This whole Sara Palin has got me to thinking about why I didn't end up in a similar situation as a teen. I grew up in an extremely religious family. I knew from an early age that I didn't believe the same thing that the rest of my family did. The religion I grew up in does not condone pre martial sex.
Now I realize my mother is wise. She never had that conversation in a way that made me think the only reason not to have sex was for religious reasons. I found her diaphragm (please god never let her see this) at a very early age and asked about it. She told me quite frankly what it was. Kind of just matter of factly imparted information to me. Told me she didn't believe it is right to have sex out of marriage but just so I knew this is how it's done, this is what you do to protect yourself and that she got pregnant the FIRST time she didn't protect herself. FIRST?? Holy shit.
I held on to my virginity for a very long time. Not because God wouldn't love me but out of fear that I'd get pregnant. I can honestly say I have NEVER been carried away and not protected myself. I also knew at an early age I didn't want children and I have never had a pregnancy scare.
Why can't people understand that merely imparting information in a non judgemental factual way can be a powerful tool. Knowing what to do didn't make me do it. It made me NOT do it. I knew how to protect myself.
Maybe Sara Palin would have still gotten herself pregnant and I really don't know what her mother did or didn't tell her. But if she follows the pattern of these religious right folks that conversation was probably laced with threats, guilt and judgement. Teenage girls are famously recalcitrant and these tactics can have the opposite effect that the parents desire. I could go on and on about how angry these abstinence programs make me and how ineffective they are. Sex is like one of the best things EVER and remember how it was when you first figured that out?
Be honest and factual and leave your personal agenda at the door. If you have raised your children right in all other aspects of their lives that will reflect in this choice.