Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Sex Education

So, with all this political BS that's been going on, I've read several blogs where they talk about the candidates "stand" on sex education.

Now, before you guys think, "OMG, is this another political post?"....um....no.

That's just what made me think about sex education.

When I was growing up, I never had the "TALK" with my mom. She never sat me down and went over details and feelings and morality and all that crap.

I learned by reading books (not just smut books but real, honest to God, science books) and talking to my friends and taking a health class my freshman year in high school.

I actually had a good understanding of what it was (technically) but the emotional aspect of it was a little...vague. However, if you've never done it, it's hard to describe. At least, to a teen, it's hard to describe.

I'm getting off point.

I've been reading where people are saying that they are going to teach their kids that it's better to wait til marriage but at the same time, arm them with the information and, yes, protection in case the kids decide to go ahead.

This brought up a question in my mind.What if you don't want to get married?

If you truly want your kids to wait until they get married to have sex, do you mean to say that you really, really, really want them to wait til then? Or just until they're able to responsibly take care of a baby that "accidentally" comes?

'Cause, if you really, really, really mean for them to wait...don't you think that's unfair to your kid? If they are the types of kids that really do what their parents tell them (I know, I know, pipe dreams), you might be condemning them to a life of virginity.

How is this fair? And, how is this fair to the kid for you to put the pressure of living up to your expectations on them?

I know, I know, it's ridiculous to think this because most people, they have sex once they reach adulthood...no matter what their parents say.

But, it's still something to think about.

And, another point, what if your kid is gay? And gay marriages are/have been abolished? (yes, yes, I know, it's not legal in every state....I don't feel like you guys are the types of readers who would make me point out EVERY SINGLE detail that may or may not need clarification)

Again, same dilemma.

And, not only that, but did you wait til you were married? No? If not, do you really feel good about telling your kid to wait until their married when you didn't do that yourself? Wouldn't you feel hypocritical?

I've already had the talk with light of my life. She asked me when she was about 6.

I went over the details with her. The technical details. I didn't go into details like the different kinds of sex. I just went over the basic man/woman sexual intercourse.

I also made the decision to tell her that she needed to wait until she could responsibly take care of a baby on her own (or with a partner if she chooses).

I don't want to put the pressure of marriage on her. I don't think marriage is for everyone and I sure as hell don't want to lead her down a path that's not her own.

I know this is all disjointed and rambling, but it was something that came up while reading other blogs.

What do you think? What are you planning on telling your kid(s)? When are you planning on telling your kid(s)?

And remember, if you can't say something nice, don't say anything at all. Or I'll tell your mama.

Later,

28 really cool people who give a rat's patootie:

Middle Aged Woman

Daughter's convo was my job. She's 18, engaged and sexually active. I took her to the gyno and got her the pills. When I was 18? I had to sneak around to a family planning clinic (yuck! - thank goodness for them, but how impersonal) BY MYSELF! Because my parents thought teenagers shouldn't do that sort of thing. Should or should not? They do. I did. Both kids have a box of no-questions-asked condoms. When we were kids, all you might get was pregnant or herpes. Now, there's HIV. Gak! Sorry for the giant comment!

The Nice One

My kids will find out that we weren't married. They've seen the pictures of them at the wedding. And I'm okay with that.
For me, I'll emphasize the LOVE and COMMITMENT factor with my kids. And the age...I was older than the norm, these days. And I don't regret it. It's not an easy task, but, it's parenthood.

Kat

My children love to ask me about where babies come from. They ask daily. And continue to plead ignorance. I get those lovely questions that no other parent has to deal with like "how does that feel?" or "what happens if it gets stuck?" I suppose I should feel fortunate that at least one of them is saying "ewwww gross."

At this point I tell them they are going to wait until they are in love, married, and 32 :-) Of course, we are just talking about kissing. And they take great glee in informing me that I was married before 32. Whatever.

