Summary: Knowing and applying God’s truth to sexuality brings freedom and blessing.
Those of you who are my age or older I want you to try to remember back to your high school days. As I read this news item from June 18th ask yourself this question, “How did we, as a nation, get here?”
As summer vacation begins, 17 girls at Gloucester High School are expecting babies — more than four times the number of pregnancies the 1,200-student school had last year. Some adults dismissed the statistic as a blip. Others blamed hit movies like Juno and Knocked Up for glamorizing young unwed mothers. But principal Joseph Sullivan knows at least part of the reason there’s been such a spike in teen pregnancies in this Massachusetts fishing town. School officials started looking into the matter as early as October, after an unusual number of girls began filing into the school clinic to find out if they were pregnant. By May, several students had returned multiple times to get pregnancy tests, and on hearing the results, "some girls seemed more upset when they weren’t pregnant than when they were," Sullivan says. All it took was a few simple questions before nearly half the expecting students, none older than 16, confessed to making a pact to get pregnant and raise their babies together. Then the story got worse. "We found out one of the fathers is a 24-year-old homeless guy," the principal says, shaking his head.
The girls who made the pregnancy pact — some of whom, according to Sullivan, reacted to the news that they were expecting with high fives and plans for baby showers — declined to be interviewed. So did their parents. But Amanda Ireland, who graduated from Gloucester High on June 8, thinks she knows why these girls wanted to get pregnant. Ireland, 18, gave birth her freshman year and says some of her now pregnant schoolmates regularly approached her in the hall, remarking how lucky she was to have a baby. "They’re so excited to finally have someone to love them unconditionally," Ireland says. "I try to explain it’s hard to feel loved when an infant is screaming to be fed at 3 a.m."
The high school has done perhaps too good a job of embracing young mothers. Sex-ed classes end freshman year at Gloucester, where teen parents are encouraged to take their children to a free on-site day-care center. Strollers mingle seamlessly in school hallways among cheerleaders and junior ROTC. "We’re proud to help the mothers stay in school," says Sue Todd, CEO of Pathways for Children, which runs the day-care center.
Gloucester’s elected school committee plans to vote later this summer on whether to provide contraceptives. But that won’t do much to solve the issue of teens wanting to get pregnant.
Kathleen Kingsbury, “Pregnancy Boom at Gloucester High,” Wednesday, Jun. 18, 2008
Welcome to modern America! That bizarre little story is just a taste of what’s on the way. I fear that we are only beginning to harvest the bitter fruits of the sexual revolution that began in the 1960s. That was the era when young people started overthrowing biblical standards for a more liberated view of sexual expression. In one generation we made the transition from one man and one woman in marriage “until death do us part” to “If it feels good, do it!” Ironically, what we thought would bring freedom is leading us into bondage and setting out nation up for ruin.