Let’s Talk About Sex

Let’s Talk About Sex

By: Nora Lee (Guest Columnist)

Yes, you heard me right. Let’s talk about sex.  This is going to get a bit personal…

I was a child of parents who never talked about sex. I was taught about menstrual cycles and the anatomically correct name for our bodies in school and from Judy Bloom. When I had my first menstrual cycle, I was thankful to the school for giving me one maxi pad and embarrassed that I had to tell my mom. There’s something fundamentally wrong with that! My mother did a good job raising her children, but I think she was of the old school mind set. You know, sweep it under the rug and it will go away. She might have talked to me about becoming a woman, but I don’t remember her preparing me for what was to come or sitting me down to have “the talk”.

 

The wrong information is everywhere

The wrong information is everywhere

Why is it so hard to talk about puberty and sex with your children? I don’t agree that little 3 year old Johnny needs to be fully informed about the subject, but your children need to know sooner and sooner these days. I recently read a news article about a 9 year old girl giving birth. 9 years old! I know this is an extreme case, but children need to know what to expect. At 12 years old, I was asked to give up my virginity because I was moving across the country. Looking back, it seems impossibly crazy, but I considered it. Thankfully I didn’t succumb to the pressure and waited. I wish I waited longer than I did, but without my parents talking about why I should wait, I didn’t think it was that big of a deal at the time. Children shouldn’t have to burden themselves with the pressure of sex and what that may lead to. As a girl, the biggest fear is pregnancy. I had a teenage pregnancy scare. It was a false alarm, but I remember the fear all too well! The fear of being pregnant, having to tell my boyfriend, and then having to face my parents was too much. I went to a family friend. We bought a home pregnancy kit. I peed on a stick and waited. I think I held my breath the entire 5 minutes. The test came back negative and I was relieved! I didn’t have to tell anyone, and I didn’t.

 

Studies will show that teenage pregnancies are declining. Is it acceptable that 34% of teenagers have at least one pregnancy before they turn 20? Thirty four percent of girls in the U.S. have teenage pregnancies. In case that wasn’t alarming enough, here’s another statistic. The main rise in the teen pregnancy rate is among girls younger than 15.

 

How do parents help? TALK ABOUT SEX! Information is the key. Talk to your children about puberty. Talk to them about what you expect from them when they are teenagers and start dating. Talk about abstinence, but talk about protection as well. My parents didn’t talk about anything. When they found out I was sexually active my mother’s response was to tell me “stop it”. I snickered even though I knew that was not the response she wanted. If Mom would have taken me to the doctor for contraception, I wouldn’t have had to experience that pregnancy scare. In those days, I couldn’t go to the doctor by myself because I was a minor. I still didn’t know what to expect when I was almost 20 at my first obgyn appointment. The more information you can give your children, the better they will be equipped to handle their own situations. But you have to talk to them. Talking to your children is the first step to everything. So, let’s talk about sex!

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