The Centers for Disease Control has reported a sharp drop in the number of teenagers having sex. About 44 percent of teenage girls admitted to doing it, down from 51 percent in 1988, late in the Reagan years.
Those who are having sex are using protection; teen births have plummeted 57 percent in 30 years. The popularity of the “morning-after pill” among women has doubled. They are working on a similar safeguard for men: a morning-after pill that changes their cellphone numbers.
Like most boys my age, I learned about sex the traditional way: trial and error. More credible information on the Internet and sex education in schools must be the reason for this good news. We libertarians split with the social conservatives on this issue and on their “abstinence only” approach. Consensual, educated and safe is the best way to go about sex, not ignorant, scared and with hormones raging.
But the “sex talk” from your parents is about the worst thing that can happen to an American in peacetime. Kids need facts from parents, educators and physicians, not judgment, scare tactics or guilt. An educated consumer of anything makes the product better; sex is no different.
In reverse Darwinism, smart kids are using birth control and the dumb ones are not. The result: Too many kids are being born out of wedlock, in poverty and who will become government-dependent. Democrats depend on this; it’s called their core voting bloc. Self-sufficient and smart folks do not vote for Democrats. Government perpetuates this by providing lavish social services and making the old social “safety net” into more of a safety hammock for the underclass.
Kids today are less likely to be dating someone than our generation was. Boys today watch unfiltered Internet porn and have a warped sense of sexual expectations. Ubiquitous porn has also created unrealistic assumptions on the expected form of payment for a delivery boy.
Even Stormy Daniels can’t hold her marriage together. Her husband filed for divorce citing “infidelity.” On his witness list are a plumber, pool boy and a pizza delivery man. She slept with Trump too. You can be a lying opportunist porn actress and stripper in California, but sleeping with at Republican is unforgivable.
Sex has gotten a bad rap. Liberals too often view it as tantamount to nothing more than male aggression. The Left makes up stories like the Duke lacrosse team and University of University of Virginia fraternity fake rape cases, which fit its false narrative of “the war on women.” So boys are scared and confused.
Admittedly, creeps like Anthony Weiner, Harvey Weinstein and Bill Cosby have not helped. But society has ways to punish men for bad behavior. Cosby continues to get stripped of his many honorary degrees, recently by Brown University. At this rate, pretty soon Cosby will have to repeat junior high school.
The country is more secular, so religion has played less of a role in this decline. My view is that a more libertine view of sex actually leads to smarter choices. Forbidding something makes kids want it more. It’s why Prohibition didn’t work. Tell me I shouldn’t do something, and I want to do it more.
I warned my boy early about women. I made it clear that, if he gets involved with a girl, he could end up with an STD – or even worse – in a relationship.
Perhaps the rise in gay marriage, another cause championed by libertarians, helps the whole sex thing. Gay marriage is just like regular marriage, except with a lot fewer arguments over who keeps leaving the toilet seat up.
I have always been confused over why the hard Right is so consumed with not letting gays marry. Marriage means gays will have fewer sexual partners and lead less-promiscuous lives. If you are on the religious right and you do not like gay sex, what better way to almost bring it to a halt than by letting them marry?
Further good news is that teen parenthood for girls 15–19 has gone from 84 per 1,000 in 1991, to 26 in 2017. Through education, not guilt and old-wives-tales, does the situation continue to improve. The Internet and real discussions about children’s health and the dangers of STDs will continue to enable us to make smarter choices.
Who knows what the future holds? These kids today probably won’t worry about STDs — unless they think it has gluten in it.
Ron Hart is a libertarian op-ed humorist and award-winning author. He is a frequent guest on CNN and can be contacted at Ron@RonaldHart.com or on Twitter.
Editor’s note: The op-ed previously referred to 1988 as early in the Clinton presidency. It has been corrected to note the year was late in the Reagan presidency.
The views and opinions expressed in this commentary are those of the author and do not reflect the official position of The Daily Caller.