Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Up The Junction

There are over a 1000 comments on this post about Bristol Palin's interview with Greta van Sustern wherein in Bristol scandalized the prudes and provoked smirks among the sleazy by declaring abstinence to be "unrealistic."

Debbie Schlussel comes up with a little bit of the old-time religion:

Not only does she not believe in abstinence, but she doesn’t believe in marriage either, apparently, since it’s been almost a year since she learned she was pregnant and almost two months since she had the kid. And yet, she’s still a baby mama. Hilarious that people call her mother–who enabled this baby mamahood and continues to put a roof over it–the “conservative of the year.” Simply hilarious. Not only has America become socialist under Obama, but conservatives have abandoned any sense of family values. In this one family–the new template for America’s conservative movement–you have a Mr. Mom, teenage pregnancy, single motherhood, and opposition to abstinence teaching. Awesome.
This is, quite simply, deranged. First of all, can we leave all the "baby mama" insults for the people over at "The Atlantic?" And, forget Bristol. Why is Schlussel picking on Todd as a Mr. Mom?

A more interesting point is: why do discussions about teen sex always seem to devolve to discussions about sex-ed vs. abstinence? Education, or the supposed lack thereof is always blamed when there's a pregnant girl in the family. Hah! If there is a kid in America who doesn't know about sex, contraceptives, pregnancy, and abstinence by the time they're 13, I would like to meet them (I can assure you that most teenage boys receive a lengthy and forced education in abstinence as a result of their gawkiness and dimwittedness).

It seems like there are a couple things that American society seems to have been able to successfully put across to teens like Bristol:

1. repeated demands that they DON'T HAVE SEX!!!!

2. lots of information about the mechanical aspects of sex.

What's often left out of the discussion about education is the emotional aspect of sex; namely that sex will create a bond with your partner, whether or not you intend to. Most teenagers, especially girls, are pitifully unprepared for this, leading to the occasionally explosive emotional displays you can see at any high school when a girl learns that she has been "played."

A psychologist of my acquaintance once told me that, as soon as a girl becomes sexually active, that's basically the end of her education. Oh, she can go to class and finish high school. But, her primary focus will turn from school to her sexual relationship. It literally takes center stage in her life. It seems like parents might try combatting this, rather than relying on abstinence-ed or sex-ed.

As for Bristol, she is a pretty, healthy looking girl who looks like she wouldn't hurt a fly. But for her mother, she is an unremarkable girl. She is not losing out on some glamorous "career" by raising this child She is healthy, fertile, and has a strong extended family. Women like this SHOULD be having babies. She set an excellent example by acknowledging the pregnancy, and bringing the child to term, something most politicians teenagers would not do. I expect her children will grow up healthy and well adjusted, which is an increasingly rare thing in this world.

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