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Our Children Are Our Future and Worth Fighting For

August 24, 1995

Shari Roan should be congratulated for her intelligent, pull-no-punches piece "The Invisible Men" (July 10), which addressed the issue of sexual abuse or coercion by adult men as a major factor in teen-age pregnancy.

When Roan reminds us that it is easier to blame pregnant teen-age girls because they are "no one's political constituents," we should hang our heads in collective shame. The implied message that abused children quickly learn is that they don't matter. They are not worth fighting for.

Our children are our future--our dreams for ourselves. When we abandon our children, we abandon our dreams. Langston Hughes asked, "What happens to a dream deferred? Does it dry up like a raisin in the sun? Or fester like a sore . . . or does it explode?"

The abandonment of our children is exploding in our faces.

RACHEL KUSHER

Los Angeles

*

Your excellent series on teen pregnancy was just the sort of in-depth report I expect from a paper like The Times ("1 in 8: Who's To Blame for Teen Pregnancy," July 9-12). I think Dr. Lawrence Neinstein's point about our culture's mixed messages needs reiteration.

Our children are subject to nature's hormonal urges and their own youthful curiosity. They are further influenced by our commerce-driven popular culture, which treats sex as just another commodity--buy it, use it and toss it. To counter these powerful forces, fear and superstition are clearly inadequate.

I agree with Sue Rabinowitz that "we need to come to terms with sexuality in this country." Until we adults can set a proper example of healthy sexual behavior, we can hardly expect kids to do any better.

DIANE K. MITCHELL, Hemet

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