The WallBuilders Show

Unraveling the Paradox: The Declining Trend of Teen Sexual Activity in a Hyper-Sexualized Age

January 23, 2024 Tim Barton, David Barton & Rick Green
The WallBuilders Show
Unraveling the Paradox: The Declining Trend of Teen Sexual Activity in a Hyper-Sexualized Age
Show Notes Transcript Chapter Markers

Discover the truth behind the counterintuitive trend in youth behavior as we delve into the decline of teenage sexual activity with Dr. Michael New. In a society where promiscuity seems to be celebrated at every turn, the numbers tell a different story. Join us, Rick Green, Tim Barton, and David Barton, in a riveting conversation that unravels the paradox of today's hyper-sexualized culture versus the reality of teens making more conservative choices. We'll explore the roles of parental involvement, abstinence education, and societal influences that are steering this unexpected course.

The landscape of teen relationships and sexuality is complex and shifting. As we converse with Dr. New about his enlightening findings, we also consider the impact of the digital age, from the ubiquity of pornography to the social media scrutiny that may deter public displays of promiscuity. Additionally, we dissect the influence of educational choices and the lack of robust relationship models on young people's decisions. In a time when media narratives often do not reflect societal values, we acknowledge signs of a cultural reclamation of conservative principles.

In the spirit of guidance and education, we emphasize the vital role of churches in teaching and exemplifying healthy, biblical relationships. We urge parents and church leaders to foster conversations that build a strong foundation for youth, grounded in scriptural wisdom. Moreover, we challenge listeners to take an active stand in shaping the future of sex education, advocating for involvement in local school boards. By embodying our First Amendment rights, we call upon you to be a champion of truth and a catalyst for positive change in your community.

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Rick Green:

You've find your way to the intersection of faith and the culture. This is WallBuilders, where we take on the hot topics of the day from a biblical, historical and constitutional perspective. I'm Rick Green, America's Constitution Coach, here with Tim Barton, national Speaker and Pastor and President of Wallboulders, and David Barton, America's Premier Historian and our founder at WallBuilders. All three of us appreciate you listening and sharing. So it's one thing to listen and learn this information. We need to grow. We need to grow this incredible grassroots movement across this country right now, more people awake than ever before. But I'm telling you, folks, there are people that are hungry for truth. They're looking for answers and you've got them. The Bible has the answers to every problem we're facing in our culture and WallBuilders Live, we bring that biblical, historical and constitutional perspective to each of these topics. So we're challenging you to be a force multiplier and take today's program and all of our programs and start sharing them on your social media. Help raise awareness to the fact that there's a program out there that is bringing answers to these cultural issues and action steps for our listeners. Things you can do in your community, like be a Constitution Coach and start educating people in your home or at your church. Bring in one of our speakers from WallBuilders to your community and put it on a special event to get people educated and inspired and equipped. There's so many different things that you can do. We encourage you to check all of that out at WallBuilders Live and also I encourage you to make a donation. It takes fuel in the tank folks to get on more stations, to reach more people, to train more pastors, to train more legislators and young people. All the different things we're doing here, you can lock shields with us by making that donation at WallBuilderslive. com, by investing your time to be a coach. So many things that you can do. Take some action today and make part of those action steps, sharing WallBuilders Live with your friends and family. All right, guys, later in the program Dr Michael New is going to be with us trying to answer a question of basically, how does the data that's coming in on this particular issue match up with where the culture seems to be? And I guess the only way to ask you guys this is like we seem to be in the most debauched culture of my lifetime, where anything goes and crazy stuff is going on out there with the whole sexuality issue. I mean it feels like Woodstock on steroids and yet the data says that teenagers are actually more abstinent than they were 15, 20, 30, 40 years ago. Just keep that trend is going in the right direction. And that just doesn't match up with what you typically see in the culture right now. So it's kind of a weird one. We'll ask him how we got there and why we see these good stats in this particular area and what seems to be a more. I don't know what the right phrase is. You know, I think of 60s and Woodstock as sexually promiscuous. Today. It's like sexually crazy right. So I don't know. This is going to be interesting.

