Let’s jump right on in, shall we?
I recently posted about a new study that found parents wait too damn long to talk to their chil’ren about sex.
That’s not news to those of us who volunteer or work with youth…but it makes sense that it would be news to the parents who are waiting too long to talk to their chil’ren about sex. Many parents wouldn’t know they waited too long unless something sex related happened…and even then they may not associated their not having talked to their chil’ren about sex with their chil’ren exploring sex armed with inaccurate information from their friends (example – drinking a certain soda pop right after sex prevents pregnancy) or dangerous information (example – you can tell by looking whether someone has a sexually transmitted disease).
I woke up this morning to the Good Morning America folks teasing the parents wait too damn long to talk to their chil’ren about sex story…and Lawd, there sure is a delay between when a story breaks on the web to when it filters it’s happy ass down to the morning shows. Listening to the tease made me ponder the other angle and how it indicts a long held anti-choice “value” that sex education should be left to the parents.
There are some communities where a teen can’t get a license to drive unless they take a driver’s education class. Those communities have learned that, even though parents drive their own asses around and have for years, they aren’t automatically the best motherfuckers to teach their teens how to do the same damn thing.
The same holds true for sex education…the difference is that there is an anti-knowledge campaign that’s been going on for years that seeks to teach parents that sex education is dangerous, that supplementing parental teachings with a formal medically accurate award winning sex education program is even more dangerous and that empowering youth to become sexually literate throughout their lives is part of a socialist plot to take over the blah, blah and another blah…um, just say no.
So, not only are parents waiting too long to talk to their chil’ren about sex...when they have the talk many of them have been discouraged from actually talking about sex.
Pause…allow to marinate…continue.
Because telling a teen to not have sex without explaining what sex is…well, that’s a lot like telling a teen to not ruin their credit without telling them how credit gets fucked up.
And there’s more.
Not only are parents waiting to long to have “the talk” (and Gawd help us if people really think a single talk that involves a parent saying “Don’t do it!” and a teen saying “Yeah, sure…what ever…can I play NHL 10 on the PS3 now?” is gonna do a damn thing)…not only are abstinence only until man-on-woman sanctified married parents telling their chil’ren to not do something without explaining what exactly they shouldn’t be doing it and what “it” is…but the antis would like for all of this too late and too little fumbling desperation to take place in a society that is devoid of comprehensive sex education in the classroom.
And I really wouldn’t give a flying shit if I didn’t live in a city where moving down from number one in sexually transmitted disease infections to number two was cause for celebration and if I haven’t taught young women who learned about pregnancy when they got pregnant and who learned about STI prevention from getting an STI (save your key strokes, trolls…all my students were not black or women of color and STI don’t discriminate the way you do).
Sex isn’t the enemy and having had a healthy sex life doesn’t automatically translate into an adult being able to answer questions accurately or provide the right information to ensure a teen makes empowered choices.
Catch the knee…I’m not saying parents don’t play a role. They do…unless they are lousy parents, but the not-all-parents-are-worth-an-ounce-of-shit angle would require another post and this bitch has to get ready for work.
Parents who are not lousy and who give a shit need to resist the easy out for sex education the same way they need to resist the easy out for talking about drugs the same way they need to resist the easy out for discussing dating violence the same way they need to resist the easy out for not talking about all the shit a teen will have to juggle as they journey into adulthood…resist telling them not to do something without explaining why and what the fuck you are telling them not to do.
And, for the love of all that’s logical, don’t wait so damn long too…