Bristol Palin Says Abstinence-Only Sex Ed is Just Not Realistic

Filed under: Celeb Kids, Celeb Parents

Bristol Palin, teenage daughter of 44-year-old mother of five and former Vice Presidential hopeful Sarah Palin, made headlines last summer when it was revealed that she and boyfriend Levi Johnston were expecting a child. Ah, the irony of a teen pregnancy in a family of such staunch proponents of abstinence-only sex education.

Now you can count 18-year-old Bristol herself among those who say that expecting teens to abstain from sex is simply unrealistic. Three weeks after the birth of her son, Tripp, Bristol sat down to talk to Fox's Greta Van Susteren about life as mommy. After a couple of softballs about sleep and diapers, Van Susteren asked her about contraception.

Was she just lazy or did Bristol have a philosophical or religious opposition to using birth control? Visibly shaken, Bristol declined to respond, but did stammer, "Everyone should be abstinent, but it's just not realistic at all."

Bold Bristol not only departed from her mother's views, she gave real insight that only a teen could offer. She admits that among her teen peers, sex is "more and more accepted." It's always been that way, Bristol.

I was a teen mother myself and raised a daughter who also became a teen mother. I know where I went wrong, both as a teen and as a parent. And now that I am raising my granddaughter, I am determined to ensure that there are no more teen pregnancies in my family.

Here's how: Education. Whether it's how to avoiding pregnancy or chart a career, kids need all the information made available to them and an involved parent (or two) to steer them in the right direction.

It is a parents' right to educate their children about sex any way he or she sees fit. But I totally disagree with the idea that abstinence should be promoted as the only safe and responsible alternative for avoiding pregnancy (and STDs). Is teaching about contraceptives while telling your kids not to have sex a mixed message? Perhaps, but get over it. The entire world is sending your kids mixed messages. Sexual imagery has permeated our culture, and to pretend otherwise is totally naive and irresponsible.

Bristol Palin appears to be madly in love with her beautiful baby boy, and she is lucky to have the support of her family, a boyfriend who helps with baby duty and the financial means to care for him. I don't know if Sarah Palin has regrets about her failed approach to educating her daughter about sex, but I sure do. And it is clear that Bristol has regrets, as well.

When asked if she wishes that she had waited to become a mother, the teen mom nodded. "Of course, I wish it would happen in like ten years so I could have a job and an education and be like prepared and have my own house and stuff."

Do you feel bad for Bristol? Did her parents fail her by preaching abstinence-only sex ed?

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AdviceMama Says:
Start by teaching him that it is safe to do so.
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