My Teenager Is Innocent...


Oh, come on, Dan. Are you seriously saying you're not going to plunge into a healthy state of denial when your son hits the prime years of adolescence?

Teenagers need good, reality-based sex education

Absolutely no argument here. But I was happy leaving my parents to their blissful ignorance during my teenage years. And, you know, now.
(Cont. from 1) Er, unless you mean it's problematic because parents assuming that their kids are disinterested in sex means that they will withhold from said teenagers relevant information about safer sex practices. In which case, yeah, you're 100% right.
@2, also problematic because some parents, when they find out their precious child *is* sexually active, immediately assume that the girlfriend/boyfriend is taking advantage, corrupting, or even raping their kid, and go all bat-shit.
@1: I think the problem is that parents are constantly warning their children about OTHER teens, but not considering that their kids could be also the ones doling out the sexual manipulation or coercion.

So the point is, if you're going to tell your daughter, "Don't get sexually duped by a self-serving douchebag", you should also think about telling her, "Don't be a manipulative bitch either." But you know ... more nicely.
It sorta reminds me of my 32 years as a cop. About 90% of all mothers were all "oh, no, my Tyrone would never do anything like that. (BTW, the other 10% were all "I told him he was gonna end up in jail.")
@ basically everyone - Heh, fair enough. I just meant that I was much, much happier keeping my parents in the dark about the extent of my sexual activity.
Okay, I find this a little hard to believe...where did he find the 47 parents? The parking lot of the local Pentecostal church? I find it's the opposite with my kids, they tell me WAY more than I need to know (including panicky texts saying "the condom got LOST!") and don't seem shy about leaving birth control pills on bathroom counters, openly stocking up on condoms, whatever...I would have said teens of this generation seem a lot less inhibited than they did when I was that age, which makes it hard for me to believe that people think "their" kids are always the innocent party...
I don't know what it is about parenthood (and thankfully, so far, I haven't fallen victim to this), but some parents just turn into complete morons when it comes to their children. Didn't any of them try to get laid when they were teens?

"For example, parents of male teens were concerned that young women would lure their passive young men into sex in order to solidify relationships."

Really? Including the dads? I figured they were more like, "Fuck her in the backdoor, son."
This reminds me of the "Three i's of teenagers": All teenagers believe themselves to be infallible, immortal, and infertile.

And it suggests an i for parents: All parents are ignorant of their children's status as sexual beings.
And of course, these same parents, who are absolutely certain their precious teenager isn't interested in sex, were ALL equally as uninterested in sex whey THEY were teenagers, right?

Right. And I've got some great coastal property in Mississippi they should be interested in as well...
So all problems are caused by other people? Other, irresponsible people, who can't be trusted to behave properly? Parents of teenagers sound like pit-bull owners.
See, I'd be more afraid that my kids didn't want to get laid. Becoming aware of their sexuality is a milestone for teenagers. I'm all for those upfront, here's the facts jack, discussions, because I can't be with them 24/7 and my job is to prepare them to be honest, considerate, responsible adults who live with integrity in the world. My window of influence is small, and it is ever shrinking.

This parenting thing is an honor and it's so damn humbling, too.
I've been seeing this study referenced on blogs for the last day or so and I just realized now that its based on interviews with 47 parents. 47 doesn't seem like a very big number.
probably the same parents who were utterly convinced that their darling was the most intelligent, mature, gifted, uninhibited, creative, special kindergartner who ever stuck their hands up to the elbow in fingerpaint.
@ 14 - It's also entirely possible that these 47 parents who were interviewed were not being completely truthful in their interviews. They might know their teens are sexually active (or at least interested in sex), but might think that if they speak so frankly about it, that would reflect badly on their parenting.
nothing more than another example of the human propensity to deny reality when it serves their perceived interest/fantasy/belief system
@16: Oh, entirely. I agree on both counts too. But it's so fun to dump on the clueless parents that do truly exist, because they do so much harm. Ah.
Wow, my first reaction was, "yawn, tell me something I don't know." Because my parents thought exactly that of me, and they were exactly wrong and I did everything I could to keep it exactly that way, including telling my 'rents that several bf's broke up with me because I wouldn't "put out," which was a 100% lie. Why did I do that? Because if they thought otherwise, they'd never let me leave the house without them.

Fast forward to when I'm 20, living with a bf, and my mom calls me in tears asking if I'm still a virgin. My aunt had told her to wake the fuck up and open her eyes. Then she finally decided to give me the Birds & Bees chat, AFTER I'd been sexually active for 5 years already.

(FYI: I told my mom about my first kiss at 13, and she freaked out, prevented me from having social life by trying to "protect" me, not allowing me to go anywhere except school without her there for almost 2 years. So yes, I blame them for my behavior.)
Soooo...where's that book you're going to be writing to educate adolescents on the realities of sex, Dan?
I've been teaching junior high and high school for 39 years. It's a special version of suspension of disbelief - kids can't believe their parents ever did it (except for the obvious one time for their own conception) and parents see their kids as virginal.

