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How Not to Talk to Your Kids About Sex

Controversy has erupted over the American Girl dolls and the company’s support for a group known as Girls Inc. The American Girl company had been well respected for its line of quality dolls and accessories and for its wholesome image. But all that changed with the link between American Girl and Girls Inc.

I checked the Girls Inc. site and found material and links that supported abortion rights, comprehensive sex education, contraceptive use among teenagers, etc. One statement reads: “To make responsible decisions about sexuality, pregnancy and parenthood, girls need and have a right to sensitive, truthful sexuality education; convenient access to safe, effective methods of contraception and protection from disease; and referral to comprehensive information, counseling, clinical and other services that support their responsible decisions.”

Newsweek magazine considered the controversy to be newsworthy. Its November 14 issue included an article entitled “The Politics of Playtime” that provided a summary of the controversy. That article sparked a number of letters to Newsweek‘s editors, including a letter that sets the cultural and moral divide in America in sharp focus.

Consider this excerpt, addressing Tracie Cross, a concerned mother whose comments were included in the Newsweek article: She and parents around the country, regardless of their political or religious stance, should be grateful for an organization like Girls Inc. that provides young women with answers to questions that they may not feel comfortable asking their conservative Christian mothers and fathers. Perhaps Cross and the other parents boycotting American Girl products should consider engaging in an objective discussion with their children about issues like sexuality rather than presenting them with clear-cut right and wrong options. I applaud American Girl for supporting Girls Inc. and for realizing that the values of today’s adolescent are not necessarily the same as those of her parents.

This writer suggests that parents should enter into an “objective” discussion about sex and sexuality with their children, “rather than presenting them with clear-cut right and wrong options.” Note that “objective” and “right and wrong” are set in an apparent conflict. This letter tells us a lot about where we stand as the culture risks sinking into a moral abyss. What we need is an objective conversation about that.