July 21, 1999
The Washington Post shook up its readers last week with a front
page news story about sex practices in an affluent Virginia middle
school. The school principal notified the parents that 13 and 14 year
olds were getting together for sexual activity in local parks, in one
another's homes, and even inside the school and on the school bus.
What the kids were doing isn't fit to be described in a family
newspaper, but readers can figure it out from the comment of one of the
girls. "What's the big deal? President Clinton did it."
Is this Bill Clinton's legacy? Has he become a role-model for
young teen immorality? And has he coarsened our culture so much that
we have to talk about it?
There are many surprising nuggets in this front page story. For
starters, the Post admitted that this "news" was a year old. Why did
it take a year to find its way into print?
Other shockers in the Post story include the age of the children
(13 and 14), the fact that they were A and B students from upper-income
homes, their totally casual attitude toward sex among classmates, their
lack of shame at being caught, their exhibitionism about sex, and the
way the girls pursued the boys to "hook up".
It's clear from the Post's interviews with the students that these
youngsters have bought into the notion that the only sex that is wrong
is the kind that produces a live baby. Indeed, that is the sex-
education message taught in most public schools and advocated by SIECUS
(Sexuality Information and Education Council of the United States) and
For example, in the September/October 1988 SIECUS Report, SIECUS
president Debra Haffner's article, called "Safe Sex and Teens,"
includes this instruction. "We should teach teens about oral sex and
mutual masturbation in order to help them delay the onset of sexual
intercourse and its resulting consequences."
SIECUS guidelines for sex education in schools include the
following. Beginning at age 5, teaching that masturbation feels good;
starting at age 9, teaching there are many ways to give and receive
sexual pleasure without having intercourse; at age 12, more on the joys
of masturbation alone or with a partner, as an alternative to
intercourse; and at age 16, common sexual behaviors including use of
pornography, bathing/showering together, and oral, vaginal or anal
On CNN's Crossfire on May 8, 1997, Ms. Haffner summed up SIECUS's
philosophy like this. "The average age of marriage is between 25 and
27 now. It is completely unrealistic . . . to say to young people, you
need 13, 14 years of sexual unemployment."
"Unemployment"? Another shocker in the Washington Post news story
was that some middle school students were soliciting for "oral sex as a
way to make money."
When SIECUS celebrated its 35th anniversary earlier this year, it
invited visitors to its website to vote for ten out of a list of 100
persons whom SIECUS believes have "brought about a positive change in
the way America thinks and talks about sexuality issues." The top ten
were Judy Blume, Mary Calderone (SIECUS co-founder), Ellen DeGeneres,
Joycelyn Elders, Hugh Hefner, Anita Hill, Magic Johnson, Madonna,
Gloria Steinem, and Ruth Westheimer.
That list makes the "educational" bias of SIECUS's materials
obvious. No wonder SIECUS is such a fierce opponent of abstinence-
until-marriage courses in the schools.
Planned Parenthood has an active website specifically for
youngsters (www.teenwire.com), which contains a lot of provocative sex
chatter that teens can use as "how to" information. The website
creatively redefines such words as sex, virginity, and abstinence, and
encourages teens to engage in "outercourse."
The public schools have given us 25 years of SIECUS/Planned
Parenthood-style "comprehensive education about sexuality." The
results are rampant immorality, illegitimacy, abortions, venereal
diseases, infertility, and teenage emotional trauma that often follows
them through their entire life.
Now we find that over half of all infants born to girls younger
than age 18 are fathered by adult men. There's an ugly word for that:
Why isn't this crime prosecuted? Pregnancy in underage unmarried
girls is obvious evidence of possible sexual abuse. The possibility of
that crime should be routinely investigated every time a pregnant
adolescent girl comes into a clinic.
Medical professionals are obligated under law to report suspected
sexual abuse of minors, with the precise legal requirements varying by
state. Almost every state imposes prison or fines on those who
intentionally fail to report, and these mandatory reporting laws
usually supersede the privilege of confidential patent-physician
Yet, these laws are routinely ignored. Surveys indicate that
youth service providers are ambivalent about reporting relationships
between young teen girls and their adult boyfriends.
When are parents going to start keeping track of where their
children are at all times? And demanding that the classroom sex ed
teach abstinence-until-marriage as the expected behavior instead of
"comprehensive" immorality? And insisting that the laws against sexual
abuse of minors and statutory rape be enforced?