As a current force in the world granted the opportunity to work alongside young women/teenagers younger than me, I have been able to channel the troubles of current sex education. It has been quite interesting to actually have conversations with young girls who are sexually active, yet lack the basic knowledge of safe sex, the consequences of sex (besides pregnancy), and the physical, mental, and emotional effects of the activity. Most of the time, students only know what they are told from school health classes or peers, since some parents are afraid to sit down an address the reality of their son or daughter actually being sexually active without their knowledge.
I get it. Some may think discussing the topic opens their offspring’s mind to a world that they are not ready for, but ignoring the fact that 14 and up young people are actually having sex with their own will is far from okay. It only leads the youth to seek answers from their favorite reality TV stars, music artists, and etc. who wouldn’t know them or their age from a can of paint when they rap and talk about sexual activity through their public platforms. This piece is for parents who are avoiding the topic of “sex” because they think it’s not on their pre-teenagers/teenagers mind or introduced to them.
When I was growing up, my mother simply asked me about sex once I got in high school. I definitely wasn’t even thinking about sex and what it meant in middle school, but it becomes more prominent as you get older and continue to watch and read certain things. It was so many songs and things that I had memorized around this age that talked about sexual content, and I didn’t even realize exactly what I was repeating until I became of age. I remember taking my health class in middle school. We were simply taught the basics of health with a small section about our body parts, but it was nothing too deep about sexual activity. Once I got to high school, it was basically a repeat of the same information with a focus on physical activity and exercising. Therefore, if it wasn’t for my mother occasionally telling me about safe sex, asking me about my sexual activity, and reminding me about the importance of protecting my body, there’s no telling what I would have done. & Yes, we all know different states, cities, counties, and etc. teach different things in many ways, but it’s still important to have that interpersonal conversation.
As a world that continues to grow on a social media morale, it is important for parents to be willing to make a comfortable environment for their son or daughter to talk to them about this sensitive topic. Of course, you can’t make your offspring tell you the truth or refrain from doing anything, but at least they will be able to come to you when they are unsure or in need throughout the growing up process. There are so many young people that end up contracting S.T.Ds, S.T.Is, and etc. without knowing or getting any treatment. This may be because they don’t know the symptoms and definitely don’t feel comfortable telling a parent who is unaware of their sexual activity. Don’t be afraid to ask. They are your child(ren), and they deserve to live their best life with all of the knowledge they can get from home FIRST.
I always tell myself to “learn from my parents’ mistakes”, but we can’t learn anything if parents aren’t willing to break that wall and tell their child(ren) about one of the many life experiences that changes all of our lives. Don’t be the parent that let their child(ren) get all the way to college without any sexual education. By then, it’ usually too late and we all know how life-changing college can be as we learn ourselves and get involved with people from all over the world.