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Opinion discussion: How do you feel about public schools distributing

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I am in favor.  I understand why people might not be, but I would rather err on the side of easy access.  

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1 hour ago, MercyA said:

I have to admit this is where I'm at on this, too. Maybe I'm just old and tired, but I don't have it in me to get worked up about most things* that go on in public schools. I expect that public school activities will reflect the values of society at large, and no surprise, they do.

I wasn't going to get into this discussion, but onelittlemonkey asked if those who were opposed to abortion and welfare were also opposed to condom distribution. I think onelittlemonkey is awesome, so for her sake I'll try to articulate my not-yet-fully-formed opinion on it. I oppose abortion in every circumstance; if the mother's life is at risk, I believe every effort should be made to save both lives, if possible. I support welfare because poor people need help and Scripture commands us to help them, the end. Condoms at school: not something I would protest, but neither are they something I would personally provide for unmarried couples. I do understand why others have a different position, but my conscience won't allow me to support or participate in something I believe to be sin. 

Looking at it using a different example: I won't vote for someone I know to be evil even if they--for example--pledge to nominate pro-life Supreme Court nominees. I don't think that I, as a Christian, should ever actively and personally support sin in the hopes that good may result from it. So I wouldn't say to someone, "Here, let me give you a condom in case you want to sin." But I am going to expect the public school to have the same position? Of course not.

I don't expect many to agree with me on this, and that's okay. 😉 

(*I draw the line at those who teach kids to disrespect life and harm living creatures, like that *&#$%& ag teacher who tortured raccoons in class. 😠)  

I get what you're saying, totally!  I guess as my faith has evolved over the years -- and I'm a Christian too -- I find there are a lot of situations where there just is no good answer.  I mean there IS, ideally, but the world is what it is.  In those situations, it just seems that love has to come first.  What act can I do that shows the greatest amount of love in that particular situation?  That's what it boils down for to me, more and more, in these very difficult circumstances.  So in the situation of offering a condom to a young person who's going to have sex anyway, or not offering it because it's against my personal beliefs...  Well, it just seems like that first option is the more loving one, even though in my mind, it's far from perfect.  

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3 hours ago, happysmileylady said:

.

Theid paragraph...let’s get a bit controversial here.  Teen sex IS the norm.  It always has been.  In many cultures puberty means adulthood.  My grandmother was 18 when she got married and had her first child before she was 20.  My great grandmother was married at 17...because she was pregnant.   They stayed together till great grandpa passed at the age of 77 and they had a total of 9 kids.  My mom and her siblings all got married at age 20 or earlier.    

I got pregnant at 17.  I had my youngest kid just before I tuned 35.  My experience has led me to believe that the human body is SUPPOSED to give birth at those younger ages. But socially, intellectually, we aren’t supposed to be there.  I think there is an interesting conflict between biology and society.  And biologically, I don’t thing later teen pregnancy is all that weird.  From our current society standpoint it’s undesirable and hard.  But it’s still certainly something that has been going on for generations and isn’t abnormal 

Well since we're talking about high school, I really meant high school age.  My kids will turn 17 in 12th grade, so I'm not talking about anything over 17.  And yes, historically 17 wasn't necessarily young to be pregnant, but now it is desireable for girls to finish enough education to support themselves prior to procreating. 

And when I talk about teen sex being the norm in the media, I'm talking about kids who are nowhere near ready to raise children, and aren't mature enough to take on an intimate relationship.  I'm talking about the media implying that sexual experimentation as young as puberty is healthy, normal, desireable, and generally without negative consequences.  Even historically, the ideal was never to have casual sex outside of wedlock.  But popular movies in the decades since the "sexual revolution" have made it seem almost universal.

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3 hours ago, happysmileylady said:

Having done it in the recent generations , I totally agree. All I mean is that I think those difficulties are socially imposed vs biologically.   Trying to go to college while dealing with babies is ROUGH, I have plenty of experience with that.  

Being a teen mom was never exactly easy.  Teen moms, married or not, had a higher death rate in childbirth, and in most families the young mom had to do a heck of a lot of work both in the home and out of it.  So part of why we want kids to delay is that their life can be a bit better if they do.  The ability to make one's own money also opens a lot more choices.

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1 hour ago, SKL said:

Well since we're talking about high school, I really meant high school age.  My kids will turn 17 in 12th grade, so I'm not talking about anything over 17.  And yes, historically 17 wasn't necessarily young to be pregnant, but now it is desireable for girls to finish enough education to support themselves prior to procreating. 

And when I talk about teen sex being the norm in the media, I'm talking about kids who are nowhere near ready to raise children, and aren't mature enough to take on an intimate relationship.  I'm talking about the media implying that sexual experimentation as young as puberty is healthy, normal, desireable, and generally without negative consequences.  Even historically, the ideal was never to have casual sex outside of wedlock.  But popular movies in the decades since the "sexual revolution" have made it seem almost universal.

 

How is it that teen sex has apparently become so pervasive and normalized in the media, something that supposedly causes kids to throw religion and all good sense out the window and frolic in iniquity, when the rates of teen pregnancy and childbirth peaked (in my lifetime) 30 years ago and are lower now than they were in 1972, before I was even a twinkle in my parents’ eyes? I look at the Pew data, evennthe CDC data, and it doesn’t reveal what people keep saying. Heck, even going back through the Masters and Johnson research, not talking about or seeing sex on TV (two twin beds? Really?) didn’t mean sex wasn’t happening.  Is it really better to marry off teens rather than prepare them to navigate the same sorts of sexual issues that their parents and grandparents and great grandparents had at the exact same ages?

https://www.google.com/amp/www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2016/04/29/why-is-the-teen-birth-rate-falling/%3famp=1

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7 hours ago, Katy said:

 

I think there is an inconsistency in this reasoning.  It's definitely possible to say, "What you do with your body is your decision. I hope you will wait. But if you decide NOT to wait, you MUST be responsible about it because it isn't just your life you're messing up.  It's the life of a baby who deserves two parents who love each other AND the baby." IE: If you don't wait, don't be an idiot.

