08 January 2009

Bush Impregnates Millions of Teens (Now Can We Impeach Him?)

Teen birth rates are up in 26 states - the highest since 1971, reversing a 34% drop from 1991 to 2005.

A 16 year old girl suspected of drowning her new born in the toilet was charged yesterday.

Since they've taken office, the Bush administration has pushed for abstinence only sex education - in spite of data that strongly suggested that such education raised pregnancy rates among teens.

I'm sure that none of this is related. Policy doesn't change trends and general trends don't raise the probability of individual tragedies. Obviously.

(And maybe in 2010, I'll make a new year's resolution to engage in less sarcasm.)

12 comments:

wheelsonthebus said...

But, at least Bristol Palin is getting married. Someday.

K-kix said...

Hi Ron!
How about instead of less sarcasm you say you shall hold pregnant silences..
just thought Id drop in and say hello!

cce said...

I worked in Marietta,GA for a small newspaper there, and at least weekly I felt it my duty to debate the merits of sex education with one of the editors who had a thirteen year old girl. At the time I was 21 and just about to be sprung from university and working in this news room was like walking back in time. There was no convincing this man that his teenage daughter was better off on birth control pills (or at least knowing about birth control options), than she was knocked up in her teens. I felt I owed this girl something, some sort of enlightenment her daughter was denying her. I never convinced him that his daughter WOULD have pre-marital sex and thus WOULD be better off knowing about how to prevent pregnancy and disease. He just couldn't hear this idea even though he admitted to having had pre-marital sex himself. I knew then that there's just some parts of this country that will never buy into sex education and there they drown babies and teen pregnancy rates soar and parents dig into the same notions that their parents dug into before them...and they're all grandparents by the age of 45 and somehow that's okay as long as there's no mention of condoms or pre-marital sex. It's sick really and criminal. Can you tell this is one of "my issues"?

cce said...

Sorry meant...enlightenment her "father" was denying her. Feel free to edit me, Ron. I'm ranting and half insane at this point. You are the keeper of this blog. Pull the plug on me as you see fit.

Ron Davison said...

Emily,
that's right. Not all of these teen pregnancies end with a single mother scenario - some end with forced marriages. Good reminder.

Karen,
Very funny. So, a pregnant silence is the one safe pregnancy?

cce,
I guess one hint that this might be a big issue with you is the fact that your comment is longer than my post.
I don't blame people for wanting to simply believe that absistence is the only option for young teens - however irrational that might seem. For single folks in their late teens and early twenties, it seems to me that there are two really absurd things you can tell them. 1 is that they should simply abstain and wait to be in a stable relationship where the consequences in terms of emotional bonds, babies, and everything in between has a safe environment. The other absurd thing to tell them is that they should not wait for that. Basically, our social development has gotten so long and convoluted that it now takes about twice as long as sexual development. That is the absurd part, I suppose. Absurd. Hmm. Why should sex be any different than life?

Will "take no prisoners" Hart said...

I would like to see RU486 sold over-the-counter. Not that the far-right would approve of this, either. But it could potentially reduce pregnancies AND abortions (though, yes, some on the relgious right see it as a type of early abortion).

Pinky said...

Whoa! You made a great point there, Ron! Our emotional development takes WAY longer to catch up than our sexual development does. We're obviously (hormonally) ready to go well before our psyches can handle the emotional toll of a sexual relationship and the damage it can cause. I won't teach my kids that sex is evil. I'll just teach them that being emotinoally and psychologically mature take much longer than being physically mature.
As if that will stop them....

Anonymous said...

Just maybe emotional and psychological development should NOT take so much longer than our physical/sexual development. Just maybe the way we raise children today is so far out of whack that it retards their emotional and psychological growth.

Just a thought.

exskindiver said...

get off your soapbox,
bush's reign is almost over.

Big Al said...

There's a reason for psychological development lagging sexual development: survival. History has it that thousands of years ago human life expectancy was low and life longetivity was short. Disease, malnourishment and the like all meant percentages were low being able to survive past childhood. As an example, had I been born in 1859 instead of 1959, I probably wouldn't have survived the intestinal flu I suffered at the age of 18 months.

Once girls started menstruation in their teen years and boys lost brain cells while testosterone started surging through their male brains, Mother Nature stepped in to help bring the two together. If you think about it, the more offspring produced the better the odds of higher number of offspring surviving.

Psychology be damned: Our bodies are wired to WANT to mate starting young. For that matter, it's the same in nature. Ever watch what happens in the fall rut with elk and/or deer? I've witnessed bucks do the most stupid, irrational things during rut.

Ron Davison said...

Will,
I wonder if turning early-term abortion over to a chemical will de-stigmatize it.

Pinky,
thank you. And yes, it is hard to know what will stop the force of millions of years of evolutionary momentum. Sigh.

Anon,
that is very intriguing. It could be. I guess I still think that our social world is so complex that this kind of lag is nearly inevitable.

Chesca,
How wonderful! Today at the gym I saw a caption under a video of Bush that said, "with just days left in office" and I began to chuckle. His reign is almost over but his ruin will stay with us for years.

Allen,
yes - if early man had waited until 30 to have children we wouldn't be here. And now R World has its first mention of menstruation. Thank you. (Every week there is new ground to cover.)

Pinky said...

Nothing will stop evolution, of course. And to Anon, I don't see how we can raise them to handle the emotional impact of sex at age 12 or 13 (when puberty hits). It's not a matter of teaching maturity, it's a matter of the cultural forces and pressures bearing down on them being too much to handle at that age, regardless of how liberal parental influences may be.
There is the matter of brain maturation / physiology, and the fact that areas of the brain responsible for judgement/ impulse control do not fully develop and mature until around age 21. Obviously that doesn't mean one should abstain until that age, but it does explain why teenagers often do the dumbest things!

(See Ron's example of the teenage girl drowning her newborn in a toilet...)