I remember hearing my great aunt talking to my cousin, who at the time had 2 kids under the age of 18, with her first baby being born when she was at the age of 15. My aunt in her wisdom tried not to chastise her because she didn't want her to be embarrassed but wanted her to learn a lesson from having this child at such a young age. My cousin had dropped out of high school to have the baby but reassured us that she would go back to school to get her GED, get a job and marry the father of her child. My aunt simply looked at her, attempted to smile, but the look on her face revealed how little she had faith in my cousin's convictions. And interestingly enough, not more than several months later, my cousin showed up pregnant again, with her first born baby in a stroller, no "baby daddy" by her side, and a broken heart.
Now, as a young African American girl growing up in Baltimore, I have seen it all. I have become immune to what other communities consider shocking. I've seen young girls as young as 10 years old have children of their own. Entire families become addicted to crack cocaine. Mothers going out of the house to work "the streets" to sell their bodies. Fathers either leave the home altogether or simply die at the hands of a dope dealer. And children being left to their own vices to find love they couldn't find at home.
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Generally, children suffer the most from sexual promiscuity. They can be brought into the world by what I consider to be young, careless parents who spend one night of passion just to escape their own harsh realities only to discover a lifetime of paying for those mistakes they've made with a child they cannot afford to nurture or care for in a "hell" which the parents helped to create. No one wins this game. The child grows up confused about what it means to have a family in a world which counts them out before the age of 21.
As an African American dating coach, I see the struggles in my clients all the time. Many of whom were by-products of single parents and who are now single parents themselves. I see them trying to grow into better people. I can intuitively feel them reaching out to me to help them heal spiritually. They are trying to rewrite their wrongdoings and make a better way for their kids. But their sexually promiscuous ways have trapped them in bondage and now they are trying to break those chains.
There's a theory that the music and the culture contributes to this sexual promiscuity. This may be true to some extinct. Just think about how often you listen to music or watch television on a daily basis. We watch "Love and Hip Hop" or "The Real Housewives of Atlanta" to see who will be the target of the next scandalous love affair. Of course, nowadays we don't have to watch television at all but log onto the internet to read about the next celebrity having a baby out of wedlock or hear about the next cheating spouse to help validate our own personal experiences. Although I don't think we can blame our own sexual promiscuity on our culture, you would be hard pressed to say the culture doesn't influence it.
So, what's the real reason our community has become so sexually promiscuous? For starters, I believe it is because we have accepted this behavior as the norm and have become paralyzed with helplessness. For example, as women, we have relaxed our standards for courtship so we can "hang on to a man". If you're a young single woman, you may have needed to feel loved at some point in your life, which may have fueled an interest in a guy who would otherwise never "get the panties". If you're a young single man who can get convenient sex with all the benefits attached and no responsibility, then this is heaven for you. I've even seen mothers who are so desperate for their daughters to have a "little chubby cheeks", they don't care whether the father will be there or not, psychopath and all. And married men and women who allow their partners to bring other sexual partners into their relationship (knowingly or not) and turn the other cheek subjecting them to all sorts of STDs and unwanted "lovechildren".
Sex can be such a wonderful experience between two mature people who love each other and understand the consequences of what can happen through this experience. People underestimate how important it is in the confines of a marriage or long term relationship. You have to trust your partner with your body. You trust your partner with your life. You sleep with everyone they have slept with, every thought they have been thinking, every emotion they have been feeling and every spirit that has tried to attack them. People ask me all the time when it is appropriate to have sex with my partner (90 days, 1 year, etc.). But actually, if you have to ask, then you're not ready.
In short, we can do better. We have a deep, rich ancestry with trailblazers who would be turning over in their graves to know what our culture has become as a result of their tireless efforts so future generations can live and dwell freely. We can begin to break the chains of sexually promiscuous behavior patterns by going back to our values and morals. We can place boundaries around our sexuality, only giving it to those who are deeply committed to us and who only have our best interests at heart. We can stop treating sex as a passing fad but yet a beautiful experience only to be shared with the person we truly love. We can teach our kids to value themselves and value the temple that God has entrusted with them. Let's not destroy our children's future and the gifts our ancestors have bestowed upon us. Let's step up and become role models. They deserve more from us. They really do.
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