Accuracy in Media

The Washington Post ran a story on September 16 about oral sex being prevalent among teens, citing a new study by the National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS). The story by Laura Sessions Stepp quoted Kristin Moore of a group called Child Trends as saying, “If a substantial number of young people are having oral sex, as these numbers indicate, this is a big concern.” But why was this happening?

It just so happened that a former U.S. president by the name of Clinton was in the news at the same time, hosting a “Global Initiative” featuring media top brass such as Rupert Murdoch of News Corporation. Clinton, who had oral sex performed on him by a White House intern not much different in age than his own daughter, might have some relationship to that other news item.

The Post reported the data “indicate that, unlike their parents’ generation, many young people-particularly those from middle- and upper-income white families-do not consider oral sex to be serious.” But why?

The Illinois Family Institute had the obvious answer that was not so obvious to the pro-Clinton liberals at the Post: President Bill Clinton had a role in encouraging this unfortunate trend among young people when it was revealed that he had engaged in sleazy immoral behavior with a White House intern. The institute noted that this shows that “private morality” (or immorality, in his case) “can have profound public consequences.”

Kelly Boggs of the Baptist Press noted, “It was Clinton’s escapades with Monica Lewinsky that made oral sex a household topic in 1998. The teens targeted in the NCHS survey were between 8 and 12 years old when the story was being discussed daily on television and radio. There is no doubt that the popularity of the topic at the time, coupled with Clinton’s insistence that he did not have sex with Lewinsky, helped to contribute to the attitudes of many of today’s teenagers.”

Jane Jimenez, a freelance writer on family issues, says there is no question about a Clinton connection to all of this. She notes that “the poster man and woman for oral sex are making news half way around the world.” She cites a story in the Independent Online about “a condom company in China marketing condoms under the brand names Clinton and Lewinsky.” Spokesperson Liu Wenhua of the Guangzhou Rubber Group, in a pre-sale promotion, was handing out 100,000 free Clinton and Lewinsky products. Eventually, when sold in southern China, a box of 12 will cost $3.72 and $2.35 respectively. Liu, obviously a clever marketing strategist, points out, “The Clinton condom will be the top of our line.”

There are other factors beside Clinton, of course.

Project Reality, an organization that has been a pioneer in the national field of adolescent health education and specializes in the development, teaching and evaluation of abstinence programs, points out that oral sex is now being taught as acceptable in many schools.

It says, “For many years, the Sexuality Information and Education Council of the United States (SIECUS) has been distributing sex education guidelines and programs to teach our nation’s adolescents about the so-called “complete range of sexual behaviors.” In the September/October 1988 SIECUS Report, Debra Haffner, then president of SIECUS, authored an article “Safe Sex and Teens” in which she posited, “We should teach teens about oral sex and mutual masturbation in order to help them delay the onset of sexual intercourse and its resulting consequences.”

While the Post failed to put the blame on Clinton or SIECUS-style sex education materials, it tried to suggest that programs in schools that teach sexual abstinence are somehow to blame. The Post claimed, “The newly released data, gathered in 2002, are sure to stir debate over abstinence-only sex education. Supporters of such programs say they have resulted in young people delaying intercourse, but opponents say they simply have led young people to substitute other risky behaviors. The new data tend to support the latter view, showing that nearly one in four teens who consider themselves virgins has engaged in oral sex.”

Notice how there were no sources cited for these incredible assertions. There were references to “supporters” and “opponents” but no names were offered.  And the data were said to support a certain view, or at least “tend” that way. This is liberal media bias at its worst .

Despite the unsubstantiated and bizarre implication in the Post article that abstinence programs somehow contribute to the problem of oral sex among teens, the message of abstinence is the only real solution. Project Reality says that “A continuation and increase in the number of young people being taught about the benefits of choosing abstinence from all sexual activity until marriage is the only way to see the teen oral sex numbers decline.”

It would also help matters if Bill Clinton’s image and reputation were not refurbished by the mainstream press. At the very least, the press should refer to him as the disgraced former president.

But in the same way that Senator Teddy Kennedy’s immoral lifestyle is ignored by our press, Clinton will continue to be sold to the American people as a great global thinker and not a dirty old man.  They will do their best to make us forget about how he abused a young and confused girl.

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