My goodness, every time a good mom or dad turns around there's yet another effort by "sexperts" to indoctrinate our children -- and to do so without our permission or knowledge.

I call the latest crass effort to capture our children and form their worldview "sex texting." Different from "sexting," where pre-teens and teens electronically send and receive semi-nude or nude photos of themselves, "sex texting" is promoted and run by adults. Really.

Take the new Birds and Bees text line in North Carolina. The "service" encourages children to text their questions about sex and sexuality from the privacy of their own cell phones, and promises a response within 24 hours. Paid for partly with tax dollars, the owners promise frank and non-judgmental answers -- and secrecy from mom and dad. Marketed directly to teens through media like MySpace, they seek to teach your children their views about sex and sexuality without your even knowing the conversations is taking place.

Run by the benign-sounding "Adolescent Pregnancy Prevention Campaign," it's time to pull back the curtain and see who is behind this latest effort to keep parents out of the conversation with, and encourage promiscuity in, our teens. The very name of the organization sounds the first warning: they seek to prevent teen pregnancy, not teen sexual activity. But it gets worse. It took me about five minutes online to discover that some board members of the organization also run Planned Parenthood programs.

Of course, Planned Parenthood is the largest provider of, and makes the most money from, teen abortions in the nation. Both groups proudly advocate graphic, comprehensive sex instruction for children. And they just might be secretly texting with your child right now.

The thought of a teenage girl sitting on her bed in the middle of the night texting a stranger about sex is just plain creepy. (As a matter of fact, it hits about a nine out of 10 on the creep-o-meter.) But understanding that the anonymous adult who is texting her back believes there is nothing wrong with children having sex and that abortions are a fine way to deal with teen pregnancy is maddening.

What to do? First, remind your child that timeless safety advice applies to texting and online conversations too: Don't talk to strangers. Secondly, make sure your children know that plenty of "respectable" sounding organizations actively seek to separate them from you when it comes to the most intimate issues of their lives. Tell them anyone who would advocate that a 14-year-old should be able to have sex and secretly refer her to an abortion "clinic" is, in fact, dangerous.

"Sex texting" is a deliberate effort to convince our sons and daughters that nameless, faceless adults understand them better, and have greater empathy for them than their own moms and dads do. As parents, we now have to guard our kids not just from stalkers, but also from other adults who have been granted some level of legitimacy by the government, yet harm our kids in very different but tragic ways.

Explain to your children why you have to monitor their texts: It's not them you're fighting, but rather organizations who seek to hijack their emotions and manipulate their decisions by masquerading as special and secret "friends." Explain to your children that any time an adult tells them their interaction with them is "secret," it is way past time to shut them off.

You are the first and last line of defense for your children, and you should be the one actively engaged in shaping their understanding of sexuality. Make it a priority to do so. For help, my book 30 Ways in 30 Days to Save Your Family includes the chapters, "Follow Ten Simple Steps with Your Teens to Foster Ongoing Support for Their Purity" and "Learn to Have Meaningful Discussions with Your Child." Another great resource is the Abstinence Clearninghouse, which offers materials that parents and teens can read together to support healthy, moral lives and a closer relationship.

Published May 25, 2009


Rebecca Hagelin is a public speaker on the family and culture and the author of the new best seller, 30 Ways in 30 Days to Save Your Family. Visit her website at www.HowToSaveYourFamily.com. where you can sign up to receive her free e-newsletter containing the Culture Challenge of the Week and how to fight back. Hagelin is also senior communications fellow for The Heritage Foundation.