Here's a little ditty about Jack, Diane and consumer sex

By Angie Vogt, political commentary

Sing along with me that famous John Cougar Mellencamp hit from the 1980s:

“Here’s a little ditty about Jack and Diane, two American kids growing up in the heartland. Jackie’s going to be a football star, Diane’s the debutante in the backseat of Jackie’s car…and is likely to be one of the 25 percent of our teenage girls with an STD.”

OK, I added that last part. It comes from a recent federal study that cited 40 percent as the number among girls who actually admitted to having sex as having a sexually-transmitted disease. What teens defined as “sexually active” varied, depending on the meaning of “is” is, I guess. So, we are left with the daunting statistic that 25 percent of all teenage girls have an STD.

It’s no surprise that representatives from Planned Parenthood are decrying abstinence-only education as the major culprit, since their lion’s share of profits comes from the teenage crowd who improperly use contraceptive methods anyway. They need our children to act like animals and under the guise of caring for them, lobby hard for federal money to flood our schools with their false promises of teaching “safe sex” and offering “comprehensive and accurate medical information” to our children as young as fifth grade.

First off, there is no such thing as safe sex, apart from monogamy. Condoms are known to be of little use in protecting against the fastest growing sexually-transmitted disease, HPV, an incurable virus that also can lead to cervical cancer. So, let’s just establish that “safe sex” for 13-year-olds is a lie.

One of the most irritating and deceptive phrases used by these predators whose livelihood depends on our children acting like animals is “safe, comprehensive sex education that provides accurate medical information.” Those of us with teenagers know that “information” is not what our teens are lacking.

Imagine, if you will, a nutrition class for teens. They learn all about obesity, the dangers and illnesses associated with being overweight, the importance of proper diet and exercise, of limiting saturated fats and sugar and, aw heck, throw in the need for some good omega-3 fish oils for good measure.

Parents know that the typical teenage response to this “comprehensive” nutrition information is to “make good choices” from that point on, right? Forget the pizza and candy — they are likely to beg mom to bypass the Girl Scout cookies and shop instead for organic broccoli and yogurt, right?

Welcome to the grandest error of modernism: “Knowledge equals virtue.” In today’s information and consumer age, we stuff ourselves with all the latest information, a steady diet of sound bites, studies and statistics. We even shop for religious beliefs and change those in and out according to our moods.

This is called first world consumerism or just plain old-fashioned materialism where knowledge, recreation and accumulation of all things recreational are the ultimate value. Isn’t it ironic that today we know more about diet and nutrition, have more access to nutritional foods than ever before, yet as a nation we are fatter and sicker than ever?

Capitalism works well as an economic system, where people (consumers) are free to trade services and goods for a profit, enabling them maximum freedom in providing for their families with minimum government interference.

However, treating relationships and sexuality as just another consumer good is a disaster — socially, emotionally and economically.

I’ve had the pleasure to make acquaintance in recent years with Dr. Jennifer Roback Morse, author of “Smart Sex: Finding Life-Long Love in a Hook Up World.” Look for her book on Amazon.com and you’ll see I actually wrote one her first reviews (by her request).

In “Smart Sex,” Dr. Morse (a former Yale University Economics professor turned Hoover Institute Fellow) identifies the trend of “consumer sex” as the guiding principle in our society today.

We now treat human beings, said Morse, as consumer goods to be traded in as often as we see fit. Relationships begin and end according to our fleeting appetites and moods. This has created a population incapable of delaying self-gratification for a greater good.

As a social trend, we enter and exit sexual relationships with the frequency of other consumer goods.

In the end we have a population of fractured families, emotionally needy and unstable citizens, incapable of controlling their urges. It is frenetic, inhumane and completely unsustainable.

Consumer-oriented sex has undermined our humanity and ability to build lasting and meaningful relationships where sexuality is reserved for the highest end of enriching family life through life-long commitments.

Let’s rewrite that song: “A little ditty about Jack and Diane, two American kids growing up in the heartland. Jackie’s going to be a great dad and husband, Diane is sure to be the best wife and good friend.”

Federal Way resident Angie Vogt: vogt.e@comcast.net. For past columns and further commentary, visit www.soundupdate.com.

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