Our local paper has been running a special series “dealing with issues facing teenagers in this area” over the past several days. The articles could be pretty eye opening for adults who are not very well connected with the teens in their lives. It’s unfortunate that the articles have really only dealt with one issue (sex) that teens face – but I do hope the series will spark some healthy discussion about that issue.
Today’s article was called “It Happened to Me” and outlined the stories of a couple girls who found out they are pregnant while still in high school. Neither thought “it” would happen to them. But it did. As it has to others. But that frames the issue the wrong way, I think. Pregnancy doesn’t just happen. It’s the normal, natural result of a specific behavior (having sex). Since the beginning of recorded history, humanity has understood that sex produces offspring.
So why do teens who do not want to get pregnant engage in behavior that thousands of years of recorded history tells us will eventually result in them getting pregnant? Here’s one explanation from the article: “There is a lot of sex going on in the school, and parents are so lenient on their children. Kids are doing it because they are bored. There is nothing else to do.” (italics added)
But we have more entertainment options at our fingertips (even in our little town) than at any other time in history. Ipods full of our favorite music; movies on demand and in the theaters; the internet full of information at our fingertips; Wii’s and Xbox’s; sports, choirs, and bands to be in; pools, parks, baseball and softball and soccer complexes… I don’t think adding more activity to stave off boredom would do any of us any good.
What are students really looking for that they think sex will provide? I have some thoughts I’ll add in another post, but how would you answer that question?