(Written by guest blogger JustAnotherTeen.)
“You seem very open, honest, and liberal, but you depict your parents as fairly rigid and conservative. How much do you think your parents impacted who you are and how did they do that? I like the person you present yourself as and I sense that you like yourself as well. Do your parents like you as you are or do you hide most of what you have shared with us?”
As I mentioned in the response above, I think some of my attitude and outlook on life are simply the opposite of my parents because I saw them every single day and I wanted to be different. For instance, my parents are often late everywhere they go, so therefore I have a tendency to be early for everything. I think my parents impacted me a lot in some ways, mostly because I consciously tried to be different than they are. My parents know somewhat that I am do not hold their values, but not the scale of which I disavow their narrow-minded ideas. For instance, they do not know that I am bi-sexual. They do not fully realize that I have had sex. I did not even tell them I was dating someone for half a year.
“What do you think are the basic criteria for people (teens) to have and be competent at in order to be able to make a healthy decision to be fully sexual? When do you think teens are harmed by sex too early or with the wrong people? Have you seen much of the problems that can be created by inappropriately early sexuality or do you think there is such a thing as inappropriately early sexuality?”
I think that the age of sexual maturity (being able to make the decision to have sex for the right reasons, not just peer pressure or such) depends greatly on the individual person, the way they were raised, and their partner. I think both partners need to understand that although sex feels good on a physical and emotional level, there can be serious consequences no matter what form or forms of protection are used. They need to understand different forms of contraception and be comfortable with each other and themselves. It should not be a spur of the moment thing in my opinion, but something that is discussed with maturity. That said, I doubt very seriously that any teenage couples are really that prepared, myself and my girlfriend included! I think teens can easily be harmed by sex with the wrong person, especially if there is a large age gap or something else that gives one partner authority. That is not to say that a 15 year old and a 17 year old should not be having sex, again it comes back to the individual relationship. As for problems with early sexuality, I think they are often the same for sex at any age: unwanted pregnancy and STIs, etc. Also, I believe younger people in general have a higher risk of being emotionally scarred but when I think about it, and I have no experience with this, it seems like older people (i.e. Over 20) can be scarred as well from bad relationships, sexual or otherwise.
“Your girlfriend’s mom seems to have ‘come around’ and is coping adequately with your relationship. Do you think there is a down side to this arrangement? What would be the parameters you would want to set up today if you were the parent of a teenager yourself?”
If there is a downside, it would be that she sometimes seems overbearing about making sure we have birth control. I am fully capable of getting my own protection so it just gets annoying when she keeps asking if we need condoms, although I think she has realized in the past few months that I am capable of getting my own and has stopped asking. If I were a parent, I would want to be open about all matters of sexuality but also I would understand if they did not tell me when they started having sex or something like that. I would like to know their partners but also understand that this may not always happen. I think a parent of a teenager should be more of an advisor than a dictator, there at all times to talk but not to rule. However, as I get older my views may change but I hope to be a good father (of adopted children) one day.
Again, I really appreciate everyone who sent in questions, I really had to think about my answers! I enjoyed blogging here for the past two weeks and would like to do it sometime in the future if I or someone else can come up with ideas for new posts! Thanks to Karen for allowing me this opportunity, and if anyone still has questions, that e-mail address is still usable!