Is sex only for rich people?
America has decided: Sex is for rich people. Non-procreative sex in particular.
How else would you explain the trap we’re laying for poor people who deign to get it on?
Our country apparently doesn’t want low-income Americans to have free access to birth control, either by compelling all insurance plans to offer it or by adequately funding public reproductive health programs. In many schools — predominantly located in low-income, high-teen-pregnancy areas — we don’t even teach kids how contraception works. We also don’t want them to have easy access to abortions when they inevitably get pregnant because they’re not using birth control, with states such as Texas and Mississippi trying to shutter their few remaining abortion clinics.
Then we don’t help them very much after they birth those unplanned kids, instead publicly chastising irresponsible single mothers for having babies they can’t afford and offering little assistance in the form of child care, education or cash. Dumping unwanted children onto the child welfare system isn’t exactly celebrated, either.
By process of elimination, the solution for low-income people is to never, ever have sex. So seems the logic behind many of these policies: If only we make it harder for people to have access to family planning services, and financially painful to raise children who predictably result from sex in the absence of those services, people who cannot afford to raise children will choose celibacy.
This, of course, is magical thinking. The belief that we can get entire classes of Americans to practice abstinence until they’re financially ready for marriage and children is a right-wing delusion on par with the left-wing delusions that go into socialism: Both rely on a fundamental miscalculation about human nature. If the socialists wished to legislate away self-interest, the moralists wish to legislate away libido.
Data show just how difficult it is to keep those unmarried libidos in check. Tawdry though it may be, nearly 9 in 10 young, unwed adults have had sex, according to the National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy.
What do you think?