A Thought-filled Conversation- about SEX and your Teen

When I was a teen I had sex. Yep, there I said it and it's true. I was 16* and it was my choice.

It's a truth that is being spoken by 100's of Wesleyan students as they express their support for Planned Parenthood in the face of the organization losing any and all federal funding.

 The fact is that teens have sex, and they need support in choices about sex ( including the choice to not have sex now). They need ( DESERVE) clear information about birth control, health services and a safe place to get tested when they worry the have slipped up.  Teens need help with anything from a horrible case of  cramps to worry that they might have been exposed to a sexually transmitted disease. You and your family might be the safe place for your own child but for many there is not a safe home. There is under education, shame and even physical punishment. Everyone deserves a safe haven.

The fact is that it's not just somene elses teen that is having sex, it's your teen, it's my teen and most of the teens in our lives and I bet some years ago it was you. It's not the "bad" kids, it's Christian and Jewish, and Buddhist and UU and Atheist teens. It's teens who are good students and on the honor roll, and Boy Scouts who help little old ladies across the street. And each and every one of these  kids deserves a safe place to ask their questions and get health services when they need it. ( please note, that the " bad" kids deserve service as much as anyone else and maybe more since it's the rare " bad kid" who go there on their own and usually there is a pretty awful family behind these kids and they need as much love as we can give them)

Taking away honest talk and honest services will not stop teens from having sex. What is will do is increase the number of pregnancies from the one's who then skimp on birth control  ( have you seen how much condoms cost?... how about BC pills?) or don't gain the correct knowledge in the first place. Or don't seek health care services and look past the signs of cervical cancer when they can't afford to go to the family doctor. There is nothing good to be gained and I applaud an open and frank discusion of these facts. 
What do you think?

** Was it the best choice I ever made?..no...best sex?... not by a long shot. Good sex takes time, maturity and education but this has rarely has kept a teen from anything else so why do we think it will be so differnt when it comes to sex?

As a blogger commited to open thoughtful dialog I welcome your comments even if they differ with my own. But do understand that any offensive posting will be removed from the listing. I acknowledge that by leaving my comments open right now I am taking a risk but am interested in what you have to say so please do comment.


Greg said...

Some people believe that if you don't talk about it, it doesn't happen. Most of us are smart enough to know otherwise. But if we don't talk about sex, kids arn't "doing it". Its true now and it was true back when I was in high school. We had 321 graduates and 18 of those were pregnant. One even gave birth 6 hours after graduating! But the school wasn't allowed to discuss such things. Its better for people to have the resources of Planned Parenthood than be left alone in the dark with no where to turn.

lindabrysoncarter said...

Ingnorance and immaturity can be a deadly or dangerous combination. PP has been a constant non-threatening resource for a very long time and should continue to exist. The organization has provided for the health of many many people over the course of years; for People who have no where else to go. The funding is not a major amount in the budget. Cutting funding is an excuse to do away with something conservatives don't understand yet consider to be unworthy.
If we don't speak up now, what else will be cut. I am 63 years old now, and my life experience has taught me that education, helping those in need and stepping up when no one else will can decrease mortality, morbidity, and prevent mental distress. Hugs for standing up my dear.

Rhissanna said...

I live in Arkansas, where the level of sex education seems to be zero and the volume of scared, heavily pregnant teenage girls is high. It makes me very angry, to see them left to their own devices, without guidance, education or assistance. Teenagers will have sex, because they're strongly driven to do so, emotionally and physiologically. They need to be prepared and equipped to make that choice, when they're ready, so that they can stay safe, healthy and ready for a happy, adult relationship.

Katrina said...

Thank you. I would love for this video to be paired with letters to teen magazines with the same questions from 20 yrs ago...when I started having sex. Out of curiousity & lack of self esteem, & rebellion, but not without knowledge at least of how to be responsible, thanks to PPH. So I knew to laugh at girls wanting confirmation...like would douching with soda work as spermicide. When I see the SAME letters today, it scares the hell out of me. There are plenty of adults having sex for the same naive, curious, emotionally & psychologically stunted, or even plain pleasure seeking reasons teens are...they just often have better access to healthcare. Why would we expect more from their kids? When I was 16 my single father took me to PPH & dropped me off-for an appt he scheduled on the advise of female friends.(Much to my surprise & teen horror.)When he picked me up he told me I needed to still make good decisions, but he was 16 once, and what I had a commodity that guys would try to manipulate me out of, and he didn't want me to pay forever. What that must have taken as a dad blows me away today. I am the only woman I know (so far!) who had an experience that real. And while I went on to make plenty of stupid, even life-altering mistakes...unintentionally pregnant or diseased was not one of them.

Gene Black said...

I so understand this. I had sex as a teen. Not often, and it wasn't very good - but at that point I thought it was wonderful. Forbidden fruit tastes sweetest.
This is one of those really amazingly stupid budget cuts from legislators who can't see past the end of their noses.

Unknown said...

I started having sex when I was 14.

Why? It felt like the "normal" thing to do, like being a virgin was something bad. My sisters were doing it and made fun of me for being "square."

My mother even once yelled at me, after I asked her why the hell she had me, "Because I just like to fuck, fuck, fuck!"

So I've always struggled with sex. Church said it was bad, but obviously the message I was getting at home was "everyone does it."

What I would like to see is an open dialogue about masturbation. Teens should be taught IN SCHOOL that this is safe, fun, and nothing to be ashamed of.

This is especially important for girls. And by the way, why the heck do you have to be 18 to see a dildo or vibrator in a sex shop? If parents would give their daughters access to pleasing themselves, we would see the teen pregnancy rate plummet.

Maddie Kertay- The Domestic Anarchist said...

Dear all.... I am LOVING this dialog.. soon as I get a chance I have lots more to say and welcome more responses to this topic :)

Maddie, obviously not the only Anarchist on the block :)

Anonymous said...

thank you for posting this!!!