Sex is a dirty word. That’s what most kids in the U.S. grow up thinking. Dirty as in something taboo that we’re not supposed to say or do. Is that right, though?
Growing up in a multicultural household, it wasn’t something my parents pushed under the rug until I was older. As uncomfortable as it was, they explained “how it works” to me at a young age.
In a recent Salon article, Thomas Rogers addresses the question. Apparently, the Dutch are way ahead of us and they “have dramatically reduced adolescent pregnancies, abortions and STDs.” University of Massachusetts Assistant Professor Amy T. Schalet studied the difference in the comfort level of American parents v. Dutch parents for her new book, and found that the latter don’t panic at the thought of their kids having sex.
I would have to agree with the Dutch parenting style. No parent really wants to imagine his or her child having sex, but the reality is that your child is (most likely) going to eventually lose his or her virginity. If you make it such a taboo subject that they can’t come talk to you about it, then it could be even worse in terms of their sexual education and awareness.
This is particularly true for those who never have to take a sex education class in school. Yes, we all learn about this and that from our friends, TV, the Internet and other oh-so-reliable sources during our developmental period of life. But, really, how much of that is truly accurate or the right information we should be learning. I’d say maybe not even half.
Well, I guess there are always books written by sex educators you could turn to.