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March 07, 2011


What I find even more unconvincing about Douthat's argument is the suggestion that if Planned Parenthood (or something like it) didn't exist, teens would be less inclined to engage in pre-marital sex. By that reasoning, defunding of lung cancer treatment would lead to less smoking.

Douthat and his ilk believe that people should feel shame and stigma for having sex in any manner or time not approved by Douthat and his ilk, and that if people don't currently feel shame and stigma in such situations, it would be "better" if they did, and society should be arranged to create more reliably create shame and stigma.

This pathological attitude is what Douthat and ilk mean when they use the term "morals".

I think Douthat is making more of a cultural point-the existence of government funding for things like Planned Parenthood is a symptom of a support system that encourages teenage sexuality.

Now, whether reversing that funding would really change teenage behavior, of that I am skeptical. But it's a not-unreasonable point that our society should take a harder line against teenage sex in general.

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