Heather

I'll give my kids the details when they're curious enough to ask. They're still reeling from the information about how babies GET OUT of the mom. That talk alone might've scared them enough to remain virgins forever. Now that I think of it, that might've been brilliant on my part. Start with how babies come out before the sex talk (at least, if you have girls).

Sam (The Edge Of Insanity)

My mom was like that, too- she waited until I was IN COLLEGE to talk to me about sex and birth control. I'm all like, "UM, Mom? That ship has sailed." She almost fainted.
I have NO clue what to tell my kids about waiting until marriage- I didn't, so like you said, I'll feel like a hypocrite. I ended up pregnant, but honestly it was the best thing that could have happened to me. Who knows where I'd be otherwise.
If you figure it out, let me know.

Captain Dumbass

Haven't really decided on this one but I definitely won't take my parents approach and just give them a pamphlet they picked up at the doctor's office. And I think the whole 'waiting til your married' idea is crap. Sex is a hugely important part of marriage. Do you really want to wait until after you've got a ring on your finger to find out you and your partner aren't compatible in that department?

Mama Dawg

I've ALWAYS thought that, Capt! What if he/she totally sucks in the sack?

Lula!

OK, well...you asked. And I don't mind telling, if you don't mind reading.

My husband & I did not have sex until our wedding night. Yes, we are Christians and yes, that was the reason we waited. The only reason. 'Cause we wanted to before then, trust me. And I'm very vocal on my feelings about sex, 'cause yeah, it is an important part of marriage. Want me to post about my costumes, wigs, and dreams of being a pole dancer? (Probably not!) But just know that not all Christians are fuddy-duddies when it comes to their mojo. (Totally not saying you feel this way--but it does seem to be the general consensus out there.)

And to answer your initial question...my girls are being taught already that they are to wait until marriage. Realistic? Yep, for some people. Will I die or go bonkers if they don't? Absolutely not. They have to live their life...but for now, I'm instructing them the best I know how. It's all I can do.

Good post, Emily...very well written and though provoking, as always.

Mom Taxi Julie

I'm not dumb enough to think my kids are going to wait for marriage. Really, my GRANDMOTHER was conceived out of wedlock. People are going to have sex.

I haven't had an actual "talk" with my oldest but we talk about sex and other things all the time. It's an open line of communication. I will have no problem taking my daughter for birth control pills. I hope she will wait awhile to have sex since she is only 14 but I know eventually she will want to.

LiteralDan

When we get to the point of having an official talk, I think we'll go with stressing the love and commitment part, with strong encouragement towards official marriage, just because it seems most practical.

Thus far, it hasn't come up, which shocks me. It's almost enough for me to think somehow my 4-year-old found out all about it by himself, and now just doesn't want to talk with me about it.

The kid asks questions about EVERYthing, but not this yet. Who'da thunk it?

Rhea

My older son is hitting puberty, and we have had some talks...where he gets embarrassed and squirms and would prefer I disappear. And I bought him books, that talk about EVERYTHING, and I gave him the choice of reading them or talking more with me. He read them.

I was 16 when I first had sex, 19 when I got pregnant and then married. Yep, in that order.

I've told me son to save sex for the girl that makes him feel special, because if you do it lots with lots of different people, it takes away the meaning and specialness of the act. So I told him to wait until it's special..and he's a lot older. But I don't tell him to save it for marriage, because I don't believe in that.

Good topic, Emily!

Swirl Girl

My 9 year old asked the other day 'Mom, what's puberty?' - my answer (trying to totally avoid this conversation until I am stoned and drunk enough to get through it) was "It sucks."

not good?

ps- i am so sick of sex and religion as being the reason to vote or not to vote for a candidate.

I vote for the evil of two lessers.

Katie

hmmm I never had the "talk" with my parents... and I never asked my parents questions either.

however, the day I got my period my dad thought it was necessary to tell me, "Honey, I hope you know this means you will get boobs now." Oh thanks dad! haha

Trooper Thorn

We've been pretty open with the kids and have given them the info we figured they could handle depending on what age they were curious at. It is nearly impossible now for kids not to have heard some aspect of sexuality from a source other than a parent.

