Our Sex Propaganda Machine

How did sex come to be a “given” in dating relationships? I remember one evening at university when half the girls in my dorm gathered in D’s room to try to talk her out of having sex with her boyfriend. She had announced that she was planning to do it, because he wanted it and she felt she owed it to him. We tried to convince her not to, that she would be making a huge mistake.

Some say the development of “the pill” was responsible for the sexual revolution – a girl could now have sex without getting pregnant. But just because you can do something doesn’t necessarily mean you do it.

There are many reasons why our teens are saying “Yes” to sex instead of “No”, and probably most teens couldn’t really tell you why – because they don’t think about it, they just go along with the crowd. Is anyone – anyone who cares about them, that is – helping them to really think about sex? To see the sex propaganda machine of our culture for what it is?

This propaganda machine tells teens that sex is normal and inevitable, even that it is unhealthy not to have sex, to repress a natural drive. It tells them that the only cautions to be observed are that both parties should want to and that they should always use “protection”. Otherwise, they should try out everything to see what they like, what feels good.

Planned Parenthood is a part of this machine: Thirty years ago they issued a declaration that “children from the age of 10 should have full access, with guaranteed privacy and confidentiality [“Your parents don’t need to know”], to fertility regulation [contraceptives], information [how to be sexual, how to be “safe”], and services [abortion, testing for STIs].” Sex education in the schools is another part. Health care professionals as well: A professor of pediatrics in Toronto tells family doctors that they should all begin talking to their 10, 11, and 12 year-old female patients about using contraceptives and condoms. When the 11-year-old daughter of a Christian friend of mine went for her annual check-up, my friend was not allowed in on the consultation. Her daughter told her afterwards that the pediatrician had said, “You’re at the age now when you should be on the pill.”

The Apostle Paul wrote, “See that no one takes you captive by philosophy and empty deceit, according to human tradition, according to the elemental spirits of the world, and not according to Christ” (Colossians 2:8).

My friend’s daughter said “No.”


October 17, 2014 - 1:36 am

Heidi - I feel so torn about this issue. In my former life, I was a middle school and high school health teacher, and now as a parent of a 9-year-old, there are just so many considerations. I believe the Bible gives specific parameters for healthy sexual relationships. I think our culture has an incredibly unhealthy take on sexuality and its role, especially in the lives of young people. But I also believe the church contributes their own set of problems on the issue. The church (at least the US church, in my opinion) wraps sex, God, and politics so tightly together that it turns into its own perversion and power grab. Additionally, sexuality is often presented as one dimensional in religious circles – as in, don’t do it. I really think we’re getting it all wrong – the church, secular culture – all of us.

November 19, 2014 - 6:44 pm

Barbara Kohl - I totally agree with you, Heidi, on both counts. And as Christians we need to work toward getting it right in the church and not be afraid to speak into the culture.

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