Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Teen sex

Well, that title should bring traffic to this place.

Slate has an interesting article about evangelical teens and their sexual habits. None of the findings come as a surprise to me. I think the more we make a big deal out of sex, whether it's "You're burning in hell if you try it before marriage!" or "It's the greatest thing in the world, so get out there and start doing it!" we are going to face teens participating in it. What teen trying to build their own identity isn't going to be tempted by something that is given an aura of mystique. It's also one reason kids drink and do drugs.

I think the best way to deal with this is to have frank discussions about the issue, be it sex, drugs, or whatever. It can't be a talk that starts with, "God only wants you to have sex after your married, so don't even think about it," or "Drugs are bad for you, so don't do it." Parents need to be honest. They need to explain exactly what sex is. They need to explain what is great about it (yes, I believe Mommy and Daddy should be telling their kids that sex feels good) as well as the possible consequences of sex (diseases, emotional issues, babies).

Is this a magic solution that will make problems go away? Of course not. I am willing to bet, however, that frank talk and honesty between parent and child will go a long way toward helping these issues. And, really, is it going to hurt?

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