In an article entitled Have We Stopped Protecting Our Girls, Candi Finch describes how Western culture has lost its focus on protecting the purity and well-being of young women against an increasingly over sexualized culture. Finch stresses the importance of parents protecting the sexuality of their daughters by modeling what a loving and healthy marriage looks like, by setting standards for relationships, and by guarding them from the influences of a sexually saturated media.
Finche references a book Uncovered written by two OB/GYNs, Joe McIlhaney and Freda Bush. The authors make professional and scientific observations about the harmful effects produced by a society that promotes (even encourages) unhindered and hedonistic sexuality with whomever, wherever, whenever. These negative consequences can be seen in unwed pregnancy rates, an increase in women having sexual intercourse at a younger age with multiple partners, increasing cohabitation rates, and decreasing marriage rates (see the Marriage and Religion Research Institutes Mapping America research on sexuality for more information.)
After taking a brief look at the first couple chapters of the book Uncovered, what struck me the most was the doctors emphasis on what young women, particularly high school girls, said they desired for their future. A strong majority reported that a happy and healthy family was a priority, they desired several children, and they wanted to be married to only one person for the rest of their lives. But as Mcllhaney and Bush point out, The new sexual norms for young people dont lead to the outcomes that young women consistently say they want, as measured by virtually any indicator of health and well-being.
Young girls are proclaiming what women really want-- a life of emotional health, physical health, and thriving relationships that last. As a society, as parents, and as a church we should be helping them see the link between obeying the prescriptive calls of Scripture to a holy life and the fruit of that holiness, which is the expression of God-made and God-given sexuality in the sacred context of marriage. As Uncovered says, We want to sound the alarm, not in order to limit young womens sexual lives and futures, but in order to enhance them--indeed, to rescue them.