The same goes for any other undesirable traits - it's always the other kid. Years ago I had a girl who was new to my school - moved because other girls at the previous school were "picking on her". Her mom was convinced. Within a week she was in 3 fights, one in a class and within a month our school-wide fight rate increased. When she moved to the third school that year, our rate declined, the new school's picked up, and mom was still singing her song about people picking on Darling.

I've even dealt with two mothers who apparently believed in virgin births - their daughters were pregnant but had never had sex.

The human power for self-delusion is truly amazing. Two parent contacts today reconfirmed my faith in it.

I had the good/misfortune to have rare parents who believed in guilty until proven innocent so I got away with little
Remembering what I did in high school is one of the reasons being a father scares me. And I was pretty smart and safe about it, if I do so say myself. Remembering what other people did in high school absolutely terrifies me. How half of my class didn't end up with super space chlymidia or whatever is beyond me.
Maybe this wouldn't be such an issue if we started looking at the sexual desires of teenagers as what they are - you know, normal and healthy - as opposed to some horrible moral failing that is the harbinger of worse things to come.

But that's just crazy talk.
Human beings are horny mutherfuckers. Young human beings are the horniest of them all. The reasons for this are clear. We only lived for a very short time for most of human history. It was imperative we bred early and often. When the food is plentiful we breed even earlier, reaching puberty even before our teens. (The emotional connection between parent and child can cloud our judgement and make us irrational.)
@13: Thanks for keeping it real! My mom had those discussions with my sister and I early on and it helped us have healthy attitudes towards sex and relationships.
@13- That was my concern when my boys were teens, too. One of them seems to still be asexual (now 26), but I could have my head in a sack.
Our boys were raised with as much knowledge as we could give them without being creepy. No faux-christian fantasy land for them.
I thought the reaction of "it's those other BAD kids corrupting mine" was telling- that's the same reaction given by parents when informed their children are gay- "Who did this to you!!??".
@26. really? Bc my mom's reaction was 'but I have so much estrogen!' She got a Very Black Look in response.
I don't seem to remember ever being an "unknowing and sexually disinterested daughter." By the way, parents, in a box under the master bed is the MOST obvious place possible to "hide" your porn....
@13 My mother was constantly trying to get me to date a guy or two when I was 16. She finally realized that I was just not interested sex or dating and dealt with it. It's good to be sex-positive with you children--hell, it's miles better than being antisexual--but don't go too overboard with it.

There are asexuals out there--I'm one of them. My mom thankfully wasn't too bothered by it, but some of my other relatives seem to think asexuality is pure evil. I will say that's its been great to have a sex-positive mother with a healthy attitude towards sexuality--she offered to buy me birth control if I ever needed it. Of course, all her sex-positivity was a little wasted on me, I suppose, in that sense, but I've appreciated a mother who would accept me no matter what I did (excluding murder or something like that). It really surprised me as a young adult to learn that other people's parents never gave them an honest sex talk, that included more than just reproductive basics.
26, your son may indeed be asexual, or his sexuality may be of a nature that he's not comfortable discussing with a parent and may not lead to permanent/semi-permanent relationships where there's a partner to be introduced to family, or at least hasn't yet led to one.

If someone is into dressing up as an aardvark in a French maid's uniform, once they meet the zookeeper of their dreams, they'll simply keep the details of their sex life from mom and dad. But it's likely going to take a lot longer to meet that zookeeper than it will for someone to meet a partner who likes to wear sexy lingerie.
Sorry, but as the parent of a teenage son, I have to say that the average boy's lax hygiene and poor housekeeping skills makes is impossible to ignore sexual activity...
I would be surprised if being a parent who thinks their kid isn't sexually active equals a parent who keeps their kid in the dark about sex. Certainly that does happen, but I would chalk the attitude up to the parental lizard brain kicking in. You (and this is a good thing) don't view your children sexually. When we are young the very last thing we want to know about is the details of our parents sex life, and now that I am a parent of a 13 year old, I can see that street runs both ways. It is pretty natural to not want to get into those kinds of details with your parents - so it is likely the kids who play innocent and the parents want to believe. The challenge as a parent is to pop out of the lizard brain and try to be more realistic so you can be a source of support if your child needs it. It is also a mistake to assume your kid is sexually active (I had a friend who's mother did that), many kids aren'y until they hit college age.
As one who graduated from high school in 1968, one of the things I found very amusing as I got older was the number of my friends who had done certain things themelves - sex, drugs, etc - had happy and fond memories of those things, didn't regret them for a minute, but were desperately anxious that their kids not do the same things. The rationale was alwasy along the lines of "Oh, but it's different now, things are so much more dangerous". bullshit.
My kids are butt ugly, no sex going on there...
It's a fact that
People are still having sex
It's rather obvious
It's just what one expects.

The evidence is all around
That everyone in every town
Has had it at one time
or another in their life.