Sunday, February 12, 2012

Conservative Delusion

Hi. Just warning you. This might make our relationship awkward.

But a thought came across me today, as I unmounted the van I was riding to get home. A girl who was once my playmate was on her bike going the opposite direction. I told the driver that she used to be my playmate and now she's a mommy. Then I remembered a conversation I had with my boyfriend where he was surprised about a friend of his who was "only six months older" than he having a baby. I told him it's not unusual for people our age to start having children. He said that it was in France. I realised that the fact that it is prevalent around me does not really make it normal everywhere.

Walking into my house I thought, isn't it ironic that I'm the one living in a so-called conservative country?

These are in no way isolated, coincidential cases. If you compare teen pregnancy rates (and even divorce rates) in America for example, numbers are worse in conservative or evangelical communities and states. Although mainstream media (e.g. Sarah Palin's daughter) has influenced me into thinking this and that isn't always the best way to assume things about a country, I thought it was important to only spout credible conclusions and researched so I'm not making this up:

"Perhaps paradoxically, states with a majority conservative population and higher degree of religiosity tend to have higher teen birthrates. The findings suggest that the social structure of the state, such as the degree of conservatism, can undermine the effect of the sex curricula.

The researchers, from Washington University in St. Louis (WUSL), do not recommend abstinence-based education, but rather crafting sex education curricula that take into account the influences of a state's sociopolitical composition. The study appears today (Feb. 6) in the Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine."

"Ignoring sex education does not appear to be working very well. Bible studies and pretending as though sex doesn't happen with teens is not a policy. Wouldn't it be nice to see this Congress put an end to the silly abstinence programs that cost so much and deliver consistently bad results? Oh wait, we need to be fair to them too despite the facts."

"Ask most people about the differences between families who live in “red” (conservative) states and “blue” (liberal) states, and you’ll hear a common refrain: Massachusetts and California are hotbeds of divorce and teen pregnancy, while Nebraska and Texas are havens of virtue and stability.

The reality is quite different. 

...The US family system, which once differed little by class or region, has become a marker of race, culture, and religion. A new “blue” family paradigm has handsomely rewarded those who invest in women’s as well as men’s education and defer childbearing until the couple is better established. These families, concentrated in urban areas and the coasts, have seen their divorce rates fall back to the level of the 1960s, incomes rise, and nonmarital births remain rare. With later marriage has also come greater stability and less divorce...

Difficulties in the “red” world, meanwhile, have grown worse. Traditionalists continue to advocate abstinence until marriage and bans on abortion. They’ve said an emphatic “no” to the practices that have made the new “blue” system workable.
Yet, paradoxically, as sociologist Brad Wilcox reports, evangelical Protestant teens have sex at slightly earlier ages on average than their nonevangelical peers (respectively, 16.38 years old versus 16.52 years old), evangelical Protestant couples are also slightly more likely to divorce than nonevangelical couples, and evangelical mothers are actually more likely to work full time outside the home than their nonevangelical peers.
Sociologist Paul Amato concludes that among the marriages least likely to last are those in which women who would prefer homemaking roles end up working outside of the home much more than they expected because of the husband’s inability to support the family."

I believe that a big part of the cause is that religion traditionally imposes that the women do not take charge of their sexuality, bodies, and lives. In fact in the bible days they are under ownership of men, either their fathers or husbands. Pretty sick and stupid to somehow sneak into modern days in some subconscious manner but it has. Girls who grow up in conservative or religious backgrounds are made to feel bad and disgusting for being sexual. We should stop fooling ourselves. If your kid is above 18 they have thought of sex and are of legal age. This doesn't mean that they should start dancing and waving their fannies around and having casual sex everywhere, it only means that they have grown old enough to be aware of sex and are old enough to make the right choices FOR THEMSELVES. And if they don't make the right choices what more is to blame than a society that deems contraception unholy for it communicates an intent to take part in a very basic human activity? What conservatism does is to force people to cut off of very natural urges, setting them up for failure. When you deny them sexual education this does not make the urges stop. It just makes them charge towards sexual acts uninformed and unprepared. If we raise our kids equipped with all of the knowledge they need to acquire regarding these matters they are actually less likely to make mistakes because they take the necessary steps to avoid the consequences that need to be avoided.

Sexuality isn't always automatically dirty, filthy, or disgusting. Examine yourself if you think it is. It could be shared between people who care for each other as an expression of unity and trust. And shame on you if you cause a young person to feel that it can only be a bad thing. Shame on you for letting them feel like they are despicable when the causes are natural and inherent. Shame on you for misleading them instead of giving them the proper tools and education to give them the power to control themselves. If you suppress a very strong force you create pressure and it becomes harder to control once a barrier is crossed. It's far better to safely guide a current where it has to go and where it won't end up destroying everything in its path.

Trust that they know what they are doing. In this age, they usually do. Especially if you help them. Unless you guilt them out of their own logic.

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