You'll Never Guess Where Our Teens Are Getting Sex Advice

Jeanne Sager

teensThere's nothing like the thought of having to talk to my kid about sex to make me want to huddle in a corner, stick my fingers in my ears, and rock. I can make sexytimes all by myself, but not the kidlet, OK? But this little statistic has just scared me more than the birds and the bees talk ever could.

Some 35 percent of kids get their sex advice from their friends. From their friends, folks. Do you know what your friends tell you about sex in high school? I seem to recall gems such as "you won't get pregnant if you pee immediately after sex" and "you can't get pregnant the first time." If I haven't terrified you enough, the Canadian scientists who came up with these figures said the kids who are dumb enough to take the word of their pals are also the most likely to be sexually active. Greaaaaaat!

But before you start buying yourself the "I Heart Being a Granny" t-shirts, there was a bit of good news in the study. About 45 percent of the kids took mom and dad's advice on sex rather than their friends. That's 10 percent more than the kids listening to kids. More than the 15 percent who, shudder, listen to celebrities, and more than the 33 percent who said they really have no one to turn to for sex advice at all.

As scared as I am by the kids turning to their bonehead buddies, it's the kids looking to strangers or no one at all that really get me. How can there just be no one that kids have caring about them? Sex is a big deal. And not just from the "I don't want to be a grandmother before I've seen my kid graduate" sense.

We should want to prep our kids, as scary and icky as it is to think about, because we love them. We should make sure they'll be protected from STDs and early pregnancies but also from emotional pratfalls. We should want them to experience the total awesomeness that can come from sex with the right person at the right stage in life.

I've realized I can't look at this discussion as "teaching my daughter about sex" so much as "sharing information about something joyful with someone I love." I can't imagine a life without sex, so why should I want my favorite person on this planet to live life without this joy? I'd rather she get this information from little old scared to death me than from misinformed friends (pee after sex? please!) or celebrities (again, I shudder) or, even worse, no one.

Do you worry about where your kids are getting their sex advice? Have you had a difficult time having the talk?


Image via SCA Svenska Cellulosa Aktiebolaget/Flickr

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