When teenagers have sex…

Posted by Samantha on August 15, 2013 in Parenting Dilemmas, Relationships, Responsibility, Teenagers |

Young LoveI’ve just read a story about a 17 year old boy who jumped to his death from the Forth Road Bridge.  He was being blackmailed about online conversations he’d had with someone he thought was a girl his own age.  You can read more about this sad story here: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2394520/Dunfermline-teenager-Daniel-Perry-17-kills-blackmailers-trick-Skype.html

When will we begin to have realistic conversations about teenagers’ sexual activity?
When a 17 year old sends an explicit photo of themselves to a 17 year old friend, they have broken the law and can be charged with making or distributing indecent images.
Phrases like “sexually predatory” are certainly loaded and it is obviously wrong to lay the blame for a rape at the feet of a 13 year old rape victim. But it is also clear to me that some very young teenagers are sexually promiscuous and can be sexually manipulative.
As Dave Lee Travis is arrested on 12 counts of historical sexual offences who will say out loud that a man having consensual sex with a woman in her late teens is a very different offence to a man having consensual sex with a girl in her early teens.
There is too much high emotion in most media conversations surrounding children, teenagers and sex.
It is preventing us from having level-headed discussions that will truly safeguard children and young adults – from both predators and each other.
We need to include words like morality and modesty and responsibility in these conversations.
In a world of moral relativism and an increasing fear of being seen as “judgemental” this will be difficult.
But we should not shy away from it.
Because we cannot keep our children safe if we do not have these discussions in an atmosphere where sanity, level-headedness and reason prevail.
Frank Furedi’s book Moral Crusades in an Age of Mistrust: The Jimmy Savile Scandal is an example of an attempt to have a level-headed discussion about these issues http://www.amazon.co.uk/Moral-Crusades-Age-Mistrust-Palgrave/dp/1137338016


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