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."
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."
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