Field of Science

The political divide and views on sex

There is a cultural rift that mirrors America’s dominant political divide, and it's all about sex.

I was directed to this excellent article, Red Sex Blue Sex, about attitudes towards sex in red and blue states in the United States by Tom Rees of Epiphenom. I highly recommend reading it to those who think that
  • abstinence-only sexual education for teenagers works,
  • morality is superior in the Bible Belt,
  • there are fewer instances of sexually transmitted diseases among Evangelicals and other Christians,
  • God is a better guide to sexuality than parents,
  • non-Christian Americans get pregnant earlier, or that
  • a certain attitude toward sex implies equal sexual behavior.

From the article:
Social liberals in the country’s “blue states” tend to support sex education and are not particularly troubled by the idea that many teen-agers have sex before marriage, but would regard a teen-age daughter’s pregnancy as devastating news. And the social conservatives in “red states” generally advocate abstinence-only education and denounce sex before marriage, but are relatively unruffled if a teen-ager becomes pregnant, as long as she doesn’t choose to have an abortion.
In short, it is misguided to obtain your moral views on sexual intercourse and all that from the Bible. When we educate our children we better not ignore that they are humans with a natural desire. To do so 1) makes them unhappy adults, and 2) doesn't work anyway.


  1. Depends whehter or not you view children as 'arrows for the war'...

    Psalm 127: "Like arrows in the hands of a warrior are sons born in one's youth. Blessed is the man whose quiver is full of them. They will not be put to shame when they contend with their enemies in the gate."

    Apparently a lot of fundies take that line seriously.

  2. Yes, by all means, let's not tell our children that abstinence has a 100% success rate, and that other methods have <100% success rates. Great idea! And committed monogamous relationships (the Bible's idea) - that's also sheer idiocy. What could possibly be good about that setup?

    Besides, our children are spineless morons, totally unable to plan ahead and exercise willpower and sound judgment. They just jump off into whatever looks good at the time. Yep, you're right on track! One wonders what you've seen in Takezo and Bjarke to warrant such bizarre thinking.

  3. Well, Rhology, it's not exactly what I've seen in my own sons, who are two and five, and not (telling me that they're) thinking about sex just yet.

    It's that surveys show that those who are taught abstinence-only as family planning aren't able to not have sex, and since they don't know about other means of prevention (or are taught it's plain naughty), they get pregnant in their teens and all thats.

    Did you read the article? As I said above, I recommend it to people like you who think "abstinence-only sexual education for teenagers works."


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