David Barton:

As we go through and all week long, we get news stories and we see what's happening. And that's where we collect the things we use for Good News Friday. So as we're going through them, we see these really interesting reports or something's going in Congress or some new statistic out. That's what we're saving throughout the week. And I came on a news report that said that sexual activity outside of marriage, the sexual activity among young people is actually declining over the last several years. I said, whoa, whoa. Time out. That's counterintuitive. With everything we've got going on, you've got all the parents rallying because of all the sexuality in the library books and the schools. They're way over the top. The past pornographic that we've been told by Ken Ivey, for example, in Utah, when he took those books on the floor, the leadership came to him and said, hey, this is criminally illegal stuff. If you read this on the floor, you're going to get arrested because you can't have this kind of sexual material. It violates law. And so, you've got that kind of material in libraries. And then you got the whole movement that's going to Planned Parenthood and what they're doing in school campuses. Everything about it said, hey, sexualization, sexualization. So how in the world would statistics be dropping that sexual activity among young people is actually in a declining mode when everything in the culture seems counterintuitive to that? And so when we looked at that, I talked to you guys about it and we said, hey, what do we do here? We thought, well, let's go to Dr. Michael New, because Dr. New is the guy who is probably the nation's leading statistician dealing with abortion type of issues. He is the guy who records and can tell you, if you pass this law, here's exactly what it did. Here's how many babies were saved, or here's what it did for pregnancies or something. So he keeps an amazing amount of stats, and he's an analyst of this. So Dr. New is really good. Because he does deal at all these areas of abortion and sexuality and absence, education, etc. We thought, well, let's ask him, because this really doesn't make sense on the face, but you know, since he's in the stats all the time, maybe he would know. And so that's how we got to this point and I hope to get a lot of good news out of this. I hope it does become a Good News Friday kind of program, in the sense that this really is happening, because it doesn't make sense that it would in this culture, but yet that's what we saw in the article. So Dr New, hopefully, will help us answer some of this stuff

Rick Green:

Alright guys, hold on then, we are going to take a quick break. We'll be right back.

David Barton:

John Adams declared For more information on God's hand in American history. Contact Wallbuilders at 1-800-8-REBILD. Welcome back to Wallbenders.

Rick Green:

Welcome back to WallBuilders. Thanks for staying with us. Great to have Dr Michael New back with us. Thanks for coming on again, sir.

Dr. Michael New:

No thanks for having me, I appreciate it.

Rick Green:

Hey, great article at LifeNews. com Abstinence Works new report showing teen sexual activity continues to decline. This just, I think, shocks people. Michael, we don't expect this kind of news in this culture that just seems to be getting worse and worse, but yet on this front, seems to be getting better and better. What do you attribute that to?

Dr. Michael New:

Observing national survey of family growth came out with some new data back in December and it shows there's been a consistent decline in teen sexual activity since the early 90s. So we've seen declines that are pretty consistent. Since 2002, percentage of teen boys who were sexually active fell 8 percentage points and percentage of teen girls who were sexually active fell 5 percentage points. So good news. There's a lot of reasons behind this. I think since the mid 90s there's been a much bigger investment in abstinence only sex education. A don't know this, but the Natch 96 welfare form bill included grant money for states and localities that wanted to fund sex education programs. That included abstinence and not all states have taken advantage of that. Not many have. So we've made a big policy push toward abstinence. So that's the positive element. but I would also say the decline started before webdrap browsers became publicly available. I would also say this generation of teenagers is probably more risk averse because of social media. So what makes a mistake? All their friends quickly know about it. But again, this decline started before Facebook, myspace, instagram and these platforms all go off the ground. So I think there's a variety of reasons, but overall, any decline into sexual activity is good news.

Rick Green:

Yeah, no doubt, and I'm guessing too. I mean just throwing this out there. I wonder if part of it is, when you get enough pain, you move another direction and so, as they see kind of the craziness of the sexual identity thing, do you think that's had any impact on it, where they're just like man, I'm seeing people in a lot of pain and hurting from the decisions that they made. Maybe they're choosing making better choices just because they want to avoid that pain.

Dr. Michael New:

Yeah, sure, I think that this is a generation of teenagers, many of whom grew up with single parents, many of whom grew up with parents who were divorced or saw how divorced might hurt other friends or other families, and I think they want different for themselves. I think they really want to have stable families and want to show commitment to a spouse or marriage. I think that they see that you know premarital sexual activity hurts people, you know has negative consequences, and very often want to be given for themselves.

Rick Green:

What when we say abstinence programs? What exactly does that mean? Like what? Is that something that's done in the schools? Is it part of a health class? And they actually recommend abstinence? I mean you know because we know that I hear the phrase all the time, but what does that mean on the ground, in the classroom or in a teenager's life?

