Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Socially conservative teenage sex

New Yorker has a helpful piece on the reasons behind the high incidence of unwed teenage evangelical women becoming pregnant and the naive nonchalance that evangelicals display to this phenomenon. Helps also understand why socially conservative Christian families like Bristol Palin's seem to be OK with what seemed like devastating news to others...

Like other American teens, young evangelicals live in a world of Internet porn, celebrity sex scandals, and raunchy reality TV, and they have the same hormonal urges that their peers have. Yet they come from families and communities in which sexual life is supposed to be forestalled until the first night of a transcendent honeymoon. Regnerus writes, “In such an atmosphere, attitudes about sex may formally remain unchanged (and restrictive) while sexual activity becomes increasingly common. This clash of cultures and norms is felt most poignantly in the so-called Bible Belt.” Evangelical Protestant teen-agers are significantly less likely than other groups to use contraception. This could be because evangelicals are also among the most likely to believe that using contraception will send the message that they are looking for sex. It could also be because many evangelicals are steeped in the abstinence movement’s warnings that condoms won’t actually protect them from pregnancy or venereal disease.

Sharon Sprung, 'P in Red', Oil on panel, 40" X 44". A photograph that I had taken while at her exhibition at Gallery Henoch earlier this year.

No comments: