Just recently someone linked to a news article in the Atlantic Wire reporting on a study of teen sexual activity (conducted by the US Department of Health and Human Services). Surprisingly, the report suggested that there has been a significant decline in the number of individual teens engaging in the act of sex in their teen years. That’s great news!
Here’s something remarkable: In 1988 it is reported that 60% of males in their teens had had sex at least once; as of 2010, that number had dropped to 42%. That’s quite a drop!
My first response was to be quite encouraged by this report. I was also encouraged by the fact that many of the teens who had not had sex cited ‘religion or morals’ as the reason. There is much to be happy about here.
But as I looked at the chart longer, something else jumped out at me. The significant drop in numbers of males having sex in their teen years is not matched by the girls. While there is decline, it’s not nearly keeping up. For the first time now, as of 2010, there are more teenage girls having sex than there are teenage boys. As a father of three girls, that absolutely crushed me to consider.
I suppose this is somewhat to be expected as feminism has become less of a movement and more mainstream culture. After all, movies like Black Swan and Sex and the City seem to be all the rage. As our culture continues to tell our girls that it’s good and helpful and healthy to pursue sexuality ‘without consequences,’ I guess it’s only natural that eventually girls will listen.
The sad truth, however, is that these numbers aren’t movies. They’re not characters who cease to exist after the 1.5 hour romp of fun and exploration. They are people who are being wounded & scarred by these inappropriate sexual experiences that will change their lives (and the lives of their future spouses) forever. It is simply tragic.
Where Are the Fathers?
As I think about the fact that more teenage girls than boys are having sex, one question comes to my mind that I cannot shake: Where are the fathers?
Where are the fathers of these girls who are willing to tell them the truth about the love and intimacy and the intertwining of souls that God intended sex to be for? Where are the fathers who are involved in their daugthers’ lives enough to know who they’re dating and where they are when they are out at night? Where are the fathers who are willing to tell their girls the truth about boys and hormones and selfishness and sin? Where are the men who will protect the daughters God has given them?
I pray that God would give me grace to be the kind of father that my girls need me to be so that they don’t fall prey to the seduction of the world and the lies of consequence-free living and meaning-in-relationships. All of this is a good reminder to me to pray for my girls, beginning now.