I have ample evidence to support my position. I’ll start with the work that MTV has already done with 16 and Pregnant and Teen Mom 1 and 2. As noted in my article, studies of young people who have been exposed to just those two shows alone have demonstrated a very positive and lasting impression has been made upon young people to wait for marriage and school before engaging in sexual activities.
The second source of evidence relates somewhat to behavior modification as a child-rearing and social order practice. At www.livesinthebalance.org, they have collated 40 years of experience working with kids to show that reward and punishment don’t work. Their experience is that collaborating with kids to solve their problems works far better than the threat of any punishment. I believe that their methods allow kids to grow up with a strong sense of self, strong enough to avoid situations like an unintended pregnancy.
I believe that if people knew they could do better, they would. I believe that when people have the knowledge and skills to get their needs met without harming others, they will err on the side of peace. I also believe that if young adults are armed with the knowledge and experience required to avoid unwanted pregnancies, they will more than likely manage to avoid unwanted pregnancies.
If kids are raised to be internally directed and motivated, rather than motivated by fear of punishment and lust for reward, then enforcing male responsibility is no longer an issue. Boys raised properly will grow up to have empathy for the girls and women in their lives. Girls raised properly will have the skills and experience to avoid situations that give rise to unintended pregnancies. Both boys and girls can be raised to see each other as peers to see each other as equally responsible for the outcome, pregnancy or no pregnancy.
My final point is this: Evangelical Christians live in a culture where men are raised to believe that they are superior to the women in their lives. They are raised to believe that they cannot be held accountable by women. There is no other way that I can see, to explain their zeal for such extreme anti-abortion laws.
Thanks for raising an interesting point of discussion, John.