The rules of dating and sex as taught today appear to go something like this–you can have sex if you are in love. (Correct me if I’m wrong.) Those rules further say that since kids are going to have sex anyway, we should protect them. Through things like birth control and condoms. (Again, correct me if I’m wrong.)
So when we see this story from the UK of kids (literally) having kids are they not following the lessons of our culture? Just at a younger-than-expected age? With the one major mistake of not having an abortion to conceal the problem, so that adults can’t delude themselves into thinking there is no problem, anymore.
I’m not saying this isn’t crazy and a tragedy and a symptom of social decline.
But I’m losing track of what I’m supposed to be shocked by, these days. I can’t help but think these kids are playing by the rules we give them.
(Anyone recall the discussion in the Ottawa Citizen not too long ago about co-ed sleepovers?)
Brigitte can’t help noticing: One paragraph in that story stands out:
Britain has the highest underage pregnancy rate in western Europe, despite channelling substantial resources into sex education for children as young as five. According to the Office for National Statistics, over the past decade 385 girls under the age of 14 have become pregnant, and more than 40 boys under 14 have fathered children; four boys aged 11 have had children in recent years.
So, do you think that means modern sex-ed isn’t working? Nah. Surely the problem is we’re not spending nearly enough showing 3-year-olds how to put on condoms.
Rebecca says: I try not to disagree with Andrea in public, since she wields the blogging whip without mercy, but I don’t think this is accurate:
The rules of dating and sex as taught today appear to go something like this–you can have sex if you are in love.”
I think this is largely true for people over thirty or so, although this is the demographic that loved Sex and the City, a show which revered the zipless encounter. If we’re talking about teens and university students, though, a fair chunk of that population operates by different mores, more along the lines of “you can have sex if you want to.” There are some generally accepted rules: it should be consensual, it’s not cool for guys to drug girls to get them in bed, it’s not cool for girls to lie about being on the pill, and most of all, thou shalt not judge those who have recreational sex, for who are you to judge?
I think this has serious consequences for unplanned pregnancies and how we cope with them. People have always had premarital sex, and teen pregnancies have always been with us (albeit in much smaller numbers.) But in earlier generations, one generally had sex with someone one knew well, cared for, and could imagine being married to, so an unplanned pregnancy followed by a quick and discreet wedding was the logical outcome. In an era in which anonymous sex is commonplace, this traditional solution doesn’t work nearly so well.
Andrea to Rebecca: Please come and see me in my office at the end of class. Thank you.
I stand corrected. I thought there still was some small correlation between love and sex. But now I see I’m wrong. Ah, progress.