Ah, Teen Vogue. The rather terrifying online publication that is supposedly for teens but usually reads like something meant for a much older and experienced audience. Recently, Planned Parenthood shared one of their articles entitled, “How to Be an Ethical Hookup Partner.”
Thanks Teen Vogue, that’s just what young teenagers need to know during an STD crisis of historic proportions.
This article isn’t at all surprising though; the publication has been pushing progressive and often sexually explicit content for years. But despite that, why is Teen Vogue pushing teenagers to have hookups anyway? As an example, here are three of the (not so) helpful pieces of advice that Teen Vogue included in this article:
The transmission rates for sexually transmitted diseases is at an all-time high, especially for young people who make up half of all new infections, but acceptance and experimentation is the name of the game. The first “ethical” way you can have a hookup is to “Know and share your STI/STD status.” This isn’t terrible advice, but the first thing that Teen Vogue, Planned Parenthood and teenagers should know is that “everybody lies” (to quote Dr. Gregory House from House).
A hookup by its very definition is a casual relationship or a one-night stand, it would be easy for a less than scrupulous person to lie about their status and possibly infect another person. That’s even happened in serious relationships, and it probably happens fairly frequently in a hookup situation. It is inexcusable for a teen magazine to endorse this type of dangerous and irresponsible behavior.
Another (un)helpful suggestion is that there should be “No shame in your game and no slut-shaming.” According to the article, teenagers should “create more emotional, relational and sexual safety in your hookups by maintaining mutual respect for you and your partner’s desires, wants, yucks, and yums—including wherever you and your partner might fall on the spectrum of sexual experience.”
That statement doesn’t make any sense, and I shudder to think what the “yucks” is referring to. A hookup by definition likely doesn’t have an emotional or relational connection, which makes it particularly odd that somehow teenagers are supposed to get all of this information before engaging in sexual activity. That type of information is generally discovered in a marriage and without any “yucks.” I don’t know how anyone would be able to get that level of detail before a supposed hookup, especially if it is spontaneous.
One of the final tips is to “Ask for info on pronouns, body parts, no-zones, and triggers.” In a longer description, the author says that “all partners deserve respect and to feel safe and valued.” That’s not terrible advice, but that type of thing is found in (gasp) a marriage and not a hookup.
What’s so odd about this article is that Teen Vogue spends all this time trying to explain to kids how to “hookup” while explaining things that are typically discovered in a relationship.
Teen Vogue seems determined to make our youth embrace sex without consequences or emotions, but that’s not what God intended for relationships between men and women. The young people who read this article, I have no doubt, will find the relationships that result from these hookups unsatisfying and filled with regret.
Planned Parenthood, which shared this article, is counting on that. The fallout from these hookups results in the need for STD testing and treatment and potentially abortions as well. That’s not the advice to give our young people. Instead of focusing on “ethical hookups,” Teen Vogue should try and educate on healthy long-term relationships that might lead to marriage or get out of the advice game altogether. Their audience, and the country, will thank them.