Altogether too often adults take on a topic like this and then proceed to address other adults. It is all well and good to discuss what teens ‘should’ know about sex, but how much of that will you really get passed to you from mum or dad? However, having said that, it really is your parents’ decision what you should be exposed to until your reach your majority.
We were the same at your age and so, out of respect for that, much of what will be discussed here is meant for you to read and ponder a bit. Also, some of the information is meant to help your parents understand the very real difference between what you ‘should’ know and what you ‘want’ to know. As with anything else in life, wants and needs can be two very different things.
You Are the Master of Your Own Fate
This is a touchy subject, but one that you really need to hear. Other than in situations where you may be physically forced to engage in sexual acts, you are the master of your destiny. Just because the other kids think having sex is cool and part of a rite of passage, you don’t need to subscribe to that way of thinking if you don’t want to. Do you really think it’s that cool to be a follower rather than a leader? You would be surprised at just how much respect you will gain among your peers for standing firm on what you believe. You are free to choose the moral code you want to follow and that may be something totally different from anyone in your crowd.
STDs Are Real and They ARE Dangerous!
There are several sexually transmitted diseases, STDs, you ‘could’ be infected with if you are sexually active, but two in particular can lead to death. That isn’t meant as a scare tactic but rather a matter of reality you need to face if you are going to indulge in behaviours best left to those within the age of consent. You may have been introduced to HIV, Aids, and the Human Papilloma Virus, HPV, in relationship courses at your school. However, it is difficult for teens to imagine death at this stage of their lives when it seems they have their whole life ahead of them. And, in reality, that’s that they ‘should’ be looking forward to.
One of the reasons your parents might want to secure gynaecology services would be to have a pap smear taken once they are made aware of your sexual activity. From cultures taken during the exam, a gynaecologist can determine if you have been exposed to HPV. This is not usually something you would be concerned with at this stage of your life, but in later years HPV has been undeniably linked as the cause of certain cancers like cervical cancer. As for HIV Aids, tremendous advances have been made in the diagnosis and treatment of AIDS, but it is still a killer.
Teen Pregnancy Is Not Something You Should Need to Deal With
Then there is the obvious possibility that you could become pregnant even before leaving school. This is not something you should need to think or talk about because pregnancy necessitates a major life decision. You are, after all, not even old enough to vote yet you would be asked to decide whether to abort or carry that baby to birth, whether you keep it or not. At a young age you have literally forced yourself into a corner where any decisions you make could have a profound effect on the rest of your life. Think about that for just a moment. You can’t vote in a local election, but you can be the person with the final ‘vote’ on whether to bear a baby or have an abortion. Does that sound fair to you?
It’s Your Turn Mum and Dad!
Here is where we’ll break it off and say a word or two to your parents who have been patiently waiting to have their say. As the legal guardians of your son or daughter, you really do have the final say in many of your child’s activities. Even after recognising their right to independent thought, you also know that their life experiences are limited at this time in their lives.
We would encourage you to think about how you will handle the various responses you’ll get when you get up the courage to speak with your kids about sex. While you may not have believed that they could have indulged in sexual activity, it doesn’t do to show surprise or anger. If you want to have any hope of being a guiding light, a voice of reason in their lives, try listening. Talk can come later but only after you’ve had that gynaecological exam. Until then, remember that patience is a virtue!