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#61 of 127 Old 04-08-2011, 04:03 PM
 
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Originally Posted by happysmileylady View Post

I am curious, how many folks who approve of teens having sex, have actually experienced some of those risks? 



I wondered the same thing as well.  I was a great student, fabulous GPA, in clubs like Future Business Leaders of America, and held a part time job where I was promoted quickly despite my age.  Then bam, knocked up right after my 18th birthday.  Granted, yes I was an adult technically, but maturity wise I was not.  I don't really think that many teens are as mature as adults would like to think they are.  Biologically their brains are just not capable.  They seek out stimuli and instant gratification and lets face it, that's what sex is at that age.  I had to put my college plans on hold (until recently, I'm still working on my associates degree) and that sucked.  I definitely know that I will not be all "Sure DS, let your gf spend the night.  I trust you." because I won't trust his immature brain not to make the wrong decision like I did.

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#62 of 127 Old 04-08-2011, 09:23 PM
 
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I hope this won't offend people, but I find it odd that some are lumping in drinking, drug usage, and other such activity with their sexual activity in their teen years.

I had sex as a teenager.

I was also utterly uninterested in using drugs or drinking as a teenager and did neither.

All of that is just not intertwined. My brother was a virgin until well into his 20's but drank quite heavily through high school. I guess I'm kind of uncomfortable that sexuality is lumped in with those other things. Sexuality is not negative. Alcholism and drug addiction are. It's entirely possible for a teenager to be into exploring their sexuality without being into alcohol and/or drugs... and it's entirely possible for a teenager to push their sexuality off to the side and get into alcohol and drugs. All of this is possible independent of eachother. Humans are complicated.

As far as the maturity argument goes, I question that because a person isn't as mature now as they will be in the future, they aren't ready for something. No, humans even at the age of 18 are still growing and maturing, but they are also growing and maturing at the age of 25 and 30 and 40 and 45. We are constantly changing and maturing.. so it does strike me as setting an arbitrary date for "maturity" instead of assessing your child as an individual in their personal and emotional development. None of us reach a certain age where our brains magically switch over and we're suddenly ready for sex and everything that comes with us. That's why you hear talks of late bloomers, early bloomers, and everything in between.

 


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#63 of 127 Old 04-09-2011, 04:48 AM
 
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I hope this won't offend people, but I find it odd that some are lumping in drinking, drug usage, and other such activity with their sexual activity in their teen years.

I had sex as a teenager.

I was also utterly uninterested in using drugs or drinking as a teenager and did neither.

All of that is just not intertwined. My brother was a virgin until well into his 20's but drank quite heavily through high school. I guess I'm kind of uncomfortable that sexuality is lumped in with those other things. Sexuality is not negative. Alcholism and drug addiction are. It's entirely possible for a teenager to be into exploring their sexuality without being into alcohol and/or drugs... and it's entirely possible for a teenager to push their sexuality off to the side and get into alcohol and drugs. All of this is possible independent of eachother. Humans are complicated.

As far as the maturity argument goes, I question that because a person isn't as mature now as they will be in the future, they aren't ready for something. No, humans even at the age of 18 are still growing and maturing, but they are also growing and maturing at the age of 25 and 30 and 40 and 45. We are constantly changing and maturing.. so it does strike me as setting an arbitrary date for "maturity" instead of assessing your child as an individual in their personal and emotional development. None of us reach a certain age where our brains magically switch over and we're suddenly ready for sex and everything that comes with us. That's why you hear talks of late bloomers, early bloomers, and everything in between.

 


The unspoken end to your sentence "I had sex as a teen" is" and nothing happened."

 

Obviously, I had sex as a teen.  And, I never did drugs, and I didn't have a single sip of alcohol until after I had my daughter....and that was simply a sip of a daqari at midnight on new years eve, which happened to be the day after I came home from the hospital.  The vicoden I was on was more potent.  I didn't have more until I turned 21.

 

But, one of the reasons I lump the three together is because the risks are comparable, IMO, having personal experience with the risks of teen sex.

 

I don't think that wanting my teen to at least finish high school is some "arbitrary" date.  I was lucky in that my dd was born in December of my senior year, and I was able to rearrange my senior year so that I graduated in 7 semesters, despite the fact that I had not been planning for that ahead of time (ie it took some special arrangements on the part of the school so that I could get the right graduation requirements in.)  But, going to school, be it high school or college, as a single parent, is hard, especially with a newborn.  Statistics prove that it's really difficult for those who become parents as teens, especially the younger it happens, to graduate high school.  It is also very difficult for those who do not have a high school diploma to get a job that will fully support themselves and their child (or children) 

 

It is not wrong or arbitrary to want my child to have completed the milestones that will give her the minimum necessary tools to fulfill the responsibilities of the potential consequences of having sex, before she chooses to take the risks.

