Cultural Consequences

A few days ago headlines across the nation declared "1 in 4 Teen Girls has STD." The story got traction for all of about five minutes on the network news and then reporters moved on to the next "big" story. But the impact of those headlines is far-reaching and extremely troubling to me.

If this analysis of 838 girls by the Centers for Disease Control reflects a national trend, then one of every four teenage girls in America will suffer from at least one—if not more than one—sexually-transmitted disease. And while many may yawn at such news and claim it is merely part of the culture these days, I say it is in fact a very good example of the ongoing fascination America has with sex. Regardless of the age of the participants, the fact is that in today’s America our children are suffering needlessly because many adults, including many parents, have betrayed them.

Frankly, my first reaction to this report was the same reaction I have had every time I have seen such information over the past 20 years. That is, "What do you expect when you place the fox in the chicken coop?"

When parents are encouraged to inoculate their preteens against the sexually-transmitted disease known as human papillomavirus, when kindergarten children are exposed to comic book characters who represent condoms and when any child can sit in front of a television set at any hour of the day and watch inappropriate commercials—not to mention programming—what in the world should we expect? Far too many parents, both single and married, have surrendered their little ones to the tube which has become the babysitter of choice. It seems that earning money for all manner of non-essential possessions has become far more important than the character formation of their children.

The discussion of sexual relations has become a topic no more off limits than choosing the breakfast cereal you want, whether you are five or 50 years of age.

It is obvious that the chief architect of this sad state is none other than Planned Parenthood. The Planned Parenthood Federation of America has been manipulating attitudes about human sexuality for many years because it and its cronies have had easy access to children of all ages since I became involved in the pro-life cause 40 years ago.

In fact, one of the reasons our family moved to rural Virginia 32 years ago was to avoid "sex education." Of course my husband and I knew even then that such classes were actually sex indoctrination. We also knew that the majority of parents would not oppose such garbage in the classroom.

Today, propaganda courses focused on sex are everywhere and the resulting difficulties facing parents are overwhelming, even when their children are entrusted to private schools.

It is only in the recent past that we pro-lifers have begun to see some strong opposition to the smut. The organized protests are coming forth from parents and educators trained in the ways to stop Planned Parenthood by the staff of American Life League’s Stop Planned Parenthood International. But after more than 40 years of having Planned Parenthood entrenched in every single government program that has anything to do with educating our children, the current battle is a typical David and Goliath struggle.

These most recent statistics are but one testimony to that sad reality. The CDC study shows clearly that HPV, Chlamydia, herpes simplex virus type 2 and trichomoniasis are the main culprits with 15 percent of teens having more than one of these. One spokesperson from Girls Inc. claims that young women are "having sex when they’re slightly younger and, because they’re having sex at a lot younger age, they are having more than one partner." Such statements are made without emotion by people whose primary responsibility is advocacy for the very behaviors that are leading our teens to lifelong illness, sterility and sadness.

These same people will tell us that parents need to take current statistics seriously and assure that their young daughters are screened and taught about prevention and protection.

In other words, even with the devastating news reported in this study, those in public policy positions are going to suggest more of the same. You see, "prevention and protection" are code words for condoms, birth control pills, injections and all manner of tools that will provide the sexually active teenager with the equipment needed to continue on a radical course of sexual activity outside of marriage. Never will a word about purity or chastity be found in a single news report about this latest study—except to point an accusatory finger at those who promote virtue.

While the pharmaceutical houses and the condom production businesses like Planned Parenthood must be licking their chops as they prepare for even higher sales, people like me are saddened beyond words. Our children have become the victims of America’s sexually-saturated culture, a culture where kids have grown accustomed to living with only one parent and where many of these same children see multiple boyfriends or girlfriends in their own home.

Where once there was a special chair for grandpa when he came to visit, today there is a special couch for the latest date. Do you think that could be part of the problem? I certainly do!

As Dr. Frank Joseph commented after he reviewed the latest reports, "As one of the most famous equations by Einstein is E = MC2, so also is the following equation of the utmost importance and more easily understood: More condoms = more sex = more STDs and pregnancies. This equation has stood the test of time. It is irrefutable."

The only recommended course of action facing us today is the same course of action that has been with us for all time: Save sex for marriage and in the interim be pure in thought and chaste in action. And when such a course is chosen, chastity within marriage naturally follows. Perhaps that is why among couples who entrust their fertility to God within marriage, less than two percent will ever have to face divorce and all the pain that flows from it.

Christians, especially Catholics, should know the pain and heartache that accompanies the sad outcomes because they never heard a word about Christ’s teaching in matters of sexuality from the very pulpits upon which every God-fearing American should be able to rely for declarations of truth and love. As Father Tom Euteneuer, president of Human Life International, has written, "Priestly silence about contraception has eternal consequences. The price of that silence is the loss of souls."

If the pulpits were alive with biblical teaching on the value of the human person and his dignity, statistics like those I have shared with you would become obsolete. But that means great courage is demanded of those with the responsibility to feed the souls of the hungry so that their awareness of all things good replaces their current state of salivating after sexual satisfaction at any cost, including disease.

Judie Brown is president of American Life League and a member of the Pontifical Academy for Life.

American Life League was co-founded in 1979 by Judie Brown. It is the largest grassroots pro-life organization in the United States and it is committed to the protection of all innocent human beings from the moment of creation to death.  For more information or press inquiries, please contact Shaun Kenney at 540.659.7900.

Released 24 Mar 08