Virginity sale is a reflection of lost values

By By Liz Carlston

By Liz Carlston

Natalie Dylan is a 22-year-old entrepreneur from California who is trying to raise money to pay for graduate school. Her business idea is all over the Internet. So far, she has a $3.7 million offer from a man in Australia, a book deal lined up and leads from more than 10,000 interested individuals and organizations. Inspired by her sister’s three-week stint as a prostitute, which paid for her own education, Dylan is selling her virginity to the highest bidder.

“You know, honestly it’s never something I anticipated going into when I was younger, but I’m not compromising my own morals,” Dylan said. “I’m not putting more importance on money than family or love. To me, this is just a one-time business encounter. It’s sex for money.”

Her story brings up several ugly issues about today’s society. There is big money in the pornography industry and a lot of people are patrons. Last year, the Ogden-based TopTenReviews found that revenues for the world pornography industry hit an estimated $97 billion in 2006.

In November 2006, Google Trends found that Salt Lake City is No. 5 in the nation for Internet searches for “incest,” No. 7 for searches on “child pornography,” No. 8 for searches on “sex,” and No. 10 for searches on “pedo,” short for pedophile. The world is losing its moral compass. Not to mention the dwindling decency and conscience of the thousands of people who have submitted bids on Dylan’s high-profile public auction.

Most of us are familiar with the risks associated with pornography and reckless sexual behavior. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said women pay the biggest price when it comes to the long-term effects of having multiple sexual partners. They can suffer from pelvic inflammatory disease, tubal scarring, ectopic pregnancy and chronic pelvic pain. Sexually transmitted diseases like HIV can lead to death.

According to the Utah Legislature, the age of consent to engage in sexual activity is 16. Utah State Code dictates that “a person is guilty of prostitution when he engages in any sexual activity with another person for a fee.” Prostitution is a class B misdemeanor, which means the violator can be subject to a fine and a 180-day prison sentence.

Although there is wisdom in the pursuit of behaviors that build long-lasting relationships, people often want to learn this lesson on their own terms. A $3.7 million one-night stand might set Dylan up financially for life, but she’s also looking at a lifetime of remorse and emptiness by selling out and refusing to develop life’s hard-earned character traits. It’s disgusting.

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Liz Carlston