A friendly plea to middle-aged progressive bloggers who have no children of their own:
I know you mean well and think you have the best interests of the kids you want to think you're real cool at heart, but could you please not write so airily and dismissively about things that are worrying the heck out of parents and with which you've had no personal experience in nearly twenty years?
Yes, teenagers have sex and they will have sex no matter what we do or wish and I know it's not supposed to be any big deal...except that it is.
While some of those teenagers are 19, a lot of them are 13. Try writing this dismissively next time: A lot of children in middle school have sex...
And no matter how old they are teenagers don't just have sex. They have relationships of varying degrees of intimacy and intensity and for the most part they are not very smart about choosing whom to get intense and intimate with. Yeah, well, life hurts, I know, and they have to learn it by trying things out and making mistakes and living with the consequences. True enough, except that for an awful lot of kids this approach turns out to be the emotional equivalent of giving them a bottle of Scotch and the keys to the car and saying, It's time you found out what it's like to drive drunk so you can learn from your mistakes.
Speaking of booze. Often, far too often, what may look like teenagers having sex is really teenagers drinking themselves stupid and making really bad decisions as a result. Finding yourself alone and naked and not in complete control of your faculties or even your limbs with someone, or some ones, you really don't want to be alone and naked with is an awful situation to find yourself in.
It may look to you like teenagers are just cheerfully screwing around, the way you did when you were their age---or more likely the way you wish you had been able to, if only you hadn't been such a dork---but a lot of them are also screwing up their lives. Maybe not permanently. But burns heal over time too, doesn't mean you should let the kids play with matches. And for plenty the screwing-up is permanent, and you can't easily predict ahead of time which kids are screwing up their lives for good while seeming to be just screwing around.
And I know that in your little corner of utopia, unwanted pregnancies will be treated as if they are no more than impacted wisdom teeth or, at worst, an inflamed appendix. But Eden's a long way off and that's not how a teenage pregnancy enters the lives of most families who have to deal with one.
Thanks for listening. You can turn that garbage you call music back up now.