Monday, May 07, 2007

Abstinence A No-Brainer

It's a continual surprise to me when I read articles defending or advocating abstinence for teenagers. Not that I disagree with the argument. I don't in the least. It's just that it seems so obvious that children ought to be taught not to engage in sexual relations at such an early age.

So why should there be any debate at all in our time? And why should I be surprised?

In case you didn't catch the obvious, the point is that up until relatively recent times our society as a whole rejected the notion entirely that sexual relations were acceptable outside marriage. For full grown adults. For half grown adults. For very young adults. For late teens. For early teens. For all teens. For EVERYBODY not married.

But now, in our "modern" day, those who advocate for abstinence for even young teens [forgetting all other categories of unmarrieds] risk taunts and castigation. It seems they even have to make some sort of watertight argument with invincible, irrefutable evidence in order to be taken seriously.

It's more than sad that Christians have succumbed to a dumbed-down morality which suits our culture. In fact, the Christian's dumbed-down morality is what has made our culture what it is today. When Christians re-affirm their rejection of ALL sex outside of marriage, for adults (yes, even consenting!), young adults, older teens and younger teens, then we will have helped our society immensely by reestablishing the proper line in the sand.

The line for abstinence ought not to be drawn on teenager ground, although I am thankful that at least someone out there is talking about abstinence as though it were still a virtue of some sort. If only our pastors and preachers spoke emphasized it as they should! Nevertheless Janice Shaw Crouse is speaking out.

Read her article if you can, in order to see the fuller picture, and I provide below her conclusion. But be warned: As I just finished saying, the whole matter of abstinence is an obvious no-brainer.

The National Center for Health Statistics reports that the rate of teen abortions has been cut in half since 1988. At its peak, teen abortions were at 44 per 1000. Now at a dramatic low, the number is 22 per 1000. Obviously, we cannot credit today's declining teen birthrate to teens turning to abortion.

Interestingly, as teens become more abstinent, there are fewer abortions, too. One has to ask if a greater appreciation for life is a byproduct of the self-discipline and self-esteem that is required for a teen to remain abstinent.

Let's do the math. Three out of three's not bad! Especially considering that liberal researchers can't seem to find any effect from abstinence programs. During the 30-year reign of condom-based sex education, teen sexual activity increased, teen births dramatically increased and teen abortions were going up. What's different now? Have teens suddenly learned how to use condoms more effectively and consistently than adult women who are using contraception but are frequently surprised nonetheless to find themselves pregnant? Somehow, I doubt it!

Clearly, many teens have heard the truth and are abstaining from sex –– a decision that is best for them in every way. Along with decreased sexual activity among teens, we are seeing corresponding decreases in teen births and teen abortions. These simultaneous reverses in trends indicate that teens are choosing a path that is proven to lead to a bright and promising future both in their personal lives and in every other aspect of their well-being.


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