 

And you know, lets be clear here...we are talking about sex.  It's not like this is some once in a lifetime opportunity here.  I have had some pretty mind blowing sessions with my DH, but it's still not the most important thing in my entire life.  Heck, at this point in my life, SLEEP is often more important than an hour of even the most spectacular intimate session.   My child's life is not going to be forever altered if she waits until she at least graduates high school before trying it out.  It does however have the potential to be completely changed forever, protection or not, if she doesn't. 

 

I also don't think there's anything wrong or arbitrary about preferring that she be totally responsible for her own life (which for most people comes once they graduate college, if they go right after high school-that's usually when they take on ALL of their bills for themselves, fully move into their own apartment with their own permanent address, etc) before she chooses to take on the risks of sex. 

 

I am not a "abstinence till marriage" type of person.  I don't believe that sex is so special that it should only be with one person in your entire life.  I do believe that it's an important part of a marriage relationship and I believe it's actually important to know if you are completely uncompatible in that area, before you take the vows. 

 

But my kid's got pretty clear goals and plans for her life.   I don't think that any sex could be so spectacular that it's worth the risk of destroying those.  And I know, through experience, that sex before high school graduation, carries a risk of that, protection or not. 
 

 

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The unspoken end to your sentence "I had sex as a teen" is" and nothing happened."

 

Obviously, I had sex as a teen.  And, I never did drugs, and I didn't have a single sip of alcohol until after I had my daughter....and that was simply a sip of a daqari at midnight on new years eve, which happened to be the day after I came home from the hospital.  The vicoden I was on was more potent.  I didn't have more until I turned 21.

 

But, one of the reasons I lump the three together is because the risks are comparable, IMO, having personal experience with the risks of teen sex.

 

I don't think that wanting my teen to at least finish high school is some "arbitrary" date.  I was lucky in that my dd was born in December of my senior year, and I was able to rearrange my senior year so that I graduated in 7 semesters, despite the fact that I had not been planning for that ahead of time (ie it took some special arrangements on the part of the school so that I could get the right graduation requirements in.)  But, going to school, be it high school or college, as a single parent, is hard, especially with a newborn.  Statistics prove that it's really difficult for those who become parents as teens, especially the younger it happens, to graduate high school.  It is also very difficult for those who do not have a high school diploma to get a job that will fully support themselves and their child (or children) 

 

It is not wrong or arbitrary to want my child to have completed the milestones that will give her the minimum necessary tools to fulfill the responsibilities of the potential consequences of having sex, before she chooses to take the risks.

 

And you know, lets be clear here...we are talking about sex.  It's not like this is some once in a lifetime opportunity here.  I have had some pretty mind blowing sessions with my DH, but it's still not the most important thing in my entire life.  Heck, at this point in my life, SLEEP is often more important than an hour of even the most spectacular intimate session.   My child's life is not going to be forever altered if she waits until she at least graduates high school before trying it out.  It does however have the potential to be completely changed forever, protection or not, if she doesn't. 

 

I also don't think there's anything wrong or arbitrary about preferring that she be totally responsible for her own life (which for most people comes once they graduate college, if they go right after high school-that's usually when they take on ALL of their bills for themselves, fully move into their own apartment with their own permanent address, etc) before she chooses to take on the risks of sex. 

 

I am not a "abstinence till marriage" type of person.  I don't believe that sex is so special that it should only be with one person in your entire life.  I do believe that it's an important part of a marriage relationship and I believe it's actually important to know if you are completely uncompatible in that area, before you take the vows. 

 

But my kid's got pretty clear goals and plans for her life.   I don't think that any sex could be so spectacular that it's worth the risk of destroying those.  And I know, through experience, that sex before high school graduation, carries a risk of that, protection or not. 
 

 



Very well said smile.gif

 

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#65 of 127 Old 04-10-2011, 08:01 AM
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My kid had sex as a teen, in my house. She also drank as a teen, again in my house, and at least smoked pot as a teen, although not in my house. And she's off to a good college this fall (still choosing which one, but she's going) and isn't pregnant and doesn't have an STD... in large part because we talked about stuff, at the nitty gritty level as well as the theoretical level, and she talked to other people, and she was really clear that she did not want to get pregnant and took steps to prevent it. Condoms. Every time. And *also* the pill, which she takes at the same time every evening and has an alarm on her phone for that rings every day. We've talked about sex without condoms(so only the pill, not "double dutch") with a faithful partner who has been tested twice for STDs over a 6 month period... but that requires trusting the other person a whole lot.

I don't think I encouraged or discouraged. It would have been fine with me if she hadn't had sex, too. My message was, I hope, here are the risks and here are some good ways to manage those risks, and here's some data, and let me know if or when you want an appointment with the OB/GYN and what gender OB/GYN you want to see. I mean, she knows she was an unplanned baby (hint: do not necessarily trust guys who tell you they've had a vasectomy) and while in my situation an unexpected pregnancy was the best thing that could ever have happened to me, because it motivated me to get my life together, for someone whose life is already together it could make things tougher.

