Teen Vogue: Won’t Somebody Think of the Children

by , under Mom, personal, Pirate

Bear with me. I just wanted to use that for a headline. And use this GIF

via GIPHY

So Teen Vogue has recently become an awesome place for journalism, and published a guide on anal sex on their website. And let me tell you, parents from all over were upset. The general consensus was that they didn’t want their teens to have access to that information because, god forbid, they use it.

If you are a parent who is willing to sit down and have this conversation with your children, then by all means, criticize a site geared towards teens for putting that information out there.

But if you think your child shouldn’t have that information? Shame on you.

I’m talking to you, parent to parent here.

More information allows your children to make a responsible decision. I hate to break it to you, but horny teenagers will be horny teenagers. But if you give your kids the information about safe and responsible sex, as well as discuss with them why waiting might be a good idea (in more than just “don’t have sex” terms), you’re going to let your kid be able to make the decision. And if they decide to have sex, it’ll lessen their risk of exposure to STDs.

I grew up in a smallish town in Southern California. A beach town. People were either ultra liberal or conservative. Not a lot of middle ground. And we had our sex ed, which wasn’t entirely abstinence based, but all the same it was definitely not complete.

My mom had given me a book talking about puberty and sex, and it actually gave me a place to feel comfortable discussing these things with them.

And realize I wasn’t ready for sex.

But I knew girls, whose parents didn’t talk to them about anything. Who were pressured into sex with their boyfriends. Anal sex (“because it wasn’t real sex”), and there were a couple who ended up with STDs and one girl who got pregnant anyways. Who kept everything from their parents.

And I admit, I was a good kid in high school. Other than the fact that I drank a lot my senior year. But my dad told me he drank in high school, and knew it was unfair to tell me not to drink. He just asked me to call him if I’d been drinking and needed a ride home.

All of this actually built up a lot of trust. I felt comfortable talking to them about these things and they trusted me out on my own.

It isn’t easy, having that sort of relationship. I’m laying the foundation with my boys, and last month I ended up in a long conversation with the Oldest Kidlet about why sperm whales were called sperm whales – and it veered into a discussion about how penises work.

It was awkward. It was not the way I wanted to spend that afternoon. But I’d told him I’d be there to answer any question, so I was. And he knew after our discussion that his father or I would be there for awkward questions about development or sex, and that if he didn’t feel comfortable, we would buy him a book that might answer some of his more private questions.

Not every kid is going to have parents who will do that. Not every kid will have a school district with decent sex education. They need somewhere to find reliable information to help keep themselves safe.

Pretending teens won’t have sex is how you get STD epidemics, and that’s something no parent wants to think about.

So really, won’t someone think of the children? Give them information.

(And Teen Vogue? When you first publish something, make sure you mention condoms. Please and thank you)