Electronic versions of JSNMA back issues through Summer 2008.
Her blond hair is damp with steam as she lounges lasciviously across the bench in the sauna. Her body is long, tan, and lean and she strategically places her arm over her breasts. There are blurred spots covering other intimate areas. I am not describing a scene from a Cinemax replay of Red Shoe Diaries. Rather Britney Spears’ music video for “Womanizer.” Some argue that this music video highlighting a newly toned and sexually revived Britney, has brought her hemorrhaging career from the brink. From the scene in which she is a waitress that does a seductive dance, to her straddling the accused womanizer on top of a countertop in the restaurant’s kitchen. There is only one word to describe the video: sexy. This highlights a longstanding fact that all of us whom have been subjected to advertising have known for quite some time: Sex sells. But at what costs?
If you have ever roamed the halls of the labor and delivery suites of your school’s hospital, it is not hard to notice how young the mothers seem to be. If you were to go a step further and examine the histories of these birthing mothers, you would learn that it is not unusual to find the average age of your patients between 17 and 19 years of age. Many of these girls are having their second or third child and the father may or may not be involved. At the end of the day, you may wonder how so many teens are going through the acts of childbirth before ever crossing the stage to accept their high school or college diplomas. Research now shows us that in the United States, nearly half of high school students have reported being sexually active, with the highest rates among black males at 74.6%. The average age of first sexual intercourse continues to decline with each generation with nearly 15% of adolescents having greater than four partners by the age of 19.
Strength and faith are the words that come to mind as I reflect on the labor of Ms. TF and the delivery of her baby boy. It is such an amazing experience to see a child come into the world. It is an even greater experience when you know the child belongs to a family that has such strong values that it emanates as you enter their room. Values similar to that of my own. The family, and their presence assured me that the new child entering the world would be greatly loved – a family that reminded me of my own. The laboring mother was accompanied by her husband, mother, grandmother, sister, aunts, and a few friends. A small radio in the corner of the room played a collection of songs praising God’s greatness, mercy, and power. I was touched by the music as the message in the songs ministered to my personal needs as well. As labor progressed, the faces of the family members showed concern and anguish.