Monday, June 23, 2008

"Sex education is completely beside the point."

Says Kay S. Hymowitz of the Gloucester teenagers' pregnancy pact.

So stop calling me, Planned Parenthood! These girls did plan to get pregnant. If them, how many more? It's not the technical issues that they are having trouble with.

Thanks to Kathryn Jean Lopez at The Corner.


blake said...

Hey, have you followed this at all? I've gotten conflicting stories, including one that said that their "pact" was made after they got pregnant.

Hector Owen said...

I can't say that I've followed it, but after taking a quick skim through Google News, it looks like there will never be any getting to the bottom of it. Rumors and allegations, that's all. The principal heard about a pact. One of the girls has gone on TV to say that the pact was made after the girls got pregnant, as an agreement to help each other get through school. But unless they put something on paper, and the paper turns up in public, it will never be anything but talk. Maybe they got pregnant on purpose, maybe they didn't. My point was to link the Hymowitz article, with its point about how since unmarried teen pregnancy is no longer socially stigmatized, girls may not see the reason for birth control, or even want to use it. These are adolescents. Of course their thinking is not fully developed—their brains are not fully developed.

Years ago (1972, I think), at a neighborhood meeting, I heard a woman who lived in a housing project a couple of streets over saying that many of the teenagers she knew believed that "you can't get pregnant if the girl is on top." Those kids could have used some sex education. But there's enough sex ed in all the schools now that the technical matters should be common knowledge. What's needed is some life education. What were those four maxims? Google is my friend, it was Walter Williams: "Avoiding long-term poverty is not rocket science. First, graduate from high school. Second, get married before you have children, and stay married. Third, work at any kind of job, even one that starts out paying the minimum wage. And, finally, avoid engaging in criminal behavior." The one about children is the one that applies here.

Hector Owen said...

I should clarify a bit: I would not advocate a return to the days when the social stigma on unmarried pregnancy was so strong that a girl would be driven away from the door. No, no, no. But there must be some middle ground between that extreme, and the notion that an unmarried high-school girl's being pregnant is so normal a thing as to be scarcely worthy of note. "Of course we have nurseries, and breast-feeding rooms, in the high school. Doesn't everyone?"