Justin Chambers on the Importance of Building Confidence From Within

05/10/2009 at 03:00 PM ET
Jordan Strauss/WireImage

During the ‘Hot Topics’ segment of Wednesday’s The View, talk turned to Bristol Palin‘s outspoken advocacy of abstinence. Guest Justin Chambers appeared later on in the show, and was asked by co-host Elisabeth Hasselbeck how he and wife Keisha plan to broach the topic with their four daughters — Isabella, 14, twins Maya and Kaila, 12, and Eva, 10.

Revealing that the couple have indeed had the “sex talk” with Isabella, Justin says “it’s something you’ve got to do at home; Talk to your kids, and hope for the best.” He elaborates,

“You just hope that you instill values with your kids. That you give them enough self worth that they don’t need the approval of another to feel worthy.”

The 38-year-old Grey’s Anatomy star went on to note,

“You don’t own them. They’re on loan, and you try your best.”

In addition to the girls, Justin and Keisha are parents to 7-year-old Jackson.

Source: The View

— Missy

FILED UNDER: News , Parenting

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Nika on

He is 38 years old? I never would have guessed it! I thought he was much younger. And I certainly wouldn’t have thought he has 5 kids and the oldest being 14 years, wow! Sometimes my image of celebs turns out to be so wrong.

Well, to get back on the topic.. I totally agree with him.

meghan on

I really like what Justin has to say here.

Jen DC on

FINALLY! Someone who believes in abstinence being taught AT HOME with the focus being on the parents’ values and not expecting society as a whole to necessarily share them.

It’s not that I don’t believe in abstinence for teens generally, but I find it curious that for those parents who encourage abstinence education at school don’t seem realize or at least admit? concede? that by the time sex ed comes around in school, it’s far too late to talk about abstinence for the first time. Also “teaching abstinence” isn’t something a sex ed curriculum is equipped to do… because it’s too long term a project. I don’t know how long your sex ed was, but mine (at a Catholic grade school) lasted less than a day. High school sex ed was obviously significantly longer, but still, it’s about the science of reproduction and not the exploration of personal values/morals about sex, which is what I feel an abstinence discussion is once it moves beyond “The simplest, most effective way to not become pregnant is to not have sex. This is called abstinence.”

Mia on

I agree its something that should be talked about early on, way before its talked about in HS. I know we didn’t have sex ed in my HS (public school) until 11th grade, and that was WAY too late. I really thought it was hilarious that the school system waited that long to have serious sex ed, they should have done it freshman year or sophomore year in my opinion.

And on the topic of abstinence: If someone has the discipline to do it, it can work-however, the responsible thing is to teach everyone, in addition to-how to protect yourself physically: most important condom use, in the event that “you” (generally speaking) decide to engage in sexual activity, you know how to be safe: both from disease, and pregnancy.

I have a really big problem that Bristol is still advocating abstinence, even though its 100% clear that it didn’t work for her, and she should use herself as an example and advocate safe sex, and educate people on options to protect themselves in case abstinence doesn’t work for them, they know the steps to take to protect themselves in sexual activity. Especially since she is a some-what “public figure”.

Erica on

Yeah, it is a bit hypocritical for Bristol Palin to be promoting abstinence. Doesn’t look like that worked out so well for her, right? I do believe her when she says that her son is the best thing that’s happened to her, but she’s not in a position to preach about abstinence.

Justin has such a good point with regards to children not being possessions, but on loan. It must be painful and kind of awkward to realize you can’t control your teenager’s sexuality but you can give them the guidance and the tools to make smart, healthy choices (whether they choose abstinence or otherwise).

Ashlee on

Actually I think Bristol is the PERFECT person to promote abstinence…its better coming from someone who can say “There are consequences if you decide to have sex…” She is in a much better position to explain why kids should wait. I think it would just fall on deaf ears if you get someone saying “I’m waiting, you should too.” The only thing that might sway kids to abstain is hearing from someone who didn’t and regrets it. Just my opinion!

Also, have loved Justin Chambers since he was on Another World back in the ’90s!

