Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Ignorance is [Sexual] Bliss

Oh, articles like this make me feel all warm and bubbly and pregnant right inside. I feel as right as an evangelical zealot!

According to an article from The New Yorker, entitled "Red Sex, Blue Sex" teenagers having more sex than any other teenagers are (drum roll please) evangelicals! To top it off, they're (drum roll please) less likely to practice safer sex techniques!

Aww, who would have thunk it?

During the campaign, the media has largely respected calls to treat Bristol Palin’s pregnancy as a private matter. But the reactions to it have exposed a cultural rift that mirrors America’s dominant political divide. Social liberals in the country’s “blue states” tend to support sex education and are not particularly troubled by the idea that many teen-agers have sex before marriage, but would regard a teen-age daughter’s pregnancy as devastating news. And the social conservatives in “red states” generally advocate abstinence-only education and denounce sex before marriage, but are relatively unruffled if a teen-ager becomes pregnant, as long as she doesn’t choose to have an abortion.

A handful of social scientists and family-law scholars have recently begun looking closely at this split. Last year, Mark Regnerus, a sociologist at the University of Texas at Austin, published a startling book called “Forbidden Fruit: Sex and Religion in the Lives of American Teenagers,” and he is working on a follow-up that includes a section titled “Red Sex, Blue Sex.” His findings are drawn from a national survey that Regnerus and his colleagues conducted of some thirty-four hundred thirteen-to-seventeen-year-olds, and from a comprehensive government study of adolescent health known as Add Health. Regnerus argues that religion is a good indicator of attitudes toward sex, but a poor one of sexual behavior, and that this gap is especially wide among teen-agers who identify themselves as evangelical. The vast majority of white evangelical adolescents—seventy-four per cent—say that they believe in abstaining from sex before marriage. (Only half of mainline Protestants, and a quarter of Jews, say that they believe in abstinence.) Moreover, among the major religious groups, evangelical virgins are the least likely to anticipate that sex will be pleasurable, and the most likely to believe that having sex will cause their partners to lose respect for them. (Jews most often cite pleasure as a reason to have sex, and say that an unplanned pregnancy would be an embarrassment.) But, according to Add Health data, evangelical teen-agers are more sexually active than Mormons, mainline Protestants, and Jews. On average, white evangelical Protestants make their “sexual début”—to use the festive term of social-science researchers—shortly after turning sixteen. Among major religious groups, only black Protestants begin having sex earlier.

Another key difference in behavior, Regnerus reports, is that evangelical Protestant teen-agers are significantly less likely than other groups to use contraception. This could be because evangelicals are also among the most likely to believe that using contraception will send the message that they are looking for sex. It could also be because many evangelicals are steeped in the abstinence movement’s warnings that condoms won’t actually protect them from pregnancy or venereal disease. More provocatively, Regnerus found that only half of sexually active teen-agers who say that they seek guidance from God or the Scriptures when making a tough decision report using contraception every time. By contrast, sixty-nine per cent of sexually active youth who say that they most often follow the counsel of a parent or another trusted adult consistently use protection.


The movement is not the complete washout its critics portray it as: pledgers delay sex eighteen months longer than non-pledgers, and have fewer partners. Yet, according to the sociologists Peter Bearman, of Columbia University, and Hannah Brückner, of Yale, communities with high rates of pledging also have high rates of S.T.D.s. This could be because more teens pledge in communities where they perceive more danger from sex (in which case the pledge is doing some good); or it could be because fewer people in these communities use condoms when they break the pledge.


But Carbone and Cahn argue that the red-state model is clearly failing on its own terms—producing high rates of teen pregnancy, divorce, sexually transmitted disease, and other dysfunctional outcomes that social conservatives say they abhor.

So, let's bring this back to sex education and/or the No on 8 Campaign - or what I like to call, "No on H8." Cute, right? The proof is in the pudding - those who are most concerned with protecting the sanctity of marriage are breaking all of their own rules themselves. Therefore, preventing same-sex marriage or refusing safe sex education has nothing to do with protecting marriage or the children!!, but has everything to do with hating gays, perpetuating inequality and a long-standing tradition of being afraid to talk about sex.

Great now that this is out in the open when one of those Yes on 8'ers, let's call them, "H8'ers," shout from the sidelines, "you're destroying the sanctity of marriage!" You can either say, or simply keep quiet and know the truth, that, "Actually it's YOU and YOUR red states that have the highest divorce and teenage pregnancy rates, so sanctity THIS!" To which their only defending reply would be, "Yeah, but despite the facts, we still hate gays and the thought of comprehensive safe sex education."


rptrcub said...

It's an essential clash of cultures: the belief that sex is only for procreation because it's what God said, and the believe that sex is more than just about babies -- it's about intimacy/connection/pleasure between people.

David said...

Oh yeah, well my God can beat up your God!

evilganome said...

I can't say I'm surprised, but I grew up in rural New England. There was a pretty high rate of teen pregnancy and this was back in the late 60's and early 70's.

Side note, among the most promiscuous were the children of protestant clergy.

King.of. said...

Freaky like a daughter of the pastor...

Not surprised. Actually, I'm kinda jealous as I was hating myself for my faggotry and possibly swearing celibacy the Jesus folks were partying it up around me. Le sigh.

Anonymous said...

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