It may be anecdotal, but IME the more anti- sex ed a church is, the higher the percentage of teen pregnancy. Because they are sure they are absolutely NOT going to plan on having sex, because backsliding means they're going to hell, and being responsible means they are planning on sinning. But "accidentally giving into temptation" is totally human. So girl after girl after girl gets pregnant. IME explaining how important it is to make responsible decisions helps a ton.  And that coupled with free condoms might help a great deal too.

 

I had one of those too.

 

So... were you not a believer at the time or did you just ignore the biblical rules regarding sex? Because bible-thumper kids rarely make such responsible decisions IME.

I'm not a proponent of virginal wedding nights either, I'm just surprised.

Real-life object lesson: my sister had a baby at 14. I was a believer at the time, but I’m also a very practical person. I rationalized that in Biblical times, people married when they were 13-15, which was clearly no longer a social norm. I knew that I was absolutely NOT getting married and/or having babies at any age ending in “teen” and it was no longer socially relevant to be a virgin until mid-twenties when marriage and babies made sense. So yes, for all intents and purposes, I ignored that biblical edict. 

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@Frances, thanks for your thoughts. I understand your perspective.

@J-rap, I always appreciate hearing from you. I'm getting ready to leave for co-op, but just quickly: 1. I believe God always requires me to love and never wills me to sin; 2. God's definition of love as revealed in Scripture and the world's definition of love are not always the same thing; and 3. where the Scripture is not explicit, some of these things come down to matters of conscience. Have to run, peace out! :) 

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11 hours ago, Quill said:

*shrug* My family was dirt poor and my parents were major Bible-thumpers. But I worked and so did my bf. We always had the necessary supplies. 

I would seriously question the wisdom of giving such piss-poor, no-resources, unsupportive-family teens free condoms, thinking that solves some problem. Where is this magical society where a teen in such a situation as that is only going to have sex when armed with his school-issued raincoat? When happens on summer break, holidays, weekends? Do these kids suddenly become chaste? Do they go get a job so they can afford protection? 

I just don’t get why we are treating these young people like they have no need whatsoever to assume responsibility for securing their own protection. It seems like more of the Helpless generation messaging. 

Just FTR, I am not a big proponent of virginal wedding days or wait till marriage messaging. If someone chooses that, fine, but I’m just filling in my perspective; I am not saying free condoms are bad because then teens will have sex. That isn’t my issue at all. 

 

I think this gets into some much bigger picture issues about the teen years, and procreation and sex in our society as it applies to everyone.

I generally think we are a little inconsistent about how we think about teenagers - in general I think we really infantilise them, largely by making it difficult for them to be significantly involved in caring for themselves or contributing to the needs of the community.  we've extended childhood.

In reality I think teens in high school are at the stage of life where it's actually quite natural for them to be working members of society with real responsibilities, and not only be sexually active but having children - all things which are big factors in attaining maturity - by making these impossible or undesirable as a society I tend to think we've made it even more difficult for kids to mature.

So while we have created this rather unfortunate situation for teens, I don't think that changes their basic nature - not only will they have sex, they are really mature enough to have it, and to be parents.  I don't really think a lot of the idea that people have to be "ready" in some psychological sense to have kids.  Some people have serious problems that make it a bad idea, like addiction.  Some people are irresponsible jerks and may always be.  But this idea of being "ready" is looking for something that doesn't really exist, like being ready to get old, or being ready to lose your fertility as you age.

I think teens are capable of handling birth control.  I don't really care that they are minors.  I actually would like it if people didn't have sex, adults or teens, unless they were in a position to have kids, and had the maturity and self-control to handle that - the fact is that most adults struggle with this too though, and our society does zero to encourage that, or even tell people that self-control and abstinence are good things.  I don't really see us getting there any time soon, our economic model is to o invested in undermining all self-control.

It's not that I don't think parents have a role, really - I do, in a society which was set up with sensible structures for childbearing and rearing, I'd expect parents/grandparents to have significant roles - there is a good reason parents have traditionally had input into the spousal choices of the young.  But given we've created a situation where parents are rarely going to have that and in fact really don't want their children to have sex or have kids before they are well into adulthood, we've created a real bind for the teenagers.  

It is also IMO very difficult to tease out messages in society that sex is no big deal, and they are all over the place, from easily accessible birth control.  They become intertwined in a number of ways.  Watching a few episodes of Friends or Big Bang theory is kind of cingeworthy in that respect.  Which is too bad, but not something easily solvable.

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6 minutes ago, Bluegoat said:

 

I think this gets into some much bigger picture issues about the teen years, and procreation and sex in our society as it applies to everyone.

I generally think we are a little inconsistent about how we think about teenagers - in general I think we really infantilise them, largely by making it difficult for them to be significantly involved in caring for themselves or contributing to the needs of the community.  we've extended childhood.

In reality I think teens in high school are at the stage of life where it's actually quite natural for them to be working members of society with real responsibilities, and not only be sexually active but having children - all things which are big factors in attaining maturity - by making these impossible or undesirable as a society I tend to think we've made it even more difficult for kids to mature.

