Pursuant to my Bristol and Abstinence post, I discovered this excellent slide show comparing US and European attitudes toward teen sex.
Note: The <> symbols are actually links that you click to progress from slide to slide.
I was particularly struck by the assertion that Americans are convinced that teen hormones are “raging”. I never questioned it until now, but it’s quite possible that this is an assumption rather than a universal, science-supported fact. While there’s no doubt that hormonal activity is elevated in adolescence, is it not possible that the constant refrain of “raging hormones” simply gives teens a pass? In other words, might all the talk about raging hormones be interpreted by a teen as “Well, my hormones are out of control, therefore they control me, therefore I’m not accountable for my actions while ‘under the influence’”.
Would it not instead make more sense to present sex like any adult fun (alcohol, for instance): pleasurable, but it does have the potential to be misused or to impair judgement, so use it wisely and responsibly?
As for those who claim that engaging in sex before marriage constitutes betraying one’s future spouse, or that it weakens marriages, let’s look at the divorce rate in the Netherlands. Hmmm, let’s see: Half that of the US.
In short, picture it: Lots of teens doing it, using lots of condoms, all awash in various contraceptive gels, creams, and foams, with close to no unplanned pregnancies. Works for me.
I'll close with an irreverent quote (my favorite kind) from the But I’m a Cheerleader comment board:
"Those who place so much emphasis on their anti-abortion stance should be focusing on educating and providing contraceptives to those at risk of unwanted pregnancies rather than arguing over when one's soul gets inserted into one's physical body."