MInTheGap

Standing in the Gap in a Society that's Warring with God.

Please Post – Chapter 3

September 13th, 2007 Visited 1453 times, 1 so far today

Techskeptic doesn’t believe that abstinence education works. He wants me to post links proving that it does.

First, I guess he didn’t read my post from last Friday (But Abstinence Education Doesn’t Work!) where I talk about not only the concept of the education by why it has trouble, but he continues to intermingle two arguments.

I have consistently made the point in this discussion that abstinence works every time it is tried. In fact, it’s he that brings up the whole topic, and I don’t even touch it until comment 37. You see, this is more of his baggage. Let’s not talk about the topic at hand (whether there needs to be more children and whether abortion is murder) let’s instead talk about what I think is a grave injustice (that teenagers are having kids) and the thing that I think is the problem (the Bible and abstinence education).

I proceed to attempt to make the following point– there is only one 100% way to prevent STDs and pregnancy, that is abstinence. This gets mixed into the discussion of abstinence education and its effectiveness– two completely different topics.

Do I believe that abstinence education works? I believe that the problem with abstinence education is not their message, but the competing ones around it.

Meg Meeker, in her book Strong Fathers, Strong Daughters has the following points:

  • Girls defer sexual activity if their parents disapprove of it, and they are less likely to be sexually active if their parents disapprove of birth control.1
  • Girls with involved fathers wait longer to initiate sex and have lower rates of teen pregnancy. Teen girls who live with both parents are three times less likely to lose their virginity before their sixteenth birthdays.2
  • 76 percent of teen girls said that fathers influenced their decisions on whether they should become sexually active.3
  • 97 percent of girls who said they could talk to their parents had lower teen pregnancy rates.4
  • 93 percent of teen girls who had a loving parent had a lower risk of pregnancy.5

What this says to me is that, contrary to two beliefs held by the pro-abortion side

  1. All kids have sex
  2. [Un]safe-sex education lowers the pregnancy rate

What really makes an impact on teens is their parents. In fact, I attempted to make this point in my post from the other day– parents saying that their kids will have sex are creating a self-fulfilling prophecy. They are setting the expectation, and they’re setting it really low.

This is exactly what happens in [un]safe-sex ed. We tell the children that they are animals, and that we expect them to be animals, and then we give them something that attempts to prevent pregnancy but in turn leaves them vulnerable to physical and emotional damage. Physical in terms of STDs– a majority of which are passed skin to skin and are not covered by a condom. Emotional in terms of the feelings and baggage left behind by casual hookups and the cheapening of self-worth and sexual intercourse. We rob them of the joys of a long term committed relationship, and then wonder why they sleep around more.

So, to make sure I answer, I know that abstinence only education isn’t effective– that hasn’t been my point. My point has been that abstinence is effective– every time it’s tried. And that if we are truly out to protect teens the message that we should be giving them (from parents, to schools, to government, to Hollywood– the whole thing) should be to save sex until marriage. The culture needs to change– you can’t just change the education curriculum.


  1. R. P. Lederman, W. Chan, and C. Roberts-Gray, “Sexual risk attitudes and intentions of youth aged 12-14 years: Survey comparisons of parent-teen prevention and control groups,” Behavioral Medicine 29 (2004): 155-63 []
  2. Lee Smith, “The new welfare of illegitimacy,” Fortune, April 1994, 81-94 []
  3. Mark Clemens, Parade, February 2, 1997; E. M. Hetherington and B. Martin, “Family Interaction,” Psychopathological Disorders of Childhood (New York: John Wiley & Sons, 1979): 247-302. []
  4. Hetherington and Martin, “Family Interaction.” []
  5. Ibid. []

Comments

4 Comments

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  • Arthur says on: September 13, 2007 at 10:49 am

     

    I witnessing the a Jewish girl right now. She is teaching me to read Hebrew and I’m telling her about Christ. It’s a win-win proposition! She is fascinated with the concept that I don’t believe in sex before marriage. She says she’d die if she couldn’t have sex. I ask her why she doen’t marry her long time boyfriend (who’s apparently Pentacoastal!) Her reply is that marriage is all about love anyway.

    I pointed out to her that the reason she cites for not marrying her boyfriend is equivilent to saying ‘we’re basically already married.’ I told her about Jesus and the woman at the well. I told her that the only difference between her ‘marriage’ to her boyfriend and a ‘proper’ marriage is a covenant with God. If she doesn’t believe that God cares whether she is married, then she actually has no reason to marry. I think she’s getting it.

    Anyway I’ve recently been thinking about introducing her to some of the girls I know who have, out of their love for God, remained abstinent since birth and plan to continue to do so until marriage. I asked her if her parents ever told her that sex outside of marriage was wrong. No. They just said that they wouldn’t tell her not to have sex because they knew she would do it anyway. They just told her to have safe sex. HA! And this is a Jewish family. She’s scared to come home with a tattoo!

    Anyway the point is that these girls were told by their parents that its God’s will to remain as virgins until their wedding night. And they did. And they didn’t die. But it dispells the myth of ‘We know you are going to have sex before you are married, so just be safe about it.’ It actually is possible to stave off sex until marriage. Not to mention beneficial.

    Now, we can talk about the effects of the social marriage slow down, leading people to get married later and later in life, now into their middle ages! But thats a whole other topic.

  • MInTheGap says on: September 13, 2007 at 4:41 pm

     

    That last part is something my wife has said– I mean, I believe that we think that Mary might have been 14 when she had Jesus or at least was getting married.

    But should teens really have children? Do we run into problems when girls aren’t fully developed?

    Definitely things to think about.

  • Charley says on: September 13, 2007 at 11:12 pm

     

    “Teens?” No. They shouldn’t be having children, simply because they are not mature enough to be married, much less to raise a child. Maturity is the issue; not physical age. And in some respects this comes to the normalization of “teenager” or “adolescent” as a stage of life. This stage didn’t exist until about one hundred years ago…and it doesn’t exist in Scripture. God only defines two stages: child and adult. A child is expected to be doing the things necessary to make the transition to adulthood…as opposed to spending his life playing and going to school with peers, only to see lack of responsibility creep well into the twenties for many young adults. I know families who have been very intentional about raising their children into mature adults, and these young people are more than ready and more than capable of marriage and child-rearing in their late teens…in fact, they are more prepared than many who are much, much older!!!

    I agree wholeheartedly about family involvement and teen sex rates. If the family isn’t behind the young person, he’s not going to think twice about it. If they are, they have probably given him good, Biblical reasons for purity and they have (hopefully) discouraged the “recreational dating” scene. Both of those things simplify the ability to remain pure until marriage.

    Charley
    HomeDiscipling Dad Blog

  • Arthur says on: September 14, 2007 at 12:11 am

     

    I salute your wife for discussing something so against the grain of both modern Christianity and modern culture. I think this is a little examined and devastating part of the new social plan. It’s counter-scripture in nature and anti-scripture in motive. What’s the greatest reason why the world today waits to get married? Because they don’t want to upset their career paths or earnings potential. The same reason is quoted as the reason why couples wait until later in life to have children and again as the reason why they limit the number of children they have to a maximum of 3.

    The mentality is so invasive of modern thought that many churches even advise against early marriage or early children-rearing or even prolific child-rearing.

    Afterall, you can’t afford 1000 sq ft per member of the household, three SUVs (one’s a spare) , a large LCD tv with surround sound, a cable package as big as God’s (or in this case maybe it’s more like the size of satan’s), cell phone (only the newest most over-priced model will do), two house lines, high speed internet access, the latest computer, maximum health benefits, with dental and vision of course, an elaborate, two week getaway to an exotic and overpriced island or cruiseline yearly, a dog (and the medical bills that go along with treating it like a human), dog grooming, a cat or two, a riding lawnmower, or better yet, a lawn service, an in-ground pool, a new hobbie every 6 months, a new wardrobe from JC Penny or JOS Bank every 6 months, dry cleaning, a maid, a manicure, pedicure, hairstyling, hairdying, hair replacement therapy, therapy, prescription psycotropics, organic food, a laptop for when you’re not at home, student loans for an over-priced and unnecessary mis-education in a field other than the one you currently work in, SIRIUS satellite radion, an MP3 player with 120 GB storage (even though you only use 8,) alcohol, cigarettes, the patch, birth control and the occasional abortion, if you have more than two children!

    Sorry for those of you who actually read that list; sometimes its fun to point out the futility of modern culture. I mean, people complain about the tithe, but then they go out of their way and make more and more money just to give it all the the god of this world! Go figure!

MInTheGap

Standing in the Gap in a Society that's Warring with God.

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