Sure, it’s embarrassing. But it’s how you got here. It’s how your parents got here. It’s how we all got here. It’s a natural instinctual urge and desire imparted unto us by your god or some other intelligent designer. You can fight it all you want, but sooner or later, your children are going to have to deal with it.
You may have learned about sex from your peers in middle school. That’s where most of my generation picked up its information — that certain classmate who had an older brother or sister who was on the promiscuous side, and the second or thirdhand whispers which followed. Back in the day, sex in movies was still censored for the most part, and there was no internet. Today, the internet is our world’s Sodom and Gomorrah, and a few quick clicks could quickly and permanently program your child’s brain with some deviant’s form of sexual normalcy. The information on how to deal with your child’s unfamiliar new feelings should be disseminated, sooner than later, by you rather than the lies and fantasies of some movie. And with the next big bang of pop culture arriving this Valentine’s Day and then to Netflix a couple months later, I am completely convinced you do not want your sons and daughters learning that 50 shades of anything is even remotely close to normal sexual behavior. I can already envision defense attorneys salivating at all the new rape and false imprisonment cases they’ll defend in 2015.
B*tch Media,the self appointed “Feminist Response to Pop Culture,” opened up a chat session recently to discuss what movies, books, TV, and music taught us about sexuality. I was amazed to read that everything from Dirty Dancin’ to Rocky Horror to Judy Blume was mentioned. Movies and books sensationalized things like transvestites and rape, making them seem almost as if they were a societal normal. In several instances, folks admitted that most parents found the discussion awkward and avoided it. In the event parents approached the topic, most teens turned their heads away, pretending they already knew everything there was to know because they too were embarrassed to discuss the single most normal thing humans do.
Fortunately, most kids can dismiss information from texts Internet chat like Vines and Snapchat as unofficial. Common sense can and often does filter out the garbage. But once it hits print or the big screen, we are conditioned to accept it as normal. And that is the problem. There is no filter or mechanism to ensure children realize the difference between fact and fiction.
But we, as parents, seem to be accepting this easy way out. In Fremont, California, a health textbook that talks about masturbation, foreplay and erotic touch, among other sexual education topics, was introduced to the dismay of concerned parents who feel it’s inappropriate for their ninth grade children. “There’s a section that tells you how to talk to your prospective partners about your sexual history,” said a parent and school district employee who said she may sue the district if it does not remove the book. “How does that relate to a 14-year-old kid? I don’t see it at all.” Hopefully, this child is sheltered from radio, television, magazines in supermarkets, billboards, advertisements, and the world in general, or Mom may be in for a rude awakening. According to a 2012 survey by hercampus.com, over 30% of college women lost their virginity by age 17. That’s nearly one in three. Sure, you can think your kid isn’t fooling around, but how would you really know? Chances are he or she is not going to tell you the truth until it’s too late. Shouldn’t your child be aware of the life-altering and unmitigated stakes of having sex including heartbreak, STDs, and pregnancy?
Unless you want to become the youngest grandparent on the block, and some wackadoos actually embrace that, you should talk to your children about sex and its risks. They’ll hate it at first. But someday, they may thank you.