Wednesday, December 06, 2006

What do eleven year old girls in DC fear?

Character, not condoms. That says a lot. Today, in a discussion session with middle school youth, led by college STAR guides (interns), I was touched and angry to hear that some girls in 6th grade in Washington, DC, have to worry about being raped or murdered. The discussion turned around a story about Wilbur the pig, from Charlotte's Web. Wilbur didn't quite know what to do with his new found "freedom" when he temporarily escaped from the barnyard. The connection was that the youth were asked "What are things young people your age might fear?" Some answers were, "being robbed" and "being raped or jacked up". Well, I remember being afraid of neighborhood bullies, but how about the fear of being raped and murdered?

What kind of world are we creating for our children. Does saying, "well, if you are going to have sex, use a condom" even begin to address the issues behind the kind of violent, disrespectful world that many children, (almost all children, if you consider the influence of media) have to grow up with.

Promoting abstinence for our youth is not just about pregnancy or disease, although those are very important issues. It is about promoting respect, kindness and concern for the well being of others. A world where youth wait until marriage to have sex is a vastly safer world for children, as well as for adults. Those learning to abstain from sex are practicing self control and respect for others. Youth who are abstaining from sex are much less likely to use drugs or alcohol, be arrested or suspended from school.

What kind of world do we want to create for our children; a world that says, "here, use a condom", or one that says "wait until marriage so that you can realize the full beauty and joy of a committed sexual relationship with someone you truly love". The answer to this question is directly related to whether we will see a more peaceful and respectful world in the future, or one where eleven year old girls have to literally fear being raped or killed.

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Welcome to Character; Not Condoms

I have had it on my mind for a while to create this blog.
Then, yesterday, while waiting in line at the Target store, where the lady in front of me was taking about 20 minutes, I asked a young couple behind me if they had heard of ULTRA Teen Choice. She said no, and when I explained about it, she and he were glad to hear that we are doing something positive for the youth.
Then I shared that we are working at two schools in DC. He said, that's a rough neighborhood (near RFK Stadium, and Union Station). Then he shared that he recently witnessed a homicide on the street beside Union Station. The person just ahead of him was shot and killed and his wallet stolen.
You might ask; what has that got to do with helping youth to be abstinent from sex before marriage. Plenty. Ninety per cent of youth who come from stable, two parent homes, even in high crime areas, will not become involved in any kind of delinquency. Do you get the connection?
By promoting abstinence, we are encouraging youth to aim for a brighter future. When they wait, and provide a stable, loving home for their future children, then the spate of lawlessness and juvenile crime that we see in Washington DC will decline dramatically.
It's really simple, when you think about it. Family break down leads to societal problems. By abstaining from sex before marriage, youth are not just preventing disease or unwanted pregnancy, they are helping to ensure a better future for themselves and for our city.