Study seems to prove the obvious

Sex in media increases risk of teen promiscuity

Since I have published a few scientific studies in peer reviewed journals myself, I am obliged (willingly) to recognize their value. However, there are some studies that you just have to stop and say: "DUH!"

I was taken aback by the high level of teen pregnancy rates in the US as compared to the rest of the industrialized world. Of course, the solution is to hand out condoms right? Talk about treating the symptoms (sometimes neccesary - especially when you are unsure of the cause) and ignoring the cause (stupid when you know the cause and can do something about it).

Clearly parental filtering of media will help. Combined with other good parenting skills, prayer, a strong peer base in the religious community, and an active life within a devout community (especially one that is so integrated in everyday life - e.g. Orthodoxy), and I think we need not worry too awfully much.

However, to what extent ought we to worry about the future generation which lacks these things?


Anonymous said…
While I agree with you about the role of media as it pertains to the increase in promiscuity, I do think it is important to remember that teenage pregnancy, historically, has not ever been viewed as morally wrong in any way until the second half of the 20th century.

In fact, God Himself chose a teenage woman to be the Theotokos!

I believe that the root problem is the attack on the institution of marriage and the irresponsibility and passivity of men in America. We have a generation of men who have been feminized! They are not embracing their responsibility to be fathers, husbands, and priests in their homes (the little church)
and as a result, teenage pregnancy has become a problem because the women who become pregnant are left to fend for themselves.

--Deacon Kevin
fdj said…
So are you saying that most teenaged mothers of today would do fine if we just made sure partners married them and "cared" for them? Drop out of high school and get a job?

I think we as a culture and a society have just come to the belief than teens ought not to be having children until they are at least out of high school.

Our Holy Mother, I suspect was a decidedly different sort of teenager than even the most exemplary teens of today. In fact, teens of that time had societal and cultural pressure that I suspect matured them much more quickly than our kids do today.

Thus we encourage out kids either to abstain or use protection. This study clearly shows that the media does not help in encouraging the former.
Anonymous said…
I think I agree with both points raised here in the comments, for reasons that would take far too much room for a comments section on a blog :)

I would just like to add that I found Kh. Frederica Mathewes-Green's article "Let's Have More Teen Pregnancy" (which I would guess is available on her website) very interesting, and she spoke to many things I'd been thinking of previously. Maybe she is taking the opposite "exteme" (although I can't say I really find it extreme) of the trend that has put the average age of first-time marriage at an all-time high of 27 for women and 29 for men.

This coming from the 25 year old spinster :)
fdj said…
I think a big part of the problem is that more and more we do not have an environment that matures kids these days.

It is the same thing that often afflicts adults as well: too much leisure time. When EVERYONE in the family had to work for the families very survival there was no time for kids to come home from school and spend four hours on the XBOX or watching MTV.

There is also data to suggest that girls are menstruating earlier and earlier. There are a variety of suggested explanations, but as far as I have read nothing definitive.

Overall though, I think we can all agree that without a radical change in our cultural environment it is best we encourage teens to wait to getpregnant/married until they have finished school.

My first child came when I was 28, and I am still not mature enough to handle them.
Anonymous said…
I think you've hit the nail on the head James, after all I can every day see plenty of people in their late teens and twenties who have never reallty grown up, because they've never had to grow up. As a society we've taken coddling our children to an extreme. Instead of preparing children to be adults we've turned childhood, and really young adulthood into play-time, where work is seen as an intrusion and at best necessary evil. Compare this to, say a midshipman in the glory days of the British Navy, where you would have children of twelve learning to lead men in battle, and often distinguishing themselves in action. Or even the act of apprenticeship, where a young man would not only learn a trade, but in so doing learn his responsibility to his community. Furthermore, the public school system ensure that most children will spend the majority of their time around other children. School is compartmentalized from the rest of life, so instead of learning being something that take place in the context of the community, it is the province of specialists in a controlled environment.
fdj said…
u be da man Rade!
fdj said…
Imagine, if you will, a modern 12 year old in the HMS Surprise as she prepared to go into battle with a rebel Turk.

Captain: "Where is Mr. Ferris?"
1st Lt: "Last I saw he was trying to get more food from Killick, said he was hungry."

Captain: "Damn his belly!"

(Captain heads below and find Mr. Ferris harassing Killick and just as he arrives Killick whops the boy on the head with a frying pan and begins shoving toasted cheese up his nose.)

Captain: "Mr. Ferris, would you care to join us on deck as we have just beat to quarters."

Ferris: "Woah dude, what's that mean...I'm hungry..."

Captain: "We are about to engage the enemy!"

Ferris: "Oh, cool dude, like in World of Warcraft when..."

Captain: "Are you hearing me man!"

Ferris: "Yeah dude, I heard you but what'd ya say? By the way Dude, I am so hungry...when's dinner? That grog and magotty biscuits suck. I want you to take me home, my parent's are gonna be pissed that I've been gone for 4 months and I haven't played Halo in ages...I bet the newest Linkin Park album is out too."

Captain: "Killick, instead of boarding the enemy we are just going to sail past and throw Mr. Ferris over onto their deck."

Ferris: "Aight den, so they can get me home?"

Captain: "I expect so."

Ferris: "Aight, peace, out."

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