So while we have created this rather unfortunate situation for teens, I don't think that changes their basic nature - not only will they have sex, they are really mature enough to have it, and to be parents.  I don't really think a lot of the idea that people have to be "ready" in some psychological sense to have kids.  Some people have serious problems that make it a bad idea, like addiction.  Some people are irresponsible jerks and may always be.  But this idea of being "ready" is looking for something that doesn't really exist, like being ready to get old, or being ready to lose your fertility as you age.

I think teens are capable of handling birth control.  I don't really care that they are minors.  I actually would like it if people didn't have sex, adults or teens, unless they were in a position to have kids, and had the maturity and self-control to handle that - the fact is that most adults struggle with this too though, and our society does zero to encourage that, or even tell people that self-control and abstinence are good things.  I don't really see us getting there any time soon, our economic model is to o invested in undermining all self-control.

It's not that I don't think parents have a role, really - I do, in a society which was set up with sensible structures for childbearing and rearing, I'd expect parents/grandparents to have significant roles - there is a good reason parents have traditionally had input into the spousal choices of the young.  But given we've created a situation where parents are rarely going to have that and in fact really don't want their children to have sex or have kids before they are well into adulthood, we've created a real bind for the teenagers.  

It is also IMO very difficult to tease out messages in society that sex is no big deal, and they are all over the place, from easily accessible birth control.  They become intertwined in a number of ways.  Watching a few episodes of Friends or Big Bang theory is kind of cingeworthy in that respect.  Which is too bad, but not something easily solvable.

Heading to doctors in a few minutes, but just saying: I 100% agree with ALL of this. I think there is much to be said about how modern society infanta.izes children and delays maturity. 

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5 hours ago, SKL said:

Being a teen mom was never exactly easy.  Teen moms, married or not, had a higher death rate in childbirth, and in most families the young mom had to do a heck of a lot of work both in the home and out of it.  So part of why we want kids to delay is that their life can be a bit better if they do.  The ability to make one's own money also opens a lot more choices.

I don't disagree at all.  I am not in any way saying that we should be encouraging kids to have babies in high school.  What I am saying is that it has always been normal for later year teens (and I am talking 16-19 here) to be engaging in sex and that biologically this makes sense, because I think that biologically, our bodies are meant to carry babies at younger ages vs ages closer to menopause.  Seventeen year olds have been engaging in sex for generations and generations.  It doesn't happen because of all the smut on tv (and the tv really is full of smut lately,) it happens because that's how it has always been.

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1 hour ago, Bluegoat said:

 

I think this gets into some much bigger picture issues about the teen years, and procreation and sex in our society as it applies to everyone.

I generally think we are a little inconsistent about how we think about teenagers - in general I think we really infantilise them, largely by making it difficult for them to be significantly involved in caring for themselves or contributing to the needs of the community.  we've extended childhood.

In reality I think teens in high school are at the stage of life where it's actually quite natural for them to be working members of society with real responsibilities, and not only be sexually active but having children - all things which are big factors in attaining maturity - by making these impossible or undesirable as a society I tend to think we've made it even more difficult for kids to mature.

So while we have created this rather unfortunate situation for teens, I don't think that changes their basic nature - not only will they have sex, they are really mature enough to have it, and to be parents.  I don't really think a lot of the idea that people have to be "ready" in some psychological sense to have kids.  Some people have serious problems that make it a bad idea, like addiction.  Some people are irresponsible jerks and may always be.  But this idea of being "ready" is looking for something that doesn't really exist, like being ready to get old, or being ready to lose your fertility as you age.

I think teens are capable of handling birth control.  I don't really care that they are minors.  I actually would like it if people didn't have sex, adults or teens, unless they were in a position to have kids, and had the maturity and self-control to handle that - the fact is that most adults struggle with this too though, and our society does zero to encourage that, or even tell people that self-control and abstinence are good things.  I don't really see us getting there any time soon, our economic model is to o invested in undermining all self-control.

It's not that I don't think parents have a role, really - I do, in a society which was set up with sensible structures for childbearing and rearing, I'd expect parents/grandparents to have significant roles - there is a good reason parents have traditionally had input into the spousal choices of the young.  But given we've created a situation where parents are rarely going to have that and in fact really don't want their children to have sex or have kids before they are well into adulthood, we've created a real bind for the teenagers.  

It is also IMO very difficult to tease out messages in society that sex is no big deal, and they are all over the place, from easily accessible birth control.  They become intertwined in a number of ways.  Watching a few episodes of Friends or Big Bang theory is kind of cingeworthy in that respect.  Which is too bad, but not something easily solvable.

Or I could just wait for you to post and just say ITA

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12 hours ago, Quill said:

*shrug* My family was dirt poor and my parents were major Bible-thumpers. But I worked and so did my bf. We always had the necessary supplies. 

I would seriously question the wisdom of giving such piss-poor, no-resources, unsupportive-family teens free condoms, thinking that solves some problem. Where is this magical society where a teen in such a situation as that is only going to have sex when armed with his school-issued raincoat? When happens on summer break, holidays, weekends? Do these kids suddenly become chaste? Do they go get a job so they can afford protection? 

I just don’t get why we are treating these young people like they have no need whatsoever to assume responsibility for securing their own protection. It seems like more of the Helpless generation messaging. 

Just FTR, I am not a big proponent of virginal wedding days or wait till marriage messaging. If someone chooses that, fine, but I’m just filling in my perspective; I am not saying free condoms are bad because then teens will have sex. That isn’t my issue at all. 

