Tween and Teenagers
Teens Sexting. Naked Pics. Wake Up Parents! It's Time to Talk
When I was growing up there was a name for that certain type of girl-- "Fast Girls" or "Ms. Fassies" as my grandmother would say (don't ask me what happened to the letter T).
But they were the girls your mother told you to stay away from. And the girls all the boys were trying to get closer to. You could find them in the school basement or leaning against the lockers sucking on a lollipop. They were easy to find. Nowadays, the ways to be "fast" are ridiculous--via text, on Facebook, on Twitter and who knows where else "fastness" from boys and girls is lurking online. And "Fassies" are everywhere, minus the stigma. And quite possibly in your own house.
If you're a parent with your head up your a** about what tweens and teens are talking sex wise, you should pick up the latest issue of Essence magazine or check out some of conversations brewing as part of October's Let's Talk! month.
In October's Essence magazine, an article entitled "Our Teen's Secret Sex Lives" blows the mind with some startling statements by dozens of teens interviewed for the article. In one conversation the writer had with two boys, aged 13 and 15, the boys said: "Girls text you naked pictures when you don't even ask for them. Or they get real freaky on the phone."
Then one boy reveals, "After a girl gives you a blow job, you have to act like you're not happy. That way she'll come back and try to make it better."
Every year, sex education providers and advocates use October to encourage and help parents in their roles as the primary communicators about sex and sexual health to their children. This year, Planned Parenthood, in conjunction with the Center for Latino Adolescent and Family Health, has created a number of resources and awareness-raising tools in effort to get parents and kids talking.
Clearly, we need this.
The Essence article compliments a new study of over 1500 black youth aged 13-21 released by ESSENCE Magazine and The National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy. The survey showed that the pressure to have sex is tremendous. Of those who have had sex, 47% of those 13-21 (including 21% of those 13-15) say they have been pressured to go further sexually than they wanted to.
Parents of all colors have a lot of work to do.
So far, surveys say we're off to good start.
A recent nationally representative poll called “Let’s Talk: Are Parents Tackling Crucial
Conversations About Sex?” queried more than 1,100 parents of 10- to 18-year-olds
and found that an overwhelming majority of parents are talking with their kids about sexuality
and relationships, but that they aren’t always tackling tougher, more complicated issues, like
birth control or how to say no to sex.
I know I talk a good game about being an open and accessible parent, but the sex talk scares the bejesus out of me. And quite frankly, I never really had one myself when I was a teen, so I'm in relatively new territory.
Thankfully, Planned Parenthood has created an online flipbook featuring actor and comedian Aisha Tyler, actor Kathleen Turner, and a number of others sharing their experiences talking with their kids — or their parents — about sex. The flipbook, Let’s Talk: What’s Your Story?, is a great springboard to having your own (dreaded) conversation. So is this humorous video which also features some great tips for parents for talking about sex and sexuality with your kids.
Young people are being exposed to sexual images on TV and in music at a younger age, parents, we have to step up our game to keep our young boys and girls from growing up too fast.
What have you done to curb the potential Miss or Mister "Fassie" in your family? What tips have worked for you in talking with your kids about sex?
Don't Miss the Lifetime Original Movie "Sexting In Suburbia" Saturday, January 14 at 9/8c on Lifteime.