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Teen-Agers and Premarital Sex

May 17, 1986

Thomas' article infuriated me more than his self-righteous moralizing usually does. Of course we should tell our teen-agers not to engage in premarital sex! Of course we should set standards of behavior (sexual and otherwise) for our children. But let's not forget that hormones and feelings will often get the best of even the most well-meaning teen-ager. And to cope with that we need adequate birth control information, prenatal care and yes, the choice of abortion.

However, the hidden agenda in Thomas' piece was far more insidious. Did anyone notice his off-the-wall remark about the unenforceability of a law against unmarried sex?

He didn't say that such a law would be evil; that the sexual relationships of consenting adults are none of his or anyone else's business. He merely bemoans the fact that this invasion of our most sacred privacy would be impractical!

Thomas goes on to imply that women, by not withholding sex until marriage, are responsible for the lack of commitment in today's men. If the only thing that can evoke a sense of commitment in a man is the promise of sexual gratification, then marriage has just been reduced to the basest form of prostitution.

Why anyone would want to bring back puritanism is beyond me, but Thomas obviously does.

If I remember my history, Puritans were the most joyless sect extant. They believed in guilt, guilt and more guilt. Their idea of a good time was a witch hunt (which might be a clue as to why Thomas reveres them so).



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