Eros on the rise

The teen birth rate has risen and the shrillness of the sex ed debate has risen along with it. Planned Parenthood blames sex-hating rightists for teaching teens abstinence, and Christians blame slutty leftists for giving teens condoms.

Let’s set aside the fact that when researchers ask teens what influences their sexual decisions, only 4% say sex education. Let’s set aside the fact that it’s entirely possible that abstinence education (not abstinence, but the way we teach it) is ineffective, and let’s take a look at human nature.

Anybody with a working brain knows that abstinence is the only fully fool-proof birth control. (I figured it out from all the Accidental Pregnancy Announcements that toddle a few months behind my friends’ Wedding Announcements.) But anybody with a vigorous body knows that our brains don’t always rule the rest of us.

It’s a war between mind, body and soul — logic, lust, and love for the right — and it predates Nicole Richie’s unmarried pregnancy. Unlike nuclear war and global warming, lust is not a modern problem. Teenage Puritans had sex, Victorian men had whores, and sometimes Biblical characters (Bathsheba, David, Reuben, Judah, Tamar, Abraham, Jacob, Samson, the daughters of Lot) did it, too.

The problem lies not in the public schools but in the weakness of the human flesh and human will. And the answer lies not in querulous defenses of programs that pay teachers to tell kids not to have sex until they get high school diplomas, but in reining lust with a balanced, prudent love.

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~ by stultiloquence on December 6, 2007.

5 Responses to “Eros on the rise”

  1. What? You mean that there is no sweeping legislation that we can pass that would just “fix” this problem? That’s blasphemy to suggest that imposing abstinence ed on American school children wouldn’t eliminate premarital s-e-x. Pat Robertson is gonna get you!

  2. I love babies.

  3. I got the magazines in the mail. thanks

  4. Best blog post in quite a while. I’m in full agreement.

  5. You are so wise.

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