Don’t Ruin Your Prom Date’s Character By Having Sex With Her, Says Poster

As if teenagers don’t have enough to worry about with prom–who they’ll go with, what they’ll wear, how they’ll get there, what they should do if all their friends want to go in a limo and they don’t have the money for that, whether or not they should go at all–a poster found Lincoln High School in Manitowoc, Wisconsin suggests that if students choose to have sex after prom, the girl involved will lose her “character.”

The poster caught the attention of senior Kelsey Schindl, whose brother posted it online on Reddit. It features an image of a woman in a ballgown made up of big words like “fearless, confident, versatile, thoughtful, determined, ambitious” and arms made up of smaller words like “polite, kind, nice, etc.” Then, in big letters streaming atop, it says “A NIGHT TO PROTECT HER CHARACTER.”

At the bottom, along with the principal’s signature, are the logos for “The Crossing of Manitowoc County, a non-profit, Christian-based pregnancy services and counseling organization, and Holy Family Memorial, a regional Catholic healthcare provider network.”


Schindl, rightfully horrified, went to the principal’s office and asked her to take the posters down, but was refused.

Are there consequences to having sex? Of course. Duh. No one is saying there aren’t. Pregnancy and STDs are serious issues–not to mention ensuring that one is ready.

But you know what is not a consequence of having sex? Losing your “character.” To suggest that everything a woman is and has achieved in her life can be erased simply by having sex is pretty horrible. To suggest that she needs a man to “protect” that is insulting.

Even if you consider high school students having sex to be a huge mistake–does it have to be a mistake that makes the girl (and, notably, not the boy) irreversibly worthless? Because I will tell you, young people do absorb these messages, but not in the way you think they will. While it’s unlikely that hearing them is going to cause them to not ever make a mistake–it may make them question whether they are allowed to rebound from that mistake with yes, all their character and everything good about them still intact.

I really hope they take this down, because no one needs to see that.



[h/t Kristen Clifford]