Planned Parenthood ‘Virginity’ Video Shows How Good They are at What Hitler was Good At

Manipulative persuasion in action, and how you can use a bad video to teach your kids good lessons.

By Tom Gilson Published on February 9, 2024

Laughing at virginity must be good for business at Planned Parenthood. The more careless sex, the more “unwanted pregnancies,” the more PP gets to do its death thing. They do the laughter thing with disturbing effectiveness in a recently released video. I won’t display it here. I want you to know what you’re in for before you see it. It’s pretty much all bad. That’s its power, but it’s also its weakness. And I’m telling you, this thing is weak.

So let’s flip it on its head. Let’s use exactly the opposite to the way want it used. Our kids need to know how they’re being lied to: the persuasive tricks, the emotional manipulations people like PP use to skirt around rational thinking. This video is great training material: “good” persuasion, in the same way Hitler was a “good” leader: powerful, effective, persuasive, but for evil purposes. If your kids, or the teens and pre-teens in your youth group, can see how it works here, they’ll be more equipped to spot it almost anywhere.

So sit down with your kids in the living room or the church youth group room, and point out these things as you watch it together. You need not worry about what you might be exposing them to. This might be one of the slicker presentations they’ve seen, but other than that, it’s nothing new. So give them the tools to discern what’s going on! It comes in two halves: discerning lies, manipulations, and persuasive tricks, and knowing and loving the truth. Getting a good grip on truth is more important, but the way this video flows, it will fit better to cover it in a second column which will follow soon.

Emotional Manipulation

The manipulations start instantly, as the video opens on a comic scene with comic music and a comic graphics asking “What is virginity?” There’s a teacher played by an actress who I’m sure has comedy training. Already the message is half-delivered: “We’re not sure what virginity is, but whatever it is, it’s not worth taking seriously.” And already you can pass along your first lesson to your kids. They’re putting classic persuasion technique to work here: Use laughter and music to get the emotions engaged, and rational thinking disengaged. It’s a trick, but it works for those who are naive to it.

Our teacher has no name, so I’ll just call her Teacher. (Real teachers don’t like that, but this is no real teacher.) Teacher speaks: “Virginity. What is it, and what’s the big deal about losing it?” Those are the words, but it’s not the message. The little dip she makes with her knees, her air quotes around “losing it,” and the music behind it, all add up to the real point she wants to make: the whole idea of “losing it” is laughable.

All that comes in the first seven seconds. Already they’re priming us to laugh at virginity. This is what makes this video so “good,” in the Hitler sense of “good.”

You’re Saying Sex Doesn’t Matter?

So why should we laugh at it? Does Teacher have reasons? “Let me cut to the chase,” she says. “Virginity is a completely made-up concept. It’s a term that was created simply to control and shame people — mainly women.” She ends that with a conspiratorial, “Mmm.”

“Mmm,” indeed. I wonder if she has sources to cite for that opinion. I could laugh myself, but not the way she wants me to. That line itself is a lie created to control and shame people — people who think sex matters. If virginity doesn’t matter, neither does sex. You can’t say the one counts and the other doesn’t.

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That became clear to me years ago when a friend and I were teaching a church youth group on sex and dating. Someone asked about kissing. I forget exactly how my friend answered, but I’ll never forget how one teen girl responded: “I don’t get what’s the big deal about a kiss.”

I hit the ceiling. “Not a big deal? Not a big deal? Every kiss I share with my wife is a big deal! Why on earth would anyone want it to be no big deal?”

If virginity is “no big deal,” then sex is “no big deal.” It’s amazing just how thoroughly the sexual revolution ruined sex. It tried making sex the most important thing on earth, but it did it by making it cheap and meaningless.

Teacher’s message is no different: “Sex is such a terribly big deal, it’s no big deal if you do it, and no big deal if you don’t.” The message for your kids is clear: Never agree with a message that can’t even agree with itself.

How Complicated is This, Anyway?

Teacher goes on: “A virgin is someone who hasn’t had sex. That is not as simple as it seems.” And the laugh-it-up music is still playing. Let’s keep our brains in gear, though. Sure, we can grant that it’s not 100 percent simple. Does that mean it’s not real? How about if we try that logic on something else?

“Having money is better than not having it.”

“Are you sure? Haven’t you heard how getting rich ruins a lot of Lotto winners’ lives?”

“Oh, yeah, you’re right. I’m sorry. Having money is no good after all.”

If you like the logic in that, then you might also be happy with this “teacher’s” logic on virginity.

How “Medical” is It?

How about science, then? “For one thing,” says Teacher, “medically, virginity isn’t a real thing.” Right. And “medically,” whether I had breakfast this morning isn’t a real thing, either.

Seriously now, how many people need a doctor to tell them whether they’re virgins or not? Does a doctor’s opinion even matter?

The producers knew exactly what they were doing. They’re good at deceptive persuasion, just as every dictator is good at it.

Granted, for women there’s a physical sign of virginity, and it’s something a doctor might check. Granted, too, it’s not completely reliable, just as Teacher says. Again, so what? A sign is a sign. It’s not the real thing. You pull in to the parking lot at your favorite restaurant, you notice the sign got badly messed up in last night’s windstorm. Do you conclude the restaurant isn’t real?

So much for science helping her out.

“Oppression” to the Rescue?

Teacher tries one more tack, calling on society’s concern for the oppressed in support of her case. She mentions “queers” and women, among others. We could argue which of these groups are genuinely oppressed, and what that might mean in the big scheme of things, but no need. This is easier than that. All she has to offer on it is that sex “means different things to different people.” Where then does the usual definition of virginity “leave queer people?” (You saw that one coming a mile away, right?)

I don’t know where it leaves them, and I don’t need to. One way or another, we all still know the answer to the easy question she’s asking: “What is virginity?” She does, too. Later on, when she talks about “not losing” something with casual sex, she’s talking about virginity. She can pretend she doesn’t know what the word means, but she can’t help proving she does anyway.

And then for a final take on why the word means so little, she says society treats men and women differently. True, but does that make the word meaningless? Society treats white-collar crime differently than gang crime. Does that mean there’s no such thing as crime?

Teach Your Kids Discernment!

So that’s why she thinks the idea of virginity is laughable. Her “reasons” aren’t reasons, they’re a comedy routine set to comedy music, supported by various emotional manipulations. I can guarantee you, though, this videos’ producers knew exactly what they were doing. They’re good at deceptive persuasion, just as every dictator is good at it.

Our kids need to know how to stave off these manipulations. It comes by learning how to recognize lies as lies, as I’ve focused on here. Next time I’ll focus on the other main tool: learning to know and love the truth. Ironically, bad as this is, you’ll see how it serves as a great jumping-off point for that lesson, too: a lesson learned by contrast.

 

Tom Gilson (@TomGilsonAuthor) is a senior editor with The Stream and the author or editor of six books, including the highly acclaimed Too Good To Be False: How Jesus’ Incomparable Character Reveals His Reality.

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