Jasmine on

I agree it is hypocritical for Bristol to advocate abstinence especially after she said in an interview it wasn’t practical (which I don’t agree with). Still I must add that it’d also be hypocritical for Bristol to advocate for condom use because it also clearly didn’t work for her. Teenagers have trouble remembering to do their homework, let alone remembering to use a condom every time they have sex which is why Bristol has a son right now.

I do disagree with the post describing Bristol’s “outspoken advocacy of abstinence.” Like I said above, Bristol claimed abstinence wasn’t practical in her view. Her mother is an outspoken advocate of abstinence but Bristol is clearly just joining the party. She proved her disinterest in abstinence when she repeatedly had sex (obviously unprotected on occasion) with the baby daddy who she can’t stand now. I just think using her as a role model is a joke. There are plenty of teens who have said no to sex before marriage. Why not tap one of them to inspire other teens to wait? I’m a fan of Sarah Palin, but I don’t get this move by her daughter or the sponsor.

Gigi on

I’m surprised that so many of you didn’t have sex ed until so late. At my LA school, we started sex ed training in elementary and by jr high, I had learned about all the regular sex stuff like STDs, abortion, forms of protection. We learned more graphic stuff in jr high. Abstinence was mentioned but not harped on. Mostly the focus was on expressing oneself sexually in a safe manner, no matter one’s preferences or fetishes.

I don’t know if one way of teaching sex ed is better or not but a lot of my friends still had STDs and abortions by jr high even with all that info and free condoms. No one had babies until high school though. I do know a few girls who waited until marriage but they were Catholic so abstinence was probably focused on at home.

I really commend Justin Chambers for stepping up and giving his daughters a clear path. Too many men leave those conversations to the mom which is a shame.

Kate on

I’m just wondering why he was only asked how he plans to approach the topic with his 4 daughters, but what about his son? Was that not mentioned because of his son’s age, or because of something else?

Colleen on

That’s great that he has had “the talk” with Isabella, but as a high school educator, I have 2 points to make. One- it shouldn’t be “a talk” but an ongoing conversation. and two- I firmly believe that all the girls should have had some version of this talk by now. 10 year olds are having sex and getting pregnant, trust me. I would also like to say on a personal level, that I do not think abstinence only is the correct way to go. I believe you can say that abstinence is the only way to 100% prevent pregnancy, but to not mention what to use/do if you do have sex is irresponsible seeing as so few people (including those taught abstinence only) choose abstinence. What about when you’re married but don’t want children yet?!

Emily on

I think hypocritical is bit strong of a word – sounds to me like she realizes her mistake and now wants others to see a better way.

Justin’s family’s way of doing this sounds great. I think the problem is that a lot of parents DON’T instill values of respecting yourself, not needing sexual affirmation from others, etc, and as a result, none of the methods work if that is the child’s background.

One thing that kills me about the condom issue that it is not taught that condoms aren’t very effective against HPV (which can show itself as genital warts). This is why the CDC estimates that about 80% of sexually active adults will have HPV by the time they reach 50. Sure, teach that condoms are effective against pregnancy and most STD’s, but teach the risks involved too. Needless to say, I believe abstinence is still the best method to encourage.

alice jane on

I love what he has to say about having a family… How true that children are not their parents’ possessions or belongings. Of course a parent needs to guide their child, but you can’t control them.

I also agree with Mia that Bristol Palin should be addressing safe sex, instead of just abstinence. It’s also strange that she’s suddenly advocating abstinence, when she gave an interview a few months ago where she disagreed with her mother’s views, and said she doesn’t believe teen abstinence is that realistic.

Lauren on

“There are plenty of teens who have said no to sex before marriage. Why not tap one of them to inspire other teens to wait?”

Because there is NO ONE more suited to talk to teens about the consequences of sex better than someone who lives them on a daily basis as the result of her actions. She, like so many teens, chose to have sex at a young age. What happened? She got pregnant, can’t go out with friends anymore, gets up at all hours of the night, has to reconcile with the fact that she will never come first in her life anymore (all of this is paraphrased based on her own statements), and doesn’t even have a partner to share the duties with. She thought sex was fine for her, and look what she got for it.

