Childhood is the most beautiful stage in a human’s life, when everything is new before a naïve child’s eyes. We may dare to say that, a couple of generations before, kids were thinking of “the smurfs” or “Sesame Street.” But things change through time, including kids.
The blog “Countdown with Keith Olberman” (countdown.msnbc.com) posted in his front page a video and the story of American teenagers who are sexually active. MSNBC and People’s magazine conducted a poll which shows that “three in ten teenagers had sex once,” or any kind of sexual experience before. The poll showed that almost 30% of American teenagers are sexually active, and it’s getting more popular between 15 or 16-year-old kids-almost 40%.
We hear more stories about sexual adventures like “Ron went out with Jenna last night, who also had sex with Scott. The night before, Scott spent some time with Sophia, who slept with Jason, Jose and Mike, and each one has sexual partners…” and so on.
MSNBC Countdown Alison Stewart interviewed sex therapist Ruth Wertheimer about this worrying situation. According to the interview (shown in the video), she explained that “people don’t realize that somebody has sexual experience with somebody else, he or she is becoming part of a dangerous chain.”
Wertheimer suggests that before getting involved in sexual activity, one must ask if the person he or she wants to be sexually involved with is trustworthy or hasn’t other sexual partners.
Who should we blame? Certainly, media has influence in this behavior, whether it is the internet, television, movies or music with explicit lyrics, but peer pressure is always a common one. A boy named Erin, who was part of the “Katie Couric the 411 Teens and Sex” special, said that “I heard girls when I was in sixth grade like the first day. I'm behind these girls in lunch line. They’re like, you're not a virgin? There’s no way you're a virgin. I was in sixth grade. I was like, are you serious?”
But there’s light in the darkness. A good number of teenagers are choosing for abstinence because of religious or moral principles. According to the poll, 71% don’t have sexual relations because they are afraid of being infected by a sexual transmitted disease. 75% think they are too young, and 54% say they are worried about what their parents think about.
Wertheimer says parental control and advising is important. “Parents must talk about the issue, they must make them wonder ‘what is the rash?’ don’t let people push it,” she said.
Other kids support Wertheimer’s viewpoint. Garon, another kid who participated in the Couric special said, “I'm 15 and I'm from New Hampshire. I wish I could talk to my parents about how hard it is to be a teenager because it's a lot harder than they think. And they think school is like that. But I don't think my parents could walk a day in my shoes.
To walk in their shoes, Wertheimer explained that parents must learn their language, terms like "hooking up," "friends with benefits" and the bases these days are a whole new ball game.
Unfortunately, sex is seen as any other normal activity because love and respect have been taken away. People don’t “make love,” but “have sex.” Nevertheless, our society can still form brave teenagers who can say “I’m still a virgin, and I’d rather choose abstinence.” The story we have seen in this blog it has just activated an alarm that teenagers are facing a problem adults must cope with together, so that we don’t have another “lost generation,” the one Ernest Hemingway lived in the 20s and 30s.