“The Talk” for Parents (Part 1)

 

I came home from school one day with a slip of paper for my mom or dad to sign.  I handed it to her and asked what it was for. Mom told me it wasn’t a bad thing, but I may want to talk about it after school that day.

The slip extended an invitation for a parent or guardian to attend.  Mom checked the date and told me she couldn’t make it, but grandma could.  I could tell it was important to my family because grandma lived over an hour away.

The day came.  I remember brief diagrams, the guest kept repeating new words, and a little box given to every girl.  After school, my mother and grandmother tentatively brought it up with me, but I wasn’t really curious about it.  By the time I was actually curious enough to ask, I was much older. The talks I had with my parents were bumpy as I tried to connect the dots, bit by bit, but they were there for me.

A Harvard study estimates over 40 percent of parents (1) don’t talk to their children about sex and in most cases, it’s after their children have already become sexually active.

If we aren’t talking to our children about sex, who is?

Some parents feel if they initiate the conversation, it gives their children the “green light” for sex.  Since most parents don’t want to have “awkward talks,” many rely on the school system to teach sex-ed. There is a new curriculum on the horizon that clashes with most parents’ views called Comprehensive Sexual Education (CSE)developed in part by International Planned Parenthood. In it, abstinence is mentioned three times (2). Twice where abstinence is negative and associated with genital mutation, and once where it’s noted as the only 100 percent way to not get a venereal disease.  While there are several helpful things for teens to know, like the importance of equal treatment of women and open dialogue about STDs between partners, it normalizes abortion, encourages sex between teens, and ignores parental advice and experience.

Sadly, most parents will have no control over this, and more schools no longer offer students the option to be excused from these days in class. At least they are just getting information from school and peers, right?

Unfortunately, no.

Most parents forget a damaging virus that can infect the mind.  Many children that can’t get answers from their parents will turn to pornography (4).  Aside from the danger of becoming addicted, teens and young adults are using it as an “instruction manual,” assuming that the portrayal and treatment of women is realistic and tolerable. Girls who watch pornography frequently agree that satisfying their partner is more important than their own experience, and that pain is normal and to be expected.

It is more important than ever to teach our children about sex. In part two, we will see the difference talking to your children can have.

As we’ve learned, if we don’t teach them, someone else, that doesn’t love them like you do, will.  

For more information:

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References

1) Lampros, J., (2014). The sex talk: Kids and parents are not communicating. Standard Examiner.  http://www.standard.net/Health/2014/11/04/talking-to-kids-about-health.

2) Soelberg, C. Training your child to be a gender and sexual rights activist. United Families International. http://unitedfamilies.org/email-archives/training-your-child-to-be-a-gender-and-sexual-rights-activist/?inf_contact_key=c2384570027692884f1f75bf6a328243e598973c6d5ee97eae70c48e2054a32c

3) Population Council. It’s all one curriculum: Guidelines and activities for a unified approach to sexuality, gender, HIV, and human rights education http://www.popcouncil.org/research/its-all-one-curriculum-guidelines-and-activities-for-a-unified-approach-to-

4) Orenstein, P. (2016, Mar., 19). When did porn become sex ed? New York Times. Retrieved from http://www.nytimes.com/2016/03/20/opinion/sunday/when-did-porn-become-sex-ed.html?_r=0

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