I guess in a way I think it's good that she navigated this while still at home, rather than as a freshman in a dorm 1000 miles away who doesn't really know where to go for answers and isn't necessarily comfortable talking to people there. YMMV...

 
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I do not think this is one clear answer.

 

I would not talk about the opposite sexes staying over.  People make too many assumptions.  I knew a guy that stayed at his girlfriend’s house because mom had to work and there was nobody else to keep an eye on him.  From their conversations, they never slept together when he did this.  However, they did do a lot right after school when nobody was home.

 

I think age, maturity, length of relationship does matter.  I would be more ok with my 17/18 on up having opposite sex stay the night.  At some point, you have to say, "It’s your life, your decision."  However, that 16-year-old range is so diverse I cannot give a clear answer.  The “ewe” my kids having sex attitude dumb founds me.  When do you stop that attitude? Will you still have it when they have a few kids?

 

I do think my late exmil had a right idea about teen-age sex (even though I would not use her method).  She had caught my ex and his girlfriend in the act.  After the girlfriend left, my exmil took ex shopping:  loaded the cart, with formula, diapers, baby food, and condoms.  She loaded the belt and let the cashier ring everything up.  When give then total she prompted my ex to pay.  My ex did not have the money.  She asked them why he was having sex thing.  She did buy him condoms, but left the other stuff (poor cashier).  They had more talks about sex and responsibility.  My ex said he got a lot more careful and cautious about safe sex.  He said his mom made him realize that even though he thought he was grown, he was not ready for the full responsibility of sex. 

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I hope this won't offend people, but I find it odd that some are lumping in drinking, drug usage, and other such activity with their sexual activity in their teen years...

Alcholism and drug addiction are.
++++

I find it odd that you assume that drinking and drug usage are synonymous with alcoholism and drug addiction.

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I suspect that your typical homeschooled 16-year-old girl would have her life ruined less by pregnancy than I would, even though I'm 23 and have a bachelor's degree. So I don't see teen-age or even diploma status as a good reason to "disapprove" of someone having sex.

 

I think I'd discourage them from having sex before marriage, do to my own sex-related opinions, but if they made a different choice despite my advice, I don't see the point in making all sorts of symbolic gestures to show my disapproval.

 

 

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Also, I thought that it was scientific knowledge that teens don't have a full brain capacity to make completely rational decesions until they are older.... Like into the twenties. I know I made completely irrational dumb decisions back then(including lying to my mom, having sex, doing drugs....) and I was a driven responsible great teen before that. I really did get lucky that it all turned out so well for me. I'm sure that some teens may be mature enough for an adult relationship at that age, but I do not believe that is the norm.

 

The "their brains are different" thing has been used to discriminate against minority races and is still used to discriminate against women. I don't accept it.

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The "their brains are different" thing has been used to discriminate against minority races and is still used to discriminate against women. I don't accept it.



Except that there is obviously a process of our brains growing, developing, and maturing in to an adult brain when we at adolescents. Not to mention all of the hormones fluctuating at the time in life. There is a huge difference in different age and development in humans and different races or genders. Gender can also play a role though because in most cases, females mature faster than males. It's nothing to do with intelligence, just natural development of the brain. I don't see that as discriminatory at all.

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#70 of 127 Old 04-10-2011, 10:53 AM
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I hope this won't offend people, but I find it odd that some are lumping in drinking, drug usage, and other such activity with their sexual activity in their teen years...

Alcholism and drug addiction are.
++++

I find it odd that you assume that drinking and drug usage are synonymous with alcoholism and drug addiction.

I don't understand the ++++.

I think the comparison being made is that drinking, drug use, and sex are all activities that carry some risk of negative consequences that we hope to help our teens avoid, nothing more. I don't think anyone is equating drinking and drug use with addiction and alcoholism, but I may have missed it.
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Except that there is obviously a process of our brains growing, developing, and maturing in to an adult brain when we at adolescents. Not to mention all of the hormones fluctuating at the time in life. There is a huge difference in different age and development in humans and different races or genders. Gender can also play a role though because in most cases, females mature faster than males. It's nothing to do with intelligence, just natural development of the brain. I don't see that as discriminatory at all.


Racial differences in brains? Really? I feel like I've been transported back to 1906...

Brains change throughout the lifespan, but there's not magic time when the brain is "done developing". On average, there are differences between the brains of 16 year olds and 40 year olds, but these are only averages and say nothing about individuals, first off. Second, there are things that 16 year old brains, again on average, do much better than 40 year old brains. They have a faster reaction time, for example. When driving, reaction time can be critical.

Tangentially related, I just posted about this study on facebook, which shows that conservatives have larger right amygdalas, which is associated with a quicker fear response, while liberals larger anterior cingulate cortexes, which are associated with a greater capacity for tolerating ambiguity. Of course, this study says nothing about causality, and that's important to think about. Does practicing living with ambiguity make your anterior cingulate cortex grow?

 
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From the link:  "But the findings from brain imaging show the brain takes much longer to mature and doesn't fully mature till about 25".

