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Promoting Intimacy and Other-Centered Sexuality
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We Should Learn From The Swedes: "every
baby should be wanted"
U.S. a mystery to Swedes - Different view of abortion and sex education with a far
better result. The religious right objecting to Elders as surgeon general is widely
discussed in Sweden as an example of what is so weird about America and our immature
ideas as discussed in USA Today 8/10/93
The U.S. is one of the most sexually repressed countries in the industrialized world
yet we have a teen pregnancy rate that is the highest. 10 times higher than Japan
in fact, and growing at 5% a year. American inner-city girls begin displaying their
expanding abdomens as a badge of honor as early as age 12, although 80% of teen
pregnancies are unintended. Only 50% of the 70-80% of sexually active teens use
contraception. Nine of 10 juvenile jail inmates are products of single-parent homes.
In some ethnic groups, 80% of babies are born into poverty.
While abortion is the backup answer to unintended pregnancy among the highest socioeconomic
groups, it is meeting increased resistance for the poor. The American policy is
save the $350 for an abortion so we can pay $35,000 in welfare and child support
payments for an unwanted child. The direct medical and indirect social costs of
teen pregnancy approach $50 billion per year, the cost of shattered lives is incalculable
HOW DIFFERENT IN SWEDEN! - There motto is "every baby should be wanted,"
and one or two children family is the norm. Not 5-10 so mother can get more welfare
Sweden's sex education in schools considers the reproductive system just as important
as the digestive, respiratory or nervous systems. Sex education starts in kindergarten;
it is more formally introduced in third grade. Upon graduation from elementary school
Swedish children are completely familiar with the anatomy and physiology of reproduction,
family planning, sexually transmitted diseases, contraception, abortion and the
importance of responsible parenthood.
Swedish teens are just as sexually active as ours, but pregnancy due to failure
of contraception is usually followed by abortion, which is available to all regardless
of income. But the incidence of teen-age pregnancy, abortion, STD's and AIDS is
far lower than in the U.S.
Congress should recognize that sex education is just as important as sanitation,
chlorination, immunization, pasteurization and fluoridation as a public health and
quality of life issue. In America we flaunt sex in ads, TV soaps and movies but
hypocritically refuse to acknowledge that it even exists. Abstinence is an viable
option just as responsible teen age sexuality is an option and in fact probably
a better more mature option. We need more caring, intimate, loving, giving to each
other sexuality, vs the tease and titillation due such an immature, sexually repressed
Even Catholics going against the Churches stand 52% believe sex outside of marriage
is NOT morally wrong, 59% support abortion rights, 87% support artificial birth
control, 48% homosexuality not wrong (Gallup 8/93, error margin 7%).
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