I did live in a small town with one drug store, one convenience store, and no gas station mini marts, in a state where you have to be 17 for a driver’s license. Buying condoms definitely would have carried a big risk of getting found out for anyone under 17 or without a vehicle.

I do consider myself fortunate that my bf had much older friends who looked out for him and made sure that (typical) teen fears didn’t screw up his whole life.  If he hadn’t, I can’t say with any certainty what might have happened before I was allowed to drive my mom’s car out of town.

I don’t think it’s fair to call a lack of access or barriers to access failure to assume responsibility. I do think that having easy access to begin with could lead to better creative thinking or reaching out to trustworthy people for some assistance. If they start out taking risks, given the teenage brain, I’d think they’d acclimate to the risk level for however many months they manage to get away with it, and feel less incentivized to do something about it.

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5 hours ago, Sneezyone said:

 

How is it that teen sex has apparently become so pervasive and normalized in the media, something that supposedly causes kids to throw religion and all good sense out the window and frolic in iniquity, when the rates of teen pregnancy and childbirth peaked (in my lifetime) 30 years ago and are lower now than they were in 1972, before I was even a twinkle in my parents’ eyes? I look at the Pew data, evennthe CDC data, and it doesn’t reveal what people keep saying. Heck, even going back through the Masters and Johnson research, not talking about or seeing sex on TV (two twin beds? Really?) didn’t mean sex wasn’t happening.  Is it really better to marry off teens rather than prepare them to navigate the same sorts of sexual issues that their parents and grandparents and great grandparents had at the exact same ages?

https://www.google.com/amp/www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2016/04/29/why-is-the-teen-birth-rate-falling/%3famp=1

The teen pregnancy rate has fallen because it used to be normal for girls/women to marry and start families during their teen years.  Now it isn't, nor do I particularly want that for my kids.  (Not sure why you ask me if it's really better to marry off teens.  I don't think I said anything like that.)

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Sounds like some are suggesting maybe we go back to the ideal of females starting families as teens, partly to help "grow them up."

I suggest that we have substituted teen motherhood with other responsibilities, mainly preparing for and starting a career / activity that helps the community.

I do think it is regrettable that we don't have as many opportunities for young people to "practice" parenting - when I was a teen, I spent many hours on a daily basis taking care of my younger siblings and babysitting other kids.  I hope my kids will find opportunities to help out with kids before they have their own.

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8 hours ago, SKL said:

Well since we're talking about high school, I really meant high school age.  My kids will turn 17 in 12th grade, so I'm not talking about anything over 17.  And yes, historically 17 wasn't necessarily young to be pregnant, but now it is desireable for girls to finish enough education to support themselves prior to procreating. 

And when I talk about teen sex being the norm in the media, I'm talking about kids who are nowhere near ready to raise children, and aren't mature enough to take on an intimate relationship.  I'm talking about the media implying that sexual experimentation as young as puberty is healthy, normal, desireable, and generally without negative consequences.  Even historically, the ideal was never to have casual sex outside of wedlock.  But popular movies in the decades since the "sexual revolution" have made it seem almost universal.

Some research suggests that certain TV shows may have actually contributed to the decrease in teen pregnancy rates:

https://www.cnn.com/2014/01/13/health/16-pregnant-teens-childbirth/index.html

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5 minutes ago, Frances said:

Some research suggests that certain TV shows may have actually contributed to the decrease in teen pregnancy rates:

https://www.cnn.com/2014/01/13/health/16-pregnant-teens-childbirth/index.html

They supposedly correlated with fewer teen births.  The article indicated this was related to higher interest in both abortion and birth control.  The quotes and anecdotes cited imply a very casual attitude toward teen sex among those watching the show.

Also this study was focused on the type of person who would watch that kind of show in the first place - many would not.

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1 hour ago, SKL said:

Sounds like some are suggesting maybe we go back to the ideal of females starting families as teens, partly to help "grow them up."

I suggest that we have substituted teen motherhood with other responsibilities, mainly preparing for and starting a career / activity that helps the community.

I do think it is regrettable that we don't have as many opportunities for young people to "practice" parenting - when I was a teen, I spent many hours on a daily basis taking care of my younger siblings and babysitting other kids.  I hope my kids will find opportunities to help out with kids before they have their own.

 

No, this absolutely wasn’t what I was saying. I do not think early marriage is preferable to delayed parenthood. I’m just not seeing the connection between media ‘normalizing teen sex’ and higher pregnancy rates. It simply doesn’t exist. 

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4 minutes ago, SKL said:

They supposedly correlated with fewer teen births.  The article indicated this was related to higher interest in both abortion and birth control.  The quotes and anecdotes cited imply a very casual attitude toward teen sex among those watching the show.

Also this study was focused on the type of person who would watch that kind of show in the first place - many would not.

 The pew data show both decreasing pregnancy and abortion rates. Both have declined, in tandem. There’s no evidence of media causing a significant increase in teen sex.

Edited by Sneezyone
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I have a lot of thoughts about this topic, and I want to come back to it when my brain is firing on all cylinders and I can give the responses they deserve.  

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When I was in high school a million years ago, our school nurse's office had a supply of free condoms available. Also, everyone had to attend a demonstration for how to use one, although boys and girls were separated for the duration (15 minutes maybe?). I'm pretty sure there was a parental consent form involved for the demonstration. 

I don't know if this made any difference because I didn't know anyone who took advantage of the offer, but I imagine that the kids who did weren't vocal about it.

