Hey, kids!

by the Night Writer

Dudes…are you discouraged because those adult-sized condoms are too big? Well, you don’t have to let it affect your self-esteem any longer! Unfortunately, you have to live in Switzerland, though, where a company is now offering kiddie condoms:

At first glance, the Ceylor Hotshot condom might appear similar to others in the market.

But this smaller-sized condom, thus far marketed only in Switzerland, is designed to deal with the specific problem of teenage pregnancy and the spread of disease among boys as young as 14.

Nysse Norballe, a spokeswoman for Swiss condom manufacturer Lamprecht AG, said the company was approached by the AIDS awareness organization AIDS-Hilfe Switzerland with the idea to produce and market a condom for a younger age group.

The organization “had carried out many studies which found that a lot of young people — i.e. teenagers — had trouble finding a suitably sized condom,” she said. “They needed a smaller-sized condom and asked us if we could manufacture it.”

Norballe disagreed with the idea that the new condoms would increase rates of teen sex.

“We are not advocating that young people have sex,” Norballe said. “But you cannot prevent young people from having sex. Whether our condom is on the market or not, young people will have sex. At least our condom will create some awareness about protecting oneself.”

So, you can’t stop kids from having sex. Yet we’ve arbitrarily established that kids younger than 16 aren’t mature enough to drive a car. Given the death tolls among young drivers due to lack of experience and judgment, some states are even floating the idea of raising the driving age to 18. Somehow or another, though, we manage to keep the vast majority of under-16 kids from driving even though just about every family has at least one car sitting around. If, however, there’s an outbreak of 13 and 14-year-olds driving and dying are we going to give in and say, “how are you going to stop them?” and begin offering driver’s ed to middle-schoolers? Come to think of it, they’re already building Smart Cars just their size.

By the same token, we probably can’t keep them from drinking and driving, either, so maybe we should have classes on how to hold their liquor? For that matter, I’m tired of all the teenage gang-bangers shooting innocent by-standers while they try to kill each other. Why don’t we start teaching fire-arms safety and proper target acquisition and aiming techniques in schools to save lives? Do it for the children! I can definitely see making some of these young bravos stay after class to write 500 times on the chalkboard, “I will not hold my semi-automatic sideways when shooting. I will not hold my semi-automatic sideways when shooting. I will not…”

As a society we understand that young people don’t have the maturity and decision-making skills to drive, drink (and even vote) and have laws to restrict this; yet in the area of sex we act as if we’re helpless.

7 thoughts on “Hey, kids!

  1. Jelly-spined adults, cowering in front of their teenagers?

    “Go ahead and have sex. I can’t stop you. Do you need some money? Please don’t hit me.”

    What a pathetic load of pantywaists.

  2. Please don’t teach proper shooting techniques to gang-bangers, or the death rate would go up astronomically! :^)

    (teach the John Woo grip; it saves lives!)

  3. Intellectually I understand where they’re going with this but I have to say that it makes me ALL KINDS OF UNCOMFORTABLE. Just…wow.

    Just out of curiosity, what would your solution be? Assuming, of course, that your solution doesn’t depend on parents being parents. Because until we limit who can actually procreate or regulate who can keep their kids, responsible parenting is not a given.

  4. @bubba: Well, kids are going to shoot each other and there’s nothing we can do about it, so we at least ought to teach them HOW to shoot so they can hit the other gang-banger they’re shooting at … and not the innocent kid two blocks away doing her homework.

    @Hayden: of course my answer involves parents being parents…and society encouraging parents to be parents. It’s not that far back in our collective past. I well remember my 14-year-old hormones, but I also had an upbringing that emphasized right and wrong (though maybe not to the detail that I’ve used with my kids). I knew what was expected and what line I shouldn’t cross, and so did the girls then. Not that we didn’t try to make that line pretty fuzzy over the years. Our parents and the culture still held certain ideals and the girls had a sense that they could say “no” and be supported…now it’s as if the entire culture has turned on them and the concept of chastity and they’re the ones made to feel as if they’re the weird ones for not going along.

    It wasn’t perfect by any means, and lines can be hard to see in the dark (but I can testify that it’s not impossible). That’s part of why we’ve taught our girls not to put yourself in a position to be in the dark in the first place. The young men who have come into their sphere have also received friendly but direct and unmistakeable “counseling” from me of what is required if hey wish to remain in that sphere.

    And we’ve also taught my daughters how to shoot (two-handed grip, front and back sight aligned on center mass).

  5. Another thought that comes to mind; can you imagine the brutal mockery and humiliation that would be poured out on any boy who possessed one? He’d be called “Little Willy” or some such name until he was 50!

    So maybe this isn’t as bad an idea as originally thought….. :^)

    Seriously, our gracious host answers Hayden’s question quite well. When adults stand up and say “no, we are not going to help you have sex” to kids, they will take notice, even if the adult speaking is not the father of that child. It’s worth noting that when society viewed itself as “in loco parentis” rather than “parens patriae,” kids were not only less promiscuous, but also…..

    ….happier. Kids need limits, and society in generally needs to understand their responsibility to emphasize those limits to kids–even ones that are not their own.

