Bristol Palin, “Dancing With the Stars” star and oh, yes, Sarah Palin’s daughter, recently teamed up with “The Situation,” the iron-abbed stud from “Jersey Shore,” to do a video on sexual abstinence …sort of. It’s confusing, I know…but so is the message they are sending to teens.
“Pause before you play” is the theme of the video. The message…or shall we say messages seem to be:
1. Sex is simply “play.” Just use a condom so that, heaven forbid, a baby does not result.
2. Sex produces babies and that is terrible. Bristol should know. She is choosing abstinence in the future…“for real…for real…for real.” We’re not clear why.
Conclusion? Poor Bristol must suffer…not for having sex but for having it without a condom. She has now chosen a sexless life because of some personal commitment to an old set of morals that make no sense at all.
“The Situation” on the other hand seems to have it right. He will continue to thrill lots of ladies…he’ll just wear a condom so that no baby is forthcoming. The perfect solution. Or is it?
The message of the video is certainly congruent with Barack Obama’s statement during the presidential campaign. He said he was supporting explicit sex education because he didn’t want his daughters to be “punished with a baby.”
I don’t believe for a moment Bristol Palin feels her little son “Tripp” is a punishment. If anything, this little child has provided a way of redemption…some joy in the midst of the sorrow and a deep and meaningful lesson…learned a very hard way. But I don’t think kids watching this video will get that.
It serves well the half-measured strategy of preventing teen pregnancy. All angles are covered; don’t have sex…but if you do, use condoms. This is what “Comprehensive Sex Ed” in public schools is all about. Many in our culture believe that teen sex is not the problem…only pregnancy is.
It is true that teen pregnancies produce more welfare recipients, stunt personal growth and achievement, create more poverty and crime out of single-mom parenting, and often result in a cycle of more unwed pregnancies.
But abstinence proponents have a deeper concern. There is more at stake with the nation’s teens than preventing pregnancy. Sex is a powerful force that, when entered into too early under the wrong circumstances, can do great harm — even if no pregnancy results.
The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) reports that 19 million new STD infections occur every year. And, even more alarming, nearly 50 percent of these new cases happen to young people between the ages of 15 and 24. The American Social Health Association (ASHA) reports that half of all new HIV infections occur in teenagers. It is unclear how effective condoms are in preventing these new strains of STD, and it is especially controversial whether they do anything at all to prevent HPV, which can lead to cervical cancer. A high percentage of male teen suicides can be traced to rejection after sexual involvement. Kids who enter into sexual relations lose their focus (as we all do), preventing them from full emotional maturity. Their gifts and interests are thwarted…their energies sidetracked when sex becomes the overpowering focus of their young lives. Academic pursuits suffer…natural areas of giftedness are neglected…in short; it interferes with their growth and development and endangers their health.