I am very much in the wait until you get married camp, but if kids are active, I believe that they should be given accurate information and ways to protect themselves.

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1 hour ago, SKL said:

Sounds like some are suggesting maybe we go back to the ideal of females starting families as teens, partly to help "grow them up."

I suggest that we have substituted teen motherhood with other responsibilities, mainly preparing for and starting a career / activity that helps the community.

I do think it is regrettable that we don't have as many opportunities for young people to "practice" parenting - when I was a teen, I spent many hours on a daily basis taking care of my younger siblings and babysitting other kids.  I hope my kids will find opportunities to help out with kids before they have their own.

It's not so much "practice parenting"  On larger scale, we have removed responsibilities from our young people.  From preventing kids getting their licenses until age 17, to employers that will only hire adults for jobs that used to be done by teens, to paper routes that are now all done by adults in cars, even down to people calling the cops because parents didn't go to the park with their 10yr old.   When I was a kid, we lived on a cul de sac and the bus stop was at the end of the street.  The street had a bit of a curve, so no one in the cul de sac could see the bus stop.  And yet, every morning, even in Kindergarten, I and my friend would walk down the street, out of sight of my house, and wait for the bus.  When my oldest was in high school, the bus stop was on the corner of our street, just 2 houses down.  I would send my kid out the door......and then my next door neighbor (so 3 houses down from the bus stop) would open her garage door, back her van down the driveway, drive her kid to the corner, and sit there in the van, and of course, invite my kid to sit in the van with her.  Have we really reached a point in society where two 15yr old girls can't handle standing outside on the corner for 10 minutes waiting for the bus just houses down from their own? 

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The thing that reduces abortions the most is having good access to birth control that is not stigmatized. I do think this will reduce unwanted pregnancies and therefore abortions because it destigmatizes it and makes it easy to get. In countries where there is no stigma on birth control the abortion rate is much lower. It does work.

I do hope the schools also have comprehensive sex education too and not just focused on sex itself and birth control methods but on healthy relationships, consent and how after having sex that it can be harder to leave someone and see red flags because of hormones. It would include a home link to help parents have an open dialogue with their kids and let them know their values about it. I do think that sex is better in a healthy long term relationship and that many teens make bad decisions about sex and relationships. Having condoms easily available will not stop teens from having sex but it will make it safer.

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8 hours ago, Sneezyone said:

 

How is it that teen sex has apparently become so pervasive and normalized in the media, something that supposedly causes kids to throw religion and all good sense out the window and frolic in iniquity, when the rates of teen pregnancy and childbirth peaked (in my lifetime) 30 years ago and are lower now than they were in 1972, before I was even a twinkle in my parents’ eyes? I look at the Pew data, evennthe CDC data, and it doesn’t reveal what people keep saying. Heck, even going back through the Masters and Johnson research, not talking about or seeing sex on TV (two twin beds? Really?) didn’t mean sex wasn’t happening.  Is it really better to marry off teens rather than prepare them to navigate the same sorts of sexual issues that their parents and grandparents and great grandparents had at the exact same ages?

https://www.google.com/amp/www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2016/04/29/why-is-the-teen-birth-rate-falling/%3famp=1

 

Exactly. Young people today are having less sex, not more. My kids will probably be virgins until they are 30. If they can look up from their screens for that long. https://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2018/12/the-sex-recession/573949/

Edited by SeaConquest
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2 hours ago, SKL said:

Sounds like some are suggesting maybe we go back to the ideal of females starting families as teens, partly to help "grow them up."

I suggest that we have substituted teen motherhood with other responsibilities, mainly preparing for and starting a career / activity that helps the community.

I do think it is regrettable that we don't have as many opportunities for young people to "practice" parenting - when I was a teen, I spent many hours on a daily basis taking care of my younger siblings and babysitting other kids.  I hope my kids will find opportunities to help out with kids before they have their own.

 

Meh, I changed my first diaper when I brought my son home from the hospital at age 34. He survived. Barely. 😉 I spent my youth building a resume for college. It's nice to have both skills; one isn't inherently better than the other. But, the college admissions game has changed for a lot of kids, making it much more difficult to have the kind of jobs that a lot of us had as kids (babysitting, lifeguarding, mowing lawns, retail vs. internships, research, volunteerism, etc).

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1 hour ago, Sneezyone said:

 

No, this absolutely wasn’t what I was saying. I do not think early marriage is preferable to delayed parenthood. I’m just not seeing the connection between media ‘normalizing teen sex’ and higher pregnancy rates. It simply doesn’t exist. 

I don't think I said it did ... I can dislike both teen pregnancy and a casual attitude toward sex without proving there is causation between them.  My point was that I have to teach my kids at home (a) our family values and (b) practical advice re delaying fertility.  It is somewhat of an uphill battle due to the way sex is portrayed in the media and potentially at school.

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54 minutes ago, SeaConquest said:

 

Exactly. Young people today are having less sex, not more. My kids will probably be virgins until they are 30. If they can look up from their screens for that long. https://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2018/12/the-sex-recession/573949/

 I know you were being a bit light-hearted, but I am not so sure we want a society where people are waiting until their 30s for sex. 

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1 hour ago, Sneezyone said:

 The pew data show both decreasing pregnancy and abortion rates. Both have declined, in tandem. There’s no evidence of media causing a significant increase in teen sex.

1) I didn't say media causes an increase in teen sex, though I do think it encourages more casual premarital sex if you compare to before the media started getting ridiculous during the sexual revolution.  I don't have the stats, but it is obvious that when practically every modern movie has young people engaged in casual sex, that is going to have an influence that parents need to respond to.

