A couple weeks ago, a Huffington Post blogger by the name of Soraya Chemaly put up a provocative post entitled “How Do You Feel About Sex and Teenage Sleepovers?” in which she broached the topic of not just discussing sex with your teenage children, but actually teaching them how to have sex, and then giving them the freedom to experiment. She divvied parents into two camps: the “responsible sex is good” camp and the “scare them silly” camp. (The latter are also lumped with the “socially conservative mythology” crowd.)
This blogger professes great admiration for how teenage sex is handled in the Netherlands, where “parents … talk openly with their children about the meaning and mechanics of sex and often allow their teenage children to engage in sex with their partners in their homes.”
Chemaly’s denial about the ramifications of teenage sex ignores one very critical, very unspoken fact: Sex is different than other bodily functions such as eating, showering, or lavatorial needs. Sex has enormous emotional meaning. That’s the elephant in the room too many progressives refuse to see.
No matter how “healthy” and “natural” teenage sex is viewed by progressives, the FACT of the matter is that sex has much more meaning for girls than it has for boys. Although feminists don’t like to admit it, men and women are biologically different. In the animal world, most males are pre-programmed to have as much sex as possible, with as many females as possible, in order to spread their seed far and wide. Females, however, have the biological repercussions of offspring, so to them the sexual act has far greater impact than for males. Biologically speaking, females of most species associate sex as a reward to males for their protection and provision and (for humans) their emotional commitment.
In short, for people to reduce the sexual act to merely another bodily function is both demeaning and ignorant of biology and instinct. It also reduces us to mere animal behavior. Women have an emotional investment in sex that males lack. So to encourage teenage girls to “explore their sexuality” and imply that they have as much “right” to risk-free sex as boys is to ignore the emotional and biological repercussions.
Dr. Miriam Grossman, a Columbia University campus physician and psychiatrist who wrote the book “Unprotected,” has counseled endless numbers of emotionally wrecked young women who have been sold the lie that hooking up and casual sex is natural, meaningless and fun. She’s seen the emotional impact on these young women who are suffering STDs, eating disorders, sleep issues and emotional agony; yet for many years her hands were tied by the shackles of campus political correctness against advising them of the obvious solution: Quit sleeping around and you won’t be at risk, either emotionally or physically.
Parents of teens do need to teach their children about sex. Not that sex is “oooh scary” – clearly it’s not – but that sex has meaning, and as such should be applied solely in the proper context. And there is NO – and I mean NO – context in America in which teenage sex is appropriate unless both partners are equipped to assume ALL adult responsibilities …which, let’s face it, most adolescents are not. Teenage girls are not emotionally equipped to be mothers. Teenage boys are not mature enough to be husbands, providers and protectors. The fact that teenage sex happens, and that girls are stuck with the resulting emotional devastation of pregnancy, abortion, live births, etc., does not make this FACT go away.
What too many parents have forgotten (possibly because they never learned it themselves) is that children desperately need boundaries in all aspects of behavior. Presumably you wouldn’t permit your 5-year-old son to urinate in the middle of a grocery store aisle. Instead, you teach him that the bathroom is the appropriate place for this bodily function. Presumably you wouldn’t teach your 5-year-old daughter that stripping naked in the mall is fine; instead, you teach her that she needs to be clothed in public.
This is where progressives differ so greatly from conservatives when it comes to raising children. On the one hand you have people who want their children to experience every hedonistic impulse that crosses their brain. They want them to act out every whim, every desire, every want, every lust in order to “express” themselves. They wrongly associate this expression as “freedom.” They don’t care (or can’t see) the long-term repercussions these children will face, either in their personal lives or in society as a whole.
On the other hand, you have people who want their children to learn restraint, self-control and discipline. They want their children to channel their energy into things that are constructive and age-appropriate (sports, music, academics, art, whatever) and that won’t have long-term negative repercussions either in their personal lives or in society.
Children and young adults must learn restraint and learn it from a young age. If young children are unable to control themselves, they will be unmanageable as teens. Teenage boys will never learn that sexual discipline is more manly than hedonism. Teenage girls will never learn that their value lies in their brains, not with what’s between their legs. Teens must learn to restrain their urges, or society falls apart with rampant violence and destructive sex when they become adults.
Oh wait. It already has.
So when progressives descend into name-calling when addressing conservative child-raising values (prudes, repressed, smug, sanctimonious, puritanical, whatever), what they’re really saying is conservative children have a moral foundation and a behavior code book that they lack. Not only lack, but utterly do not see the need for. Progressives ignore the fact that these children will grow up into confident, upright adults who have wonderful sex lives within the bounds of matrimony.
Children are clamoring for some direction in their lives, and in the last few decades they haven’t received it from their parents, schools, or society in general. As a result, we have generations of lost people who are paying a huge price and creating a huge toll on society.
I was telling a neighbor about this column, a neighbor who strives to raise her four children to dress modestly and behave decently, and she pumped her fist in the air and exclaimed, “Let’s hear it for the prudes!”
Children only have one childhood. Why can’t we just let them be kids? Why can’t we protect them from influences they’re not equipped to handle? Encouraging adolescents into adult behaviors before they’re adults is not child-raising, it’s child abuse.
The world needs more prudes. I urge everyone to join their ranks, and raise their children to be prudes as well. It’s a badge of honor, folks, not an insult.