Dr. Michael New:

Well, it can be kind of different things. I mean, sometimes sex education is part of a health curriculum, sometimes it's kind of done separately or independently, and you know, sometimes you know they basically just discuss the consequences of sexual activity and you know how it can lead to sexually transmitted diseases. You know how it can lead to unintended pregnancies and they also talk about just you know how to engage with the opposite sex and learn how to turn down sexual advances. I think that sometimes some kids don't know how to handle relationships at a young age and they just do give them some relationship tips, let them know that it's okay to wait. Just because a partner wants to be sexually active does not mean it's a good idea, in fact it's not. And just teaching kids how to navigate you know relationships of the opposite sex, that's a component of these programs as well.

Rick Green:

All, right, Let me ask you, Dr New, before I let you go what about the parents that are trying to figure out? Okay, when do I start talking about this stuff? Because obviously we want the parents involved in this and not just, you know, have parents saying, oh, the school will take care of it with these programs, what do you recommend? I mean, what is kind of the what seems to work best in terms of when they start beginning this, this, you know, sexual education within the home, so that the kids not afraid to come to them and afraid to talk to them about these kind of things.

Dr. Michael New:

Well, I think obviously every family is different, every child is different, but I think it has to start early. I think there's a lot of bad information out there, I mean with the internet. Even if parents are diligent about internet and cell phones, smartphones, you know kids can pick things up from other kids' cell phones or other people's internet browsers. So lots of you know bad information out there or lots of pornography. So I think this really has to be in early. Obviously it has to be age appropriate. You know the parents, I think, do need to set high standards when kids know what's expected, but also just know that you know they can always be approached, that you know even when a child does make a mistake, you know that the parent is there wanting to listen to them, to help. And I think it has to start earlier than maybe some parents are coupled with, but that's kind of sadly the one we live in today.

Rick Green:

Yeah, yeah it is. And I just said to parents out there I mean, if you have the conversations you can set, you can frame the issue early, and that is so important and also making sure the kid understands this is a beautiful thing that God created for a husband and wife, instead of them getting this warped view through the pornography or through the conversations at school and that sort of thing. So really, really important for parents to do this. But a great article. We're going to have a link at our website today. Abstinence Works. New Report Shows Teen Sexual Activity Continues to Decline. Dr Michael New. God bless you, man. Thanks so much for coming back on. God bless! Stay with us folks. We'll be right back with David and Tim Barton.

Tim Barton:

One i

Rick Green:

We're back here on The Wall Builders Show. Thanks to Dr Michael New for joining us back with David and Tim now. And Tim, I gotta say, man, I don't know how. There's so many factors. So I was going to guess at what your guess would be as sort of the main factor and I was thinking about okay, you got a lot of kids that are getting out of public schools, going to private schools. Are they getting better education, is it? You know? Just all this stuff so crazy that kids are like man, I ain't touching that with a 10-foot pole. I have no way of guessing what your take is going to be. On this you've worked with more than any of us. Why do you think, despite the crazy culture, they're actually doing better on abstinence?

Tim Barton:

I think you could have picked anything and I would have said I think that's part of it.

Rick Green:

Okay, combination.

Tim Barton:

