Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Puritanism the source of the teen pregnancy epidemic?

Charles M. Blow, in the New York Times, has identified the source of the problem of high teen pregnancy rates in the U. S. as ... puritanism:
If there is a shame here, it’s a national shame — a failure of our puritanical society to accept and deal with the facts.
And we all know how high teen pregnancy rates were among the puritans, don't we?


Sir Galen of Bristol said...

This is a variation on the popular meme of blaming AIDS deaths on the Catholic Church's ban on condoms.

Sir Elton John blamed the death of Queen vocalist Freddie Mercury on the Catholic Church. Yeah, right, Freddie died of extreme piety, and not because he lived like the rock star he was.

And all those teenage girls turning up pregnant are fervent Calvinists, are they?

Anonymous said...

In spite of Puritain New England being similar to Taliban Afganistan's theocracy (with a long list of "sins" being harshly punishable by "secular" authorities), at least a few of them Puritan girls did things other than farm work. See:


Lee said...

It's always fun to throw the charge of hypocrisy, isn't it?

There's a conservative Christian who approaches men in the public restrooms. What a hypocrite.

There's no such thing as liberal hypocrites.

Well, unless you find liberals doing things that they preach against.

Such as Warren Buffett coming out in favor of the inheritance tax on principle, but not disclosing that he makes a lot of money buying companies that have to be sold to pay inheritance taxes.

Such as Noam Chomsky saying inheritance is an evil, and setting up trust funds for his own kids.

Speaking of Chomsky, how about saying the Pentagon is an evil institution, and then turning around and making millions on defense contracts?

Or Al Gore admonishing people who attended his speech if they drove rather than walked or rode public transportation -- while a couple of Chevy Suburbans and Town Car limousines were idling outside -- yes, idling outside -- waiting for him and his entire entourage to finish up.

The difference between conservatives who are hypocrites and liberals who are hypocrites is that, when conservatives are hypocrites, they make their lives and the lives of their loved ones worse.

When liberals are hypocrites, they make their lives and the lives of their loved ones better.

It's Al Gore's principles, not mine, that say you shouldn't waste fuel. It's Chomsky's principles that say the Pentagon is an evil institution, not mine. It's Buffett's principles that say it's wrong to collect wealth that was passed down from someone else, to keep from concentrating wealth in a few hands. (So then it's okay to move that wealth to a multi-billionaire?)

But don't pay attention to that crazed conservative behind the keyboard. Repeat after me: only conservatives are ever hypocrites.

Anonymous said...

I don't know what teen pregnancy rates were among 17th century puritans, Martin. Do you? If I were guessing, I would guess it would be pretty high, because puritan girls were probably mostly married by the time they were 18.

Thats why puritanism is a problem, Martin. Its a lot easier to abstain until marriage if you are getting married at age 16.

Lee said...

If you want to bring back abstinence, let me explain how.

If a boy knocks up an underage girl, he needs to spend a year in reform school.

Why not? A grown man gets sent to prison for having sex with an underage girl, and there are a lot of grown men who have a lot more to offer a teenage girl in terms of marriage and money. A teenager who commits an adult crime generally does not get an adult punishment, but that doesn't mean he should get no punishment.

Why is it against the law for a man to have sex with an underage girl, but not against the law for an underage boy to have sex with an underage girl?

Back in the day, there were shotgun marriages to keep boys honest. That doesn't look like such a bad idea, but maybe incarcerating them is more to the point.