Interestingly, the handbook also claims to stand for five principles: "Commitment, Excellence, Integrity, Respect, Community." A commitment to respect for the integrity of the LGBT community doesn't seem to be part of that equation.

(Its star exhibit: a floor-to-ceiling tower of household objects made from petroleum byproducts.) When I returned for this reporting trip, my hotel room contained the latest issue of , whose front cover announced that the Petroleum Museum had seen some recent upgrades.

In a place where the answer to boredom is studying hydrocarbons, the abstinence advocates have their work cut out for them.“If she had set a boundary that said, ‘I don't want to have sex until I get married, or until I find the right one for me,’ but she had sex, what's going on in her mind?

Across the country, these centers position themselves as alternatives to abortion clinics, counseling pregnant women with the hope that they won’t terminate their pregnancies.

But unlike many pregnancy groups, the Life Center also works in public schools.

“So it's best to not have it at all.”When should people have sex for the first time?

There’s no right answer, which is precisely the problem. No wonks have assembled over brown-bag lunches to select a unified virginity-losing age.Midland and Odessa, which are together home to about a quarter-million people, lie in the second most Republican congressional district in the nation.Many school officials here reject modern sexual practices, like quickie hookups, as immoral. Unlike other cities, though, Midland and Odessa lack the parachutes—abortion clinics and free-flowing birth control—that are usually available to sexually active teens.Sarah wants to remain abstinent until she finds “The One,” Misty says.Yet, she ventures to a party, she drinks too much, and she sleeps with a guy she barely knows.Planned Parenthood is long gone, and both Midland and Odessa are now more than four hours away from the nearest abortion clinic.