 

If this is true, many of the moms hanging out here on Mothering do not have fully mature brains. What should we do? Make all their choices for them? Tell them their opinions about their own lives don't matter? Treat them like those of us who are over 25 know more?

 

I choose to create an environment where my kids can make their own choices with the best information available, with openness and respect. If there is a magic moment when the brain research declares they are adults, it is long, long past the time when it is appropriate for their mommy to be telling them what to do. I'm much more concerned with teaching my kids to make good choices for their whole lives rather than spending these precious short years controlling them.

 

My advice to my kids is to use 2 forms of BC.


but everything has pros and cons  shrug.gif

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#73 of 127 Old 04-11-2011, 04:00 PM
 
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I also don't think there's anything wrong or arbitrary about preferring that she be totally responsible for her own life (which for most people comes once they graduate college, if they go right after high school-that's usually when they take on ALL of their bills for themselves, fully move into their own apartment with their own permanent address, etc) before she chooses to take on the risks of sex. 

 

Wow - no sex until after graduating from college? I don't know about "forever altered", but I certainly had absolutely no interest in waiting that long (mind you, I never went to college, and I did support myself, my ex and ds1 for 10 years). I'm not sure I've ever seen a recommendation to wait that long from anyone. I can't quite wrap my brain around the thinking.

 

And, I also had sex as a teen, with more than one partner. I did a couple of dumb things early on, but I was protected from that point out. Yes - birth control can fail, and I'm glad it  didn't, but I wasn't just going "cool...sex is fun, and I don't have to worry about the consequences". Nor is that about age. I heard, from a 30+ year old woman who was pregnant with twins (and already had kids), "yeah - I guess I forgot I wasn't on birth control". I've known far more adult women who have gotten pregnant accidentally than I have teens, and my particular crowd were almost all sexually active at a fairly early age (I'd say the girls averaged somewhere around 14.5 or 15).

 

And, nobody is ever "totally" responsible for their own life...not ever. You can have all your ducks in a row, everything lined up perfectly, and then have the whole thing kicked out from under you, at any age.

 

 


But my kid's got pretty clear goals and plans for her life.   I don't think that any sex could be so spectacular that it's worth the risk of destroying those.  And I know, through experience, that sex before high school graduation, carries a risk of that, protection or not. 
 

I can't speak for anyone else, but "spectacular" sex has never had anything to do with my decisions in that area. Sex has - spectacular or otherwise. Women may hit our "sexual peak" (whatever that may mean) at 35 or 40 or whatever age people say now, but I had more sex drive at 15 than I've had in my entire adult life, and I spent a whole lot of time in a state of fairly severe frustration. It was distracting and annoying, and if I could do it over again, I'd probably have more sex, not less.

 

And, you know...clear goals aren't set in stone. I knew a woman in her 30s, with her own company, who wasn't ever going to have kids. Then, she had an "oops" (saki was involved) and kept the baby. And, the last time I saw her (she's in her mid-to-late 40s now), she had three kids, was a SAHM and had sold her company. Her clear goals and plans changed completely once she had a child.

 

Maybe I'm in a weird position, but I'm almost 43. I've talked to a lot of my fellow grads in the last few years (25th reunion next month), and there are a whole lot of women who have one child, maybe two, who deeply regret waiting so long to start having babies. They waited, because they had other plans and other goals. I have another friend who had an "oops" at 21 (already married, but not planning to have kids), and she's thrilled that she ended up with two great kids, but is already done with childrearing. Do I think that means they should have had sex at 17? Not at all. But, it does suggest that age doesn't bring some automatic wisdom about when we should or shouldn't have sex, or have babies, for that matter.



 

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#74 of 127 Old 04-11-2011, 05:22 PM
 
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Age might not bring automatic wisdom about when to have sex, or have babies, but it does make a difference in being able to be in a position to care for children.  13 is different from 16, different from 18, different from 21, etc.  Middle school education, versus high school drop out, versus GED versus college graduate has economic impact.  I'm sure someone will come forward with a story to negate this, or something else along those lines-whatever.

 

This thread was originally about accepting versus encouraging teen age sexuality.  It seems to have morphed into a sort of "if you don't feel completely supportive and encouraging of your teen having sex then you are denying their sexuality, their personhood, and are in denial".  Give me a break.  How did it become that if you aren't making space and time in your home for your teen to have sex with their partner that you are doing something wrong?  

 

I think it's great to encourage two forms of birth control, but there is a level of denial if one thinks that this is failsafe.  I think that if you believe that because your teen didn't contract and STD or become pregnant, and you think that your level of openness and discussion made that happen-well, that's wishful thinking as well.

 

If you as a parent want to actively encourage your child to have sex as a 13-19 y/o, then be realisitic.  I'm not talking about not being accepting-I'm talking about the posters who seem to feel that good parents encourage and facilitate sex-beyond discussion, acceptance, assistance with access to BC/ appropriate health care.  It's not enough-your kids need to know what their lives will look like should they become pregnant, should they decide to parent, should the partner they are with walk away from them, should that partners parents want to raise the child, should they choose not to continue the pregnancy.  They should have an awareness of what adoption is, what the adoption triad is about, what it means over the span of a lifetime to have a child you aren't raising, what grief looks like.........

