Dad Blames School for Teaching His Kid About Sex


billboardsI'm not sure I understand what the El Paso dad who flipped out over a high school billboard printed with the words "Yes, we can talk about sex" was so very, very upset about. He says it's because his 8-year-old daughter read the sign as they were driving by and he was then forced to, well, talk about sex. (Aha! the billboard's evil plan all along, no doubt!)

Actually, the idea behind the billboard was to get parents and teens to talk about sex (not so much 8-year-olds), which is definitely a noble and worthy goal. After all, it's lack of communication between kids and parents that usually leads to irresponsible behavior. Everybody knows that, right? Or do we need yet another reality show about teen moms to convince us?

As America High School principal Lucia Borrego says, "It was to get as much awareness out there because it is a taboo sometimes. But because it is a taboo sometimes we don't talk to our kids about it and that's how they end up trouble."

"Yes, we can talk about sex" was just one installment in a series of programs designed to help improve teenage/adult communication. For future classes, Principal Borrego says he might have to consider choosing words with greater discretion.

But I have to say, I really hope he doesn't. The word "sex" isn't even crude  -- I can think of a few other words that would be highly inappropriate on a high school billboard, but that's not one of them. And the dad who took out the original complaint needs a reality check: If he truly thinks this was the first time his 8-year-old daughter ever saw the word sex and wondered what it meant, well ...

Then I'm going to have to assume that "Yes, we can talk about ... " are not words that little girl hears very much at her house.

Do you think there was anything wrong with this high school's billboard campaign?


Image via Matthew Juzenas/Flickr

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dirti... dirtiekittie

well i wouldn't want to explain sex to my 8 year old, that is for sure. however, i still support the billboards. you know, in this day and age of "free information" and teaching children at younger and younger ages about things they really don't need to know... well i really want to bring back the "you'll know when you're older..." stance. i don't think it's prudish to tell a child "you'll learn about something like that when you're older". sure, maybe she read the billboard and asked him about it, but that didn't mean he had to tell her right then what it was. he made the choice to answer her as with what information he did - the school didn't tell him what to say.

keep the billboards. and really, it's ok to tell your kids "we'll talk about it when you're older"... i'm sure to an 8 year old, they can move on to the next subject just fine and in a fast enough fashion.

Memph... MemphisSuzi

I think they are great for their get the ball rolling for parents and teens.  Should my 7 year old see it I would just explain it simply and move on.  What's the big deal?  Anyone living in a major city (such as El Paso) surely sees all kinds of billboards, adult stores, etc that force you to talk about things you may not want to.  The other day we passed a billboard with OMG! and blood splatter shown - and my kid pipes up "why does that sign have blood?  Where did all the blood come from?  That's alot of blood...."  I thought it wouldnt end!   I want to shield them from grown up things but it is just not possible.

bobek bobek

I don't understand what the big deal is. Instead of praising the school that is trying to educate teenagers about sex, it gets criticized for posting the word on a billboard. I think once children are able to understand and read words, parents should expect them to ask questions like this! That parent still had control over how much information he is going to give up about the matter. In my opinion it is never too early to talk about sex. You don't even have to use that word if you don't like it. It just has to be age appropriate. In Europe, where I grew up, people wouldn't even think twice about this... 

nmmama09 nmmama09

No, I see nothing wrong with it. Although, I talk to my 10 yr old son and my neices about sex, so I guess it doesn't bother me so much.

Chalon Jones

In our house the kids know what sex is at four...well in simple terms.   We leave it at sex is for baby making.  When they are older we will tell them it is fun, sometimes, lol.  Then show them a picture of std's promptly.  But jeeze....if your 8 year old has no idea about sex....IMHO you have failed as a parent.   Have they not ever seen a nature documentery?

witch... witchkiss

My 7 year old has questions about sex... We just had a baby and we also got walked in on.  You know what? It's not a big deal. She knows it's for grown ups and thinks it's disgusting (for now).  I pretty much HAD to have a talk with her anyway.  She discovered herself when she was in diapers and had to be trained to go to her room and shut the door! 

lovep... lovepotion69

Sex should absolutely be an open topic of conversation.  Starting at infancy.  (ie:  this is your hand, this is your ear, this is your penis).  Kudos to witchkiss for educating your daughter to "go to her room and shut the door" As a sexual health educator, I meet far too many women who are embarrassed or afraid to discuss anything sexual and who have no clue on how to broach the topic with their children.  Not saying of course that an 8 year old needs to be reading the Kama Sutra, but a simple answer at that age is appropriate.  The parent in this scenario could have made the answer something as simple as "sex can mean many different things, why do you ask"?  By asking the child what they already "know" we as parents can be surprised.  When my oldest child (at age 4) asked me, "mom, what is SEX?" had I not asked him where he heard the word I could have been uncomfortable and/or ill prepared to answer.  Turns out he was looking at an application for preschool and instead of "gender" the line read "sex" of child.   

Tal0n Tal0n

What a freakin PANSY!!  You SHOULD be talking to your kid about sex by the time they're EIGHT.  Geeze...some kids are starting PUBERTY (I know, I hate it too) by that time!!

Water... Water_geM

Im so embarrased this is my home town...considering one our highscools is imfamous for its knocked up teens...yes we need to talk about sex.

Crims... CrimsonRain

When 8 year-olds are dressing like Miley Cyrus and developing eating disorders, you know that the age of innocence is no longer what it used to be.  Kids are learning about these things from friends and the media.  It's naive to try to shelter them.  It only results in low self-esteem, early sex and unwanted pregnancy.  Parents need to get in tune with their child's development in relation to the sort of world they are growing up in.

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