Tuesday, October 04, 2005

Is this the long way we wanted our babies to go?

Remember the old Virginia Slims ads and their slogan, "You've come a long way, baby."? Well, it appears that young girls are going a lot farther now than before.

Freewheeling young women in the United States and Canada first have intercourse at the age of 15, partake more in oral sex than previous generations and are far less prudish, according to a landmark new report by researchers at California's San Diego State University.

Between 1943 and 1999, the age of first intercourse dropped to 15 from 19 for females, while the percentage of sexually active young women rose to 47 percent from just 13 percent in 1943, according to the study that appears in the most recent issue of the Review of General Psychology.

"Feelings of sexual guilt plummeted, especially among young women. Attitudes toward premarital sex became dramatically more liberal over the same period," the analysis of 530 studies spanning five decades and involving more than a quarter of a million young people said.

Over the same 56-year period, approval of premarital sex increased from 12 percent to 73 percent among young women, while the figure rose from 40 percent to 79 percent among young men, according to the study.

The study revealed that the massive cultural revolution that swept North America in the past 30 years had contributed dramatically to the shift as movies and television shows tacked formerly taboo topics such as teenage pregnancy, abortion, sexually transmitted diseases and rape.

Is this really "progress"? Having our children engaging in potentially dangerous and destructive behaviors as a statement of liberation?

Of course, the moment anyone suggests restraint, the pro-promiscuity side shrieks about how rights are being trampled, male domination of woman, blah-blah-woof-woof. What has gone so haywire with society that the mere suggestion that girls wait a while and get to know the guy who's gherkin they're jerkin' is out of bounds?

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