Sunday, April 28, 2013

Underage Dating: The Elephant in the Social Conservative Living-Room

Via Ryan

I have a bone to pick with young, socially conservative Americans, and I know it’s something that will get under your skin. Just sit tight, though, and hear me out, because the elephant in our tidy little room is starting to tear things up. It’s time we acknowledge his existence, and maybe even call in some animal movers to take him back to the zoo.

I currently live in a small community in the Bible-belt of the country and I have been given some opportunities to mentor young people from my area through different venues. I can count on one hand the kids I know from the local high school whose parents have never been divorced.  I’ve witnessed reactions of genuine surprise and envy from students who hear that my parents are still together. In any given conversation with groups of youth, I can expect to hear continual references to step-parents, step-siblings, and half-siblings. Divorce is a way of life down here – albeit one that has taken its toll in the lives of the young people that will make up the next generation.

However, while I could certainly write extensively on my experience with the negative effects of divorce on children and on society at large, I actually want to address something else entirely.  I have concerns about the number one way that our culture chooses to perpetuate the cancer of broken marriages and failed relationships– underage dating.

You can follow them on Facebook – the failed attempts at love, I mean.


  1. Excellent article, but one that dances around another elephant: " conservatives may proclaim the virtues of pre-marital abstinence and fidelity, their actions don’t line up with their words. They behave as though they expect our young people to embrace or at least abide by the values we preach to them, all the while continuing to direct them in lifestyle choices that foster the opposite principles and attitudes."

    The article laments the high rate of divorces-and children of divorce-that one typically encounters these days, but doesn't seem to realize that when conservatives bleat about 'preserving traditional marriage' they're bleating about an institution of which few of them apparently partake. Certainly under-age dating is a reflection of the general hypersexualization of our youth and more rapid assumption of adult roles. However, for someone on their third spouse to espouse 'traditional marriage' isn't very effective.

    Young people can smell hypocrisy a mile away. More social conservatives need to realize this, and do more walking, and less talking.

  2. I once heard someone call teen dating, "divorce practice".

    They called it that because the same emotions come into play when the boyfriend/girlfriend break up that one encounters in a divorce -- namely, the heartbreak.

    Do it enough, and one's heart becomes hardened and divorce will come easily.

    1. But something has changed. We dated in our middle teens and up, but divorce was frowned upon then.