And that’s the soft stuff: A national sample study of 1,500 10 to 17-year-olds showed that about half of those that use the Internet had been exposed to online porn in the last year.
How do you learn appropriateness and consent in a culture where Beyoncé’s song about pleasuring a guy in a car is championed by some as feminist and others as lewd?
And then there was this: “[One] kind of sex game is bondage and discipline, in which restriction of movement (e.g.
using handcuffs or ropes) or sensory deprivation (using blindfolds or masks) is employed for sexual enjoyment. I frankly don’t want her debating with other 13-year-olds how well the adult film industry is practicing safe sex.” Another parent, Asfia Ahmed, who has eight and ninth grade boys, adds: “It assumes the audience is already drinking alcohol, already doing drugs, already have multiple sexual partners…Even if they are experimenting at this age, it says atypical sexual behaviors are normal.
Everyone is feeling a little awkward.” But the Fremont parents aren’t budging.
(While acknowledging this, the book’s author Sara L. Mackenzie, believes it’s appropriate for high schoolers; her children read it at 13.) The book has been shelved, at least for this year. The Fremont showdown is a local skirmish in what has become a complicated and exhausting battle that schools and parents are facing across the nation. TIME reviewed the leading research on the subject as well as currently available resources to produce the information that follows, as well as specific guides to how and when to talk to kids on individual topics.
Or where primetime TV shows—the kind you often watch with your family—not infrequently make reference to anal sex? Longitudinal studies suggest exposure to sexual content on TV and other media in early adolescence is linked to double the risk of early sexual intercourse, and young people whose parents limit their TV time are less likely to partake in early sexual behavior.
Other studies have found that 10% of young women who had their first sexual experience in their teenage years say it was not their choice, and the younger they were, the more likely this was the case. ” Young people now engage in relationships increasingly via technology, which means they’re able to connect in a variety of ways and at a speed and frequency not known to prior generations.
Or, if they did, it was only to discourage them from being sexually active.
“Parents and legislators fail to understand that although they may favor abstinence-only sex education (despite the lack of any evidence of its effectiveness), the media are decidedly not abstinence only,” reads a 2010 American Academy of Pediatrics policy statement.