Teens have STDs because . . .

There was an AP story out today which seems to have been picked up by most of the major papers which “reports” on the CDC study that found that 1 in 4 teenaged girls have an STD. Why is the number so high, you might ask. According to the AP “report” it is because of abstinence only education. The evidence for this connection? The opinions of people who advocate for comprehensive sex education, of course!

Don’t get me wrong – I’m not a big fan of either abstinence only or comprehensive sex education. It is my opinion that any parent who allows the government to bear any, must less most, of the responsibility for teaching their kids about sex deserves to have their children come home thinking that pregnancy is caused by inhaling floating sperm vapors into their mouth while sleeping. If their children also think that condoms are good finger puppets – so much the better, I say! Serves them right. (Not that I’m being judgemental or anything! 🙂 ) Of course right now many of them seem to come home thinking that unwanted pregnancies are caused by old white men hiding in bushes with sperm filled turkey basters just waiting to attack young ladies so they can force them to have babies. But that’s another discussion.

At any rate, this is one of the dumbest, most poorly reported stories I’ve seen in some time. It says much more about the prejudices of the reporter than reality. First of all, the study was done in 2003-2004, which according to the AP story indicates that in just 2 years, President Bush and his right-wing cohort had managed to completely undo our heretofore sucessful sex education programs! And how did he personally accomplish this remarkable feat? Why by increasing abstinance only funding to 1/10th of the funding provided for other forms of sex education! Isn’t that amazing, with just 1/10th of the funding that comprehensive sex education programs get abstinence only programs have single handedly lead to 1 in 4 teen aged girls having an STD.

The money quote from the story comes from “sex education expert” Nora Gelperin who says, “Sexuality is still a very taboo subject in our society”. Please give me a moment to recover from passing out laughing to translate that for you. In plain english Ms. Gelperin said: “I’m an alien from another planet and I have no idea what I’m talking about.”

Perhaps someone should have pity on Ms. Gelperin and introduce her to the wonders of movies, MTV, rap music, Myspace, the OC, internet porn and other sources of teenaged entertainment in this country. Then maybe she could take a quick trip over to Deerfield High School to observe their AP English Class where they’re busy reading graphic accounts of anal sex, complete with broken condoms! We have many problems with our handling of sex in this country, but a taboo on talking about sex certainly isn’t one of them.

See, I have a crazy idea about why 1 in 4 teenaged girls have an STD: it’s because they are teenagers who are having sex! Wait – it gets better. They aren’t using condoms because – get this – teenagers are immature and are known to use poor judgement! I’m sure you didn’t realize for yourself that teens are immature and do dumb things, but that’s why you come to this blog isn’t it? To learn things no one has ever told you before!

Now, as I see it, there are two ways we can stop this STD epidemic. The first is to figure out how to make teens mature and wise by about 14 or 15. Which, I believe is that tact taken by comprehensive sex education. And if they ever succeed, parents, governments and sweat shops around the world will want to know their secret to changing the normal course of human development.

The other way to counter-act the damage done by teenage sex would be pound into a child’s head from the elementary school years on that sex is for people who can raise babies together (ie married people), that birth control is for those people during the times they aren’t ready to have babies (and explain how to use birth control as part of preparing them to function well in their future marriages – unless you are against birth control altogether, of course), that sex is an extremely powerful, good and normal human desire and that they need to be very mature in order to harness that desire in ways that are not harmful to themselves or others and practical advice for how to do that. If you think that the government or schools are able or obligated to perform this task, I have some money in a bank account in Africa I need some help moving into the country.

If you are a parent who is not sure that they are up to taking on the full responsibility for talking with their kids about sex, head over to the bookstore and start browsing. I also highly recommend that you take a look at a good summary of Pope John Paul II’s Theology of the Human Body to get a handle on the philosophy behind the Christian view of sex. His wisdom on this matter is astounding really. And get out of the dumb fight over sex ed in schools. Don’t let your kids be taught sex by the schools – that’s your job, not theirs. Period.

Besides, you certainly can’t do much worse than our schools do, regardless of the the approach they’re using. 1 in 4 girls have an STD and they’re busy arguing over the state of sex education? Good grief.

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10 thoughts on “Teens have STDs because . . .

  1. This is Jesus,

    You’re a moron. You rant on and on about a subject that you know absolutely nothing about. Get educated, get your facts straight and keep theology out of sexuality. If you ACTUALLY had any knowledge whatsoever about the history of sexuality, you’d know that it’s “good Christian” views on sex that have led to the development of your warped sense of truth.

    Take some courses in gender studies, sociology and human sexuality, then approach this subject when you can be a bit more objective. You’ll be shocked and enlightened by the eye-opening information you’ll learn.

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  2. Well thank you, Jesus from rutgers university. Perhaps the difference between us is that I have gotten my information from a variety of places, as well as real life experience rather than simply relying on the sophmoric rantings of ivory tower ideologues I had to endure in gender studies in college. fortunately, my sociology profs were more in touch with reality. But believe it or not, there’s a whole world out here where us real folks who have to deal with the fall out from sexual anarchy live. And thankfully, we’re not restricted to ivory tower nonsense for our information.

    I think you inspired a new freedom call for me: “Long live free inquiry – down with the ivory towers!

    But thanks for coming here and showing the world the best that liberal ideology has to offer 🙂 Conservatives and Christians everywhere thank you. Keep up the good work!

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  3. You don’t think teens can be taught to be responsible about sex, but you DO think that we can just scare them into NOT having sex until marriage? I’m pretty sure we have plenty of evidence that does not work.
    As far as the “taboo” line is concerned: our young people ARE bombarded with sexual images, etc. but there is precious little dialog occurring with responsible adults (parents, teachers) with facts to offset the misleading things they learn from TV, movies, music and the web.

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  4. CC, with all due respect, if you could direct me to where in my comments I recommend scaring kids into not having sex?

    I realize that it’s a lot to ask that the people who come here and comment on what I write actually READ what I write, but if you wouldn’t mind doing that, it would be much appreciated.

    Of course, if you had read what I wrote, not only would you not make the spurious charge that I advocate using scare tactics, but you would already know that I recommend talking with kids about having sex early and often. Heck, we had our first “tab a, slot b” conversations with our boys at age 4.

    There is no taboo about talking about sex with your kids, your friends, strangers on the bus, Oprah or anyone else. The idea that some taboo is responsible for kids acting like idiots is simply absurd.

    I think that teaching kids to be responsible about having sex is like teaching them to be responsible about drinking Rumplemintz. We (hopefully) tell our kids that it’s simply unacceptable to drink alcohol because they are neither physically or mentally read and resppnsible enough to do so. But then we’re surprised when that same immaturity and poor judgement which makes drinking at age 16 or 17 unacceptable leads them to do dumb things sexually?

    Besides, my husband and I lived through all that crap and have many scars to show for it. Been there done that, not falling for that dumb crap again.

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  5. Rebecca,
    I read the article in question, and the article was not based on a 4 year old study, it was based on a federal study which was just released, and they were backing that data up with an older CDC study.
    Your dismissal of the issue regarding public school education is frankly naive. As a 17 year old, I am quite familiar with the issue. I, along with the rest of my classmates, had a sex ed course in the 5th grade. Not only have my classmates bonded over the experience that was F.L.A.S.H.!, we also came away relatively well educated. It’s all well and good for you to educate your children about sex, but you can’t expect every parent in the nation to be comfortable enough, let alone qualified, to talk to their children about such a serious and taboo (yes, it IS still taboo, regardless of what’s playing on MTV) issue. Abstinence only education is a huge problem, as well as the lack of teens getting STD vaccines. Your rants and angry responses to reader comments only highlight your bias and lack of qualifications regarding the issue.

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  6. Jenica, thank you for your response.
    First, the study was just released, but it was based on numbers gathered in 2003-2004, so I was entirely accurate in saying that the numbers were 4 years old.

    Secondly, I apologize if my ranting and raving offended you. This is my blog. It runs by my rules. Two rather reasonable rules which I have for the blog are that you do not start a response by calling names. I think that’s pretty reasonable, don’t you? The second rule is that if you are going to respond to me, please take the time to read what I actually wrote. I have many somewhat unusual ideas so if you come at me with boiler plate nonsense about things I never even said, I will rip you a new one. Both of the people who decided to respond to my post broke these rules. I responded in kind.

    If you look through the comments on my blog, you will find many things I do not agree with, even from people who share my general POV. I generally let them be without even responding, so this isn’t an issue of people disagreeing with me.

