“Just talking about sex is a taboo topic for many adults. But young people are talking about it in their discipleship group. The kids are on it. They don’t want to stop talking about it.”
Those words, from a Christian youth worker who participated in a 2008 study conducted by The National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy (NCPTP), sum up the precarious spot that many urban parents, churches, and youth organizations find themselves in today when it comes to the topic of sex and the teenagers under their watch.
According to a recent study by researchers at Boston’s Northeastern University, the murder rate of African American teenagers, and particularly young black men, skyrocketed 39 percent since 2000 and 2001. This increase is significantly higher than the rise of homicides overall, which climbed 7.4 percent since 2000-2001. With this dramatic rise in violent crime among African American youth, how should the Christian community respond?