 

OK-sounds dramatic, but it's the reality.  Happens every day, and people work through it.  For those of you who think the adolescent brain is the same as an adult brain..have you sat with a young teen facing any of these issues? 14 or  15 doesn't process the way 25 does- sorry.  The 30 y/0 parent surely is processing very differently from their teen.  Many kids with great relationships with their parents, and access to BC, face these issues.

 

I'm not anti teen sexuality, because that's silly.  But I am in favor of being honest about the whole picture if you are going to actively promote your teen having sex.  I guess that  I felt this needed to be said because it seems that those of us who have some concerns are being labeled negatively and I just don't think that's accurate.  I think the conversation has become anecdotal and overly simplistic.

 

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#75 of 127 Old 04-11-2011, 05:42 PM
 
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I guess that I understand that there may be times when my kids make poor choices & that my job is to provide them with all the information & tools they might need in order to make good choices. I also understand that some of the things I think are poor choices might not actually be poor choices in the long run.

I know that realistically they have & will continue to have sexual contact. So keeping that dialogue open, offering all the information & safety tools possible, keeping a non-judgemental attitude and trusting them to make their own decision is what works for us.
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Originally Posted by Linda on the move View Post

 

From the link:  "But the findings from brain imaging show the brain takes much longer to mature and doesn't fully mature till about 25".

 

If this is true, many of the moms hanging out here on Mothering do not have fully mature brains. What should we do? Make all their choices for them? Tell them their opinions about their own lives don't matter? Treat them like those of us who are over 25 know more?

I've also been confused about this as well.  Not just here, in this conversation, but in general.  Because the people I generally hear relating this scientific information to not "allowing" individuals to become sexuallly active until "later" never seem to say that they shouldn't be able to join the military or sign other contracts (things that have long term, possibly negative, side effects) until "later."  In fact, since doing something like joining the military is 100% guaranteed to change your life while having sex is not guaranteed to join your life, shouldn't people concerned about making decisions before 18-25 be more concerned with that?


 

 

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#77 of 127 Old 04-11-2011, 05:49 PM
 
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Stormbride said
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I had more sex drive at 15 than I've had in my entire adult life, and I spent a whole lot of time in a state of fairly severe frustration. It was distracting and annoying, and if I could do it over again, I'd probably have more sex, not less.

I'm glad you said this, because I completely agree. If I could go back in time, I'd have more sex at that age, and I would have started younger. That doesn't mean that when my kids hit a certain age I'm going to say, "You seem frustrated - go get laid already!" but if they come to me agonizing over whether they should or not, I'd assure them that sex is not that big a deal - if you want to do it, do it and be safe about it with someone who also wants to be doing it. If you don't want to, don't. But it's not something to stress over - at least not in my life.
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#78 of 127 Old 04-11-2011, 05:52 PM
 
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Originally Posted by TiredX2 View Post



I've also been confused about this as well.  Not just here, in this conversation, but in general.  Because the people I generally hear relating this scientific information to not "allowing" individuals to become sexuallly active until "later" never seem to say that they shouldn't be able to join the military or sign other contracts (things that have long term, possibly negative, side effects) until "later."  In fact, since doing something like joining the military is 100% guaranteed to change your life while having sex is not guaranteed to join your life, shouldn't people concerned about making decisions before 18-25 be more concerned with that?


I agree - I think the whole "brain maturity" thing is ridiculous. Is there any evidence that a 25 or 30 year old brain is actually more "mature" (whatever that means) as opposed to just different? I can't imagine that there's any evolutionary advantage to going through puberty and then abstaining from sex for the next 10-15 years.
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#79 of 127 Old 04-11-2011, 06:46 PM
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I think it's great to encourage two forms of birth control, but there is a level of denial if one thinks that this is failsafe.  I think that if you believe that because your teen didn't contract and STD or become pregnant, and you think that your level of openness and discussion made that happen-well, that's wishful thinking as well.

Nothing is fail-safe, but the stats I've seen show pregnancy rates for women using both condoms and the pill correctly and consistently are very, very low... I get a rate of 6 in a million per year using stats for perfect use and assuming that the two variables are independent (i.e., condom failure rate is not influenced by and does not influence oral contraception failure rate). For me, that falls into the category of not worth worrying about... although we have talked about what would happen if she got pregnant unintentionally, too, and her options. And yeah, I do believe that the way I dealt with this issue at least somewhat influenced the outcome...
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If you as a parent want to actively encourage your child to have sex as a 13-19 y/o, then be realisitic.  I'm not talking about not being accepting-I'm talking about the posters who seem to feel that good parents encourage and facilitate sex-beyond discussion, acceptance, assistance with access to BC/ appropriate health care
.

