A lot has changed when it comes to talking about sex with our children - especially when it comes to talking to girls. Young women today are so exposed to sex and sexuality at a much younger age, through social media, movies, and the internet in general. Times have changed when it comes to sex in general, and the conversation has to be adapted as well.
You have to be able to speak to your kids in a meaningful way when it comes to having these conversations about sex. The attitude of not wanting to talk about it can be dangerous and toxic, and definitely doesn’t help young women who will learn about it regardless. Allowing engaging conversation that directs and guides on this topic can make a huge difference in their overall development. There’s a generation gap that has to be overcome in order to be successful.
Most girls have an icon they look up to - whether it’s an actress, pop star, or an influencer on Instagram. Lyrics and movies are often extremely suggestive - as are the dances in the music videos that go with these songs. Sexual culture is all over, and it creates and odd message for young women with screens in front of them. They may not feel ready for sex, but they see what these stars are doing and saying, which creates doubt and confusion about how they feel. This can almost be degrading in some ways.
As a parent, what can you do to overcome this?
Confront the sexual culture and talk about it. Give open and honest opinions about what you think is ok and what isn’t.
Talk about what sexy means to you, and what an acceptable way to present themselves is, but don’t close off questions and the desire to learn about why these images are so prevalent.
When your girls are watching sexually charged movies or videos, ask them what they think about it and why they enjoy seeing it. Then share what you think, and keep it cool. Don’t get heated if you dislike it.
Girls watch porn just as we adults do. When girls watch these videos, they learn more about sex being an act or performance versus being something you do for pleasure and with emotion. As a parent, there are a few things you can do to alter this mindset.
Talk to your daughters about sex, their sexuality, and their bodies, and not just the dangers of early sex.
If they ask you a question, answer it honestly and openly. When you become uncomfortable, they feel nervous and ashamed of asking you questions and close themselves off.
Make sure you show them that you appreciate them asking and that you want to be open with them.
Talk about pleasure over performance, and be sure they understand that sex is special but also their choice.
Remind them that sex is emotional and can affect how we feel about ourselves and others.
Hook ups are very common, and may not be something that we think of as adults. As the sexual conversation changes, that means that we have to be aware of what’s common in their lives. A hook up can be because someone is drunk or sober, or even a friends with benefits relationship - no strings attached.
What can you do?
Talk about how alcohol can reduce your safety and care when it comes to sex.
Talk about casual sex and why you think it can be harm.
Be curious and ask them about hook-ups and what they think without judging them.
Young women also don’t see oral sex as actual sex.
Oral sex is seen as a way to gain popularity and show guys that they’re interesting without actually having sex. This can be super dangerous, including adding risk for sexually transmitted diseases. You have to teach your daughter to say no when she’s not interested, and stand up for themselves and their integrity.
Talk to your daughter about anal and oral sex - the dangers and the positives! Don’t put it in a negative light, because this can cause them to shut down.
Help them learn to be vocal and say what is and isn’t ok.
Allow them to understand that sex and oral sex is ok, but they aren’t obligated to do it.
They also primarily learn about the dangers of sex, and not the positives. Change the conversation! If all you do is tell them it’s bad, they’ll want to explore it more themselves.
Support healthy conversation by doing the following.
Talk about the pleasures and responsibilities of sex and not just the consequences and dangers of it.
Just being honest with your daughters will make a world of difference. A candid conversation about sex, the positives and the dangers, and what they should look out for will allow for a more trusting and deeper parental bond. These conversations may make you squirm, but think about the benefits you would have received from this conversation at their age. Having open communication, empower them to ask for what they want or need. Help assist them in becoming responsible, thoughtful decision-makers.