Teens Are Having Uneducated Sex

Thu, 10/21/2010 - 16:15
Submitted by Lawrence Lanoff

The real unprotected sex is uneducated sex.

Teen-pregnancy rates in America remain substantially higher than other Western Countries, according to data brief released this week from the CDC.

Furthermore, the data brief shows major disparities in teen-pregnancy rates between different states, with Southern states taking the lead. Mississippi had the country's highest rate (65.7), the data brief says, while New Hampshire had the lowest (19.8).

The findings appears to illustrate that the lack of coherent, fact based, sex education increases the risks of teen-pregnancy dramatically. In other words, as much as we want to believe that “just say no” is working, frankly, it’s not.

What this CDC study doesn’t discuss is the underlying issue of the continued spread of STI’s, among teens. If sex is happening (which it is), then teen-pregnancies are happening, and so is the unabated spread sexual ignorance and disease.

For me, this study is about as surprising as the sun rising daily. However, it makes the point that there is a dire need for sex education in places that, for moral reasons, don’t want it.

I don’t know about you, but I won’t even let a teenager drive my car - much less raise a child - their brains are not fully developed, and neither is their judgement. That’s because of the way the teenage brain develops; there is a powerful yet delusional period of time where teens feel invincible. I have heard so often “I didn’t think it would happen to me,” regarding STI’s and teen-pregnancies - as if pregnancy comes as a sudden surprise when we mix healthy teens with unprotected sex.

There’s a saying right now, 50 is the new 30, which is a way of expressing the delaying of adulthood that has happened in the last 30 years in our culture. By this reasoning, 14 is the new 4. You get the point - our emotional maturity is being substantially delayed.

Some people are born to procreate. Others are simply brainwashed into it by the inherited myths of our sexually repressed, out of touch, biblical based culture.

In discussing this with a friend she said to me, “I have my own thoughts about teen-pregnancy.”

It’s funny because that just it isn’t the case. Our thoughts about sex are laden with religious beliefs that are based in fear and hatred of the female and the vagina.

If we look at sexual education policies of Christianity closely, it is clear - Jesus hates women.

It’s time for us to wake up and smell the mythology: teens are having uneducated sex, that is sex not based in reality and body-knowledge - which in my opinion is the definition of unprotected sex - and that equals the unabated spread of shame, guilt, disease, and teen-pregnancy.

President of Pleasure. Buster of shame and myths.

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Seriously?

Thu, 10/21/2010 - 21:58

I'm so tired of shit like this making Southern people look like a bunch of hillbillies. I'm from Atlanta and none of my friends from there were that stupid. It wasn't until I got away from a metropolitan area that I saw this kind of uneducated behaviour.

My sex ed classes were actually pretty informative, too. I went through programs from fifth grade until my junior year of high school and the only thing I think should change (based on what I experienced) is the total dismissal of masturbation. It's regarded as something that you do when you're not good enough to get a date, but if it were promoted and encouraged, then we'd probably see a drop in teen pregnancy. I mean, I didn't even TRY it until I was almost seventeen because I didn't know girls could masturbate. Nobody ever told me. Not my friends, not my sex ed teachers, not my parents. I never even got The Talk from my parents, so of course I didn't hear it from them, but you'd think it would be something they'd touch on in the classes, right?

Oh, and Jesus doesn't hate women. People that claim to love Jesus and that they believe in what he taught hate women.

Man...

Thu, 10/21/2010 - 22:09
User01 (not verified)

This would have been a somewhat interesting post if the topic of Jesus hating women and "Bible-thumping" accusations hadn't (of course) made their way into the picture. 

Teen pregnancy is a problem everywhere to some extent, and while I do believe that part of the reason is because sex education and the "abstinence only" standard just doesn't work I hardly think using regional statistical data as an excuse for passing judgments on the way religious people go about sex and sex education is called for. 

Sure, extremely religious people tend to have a hard time with ideas of premarital, underaged, or at times FUN sex, and with masturbation, but there are many religious people who don't. Also, some teens feel they are more "invincible" than others; I can't say I remember ever being under this delusion, especially to the extent that I would have unprotected sex or think that "STD's and pregnancy won't happen to me." 

There are a lot of factors that contribute to teen sexual activity, especially irresponsible activity. I don't think that religion, Jesus, or sex ed are the only problems.

right on!

Fri, 10/22/2010 - 10:18

Great comment. Thank you for sharing your insights. I agree, a large metropolitan area like Atlanta is not really representative of the study.
However, you don't have to go that far to get to places where life is exactly the way the data portrays in the study... 
I live in Arizona, and teen-pregnancies abound. It's really freakish how little, if any, discussion there is around sex - and what havoc that lack of discussion creates in young peoples lives...
There is a correlation between lack of exposure to new people and new ideas that are completely different from our own, and the fear of being thrown out of our own tribe because we are beginning to think differently.

Living in Georgia, I cringe as well, and.....

Fri, 10/22/2010 - 10:58

"southern" does not equal poverty stricken hillbilly. But pride in southern culture won't change the fact that our teen rates of pregnancy, which completely correlate with our state's socioeconomic situation, are a problem. It's no surprise that Alabama has the highest poverty rate, and New Hampshire the lowest. Georgia is #13.

Many smart people have different opinions on how to deal with sex education, but the vast majority would probably agree that poverty is the biggest risk factor, regardless of where we live. 

Some southern communities seem to create the perfect storm. A picture of a teen living in poverty in the south:

  • limited reality based sex education/guidance in their school community, which local school boards rule with abstinence only leanings derived from the evangelical church community that is such a huge presence here in the south.
  • a drift in a social environment that surrounds them with confusing, sexually charged media (e.g. Jersey Shore, many music videos)
  • limited or no successful role models at home
  • no safety net at home to counteract or provide them with feedback as they engage in normal, higher-risk teenage activities.
  • no real consequences for young men who father these babies

Talk about an uphill battle for these girls.

I think this isn't just a

Fri, 10/22/2010 - 21:04

I think this isn't just a problem in America- there's definitely a lack of sex ed in other Western countries. YES places like the Netherlands apparently have really good sex ed, and England is apparently better than some places in America (as in, more comprehensive, less about morals) but it can always be improved. As can things to do with puberty. It'd be great if real photos could be shown rather than medical diagrams. I thought I was a freak for years because my labia were longer and the hair wasn't growing in the same way, and that once I lost my hymen there'd be a sort of dark tunnel able to be seen. Thanks, badly drawn medical diagrams.

@ Lawrence Lanoff

Fri, 10/22/2010 - 22:52

Well, I didn't grow up in the inner-city area, really, just the suburbs around it. When I moved to Panama City and started high school I was shocked at how many students at my school were pregnant. And how many more got pregnant before I graduated. But a good chunk of people that live down here are from Alabama, Mississipi, and Louisiana, and those that grow up here think it's normal to not want to do anything other than party and lie on the beach until you're burned to a blackened crisp. I had a very different upbringing from most of my classmates.

But I was also, outside of the really clean-cut, honestly churchy people (one kid was an ordained minister and gave out Bibles and preached in the school courtyard), among the least sexually knowledgeable. I didn't know much about the mechanics of it and I learned some... weird stuff before I knew anything useful. At least I had friends that would give me straight answers.

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