Young Mom Support has extended our workshop offering to include a new presentation: The Con’s of Teen Sex.
Catchy name, right? Gets all the parents thinking “Yes! This is *exactly* the theme we need!”
Except… that’s not quite what we mean. Do read on…
In our experience speaking to teens, we’ve found the there is a great deal of focus on avoiding the consequences of sex – unplanned pregnancy, STI/HIV infection – but very little information is provided about healthy relationships.
Many young people are well-informed about the technicalities of sex in theory. They’re aware of the need for contraception and condoms – but unsure how to voice their feelings in the context of their relationship. In other words, it’s not the “rules” of sex they’re struggling with – it’s the people.
They also often struggle to understand what a healthy relationship looks like – whether sexual in nature or not, particularly if they’ve not had role models of strong, happy relationships in their lives. Sex is only one part of a relationship, and our guidance to teens about their sexual choices needs to be part of a much broader conversation.
We take the conversation back to basics – to the fact that sexual relationships are all about people. No question is taboo – we advocate for open and honest discussion so that teens feel we are trustworthy in our advice.
There are a bunch of questions that teens need to ask themselves, and their partners, before getting down to the nitty gritty. You’d be amazed
depressingly unsurprised at how many adults have never even had these conversations in their own lives.
- Is this relationship equitable? Does one partner have an advantage over the other, in terms of age, experience, socio-economic status?
- Is this relationship being kept secret for some reason?
- Are people telling you that this relationship is unhealthy?
- How do the partners involved treat each other?
- What does each partner expect from each other in terms of exclusivity / faithfulness etc?
- What is the communication like within the relationship? Are both partners able to voice their feelings?
- How will my partner react if I say yes to sex? Or if I say no?
- We look at examples of relationships and discuss whether or not it’s healthy for both parties
- What do YOU think a healthy relationship looks like?
- What do you think constitutes abuse in a relationship?
This is huge. HUGE. It simply isn’t a conversation that anyone is having with their children. We discuss consent in sexual relationships in detail – why it is necessary, how to go about asking for and giving it. We also spend time discussing privacy issues – especially regarding sexting, sharing nude pics and online behaviour.
- What does consent mean?
- Who can give consent, and who cannot?
- Why is consent required for every sexual interaction?
- How do you ask for consent?
- How do you give consent?
- How do you say no?
The possible consequences of sex are covered here
- How will I feel afterwards if I do, and if I don’t?
- How will it affect my relationship?
- How will it affect my relationships with others in my life, including friends and family, if they are aware?
- How to avoid unplanned pregnancy
- How to avoid STI’s including HIV
The 4th Con fits in here – but easily have a heading of it’s own – CONDOMS. We discuss condoms as a not-negotiable necessity when having sex, and how to insist upon condom use.
Don’t leave anyone out
We’re also aware that the “standard” sex ed discussions with their focus on pregnancy prevention, tend to exclude those teens who are not heterosexual. LGBTI teens need guidance about their relationships and sexual choices just as much – so we ensure that all of our discussions are as inclusive as possible.
Get in touch
If you’re interested in hosting a workshop for your students, get in touch today!