Wednesday, October 29, 2008
New Yorker Examines Why So Many Evangelical Teenagers Become Pregnant
The New Yorker: Red Sex, Blue Sex: Why do so many evangelical teen-agers become pregnant?, by Margaret Talbot:
In early September, when Sarah Palin, the Republican candidate for Vice-President, announced that her unwed seventeen-year-old daughter, Bristol, was pregnant, many liberals were shocked, not by the revelation but by the reaction to it. They expected the news to dismay the evangelical voters that John McCain was courting with his choice of Palin. Yet reports from the floor of the Republican Convention, in St. Paul, quoted dozens of delegates who seemed unfazed, or even buoyed, by the news....
During the campaign, the media has largely respected calls to treat Bristol Palin’s pregnancy as a private matter. But the reactions to it have exposed a cultural rift that mirrors America’s dominant political divide. Social liberals in the country’s “blue states” tend to support sex education and are not particularly troubled by the idea that many teen-agers have sex before marriage, but would regard a teen-age daughter’s pregnancy as devastating news. And the social conservatives in “red states” generally advocate abstinence-only education and denounce sex before marriage, but are relatively unruffled if a teen-ager becomes pregnant, as long as she doesn’t choose to have an abortion.
The article features law professors Naomi Cahn (George Washington University) and June Carbone (University of Missouri--Kansas City) and their upcoming book about "red families" and "blue families," which they argue live under "different moral imperatives."