Let’s talk about sex, baby. Let’s talk about you and me. Let’s talk about all the good things and the bad things that could be…
Seems like everyone is talking about it lately and I feel the urge (pardon the pun) to throw in my two cents.
There’s a connection needing to be drawn between The Sassy Housewife Danielle Herzog’s commentary on the 16-year-old with the condom in her purse, mom blogger Heidi Woodard’s intervention for Justin Bieber, and SNL’s Valentine’s Dance skit which aired Feb. 9 featuring Bieber.
Danielle gave sound advice to the mother who found the condom. I especially support her comment, “Tell her the truth. Then wait. Wait a few minutes to see what she tells you… Either way, let her know how much you love her and then remind her of her responsibilities.”
Teenagers need a lot of things from their parents, but from my experience, the best thing a parent can do is listen and remain respectful. Respect begets respect in the adolescent brain. And, no — you don’t have to see eye-to-eye to maintain respect.
The Sassy Housewife mentioned condoms and birth control in her response, but not abstinence.
Fast forward to Saturday Night Live’s skit with Justin Bieber. Here Justin plays the role of a high school student who is practicing and promoting abstinence. Sure, I’ll admit the skit made me chuckle; but once it was over, I was finding myself more irritated than humored.
Bieber and SNL’s Nasim Pedrad were made out to look like hormonal geeks with no friends. Their characters admit to being the only two planning members of the abstinence-themed dance, implying they are the only two students abstaining from sex.
Abstaining from sex does not equate with nerdiness. Additionally, not all teenagers are having sex, planning to have sex, or even interested in having sex.
Heidi’s recognition of the power pop icon idols possess is the third link to this discussion. In her intervention for Justin Bieber she writes, “I also know you have experienced how powerful it feels to influence people who look up to you.”
Like it or not, everything this 18-year-old wears, speaks, touches, eats, and drinks soon trends, sells, tweets and becomes marketing gold.
Time for my take-home message:
We can’t expect our teens and young adults to view abstinence as a viable option if we don’t talk about it and we certainly won’t by mocking it.
Understand me, I’m not uneducated, unaware, or operating with my head stuck in the sand. I dealt with teens and sex as a profession.
Teenagers are having sex. Not all teenagers are going to choose abstinence.
But shouldn’t we at least promote it as an option? A good option?
I think so.
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