpoint, so let's give it a go. I'm no expert, but my grad school experience in psych settings has opened my eyes to adolescents' and adults' struggles with this feeling of inevitability. It leads to despair. The beauty, though, of our amazingly complex minds and egos full of conscious and unconscious motives lies in those moments of "cognitive dissonance" and "ego-dystonic" events.

You see, that's what those girls were experiencing -- sensing that discrepancy between their beliefs and actions and recognizing deep down something isn't sitting right and can't be reconciled as it is. But make no mistake: those moments are God-sent, not to be dismissed! Because what the article doesn't address is the hope that can be found for women who uncover the ego strength and forgiveness to recover the road to chastity.

In the words of (sigh, my dear) Led Zeppelin, on the Stairway to Heaven, "Yes, there are two paths you can go by, but in the long run, there's still time to change the road you're on....".

Discuss this more on the blog.

Erin Palazzolo is a graduate of Williams College and an art therapist.


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