Do you mean allowing kids to have sex in their homes? Because I don't see anyone saying parents should be actually encouraging kids to have sex - to me, that's being way too involved in your kid's sex life. It's not my body so it's not my choice. The OP was accused of encouraging her kid to have sex because she permitted it in her home, but she didn't see it as encouraging... do you, then?




 
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#80 of 127 Old 04-11-2011, 06:49 PM
 
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Just going off of what DH and I will do. We are far from that stage but we have our minds set on certain things. For us a lot of outside factors play a part in our choices like personal beliefs and things of that nature. 

We will promote waiting for marriage or in a long term relationship out of high school. But also be very open about safe sex. I will take my daughter to be put on birth control if she feels she is ready. Condoms not so much because I feel if you think you are mature enough to have sex then you are mature enough to go buy them yourself. Either way we will be very open like my parents were with me. Even though I did go to Planned Parenthood and put myself on birth control. So if DD takes that path so be it at least she is being smart. 

 

Now on to sleepovers. Not gonna happen unless there is a reason like bad weather or something of that nature and not in the same room. I feel that kids/teens are not emotionally ready to deal with the aftermath of sex. We will not allow them to be alone in a room with a door closed. They can be sneaky and still do it in our house but I better not find out because there will be consequences. 

 

I always wanted to wait till marriage or till I found the one. Even though I married DH (my first) I still wish I would have waited. He lost his at 12 and was with many others before me and even he says now that he wishes he would have waited. But we are not so dumb to think that it won't/can't happen. Just not something we will encourage by allowing situations to be to easy. 

 

I personally think knowledge is power in this type of situation in that if we(general) provide our kids with the knowledge of safe sex and the physical consequences such as pregnancy and STDs even heartache that they will make the best choice for themselves and be ready to pay the price in the event of pregnancy or an STD. Either way I want to be able to keep the communication open so they would be able to come to us. Even knowing how disappointed I would be if DD ended up pregnant as a teen. 

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#81 of 127 Old 04-11-2011, 07:18 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Dar View Post



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If you as a parent want to actively encourage your child to have sex as a 13-19 y/o, then be realisitic.  I'm not talking about not being accepting-I'm talking about the posters who seem to feel that good parents encourage and facilitate sex-beyond discussion, acceptance, assistance with access to BC/ appropriate health care


.

Do you mean allowing kids to have sex in their homes? Because I don't see anyone saying parents should be actually encouraging kids to have sex - to me, that's being way too involved in your kid's sex life. It's not my body so it's not my choice. The OP was accused of encouraging her kid to have sex because she permitted it in her home, but she didn't see it as encouraging... do you, then?


 


Here is what I think-and this is just me: I think that the tone of this conversation has veered toward the idea that if you are uncomfortable with the idea of sleepovers with two teens who are sexually active together, if you are not in a place of feeling OK about providing time and space in your home for your teens to have sex with their partners, than you are rejecting of their sexuality, and minimizing the reality of your teens life choices, as well as not parenting in an empathetic and realistic fashion.  These are all my words-no one else's.  

 

I did have the impression, quite frankly, that folks did think that parents should be encouraging kids to have sex at home, and again, making space and privacy for it.   I'm not there, but I don't think it makes me rejecting of my kid's sexuality.  I am OK with being both accepting of my child, supportive of all aspects of BC, yet still wishing for her that she be older, and yes, perhaps mature in a way that does come with age.  I really don't think that makes me a bad parent.

 

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#82 of 127 Old 04-12-2011, 10:36 AM
 
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Originally Posted by Storm Bride View Post

Wow - no sex until after graduating from college? I don't know about "forever altered", but I certainly had absolutely no interest in waiting that long (mind you, I never went to college, and I did support myself, my ex and ds1 for 10 years). I'm not sure I've ever seen a recommendation to wait that long from anyone. I can't quite wrap my brain around the thinking.


...And, nobody is ever "totally" responsible for their own life...not ever. You can have all your ducks in a row, everything lined up perfectly, and then have the whole thing kicked out from under you, at any age.

 

....And, you know...clear goals aren't set in stone. I knew a woman in her 30s, with her own company, who wasn't ever going to have kids. Then, she had an "oops" (saki was involved) and kept the baby. And, the last time I saw her (she's in her mid-to-late 40s now), she had three kids, was a SAHM and had sold her company. Her clear goals and plans changed completely once she had a child.

 

Maybe I'm in a weird position, but I'm almost 43.


I liked your post. I find the idea of waiting to be financial independent odd. One of my kids is planning on graduate school, so she could easily be 26 when she finishes college, making her older at that point than some of the people posting on this thread!

 

The other thing that I think is missing from some of the logic on this thread  is that an opps pregnancy at any stage of life can be devastating. This falls under the "may be I'm in a weird position, but I'm 46" category. I've know women who were married and had kids and felt totally tapped out and drained who either got sloppy with BC or had it fail and were devastated. Is this really so unusual? Am I the only one who's watched this happen?

