Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Let's Talk About Sex (And My Head Exploding) (And Not in a Good Way)

I am totally appalled by the results of this survey http://today.msnbc.msn.com/id/27706917/?GT1=43001.

I want to believe that perhaps the data is skewed by the sample that was selected. I want to know if the girls who were surveyed were randomly chosen by a legitimate research company (like the one I used to work for), or were they selected from the universe of girls who watch that particular show? ("Universe" in the social research sense, not in the Star Trek sense.) (As a side note, though, I have to say that I suspect that girls who WATCH Star Trek are probably not having as much sex as the girls who answered this survey.) (Sigh.)

Look, I have nothing against sex. (Quite the opposite in fact.) (And as divorce attorney, I tend to think that most people (adult people) should be having MORE sex. Not less. So, really, I have nothing, at all, against sex.)

Neither am I proponent of not having sex until marriage. (What if you married someone whose needs and tastes were entirely not compatible with your own? What would happen?) (Wait, I know what might happen because a very close relative of mine gave me WAY TOO MUCH INFORMATION about the collapse of her first marriage.) (And also last year I did a divorce for some very unhappy 19-year-olds.) (I'm not saying it happens all the time. I'm sure there are lots of people this works out for.)

(I am, however, quite a strict proponent of "if you are married, don't have sex with anyone you aren't married to".) (Just to clarify.) (Because, seriously, I have people crying in my office on a weekly basis. And MUCH OF THE TIME, that is why.)

One of the things I find most disturbing about this article is the girl who said that that she didn't want to insist on using condoms because then the boys (plural, multiple) wouldn't "want to be friends with her."

WHAT??? (Picture my head exploding. Right here. Pieces of my head. Exploded.)

Two questions: What, precisely, are we teaching our SONS about sex? And where the f**k ever did they get the idea that sex is something that FRIENDS have with each other? Sex is not something people do at casual get togethers or Bunko night*! Sex is serious. And it can kill you!

I'm not sure how to fix this problem. (And I think it's a huge problem if it's true that 14% (FOURTEEN PERCENT!!!) of girls are having sex AT SCHOOL. AT!!!! SCHOOL!!!) And what are these girls getting out of these in-school-trysts? Because I find it extremely difficult to believe that they are having sexually satisfying experiences (by which, yes, I mean, climactic experiences) IN THE BATHROOM BETWEEN FIRST AND SECOND PERIOD. (And seriously? If you aren't having a satisfying experience, why the heck are you having sex?) (Unless of course it is to get pregnant. ON PURPOSE. WHEN THEY ARE 15.) (See, there, my head just exploded again.)

But, I do think we sure as hell need to tell our children that:

A. sex is very powerful emotionally and is not something to be done casually
B. you should LOVE the person you are having sex with (THE. PERSON. NOT "the people".)
C. you don't have sex with your FRIENDS
D. sex is for adults
E. it is NOT okay for our sons to be having sex with multiple partners, or for attention, and it sure as hell isn't okay to be having sex without a condom EVER

I'm going to go lock both my children in the basement now.


*That would be SOME kind of Bunko night. And please don't invite me if that's the kind of Bunko night you are having.


Anonymous Spacemom said...

I read that article. That is scary. We've already talked about the puzzle part of sex (how pieces fit)and damned if my girls won't learn how to use a condom! I will talk to them and talk to them and remind them of the emotional connections that you need for sex.
I tend to agree with the sex between first and second period. Hello? Quickies can be fun, but... come on?

Tuesday, November 18, 2008 4:40:00 PM  
Blogger Melissa said...

What trips me out is the Dr or Therapist who says they need more sex education! One of the girls said she helped teach and in so doing learned how to get pregnant and did! They don't need to learn about sex and how to have it safely, they need to learn that it's ok to say no. It's obvious they aren't having sex because they have found someone they care about and one thing leads to another. They're doing it because their searching for someone who will care for them.
It makes me really sad for these girls. There is something lacking in their lives and they are searching for it in the wrong place. Not just the girls but the boys too. Why would anyone want to have sex at school?!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008 4:41:00 PM  
Blogger Rachel said...

This is a topic close to my heart...

How to prevent this? Provide comprehensive sex education. That's the Very Short Answer.

Kids are going to have sex if they want to have sex. There is going to be a component of the juvenile population that will have sex whether adults like it or not. If we tell them that sex is for adults only, or we say things like we have for the last 8 years that "condoms don't necessarily prevent pregnancy" - they will STILL have sex, but screw the condom (pun not intended, but I thought it was funny so I left it in).

And yes, there will be teenagers that think (intentionally) having a baby is the best thing to do. They are not so brilliant. I think part of comprehensive sex ed should include a) what it means to have a baby, b) what it means to be a dad/mom, and c) what our gendered roles should be.

Right now, we have highly sexualized girls that are told they are "teases" and highly sexualized boys that are told to keep it down, but no one allows kids to figure out what is appropriate and normal and healthy.

I used to teach sex ed. To juvenile sex offenders, incidentally. (And yes, they needed it.)

Tuesday, November 18, 2008 5:03:00 PM  
Blogger A. Tatnall said...

Excellent use of parenthetical comments

Tuesday, November 18, 2008 5:14:00 PM  
Blogger Kelly said...

I absolutely agree and as the mom of a 13 year old boy, it scares me. I had to laugh at the Bunco comment. I'm hosting this week and we need a sub. You're welcome to join us. There is sometimes talk about sex or a lack of sex or the preference for sleep over sex but there definitely isn't any sex. ( :

Tuesday, November 18, 2008 9:17:00 PM  
Blogger Laura said...

Yeah. I don't even know where to start. I think I'm having trouble b/c my head exploded halfway through the article.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008 12:47:00 AM  
Anonymous char said...

I agree sex ed. is the key, but it should be done by parents. I think a fundamental and ongoing lesson by parents on consequenses of ALL actions, sexual or otherwise, would do our society a lot of good.
As a biologist (with an emphasis in developmental biology), my kids will be sick of hearing about sex from me!:)

Wednesday, November 19, 2008 2:54:00 PM  

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