Recently, there have been numerous news reports coming from college campuses across the country expressing concern about sexual abuse and rape of women on their campuses.
There have also been incidences of women claiming they were raped and later admitting that the sexual encounter was mutual.
In either situation, young lives are being destroyed.
In response, many campuses have been initiating training sessions for their students to teach healthy sexual relationships. I applaud their efforts, but sadly I think college is a little late to start this type of teaching.
By the time someone is 18 years old, their concept of a sexual relationship has already been established. They may or may not have had sex yet, but they have certainly received both healthy and unhealthy information about the topic.
I believe we can make a difference in the sexual attitude of a college student if we start early and help our kids to build concepts as they mature emotionally. But the challenge is what and when to teach our children.
Everyday, I am pushing hard to break through a security wall that parents have built to protect their children from undesirable sexual education. I agree that there are many unacceptable sex education teachings in some schools that are either age-inappropriate or explain sexual concepts that are explicit and off topic. We need to take a stand against improper sex education. But if we want our children to respect each other’s body, they need an opportunity to learn about their own first, while they are young.
So what do I think we can do?
I don’t think the responsibility to teach our young adolescents about reproduction belongs entirely with the schools. This is a topic that parents must embrace and not only teach their children about the structures and what they do, they must also teach them respect for the reproductive process. As the child matures, this would include teaching them to respect the other person’s body and their choices as well.
I am trying all different methods to get resources to parents so that you can feel equipped to be the primary teacher. But I realize that having resources is only part of the solution.
Inspire an attitude of respect
I invite you to join my movement to embrace the opportunity you have as a parent of a young adolescent to teach him/her about their reproductive system and inspire an attitude of respect and amazement.
This is NOT a one-time discussion with diagrams and key points. If you begin early and help your child feel it is safe to talk to you about anything, there will be endless opportunities to reinforce your principles and build a healthy attitude in your child’s mind that will shape the choices they make in college and before.
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