Religion

School Makes Girls Attend Christian's Abstinence Lecture

| by Michael Allen

Payson High School in Arizona recently required girls to attend an assembly about sexual abstinence, while the boys were given the option to attend, or not attend, an assembly on dating.

Brad Henning, a Christian guest speaker who was the star of both assemblies, travels across the country to high schools with his "Don’t Take Love Lying Down" presentation on relationships, notes the Payson Roundup.

Henning speaks to male and female students on one day, and on a second day, the students are split up by sex in separate assemblies so that they can ask questions.

"Doing what I do you get asked questions over and over again," Henning told the newspaper. "It’s not that I agree or disagree with the questions ... some of the questions are embarrassing."

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Henning created his presentation from his work with a church youth group.

"I used to have a group of college kids," Henning told the newspaper. "The thing that was killing them was their relationships."

School principal Brian Mabb recalled that Henning said that boys often won't participate if their assembly is mandatory, while girls will participate even if they miss classes.

According to Mabb, the kids could skip the assemblies if their parents opted them out.

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However, parent Laurel Wala told the newspaper:

I was very disappointed to hear that there is a second assembly on relationships this afternoon that is mandatory for girls, but that the boys have an optional assembly after school. This sends a dual message that: It is acceptable for girls to miss their normal classes, but not the boys and that girls have more responsibility for whether a relationship is "good" than boys.

During the girls' assembly, Henning reportedly told the females not to arouse a male by dressing or acting in a way that unleashes his God-given sexual urges.

Henning said that males are more sexual so that the human species does not go extinct, while females have a lower sex drive to prevent overpopulation, notes the Payson Roundup.

According to Henning's website, his educational background is a Bachelor of Arts degree from Seattle Pacific College.

The newspaper reports that Henning said girls who think they are not attractive enough will wear sexy clothing to attract boys who cannot control their sexual urges, so girls are required to help boys control their actions by not wearing sexy clothing or behaving in a way that asks for sex.

The Payson Roundup notes: "At no point did Henning admonish the boys to take responsibility or to avoid taking advantage of a girl, no matter what she’s wearing."

Linda Fairstein, a prosecutor in New York City for over 30 years, told CNN's Carol Costello in 2014: "Sexual assault is the only crime in the book where the offender repeatedly blames the victim. I've ... had men who attacked 5-year-old girls who've said, 'She climbed on my lap and she was very sexy and I thought she was inviting me to touch her.'"

Liz Roberts, who heads Safe Horizon, a rape crisis center in New York City, told Costello:

We, as a culture, like to blame the victim because it makes us feel safe. We have a subconscious belief that if women just did all the right things, like dressing modestly, then we would never be raped. So enough with questions like: "Do you think girls dress in a way that invites trouble?"

Such questions only give rapists what they're looking for: an excuse for violence. 

Henning did not advocate or justify sexual assault during his talks.

Sources: Payson Roundup, CNN, BradHenning.com / Photo credit: BradHenning.com

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