2) pregnancy and abortion rates leave out the rate of teens who are using birth control.  Thus it leaves out a big chunk of the "teen sex" statistics.  I was not able to find stats for trends in the overall teen population using birth control.  (Articles I've seen focus on the subset of sexually active teens who use it.)

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1 hour ago, happysmileylady said:

It's not so much "practice parenting"  On larger scale, we have removed responsibilities from our young people.  From preventing kids getting their licenses until age 17, to employers that will only hire adults for jobs that used to be done by teens, to paper routes that are now all done by adults in cars, even down to people calling the cops because parents didn't go to the park with their 10yr old.   When I was a kid, we lived on a cul de sac and the bus stop was at the end of the street.  The street had a bit of a curve, so no one in the cul de sac could see the bus stop.  And yet, every morning, even in Kindergarten, I and my friend would walk down the street, out of sight of my house, and wait for the bus.  When my oldest was in high school, the bus stop was on the corner of our street, just 2 houses down.  I would send my kid out the door......and then my next door neighbor (so 3 houses down from the bus stop) would open her garage door, back her van down the driveway, drive her kid to the corner, and sit there in the van, and of course, invite my kid to sit in the van with her.  Have we really reached a point in society where two 15yr old girls can't handle standing outside on the corner for 10 minutes waiting for the bus just houses down from their own? 

You'll be happy to know my kids have been taking themselves to and from the bus stop since the bus started running when they were 7.  😛  Yes, we have to manufacture some responsibilities because of ridiculous changes in society.  It is a pet peeve of mine too.

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38 minutes ago, SKL said:

I didn't say media causes an increase in teen sex, though I do think it encourages more casual premarital sex if you compare to before the media started getting ridiculous during the sexual revolution.  I don't have the stats, but it is obvious that when practically every modern movie has young people engaged in casual sex, that is going to have an influence that parents need to respond to.

Yes to this.

Teens were still having sex back in my grandparents' day but it was typically with their "steady" and they usually ended up married to them more often than not. Casual sex wasn't a thing for teens, by and large. Nowadays casual hookups are considered the norm, which is a big change, and the media has had a huge impact on that phenomenon.

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4 minutes ago, Momto5inIN said:

Yes to this.

Teens were still having sex back in my grandparents' day but it was typically with their "steady" and they usually ended up married to them more often than not. Casual sex wasn't a thing for teens, by and large. Nowadays casual hookups are considered the norm, which is a big change, and the media has had a huge impact on that phenomenon.

Teen sexual activity is actually declining in recent years.  Fewer teens are also having sex with  multiple partners. In general, teens today are having less sex, and it is generally safer.

http://recapp.etr.org/recapp/index.cfm?fuseaction=pages.StatisticsDetail&PageID=555

--Between 1991-2015, the proportion of students who ever had sexual intercourse decreased from 54% to 41%.3

--The percent of adolescents who are having sex at earlier ages has decreased since 1988 and contraceptive use has increased since the 1990s. Together these two factors have contributed to the U.S. reaching its lowest teen pregnancy and birth rates in years.

 

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Does not bother me at all. Assuming they are not keeping a register of which students are getting condoms of course. 

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18 hours ago, DesertBlossom said:

 

I really don't understand this idea that teenagers are mature enough to have sex but not mature enough to be responsible for paying for their own supplies.

Most people don't think teenagers are mature enough to have sex.  Most people think teenagers are short sighted, impulsive, and prone to thinking they're fairly invincible, and irrational when horny (or not horny), which exactly why they would be willing to allow schools to provide them with condoms to limit the spread of disease and babies born to such parents. 

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1 hour ago, happysmileylady said:

It's not so much "practice parenting"  On larger scale, we have removed responsibilities from our young people.  From preventing kids getting their licenses until age 17, to employers that will only hire adults for jobs that used to be done by teens, to paper routes that are now all done by adults in cars, even down to people calling the cops because parents didn't go to the park with their 10yr old.   When I was a kid, we lived on a cul de sac and the bus stop was at the end of the street.  The street had a bit of a curve, so no one in the cul de sac could see the bus stop.  And yet, every morning, even in Kindergarten, I and my friend would walk down the street, out of sight of my house, and wait for the bus.  When my oldest was in high school, the bus stop was on the corner of our street, just 2 houses down.  I would send my kid out the door......and then my next door neighbor (so 3 houses down from the bus stop) would open her garage door, back her van down the driveway, drive her kid to the corner, and sit there in the van, and of course, invite my kid to sit in the van with her.  Have we really reached a point in society where two 15yr old girls can't handle standing outside on the corner for 10 minutes waiting for the bus just houses down from their own? 

This is my thinking and why ITA with what Bluegoat posted. It’s a wide-scale infantalizing of young people that I do not see as a net societal benefit. “We” treat teens like we don’t expect them to plumb the depths of their resourcefulness for any purpose. There’s so much talk now - as we were just discussing on these boards a week or two ago - about upper teens not being “ready” to learn to drive. We’re talking about having kids do a Gap Year because they aren’t “ready” to go to college. And I have had the same thought about the bus stops; bus stop when I was a kid served all kids on my cul-de-sac and a few kids several houses down the main road. Now buses stop 500 times it seems like, in front of each individual house. 

 

 

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13 minutes ago, Homeschool Mom in AZ said:

Most people don't think teenagers are mature enough to have sex.  Most people think teenagers are short sighted, impulsive, and prone to thinking they're fairly invincible, and irrational when horny (or not horny), which exactly why they would be willing to allow schools to provide them with condoms to limit the spread of disease and babies born to such parents. 

