Talk to Your Teenage Daughter About Sex
Books to read with your children to educate them about sex and abstinence
Teenage Sex PSA Video
The question that was submitted is:
My 16 year old daughter wants to have sex. What do I do?
I'd like to tackle this from a father's perspective. First, I think it's important for fathers to educate their daughters about sex. None of my female friends ever discussed sex with their fathers that I know of, but they did discuss it with their mothers. I hope the ideas in this Hub will help fathers discuss sex with their daughters.
My thoughts on sex for adults. I believe sex should be embraced and celebrated in healthy monogamous relationships. I also personally believe that our daughters attitudes toward sex and relationships are heavily influenced by the relationships they witness. For example, I think it's a good idea to kiss and hug your wife in front of the kids. To show them how loving people treat and respect each other.
I'd also say that it would be a huge mistake if you were one day surprised to find out that your child was thinking about having sex, but you had never talked about it. The best way to avoid this is to start talking about it as early as possible. I'd start talking openly about sex with a kid that is about 10 years old (depending on the maturity level of the kid). This may seem young, but I think establishing a comfortable dialogue about sex early is important. I think sex should be a regular topic of discussion in a family, especially if you think a child is near engaging in sexual activity.
I'm a big believer that education is the best prevention. With 3 out of 10 girls getting pregnant before the age of 20, parents need to get over their own personal issues with discussing sex and educate our daughters and sons.
Since I like to be positive, I'd explain what an appropriate relationship is for a 16 year old. While this is a bit awkward, I'd say that kissing, and mutually comfortable explorational touching is a good thing and appropriate. But. Sexual intercourse is not appropriate for a 16 year old. As my father told us, "There's a time for sex and it's not in high school." I can still hear him saying that today, and I'm sure I'll borrow it with my daughters. As parents, the challenge is to raise confident and courageous women that make healthy decisions for their bodies.
While I'm not educated on the potential psychological impacts of teenage sex, I do have an opinion on the risks. Pregnancy and STDs present a risk that far outweighs the rewards. This alone is worth encouraging our daughters to wait to have sex until they are an appropriate age and in a healthy relationship.
Sex Education from the 50s
Sex Education for the 50s part 2
What do we do when our teenagers say they want to have sex?
We educate them about birth control, STDs, and the benefits of abstinence. And. We talk to them openly and frequently. However, my opinion is, this isn't something we can dictate. With nearly 47% of high school students reporting they have had sex, there's a good chance your teenager is or will be sexually active in high school.
If we discover that our kids have gone against our advice and become sexually active, we must continue to educate them, but we don't have to support the behavior. I think it's fair to disapprove of a teenager engaging in sex and to continue to teach them about what an age appropriate behavior is for a 16 year old.
Teenagers make mistakes, and one of the biggest dangers for teenagers is their inability to make decisions that are in their best interest. Peer pressure, desire to fit in, and curiosity all play a part, plus, I've read that teenagers feel the power of love at a level that is many times that of adults. This exceptionally powerful force is no match for a parent's guidance in many instances. I've had all sorts of experienced fathers offer me advice as my beautiful daughters grow up. Like get a shotgun and offer the young man a cocktail to see what he does (I'm not sure what this test accomplishes). I think I'll ignore both of these.
If our teenage daughter does become sexually active, here are a few things I wouldn't do.
- Put her on the pill so they don't have to use condoms. I think the STD risks are too great.
- Condone sex in our house.
I've never understood the reasoning of if they are going to have sex, I don't want them to have sex in the back of a car or go sneaking around. Teen sex isn't OK. It should be counseled against and not supported in any way by parents. At the same time, continue to educate and love them.
If my kids are like me, they'll do somethings well and make plenty of mistakes along the way. Some can be corrected, other's are more difficult to undo. But, we should always keep teaching and keep loving them. As the John Mayer song says:
Fathers, be good to your daughters
Daughters will love like you do
Girls become lovers who turn into mothers
So mothers, be good to your daughters too
Good luck with this one. I know it can be difficult.