Sunday, January 21, 2007

The Failed Revolution

The change in legislative make-up will certainly alter how the issues are discussed. The following headline appeared on the front page of the Sunday STRIB; “Birth control spending takes spotlight from abortion politics.” The lead paragraph reads as follows:

Every day at the Family Tree Clinic in St. Paul, Peg LaBore sees women making tough choices. A woman lying on a table waiting for a Pap smear that she needs to get birth control will hear a doctor say she should really have a Chlamydia test, too. And how about getting an HPV vaccine to ward off cancer?

On the spot, she'll have to choose between her reproductive health and what she can pay. "And if they can't afford it, they let it go," said LaBore, clinic director.

What this means is expectation of much greater funding for publicly funded women’s clinics. But let’s cut through the euphemisms. ‘Family Planning’ is another word for abortion. Reproductive health, in the article’s context, is ‘sexual activity.’

What it comes down to is taxpayer subsidized orgasms.

That may sound blunt, even vulgar, but that’s what it amounts to. Every concern addressed in the article is rooted in sexual activity; “rising rates of unintended pregnancies, abortions, and sexually transmitted disease...”

So ‘making whoopie’ is going to cost the taxpayers a lot of money. The article states that “about half of all high school seniors are sexually active.” This raises a key question that someone should ask, but probably won’t, at least not in public; how much will be spent on clinics and ‘family planning’ for the other half that are not sexually active? Meditating on the answer could provide enlightenment.

Now let’s take it a step further with a thought based on that old John Lennon song; imagine all sexual activity occurred within the state of marriage. What would be the incidence of unwanted pregnancies and STDs requiring public assistance?

Yes, the root of the problem gets back to the old issue of ‘standards’ and ‘values,’ the kind that long ago became looked at as oppressive, old fashioned, or unrealistic; “Nice girls need it too” and all that. Self-discipline used to mean more than ‘safe sex,’ but that concept was tossed aside with claims of ‘it’s not your business’ and ‘it doesn’t hurt anyone.’ Everyone knew those were hollow arguments, but those who championed the ‘free love’ cause will not likely now choose to recognize the obvious miscalculation, much less voice their error.

And the damage isn’t just to physical health, budgets and income levels. It is starting to be recognized that personal damage can be done through casual sex. Dr. Grossman is a practicing psychologist who has documented the damage done by our sexualized culture, especially to women, in her book ‘Unprotected.’ Her experience and evidence shows that teaching our youth about proper use of sexuality is as important as teaching them about eating the right foods, exercise, and avoiding smoking and drugs.

The ‘enlightened class’ will not only poo-poo the idea, but be quick to point out failed examples of such things as abstinence programs, and that ‘kids are gonna do it’ no matter what you say. Yet with any curriculum, not all are created equal. As my math teacher spouse will tell you, there are some pretty unsuccessful math courses out there. But the existence of failed methods doesn’t mean we stop teaching math.

And if kids ‘doing it’ are an unavoidable certainty, why are only half of Minnesota seniors sexually active? It was far less when I was in high school. So let’s stop pretending that this is some sort of ‘irresistible force’ that can’t be controlled.

The sexual revolution has failed. It has mired us in poverty, broken homes, broken people, and broken health care facilities. With so many invested in the revolution for so long, a turn-about will probably take longer than a generation. But if we’re going to pursue real sexual health, it needs to be done.

But don’t hold your breath for this year’s legislature.

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