Yeah, I think it's such a mixed bag because, as Dr New pointed out, that there is an increase in internet traffic of pornography and so we know the rising generation is being exposed to pornography at incredibly high rates. But we also know that, as you mentioned, with even some of the social media culture, if there's a failure, friends instantly know about it and there's ridicule and there's pushback, and so we have seen some desensitization of kind of a little bit of the human sexuality issue. But then, I mean, what we know is, as a pendulum swings, it does go back and forth and as much as there have been people on the wrong side of this issue, promoting sexual immorality, promoting depravity, promoting evil, in many cases there has been a pushback because of it, there's been a response because of it and, again, I think there are a lot of factors. I think, sadly for probably most everybody listening, we probably all know people that are really genuinely amazing people, and some of them in the 20s, 30s, even 40s, and we look around going how was that person still single, right? I know some amazing girls and I'm like, how was that girl still single? She's amazing and I think there has been such a lack of training for much of the younger generations and even some of the rising generation, where they haven't been taught what a healthy relationship looks like, as Dr New pointed out. So many of this generation, they've come from a home that was a broken home, and many of them didn't see healthy relationships in their home, and so they're looking for answers and I think some of them don't wanna make those same mistakes. And then there's the balance and some of them have the proper value. So I really do think it's such a conglomerate, but I think, as he mentioned, it's down with between the males and females, like 8% and 5%, right. So it's not that we solve this problem, but it's not as bad as it has been previously. But it's not always giving us the full picture as well, and I think it really indicates that this is a major issue still in culture that we need to be intentional about addressing when it comes to, we need churches that are looking at culture and saying you know what, what is a very basic component of Christianity that God has called us to, and certainly the very beginning of creation. God looks and said it wasn't good for a man to be alone, so he created Eve. God intended there to be a relational dynamic, a man and a woman. Right, the Bible tells us. For this reason, a man leads his father and mother, his daughter's wife two, become one flesh, what God has put together. Nobody come against. You just said that in Matthew 19. It's a very clear scriptural example that there's supposed to be a male and female relationship. It's supposed to be the bedrock of what becomes a family. They're supposed to raise their kids in the fear and admonition of the Lord. This is something that we are not teaching and promoting enough inside of churches, and so I would encourage and challenge every parent, every grandparents, to be intentional about having some of these conversations, not just modeling it. Modeling it is incredibly important, but if all you do is model it and never have a conversation, then if some smooth talker comes along, it's easier to mislead kids who haven't been taught the apologetic of why do we believe in this relationship dynamic? Well, why did God say man and woman together? Well, what are the components that the male and female represented? In fact, we're even in Ephesians, chapter five. It talks about that, the man and woman. It's a representative even for the world of Christ and the church and what that looks like. I don't think churches really talk about this enough anymore, and so certainly the rising generations have not been taught and trained how to be in healthy relationships, what that looks like. How do they interact together? And, in fairness, I was a youth pastor for a lot of years but, in fairness, a lot of youth pastors aren't really equipped to handle this because most of them have not been in relationships very long or they haven't been married very long. Most youth pastors are in their 20s, and so, even though they can have insight to speak to that rising generation, you really wanna hear from people that have been happily married for 20 and 30 years about how to have a happy marriage. You really wanna hear from the grandparents who raised kids that loved and feared God and now they're raising their own families to love and fear God. I wanna hear from the people who've been successful, and it's one of the things that I think a lot of us intuitively know is, if we need relationship advice, we don't go to one of our friends who's been divorced four times right to get relationship coaching. No, I wanna know the people who are successful. I don't need to get money advice from my friends who are broke and have no money. I want money, advice from the people who have done really well with money and have lots of money. Well, that's who we're looking for. And also, it does not mean right If somebody's listening right now and they're like man I have a really rocky past when it comes to relationships it doesn't mean that you should not be intentional about still trying to speak wisdom and life and love to your kids about what relationships are, cause sometimes we can learn from mistakes and sometimes the most important lessons we do learn in our life come from mistakes. But certainly we wanna find people that have done it well, that have done it right. They can model it, because, as we talk about even you know, Rick, you were asking about abstinence education. What does that look like? How does that happen? Well, that's clearly something the Bible talks about, what the apostle Paul talked about. All of these are clear biblical directives, are biblical guidelines, but we just have not been very intentional about addressing these issues in culture. Dad, I know you have been on this topic for decades about churches and pastors addressing cultural issues, because the Bible deals with everything we talk about. The pastors in early America, the first and second grade awakening. They didn't talk about Jesus on every one of their sermons, although they believed and loved Jesus. They talked about what the Bible said about all the cultural issues, the cultural things that were going on, and I certainly think this is something that we are gonna have to restore. If we're gonna help a rising generation find relational stability, be able to have a healthy relationship and then a healthy marriage and have a healthy family with kids, we have to start speaking into them the wisdom, the principles, the truth of the word of God on these issues.

David Barton:

You know, one of the interesting things about even what we do at WallB uilders is we pull out a lot of history to show how it used to be and what works and what doesn't work, and, on this thing, the sexuality aspect that has come through, and particularly in the last six to eight years, as they've got into these gender studies and queer theory and so much else. They teach at university level to the teachers that children are sexual from day one. From the day they're born, they're sexual, they start having sexual thoughts and their life revolves around sexuality. Now, that's something that we've never taught in America before. But the rising generation of young teachers, this is where they are and this is what they're implementing and enforcing in classrooms. This is what the universities are putting out there, and that certainly is not where we had been. And so if you go back and look at what it used to be and, by the way, I'll point out here's one thing that history does consistently prove, including in our lifetime. Whatever you talk about, you get more of whether it's good or bad. When schools started going to drug education to stop the use of drugs, drug use increased significantly. When schools started doing suicidal counseling and teaching, suicides went through the roof and they find that whatever they teach about, that's what increases. And so if you're going to start having sexuality classes, yeah, the activity is gonna go up and that's what we're seeing. It's interesting how come we didn't have and people may not even recognize this the whole concept of having sex ed at school is in the modern generation. Try finding that in the 1700s, 1800s, even the early 1900s. You're not gonna find it that. How did you get an education if you didn't have sex education as part of it? Well, we did really good for several thousand years on that. But what happened was and this is gonna come as a shocking surprise to you guys the first introduction of the concept of teaching sex education in the classroom was in 1912. And can you guess who was behind that movement?

