Teenagers and sex. It happens ... much more than we parents ever want to think about. And as the secret that Teen Mom star Maci Bookout let slip during one of her recent teen pregnancy prevention speeches reminds us, it doesn't always go down the way it does in after-school specials.
Remember those? You'd come running in from the bus to watch some sappy movie with a capital m Message? Anyway, those specials are the kind that fuel the ridiculous notion that teenage boys are sex-crazed lunatics and teenage girls are delicate flowers who are just trying oh so hard to keep the boys at bay.
Not so. Just ask Maci.
The Tennessee mom who has been open from the get-go that she got pregnant with son Bentley the very first time she had sex with (now former) boyfriend Ryan Edwards has opened up some more. As she told the kids during her recent speech, she actually pushed for sex:
Actually I was the one who talked him into having sex with me because apparently since I was a virgin he was scared of me. I thought there was something wrong with me, but, you know, I finally talked him into it.
You know the rest of the story, folks.
It was brave of Maci to come out with this, and I'm glad she did. We put so much emphasis on teaching our daughters to protect themselves from boys' unwanted advances, but what happened to protecting our sons? Sure, they can't get pregnant, but they can become teen fathers, and that's not likely to be good for them or for the grandchild you'll get out of that situation.
This double standard that exists also fails to address the emotional impacts of being pushed to have sex too early for a boy. We hear about our girls all the time: the girl who falls into a depression after she "gives up" her virginity only to be cast aside by a callous teen boy who "only wanted her" for sex. There is an outdated and purely mythical notion that boys don't have nearly the emotional investment in having sex that a girl can have.
Sorry, wrong-o. Losing your virginity is a big deal, no matter your gender. Having sex, falling in love, all of these things can send a teenage guy into a tailspin just as easily as a girl.
And as Maci has clearly illustrated for us, the girl pushing guy scenario happens with everyday kids in everyday high schools in everyday America. What isn't happening is enough parents talking to kids of both genders about what to do when someone pushes them to have sex: whether it's saying no or using protection so they don't end up 16 & Pregnant like Maci and Ryan.
Have you had this talk with your son yet? Was it a different talk from the one you'd have with a daughter?
Image via MTV