Kelsey and Her Mother
For parents, do you think your teen would tell you they had had sex? For teens, would you tell your parents when you became sexually active? Why or why not?
As a parents, I do think my teenage daughter would mention having sex to me. I have developed a cordial close relationship with my children where we freely discuss our lives and how they have been progressing in school. The closeness has helped me gain trust from my children and they always involve me in their decision makings.
As a teenager, I would discuss my sexual life with my parents. Since I reached puberty; my mum has really paid much closer attention to my needs. She now inquires more than even my studies wanting to know my infatuations. I trust her and always feel free to talk to her.
Do you think most parents and teens have frank discussions about sexuality? What factors might keep parents and teens from talking? How can teens and parents improve their communication about sex?
I don’t think a lot of the parents have frank discussions about sex. Some of the factors attributable to withholding the discussions include:
Ignorance: Majority of the parents leave the sexuality discussions to the teachers. Most think their children will receive necessary information and discussion from school. They hence chose to reject having discussions with their children (De Looze, Constantine, Jerman, Vermeulen & Bogt, 2015).
Denial: Most parents find it difficult to come to terms with the fact that their little ones have now grown up. It is very difficult for a parent to picture her teenager watching pornography or even kissing.
To get trust and connection, parents need to be there for their children. For instance, if the parents are always busy, communication and connection is hindered. To get a frank discussion, they need to establish contact in order to build trust with their children (De Looze et al., 2015).
School for Pregnant/Parenting Teens
Do you think sex education programs that stress abstinence as the only correct choice for teens are a good investment of education time and funding?
Stressing on abstinence alone is not the best choice of effecting sex education. Sex education should not only advice the teenagers on avoiding relations, but should also advise on the safer ways to protect themselves from early pregnancies and infections. Majority of the teenagers become sexually active at the age of thirteen. Denying information and investment on contraceptives will only increase the rate of teen pregnancies, school drop outs and infection rate in the country (Breuner & Mattson, 2016).
Fayetteville, NC (DVD only)
Members of the Fayetteville community have different opinions about when it’s OK for teens to have sex. Do you think it is realistic to expect young people to wait until marriage? If not, what factors should they consider when making the decision?
It is not realistic to think that teenagers will wait for marriage to have sex as majority become sexually active at a younger age and start having sex at the age of seventeen years. Before the Fayetteville community makes the decision, they need to consider:
Level of Exposure: They need to pay critical attention to the surrounding. Everything ranging from advertisements to product commercials has sexual aspects. They should instead consider educating their young ones on safer methods of protection.
Family background: They should also consider that other teenagers have grown in foster homes, moving from one family to another. The teenagers lack connection with guardians which raises viability to drug abuse and increased sexual activity. They should instead consider reaching the young teenagers rather than deciding whether premarital sex is good or not (Breuner & Mattson, 2016).
Loaded Language around Sex
Does sex belong in the same category as an addiction or a contaminant? Have you noticed other trends in the words people use to discuss sex and sexuality?
I strongly believe sex belongs in the same category as contamination. Sex is not just physical as it encompasses the body and the mind. Sex creates a strong bond between two people. It is a way of connecting, not just physically but also emotionally. Having many partner s distorts one’s ability to connect with one partner which poses difficulties in marriage. One of the latest trends people use in discussing sex are online chat rooms where individuals can have sexual conversations with people they do not know from other parts of the world.
The Dutch Approach to Teen Sexuality
Would you feel comfortable discussing sexuality as openly with your parents, or your teens, as the Dutch do? Why or why not?
I would definitely feel free discussing sexuality with my folks. We are very close and I definitely trust them when it comes to relationship advises and contraception discussions. It helps reduce my inquisitiveness and curiosity on the topic. My parent’s closeness and advice is enough to set me on the right track.
Do you think parents should make condoms and contraception available to teens? Why or why not?
Yes. Parents should avail condoms and contraception’s to their children. Sex discussions for the longest time have been a taboo. Not discussing or availing condoms raises curiosity on the part of the teenagers. They always want to try out what they do not know. Availing the items will reduce the tension on sexual discussions and help reduce the curiosity on part of the teenagers and so lower likelihood to having sex (De Looze et al., 2015).
Do you think virginity pledge programs are effective for young people? Why or why not?
Virginity pledges are to a certain level effective to some individuals but they rather serve as a danger of exposing teenagers to negative consequences of premarital sex. Most of the pledges are instituted in religious institutions which prohibit sexuality discussions. They hence lack information on condoms and contraceptives which makes them liable to early pregnancies and infections (Bearman & Brückner, 2015).
Which approach do you think is a better societal investment: discouraging adolescents from having sex or teaching kids about safer sex? Is it really an either/or question?
