Sexual impropriety and criminal behavior have been in the news a lot over the past few weeks. Lt. Col.Jeffrey Krusinskis, the man who headed the Air Force's Sexual Assault Prevention and Response Office was himself arrested on charges of groping a woman he did not know in a parking lot in Arlington, Virginia. Then on May 7th, the Washington Times reported:
A Pentagon study has found a sharp increase in the number of sexual assaults in the ranks, as the military plans to put men and women in even closer contact among ground combat units in coming years. A confidential Pentagon survey found that 26,000 service members responded that they had been sexually abused, which is defined as unwanted sexual contact. That number has increased from 19,000 in 2011. The figures rocked the administration Tuesday, with President Obama publicly rebuking military offenders and Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel appearing in the Pentagon press room to beseech commanders to take complaints seriously and root out offenders.
According to an aritcle in the Washington Times communities section:" A U.S. Army report released last year claimed that the rate of violent sexual crime in the military has risen by 60 percent since 2006. According to the report, “rape, sexual assault, and forcible sodomy were the most frequent violent sex crimes committed in 2011.” Women accounted for 95 percent of the victims."
The same article reports "Less than two months ago, Human Rights Watch (HRW) came out with a report detailing the failure of the Washington DC Metropolitan Police (MPD) to investigate sexual offenses. They cited numerous methods employed by detectives to ensure that those crimes that did get investigated went nowhere in the legal system. The report documents significant non-compliance by detectives with respect to internal procedures and a lack of supervisory review."
On May 7th three young women were dramatically rescued after enduring 10 years of captivity, abuse and sexual slavery in a Cleveland, Ohio home. On May 23rd a once prominent swim coach, Richard J. Curl was sentenced to seven years in prison for sexual abuse of a girl who was 13 when the abuse began. And now the Boy Scouts of America will not bar any youth from participating because of their professed sexual orientation.
Here in Washington, DC, we send a very confused message to our youth regarding what the right time to have sex is. The answer is simple, when you are married. Period. But what is the message here in DC. The DC Rubber Revolution says: "We want condoms in the hands of the men and women of DC to use for responsible and good sex.". So, just use a condom, and make sure the sex is consensual, sort of, because if alcohol or drugs are involved, as they are in 25% of teen sexual encounters, there is no telling if it is consensual or not. And, of course, make sure your partner is over 13 if you are older than 16, or that is statutory rape.
According to At Large Councilmember David Catania's 2009 Sexual Health Report "youth sexual health is the ability to understand, respect, and enjoy the different dimensions of sexuality". A sidebar in the introductions quotes from the Canadian Health Education Guidelines, 2008 "Sexuality encompasses sex, gender identities and roles, sexual orientation, eroticism, pleasure, intimacy, and reproduction. Sexuality is experienced and expressed in thoughts, fantasies, desires, beliefs, attitudes, values, behavior, practices, roles and relationships".
No wonder our youth are confused. We tell them 'just be 'responsible' and use a condom'. Then we are surprised when sexual crimes occur. We tell them 'don't have sex when you are in high school (or maybe college, too?). But then is it OK to have sex when you are out of high school or college? (Answer: no, unless you are married.)
There is confusion about what sex is for. Is it just for my personal enjoyment? Or is it an integral part of the expression of love, which cannot occur without a partner? And shouldn't that partner be someone of the opposite sex, by design? Isn't that the way we are created? Furthermore, there is a strong correlation, with reports showing those who believe they are homosexual reporting having experienced sexual abuse while growing up.
In research with 942 nonclinical adult participants, gay men and lesbian women reported a significantly higher rate of childhood molestation than did heterosexual men and women. Forty-six percent of the homosexual men in contrast to 7% of the heterosexual men reported homosexual molestation. Twenty-two percent of lesbian women in contrast to 1% of heterosexual women reported homosexual molestation. Archives of Sexual Behavior as referenced at conservopedia.com.
Should we not be focusing on reducing these instances of abuse rather than enabling and legitimizing the aberrant behavior that may come as a result of this abuse?
And don't we want to help our children avoid poverty. Children of women who finish high school, don't marry as a teen, and don't have a baby until they are married have an 8% chance of living in poverty; children of women who don't follow any of these guidelines have a 79% chance of living in poverty.
Sex is ultimately about fulfilling love with your spouse. This love may create new life, in accord with the design of the universe. It is something worth waiting for, and something that we need to guide our children about. I hope that you will join me as we work to provide this type of relationship education and a healthy environment for all of our youth and young adults as they mature.