- The Washington Times - Friday, March 16, 2001

New message

"A YM [magazine] poll of 15,000 teen-age girls showed that 16 percent were having sex because of what they were seeing on TV; yet 76 percent also said television is where they learn about safe sex. Likewise from magazines, says Christina Ferrari, former managing editor of Teen People.

" 'That's why we cover virginity and highlight celebrities talking about their virginity,' she says. 'Kids need role models who are willing to come out and say, "I'm not having sex, and I'm not a loser or a geek," because almost all kids have this completely false idea that everyone else is having sex.' …

"The first group to make headlines as part of the new chastity movement was True Love Waits, a Christian youth organization made famous in 1994 for staking to the ground of the National Mall … more than 200,000 pastel-colored pledge cards from teens who swore to remain celibate until marriage… .

"But the real victory for abstinence supporters came with the passage of the sweeping 1996 Welfare Reform Act, which included … $50 million per year for five years … for abstinence-only education under the bill's Title V… .

"During his campaign, President George W. Bush promised to add another $85 million to the budget, bringing the federal total to $135 million annually for abstinence-only education… . 'It seems to me like the contraceptive message undermines the message of abstinence,' Bush has declared. 'It sends a contradictory message.' "

Vanessa Grigoriadis, writing on "Like a Virgin," in the April issue of Spin

Perpetrator victims

"America has been overtaken by an epidemic of teasing that is turning our high schools into killing fields. Scrawny teens, badgered beyond reason, are taking advantage of lax gun laws to blow away their peers.

"Or so we are told.

" 'Many are asking if things would have been different at Santana High if suspect Charles "Andy" Williams hadn't been bullied,' declared MSNBC, echoing the mass media's predilection for celebrating a perpetrator's victimhood status no matter how horrific the crime… .

"America already has the strictest gun-control laws in its history… . Nonetheless, the number of school shootings increased… .

"It is the Left, then, that is deaf to the message which these incidents send. Unwilling to pass moral judgment on the accused, they instead are left to recycle irrelevant and wasteful policy prescriptions."

Henry Payne and Diane Katz, writing on "Guns and Poses," Wednesday in National Review Online at www.nationalreview.com

Darwinian danger

"It's become commonplace to point out that of modernity's three most influential thinkers Marx, Freud and Darwin only Darwin enters the 21st century with his reputation intact.

"But Darwin has troubles of his own. The troubles come not only from the right, where creationists and other religiously minded conservatives nip around the ankles of evolutionary theory, but also from the left, where social scientists, and even some real scientists, worry about the ends to which Darwin's great idea might be put.

"It's a particular kind of Darwinism that has the left-wingers worried… . Sociobiology (or evolutionary psychology, or neo-Darwinism; we can use the terms interchangeably) has become a favorite of such conservative polemicists as Charles Murray, James Q. Wilson, Tom Wolfe, and Francis Fukuyama… .

"Right-wingers suddenly embracing Darwin, while left-wingers try furiously to contain him we've come a long way from the Scopes monkey trial."

Andrew Ferguson, writing on "Evolutionary Psychology and Its True Believers," in the March 19 issue of the Weekly Standard

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