Let's see: We cannot blame it on societal guilt. We cannot blame it on misunderstandings. We cannot blame it on kids not knowing "how to do it creatively." We cannot blame it on ignorance. It seems to be an unvarnished fact: sex is harmful to kids.
NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - Teenagers often suffer emotional consequences from having sex, even when it's "only" oral sex, a study published Monday suggests.
Researchers at the University of California San Francisco found that up to one-half of the sexually active teenagers in their study said they'd ever felt "used," guilty or regretful after having sex.
So, shall we discourage them from an activity that doesn't benefit them, carries the potential for disease and pregnancy, and actually brings with it emotional harm? Nope. Just warn them, and then carry on.
The study, according to the researchers, suggests that parents should be sure to talk with their kids about the potential negative effects of having oral sex, not only intercourse.
"When parents and teens talk about the consequences of having 'sex,' they may not take the time to define what sex is," Brady and Halpern-Felsher noted in comments to Reuters Health.
"It is important for parents to help teens understand that having oral sex may result in social, emotional and physical health consequences -- just as having vaginal sex may result in these consequences." [snip] This suggests that when parents talk with their kids about sex, it might be a good idea to acknowledge the potential positive outcomes, like emotional intimacy, Brady and Halpern-Felsher note in their report. Parents could then talk about other ways to find those same feelings.
Right. And what colour is the sky in that universe where parents talk about vaginal sex, oral sex, and the underlying desire for intimacy -- with their children? Remember, these are the same parents that have been completely marginalised by the public schools, the print media, the music industry, tv and film promotors, the strategically placed Planned Parenthood offices, widespread medical duplicity and legal structures that guarantee the children's rights to information and condoms. And they're supposed to say what?
I'm glad to see this small effort expended on the harms of early sexual activity -- but if only we could approach it as resolutely as we do, say, smoking. Warning labels, posters, public service announcements, etc. "Don't be used." "Harmful to your emotional health." "STD's kill." Just brain-storming, but it's an uphill slog.