I didn’t know that I was part of “the bully generation practically created by our blind investment in slut-shaming, homophobic, abstinence-only sex ed,” until I read it in the Huffington Post.
Long story short, the author of How Do You Feel About Sex and Teenage Sleepovers is a proponent of teen sex in the next room, where they can learn how to “have sex well” under the safety of mom and dad’s roof. After all, you don’t want your kids having sex just anywhere.
Author, Chemaly holds up the Netherlands as a model to follow since they purportedly have four times less the teen pregnancy rate than the US. But what does that mean? Is more liberty in the teen sexual arena the way to lower the pregnancy rate?
As a Christian, I would love to argue it from the biblical standpoint, but for the sake of the non-Christian, I will point out the flaws from a secular perspective.
There are many unexplored variables as to why the Netherlands may have a significantly lower teen pregnancy rate than the US. It’s careless to claim that this country’s casual approach to teen sex is the reason. Consider the high US divorce rate at 54.8% to the Netherlands 38.3%. A study done by Bruce Ellis of the University of Arizona “found that about one-third of girls whose fathers left the home before they turned 6 ended up pregnant as teenagers, compared with just 5 percent of girls whose fathers were there throughout their childhood.”
One should also question whether the claims made by Chemaly are factual. Washington Times article, Teen Pregnancy Low in ‘Sleepover’ Country of the Netherlands, by author Cheryl Wetzstein tells a different story.
“European parents are not really that permissive, said Heritage Foundation senior research fellow Robert Rector, who also has visited Europe to talk about sex-education models.
“What is significantly different in Europe is a strong cultural message against teen pregnancy, he said. Many U.S. teens are ambivalent about having a baby, while in most European nations, the attitude toward teen pregnancy is “absolutely not.”
As for the parent-approved sleepover? “It’s more of a myth, like ‘The Blue Lagoon’ for lefties,” said Mr. Rector. “They really pitch this ideal of a romantic, deeply committed, serious, sexual relationship between 16-year-olds, and how that’s what’s going on” in Europe, he said. But the European parents with whom we talked said, “No, we don’t actually do that.”
I’m going to make an unlikely assumption that Chemaly’s theory on why the Netherlands has a lower teen pregnancy rate than the US, is accurate. So you potentially prevented a pregnancy. Hoorah! But what did you do to protect your child’s heart, their emotions? Sex is more than a physical act and there are consequences to engaging in it so casually and at so young an age. Be a parent, not a pal.
Chemaly writes, “Kristin Walker surveyed the history of sex education in American education and concluded that students will do what they want, regardless of what teachers teach them. It also turns out that parents have more influence on what their kids think and do about sex than teachers do. Parental attitudes, it turns out, are far more influential and meaningful.”
If parents indeed have this much influence, teaching their kids to wait until marriage would be more effective in curbing teen pregnancy than Chemaly’s plan. Why lower the standard when you can raise it?