More Moms Need to Start Worrying About Their Sons' Sex Lives

Rant 49

A friend of mine is pregnant for the second time. She's having a boy. She already has a boy, whom she loves very much, but she would have liked to have a girl the second time around. She mentioned this to a friend of hers. The friend's response? "At least this way you won't have to worry about when they start having sex."

Spittake!

My friend was aghast and asked her friend to explain herself. "You know," the friend reiterated. "It's different for boys. You don't have to worry."

Just. Wow.

My friend was insulted by the suggestion that she, as a parent of boys, can rest easy during the teenage years -- probably the start of their sexual life. Sure, it's the girl who can get pregnant, but as my friend says, "If you're a good mother, and your son gets a girl pregnant, it's your son's issue and yours too. Not just the girl's and her parents' issue!"

Unfortunately, I think too many moms think the way my friend's friend does. I've heard this sentiment a lot over the years, usually voiced along the lines of, "Well, at least boys will be easier during the teenage years." How so? Boys are much more likely to commit a crime or get into a serious accident during their teen years than girls are. So what makes a boy's teenage years so unworrisome?

I guess because it's girls that get pregnant.

But who is getting them pregnant? Oh, that's right, boys. Parents of boys have an obligation to teach their boys about safe sex, about sexual responsibility, and about no means no. Having a teen boy does not give you a free pass on the sex talk. Sorry. If anything, it's even more important -- girls would have much less of a chance of being sexually assaulted if parents taught their boys the meaning of consent.

Nor do you get to turn your eyes if your boy gets a girl pregnant. Nor is it HER fault. Nor HER problem. Your boy was 50 percent of this.

Come to think of it, I'm glad my friend has two boys. That will be two more boys in the world who are raised with a sense of maturity and responsibility about sex. Unfortunately those two boys won't make up for all of the boys raised without it.

Do you teach your teen boys about sex?


Image via Nadya Peek/Flickr

body image, sex

49 Comments

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nonmember avatar khb

This is exactly the conversation that needs to enter in to the rape debates going on right now. It's not about teaching girls and women how to protect themselves, it's about teaching boys and men how to treat people and their bodies with respect.

nonmember avatar Dee

My son is still a toddler, but I will teach him that he is just as responsible for safe sex as the girl is. And that even if a girl says she is on the pill he would still need to protect himself. Having sex is something that two people do so therefore it is both parties responsibility to protect themselves and each other.

Sarah UsedtobeZech Cone

I will absolutely make sure that my son is JUST as aware as my daughters of sex education,birth control/pregnancy&STD's as well as the consequences of irresponsible choices concerning these,along with what would be expected of them should they make that choice and have an unintended surprise. I will definitely hold him to the same expectations and hold him responsible as I would his sisters if that should happen to them.It takes two to tango, afterall...

Julie Winkler

thank you! I totally agree with what you said, it is the parents responsibility to teach their kids boy or girl about safe sex and consent. It takes two to tango so they both need to know the rules.

handy... handy0318

I never met my husband's favorite brother... because he died of AIDS before I met him.  Yes, we need to teach our sons sexual responsibility even if they don't get pregnant.  Since both of my kids were taken from their birth homes by the state separated from their siblings and placed in adoptive homes far from their siblings, they both are fully aware that children born to irresponsible people suffer.  They are only 15 and 13 at this point in time...but they "get it" far more than most people ever do.

EmmaF... EmmaFromEire

@handy thank you for pointing out it's not just teaching responsibility in case you get someone pregnant. Always a serious, serious thing to talk about!

nonmember avatar DB

Having a son myself and speaking of behalf of men everywhere… are you really surprised that people feel this way? I will raise my son the same way I was raised which is almost exactly as you described but I find it almost humorous that you would be offended how society views the roles of men and women in matters of creation (for lack of a better word, not anything to do with religion here people). The woman gets to make all the choices in the matter, especially if the couple is unwed. Will she keep it? What will she name the child? If she does keep it will she allow the father to see the child? Men get constantly shafted in this area because all we seem to be good for is the donation portion and then and only then if the woman decides to keep it... well then financially we are responsible, but nobody ever said we’d get to see the child that we are financially paying for unless we get lawyers involved because a woman can deny a man that as well. Yes not all women are like this and yes it grates my nerves as well when they think raising a boy is so much easier in terms of sexual development, but until society decides to treat men and women as equals in this matter with equal rights it is always going to be considered the woman’s responsibility and the man will just be the bystander who has no responsibility in the matter.

jmama... jmama0307

OMG this is exactly how I say it. A lot of people tell me boys are easy. Umm no boys are more into drugs, crimes, sex then girls. This is def something I want to teach my son. If he gets a girl pregnant he should def be there and not call them names. If he doubts baby is his there's always DNA. It really disgust me when guys don't take responsibility. I agree 1000 percent!!! I don't have a teen boy but when my son does reach his teens this will def a big deal I want to raise. 

nonmember avatar Tammy

Wow! My son is 18 and I can say I did as much talking with him as I did my daughter. I haven't stopped talking. He is a freshman in college and I want to make damn sure he graduates and because the man he can be. To accomplish that he needs to know how to stay safe and responsible with sex. I most likely won't shut up until he is married.

nonmember avatar IslandMomOf4

I practically raised my youngest brother. I answered every question he asked and listened to countless awkward thoughts in his teenage years. I didn't freak out about his questions and I answered honestly from a females point of view. If you aren't talking to your son (over 12) about sex and relationships, you are doing him a great injustice. He will find out, the hard way.

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