I’m convinced that a huge reason teens don’t take sex more seriously is because they aren’t taught about the ramifications that come as a result of sex. I think that schools should combine abstinence and safe sex education giving equal time to both in addition to an involved unit on the cost of raising a baby. When virgins preach about not having sex, everyone rolls their eyes, calls them goody-goodys, and goes right back to banging their boyfriends later that night. Bristol Palin has walked the walk of consequences and is in a unique position to use her life as an example and not pose with her son for the cover of magazines talking about how easy her labor was and how life is perfect bliss as a gorgeous young mom a la Jamie Lynn Spears. She’s taking full responsibility for her actions and not hiding behind the bs. And because of that, she has my utmost respect.

Mia on

Just to confirm, I had sex education in my elementary school in 5th grade once puberty started, and again in Jr high in 6th grade, but the REAL sex ed in a school setting didn’t happen until 11th grade in HS which is way too late. I was very well educated from a young age from my parents, so that wasn’t a problem, and frankly-yes, abstinence is a nice thought-and it works for some people, at whatever point in your life, but biologically speaking: abstinence isn’t really realistic. Sex is a biological urge, and teenagers/young adults have sex, and like I said before, they should be educated on how to protect themselves.

Mia on

More on topic-Is there a pic of his whole family, wife and all the kids?

Sam on

“I agree it is hypocritical for Bristol to advocate abstinence especially after she said in an interview it wasn’t practical (which I don’t agree with).”

Bristol didn’t say abstinence wasn’t practical, she said that abstinence only education was not practical. I think the message she has been trying to send is that kids need to know about condoms, birth control, etc. BUT that abstinence should be stressed as the only 100% way to prevent pregnancy/STDs.

Sam on

“Still I must add that it’d also be hypocritical for Bristol to advocate for condom use because it also clearly didn’t work for her.”

Actually, they didn’t always use condoms, which is probably why she got pregnant. So maybe condoms WOULD have worked for her if she had used them every time she had sex.

Alice on

Mia, here are older CBB articles with pics of the other kids:

Jasmine, you say that Bristol should be preaching for abstinence because the other way didn’t work for her but not safe protected sex… It’s the same thing though, she did neither abstinence NOR safe sex and now she has a son. She could use her experience to encourage both, and she should.

Abstinence IS the more efficient and safe way, but as Bristol said before, it really doesn’t happen for the majority of teens/young adults. And it’s not necessarily about pressure or needing another to feel worthy or whatever, it’s about being 16/17 and having an adult’s body. It’s irresponsible to teach kids only abstinence because if they do have sex then they get in the most trouble.

Courtney on

I have 3 daughters who are 5,7 an 8. We haven’t talked about sex yet. The only things we have talked about is that after your married you can be a mommy and a daddy. And how special that is. I know I’m in the minority(very often here).

I didnt lose my virginity until I was 23. My husband is the only man I have ever had sex with. I don’t feel like I missed out not spreading my legs for every man who was in my life just because I could. I was taught that sex was special, and something that is a bond betweeen you and that other person. The threat of STD’s and pregnancy and the dissapproval of God were enough to make me wait.

Although I know it is a different world today I really hope that I can instill morals in my kids. Teach them that they don’t need a man (or a woman for that matter) to make them feel good about themselves. I do advocate abstinance for my kids…BUT we are always available for them if they need us. We hae an age appropriate dialoge right now and plan to keep it that way..:)

ANd I think Bristol is the PERFECT person to say…Look at what I did, Look at what I have and what I have to go thru, and don’t do it…be safe and wait…

Susan on

“You don’t own them. They’re on loan, and you try your best.”

I think that is a perfect sentiment. I do not believe that abstinence only education is the only way to go (it SHOULD be taught, but in conjunction with proper sex education). But he said it well – we do what we can for our children, we teach them what we know and then we let them become their own people in this world. Whole lotta blind luck involved; but as he said parents don’t own their children, they have them on loan.

Leilani on

>>I’m just wondering why he was only asked how he plans to approach the topic with his 4 daughters, but what about his son? <<

Thank you, I was just about to ask the same thing!

Sarah K. on

Kate and Leilani, his son is only seven. I know times are changing but, “the talk” maybe a little over a seven year old’s head. It’s not like Justin thought boys didn’t need to have the same conversation as girls, but the kid’s in grade school. Besides, he was specifically asked about his daughters so maybe he has had a little talk with the son but didn’t say so on t.v.