Sunday, 4 March 2012

12 Year Olds Are Doing It.

According to Women's Weekly, it is not that uncommon for 12 year old girls to be having sex.  In the article, "Why Girls are Having Sex at 12." Jordan Baker talks about a number of things that are probably shocking for most parents to hear.  

I have talked about sex education before - "Time for the Dreaded "Sex Talk" - a Parent's Survival Guide."  and I certainly understand how this discussion is a difficult one.   A parent has a couple of choices here - they can do their best to prevent/protect their child from contact with any of this or they can prepare their child as best they can.  I know that some parents are adamant that the things we are dealing with today for our kids are much more serious and concerning than anything our own parents had to face but like it or not, you have to put some context into the issue.

I don't like it anymore than the next person.  I wish the world was not the way it is BUT it is and my wishing is not going to change it or keep my kids safe.  We have to assess the danger.  We have to understand what our kids are up against and we have to be practical.  There is a time and a place to try and change things.  By all means - get involved and do everything you can to create laws for communities and society to protect children  BUT do not delude yourself that you can neglect the immediate needs of your kids for "some day" when the world will be a kinder place.  The world swallows up the innocent and ill prepared.

What hope did our parents have of stemming the tide of change that came with the freedoms of the Seventies?       They could lock the doors, they could chaperone every action, they could take away the television and the magazines but that sentence, imposed on a child, is not a lifelong one.  At 18 our children all walk free and then what?  Over protection is sometimes the most unkind thing we can do.

Talk with your kids.  You WILL be shocked.  Consider the decline in one lifetime where an unplanned pregnancy could ruin families, to where it is common place and embraced now.  We have gone from "sexual intercourse" to "making love" to "sleeping together" to "hooking up" to "having some fun."  Sex is not a big deal for our kids.  It is cheap and common place and mainly ... a bodily function.  They experiment with partners and activities and yes, it is indeed porn fueled.  You will not be able to stop your children from being exposed to all of this.  THIS is the world they are inheriting.  They are not you, they do not have your naivety towards these matters, they are better educated and more worldly, they do not have the frames of reference that you grew up with.  You most likely heard many messages about sex and morals - religious or not - it impacted you.  Kids today don't think it is "wrong" or "dirty" or "immoral."  As the article states - oral sex is nothing - certainly not considered sex and therefore, even those kids who sign contracts to remain a virgin until married, will engage in oral sex and not see it as being any kind of disregard for the vow they have made.

Sex ... we like to think that being civilized has allowed us to control our appetites and that in doing so we exhibit some kind of superior quality as a human being.  Yet, sex has been a big part of our lives throughout history, at times embraced and in the open and at others hidden behind closed doors.  It has never gone away.  Some of the biggest offenders of sexual perversions were the same peoples set up to be our moral guides - often living 2 lives that absolutely contradicted themselves.  Today those that embrace their sexuality claim they are free  ... as do those who deny themselves any participation.  

Perhaps it really does come down to a choice that we all must make - whether we are sexually active or not - and what that activity involves.  Crime only takes place when an act is forced upon another who does not, or cannot, consent.  The real battle appears to be the guilt that accompanies sex.  We feel guilty that we experience pleasure.  It must be wrong.  We should not be doing this.  Perhaps the conversation  is why we feel that to be a good human being ... we must NOT experience pleasure?  And why, when we make that decision for ourselves, are we so threatened when other people do not make the same choice?

Sex is perhaps one of the biggest topics for my generation ( not the least of which is asking ourselves what our kids are doing) while for our kids .... it pretty much seems to be a non issue.  The changing of the guard, as one generation surrenders this world to the next, is never easy.  On one hand we want to share what we have learned and it can be difficult for our kids to accept that what we learned has value.  On the other hand, we have to allow that perhaps we do not have all the answers and that there may indeed be a better way to do things .... a way that may scare the heck out of us and go against everything we hold dear.

Life is always interesting.  Are you paying attention?


  1. Values change. Sex in the 17th and 18th centuries was "mostly fun", which might sound strange, for an epoch where STD were rampant and had no cure. But in those years it was very common and popular, "without strings attached".

    Then came the puritanism of the Victorian era, which changed morals and behaviour so dramatically that we still live in the echoes of those times. In the 1960s, things changed again, and sex was commonplace again... for a short while, until AIDS "appeared" on the scene in the mid-1980s, and we reverted to our Victorian sexual morals again.

