New Stats on Teen Sex Will Shock Parents Into Serious Talks

teensThere's a sad new trend emerging among teens, and it looks especially harmful for girls. A new study of Boston teenage girls shows that one out of 13 of them had participated in group sex -- and more than half of them said it was "nonconsensual." In other words, they were raped.

Worse, in half of these encounters the guys didn't wear condoms, and in a third said drugs were involved to incompacitate the victims. The average age of the girls was 15. That's so depressing! Is this what we want our daughters' first sexual encounter to be like? Do we really want our sons doing this to other girls? The study makes me wonder if we need to change the way we talk with our kids about sex.

 

 

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Teens hate it when we point this out, but while they may look almost like adults they're still children. And sex may be this "fun" think you can do with your body, but it's also a heavy, serious responsibility most teens are not ready for. And while I'm worried about girls not feeling empowered or like the "own" their bodies, I'm also worried about what boys are thinking.

Parents need to have frank conversations with their kids about sex. Since porn is becoming more of an influence, they need to talk about that -- porn is not reality. Trying to play out those fantasies can hurt people. Everyone needs to be taught what consensual sex actually is -- and what it is not. And that's even if you're also teaching your teans abstience. They still need to know! Teens also need to learn how to communicate clearly and respectfully with each other. If you don't learn how to listen, you're not going to hear when someone tells you "no."

Am I asking for too much? I know a lot of parents are doing their duty by their kids. Whatever those conversation sound like, they're happening. Thank you, parents -- those conversation don't just help your child, they help your kids' friends, too. But not enough parents are really digging in the way they need to. I don't think it's effective to just forbid sex to your kids. We're not living in the kind of world that supports that message alone. We need to teach out kids to respect sex more.

What do you talk about when you talk with your kids about sex?

 

Image via Made Underground/Flickr

 

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