Jennifer Roback Morse

Author's Note: I have been debating the impact of contraception on society over at for the last week. My opponent asked me whether I didn’t really want to ban contraception, saying, "Don’t tell me what you think is possible. Surely you have a dream." This is my response.

Thank you for asking. As a matter of fact, I do have a dream.

I have a dream that some day, every child will be conceived from an act of true love between parents who love each other, are married to each other, and eagerly welcome him. I have a dream that every child will spend his childhood with those parents who brought him into being. Parents see the value of the small society they have created between themselves and their children, and do everything humanly possible to sustain that society.

I have a dream that children can be children, take joy in their childhood innocence, and not become sexualized before puberty. All of society recognizes parents as the primary educators of their children, instead of regarding parents as impediments to formal sex education. Parents take seriously their responsibility to provide their children with accurate and complete information about sexuality, including the social and moral significance of sex, rather than acquiesce in whatever the school provides.

Instead of the school deciding when children are ready for sexual information, parents monitor their child’s maturity level, and make a considered judgment about when their child is ready. Parents feel themselves negligent if they fail in this. I have a dream that when parents elect to remove their children from public school sex education classes, the parents no longer feel like interlopers and the children like outcasts.

I have a dream that Corporate America takes some responsibility for preserving the innocence of the young, and monitors the sexual images they place into the public square. Advertisers think it disreputable to market to children using sexual images. Retailers think it irresponsible to place erotic material at check-out counters and other places where children might stumble across them. The entertainment industry takes responsibility for limiting the sexual content of its programming to appropriate venues.

Jennifer Roback Morse

Jennifer Roback Morse, Ph.D., is the author of Smart Sex: Finding Life-long Love In A Hook-up World. She blogs at

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