Friday, December 2, 2011

How about UPOGA: Understanding Premarital Opposite-Gender Attraction?

We have an idea for a new student group to meet at BYU every Thursday night. It's called Understanding Premarital Opposite-Gender Attraction, UPOGA. There is a real need because a lot of students have all sorts of problems with this, and if they could just meet together with others who are struggling, it would make them feel so much better.

There are several kinds of students who need this support group. Kids with POGA come from all sorts of backgrounds. But all have these sexual thoughts and feelings that give them their primary identity and the Church won't let them indulge in them. This causes all kinds of trauma and some are forced to escape into pornography, masturbation, and are even suicidal. Those who slip up and do act out sexually on their premarital opposite-gender attractions are left feeling horribly guilty and ashamed, but they can't seem to stop. After all, it's natural and normal to have sexual feelings and scientists say resisting them is unhealthy. The Church causes even more trauma because of the conflict these poor people must endure between their religion's rules and who they are as sexual beings.

Those with POGA who biologically can't control their sexual thoughts, feelings, and/or the spectrum of consequent sexual behaviors causing them all kinds of unhealthy trauma and conflict here and now, just want to have fun, aren't ready to get married yet, or haven't met the person they want to marry. But there are others. These are POGA students who have lost all hope of marriage. They don't get asked on dates, have never even had a boyfriend or girlfriend and are certain they never will. Others have intentionally decided against ever getting married. They have lost faith in the institution because of the high divorce rate or traumatic personal experiences with their parents' divorces. Others just can't see themselves committing to all that responsibility that marriage and family entails. Some have made up their minds they will not bring children into this sad, suffering world; there are those who have even had themselves sterilized. Some young women are on the pill as a matter of principle, in hopeful preparation for when rules against premarital sex are abolished.

All these POGA students have one thing in common. They feel it is silly and unfair that sex must be linked to marriage/mating. As things now stand they must resign themselves to secrecy, guilt, conflict, and shame, or being celibate, some for the rest of their lives. They need a sexual support group. Although we may not agree with some of their beliefs and ideas, we are called upon to tolerate and respect them. It would really help if they could meet with like-minded similarly sexually-frustrated students.

The Honor Code states that people at BYU "may not influence or seek to influence others to engage in behavior inconsistent with the Honor Code," but this group wouldn't do that. Or would it? What would they discuss at these meetings? What influences would the group be exposed to?

Well, they would surely talk about how they can't help who they are and what they feel. They'd discuss the healthfulness and acceptability of premarital sex. They'd keep abreast of the great new methods of pregnancy and disease prevention that have paved the way for "safe sex." They'd bring up books to read and movies to see that promote premarital sex, so as to make their members feel accepted and comfortable with their feelings.

And the social aspect alone! The loneliness and lovelessness these unfulfilled young people feel can be overwhelming. It would be so great if they could hook up with people who feel the same way: that prohibiting premarital sex is cruel and intolerant and heterophobic.

They'll share stories about the difficulties they've had with religious extremists and fundamentalists in their own church who insist on foisting old-fashioned ideas about chastity on them, and the unConstitutional sexual orientation discrimination they feel. They'll plan ways to get the Honor Code changed to gradually allow premarital sex, step by step. They'll talk about putting pressure on the whole Church and enlightening the culture to come out of the dark ages and catch up with the world.

They'd arrange panels of older and more experienced sufferers of POGA who would give them sex-centered words to live by, strategies for alleviating at least some of their sexual frustrations while technically keeping the Honor Code, and hope in a brighter future society when sex would be allowed and equally available for all people regardless of marital status.

They'd prepare arguments like, if they could just release their sexual tensions by practicing premarital sex with the support of the Church, the school, their families, friends, and society as a whole, they would do better in school, avoid hopeless suicidality, and be freed from the oppressive cultural pressure toward the lifelong commitment of marriage and family. They could even dream up future programs that would provide needed sexual love experiences on demand, anonymously if desired, and free of commitment, responsibility, or guilt feelings. Their goal would be to promote understanding why premarital sex is normal and natural and must be allowed equally for everyone.


Okay, we hope you get the message. We don't mean to make light of the seriousness of sex or truly compare male-female fornication with maladaptive homosexual behavior. Nor do we wish to belittle the very real problem of unwanted homosexual tendencies. We just mean to point out how BYU's USGA (Understanding Same-Gender Attraction) group does break the Honor Code by influencing or seeking to influence students toward unchaste (and inordinately risky) behaviors. We have attended one of these meetings. Our impression is that they are based on the affirming of homosexuality, serve as a place to meet, make friends, and/or act out with like-minded and similarly tempted people, provide a forum in which to address sexuality-based grievances, present homosexual behaviors in a positive light (we witnessed this firsthand), and mean to usurp existing standards of morality. And worst of all, the group doesn't offer any hope or help at all in overcoming unwanted same-gender attraction.

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