Friday, July 29, 2005

'Expert' Advice From Planned Parenthood's Teenwire

Today's "Ask the Experts" column on Planned Parenthood's Teenwire Web site features this question:

Im 14, im a guy. I thought i was bi, but the other day, i let a guy have sex with me, i didnt like it that much, i told him to stop, but he kept doing it, was that rape?
The "Experts"' response boils down to "[w]e all have the right to say no to sex," and it includes links to resources for rape survivors. Noticeably absent, however, is any implication that the experts realize maybe, just maybe, considering he's receiving anal sex at such a young age, something is terribly wrong in the teenager's life. From a purely physical standpoint, it can't be good for him.

Also noticeably absent from Planned Parenthood's sage advice is any concern over whether the boy has allowed himself to be exploited by an older man—in fact, the experts don't even seem to care that he's opened himself up to the possibility of disease. There's so much more than the rape issue here, yet Planned Parenthood's guardians of childhood seem terrified to stray beyond the narrowest interpretation of the child's question, for fear they might make (gasp!) a value judgment.

What Planned Parenthood resolutely ignores, in all its literature online and off, is that defending children's health and well-being cannot possibly be a values-neutral operation.

Yet, the sad truth is that Teenwire really isn't values-neutral. It's got a values system designed to benefit Kinsey-loving adults who believe that encouraging children to pursue sexual freedom is more important than protecting them from predators.

Look at the inquiring 14-year-old's comment, "I thought I was bi." Where did he get the idea that it was safe to take his "thoughts" all the way to home plate at age 14?

It could well have been from the myriad of "LGBTQ" (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgendered, or questioning) articles on Teenwire, including "The ABCDs of LGBT Dating." The young rape victim could have even met his partner through taking that article's advice on hooking up through the Internet: "Some LGBTQ teens find each other online, which can be the fastest way to connect with others in your area."

"The ABCDs of LGBT Dating" also includes some safety caveats for meeting sex partners via the 'Net, which would be laughable if they weren't so appalling—e.g., "To be extra safe, bring a friend along." I'm sure online predators just love it when 14-year-old boys bring along their pals.

At some point in the sex-ed debate, you have to ask yourself: What is more loving to a child? To tell the child, "Because I love you, I can't in good conscience allow you to behave in a way that will harm you"? Or to say, "Because I love you and I know I can't stop you, go ahead and have fun—I'll be here to take you to the emergency room"?

It should be obvious enough, from the mere fact that Planned Parenthood murders a quarter-million children a year, that it does not particularly care about them as individuals. Its advice to the 14-year-old rape victim reveals the institutionalized detachment with which it views the children it teaches "comprehensive sexual education"—as cold and clinical as a curettage knife.

To learn more about Teenwire and what Planned Parenthood means by "comprehensive sexual education," read my Touchstone magazine article "The Young and the Hot-Wired.