    Finally, I am 34. I have been through all the sex ed programs. I carry no water for either comprehensive sex ed or abstinence only sex ed. I am a mom (along with having spent a good deal of time in high schools and juvenile prisons). I have come to believe that we are facing a crisis of bad parenting in this country. We could get away with this when the culture at large supported reasonable behaviors. However, today bad parenting carries disasterous consequences. My generation was the first to have to live with this reality and we’ve been the ones to pay the price. And as you surely know, not being well prepared to deal with sex and sexuality carries with it horrendous long term consequences which no teen should have to deal with. I have no patience to parents who want to complain about things like how the schools teach sex ed (and there will never be agreement on how to do this) but will not talk regularly and openly about sex and sexuality with their children. IMO, this is nothing less than neglect bordering on child abuse. Schools have a job to do and it should not be to normalize this sort of parental neglect.

    As for a taboo on talking about sex, like I said, I’m 34. Most of my friends are under 40 and rest assured, there is NO taboo in talking about sex. I can tell you who is using sex as a weapon in their relationship, who is having an affair, whose husband won’t have sex, who performs oral sex regularly, who likes to be tied up and any number of other intimate details about people’s sex lives. If these same people can then turn around and claim a “taboo” on talking about sex with their children, they do not deserve to have children.

    I know my ideas are a bit different, but also I know the price to pay for leaving sex ed to schools, with all their competing agendas, spotty teaching, as well as the serious work they need to be doing just providing a decent academic education. While there are those who want to blame schools for the problems of teen sex, I personally hold parents 110% accountable for child born with out a father present, teen with an std, young woman who hasn’t been prepared to protect herself from date rape, young man who doesn’t think what he’s doing is date rape and all the rest of the consequences of teen sex which I and my family and friends have had to live with at one time or another. Like I said, any parent who is willing to risk having their children subjected to this sort of garbage because they have some sort of ridiculous hang-up should not have children.

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  7. “I can tell you who is using sex as a weapon in their relationship, who is having an affair, whose husband won’t have sex, who performs oral sex regularly, who likes to be tied up and any number of other intimate details about people’s sex lives.”

    I am also “under 40” and do not have these types of discussions with my “friends”. Sex is a personal experience to be shared by two people, not blabbed about to “friends”. We do talk about sex and sex education of our children as a general topic, but not about what WE are doing. I have the feeling that many more mature adults take this attitude toward sex that I and my friends have rather than your “lets know what everyone is doing in their sex lives” attitude.

    And if you think lack of a sex education is child abuse, you are sadly mistaken.

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  8. Christine, for the record, none of my friends know anything much about my sex life. I agree that it is generally imprudent and distasteful to go around blabbing such things. My point is simply that there are many, many people who do go around blabbing such things so I find the idea that there is some taboo about talking about sex ridiculous.

    As for lack of sex ed being a form of child abuse, please remember I am speaking of parents being unwilling to provide their children with education regarding this extremely important part of life. To me, it is akin to giving your 16 year old keys to the family car without teaching them how to drive or letting your 3 year old play ball in the middle of a busy street. Any parent who is unwilling to make sure that their child is well equipped to understand and handle their sexuality is exposing them to dangers which can ruin their lives before they have even started. If this sort of neglect isn’t abuse (or at least gross negligence) then I don’t know what is. This is a parent’s job and it is foolish in the extreme to leave it to a school system which can not possibly teach it in a way which reflects all the various values families have.

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    • The question shloud be: Why wasn’t I using a condom?If you believe that you may have Syphillis you will need to go to your doctor to have a blood test to determine if you hae Syphillis.Syphillis can be found in the blood stream and can becom quite a serious condition.From now on, unless you really know your partner and know that they do not have an STD do not have unprotected sex with them.

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  9. Well, knock me over with a feather! They’re having sex? And it’s the parents’ responsibilities to tell them not to, and to explain what sex is for, and where it is appropriate? You go, girl!

    I do have a slight caveat on one of your responses, however. A parent can do everything within their power to make sure their child behaves responsibly about sex, and that child may still go off and do something stupid. I have a teen daughter, and believe me, these are not always rational creatures. They are bombarded with messages from our culture (even if you shield them by not using TV, screening all movies and music, etc) that are almost overpowering. Most of the parents of teens that I know spend most of their spare time on their knees, praying that their child will come out at the other end of the “tunnel” of adolescence okay.

    So, while I will act as though I am 100 percent responsible for my teens’ behavior, I know that they may do things that they were taught not to. They may act in ways that go against what we have taught them. And, with God’s grace, they will somehow learn from that and be better people for it.

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