Tim Barton:

Other than progressives in general?

Rick Green:

Yeah, so wait, Wilson wasn't in yet. Wilson wasn't in present. Yeah, was he, or was he? Wilson was in Wilson's in. He was. He was in.

David Barton:

Okay, tHe

Rick Green:

Oh, the NEA always doing such good things for the country, always yeah.

David Barton:

Yeah, the professional educators, man, this is such a yeah, right. So this is 1912. But what happened is they started pushing us and Woodrow Wilson first introduced it in the military. So the first sex ed courses that we teach in America were taught to the military and that was the emphasis in the military. And they said, well, this is, you know, we need to get them younger than before they get in the military, so we need to back this down. So they started saying schools and people just didn't buy it. And so for all these decades what they taught in schools was called family life courses and that's what I had when I went to schools family life courses. And that's where that, in those courses, I learned about cooking and I learned about budgeting. I learned about all sorts of stuff and sexuality was mentioned, but it was in the context of family life. It wasn't a biological course. And you start getting into that emphasis in the late 60s and the early 70s, where the sex ed course is really a porn flick. It's all about biology and not about rights and wrong. Morality was completely removed, context was removed. Sexuality stands on its own with no context and as that starts to grow in the 70s and the 80s. By the time you get to the late 80s when Ronald Reagan's at office, they're saying this is not good, because that's when teen pregnancies were going through the roof and all the venereal diseases. Back in the 60s you had six. Today, I think, we're up to about 30 different venereal diseases. They were all of the increase, and that's when you started hearing about abstinence education and so Ronald Reagan started pushing that in his term and George Bush 41 did it. And in 1996 under Clinton is when we actually passed the federal law that Michael New talked about that says that we're going to fund abstinence education courses, and so that's where the funding has been put for all those years now and the last several years. It's starting to change. And the other thing I think is significant is it's good that the numbers are coming down, but also remember that they shot through the roof. They were up over 700% in the 70s and 80s. So the fact that we're coming down 5, 8, 10% is a good trend. That means they're not rising anymore, but we're still so much higher than we've ever been in our history, except the last 10, 12, 15 years but any other generation. So it is good news that it's starting to return to some sanity, but we still got a lot and I would say, hey, parents, this is another reason you need to consider running for school board. You need to get in and get a different educational paradigm. We had so many good people who have run for school board and gotten in and done good things and changed the. You need to get this progressive stuff out of there. You need to go back to some really good contextual kind of teaching and there's some great sex ed courses out there that like family life courses they put in context. So it's really good to hear from Dr New and hear the good news, but this is something we've been facing for the last 40 to 50 years and we've got to get involved and get this turned around for sure.

Rick Green:

Alright, folks, make sure you visit the website today, wallbuilders. com. Get plugged in. Get some good tools to share with your family, your friends, people in your community. Start hosting a constitution class at your church or in your home in your living room. Become a part of this. There's so much you can do. There's no excuse honestly, there is no excuse for any citizen that cares about passing the torch of freedom to their children and grandchildren intact, actually having something to pass them where they can live in freedom. There's no excuse for doing that or not doing that by not being engaged. What I was trying to say is there's no excuse for doing that without being a part of it, trying to pass the torch without actually doing something to save the torch. Or there's no excuse for complaining about why the torch went out when you didn't do anything about it. So, yes, I'm trying to push you and drive you to do something. Be a part of the solution. You can do so much. Check it out there at wallbuilders. com today. Get plugged in to the different things that are going on. You know, yesterday I mentioned getting your pastor to go to a Liberty Pastors Conference like the one we're gonna have in Georgia At the end of the month. There's other things that you can be a part of hosting those Constitution classes, you know. There's just so much. There's so many things you can do to make a difference. Listening to WallB uilders is a big part of that. Sharing the WallB uilders program with your friends and families is a big part of that. So make sure you're sharing, taking the links, sending them out on social media, emailing them to people, texting them to people, whatever you gotta do to spread the word, we are the press. Now, right, if you wanna live out the First Amendment, if you want the First Amendment to last, you gotta live it out. You gotta live out your freedom of religion. You gotta live out your freedom of speech by speaking up, letting your voice be heard. You have to be the press so that freedom of the press forget it, the major media is not gonna do it for you. You have to be the press and I have to be the press. We have to be the ones to share and raise attention and get people to understanding these principles. Well, appreciate you joining us today. Thanks for listening. You've been listening to WallBuilders.

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Teaching Healthy Relationships in Churches
Sex Education in America
Living Out the First Amendment