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Bristol Palin: Abstinence "Not Realistic"

Bristol Palin: Abstinence "Not Realistic"

Last night 18-year-old Bristol Palin sat down with Fox New's Greta Van Susteren, revealing one policy area where she might disagree with her mother: abstinence-only education. The new mom told Greta: "everyone should be abstinent or whatever, but it's not realistic at all."

Bristol concluded that the abstinence message does not resonate with today's youth because teen sex is more accepted in society. But she does think that stories like hers could change the reality. She said: "just wait 10 years, it'd just be so much easier."

While I respect her opinions and experience, I'm a little surprised to see Bristol on the cable news circuit. What about you?

Join The Conversation
reality-is reality-is 8 years
I'm new here and not very well-written, but I'll give it a go... In the last 50 - 60 years, we have had the median age of first marriages increase from the ages about 20 (women) and 23 (men) to about 26 and 28 respectively. Remember your math days? The definition of median means there are a lot on either side, so think of the number below 20 and 22 (mostly teenagers) compared to the number below 26 and 28, (more likely split between teens and early 20s). Basically, half the women getting married 50 - 60 years ago were in their teens. Now, probably less than 25% are in their teens. We didn't "look down" on those marrying in their teens (particularly women) 50 years ago as we do now because so many got married in their teens -- and it was acceptable. Teens were definitely having sex - just a lot more of them were doing it within the confines of marriage, so it wasn't a "problem". A lot of marriages were arranged very - um - quickly then, too (my grandmother being one of them back in the 1930s) . In 50 to 60 years, our society has changed so that marriages are occurring later and later, but the hormones that teenagers experience have not changed. Society accommodated (for lack of a better term) those hormones before, but doesn't now. Evolution just hasn't had the good grace to keep up with societal changes and expectations. There have always been those who have remained abstinent - many for their entire lives (think: old maids). I do believe that some people are just wired to not have sex be a factor in their lives and therefore "choosing" abstinence isn't really a choice for them - it's just easier that way for them. Others are wired in a way that sex is a huge factor in their lives and choosing abstinence is extremely difficult for them, and they simply may not choose it. So - what does all this mean? It means that our society accommodated itself to the raging teenage hormones by marrying young. Now that we are no longer marrying young, we all of sudden expect our teenagers to shut off those hormones by teaching abstinence only? We're expecting too much. Sex education is necessary, even if only to explain the societal changes that have put them in this predicament. Am I advocating teenage marriages? Absolutely not!!! I think that the median age of first marriages going up is a good thing - particularly for women! I do, however, believe that expecting everybody to remain abstinent until then is going against mother nature for many. It would be just as absurd to expect somebody to marry and have sex (who has no interest) when he or she turns 28 or 26 because society deems it to be so. Am I advocating teenage sex? Absolutely not!! I just recognize that, because of the human physiological make-up, many may not choose abstinence, regardless of education. I would rather see that choice be made in full knowledge of all the consequences, rather than based on innuendo, rumors and ignorance.
northernstar northernstar 8 years
abstinence unrealistic? I guess not for 16 year old whores who can't keep their legs closed. Whatever happened to being a kid. A lot of people these days shouldn't be having kids because they don't know how to raise them to be decent human beings.
johnrobinson johnrobinson 8 years
Teen sex is NOT MORE ACCEPTED. It has ALWAYS BEEN ACCEPTED by teenagers. They're human.. it's in their nature to want to screw once they hit puberty. Society is just less in DENIAL these days.
mod16 mod16 8 years
what a moron
Beauty Beauty 8 years
Is abstinence realistic? For some people, yeah. I generally think it's a good idea for teenagers to have comprehensive sex ed that encourages them to wait a while before becoming sexually active. (If they are religious, they can work with their faith to abstain until marriage.) But is abstinence realistic, indefinitely? I say no. At some point, most adults are going to want to get it on. And that's why I think we need good sex ed. Otherwise, people don't know how to prevent pregnancy and the spread of disease. With that said, I constantly tell my teenage niece to wait until she's older, in a good relationship, and so forth. At the same time, I tell her she can always talk with me about sex, because I'd rather her ask questions about STDs and pregnancy than just go at it with some, ugh, teenage boy.
ccpdm ccpdm 8 years
Having sex is a choice - is it any different from choosing to do drugs, smoke or drink? I believe that there are definitely teens and even young adults who make the choice to abstain. It says something about their willpower to me.
rachelsmith rachelsmith 8 years
Wait, teen sex is bad? I don't think that being abstinent as a teen is any different than being abstinent as a fresh-out-of-college young adult who just started in the workforce and has absolutely no savings, etc. Use multiple forms of birth control. Get tested before you have sex. Premaritial sex, as long as you are safe, is not bad. It is not immoral, especially with someone that you have been dating for a long time. It's legal after 16 (15 in Canada, and probably 14 in many places in Europe) as long as your partner is the same age.
sw33tlovin sw33tlovin 8 years
i agree with myst. i believe that it's about options. just because one person wants to be educated about contraception doesn't mean abstinence shouldn't be talked about & vice versa. in my high school, our parents could always sign a form if they weren't comfortable with the sex education class that was offered.