Presumably they don’t have sex in the hallway outside the nurse’s office so I don’t know why these impulsive, irresponsible horny kids are supposedly well-equipped with the foresight necessary to pick up their raincoats from the nurse on Friday, yet couldn’t be relied upon to go buy their own. 🤷🏼‍♀️

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51 minutes ago, Momto5inIN said:

Yes to this.

Teens were still having sex back in my grandparents' day but it was typically with their "steady" and they usually ended up married to them more often than not. Casual sex wasn't a thing for teens, by and large. Nowadays casual hookups are considered the norm, which is a big change, and the media has had a huge impact on that phenomenon.

I agree; it is only in modern times is there a casual vernacular of “friends with benefits” or “f**k buddies.” I’m not saying there was never such an arrangement as F-buddies decades ago, but you didn’t advertise it or tell your friends at the soda fountain. 

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1 hour ago, SKL said:

1) I didn't say media causes an increase in teen sex, though I do think it encourages more casual premarital sex if you compare to before the media started getting ridiculous during the sexual revolution.  I don't have the stats, but it is obvious that when practically every modern movie has young people engaged in casual sex, that is going to have an influence that parents need to respond to.

2) pregnancy and abortion rates leave out the rate of teens who are using birth control.  Thus it leaves out a big chunk of the "teen sex" statistics.  I was not able to find stats for trends in the overall teen population using birth control.  (Articles I've seen focus on the subset of sexually active teens who use it.)

Teens didn’t have routine access to birth control until the 70s. Still, the declines in sexual activity have been inexorable as the Atlantic piece pointed out.

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43 minutes ago, ChocolateReignRemix said:

Teen sexual activity is actually declining in recent years.  Fewer teens are also having sex with  multiple partners. In general, teens today are having less sex, and it is generally safer.

http://recapp.etr.org/recapp/index.cfm?fuseaction=pages.StatisticsDetail&PageID=555

--Between 1991-2015, the proportion of students who ever had sexual intercourse decreased from 54% to 41%.3

--The percent of adolescents who are having sex at earlier ages has decreased since 1988 and contraceptive use has increased since the 1990s. Together these two factors have contributed to the U.S. reaching its lowest teen pregnancy and birth rates in years.

 

That's great, I'm glad to see that it's declining from what it was when I was in jr high and high school. But that's not really the time period I was referring to. The studies you cited gave data from the late 80's to 2015, when hookup culture and the media's celebration of that was already well established and had been thriving for some time. 

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59 minutes ago, Momto5inIN said:

Yes to this.

Teens were still having sex back in my grandparents' day but it was typically with their "steady" and they usually ended up married to them more often than not. Casual sex wasn't a thing for teens, by and large. Nowadays casual hookups are considered the norm, which is a big change, and the media has had a huge impact on that phenomenon.

 

This is more legend than fact. Seriously, kids today really are having less sex with fewer people than in your day. Both US and European studies are showing this.

Edited by Sneezyone
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1 hour ago, happysmileylady said:

 

 

 I know you were being a bit light-hearted, but I am not so sure we want a society where people are waiting until their 30s for sex. 

Truly. We could end up like Japan.

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5 minutes ago, Sneezyone said:

 

This is more legend than fact. Seriously, kids today really are having less sex with fewer people than in your day. Both US and European studies are showing this.

Than in my day (in the late i9's ealy 90's after casual hookups in media were already the norm), yes. Than in my grandparents day (well before that in the 40's and 50's), no.

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4 hours ago, SKL said:

Sounds like some are suggesting maybe we go back to the ideal of females starting families as teens, partly to help "grow them up."

I suggest that we have substituted teen motherhood with other responsibilities, mainly preparing for and starting a career / activity that helps the community.

I do think it is regrettable that we don't have as many opportunities for young people to "practice" parenting - when I was a teen, I spent many hours on a daily basis taking care of my younger siblings and babysitting other kids.  I hope my kids will find opportunities to help out with kids before they have their own.

 

I think its not a good thing that really very artificial ways of managing the rather artificial workforce has pushed aside the more natural biological and honestly, important elements of family life.  It's not just teens either - it's slowly creeping up so that people often are not in a good position to start a family until their late 20s or early 30s, which is not really ideal in a lot of ways.

It's not even that people collectively sat down and decided that was the best way to do things.  It's a combination of historical accident, the model of the workplace for women simply copying the model men had, and what is good for industry. There is no reason we could not change our expectations about this - if women take of a certain number of years to be mothers, it  doesn't matter in a real way whether that is at the beginning or middle of their careers - in fact there would be many advantages to doing it at the beginning.

I don't think the responsibilities we give teens are very comparable to real work or responsibility.  It's not  the same having the responsibility to do well in your education, or even volunteer, as it is to have others dependent on you.  Parenthood isn't the only way to do it, but in some ways its the most profound, but we've put any strong form of it outside the reach of most teens.  The ones most likely to have that experience are from working class or poor backgrounds whose family contributions are really needed to get by.

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5 minutes ago, Sneezyone said:

Teens didn’t have routine access to birth control until the 70s. Still, the declines in sexual activity have been inexorable as the Atlantic piece pointed out.

 

At least two of my grandparents discussed widespread use of lambskin condoms in their tiny towns in the 1950's.  I've never used them and don't know how much more likely they are to break, and I know they allow the spread of viral STI's, but I'm under the impression they were pretty good birth control even then.

