A girl who loses her virginity is like a piece of chewed gum no one wants. That's one of the sexual purity lessons rape and kidnapping survivor Elizabeth Smart learned growing up as a Mormon girl. "After that first rape, I felt crushed. Who could want me now? I felt so dirty and so filthy. I understand so easily all too well why someone wouldn't run because of that alone."
Even though she lost her virginity through no fault of her own, she still felt like a lesser human being because she'd lost something supposedly more precious than her freedom or safety -- her virginity. I remember those awful lessons growing up as a Mormon, too (although I know they're not unique to Mormondom). I was taught it would be better to be shot and killed by my rapist than "allow" myself to be raped, like I'd have an effing choice! And there's more where that came from. Here's a few of my favorite insane sexual purity object lessons. Can we please stop telling our girls this nonsense?
Elizabeth recalls the chewed gum object lesson in which a girl who has lost her virginity is like a piece of chewed gum: "I thought, 'Oh my gosh, I'm that chewed up piece of gum, nobody re-chews a piece of gum, you throw it away.' And that's how easily it is to feel like you no longer have worth, you no longer have value. Why would it even be worth screaming out? Why would it even make a difference if you are rescued? Your life still has no value. That's terrible. Nobody should ever say that."