Tuesday, May 20, 2003

Sex and the Middle Schooler-Joshua Claybourn questions the NYT's statistic that 20% of kids are sexually active before they're 15. If what I heard from Eileen is any indication, I wouldn't be surprised if this is one the Grey Lady got right. There were more than one young mother amongst the 8th graders she taught last fall, and Lake Alfred was more a rural area than a big city, albeit with a multi-ethnic makeup. I had an Instalanche-inducing (alas, over Memorial Day weekend, so not the full effect) post on the economics of teen parents last year, but I can add a few things to that post. The further apart that physical maturation and economic maturation are, the more of a problem we have with premarital sex. When you add a culture that encourages sexual activity (or at least fails to discourage it), it's hard to keep those hormones in check. For a junior-high kid with raging hormones, "Let's wait a while" translates into "Let's wait a decade," which is hard to accept absent a strong, faith based abstinence message and a good dose of self-worth.

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