holding handsAnother shot has been fired in the war on teaching our teenagers the truth about sex. The latest victim? Hand holding.

Yes, my friends, the great connector of two people in a crowd and safety mechanism for moms of toddlers everywhere is now officially a gateway to sexual activity! This one comes out of Tennessee, where State Senators have seen fit to actually pass a bill making this gem a piece of the sex ed curriculum. And they didn't stop there (of course they didn't).

The bill also makes a teacher going so far as to show what she (or he) means by "hand holding" a fire-able offense. In other words? If a kid asks, "So, Mr. Jones, when you say hand holding is one step away from knocking up my neighbor, what exactly do you mean?" a teacher can't actually lace their fingers together without worrying that they'll be told to pack their things and hit the road.

Gee, with a sex ed program like this, it's a shock that Tennessee ranks in the top 10 for number of pregnant teenagers, isn't it? No wonder the state's home to one of MTV's Teen Mom reality stars (Maci Bookout hails from the Chattanooga area).

Thank goodness they're making these batshit changes to really scare the heck out of kids. I just wonder if they've done enough. What will happen to a Mom who walks into a Tennessee high school with her hand firmly grasped around that of her teenager's youngest sibling? Shouldn't she be labeled a pedophile and banned from campus? After all, we can't allow such filth around our children!

Sigh.

Or maybe, just maybe, we could try acknowledging to our kids that signs of affection between two people are a natural part of life. That human connection is a building block of society. That yearning for some form of physical contact is not dirty at all.

Teenagers have it hard enough in this department. They're often feeling "too old" to seek the comfort derived from cuddling with their family members. But they're too young for the deep sexual relationships that help adults navigate a lonely world. Holding hands and hugging can be kids' best means for bridging the gap between the two.

I don't really enjoy thinking about my daughter one day having sex any more than the next parent. But I enjoy even less the thought of her sitting in a classroom being told that she should live a cold existence without the kindness of human touch lest the feel of a boy's palm makes her want to rip off her clothes and jump in the sack. What a sad society we're living in when we don't even want kids to enjoy the feel of basic human connection.

Where do you draw the line for what you consider normal emotional connection between kids and "gateway to sexual activity"?

 

Image via JonGenius/Flickr