Kate Monro is the author of Losing It: How We Lost Our Cherry Over the Last 80 Years, published by Icon Books.

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« And I just got to thinking... | Main | The age of innocence? »

October 22, 2008



I think this is just an example of an extreme case. I remember being taught the birds and the bees back in 5th grade, and it was rather neutral in terms of what it all means. That is, it neither promoted or shunned sex, and just let you be aware of it and the repercussions (or possibilities, depending on how you look at it) it has.

I think kids have sex because they are misinformed by peers, not because they will have it regardless and elder folk tell them no. Most of my friends who joined a fraternity lost their virginity at a frat party of some sort. Another idolized Sex and the City and rushed to get that type of lifestyle.

And as long as everyone agrees that sex *can* (not *will*) bring a lot of baggage and complications to one's life, I think it goes without saying that giving kids too much information may be worse than giving them less. The brain keeps developing, and the way of thinking when you are hormonally-charged from 12-16 and how you are when you're older are totally different. When you tell a 30-year old that sex is something that happens when you are attracted to each other, that is taken as one thing; when you tell a 13-year old the same thing, it will be taken as a totally different thing.

I can't say I know better, nor am I disagreeing, but I think the conundrum is not as simple as just letting kids go and have sex armed with safety precautions and knowledge. If you give a rascal a fish, you feed him for a day; if you teach a rascal to fish, he might come up with more novel ways to use what you taught him, like fish-hooking wedgies.

The Virginity Project

It is a conundrum and its not simple as you say, but I just want to be clear - I think that teenagers/young people/children - I don't know where you draw the line - should be armed with the basic facts.

Here in the UK we have the most shocking teenage pregnancy statistics in europe which begs the question - do some teenagers not even understand the mechanics of sex and how easy it is to get pregnant? I honestly don't think a lot of them do. And I don't believe that telling them will make them want to have sex any more or less but at least they will understand the possible consequences of a sexual relationship!

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