An United Press International story caught my eye linking teen births to religious beliefs.
Research done by an adjunct faculty member at two Pennsylvania universities showed a striking correlation: in states where conservative religious beliefs and stricter adherence to biblical teachings are practiced, teen births are higher.
Published in the academic journal Reproductive Health, the study concludes girls in these areas may be less likely to use contraceptives which obviously are a factor if they’re sexually active.
I would contend there are probably many other factors involved, including views about abortion or school districts’ emphasis on abstinence-only sex education in those states to name a few.
Ultimately it underscores that the primary responsibility for instructing young women and young men on sexual behavior must lie with the parents. Regardless of your interpretation of Scripture or where you may go to church, if you as a parent don’t chart the course into sexuality for your teen it will get charted nonetheless.
This is not a debate on the value of telling your kids to abstain from sex until marriage versus teaching him or her how to, respectively, apply a condom or get a prescription for birth control pills. If you would like to comment below, feel free.
What the study emphasizes is the need for parents to be the first teacher in many subject areas, and sexuality is no exception.