Talking “The Talk”
September 11, 2009
Many of you roll your eyes every time we mention talking with a parent or trusted adult about sex and sexuality. “Yeah, whatever,” you say, and maybe you think to yourself, adults are clueless about sexuality.
They criticize your music, the way you want to dress and the kinds of people you hang out with. Forget about even bringing up current or potential relationships or, oh yeah, sex. But is this tension between adults and teens really anything new? Nope. Your parents or guardians probably went through something similar with their parents.
Your parents didn’t dance to Beyoncé, and maybe they aren’t familiar with Jay-Z’s “banquet full of broads” or his thoughts about what someone’s butt could do to a g-string. Adult outrage at teen music is nothing new. Replace criticisms of Britney Spears, Miley Cyrus and Drake with criticisms of Elvis, the Beatles, and even Madonna. The music may change, but the concerns about its influence are, in many ways, very similar.
Your parents probably didn’t grow up knowing about HIV/AIDS, and they definitely didn’t have access to information on the Internet. But their parents, and other adults in their lives, still gave them a hard time.
Teens of today didn’t invent sex. So, maybe you could give adults a chance? Maybe they’re trying to block the memories of their own awkward early experiences around sexuality and pretend they never happened. But consider that adults have probably been in situations similar to the ones you’re in. The scenery may look a bit different these days, but chances are your parents or the adults you trust had the same worries about whether or how to talk to their own parents or families. Think about it. You may decide that your parent or another trusted adult is just the person to talk to about sexuality…and, hey, stop rolling your eyes.