hithatsmybike hithatsmybike 8 years
where did my comment go? it was a gooder =(
UnDave35 UnDave35 8 years
I must respectfully disagree with abstinence being out of date. What is lacking is the parent's expectations that their children will do something, or not do something, just because the parents said to do it. I see so many parents struggling to be their children's "best friend". That's not the parent's job.
divinedebris divinedebris 8 years
Someone needs to keep mommy's campaign going...ha But the statement is true, unfortunately, she's right. Abstinence-only education is a joke. I've only been out of high school for five years and I remember the little we were taught about sex and about all the risks involved. Almost nothing, and I grew up in a very religious state so they really never informed us about anything and shockingly the pregnancy rate is increasing in Utah- and that's not the worse thing you could get from sex these days any way. If you really think telling your kids no is going to work, they I've got some the old saying goes. Because abstinence is just as out-dated at that saying. Oh, and for the people who are saying that abstinence is working for them and that proves it kinda doesn't.
Meike Meike 8 years
I had the full comprehensive sex education in school and parents who taught me the value of abstinence. THAT is what works. Unfortunately, there are a lot of parents in America who don't even want to open the dialogue for sex with their teenagers. I think that is the biggest flaw among families here. You must have both the education and the values taught. Then ultimately from there it's up to the young individual to follow through or not. My husband and I only ever had sex with each other. We don't have any religious convictions that held us back. We both knew we could do it as early as 18 years old and out of the house if we wanted to but we didn't because we both cherished the value of saving ourselves for the one, right person. And, well, we decided the time was right about a year before marriage. We were incredibly prepared. We also believe that marriage is a life commitment. Religion isn't the only establishment that can instill good values. Sometimes, just having good parents who were married to each other for 30+ years is enough to aspire to. And the education that we received in school made our first experience pleasant and worry-free.
gidigirl gidigirl 8 years
I see eloquence runs in the family.
californiagirlx7 californiagirlx7 8 years
In case anyone got confused, I was making a distinction between abstinence (in my first paragraph) and abstinence-only education (second paragraph).
californiagirlx7 californiagirlx7 8 years
I don't agree that abstinence is unrealistic, I am almost 20 years old, still waiting, and I would say about ten of my friends are still virgins (because they are waiting until marriage or just for the right person)and about six of my friends aren't virgins. Out of those six people, only two of them lost their virginities before the end of high school (in fact they were both 17 almost 18) and they are both still dating their respective partners to this day (both of their relationships have lasted 4+ years). And only one of my friends has had more than one partner. My point is although it seems like there are more teens having sex today, it is not necessarily true and we shouldn't lower our expectations about teen sex by saying that abstinence is unrealistic because many people can do it. If she is saying that abstinence-only education is unrealistic, then I agree with her. I think both abstinence and safe sex should be taught, and I completely agree with everything mydiadem said about how we should focus more on self-image and telling teens to wait for the right person instead of following the crowd.
kikidawn kikidawn 8 years
I have an acquaintance I went to high school with who sincerely thought that you could not get pregnant the first time you have sex. Guess who wound up pregnant...yep on the first time too.
margokhal margokhal 8 years
Forget about "realistic". Let's talk about reality. In reality, there are teens that have sex. In reality, there are also teens that DON'T have sex. They are *both* realistic. Therefore, teens should be taught as such. There need to be comprehensive sex ed courses that include abstinence education [not as an afterthought, but as an equally viable and realistic way to go - because it is. Don't just assume they're going to have sex. Assume that they have a *choice* - which is the reality]. I read a news article about how teens are having less sex, but more babies. @_@ There needs to be some serious overhaul of sex education.
wackdoodle wackdoodle 8 years
That day would be 1962 the years my mom did not want to be pregnant with my second brother.
wackdoodle wackdoodle 8 years
Back in my mom's day unwanted pregnancy's were resolved by sitting in a mixture of yellow mustard, mayonnaise and hot sauce then walking around in at least 4 inch heels for 45 minutes sitting in the condiment mixture. Then somehow just as magically as you didn't get pregnant the first time you had sex got unpregnant through the use of condiments and fashionable shoes.
genesisrocks genesisrocks 8 years
Haha steph, I guess it's both, but definitely not pepsi. I've heard nothing but how useless pepsi is.
stephley stephley 8 years
Really Genesis, I only heard that 7-Up worked.
genesisrocks genesisrocks 8 years
Abstinence education doesn't work. Kids get their morals from their parents and their friends, as long as they say it's okay, kids will still do it. That said sex education can clear up some of the absolutely ridiculous rumors kids hear but are too afraid to ask their parents about like you can't get pregnant if you have a-cups or that coca-cola works as well as the day after pill. I'm not even making that last one up. :)
wackdoodle wackdoodle 8 years
Someone is going to be put either in time out with her baby or put on restriction. You don't cross Sarah Palin even if you're her daughter and even if you may be right.
Pegona Pegona 8 years
Abstinence-only education is stoopid. Duh. Some people are abstinent. Duh. Blah, blah, sex, sex, big deal.
StolzeMama StolzeMama 8 years
Oh for the love of God! Why are you arguing just to argue?
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