WARNING! THIS WILL BE A HIGHLY SARCASTIC POST!
Well, it seems that the American Psychological Association (APA) is having another Forrest Gump moment. You know, “Life is like a box of chocolates.” Except the APA’s box has been sitting outside in the 100 degree Atlanta heat and has melted into utter oblivion. Another way to say it, in Forrest Gump vernacular, “Stupid is as stupid does.” You may be asking, “What is he ranting about today!” Great question, glad you asked.
This morning, the Washington Post published a story entitled, Teen sex not always bad for school performance. To summarize, the APA states that their latest study shows that committed sexual relationships among high school teens does not adversely affect their GPA. Additionally, those who are in uncommitted sexual relationships or just “hook up” have a slightly worse GPA than those who practice abstinence. Based on this evidence, there is a call to reform the sex ed programs to reflect this new found knowledge and to put the hearts and minds of our teens at ease by telling them it is okay to have marital relations with someone you are not married to while you are in high school.
Sooooo, if I want my teen to improve their GPAs I should encourage a committed sexual relationship? Or maybe, “Hey fill in the name of your son and/or daughter here, if you have relations with your date tonight, make sure you two are committed or your grades could go down!” Last but not least, “Mom and Dad, do not tell me that I cannot have relations with my date. The APA says that if it is within a committed relationship, my GPA could be greater than those who abstain. PLEASE!! I am trying to get into college!”
While the APA and other media outlets are campaigning to change our mindsets and steal our teens’ virtue, the Church continues to spread the good news that in Christ there is freedom. The Church is not against the marital act…it encourages the free, faithful, fruitful and total mutual self-giving of persons within the context of a marriage.
It is not like this government-endorsed hedonism is new to the Church. Remember Rome? I find it funny that University of Southern California sociologist Julie Albright or Marie Harvey, professor of public health at Oregon State University think that teens are stupid. Lacking prudence, life experience and adequate control over their hormones…yes. But they can think and they are observant. You think they haven’t noticed the disastrous effects of the sexual revolution or that mom and dad switch out marriage partners more often that Paris Hilton changes clothes? I think they are observant and the following statistics are encouraging:
- 54% of high school students are virgins.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2002). Youth risk behavior surveillance.
- 58% on teens surveyed recently said sexual activity for high school-age teens is not acceptable, even if precautions are taken against pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases.
National Campaign to Prevent Teen Pregnancy. (2000). The Cautious Generation? Teens Tell Us About Sex, Virginity, and “The Talk”. Washington, DC: Author.
- 82% of teens desire to have one marriage partner for life.
Barna Research, 1998
- 87% of teens do not think it is embarrassing for teens to say that they are virgins.
National Campaign to Prevent Teen Pregnancy. (2000). The cautious generation? Teens tell us about sex, virginity and “the talk.” Washington, DC: Author.
- 63% of teens who have had sexual intercourse said they wish they had waited.
National Campaign to Prevent Teen Pregnancy. (2000). Not Just Another Thing to Do: Teens Talk About Sex, Regret, and the Influence of Their Parents. Washington, DC: Author.
While these numbers are encouraging there is room for improvement. We need them to hear that the Gospel brings freedom in every area of our lives. That modesty is not just about clothes but about speech and media too. For those of us who work with the youth, we need to show them first. Our living one way and teaching another compromises our witness…whether we believe it or not.
Some final snark
I thought I would end with a few reflections:
I wonder if our students test scores would improve if we spent more time teaching reading, writing, and arithmetic than how to put a prophylactic on a banana or a cucumber. I mean, I need an editor for my blog because writing and editing are not among my gifts (As Chris in a comment helped remind me – thanks Chris for the correction). Or maybe, that dating means I am ready for marriage and that committed till-death-do-us-part relations are vital to our national economic welfare (See the outstanding research presented by Dr. Patrick Fagan at the Family Research Council on this topic). Frankly, I am looking to marry off my kids one day and I need someone that they are worthy of or are worthy of them (BTW, just a note for the future, my best friend has a 9mm).
To my fellow parents, catechists and youth leaders. How are you educating? Remember that every word, movie/television/music choice and or reference; every giggle or joke about the gift or sexuality, every fashion choice we make is being scrutinized by our children and students. FAITH IS MORE CAUGHT THAN TAUGHT. I am sure you are doing a great job since it is not only our soul but the souls of all who have been entrusted to us that are hanging in the balance. Of course, if we do not know how we are doing, we will at the general judgment when all our sins and meritorious choices will be revealed to all in the light of God’s grace.
To the those at the Washington Post who agree with this report and all the sociologists and sex ed teachers who are looking to warp our virtue: Go back to school, you learned nothing based on your comments. Oh, and demand a refund from your alma mater, you were cheated. Just sayn…