Sex, Lies and….Teenagers

July 26th, 2010 § 1 comment

Oh Amber,

So deep. I spent a good chunk of time reading the conversation swirling around Crunktastic’s post and was reminded just how deep it really is. We’re broken – whether objectified or “friend”ified, our notions of gender and each other are broken. We may start to figure out one piece of the puzzle and suddenly we notice the big gaping hole that we didn’t know was there.

I’ve been thinking about youth and gender. Recently, I have consistently been confronted with many teenagers’ screwed up ideas of gender, sex and relationships.

So many boys talk about girls as objects for their pleasure, and they are so unaware of the falseness of this idea that they will do so with women (me) present. They claim to respect women, but they’re operating with an inaccurate definition. A definition taught to them by peers, music, movies and tv shows, and left unchecked by parents and society.

So many girls rely on boys’ attention for self-esteem. Nothing breaks my heart more than to see girls fall into this trap. They’re self-worth has been mutilated – what happened to slapping that boy who dared to touch your ass – like he just thought he could?

Both end up hurt. The boys as much as the girls. Neither know anything about relationships. Did you ever see “When Harry Met Sally?” Harry tells Sally that men and women can never be friends because the “sex part always gets in the way.” Well, when your hormones are raging, your self-esteem is shot, and your concept of “womanhood” and “manhood” is skewed, then sex most definitely gets in the way.

Sometimes I think we focus so much on preventing STDs and teenage pregnancies that we pass over all the other issues related to teenage sex (and why many are having sex) – self-worth, the worth of others, the value of relationships and what they actually look like. Don’t get me wrong, sex ed is important, but so is their emotional and social health.

And yes, media has a lot to do with it. And home. They get these images somewhere and if they aren’t taught how to filter, they buy into what’s being sold. And it hurts them.

And left to themselves, they will grow to be adults who know nothing about relationships.

** I should note that I speak very generally (“they”) but obviously, like any other group of people, teenagers have varying experiences. In this instance, however, I wanted to go general rather than specific.

§ One Response to Sex, Lies and….Teenagers

  • Anonymous says:

    Liz, I thoroughly enjoy the blogs you and Amber write! After reading your latest blog, Sex, Lies and….Teenagers, I thought to share with you a network I'm excited about, Compass, a personal development company committed to helping teen girls and women create an extraordinary life.

    For many years I've supported women in prison, universities and various other communities. As a result of listening to countless stories, I've concluded that most of the issues women face stem from a lack of self worth for a variety of reasons. Unfortunately, women suffer many times due to seeking affirmation from men and miseducation about themselves and sexuality in general.

    I agree with you that many teenagers have screwed up ideas of gender, sex and relationships. One idea is that oral sex is not sex, and as a result, oral sex is the new goodnight kiss. Young women are being exploited in exchange for a few dollars, cell phones and/or a Louis Vuitton bags. And I agree that “left to themselves, they will grow to be adults who know nothing about relationships.”

    Most recently I became involved with Compass because it provides the capacity to transform teen girls and women into capable well adjusted women that live a life of purpose, have control over their lives and financial security. As a client and representative, I have witnessed the transformative nature of what happens when women support and coach other women helping them to take back their lives, time and money! I'm one of them, being transformed daily! We as women have lots to offer one another, and we can do so one woman at a time! I hope you will join me in this plight! Check out my website and a link for additional information.

    Meanwhile, you and Amber keep writing, because knowledge is the key to our freedom!

    Joan Burnett

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