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https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1802108/

See Figure 2 which shows that the % of sexually active school-aged teens has increased quite a lot since the beginning of the "sexual revolution" and remains significantly higher than before.  Yes, it has gone down a little bit, but to suggest the "sexual revolution" / messages since then didn't have an impact (and continue to) is unsupported.

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30 minutes ago, Quill said:

This is my thinking and why ITA with what Bluegoat posted. It’s a wide-scale infantalizing of young people that I do not see as a net societal benefit. “We” treat teens like we don’t expect them to plumb the depths of their resourcefulness for any purpose. There’s so much talk now - as we were just discussing on these boards a week or two ago - about upper teens not being “ready” to learn to drive. We’re talking about having kids do a Gap Year because they aren’t “ready” to go to college. And I have had the same thought about the bus stops; bus stop when I was a kid served all kids on my cul-de-sac and a few kids several houses down the main road. Now buses stop 500 times it seems like, in front of each individual house. 

 

 

 

Here the kids are not allowed to walk to or from the bus stop themselves.  If the driver stops and a guardian is not there to pick up, they don't let the kid off the bus.

As someone who walked much farther than a bus stop, like, five blocks, in K, I find that crazy.

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11 minutes ago, Momto5inIN said:

Than in my day (in the late i9's ealy 90's after casual hookups in media were already the norm), yes. Than in my grandparents day (well before that in the 40's and 50's), no.

 

So early marriage is preferable? Because that's how the old folks got around the whole 'urge' thing. I'm not suggesting casual sex is a great thing. I'm just not understanding why so many are conflating that with tons of sex/frequency. I'm not sure that a single, casual, teen sexual encounter is any more preferable than multiple sexual encounters over years with the same partner. Especially when we know that the former results in fewer pregnancies and abortions when compared to the latter.

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4 minutes ago, SKL said:

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1802108/

See Figure 2 which shows that the % of sexually active school-aged teens has increased quite a lot since the beginning of the "sexual revolution" and remains significantly higher than before.  Yes, it has gone down a little bit, but to suggest the "sexual revolution" / messages since then didn't have an impact (and continue to) is unsupported.

 

Yeah, I think this is kind of important.  I think there are a few reasons that sexual activity in teens has gone down in the last few years, but comparing the last 10 or 20 years isn't necessarily giving a window to a really changed attitude to sexual questions.  You have to look back to the first half of the 20th century for that.

There are various reasons for that as well of course, without reliable birth control available the risks become greater.  Without antibiotics, multiple partners becomes a huge risk too.  But it's no chance thing that the sexual revolution came after the pill and after antibiotics.

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10 minutes ago, SKL said:

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1802108/

See Figure 2 which shows that the % of sexually active school-aged teens has increased quite a lot since the beginning of the "sexual revolution" and remains significantly higher than before.  Yes, it has gone down a little bit, but to suggest the "sexual revolution" / messages since then didn't have an impact (and continue to) is unsupported.

 

That report is pretty much meaningless because people so frequently married in their teens. Those teen urges didn't go away they just tucked them into early marriages. I don't see that as inherently preferable to marriage-free, pregnancy-free, delayed sex.

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16 minutes ago, Bluegoat said:

 

I think its not a good thing that really very artificial ways of managing the rather artificial workforce has pushed aside the more natural biological and honestly, important elements of family life.  It's not just teens either - it's slowly creeping up so that people often are not in a good position to start a family until their late 20s or early 30s, which is not really ideal in a lot of ways.

It's not even that people collectively sat down and decided that was the best way to do things.  It's a combination of historical accident, the model of the workplace for women simply copying the model men had, and what is good for industry. There is no reason we could not change our expectations about this - if women take of a certain number of years to be mothers, it  doesn't matter in a real way whether that is at the beginning or middle of their careers - in fact there would be many advantages to doing it at the beginning.

I don't think the responsibilities we give teens are very comparable to real work or responsibility.  It's not  the same having the responsibility to do well in your education, or even volunteer, as it is to have others dependent on you.  Parenthood isn't the only way to do it, but in some ways its the most profound, but we've put any strong form of it outside the reach of most teens.  The ones most likely to have that experience are from working class or poor backgrounds whose family contributions are really needed to get by.

Not trying to be macro about this, but just a thought - natural population control below old age is all but nonexistent now.  I don't think we want to turn that back, but it does affect the overall balance of things.

Personally I'm OK with lower and later fertility.  I am not worried that there is some underlying problem in delayed fertility that is going to bite us someday.  And I don't believe that raising kids is the only or best way for young people to get ready for serious life.  It does, however, concern me that society doesn't seem to think serious responsibility is important to human development.

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15 minutes ago, Katy said:

 

At least two of my grandparents discussed widespread use of lambskin condoms in their tiny towns in the 1950's.  I've never used them and don't know how much more likely they are to break, and I know they allow the spread of viral STI's, but I'm under the impression they were pretty good birth control even then.

 

I was specifically thinking about access to the most reliable forms, particularly BCPs, which didn't happen until the late 60s.

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5 minutes ago, Sneezyone said:

 

That report is pretty much meaningless because people so frequently married in their teens. Those teen urges didn't go away they just tucked them into early marriages. I don't see that as inherently preferable to marriage-free, pregnancy-free, delayed sex.

I'm specifically focusing on high school aged minors, about ages 14-17.  The rates for ages 14-16 were clearly much lower, and most of that was not because the kids that age were married.  Age 17 may have been a gray area back then, partly because many teens dropped out of school at 16 or so, and the idea of a typical woman having a career to prepare for was not prevalent.

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