sixteen is a beautiful age to lose your virginity.
This article is very long, and it details the difference between dutch and American parenting when it comes to dum dum duuuuuummmm Sex. I'm only going to provide the link, and a few choice bits. It's very interesting though, and I plan on grabbing the book.
SUNDAY, OCT 30, 2011 10:00 AM MOUNTAIN DAYLIGHT TIME
Solving America’s teen sex problem
"When 16-year-old Natalie first started dating her boyfriend, her mother did something that would mortify most American parents: She took her to the doctor’s office to get her contraceptives. Her mother wasn’t weirded out by the fact that her teen daughter was about to have sex — in fact, she fully supported it. She merely wanted to make sure that she was doing it safely, and responsibly. A couple of months later, when it finally happened, her parents were totally accepting. As her father put it, “sixteen is a beautiful age” to lose your virginity."
"Whereas most American parents panic about the idea of allowing their kids to have sex with other kids under their roof, for many Dutch parents, it’s not only fine — it’s responsible parenting."
"The pregnancy rate is about four times higher in the U.S. than in the Netherlands and abortion rates are about twice as high. HIV rates are about three times higher. Growing up in the Netherlands, I didn’t actually know of any teenagers who became pregnant as teens. Whenever I say that to Americans they’re always very surprised."
" In the Netherlands, there’s the belief that young people are capable of recognizing when they’re ready and self-regulating as opposed to the notion that they have raging hormones that are out of control. There’s the belief that young people can fall in love and that their sexuality is anchored in relationships so it becomes easier to accept and normalize relationships from about 16 to 17 onwards. And finally there’s been an attempt on the part of Dutch parents and the authorities to say, “This is happening, and we need to keep it from being secretive. We need to be able to keep control and be able to recommend that young people use contraception and see who they’re becoming involved with.”"
". . . you have to first separate from your family and become completely self-reliant before you’ve earned the right to engage in sex. That makes it harder for parents to then integrate it into the family in the way Dutch parents have."
"In the chapter about the Dutch parents, a father tells his daughter that she should never do it unless she has the desire for it. He acknowledges that his daughter might actually want it, and that is a very difficult thing in the U.S. context for a lot of parents to do, especially for girls."
"Only half of American girls have had a conversation about contraception with their parents. In the Dutch case, one of the girls learns about the pill at school during what is called “relationship lessons” — yes, that’s really what it’s called — and she comes home and her mother explains that she also uses the pill."
" I think some of the American models of being able to deal with cultural difference within a society are a good thing, and I like to think that cultures can learn from each other."
"There’s a real interest among young parents in handling sexuality better than it was in their family. We need to figure out how to stop falling back on the marriage-only model and we need a model for a good relationship that isn’t necessarily for life but that still involves mutual respect, and honesty, and mutual obligation as well as enjoyment and pleasure."
So after all that, (a few choice bits . . right . . . ) What do you all think? How will you handle it when your teenager seems to get interested in having sex?