Years ago, my then-single husband and his friend lamented their desert of a love life. They wanted the love of a good woman but had trouble finding the right one. In the midst of the moaning and groaning, his friend said, “But even Christian girls need sex, too!”
Eighty-one school districts in Mississippi have chosen an abstinence only approach to sex education. Forget that we have the highest teen birth rate in the nation. We think we can put all those teenagers in a time machine and rocket them back to 1950, back to a time when the “I do” preceded the “I will.”
One of our strongest instincts, as human beings, is sexual. It is in our nature to couple, to procreate, to extend the species. Up until the sexual revolution of the ‘60s, we held back that wave by convincing teenagers that great tragedy would befall if they succumbed to their basest desires.
Those days are gone. Celebrities give birth, then trot down the aisle, children in tow. Shotguns no longer needed. Young people are maturing earlier but marrying later. Living together has become passé. Even ordinary people are making names for themselves by touting their teen pregnancies, i.e. Teen Mom and Life’s a Tripp.
Abstinence Plus is a realistic approach to this new world. Young people should be encouraged to take sex seriously, but the wave of hormones that hits teenagers coupled with images from a hypersexual world are too much for the “just say no” approach.
We need an all-out assault on teen pregnancy, sexually transmitted diseases and plain ignorance. It’s time to admit that Christian girls get pregnant out of wedlock and catch venereal disease, too. Pretending we’re still living in the pre-’60s sexual revolution doesn’t make it so.
Nancy Lottridge Anderson, Ph.D., CFA, is president of New Perspectives Inc. in Ridgeland — (601) 991-3158. She is also an assistant professor of finance at Mississippi College. Her e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org, and her website is www.newper.com.