Have you talked about sex lately?

I recently spoke with a parent who had been very conscientious about talking to his daughters about boys and sex. He said, “I wanted them to know how special they are and that they don’t need to use sex to get love.” Then he said, “Unfortunately, I kind of dropped the ball with my son.” I asked what he meant, and he said that the topic of sex had just “never come up.”


I think the problem inherent in the above situation is clear: how can we be so concerned about protecting our daughters from boys that we ignore our sons — who are becoming the very men from whom we try to protect our daughters? Eventually, we will need to shatter the myth that women are the gatekeepers of healthy sexuality in our society.


Right now, though, I understand that it is difficult to discuss sex with your teenage son. So here’s one way to start: “A lot of stars in the media are getting pregnant. Have you ever thought about what you would do if you got a girl pregnant?” Then some follow up: “What do you think most guys in your school would do?” “Where do you think the problem begins? When a girl gets pregnant, or before that?” “What problems does sex bring to a relationship even without a pregnancy?” And now, it is your turn to set the record straight. Clearly state your expectations for your son regarding sexual activity.