Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Let's talk about Sex

Today I read a wild statistic
About 85 of 1,000 U.S. young people ages 15 to 19 become pregnant, compared with 16 out of every 1,000 in Germany.

Check this out from the Seattle Times

Now what could possibly be the big deal here? Germany has sex everywhere. On my ride to work there must be at least 4 naked titties staring at me (you know, two pictures of naked women... thus 4 naked tits). They are usually some form of advertising, some of them are for sex shops, some of them are advertising just about anything else. There is one in the subway that advertises window blinds... don't get the correlation between naked bodies and the latest mini-blinds? Well, neither do I... but I know that ad is for window blinds, and I don't think I could tell you three other ads I see every day on the subway.

With all of this nudity, why aren't these German kids going at it like bunnies? I'll tell you why, because SEX isn't a dirty word here. It is just another normal thing a person deals with in life, and it is treated as such. Everything is out in the open, there is no mystery, no one is saying that if you do it bad things will happen to you. It is just a normal function of the family to discuss it openly.

Likewise we have alcohol. I can't tell you how often growing up in America I drank to the point of puking before I even hit 16. All of my friends were doing the same thing. It was forbidden, so it was cool! But here in Germany the home of Oktoberfest and 250 kinds of beer, kids are brought up with a different belief system. Alcohol is just another of those things which they are exposed to at a young age, so it's not a big mystery. As a result, on the average clubbing night in Berlin a visitor doesn't encounter the hundreds of rolling drunks you would expect in an American city. As a result there are very few fights, and German officials can count on one hand the amount of bar room brawls that have ended in gunfire in the last decade... That's the WHOLE COUNTRY FOLKS.

Now for the why... Why is America still so embroiled in sex, violence and alcohol abuse? There are a myriad of minor reasons all adding up to one huge problem. I don't know about everything, but it seems to me the sex thing is a backlash from being told that people shouldn't do it. What is the one thing a teenager does when someone says "Don't do that"? Well of course they immediately do whatever it is that someone has forbidden them to do. I remember vividly my sister standing in front of me waving her arms and blocking the TV which was blurting out Rod Stewart's "If Ya Think I'm Sexy". She told me that it was the devil's music. Well, I hadn't cared much for ole' Rod up until then, but I saved up money and bought that 8-track immediately (sorry kids, the 8-track explanation will have to wait for another day).

I think is the biggest problem has been the Victorian values passed down to us from our forefathers compounded with the Christian Right and Moral Majority cramming down our throats that we shouldn't enjoy sex. Their entire platform seems to forbid the open discussion about something which is just as natural as taking a shit. And GOD forbid the person that enjoys having sex... you must be a heathen. Or the people who engage in sex for reasons other than procreation... OMG! But that's a whole other topic too...

No comments: