Teenagers and Sexuality
How do we as Parents deal with Teenagers and Sexuality?
It seems, that to a large extent, the issue and the way that it is dealt with varies enormously from one culture to another.
Related to culture we can note tremendous National and Religious differences, in how Parents treat Human Sexuality.
These approaches to Parenting and Sexuality can be so varied that i am somewhat apprehensive when i write about this topic.
After all there are cultures where the topic is taboo outside of marriage and even then it is not discussed. Certain religious groups only allow for intercourse with a sheet in bewteen the two people so that they do not see each other. (No, i am not making this up).
In certain Latin American countries young girls will become mothers at the young age of 11, 12 13 and 14, and that is not considered strange by them.
In the west we all know the stories of young teenage mothers, varying from ages 13 to 16, generally that is frowned upon by society as teenagers are not considered to be adult or to have any real responsibility untill they are 16, and ideally only once they are 18.
Being a Caucasian from Western Europe, i can only use that as my point of reference. A while back i gave a workshop in Arizona for a group of ”Conscious Birthing Coaches”, all female. They asked me to speak about Sexuality. To my surprise a young woman said that since i was European i was very used to openly talking about Sexuality but no way was she as an American going to openly speak about Sexuality with her clients! Fair enough. Though i was surprised: how can a so called Conscious Birthing Coach not be able to speak openly about Sexuality?
I do feel that in the West, if not all over the world, there is a great need for open communications to Children and Teenagers about Sexuality.
You see, on the one hand the Internet and many Media will surely give them their own-often warped and commercially based- view on Sexuality, so it is up to us Parents and Educators to give them open and transparent information on Sexuality.
All too often Parents and Teachers allow themselves to be shut up by Teenagers with some snide comment about how they allready know everything because ”everything is online”. Well, first of, not everything is online, and secondly online information only goes so far, and it is through meaningful, safe and open dialogue that teenagers can share their views and thoughts as well as their problems about it.
If anything history teaches us that repression (of sexuality) is not conducive. You only need to look at the age old and current problems of sexual abuse by priests, the horrendous amount of paedophile priets (and nuns!), the massive rape and sexual abuse of women all over the world, the horrifying reality of millions of girls and women (and boys) sold as sex slaves and so on, to realise that we have a problem with Sexuality!
I can only hope that as Parents and Teachers you will continue to engage in a open dialogue about Human Sexuality.
It is of paramount importance that Children/Teenagers have a safe place to discuss whatever issues that thay might have regarding Sexuality.
You can find more out about my parenting methodology in my book, Oops The Parenting Handbook.
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