Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Is Teen Sex Bad? et al

Is Teen Sex Bad? - Washington Post

In the United States - Washington Post

In Western Europe - Washington Post

Virginity Pledges Can't Be Taken on Faith - Washington Post

The discussion about whether or not teen sex is bad, when it comes to Black kids, is missing a critical dynamic that exist in higher amounts protecting White kids. That dynamic is the priority White kids learn and accept about education and its long-term impact on the quality of their lives. The promise of education competes head-to-head with early-age sex, and inasmuch as a group has higher casualties in education, we would expect a commensurate prevalence in early-age sex.

The dialog around good and bad is too easily converted to whether sex is fun or not, and we all know that it is very fun. The better question is about reasons, education being the traditional leader, that give kids pause, and therefore reduces the chance of unwanted pregnancy, with all the problems this brings.

Abstinence on moral grounds has always been a distant second to staking a future, as a motivator, even though religious teachings continue to present it as number one. The role of penance and forgiveness transactions simply makes it too easy to navigate the path of media-fueled physical desire, and congregations have never been sufficient role models to mitigate this weakness.

The inclusion of European kids and their culture further confuses the discussion, as early-age sex and sex education, including contraception and abortion, are all viewed and practiced through a different lens. White kids in Europe are significantly different than White kids in America, and even more different than Black kids, when we inventory influence factors.

So the question comes back to education, and how we make it a stronger competitor to early-age sex, and other distractions as well. First we must accept that education is an intellectual competition that each child needs to want to engage, no different from little league sports. However, their engagement is predicated on believing that they have a real chance to win, which means that we must seize the first example of unexplained loss and become relentless on answering why. For Black kids, the crucial losses begin to show in first grade, so this is where we must start.

James C. Collier


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