Sex isn’t easy to talk about in general, but it is quite alarming (to say the least) that everyone is so afraid to discuss it with kids& teens. We know that teens aren’t receiving adequate information from their homes and schools, but now doctor’s are also not making an avid effort to talk about it either.
According to a study published in JAMA Pediatrics, teenagers currently receive about 36 seconds or less talking to their doctor about sex, yet the CDC shows that 47.4% of high school students reported having sex and people ages 14-24-years old have the highest rating of sexually transmitted infections. Does this make sense to you?
Regardless of what our opinions are, statistics show that sex play starts in children around the age of 4-years old. From playing doctor to house, kids are curious about their bodies, sex organs and begin to experiment at an early age.
Furthermore, sex is something that kids and teenagers hear about and see daily in the media, yet they’re taught not to do it until they’re in love, mature, ready, grown up, an adult. Truth is kids are curious about sex as well. Whether we think teenagers are too young to explore sexually is an opinionated topic.
Facts are not negotiable: the reality is, sex can be exciting, exploratory, and it typically feels good so that is why they’re doing it….and if teens are going to do it, which statistics show they are, then why don’t we give them the information to make the right choices?
Many states still fail to provide realistic and meaningful sex education programs. In 2011, Planned Parenthood revealed that only 60% of parents discussed birth control methods with their children.
I’ll never forget when my mom gave me the book Growing Up: It’s a Girl Thing by Mavis Jukes [Amazon, $10]. I was about 10-years old and had already learned so much from one of my best friends whose older brother told her everything. But this book was fascinating to me. It covered everything from my boobies to why I liked boys and even talked about sex acts, which I couldn’t quite understand.
I was about 18-years old and my mom’s friend had just had a daughter who was about 10-years old at the time. I was cleaning out my closet and found my old book and put it into the pile for her. A couple of weeks after giving it to her, I got a phone call:
“Carli! You know that book that you gave me for Samantha*?”
“Did you know that is talks about anal sex and oral sex!?”
I had forgotten how exploratory and informative the book was, and I was a bit embarrassed that I didn’t look it over before giving it to her daughter or give her mother the opportunity to decide whether or not her daughter was ready to learn those types of things.
Nevertheless, I’m glad that her daughter was able to read about those things at a young age because she knew the proper information about it, rather than wondering, or relying on peers for proper information.
ADVICE TO PARENTS:
- If you ARE comfortable talking to your child about sex – Use a textbook or book about sexuality made for teens to facilitate an educationally based discussion about sex, this way the information does not seem as though it is coming from personal experience, and does not involve your relationships. More importantly, you can be sure the information is monitored and accurate.
- If you ARE NOT comfortable discussing sex with your children – Provide your child a book like the one mentioned above, or another well recommended book about sex and ask a medical practitioner, teacher, guidance counselor or therapist to talk about it with them.
- Let your child know it is OK to ask questions about sexuality, as you’d rather them as you, rather than get inaccurate information that could hinder their experiences in life later one. * Remember kids talk a lot, and what they say is not always truthful!
- Give your child privacy with their medical practitioner as they may feel embarrassed to ask questions around you. They should have a safe space to discuss these things.
- Encourage your child’s medical practitioner to discuss all aspects of human sexuality (gender/sexuality/sexual intercourse/birth control etc.) with them to ensure that your child is receiving the right education and information to make smart and responsible sexuality related decisions in life.
Sex Talk At The Doctors Office [Slate]