A mindless bag of hormones has been given a platform to spout off and educate the rest of us on How Children Should Be Raised.
“Abstinence is a great idea,” he said, “but I also think you need to enforce, you know, condoms and birth control and other things like that to have safe sex.”
Right, because once teenagers are aware that condoms exist, hey, problem solved. Go to it, kids! Except that in his case, problem definitively not solved.
but there’s a few times we didn’t [use condoms], and that’s what happened. We had a kid.
The logical fallacy in this argument is that people somehow have the idea that teenagers who are incapable of controlling their sexual behavior – they’re just unthinking, mindless bags of hormones who must and will have sex – will suddenly have the self-control to stop what they’re doing and put on a condom. Are you kidding me? It wasn’t true in Levi Johnston’s case; why would it be in anyone else’s? So by Levi’s own standards, since giving kids access to birth control failed to prevent pregnancy, then we should abandon the effort entirely. After all, we’re talking about people who have to be nagged to keep their room clean, get their homework done and take care of their pets. These are the people society is claiming are mature enough to have sex and when the obvious consequence of pregnancy arises, make decisions about abortion without parental input?!
Of course, I don’t believe all teenagers are mindless bags of hormones. But it annoys me when proponents of birth control for teenagers try to have it both ways. Either they are capable of controlling their sexual behavior, or they’re not.
I’m not against making teenagers aware that birth control methods exist. That should certainly be part of any sex ed program, and parents should include it as part of “the talk.” But the idea that teenagers must and will have sex, no matter what, and that parents must assent to that “reality” is ridiculous. Lots of people delay sexual activity until they are older. It is certainly not impossible. The truth is, kids tend to live up to the standards we set for them. The problem here is less with teenagers, who are – as all kids do – pushing the envelope as far as they can. It’s with parents and society at large, who are failing to protect their children’s innocence.
Michael Douglas recently complained on The Tonight Show that his six year old was dancing in a sexually provactive way. Here’s a clue – don’t send her to the dance class where she’s learning to do that. Kids who watch adult shows on TV are more prone to have sex? Here’s a clue – don’t let your kids watch that crap on TV. Set guidelines, and stay active in your children’s lives to enforce them and teach the benefits of those guidelines. There’s a name for this sort of behavior: parenting.
When teenagers do have sex and get pregnant, as will inevitably happen some of the time, let that be because they violated the standards, not because they adhered to them.