The society should consider teaching their children on safe sex. Eliminating the notion that sex discussion is a taboo helps ease the young ones curiosity. Many love experimenting on what they do not know (Breuner & Mattson, 2016). Making the information available makes them less viable to having sexual relations and waiting a bit longer for it.
Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, and Transgender (GLBT) Teens
Do you think it is important that schools include GLBT teens in sex education lessons? Why or why not? How can parents make sure their needs are met?
Yes. It is important for the academic institutions to pay attention to all parties despite their sexual orientation. Most parties consider being homosexual, bisexual or transgender as a taboo. Alienating them from the discussions would only cause harm. They also deserve to know the dangers associated with unprotected sex (Breuner & Mattson, 2016). Accommodating them will hence reduce the infection rate. Their parents can ensure to have sexual discussions and on occasions consult specialists on their teenager’s condition. The specialists should help the teenagers feel at ease and clearly understand themselves.
HIV Outreach in Washington, DC
Are the teens you know worried about getting HIV, or do they think it’s not a threat?
Majority of the teenagers I know worry about getting infected. The discussions on dangers and effects of HIV have reduced unsafe sex teenagers. Enlightenment on contraceptives and condoms has served as the safest option to having premarital sex. Many choose to use condoms rather than risking getting infected.
How does shame around sexuality contributes to poor sexual health outcomes?
Shame on discussions inhibits availing information to teenagers. They may grow not knowing what contraceptive are and how they are used. Lack of knowledge posses the risk of encountering infections and pregnancy when faced with sexual dilemma (Breuner & Mattson, 2016).
Leah and Lizzie (Oregon)
Do you agree with Lizzie’s approach that teaching about good relationships is the priority for young people, with whether or not they’re having sex less of an issue?
I completely agree with Lizzie’s approach. She focuses on faithfulness between young people. Her focus helps eliminate the dangers associated with infidelity such as emotional breakdown and increment in infection rates associated with having multiple partners. It helps the partners develop loyalty to one another which will be an important element in all their future relationships.
The minister featured in this section of the film, and Oregon’s sex education policies, support open communication about sexuality in the school, houses of worship, and at home. Do you think Oregon is on the right track? Why or why not? Could your community adopt these practices? Why or why not?
Oregon definitely is on the right track. Making sexual education public aids ease its discussion and widen enlightenment to majority. Making it public will help reach majority of the parents and their children (Breuner & Mattson, 2016). The community should consider adopting and implementing the practice. It will help widen coverage and reach majority of the teenagers even those who lack guardian for guidance.
Many adults believe that if you talk about sex, it encourages teens to go out and have sex. Do you believe that withholding information about sex protects kids and teens, or harms them?
Withholding sexual information tends to harm the teenagers even more. Not talking to them will only deny them the right to information. The teenagers watching pornography will end up suffering from erectile dysfunction social stigma or even lack of sexual satisfaction in their marriage, just because the parents denied them advice. Others will go out to explore for themselves only to suffer the consequences later, for instance, they may contract infections or even get early pregnancies (Santelli, Kantor, Grilo, Speizer, Lindberg, Heitel… & Heck, 2017).
How can communities support parents’ communication with their kids?
The community has different stakeholders who may aid the parents in communicating to their teenagers. For instance, the teachers may institute programs on sexual health into their curricula. The programs will avail crucial and significant information to the teenagers (Haberland & Rogow, 2015). Health practitioners can formulate community programs meant to inform and advise parents on sexual health and communication. Some of the parents lack clear knowledge on sexuality which limits sexual discussions with their children. Advising them will help them connect with their teenagers.
Bearman, P. S., & Brückner, H. (2015). Promising the Future: Virginity Pledges and First Intercourse1. American journal of Sociology.
Breuner, C. C., Mattson, G., & Committee on Psychosocial Aspects of Child and Family Health. (2016). Sexuality education for children and adolescents. Pediatrics, 138(2), e20161348.
De Looze, M., Constantine, N. A., Jerman, P., Vermeulen-Smit, E., & ter Bogt, T. (2015). Parent–adolescent sexual communication and its association with adolescent sexual behaviors: A nationally representative analysis in the Netherlands. The Journal of Sex Research, 52(3), 257-268.
Haberland, N., & Rogow, D. (2015). Sexuality education: emerging trends in evidence and practice. Journal of adolescent health, 56(1), S15-S21.
Santelli, J. S., Kantor, L. M., Grilo, S. A., Speizer, I. S., Lindberg, L. D., Heitel, J., … & Heck, C. J. (2017). Abstinence-only-until-marriage: An updated review of US policies and programs and their impact. Journal of Adolescent Health, 61(3), 273-280.