If popular culture, school and peers are sending the wrong message about sex, what is the right message and who should be sending it?

US News and World reports carried a provocative cover story titled Sex and Teens. In it they argued that teens are starting earlier, despite facing growing health risks. It challenged the abstinence only approach to sex-ed and urged parents to get more involved in talking to their kids.

The next morning I read the UN reporting that the US again has the highest rate of teen pregnancy rates in the developed world. I also saw a photograph of a 6-year-old girls dancing in a competition to win Britney Spears tickets and a story of a judge who reduced charges against a 43 year-old schoolteacher who had sex with a 13-year-old student. The judge made the decision because, he said, “The two just clicked,”

Bill Maher reported that he thinks abstinence is a perversion and Hugh Hefner offered his thoughts on what he thinks is important to believe: “I have slept with thousands of women and they all still like me. Playboy is the antidote to Puritanism. Sex is the driving force on the planet, we should embrace it, not see it as an enemy. One of the problems with organized religion is that it has always kept women in a second ¢€œclass position. They have been viewed as daughters of Eve. I stand in total awe of existence. I don’t pretend to know what it is about. It is good to be selfish. But not so self-centered that you never listen to other people. Everybody, if they’ve got their head on straight, wants to be a sexual object, among other things. They want to be attractive. Otherwise, what a sad and pathetic life. To really live a worthwhile life is to be attracted to and attractive to other people. The best part of any relationship is the beginning.”

A listener e-mailed me to say that if his son dishonors a woman it is his fault for not teaching him to honor women, and if his daughter has premarital relations it is because he has failed her in some way.

It seems to me we need to do some serious thinking and talking about this question: If popular culture, school and peers are sending the wrong message about sex, what is the right message and who should be sending it?

How would you answer that question?

E-mail me with your comments and questions:
culturewatch@dickstaub.com

Posted in Staublog, Thoughts in May 30, 2002 by | No Comments »

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