This is a list of main items I believe Teens (and Parents) Need To Hear About Sex:
Sexuality is fluidGender is a spectrumSexual health is healthAll bodies are beautifulMasturbation is healthyNudity is naturalSexuality is more than sexConsent is mandatoryVirginity is a constructPorn is not sex edPleasure is validBirth control is your choiceMy education in sexuality studies has made each of these items clear to me. If you’re a parent now and you haven’t gone back to school to study sexuality-related topics, some of these might be a surprise to you. As a person who works with coaching clients on their sex and relationship concerns, these items help folks have a fulfilling sex life. When I teach my students and clients these things, often they say something along the lines of, “you know, I kinda knew this but it’s nice to hear it from someone who knows.” People walk around with all kinds of misinformation and miseducation that deserve to be corrected.
VirginityI think I even have blog posts about some of these points as well. I know I’ve addressed the topic in my book “Read Me: A Parental Primer for “The Talk.” I may have also gone off on the “Virginity is a social construct” point a few times on Quora too.
ConsentMy point is, our understanding of many of these items in that above list has changed even in the last couple of decades. Look at topics like Consent and what has changed there too. The #MeToo movement was a watershed moment that opened many eyes to behavior that was straight-up abuse.
GenderOur education about Gender has changed too. For example, the first time I learned that gender was more than just “male” and “female” was at the beginning of my sexuality studies, ca. 2009. Back then the conversation was about gender being 4 components – identity, expression, “biological sex”, and sexual orientation. Now in 2020, gender is understood to be
- Gender Identity
- Gender Expression
- Anatomical Sex
- Gender Assigned at Birth
- Sexual Attraction
- Romantic Attraction