 

I think that teaching our kids how to control their fertility is a life skill. It's one they will still need after college and after marriage. Most people want to have more sex than the number of children they can care for.

 

(And I don't think that any one is talking about "encouraging" teens to have sex. Rather, creating an environment that fosters honesty and access to health care. I do believe my kids are safer because they will always have full access to health care with no judgment.)

 


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#83 of 127 Old 04-12-2011, 12:37 PM
 
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I see it as more respecting your daughter as an emerging adult who has control over certain aspects of her life. I live in Europe( and in reference to the article, have spent time in the Netherlands and have dutch friends). Now I by no means know all of the teens in Europe and there are I am sure plenty of parents who don't allow romantic sleepovers. But those I know felt like it was a responsibilty they were given. Their parents trusted them (and the partners who were usually not just a new fling but an ongoing relationship for at least 6 months) and respected them enough to make responsible choices. It made them realize it was important to take this part of their health and development seriously. Now mine are still little, but I hope to follow a similar approach. I guess we will see in 12 or so years =)

 

I do agree however that the other parents need to be taken into consideration. If the other family is not on board it could lead to serious rifts and at the more extreme end, legal issues.


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#84 of 127 Old 04-12-2011, 03:42 PM
 
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I'm not a fan of sleepovers anyhow so the biggest part of that for me is just that it's a sleepover not necessarily that it's a girlfriend. I do think that the other parents are certainly an important consideration. I know my ds is educated & has access to the things he needs but his gf's parents are not so open. Because of that, I tend to be a little more conservative in an effort to help protect her.
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#85 of 127 Old 04-13-2011, 12:17 PM
 
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 I can't imagine that there's any evolutionary advantage to going through puberty and then abstaining from sex for the next 10-15 years.


 

True, but our society has changed and is no longer in step with how evolution would lead us to time things. Our social, family and economic structures no longer assume that girls will marry shortly after puberty. Until relatively recently in history it was assumed that daughters would marry during adolescence and become financially dependent on their husbands. Then the couple would assume responsibility for children born to them. Now adolescents usually remain financially dependent on their parents until late teens/early twenties and do not assume basic financial independence (renting or owning and maintaining their own home, buying their own food, paying their own bills) either as an individual or as part of a couple until some time in their twenties. Of course there are exceptions but that is generally the way it goes in North America today.

 

Evolution may be an important aspect of this discussion but it is pretty meaningless outside of the social context of the people we are discussing.

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#86 of 127 Old 04-13-2011, 12:36 PM
 
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I won't forbid or encourage my kids to do anything but I do see it as an important part of my job  to help them take on more and more responsibility for their own lives so that they can enjoy those lives more fully. Just like I taught them to tie heir own shoes and helped them learn to read and brush their teeth and figure out how they want to choose their friends, I see it as part of my job to navigate questions like these. I owe it to them to be straight with them and tell them that even with the best contraception, pregnancy is always a possible outcome of sex and that if they make that choice then they need to assume responsibility for any possible outcomes.

 

My son has a cell phone with a pay as you go set-up. Every month he buys a phone card to top it up and if he uses up all the time, he has to come up with the money to get it going again or do without the cell phone until he has the money again. Why? Because his dad and I are simply not in the financial position to be able to ever handle a surprise $400 cell phone bill and neither is ds. We can't assume that financial risk. Same thing with credit cards - why take on something you cannot handle? Get a credit card if you wish but until ds can handle at least maintaining a minimum payment, we cannot back him up if he gets in over his head. I cannot see why I would be okay with him being sexually active and potentially creating a new life if he can't even cover a basic cell phone bill some months. It isn't that I want him to deny his sexuality but as someone said earlier in the thread, as great as sex an be it is only sex and it isn't like if his parents say 'figure out another way to get that need met' he will be deprived for life.  Sex is not, for most of us, a once in a lifetime opportunity. Unless  he and his partner can imagine a plan for what they would do just in case they got pregnant then I can't see supporting taking the risk. Dh and I had ds while dh was in grad school and money was tight but we did have our own place and a means to support ourselves. We figured it out and made it work and didn't need our parent's houses, food and financial support to make it possible for us to have a safe and enjoyable sexual relationship. I certainly do not think that sex is for procreation only but as long as it is a possible outcome then I don't see any reason to pretend it is no big deal. Dh and I have decided that we are not prepared to have any more children. Why would I support one of my children to potentially bring another child into the family when they aren't anywhere close to being ready to providing shelter, food and support to a partner and child?

 

I have known several people who have had babies when they weren't financially 'ready' and some of them have made a good life - but I have also known many who were overwhelmed by their circumstances and who wish they hadn't put themselves in that position at that time in their lives.

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I've also been confused about this as well.  Not just here, in this conversation, but in general.  Because the people I generally hear relating this scientific information to not "allowing" individuals to become sexuallly active until "later" never seem to say that they shouldn't be able to join the military or sign other contracts (things that have long term, possibly negative, side effects) until "later."  In fact, since doing something like joining the military is 100% guaranteed to change your life while having sex is not guaranteed to join your life, shouldn't people concerned about making decisions before 18-25 be more concerned with that?

