Tucson Progressive

Pamela Powers Hannley, a progressive voice for Arizona

What Happens in Vegas: Sin City Cops Urge Girls to ‘Choose Purity’

Las VegasThe Las Vegas, Nevada Police Department recently co-hosted a Choose Purity event to promote abstinence and to scare young girls away from promiscuity, which we all know leads to prostitution, drug addiction, and death.

The take home message: “get promiscuous” and die a horrible death, you slut.

Does anyone else see the irony in a Choose Purity event being held in Las Vegas– or in any part of Nevada, a state where most counties have legalized prostitution? If you really want to save girls from prostitution, why not start with making it illegal?

From the Las Vegas Sun…

“Choose Purity” aimed to show young girls what can happen when they don’t wait until marriage to have sex, according to Officer Regina Coward, president of the Nevada Black Police Association, who said she’d been asked by her church, Victory Outreach Church, to create a community event to go along with its abstinence message.

So what does Coward say happens? Typically four things: sexual assault, gangs, drugs and prostitution.

Avoid sex and avoid those perils, Coward said.

To drive this point home, Coward recruited speakers who could address those dangers.

On the agenda: sex trafficking, tears and a tiara.

The room of about 125 parents and children watched recorded interviews with a pimp and prostitutes, learned modern-day slavery exists in the form of the sex trade, and saw grisly images of people who’d suffered at the hands of hard drugs — such as a woman who’d lost limbs in a methamphetamine lab explosion and a man who’d had his face partially gnawed off by a meth user.

Wide-eyed youngsters watched as two girls gave dramatic performances told from the perspective of one girl who had died after abusing diet pills and one who had died after contracting a sexually transmitted disease as a prostitute. The monologues concluded with each girl getting on a gurney and into a body bag.

When asked whether she’d recruited the “Toe Tag Monologues” to perform to send the message that engaging in premarital sex meant risking death, Coward said, “Yeah, because that’s what’s happening…”

According to the press release for the event, it was an opportunity for Metro [the police department] to address an issue it usually doesn’t tackle: teen pregnancy.

Research out of the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health has shown teens who take virginity pledges are just as likely to have sex as teens who don’t promise to wait, but they are less likely to practice safe sex.

Apparently, Purity Events are a thing. There are websites that will help you organize and publicize your Purity Event. The basic idea is to gather a crowd of young people, teach them about the glories of abstinence and the horrors of promiscuity, and encourage them to take a purity pledge to remain sexually abstinent until after marriage.

The problem is that virginity pledges don’t work because no one keeps the promise.

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The Tucson Progressive: Pamela Powers Hannley

I stand on the side of Love. I believe in kindness to all creatures on Earth and the inherent self-worth of all individuals--not just people who agree with me or look like me.

Widespread economic and social injustice prompted me to become a candidate for the Arizona House, representing Legislative District 9 in the 2016 election. My platform focuses on economic reforms to grow Arizona's economy, establish a state-based public bank, fix our infrastructure, fully fund public education, growlocal small businesses and community banks, and put people back to work at good-paying jobs. I also stand for equal rights, choice, and paycheck fairness for women. I am running as a progressive and running clean.

My day job is managing editor for the American Journal of Medicine, an academic medicine journal with a worldwide circulation. In addition, my husband and I co-direct Arizonans for a New Economy, Arizona's public banking initiative. I am a member of the national board of the Public Banking Institute, and I am co-chair of the Arizona Democratic Progressive Caucus, the largest caucus of the Arizona Democratic Party.

I am a published author, photographer, videographer, clay artist, mother, nana, and wife. I have a bachelor's degree in journalism from Ohio State University and a masters in public health from the University of Arizona. I grew up in Amherst, Ohio, but I have lived in Tucson, Arizona since 1981. I am a proud member of the Unitarian Universalist Church of Tucson and the Public Relations Society of America.

My Tucson Progressive blog and Facebook page feature large doses of liberal ideas, local, state, and national politics, and random bits of humor. I also blog at Blog for Arizona and the Huffington Post.

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