A few weeks ago I wrote a post lamenting the fact the in a sexually saturated culture, we've essentially put our kids in cars, taken away the guardrails and told them to drive as fast as they can.
That post generated quite a bit of email from people, both in agreement and disagreement, and those emails have led me to a lot of further thought.
I found a very interesting article in the New York Times in which the author recounts being 14 and having her first chance for a sexual encounter. At the last minute, she decided she wasn't ready and and left. In her words:
"...I said no, sorry, I wasn’t ready after all. We broke up the next morning, and then got back together again days later, and then broke up a few more times. I eventually did go to third; yes, I did. I grew up; I got married; I had children; decades passed, and I lived through personal happiness and disappointment, and I barely thought about this little moment again until recently. What I had given myself, in saying no back then, was the luxury of time — time to figure out what I wanted, what felt best. No is like being in graduate school; you’re allowed to think for a while, and not be in the world." (Meg Wolitzer, emphasis added, entire article here).
This writer is not making a moral or religious case for teen abstinence/postponement. She makes what I think is a very rational case that people from different backgrounds can probably agree on. "What's the rush? Take some time. Wait a little. In retrospect, you won't regret waiting. You loose nothing by taking some time and maturing. On the other hand, if you rush it, you could lose a great deal and have some regrets." I think that is a very healthy message for kids--teens and adolescents to read. It doesn't have to be draconian or heavy-handed. Well said, Ms. Wolitzer.
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