 

Well, then you met your first one.  I don't think 18 year olds should be running off and joining the military.  I certainly cannot stop the military from taking them in though.  I will guide my own children toward college instead of military service however.

 



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I've also been confused about this as well.  Not just here, in this conversation, but in general.  Because the people I generally hear relating this scientific information to not "allowing" individuals to become sexuallly active until "later" never seem to say that they shouldn't be able to join the military or sign other contracts (things that have long term, possibly negative, side effects) until "later."  In fact, since doing something like joining the military is 100% guaranteed to change your life while having sex is not guaranteed to join your life, shouldn't people concerned about making decisions before 18-25 be more concerned with that?




I agree - I think the whole "brain maturity" thing is ridiculous. Is there any evidence that a 25 or 30 year old brain is actually more "mature" (whatever that means) as opposed to just different? I can't imagine that there's any evolutionary advantage to going through puberty and then abstaining from sex for the next 10-15 years.


I suppose if you wanted to use a generic term like different to describe it then that would certainly work.  Their brains seek particular stimuli and they tend to not make the best decisions based on those desires.  I can't explain it any other way without getting incredibly technical.  I don't think there is an evolutionary advantage, but one could certainly say there is a social advantage like not getting pregnant or contracting a sexually transmitted disease.


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#88 of 127 Old 04-13-2011, 06:06 PM
 
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I've only read parts of this thread. DD1 is a lesbian and has been dating the same girl for - gosh, almost five years now. DD2 has been dating the same boy for a year and a half.

Are they both sexually active? Yes. Neither one has their significant other sleepover. (DD1 will sleep over at her girlfriends house though.) However, we're talking about teenagers and the possibility of pregnancy so I'll just talk about DD2.

 

Her boyfriend is not allowed to sleep over for multiple reasons, the main two being: I'm not comfortable with the idea and her boyfriends parents are very strict Indians (who at this point still refuse to acknowledge their relationship). That being said, they would never allow their son to stay over and I don't believe in lying to parents about the location of their children. Even if I was okay with it, I know they wouldn't be. I know for prom there will be a large boy-girl sleepover at someones house and I'm okay with that.

 

On that note: Yes, I know they're having sex. I took DD2 to get birth control. I had multiple conversations with her about what it means to be safe (condoms and birth control) and what she will do in college if her and her boyfriend don't continue their relationship regarding safe sex. One of her friends had a pregnancy scare earlier this year (the girl is not on b.c. because she doesn't want to have to tell her mom she is having sex) and DD2 came home extremely freaked out. I was the one who was there when she came home with her friend and the test. That was an extremely new experience for all three of us.

 

Do I encourage her sex life? No. I do know that he is there when I'm not and she is at his house when she's not supposed to be. I know they're having sex. I also know that they're being safe and using two different kinds of protection. DD2 has been sick lately and on some medications that counteract with the birth control she is on. She was the one who told me this and then informed me that until the birth control was working again and she was off her medicine she wouldn't be having sex because 'just condoms' isn't safe enough for her anymore.

 

Do I believe DD2 is mature enough to be having sex? Both her and her boyfriend are mature kids who are in all honors classes and even with multiple extra curriculars have maintained high GPA's. I think that age matters to a certain extent - not age of consent necessarily (17 here) but the age at which you can say 'I'm ready to take this next step and I've taken precautions against what could happen to stop myself from getting an STD/pregnant/etc.'


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#89 of 127 Old 04-13-2011, 06:17 PM
 
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Well, then you met your first one.  I don't think 18 year olds should be running off and joining the military.  I certainly cannot stop the military from taking them in though.  I will guide my own children toward college instead of military service however.

 




I suppose if you wanted to use a generic term like different to describe it then that would certainly work.  Their brains seek particular stimuli and they tend to not make the best decisions based on those desires.  I can't explain it any other way without getting incredibly technical.  I don't think there is an evolutionary advantage, but one could certainly say there is a social advantage like not getting pregnant or contracting a sexually transmitted disease.


My point was that expecting adolescents to work against 1000's of years of evolution is expecting something very, very difficult from them - and something that it is unrealistic to expect on a large scale (meaning, I know there are people who wait until they're much older despite it being difficult, or people who wait for whom it wasn't difficult at all). So, to me, supporting (not encouraging) sexual expression in the safest and healthiest ways makes the most sense. Taking a "I know they're probably going to do it but I'd better not find out about it" approach, like some people seem to be suggesting, doesn't seem to accomplish anything except make it hard for a teenager to come to their parents if something comes up that they could use guidance on.
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#90 of 127 Old 04-14-2011, 07:36 AM
 
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Not allowing sleepovers doesn't have to translate to 'I know they are probably doing it but I'd better not find out.'  You can know your kids are having sex and accept it without issue at all and still not allow bed sharing sleepovers.

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