Teaching Chastity to Our Teens

Matthew Habiger OSB, PhD
Permission Granted

Many consider chastity impossible for today's teenagers. Why is that? This was not the case 20 years ago. Teens today have been victimized by their culture, the media and now by their schools. They live in a "sex gone wild" culture, where chastity is belittled and promiscuity is encouraged. Planned Parenthood (PP) knows that if they can unleash the sex drive of youth, then hedonism sets in, and youth are enslaved to their passions. All of which makes for good business for PP's pharmaceuticals and abortion mills. But look at what it does to our youth, our families, and our society.

"This (distribution of condoms) is not an issue of morality. It is a matter of life and death," said the chancellor of New York City schools in 1992. What he fails to understand is that when you separate morality from real life, you always get death.

An article from the Associated Press (Washington Post, 16 October 1997) indicates that genital herpes is on the increase. Despite the emphasis on safer sex to prevent AIDS, genital herpes has increased fivefold since the late 1970s among white teenagers. In all, about one in five Americans over age 12 has this sexually transmitted infection, and most don't know it, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported.

Parents who resist distribution of condoms in public high schools are called "overprotective." PP and Sexuality Information and Education Council ofthe United States (SIECUS) types in the high schools consider themselves to be "protectors of youth" even when they know that condoms have a 15–20% failure rate when used as contraceptives.

The Ten Commandments, prayer, and religion have been taken out of the American public school system. Sex ed, sex clinics and free condoms have been introduced in their place. What do we expect the future to hold for our youth?

We live in a popular culture which regards sex as candy for big children and celebrates complete sexual freedom while denouncing date rape and sexual harassment, and apparently seeing no connection among them.

Will we learn that there is no freedom without self–control and self–restraint, that we cannot claim to be free while enslaved to our passions, and that sex is a mighty power to be harnessed and channeled? Can hedonists understand that there are greater goods than the pursuit of pleasure? How much more dissolution and dissipation among our youth will it take before we can admit that the solution is not more sex ed, earlier desensitizing, contraception, and uninhibited sex?

Sex has always been powerful and unruly. Our best help in gaining selfmastery over sex has always been reliance upon God, grace, prayer and self–discipline. Public and Private schools have known this for generations . Why can't this generation rediscover what so many other generations knew?