Since politicians' personal lives are always far more interesting than their policies and values, Sarah Palin's daughter's pregnancy is Big News. Which makes sense as it was undoubtedly Palin's personal decision to get her daughter pregnant, right? Anyway, this whole thing has segued into a discussion of abstinence-only sex education.
The thing that amazes me about abstinence is not just that I would've been expected to be abstinent as a kid (which, in retrospect, might not have been the worst thing, although it didn't destroy me either), but that the expectation would be continued into now. I'm twenty-two, and you can't argue with a straight face that my tender immaturity makes me unprepared for all the big scary adult responsibilities of sex. (Well, you probably could if you knew me, but anyway.) And yet, since I'm not married, I'd ideally be a contraception-ignorant virgin now. This isn't just an issue of kids having sex. This is an issue of how people who are going to be adults are educated.
Or, if I weren't a virgin, maybe I would've married the first guy I wanted to have sex with. Dear God. Whatever emotional damage I might've theoretically sustained from fucking the wrong guy too young and with too many delusions of Eternal Wuv, it sure as hell wasn't as bad as if I'd married him.
Here's a pretty typical debate on the subject and the inspiration for this post. I'm amazed by the people saying things like "teaching contraception doesn't stop unwanted pregnancies" or "Imagine going into a classroom, and instead of assuming they're all a bunch of animals who can't control their urges and pushing condom use, you tell them sex is special."
Hmm. Sex is special. That's why you shouldn't have any for years! Too special for you! Only people who are in real magical special love get to have sex! And teenage couples are always very realistic about knowing they don't have that!
We are animals. We're animals who can control our urges, but not when we see no good reason not to. And in this case, well, there is no very good reason. Nothing about marriage makes "heartache, std's, unplanned pregnancy, etc." impossible and nothing about safe, respectful unmarried sex is wrong. Let's do it like they do on the Discovery Channel.