My role has really been to either answer a question or correct a misconception, rather than sit down and have a talk. In all cases the importance of being in a committed, loving relationship of some sort has been stressed. The boys have been told that it needs to be about respecting the girl not just to satisfy their own lust. For Whiney Girl I have told her not to 'do it' just because the boy wants it.

Weith Kick

My Dad gave me the talk when I was a kid. He was very serious and very technical and very scientific. My wife just had a book handed to her and her mom said, "here, read this," and then walked out of the room.

jenboglass

We're working on a flow chart or some sort of interpretive dance to explain the facts of life to the kids.

This is a toughie. I've got a few years to decide. For now, I'm a coward and hiding behind humor.

Minivan Mom

I LOVE this post, Em. And of course you know my feelings and know that I absolutely, totally agree with you.

Bailey also knows the technical details of sex, and has known since 1st grade, when he asked me about it. I gauged how much to tell him by how he was handling each bit of information, and I don't regret it a bit. He seemed genuinely curious and accepting of the answer, if a little dubious why anyone would WANT to do that. :)

I can't imagine telling my kids to wait until marriage, for precisely the reasons you said. How do you tell a child that when most states don't legally allow gay marriage? That hardly seems fair, or reasonable. Although, I'll also admit that I'm not being quite honest with my kids when I have prsented gay marriage as acceptable and factual as heterosexual marriage...I just can't bear to go into why so many people in this country are closeminded and judgemental. So they're under the delusion that ANY two people can get married, regardless of gender.

I digress. I have explained sex as an act between "two grown ups who are very much in love". I think that about covers it for my family.

jen721

I never had "the talk" and I wish I had. I didn't know a lot of how 'things worked' until after the fact. So, don't get me started there.


When I have children, I plan to educate them early and often. I will use the actual names of body parts (I have a vagina, not a vajaja. Nothing bugs me more than when kids call it whoo ha, or some other made up name) I do also plan to be open and honest and answer/encourage their questions.

On a side note, I have taught sex ed in both middle school and high school. I always had parental consent, and was open and frank. It is important do 'the talks' in specific genders. Kids are way more open when members of the opposite sex aren't in the room. And yes, I have had to explain morning wood to a group of boys. They always looked down when I said the word 'penis'

Vicky

OK.. maybe you want a teen's opinion on all this.... For all you readers out there, here's a 17 year old's opinion....

My mom never had "The talk" with me. One day she saw a very young pregnant girl and pointed to her and said "See that? That's what happens..." lol

I would just about DIE if she came up to me and talked to me about it. I am still a virgin, which is MY choice. I have many friends, however, that are not. That is there decision.

Kids are jumping into sex soo early now. If you decide to have "The Talk" with your kids, please do it EARLY!" Earlier than when they start to want it, but late enough so that they could grasp the importance of the subject!

Parents, sorry but the hormones will win. They won't listen to you if you tell them to wait. All you can do is to do your part by stressing how important protection is. Mistakes will happen but, there are ways to try and prevent those mistakes these days (Like birth control!) Mothers, don't freak out if your daughter comes up to you asking for birth control. Take it is an act of responsibility!

I think I've rambled enough...lol

Vicky

Please excuse the many gramatical errors! lol Just got off of work and I'm tired!

