Wednesday, April 04, 2007

The Youth Sex Crisis

This is a quick taste of a longer, more analytical post to come.

I'd like to bring two news stories to your attention.

First, in New Hampshire, parents are protesting an edition of the high school newspaper whose organizing theme was "Sex". The content, which the editor said had "been edited and re-edited for content and delivery, keeping in mind that the job here is to inform, not shock," contained an article about lesbianism and a quiz with a question about (GASP!) anal sex. In the AP article, one parent comments that "I thought it was a vile, disgusting piece of pornography I wouldn't want to be in front of children, let alone paid for by taxpayers."

Meanwhile, four 5th graders in Louisiana have been arrested on charges of obscenity for having sex in an unattended classroom. A fifth student has been arrested and charged with being an accessory after the fact. The students were 11, 12, and 13 years old. This comes on the heels of an incident in Indiana where two 6th graders had sex in class with a teacher present -- a case which the school tried to hush up.

Setting aside for the moment how completely and utterly ridiculous it is to arrest 12 year olds for having sex, maybe we should use these two news stories as a reminder of something we seem to forget as a culture: young people are curious about sex. They have been forever. It's normal. Maybe if we tried talking to them about it instead of making it a taboo, adults-only topic we could make their exploration a little safer, healthier, less public, and maybe even a little less hands-on.


Anonymous said...

Let's look to Europe- where Americans think all means of sexual deviance occur at higher rates than in the states. Age of first intercourse in Western European countries tends to be higher than in the States. Why? Something might have to do with not making everything so tastey and forbidden.

Silly Americans, we can't do anything right.


Sassywho said...

Amanda, I touched on this a few weeks ago on my blog. I think it has something to do with most married couples sleep in seperate beds and when they are ready for children they call the stork or something.

Anonymous said...

But if we talk to the children about "the sex" obviously they're going to run off and become sexual deviants! Ignorance will keep them safe and STI and pregnancy free!

Sigh... they wish.

Tom Paine said...

The problem for parents is getting children to hold off on activity that is potentially harmful to them (drinking, drugs, sex) as long as possible in order to give them time to mature and hopefully handle the fallout from the activity. So occasionally we enter into contortions of logic that make us look ridiculous, but in the best of motives and intensions.