Tuesday, September 2, 2008

an empowering education

So, one story has been blowing up the media waves recently. No, I’m not talking about torrential ravaging of America’s coastline (which people probably should be focusing on more). I’m talking about GOP VP Sarah Palin’s pregnant teen daughter! While I laud the painful public admission and the more recent choice her daughter made to keep and raise the child, I am still utterly confused at some of the conservative somewhat conflicting POVs on Pro-Life and abstinence-based sexual education?

No, I’m not saying that when everyone walks into the doors their freshman year of high school throw handfuls of condoms at them, but shouldn’t sexual education give teenagers the knowledge and facts regarding this (for some reason) taboo topic? Certain groups argue that such education would give our young adults the green light in the bedroom, but think of the alternative education they are receiving…

Our popular culture is on its way to becoming a soft core porno. Sex is everywhere. It is a tool geared towards the consumer, a ratings grabber for the audience, and explicit in its saturation in our entertainment. So, while you might be teaching your children to not have sex whatsoever, the world and their peers are going Nike and saying ‘just do it.’

While every mother and father would hope and pray that their children can exercise self-control until marriage, what of the majority of those children who can’t? Do you really want them going into the bedroom with a second rate education or sub standard tools at their disposal? Universities don’t hand out diplomas to idiots who didn’t pass a single class, and the DMV doesn’t give out licenses to less than adequate drivers. But, humans aren’t given a license to have sex. Most parents avoid the awkward conversation and simply say don’t do it. So, for most teenagers, it’s a very monkey see, monkey do schooling. Hey, Carrie from Sex and the City is doing it, why not me? Ross and Rachel did it. That skinny chick and Dr. McDreamy do it. Why not me? These are their instructors in all things sexual. It’s an archaic tradition to not educate out of fear. Women and slaves were banned from proper education for fear of the social consequences. That seemed to have worked out. I can’t be certain of the consequences, but I am pretty certain that leaving teens in the dark on sex will lead to dire decisions in the dark.

Sex is a life-threatening behavior. I’m not even just talking about the fact that nowadays STDs are more common than a winter cold. I’m talking about the fact that getting knocked up ends your life as you knew it! The McCain camp and their Evangelical supporters are preaching in one voice that a child, Palin’s included, is a miracle and a blessing. While they are correct in saying this, the reality is that this is probably the most time consuming, expensive, and life altering miracle you’ll ever have! Why not shed more light on the hardships and sacrifice that go along with having children?

I guess my final point is, most young women who are in such a situation aren’t the daughters of the ‘could-be’ most powerful woman in the nation. Sorry, Oprah! They are daughters of the average American who may or may not be equipped (financially or emotionally) to bring on such a burdensome blessing. So, save your breath on abstinence (most kids aren’t listening) and preach on the life changing consequences of actions and preparation on how to keep things under wraps… pun intended!

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