Two weeks after my son’s 13th birthday, I came home to a disturbing scene. He was in bed with his girlfriend.

Indeed, the boy who still occasionally slept with his teddy bear had snagged some hot chick two weeks earlier. While he still looked 10, she was fully developed and looked 17, and she wanted a little action from her little man. He was horrified when I discovered them cuddling in bed that day, and confessed sheepishly later that night that she wanted to experiment and he reluctantly went along, fearing he would be viewed as a wimp if he didn’t.

In any event, I had the talk I’d had with my daughter a few years earlier: You are WAY WAY WAY too young to enter into the emotional and physical minefields of a sexual relationship — that’s for adults, and even adults often don’t know how to handle them. But if you MUST go down this road, there is a box of condoms in the bathroom cupboard, under the sink, and you are not EVER to have sex with anyone without using one. Not only will it spare you from being a teenaged father, it will save your life. I assured him I would not look in the box and he didn’t need to fear I would freak out if I noticed some were missing.

He replied much as my daughter did when she was 13: “Mom, do you think I’m crazy? I know all about HIV and sexually transmitted diseases from health class and I would NEVER do anything without a condom.”

Indeed, thanks to a very socially progressive education system in Canada, my children and their schoolmates were being taught from as early as 12 all about birth control, STDs, teenaged pregnancies and how to avoid them. Inherent in the lessons they were learning was a certain awareness that “abstinence only” is a crock of shit. As long as teenagers get horny, teenagers will have sex.

When the Bush administration started touting “abstinence only” as a sex education philosophy, I couldn’t have been more astounded. It is just so wrong-headed in every way, especially in an era when any kid with a computer can type the word “sex” into Google and be confronted by all sorts of horny-making images and websites. What, apparently, has been the result in some states that have fully embraced the “abstinence only” school of thought? An increase in both teen pregnancy rates and STD rates as kids who don’t know any better and can’t keep it in their pants are going ahead and doing what comes naturally without a lot of information. It’s a scandalous and stupid policy, wreaking havoc on a lot of lives.

As much as I do love the United States of America in so many ways, it made me grateful to be raising teenagers in Canada.

And oh yeah — I guess I mislead my children by telling them I would never check the condom box. I’ve checked it, and it still hasn’t been opened! My 17-year-old daughter assures me she is holding onto her virginity like the precious gift it is, holding out for someone she actually likes and trusts. My son, now 14, assures me he’s way too young and just not into it yet. Who knew a mother as randy as me would produce two fairly sexually conservative children? Or profoundly dishonest ones …..

Advertisements