Julia Rader, in her letter (March 29) supporting Ellen Goodman’s column (Editorial Pages, March 14), “Sex and the Single Teen-Ager,” provides a flimsily constructed rationale for the necessity of easily available birth control to high school students.
Rader frankly admits that peer pressure and media “promotion” have resulted in new cultural attitudes in favor of early sexual activity. However, rather than encourage teens to challenge conformity or dispute the myths created by the media, she seems to suggest that appropriate response to this would be to provide contraception to sexually active high school students.
As a 21-year-old college student, I am no less than Julia Rader (herself a recent high school graduate) aware of and sympathetic to the pressures that young people must continually contend with, but I question the mentality of going along with the crowd and allowing oneself to be duped by the often superficial role models provided by the media. It appears that Rader belies the ability of young people to think for themselves.
Of course, considering the capacity of the rest of society to think for itself in terms of values, perhaps Rader does us young people a favor by not expecting too much integrity.