The Birds and the Bees in Weimerica

Recently, in a discussion on Facebook, a friend was fretting over his younger, twenty-something year old brother and his brother’s fiancé planning a vasectomy in conjunction with their marriage. My friend was understandably troubled by this. At a time in history when birth rates are dangerously low, why are so many millennials choosing life without children? There are obvious answers to this question that involve finances and indoctrination into consumerism and selfishness, but I think this phenomenon is also symptomatic of the antiseptic, prevention driven nature (as opposed to family oriented) of sex-education curriculum.

Historically, human beings learned about the “birds and the bees” by literally watching the birds and the bees, as well as the horses, cows, dogs and cats as they procreated on the farm. Children raised in traditional Christian homes also received a spiritual education in the godly model of mothering, fathering and raising a family. Biological urges have always been with us. Many a child has been conceived by horny teenagers behind a proverbial haystack in even the most conservative of families. But at the very least, a wholesome foundation was laid by parents, churches and communities, and usually these teenagers were emotionally equipped from an early age to become mothers and fathers.

The industrialization and urbanization of the first world in the 18th and 19th centuries ultimately led to a push for formal sex education in the 20th. Life away from the farm was given to more temptations and sexual opportunity with less practical understanding of the consequences (note this choice of words, I’ll come back to it later) that farm life instilled. This faster pace of urban culture also contributed to a decline in spiritual pursuits. Simply put, people increasingly became less religious and morally centered and more prone to act upon their natural impulses.

If we are to be honest, in many instances, the early iterations of formal sex education were compelled by relatively traditionalist and conservative minded people who recognized an increase of out-of-wedlock pregnancies and sexually transmitted diseases. I will label the early attempts at formal sex education as “abstinence” themed sex-ed. As parents, preachers and teachers began to proactively talk about sex with teenagers and young adults, it was understandable that, “Wait until you are married,” was the mantra. Even today, many people, myself included, believe this to be the most moral and spiritually healthy value to teach your adolescent children. But, those words of wisdom alone are not enough and without further guidance, they can be woefully inadequate.

The 50s and 60s saw a more “Talmudic” transition in sex education toward PREVENTION. It was the same old antiseptic biology lesson with a twist. A push toward a liberal acceptance of teenage sexuality, unburdened by cultural expectations, was made. We became “liberated.” But, with freedom comes responsibility and consequences (again that word), even though the most progressive parents and educators understood that unwanted pregnancy would have an obvious negative impact on society. The development of “the pill” and more reliable means of “protection” in the form of contraceptives and prophylactics meant that this progressive transition could be made without the burden of unwanted children. Besides, it was just a matter of time before Roe vs Wade would make abortion legal and set the stage for the complete break-down of the family unit that the following decades would bring.

Even today, there are still debates between Christian and traditionally minded people, particularly Catholics, and progressive liberals, about abstinence vs prevention based sex-ed. Increasingly, the abstinence camp is made to appear foolish and naive. But the truth is, both models of sex education are woefully inadequate and miss the mark. Because they are still both CONSEQUENCE oriented, and the adolescent who receives either style of education is being indoctrinated into viewing pregnancy as a NEGATIVE. I do not believe this to be the intended outcome of abstinence education. I do, most certainly, believe that prevention oriented education is this way by design. But, whether by design or not, both methods carry a negative tone toward pregnancy and starting a family that contributes to the avoidable attitudes that my friend’s brother and his fiancé have developed.

I myself, for most of my adult life, have cringed at the thought of teenage girls wanting to get pregnant. I remember in the 90s and early 2000s there was a trend toward having pregnant thirteen year old white girls, often Southerners, on shows like Jerry Springer or shows like 16 and Pregnant on MTV. Naturally, I was appalled at both the glorification and the exploitation of these girls. It is not a good thing for an unprepared, unmarried girl who just got her period literally yesterday to get pregnant. The typical girl who does this is lower IQ, often from a lower income family, in fact, sometimes a single mother home, and she’s setting her own children up for the same cycle. It’s bad. YET, THE NATURAL IMPULSE TO BE MOTHERS IS GOOD. The natural desire to want to nurture children is good. The purpose of Jerry Springer, 16 and Pregnant and shows of that ilk was/is to encourage the degenerate sexual behavior that leads to pregnancy while highlighting the act of getting pregnant as undesirable and foolish. Both camps of the sex education debate could agree that these girls were “doing it wrong.” Unfortunately, with traditionalists it’s a case of agreeing with shitlibs for the wrong reasons.

We send our children to school to learn so many varied and sometimes even useless things. Teenage girls sit in a classroom with boys and learn trigonometry and calculus. They memorize the date that Julius Caesar crossed the Rubicon and the introduction to the Gettysburg Address, yet nobody teaches teenage girls the JOYS of being a mother. There is no class to teach teenage boys how rewarding it is to take their future son or daughter fishing. Sex education is all about the negative consequences of pregnancy that scare the bejesus out of our youth and set us on a path of low fertility and high divorce rates as couples meander meaninglessly through life. Perfect hedonistic consumers and worker bees for a system that hates them.

Some would argue that it’s the role of parents to teach their children these things. I agree. But if you follow that argument to its logical conclusion, sex-ed in toto, should be the role of parents. Unfortunately, we live in a society that spirals further down the path of its own destruction with every generation. At some point, you have to take a step back and set things back on course with a sense of determination.

Someday, I’d like to see a culture reemerge from the decay of Weimerica where honest spiritual leaders, (and more importantly FATHERS), rather than politicians, set the tone for our children’s transition from childhood to adulthood. A time of moral guidance and acceptance of our natural gender roles. There will always be the tug of instinct when it comes to sex. Humans are compelled, just as dogs, cats and horses, by “muh cummies.” But, we have the capacity for intellect and morality that animals do not.

Things will only further decay until the day comes when we embrace that virtue once again.

-By Dixie Anon