American vs. European Conceptions of Teen Sex

On Thursday, Slate.com published a photo essay by Rachael Phelps, a “doctor” working for Planned Parenthood. The focus was on the differences in how American and European teens and parents approach teenage sexuality. I don’t doubt at all the statistics, but Phelps’ conclusions are disturbing. The fact that her views are becoming mainstream is sickening, and must be addressed.

Read the article here.

Here are just a few of Phelps’ conclusions that cannot go unchallenged:

Teenage sex is a foregone conclusion; abstinence is not a viable option

Phelps assumes that teens WILL have sex. Parents should accept (and possibly even encourage) this, and our culture must stop presenting teen sex as “taboo”. Instead, we should focus on teaching about and providing birth control and access to “family planning”, which has become little more than a euphemism for abortion.

STD’s and unwanted pregnancies are caused by those who promote abstinence

In Phelps’ view, teens (and others who engage in unprotected, unmarried sex) are removed from all responsibility for the negative consequences of their actions. Instead, the blame goes to parents who don’t want their kids to have sex, those who use “scare tactics” to warn of negative consequences, those who tell kids that premarital sex is wrong, and media that will not run programming which promotes the idea of premarital sex as the norm.

Love is simply a feeling

Whereas Europeans seem to define “love” as a feeling and a willingness to commit to a “serious relationship”, Americans view “love” and “sex” as two different things. Phelps seems to endorse the first view, simultaneously and subtly suggesting that there is no real difference between boys and girls. This is far removed from the biblical conception of love (wherein sex is a normal and wonderful part of marital love) and of masculinity and femininity. Phelps’ “love” is nothing but a cheap imitation.

Regret is the worst of all outcomes of sex

In response to the statistic in the graph posted above, which shows that the vast majority of American teens wish they had waited longer to have sex, Phelps never acknowledges the possibility that this regret might just stem from a conscience which bears witness to the law written on their hearts (Romans 2:15), telling them that sex outside of marriage is wrong. Instead, she uses this statistic — as well as the fact that most American teens’ first sexual experience is not a “good one” — as evidence that the American view of sex is “unhealthy” in comparison to that of nations in which teen sex is considered normal.

Protected sex is the new “responsible”

In the past, unwed sex was considered irresponsible. That bar has been lowered. Now, unprotected sex is irresponsible, but sex with a condom or birth control (bonus points for going “double Dutch”!) is what responsible young people do. A dad can respect and give his blessing to boys who want to have sex with his daughter, so long as he knows they’ll use a condom.

If God gives me a daughter, I dare somebody to try this on me… just see what happens.

Kids are “a walking advertisement for birth control”

All of the commercials endorsed by Phelps are disgusting, but the last one is especially sad. When a child acts like that, it’s not a sign that his parents should have used a condom. It’s a sign that his parents are bad parents… which began when they had sex (whether married or not) when they weren’t prepared to become parents. She’s right about one thing: parenting is a challenge. The answer, however, is not fewer kids. It’s more responsible adults.

Europe has it right

The overwhelming message in this article is that progressive Europeans have the right answers about everything. They love better, parent better, enjoy sex more, and have generally evolved further in keeping with the times. If Americans want to keep up with the rest of the world, the prudes (like me, I suppose) had better get on board or get left behind.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s