Growing up Jewish, I never understood original sin. I can remember my non-religious parents equating original sin with something that Christians believed, regardless that the story is wholly contained in the Book of Genesis. For those growing up in the 1950’s, the baby boomer generation continued the age-old tradition that no one ever talked about sex.
I remember in eighth grade we had a sex education class. This left me with the understanding that parents could conceive a child even though they slept in twin beds (just like all the TV parents on “Leave it to Beaver” or “Father Knows Best”).
I remember a friend telling me that when he was 14 he had visited a 13-year-old girl in her home when her mother was not there. The mother then called his father about the matter. One day his father, while sitting in the backyard mentioned the fact to him as he was walking by. He said, “Now that you are older you have to take more responsibility.” My friend was so embarrassed that he just kept on walking. And that was the only conversation that they would ever have concerning sex.
I grew up in the era before AIDS. In my generation, gonorrhea and syphilis were the only dangers from unprotected sex. I remember in high school several boys in my class had an experience with a prostitute and were so that maybe they had contracted syphilis. I also had one friend who was frightened to death that his date might have gotten pregnant (I grew up with a group of friends who never drank even beer or smoked, so imagine the impact of the above two incidents)
As I entered college, like every one of my best friends, I was still a virgin (how does that compare to the average high school graduate today?). I remember being so disappointed because one of the elders in my fraternity, whom I really looked up to, had to move out of our fraternity house because he had gotten his girlfriend pregnant.