  6. Perhaps I wasn’t as clear as I meant to be. I didn’t ask the question in jest…I am 100% serious about how to ‘create better parents’ because I am convinced that parenting, and healthy families, are at the core of fixing many of the problems in our society.

    I think the problem I have with the solution you have mentioned is that it seems to imply that these problems are new or, if not, bigger now than in times past. But if you look at the data of, for example, teen pregnancy, it had actually been on the decline for some number of years even in the midst of the technology/internet boom and the advent of ‘sexting’, etc.

    When most people refer to a golden age of our culture, they tend to mean the 50’s (I don’t know if you are, so this is a generalization in this instance). But divisive issues like communism and segregation were at the forefront of our national consciousness, no matter what was on television.

    There was a stark difference between the reality experienced by those who fit the predominant image of what was acceptable and ‘followed the rules’ and those who didn’t…and who were often marginalized.

    Yet it seems to me that, in spite of what the realities were, you are seeking to create a society that is wholesome. I think this is admirable and that a sense of social/peer pressure, an execution of the social contract, could make a difference.

    Except that it can’t.

    Unless, that is, we can nurture a sense of community. I truly believe that in order to accomplish what you want you’ll need (1) community, (2) LOTS of education, and (3) people who are willing to step up and parent children who are in most need of parenting. Foster kids, orphans; children whose parents were not ready, and are not ready, to be parents.

    Without that framework in place, however, I don’t believe that what you are suggesting is feasible.

  7. Hayden, I didn’t think your question was in jest and my answer wasn’t flippant. It is consistent with the writing I’ve done before on discipleship and self-government among other things. When you ask what my solution would be, there is only one answer for me, quixotic as it may be: it has to come from within us, it cannot be forced down upon us by government edict or well-meaning program that bears its own unintended consequences. Bear with me for two paragraphs here as lay out something and then I’ll return to your comment – and your own vision.

    Liberty today has come to mean “the freedom to do whatever I want and shame on anyone who would try to restrain me!” Without the proper perspective, however, the things we “want” in this case typcially turn out to be self-indulging and based on immediate gratification. Liberty, to me, means knowing what I want and being able to pursue it even though it may appear that I deny my wants in the short-term for my greater goal. Thus the founding fathers pledged to sacrifice their “lives, their fortunes and their sacred honor” for the cause of Liberty (self-determination)…all so we can boink away, of course! My belief is that the more we value and revel in our baser freedoms, the less we value or even think about our greater ones and in our distraction we even become incapable of remembering or acting on these.

    I don’t think of the 50s as a golden age, illuminated in our memories by the warm colors of an old Wurlitzer juke-box pumping out songs from a more “innocent” era. As you pointed out, there were great injustices in that time (as there have ever been and ever will be). It may surprise you that I don’t wish for an edict for everyone to live, or appear to live, morally. The appearance may be nice but it breeds complacency and feeds the human tendency to settle for “normal” as Depravity hides in the dark of the well-tended shrubberies and we lie to ourselves that it doesn’t exist. Now it has been drawn out into the open for the battle each individual, and each generation, must fight even if the terms of the battle don’t appear to be in our favor.

    Ok, those last two paragraphs are rather esoteric. To bring it back to a more personal level and to your two comments, I don’t think there’s a program in the world – government or otherwise – that can remove bad parenting and the harvest of more bad parenting that it produces. When you ask what my solution is, I can only see it as having to come from within each individual seeking to pursue and live to a higher standard, letting the fruit of that be seen so that it might attract others, and giving a headstart to the next generation which will have to continue the fight. (The battle may not be as clear cut then as it is today, but we are fools if think it is ever really over.) As a parent I do that not so much by rules and decree (though that approach will have some affect). It’s not just the “do’s” and “don’ts” but “whys” and “wherefores” as well as I try to show and live out the principles behind my actions and expectations for my children, even if it means that I sacrifice some of my “freedom” to accomplish that. (This does not mean I have been able to root out all my personal selfishness from my life, and my wife and kids can likely detail those short-comings.)

    As we have discussed here before, not every parent attempts that; some because they were not equipped to do so and some because they never thought it was possible in the first place. One of the messages I try to deliver on this blog is that it IS possible and here is our version of what it can look like. In the process, yes, we create that Community you referred to, small as it may appear to be. Community is desperately important as we learn from and exhort each other and also create a place where those who came out of (or are caught in) bad situations can be loved, mended, trained and sent out to use their own journey to help others.

    Yes, this is the wholesomenss you spoke of, as well as the Community, education and social contract, of stepping up to help others become better parents and fostering those (of any age) who have suffered. Unless we build that framework ourselves, piece by piece, believing it is not only possible but essential, it won’t happen. It has to grow from the ground up, not pushed from the top down because everyone has to “own” it for themselves, not leave it to others – like the government – to fulfill their personal responsibility. Think of your own vision, and what you hope to accomplish. Will the change you hope to see on a large scale take place without you first convicting and winning over individual hearts – or fighting that battle in each life who comes to you for help?

    You are well able!

    Some past posts from here that illuminate this further (hey = one of these even includes a comment from you!):


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.