Stefanie

Here's another seventeen year-olds opinion...i also never had "the talk" i have two older siblings and by the time i was 6 i knew all about the birds and the bees between my 13 year-old brother and his friends nothing was left to the imagination...
Whatever questions i did have were answered fully none of the "what a kid can handle" bit, i got the full story...
being as informed as i was i knew that sex was a very large step and you shoulnt do it until you feel you can raise a child...
i am also a virgin by my own choice...my mom always told me to wait until i was at least a senior in high-school to even consider doing "the deed" and that i did! now as a senior i know I WANT to wait until i find love...not until im married but until i find someone that when im telling my daughter how old i was and who it was with it will be someone i can truly say i'll never forget...
i know many people my age girls and boys who have had sex and they admit that they really regret it and that they just did it b/c they didnt think about the possible consiquinces...
So no i dont think you should tell them to wait til marriage, and i agree wtih vicky make sure they know the facts don't have "the talk" persay but have an open heart about the situation. You've apparntly done it and it's not a death sentence!

stefanie

ps. Mama Dawg i love your blogs i read them everyday!

pss. i cant spell dont judge me ^^^ there

Lisa

I've really enjoyed reading everyone's comments- ALL of them.

My mom did not have the "talk" with me either. I did do the sex education classes at school so I knew the basics. I can't imagine actually sitting down with my mom and talking about it.

However, I had a young daughter amd a very young son, and a soon to be born baby and I want them to feel comfortable talking to me. Since I am preg right now, I have already gotten lots of questions from my almost 5 yr old daughter about "how did the baby get in there", "where do babies come from" and "how does the baby come out". I keep the answers factual and short, easy for her to understand and we go on from there. I am positive the questions will continue to come as she grows older and the same with her brother(s).

Sex isn't something to be embarassed about- it's gonna happen eventually. I just want to make sure my kids are equipped with enough knowlede to make good decisions. I would rather know they are doing IT, and doing it responsibly, than not.

This all seems so far away for my wee ones!

Ashley. Unscripted...

Great post. Seriously.

I think in this day and age the waiting until marriage thing is really antiquated, for many of the reasons you discussed. I had never really thought about my position on it, but I think I'm right in line with what you've said.

Insane Mama

My parents were too uptight about it to talk to me when I was a teenager. I will tell my kids the truth and soon!

Hot Tub Lizzy

Well... I kinda have to take an exception with your "condemed to a life of virginity"

My sister is 27. She has never had sex. She's not backwards or twisted or unable to function. She believes that sex is for marriage, and won't have sex until she is. And if she never is, well then... there you go.

My mom got divorced 31 years ago. She has not had sex in 31 years. She's a very successful, competant, smart, loving woman. She believes that sex is only for marriage, so...

I think the issue is that if you haven't been raised in the mind-set that sex is for marriage, it's pretty hard to understand.

But part of it is that I was raised to believe that sex is much more than just a physical act. It's the emotional true connecting of 2 people - the literal "And the two shall become one"

And as far as living up to pressure? Isn't that was a lot of being a child is? I'm not sure I would use the word pressure - but at least expectations. I expect my kids to help around the house, I expect them to do their best at school. If they don't meet these expectations do I disown them and say they are dead to me? No. Do I express my dissapointment? Yes. I expect that my daughters (and sons if I had them) would wait until marriage to have sex. If they don't will I disown them, no. Will I be dissapointed? Yes.

Have I rambled enough?? :)

Hot Tub Lizzy

Oh - and I didn't wait till I was married... I did wait till i was 25... and I wish beyond ANYTHING that I HAD waited. And I don't think that's hypocritical... there's a lot of stuff that I did when I was young that I would be really happy if my kids didn't do. But like I said before, am I going to disown them if they do them? No... never. But that doesn't mean I'm not going to try to provide guidance.

Really... I'll shut up now.

Mama Dawg

Well, just to counteract from an older woman's point of view....my 60 year old aunt is still a virgin because she never got married. And she regrets this every day of her life. Now, she feels she's too old. She grew up in a house that stated marriage before sex and since this was the way she was raised, she was "condemned to a life of virginity" because she wanted to stay true to her mom's teachings.

I guess we'll just have to agree to disagree.

© Two Dogs Running…all rights reserved

  © Blogger template 'BrickedWall' by Ourblogtemplates.com 2008

Jump to TOP