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News-Sentinel.com Your Town. Your Voice.
Opening Arguments

In denial

I report, you deride:

During the campaign, the media has largely respected calls to treat Bristol Palin's pregnancy as a private matter. But the reactions to it have exposed a cultural rift that mirrors America's dominant political divide. 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.

So, one side is, "Oh, no, no, don't, EVER," but "Oops, OK, that's cool," and the other side is, "Hey, kids, do whatever you want," but, "Oh, my God, how could this HAPPEN?" I'll let you decide which is more realistic and more likely to produce healthy families.


Wed, 10/29/2008 - 7:36pm

That's a bit funny, Leo, since the article goes on to point out that the blue states blow the red states out of the water when it comes to traditional definitions of strong families--less divorce, less disease, stronger family units (though of course more abortions). It's less that permissive attitudes lead to hypocritical behaviors then that young people in wealthy states (which tend to be liberal) see much more at stake in having a baby then those in more disadvantaged red state areas, excluding the inner cities. This isn't because they have more abortions, but because they delay sex longer and have fewer partners. Seems to me to have a take-home lesson for conservatives everywhere--we have to make young people aware of the financial (not just the moral) cost of sex before we can expect them to treat it rationally.