April 7, 2008

Not Seeing the Cultural Forest for the Sexual Trees

Justin Katz

Doesn't it often seem that modern society proceeds according the following order of operations?

  1. On emotional grounds, declare a change obviously beneficial and of minimal cost, with objections dismissed as outdated or inherently bigoted.
  2. Implement change.
  3. Ignore evidence that the naysayers were correct.
  4. Let things proceed to crisis level.
  5. Restate the original objections under the protection of groundbreaking studies and disguised as much as possible as compatible notions to the original emotional impulse.

Perhaps I've overstated, but such is my general response to this sort of discovery:

An analysis of national data conducted by Child Trends, a research center that focuses on children and youth, found that sexually active teens who identify their relationships with a partner as romantic and who go out socially with that person are more likely to use contraceptives than similar teens in more-casual relationships. ...

In light of this study, Manlove said, it's not enough for parents to focus simply on whether their kids are having sex. They should engage their kids in conversations about what healthy relationships look like, pay attention to the power dynamics of any relationship and stress the importance of contraception.

Not to point out the obvious, but one way in which parents can illustrate, for their children, "what healthy relationships look like" is to raise them within the context of faithful marriages. It's sort of like being "romantic" and "going out socially" for grownups.

Of course, the Western brains aren't yet ready to let go of other ideological blankies from which the "studies" ought to encourage weening. Withholding and being selective when it comes to sex, for example, will give young ladies an edge in "power dynamics." Some adults may wish to give girls that sophisticated view of interpersonal politics whereby sex is perfectly fine, even advisable, when the scepter is betwixt feminine fingers, but recent decades haven't really proven sophistication to be a match for instinct and the reality of biological responsibility.

A second example comes between the lines of the carefully phrased instruction to "stress the importance of contraception." The moderns have learned, you see, that the advice to "use contraception" is a bit too revealing about the likely implications of the mandate. It's as if they think parents' panegyrics to contraception require merely a new choice of words to avoid exacerbating the fruits of decades of safe-sex training:

Use of contraception, in fact, is not as regular as health officials might hope. Four out of 10 sexually active students reported not using contraceptives at all or using them only infrequently. Students who reported having multiple partners were particularly likely not to use protection. ...

... For example, a teen's contraceptive use may change from partner to partner. Using birth control consistently in one relationship doesn't necessarily mean that a young person will do the same with another partner.

The new, improved (and still in-denial) message to children: It is very important that you use contraception even when the sex is casual.

Comments, although monitored, are not necessarily representative of the views Anchor Rising's contributors or approved by them. We reserve the right to delete or modify comments for any reason.

For tens or hundreds of thousands of children in Rhode Island their single mother welfare queen doesn't know what a healthy relationship looks like.

They get laid and produce one or more illegitimate children, while daddy DCYF and the rest of the welfare bureaucracy serves as absentee father!

Posted by: Ragin' Rhode Islander at April 7, 2008 10:51 AM

Problem is, when you try to put a message out to teen girls that having positive self-esteem does not require you to jump in bed with any 15-year-old horndog who asks (or vice versa), and encourages you to think for yourself and not give in to social pressure, THAT gets criticized as too liberal.

Posted by: rhody at April 7, 2008 1:19 PM

Remember kids, oral sex isn't sex.

With love,

Bill Clinton

Posted by: Greg at April 7, 2008 1:58 PM

The fact remains that there is an "order" to all of this that was not determined by us, nor can be changed by us.

Posted by: Mike Cappelli at April 7, 2008 7:00 PM

"Remember kids, oral sex isn't sex.

With love,

Bill Clinton"

Bubba shamelessly ripped it off from Newt Gingrich.

Posted by: rhody at April 7, 2008 11:52 PM
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