I published a guest post yesterday on Liberals Unite about sex education. We cannot allow the GOP to control the conversation on this subject and must fight back, teens included. I spoke to the fact that abstinence-only education is the manifestation of adult fear. I spoke to the ridiculous pressures placed on both girls and guys which sometimes cause us to adopt dangerous and unhealthy attitudes about sex.
Adults are extremely uncomfortable with thinking of teenagers as sexual beings. This is true in the reverse also in that teens do not want to think about their parents having sex. I've seen more than my fair share of comments today writing off my opinions on the matter because I'm not an adult. This proves my point. It's up to us, members of my generation, to take responsibility and take action. We must control the conversation. These issues affect the reality we live in, a reality our parents and some other adults fail to fully understand because their judgement is clouded by fear and insecurity.
To get this out of the way, let me say I'm not sexually active at this time and have no immediate desire to become so. However, my personal feelings at this time are that I won't remain a virgin until marriage. This could change if I developed a deep emotional relationship with a guy and we talked through that issue together. In other words, the decisions I make on this subject will be made thoughtfully, not until the time comes when I feel completely comfortable and confident, and not until I am assured my partner feels the same way. So, for the members of the general public who are unclear of where I stand personally, there ya go. And I will not be, "ashamed of myself."
Let me throw something down here from my undeveloped prefrontal cortex. The fact I am informed and able to understand the ways I will develop emotionally and physically in the future are the exact reasons I plan to wait. But some of my friends are not waiting. There is absolutely nothing I nor their parents perceived rules and supervision can do to prevent this. I have a friend who comes from a very Conservative home and had the strictest rules possible. She ended up pregnant at 15 and was kicked out of her house as a result. Others I know are smart enough to use protection but have been in situations where their sneak-around experiences have not been fulfilling physically or emotionally.
When you look at your daughters, do you honestly want their first sexual experiences to be of the type that last 10 minutes after which both parties are awkward and unfulfilled because neither party was truly ready for the experience? Do you want that experience to possibly result in pregnancy or an STD? Do you want her first experience to come from a need to keep a guy in a relationship and have her suffer the emotional devastation that can happen when he rolls over, puts his clothes back on, and never calls her again? These are all reasons your daughters should be waiting but if the only messages they are getting about sex is that it's not their decision to make or are uncomfortable thinking about and discussing the issue because of messages they get from adults and society, they are in real danger of devastating physical and emotional consequences.
The same reasons many adults are uncomfortable with teens talking about sex and being sexually active are many of the same reasons they are uncomfortable when we talk about participating in democracy. They discount our ability to make competent decisions, calling us confused, incapable, and irrelevant. They write off our issues because they don't understand them, don't see their importance, or don't understand how these issues truly affect us.
This is why it's time for us to stand up. It's time for the revolution. Change doesn't come from complacency, it comes from making people uncomfortable. It's time to stand up for ourselves and our peers. It's time to raise our voices, empower each other, and shake things up.
Raise your voices. Sing with me.