    Nowadays, AIDS is not yet "curable" but certainly "manageable" (in the West, where medicine is readily available) — much more so than STDs were in the 17th and 18th centuries! Most countries also have good abortion procedures which these days carry no social stigma, and good psychologists to help women out through the depression of killing a human life.

    Put that all together, and it's no wonder that sex became commonplace again.

    1. intersting you bring this up, hubby and I have just finished watching a series of shows set in different time periods that have brilliantly told the sexual evolution as a side story to the main story. They really allowed you to understand the why behind the actions of people.

      I worked for years with women who had chosen abortion and we counseled and followed them for about 15 years. We really did not have any agenda except to be there for them, and gather the information about their experiences as they explained them to us. Everyone who counseled, had also had an abortion. I am not claiming it to be anything more than it was. We had women of all ages, from all walks of life, with all beliefs and political viewpoints but it is entirely possible there were other "types" of women who were not likely to ever contact us. What we did find out was that all the women were impacted. Not in ways that were necessarily visible to anyone else. Lots coped just fine but I coined the term "soul woundings" and their souls were impacted.

  2. We're also leaving a long Age of Reason, started in the 18th century, and lasting two centuries. We have entered the Age of Feeling. These days, we don't subscribe to "I think, therefore I exist". Instead, we adopt "I feel, therefore I exist". What this means is that we are attached to strong emotions, risk behaviour, adrenaline rush. Few experiences are as intense as having orgasmic sex — and few are as safe and easy to obtain — and so it's no wonder that it's a very desirable experience because of that.

    Educating people to focus more on Reason and less on Feeling will be quite hard. Personally, I don't even think we've reached a maximum or turning point. We're still in the phase where we unshackle ourselves from the strict puritanism of the Victorian Era and are experimenting with the perceived "freedom" of the new morals. But we're already experiencing the consequences of that: short-lasting relationships, shattered families, isolation, depression, the difficulty (and cost!) of raising children outside a stable family environment, economic dependency, and so forth. The 17th and 18th centuries had ways to deal with all that. The 1960s hadn't — as said, it was AIDS that put a stop to the attitude. There is no easy way to predict what will happen.

    Can we have safe sex in our teens and still avoid all the pitfalls? Sure we can, but it requires education...

    1. I like how you describe that ... you are right on. I had not thought of it that way. Wanting people to use all of their brains ... combine the logic with the creative is tough because we really have divided ourselves.

      Education is right, but it is also about empowerment and discernment. Building a child to have both of those requires an involvement and commitment of the people in the child's life and a willingness to allow the child to make mistakes without marrying them forever to the consequences. Some parents struggle with that ... especially when their ego's are caught up in the image of the perfect child. Plus it is much easier to throw money than it is to throw yourself.

  3. Also, I like that you've raised the "guilt" issue. It's interesting how deeply ingrained those Victorian morals are. Even if very few people in the West consider themselves Christians, they are still affected by "guilt" attached to natural acts — a Judeo-Christian invention which runs so deeply in our society that it's quite interesting to see how far it goes. An atheist that hates religion and religious people will feel the same deep guilt of having sex, even though they have absolutely no valid reason for doing so.

    Contrast that with other societies which never evolved the guilt complex attached to pleasure — most of Asia, for example. Pleasure is guilt-free in different societies who never used Judeo-Christianism as a role model. So the question for us in the West is if we can discard completely those deeply-ingrained morals. Right now, what I see is rather the opposite: people do reckless things to feel pleasure because they know they should feel "guilt" instead, and like to shock others that way. Well, this is an oversimplification, but perhaps you get my point: a Japanese who never came in touch with Christianism might not even understand why pleasure should be attached to guilt. He or she might not engage in "wild sex" just for pleasure because of social norms, not because of guilt.

    It's the West that built its society on top of guilt. Can we get rid of it? It's very hard. It runs too deep.

    1. YES!! I got a big wake up call when I moved to Australia - in contrast Canada/North America is sooo much more religious. I was blown away by how much of my thinking was still rooted in those beliefs. I made a conscious effort to back away from all things "religious" after spending years studying many of the major religions and many other spiritual practices. And yet, there I was still carrying much of my childhood conditioning with me.