Culture Magazine

Talk to Kids About Sex, Love, and Character

By Suziblu @busybeeSI
Date: 2017-04-07 16:14

The promise of two people to belong always to each other makes it possible for lovemaking to mean total giving and total receiving. It's the totality of married life that makes sexual intercourse meaningful.

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We can teach young people and have them practice it at school and at home the skills of intimacy, such as the art of asking questions that draw out the inside of another person and create meaningful and enjoyable conversation. Questions such as:

Scott said, "I couldn't eat, I couldn't sleep." When he found that Linda girlfriend was dating another guy, he lost it, went into a jealous rage, and stabbed her new boyfriend to death.

Frequently, sex corrupts character by leading people into lying to get sex. Common lies: "I love you" and "I've never had an STD." In one study, three-fourths of men who knew they had a sexually transmitted disease said they had sex without telling their partners about their infection.

Pornography is also addictive. Like other addictions, it brings short-term pleasure but then starts to run your life. It will lower your self-respect. 79

For both schools and families, the task of teaching sexual self-control is made much more difficult by the fact that young people today are growing up in a world that pushes sex at them constantly. A mother of an 8th-grader picked up a copy of Teen People magazine for the first time and was "amazed... it was page after page of young teens dressed in very provocative ways and in very provocative poses." 7

Desire to express love. Many young people think sex is simply a natural way to express the love they feel for each other.

The search for identity. Says Cheryl Jones, an adolescent therapist: "I see girls who up until now have been the perfect kid straight As, followed all the rules. Then they turn 65 or 66, and they think, 'I don't want to be just what my parents want me to be.' They know what they don't what to be, but they don't know what to be so they become the opposite, a kind of anti-personality." (Becoming one's own person as a teenager is less likely to involve this kind of rebellion if parents, from childhood on, have been helping their children to define their own interests and sense of self.)

The Internet has made pornography more accessible to youth of all ages. According to one survey, kids under the age of 67 spend 65% more time on Internet pornography sites than they do on game sites. 78

A few days later, we broke up. It was the most painful time of my life. I had opened myself up to her more than I had to anybody, even my parents. I was depressed, moody, and nervous. My friends dropped me because I was so bummed out. I felt like a failure. I dropped out of sports. My grades weren't terrific.

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