Tuesday, April 06, 2010

Adults Are The Problem With Teen Sexuality

Adults set up a fake prom in Mississippi rather than have a lesbian teen couple attend the actual prom.

A district attorney in Wisconsin threatens to charge sex educators with sex abuse if they teach condom use to teens younger than 16 in accordance with state education law.

A Vatican official on Easter Sunday suggests that the faithful avoid the "petty gossip" about sexual abuse of children and youth by priests.

These recent events reported in the news in the past few days appal me. I'm guessing they do you, too.

And what do they teach our young people? That some adults so devalue gay and lesbian youth that they shouldn't be included in important events. That some adults would rather deny young people life saving information than acknowledge that some teens engage in sexual relationships. That some adults turn their back on young people who are being sexually abused by adults.

What do I want teens (and the adults who care for them) to know? That forming a sexual identity is a developmental task of adolescents. That adults need to support the teen virgins and the teens who engage in sexual behaviors. That truth telling should be the hallmark of all of our programs. That adults will do everything they can to protect youth from abusive adults, regardless of profession. That young people have the right to ask questions and a right to have answers. That they deserve our respect and our support as they become adults.

The good news for today is that the teen birth rate went down last year, after increasing for the past two. More teens are protecting themselves, either by abstaining from PVI (penile-vaginal intercourse) or by using contraception. While the adults are fighting, they're seeking out what they need to be safe. Shouldn't we be on THEIR side?


BeckyMPH said...

Yes, I am appalled. Too often, adults are part of the problem instead of part of the solution. These recent stories remind me how much work there is to do, and reaffirm my commitment to be part of the solution -- meaning fighting for sexual health and justice for all!

Robin Edgar said...

Some Unitarian*Universalist adults, including *some* U*U ministers and top level UUA leaders, would seem to have turned their backs on young people (and adults) who have been sexually abused by Unitarian*Universalist clergy and U*U lay leaders. Hopefully you are appalled at that as well.

Joel Monka said...

Regarding "petty gossip" about the Vatican, there's an Alaskan newspaper story entitled The "Pedophile's Paradise" "Alaska Natives are accusing the Catholic Church of using their remote villages as a "dumping ground" for child-molesting priests- and blaming the president of Seattle University for letting it happen"

Anonymous said...

I am 16 and sexually active if not for early education a few years ago i would probably be a dad by now. by understanding that sexuality is not something to be ashamed of not something to hide and something that is critical to understand you reduce sexually transmitted infection rates and teenage pregnancies understanding and acceptance is the key not conservative bigotry.