Let’s talk about sex

I’ve come to believe the North Dakota Legislature is afraid of sex.

Between blocking the NDSU grant and the myriad of abortion bills, it all boils down to sex. Intercourse. Coitus. Relations.

Having the sex talk can be awkward. It can make you blush, it can bring up questions you just don’t want to ask. But it needs to be had.

The biggest takeaways from the sex talk are don’t have sex until you’re married and sex=babies. That message hasn’t changed for the North Dakota Legislature.

No talk of birth control to be had. No recognition that the average woman got married at age 20 in 1960 and 50 years later she married at 26. No recognition that college takes time and money. No recognition that marriage is not the magic ceremony that turns children into adults the way it once was. No recognition that very few people are virgins when they’re 26.

So we got the sex and marriage thing out of the way… let’s talk sex and babies.

Obviously, we all know sex=babies. If you have sex, you’re probably going to have a baby, unless you use precautions, but that still only cuts down your chances. Other than sterilization and abstinence, no birth control is 100 percent effective at preventing pregnancy and only abstinence is 100 percent effective at preventing STDs. Those are facts that NEED to be stressed.

If you lay out all the facts about birth control to teens and let them know the BEST option for the their future is abstinence, rather than saying its the only acceptable choice, or else, most are going to make informed decisions for their future. The others were lost causes to begin with.

Okay, so we know sex=babies, and we know there are ways to make sex ? babies, or at least lower the chance substantially. Which brings me to this strange attitude toward sex and babies people have.

One of the funniest arguments against birth control I’ve read is that it makes sex have no consequences. That babies are just consequences of sex. That no one really wants a baby, but they want to have sex and babies are just a consequence of sex. If we could choose not to, humans would not procreate.

This is absurd! Everyone loves babies! Just because people don’t want babies “right now” doesn’t mean they won’t want babies later, when they’re making more money, when they own a house, when their student debt is at a manageable level.

We’re lucky to live in a world where if you get pregnant, the likelihood of raising a child who will grow up to be an adult is extremely high. That wasn’t always so. We know so much more about pregnancy and childbirth and child care now than we did even 50 years ago.

I don’t understand why there are some people who believe that pregnancy has to happen by mistake. If someone intentionally gets pregnant their child will have a much better shot than those who see pregnancy as an unintended consequence of sex.

People who plan pregnancy start taking prenatal vitamins, begin avoiding pregnancy no-nos like second-hand smoke and alcohol before conceiving. If people aren’t actively trying  to get pregnant and they conceive, there’s a six to eight week period where a woman will engage in behaviors they would mostly likely not if they knew they were carrying a child, including over imbibing, smoking or even eating too much mercury-laden fish.

The best time to start thinking about babies is BEFORE conception… not after, not at 20 weeks, not at birth.

So, let’s talk about sex. Let’s talk about sex early and often and then let’s talk about babies. Let’s talk about giving babies and children the best environment to grow in, even before they come into this world.