COLUMN: Skewed views on Taboos

Allison Pritchard

I’m a virgin. I’ve never done any drugs. I haven’t gotten so much as a speeding ticket.

But I don’t think sex, drugs and Rock ‘n’ Roll are all that bad.

Why are these and so many other pleasantries of life considered a no-no in our society? Does it really hurt anyone if a college woman has protected sex with her boyfriend? Does anything bad happen when Joe Schmo down the hall goes streaking at 3 a.m.?


It all goes back to old-fashioned thinking. Instead of letting people learn and make good decisions on their own, society imposes restrictions.

Ironically, it’s the rules that make people want to rebel. If people were allowed to drink at any age, I doubt there would be such a surge to score alcohol on weekends. How often do you hear about binge drinking or STDs among teens in Europe? It’s the forbidden-fruit syndrome.

When people are deprived of their rights, they naturally want to try to reclaim them. They wonder what all the fuss is about. If young people were taught that drugs can cause bodily harm, but still had the right to use them, less would feel the urge to break the rules.

Countless other taboos are just plain unjustified.

The worst is our culture’s rejection of nudity. People are taught that their bodies are something to be ashamed of. Nudity isn’t seen on television and people won’t talk about sex in public. Human bodies are considered obscene, sinful or offensive. Natural actions, like sex, are deemed “inappropriate” for discussion.

Some say it’s “gross” when nudity is shown in public. Hearing them say that makes me sick. I think human bodies are beautiful. They are a part of nature. In the past, showing ankles was sexually deviant. You would think now that we know better, that bodies would be accepted. Hell, nudity is as “natural” as it goes.

On that note, abstinence-only “education” is not only ignorant, but ineffective. People are naturally going to have sex. They need the facts on how to protect themselves. Telling them solely not to have sex won’t help the thousands of unwanted pregnancies each year. Heaven forbid that a young girl doesn’t learn what a penis is until she is having sex on the playground.

Don’t get me wrong, I am not an advocate of promiscuity or getting permanent brain damage from dropping acid, but I do believe society has slanted views on its taboos. Smoking pot or having sex with a significant other doesn’t make someone a bad person. Sex, music and nudity can be used as emotional outlets and for stress relief. Nothing truly is as is taught by “the elders.”

The key to changing the skewed views of society is education. Let’s just be honest about it, folks. People get naked, have sex and drink – even those who say they are against it. A person’s body is no one’s but his or her own. The negative hush-hush attitude promotes more bad choices than would naturally occur when people have the facts. Unlike some, I do believe that educated people are able, and deserve the right to make their own decisions.

Allison Pritchard is a Junior Electronic Media Production major and a columnist for the Daily Kent Stater. Contact her at [email protected].