Letter: Restraints on one's loss of innocence

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The Independent Online
Sir: I read with interest the reminiscences of Judith Kazantzis on her adolescence ('Best of Times, Worst of Times', 11 January). It has always struck me as odd that Roman Catholics assume there is a greater or more prolonged chastity among their kind than among non-Catholics.

The fact that Ms Kazantzis did not lightly discard her virginity between convent and college may have been, as she tells us, because she was a 'good Catholic' at the time. There is no evidence that others - Protestants, Jews, and those of no faith at all - are more profligate, especially since, as was the case at that time, girls had no ready access to contraceptives without having proof of imminent marriage.

The heady Italian summers and their Vincenzos are still with us, and it is our daughters, rather than their mothers, who resist their temptations. Some do this, not because they feel accountable to any authority but because they accept responsibility for their actions, basing their personal behaviour not on fear or guilt but on common sense and a freedom of choice.

Yours sincerely,

BRIDGET HADAWAY

Oxford

13 January

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