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Breaking Our Silence about Sex
e="font-family: Verdana;">I watch my daughter peruse the magazines at the supermarket checkout line. Her eyes fix on the cover of Mademoiselle, which reads "10 DATES BEFORE SEX?! & Other Secrets of Love That Lasts and Lasts." I wonder what her 11-year-old brain is thinking.
Talking about Sex
Part I Setting the Stage for Talking about Sex challenges parents to include sexuality as part of how they teach their children about all human feelings and desires.
Part II, Breaking Our Silence About Sex focuses on how parents can begin and sustain a dialogue about sexuality that includes values, meaning and morality.
The Stages of Sexual Development
A Time/CNN poll conducted in 1998 showed teen-agers getting 45 percent of their information about sex from their friends and 29 percent from television. As our children's bodies mature at an earlier and earlier age (puberty is beginning an average of one to two years earlier in girls), we face a situation in which 12-year-olds are having to make decisions about sexual behavior. Magazines, television shows and pop lyrics constantly deliver sexual information and guidelines for sexual behavior - and our children are listening.
In a 1998 survey of adolescent dating attitudes by The Sexual Assault & Trauma Resource Center of Rhode Island, ninth-graders were asked if they believed that a person has "the right to sexual intercourse against their date's consent, if they have dated a long time." Sixty-two percent of the boys and 58 percent of the girls answered, "Yes."