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the girl with violets in her lap [userpic]

January 24th, 2008 (12:30 am)
thoughtful

current mood: thoughtful

"In a perfect world, no teenager would be having sex. We all know there isn't a 15-year-old alive who is ready emotionally, physically, spiritually, or financially to live with the consequences." -Nancy Keenan, NARAL president*

I find it very hard to decide whether I agree with that or not. I mean, okay, so I know that the statement as it reads is dumb - the statement that there "isn't a 15-year-old alive" who's ready for sex is ridiculous - but I'm thinking of it less on a literal level, and wondering more about generalities. Is it true that there is only a statistically negligible percentage of fifteen-year-olds who are ready for sex at fifteen? Can we make the blanket statement that teenagers should not have sex? Even if I concede the issue on ideological grounds, I'm not sure it has any contact with a reality in which teenagers' sex drives start to run amok when they hit fourteen or fifteen. But my question goes beyond that; I'm honestly not sure that I agree that teenagers are almost inevitably too immature for sex. I should figure out whether I do agree. It would be helpful knowledge in writing the Beth book.

Anyway, I posted it because if y'all want to discuss, I'd love to hear your thoughts. Comment away.

*Quote is a passing remark in this link, leading to a Slate article that I find interesting, thought-provoking, and somewhat shallow and poorly considered in its own approach to the subject. I feel that way about a whole lot of Slate articles.

Comments

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Posted by: Morgan (banshea)
Posted at: January 24th, 2008 06:11 am (UTC)

I think, as a whole, kids are capable of dealing with a hell of a lot more than we give them credit for. The biggest issue I see is that one potential consequence of having sex is getting pregnant, and while it is possible for a teenager to be a reasonably good parent, it is extremely difficult for anyone at any age to have a baby and go to school, and the ability to provide for a family is at least partly related to education.

My bottom line is that issues related to teenage sex stem from teenagers lacking the knowledge and skills to deal with the consequences of their actions. It's not the age that's the problem, it's the environment the kids have been exposed to.

Posted by: M. (habiliments)
Posted at: January 24th, 2008 06:35 am (UTC)

It really sounds like she's equating "consequences" with "pregnancy" and that really, really bothers me, on a deeper level than I'd expect. There are TONS of potential emotional consequences resulting from having sex, and not all of them are necessarily negative and/or things kids can't deal with. But - mostly I'm just sputtering at what feels like a very conservative viewpoint. I'm probably reading too much into it, but her comment almost seems to imply unprotected sex. In fact, were the word "unprotected" in there, my reaction would be TOTALLY different.

(Sorry, not very eloquent, very tired, etc.)

Posted by: Baby, I'm gonna do you till you can juggle. (shaysdays)
Posted at: January 24th, 2008 06:39 am (UTC)

Mary, Mother of God? Or does that not count anymore?

Posted by: A Delicate Corpse Flower (peregrin8)
Posted at: January 24th, 2008 02:29 pm (UTC)

I thought the whole idea was that she didn't have sex!

Posted by: Baby, I'm gonna do you till you can juggle. (shaysdays)
Posted at: January 24th, 2008 06:39 pm (UTC)

Posted by: the girl with violets in her lap (slammerkinbabe)
Posted at: January 25th, 2008 01:22 am (UTC)

Posted by: Andrew Ducker (andrewducker)
Posted at: January 24th, 2008 09:04 am (UTC)

I agree that the average 15-year-old isn't ready to deal with pregnancy. But they don't get any readier to deal with relationships without having one.

I started late, and the intervening time didn't make me any better at relationships, it just meant I was crap for longer.

Posted by: the girl with violets in her lap (slammerkinbabe)
Posted at: January 24th, 2008 05:53 pm (UTC)

I agree that the average 15-year-old isn't ready to deal with pregnancy. But they don't get any readier to deal with relationships without having one.

That's a really good call.

Posted by: Instruction-free poison (redsnake05)
Posted at: January 24th, 2008 09:48 am (UTC)

Having sexual relationships at 15 didn't harm me. So long as there is adequate protection from STIs and pregnancy, and no coercion or significant power imbalances, what is the problem?

(Deleted comment)
Posted by: Spencer Irving (archaica)
Posted at: January 24th, 2008 03:18 pm (UTC)

Posted by: the girl with violets in her lap (slammerkinbabe)
Posted at: January 24th, 2008 05:56 pm (UTC)

Posted by: Gemma (teacupdiaries)
Posted at: January 24th, 2008 11:01 am (UTC)

I think, really, what Nancy Keenan means is that there isn't a 15 year old girl who is all of those things since it's pretty clear the responsibility she mentions is pregnancy and abortion.

I don't believe that, as a society, we question whether boys are ready for sex enough. We focus on the by-products of sex and put the blame on girls/women; even when it comes to STD education, women are clearly targeted more than men.

Putting that aside for a minute, I believe it's possible for 15 year olds of both genders to be ready for sex, but I don't believe they're truly ready for making the big, painful choices, and I certainly do not believe enough of them are up to date on their understanding of STD prevention. If we made the whole thing seem less forbidden and therefore exciting, and worked harder on educating children about STDs, safe sex, and the variety of BC available, maybe we could spare them from having to make those hard decisions a little longer.

Most of my friends were having sex by the time they were 15, and none of them were emotionally scarred by it. In fact, a few of them handled pregnancy scares with more grace and control than I've since seen from grown women.

That said, my best friend had 2 STDs by the time she was 17 because she was careless about protection. I knew another girl who used no protection whatsoever and became very aggressive when we tried to discuss the issue with her, and there was one girl who was clearly forcing herself to have sex because everyone else was doing it, even though she pretty clearly wasn't ready.

Really, it's this incredibly individual thing. I was 17 when I lost my virginity and I regret the partner I chose very, very much. I was also dumb about it (unprotected sex) because I allowed myself to be swayed by 'love' (more like infatuation), and alcohol. I am damn lucky that I came out of that okay, but the whole situation upset me deeply for a really long time, particularly because that relationship was borderline abusive.

The problem is that, when trying to formulate a standard response to educating teens, telling them that it's 'all up to the individual' isn't hugely productive.

Posted by: electric misfit love machine (eyelid)
Posted at: January 24th, 2008 03:51 pm (UTC)

telling them that it's 'all up to the individual' isn't hugely productive.

But it's the truth.

Posted by: Gemma (teacupdiaries)
Posted at: January 24th, 2008 04:47 pm (UTC)

Posted by: electric misfit love machine (eyelid)
Posted at: January 24th, 2008 05:53 pm (UTC)

Posted by: Gemma (teacupdiaries)
Posted at: January 24th, 2008 06:13 pm (UTC)

Posted by: Underwear Ninja (chavvah)
Posted at: January 24th, 2008 04:31 pm (UTC)

Posted by: Gemma (teacupdiaries)
Posted at: January 24th, 2008 04:49 pm (UTC)

Posted by: Blue (hobbitblue)
Posted at: January 24th, 2008 11:05 am (UTC)

Given that the age of consent for sex (MF and MM) here in the UK is 16, it seems odd to think these 15 year olds will mature in all manners in just a year, if that statement is so accurate. I still prefer the "teens shouldn't be having sex, but they will and they do so lets give them the knowledge they need to do it safely without risk of disease or unwanted pregnancy" approach myself.

Posted by: electric misfit love machine (eyelid)
Posted at: January 24th, 2008 03:52 pm (UTC)

I still prefer the "teens shouldn't be having sex,

but why shouldn't they? ...I think is the point.

Posted by: Blue (hobbitblue)
Posted at: January 24th, 2008 07:39 pm (UTC)

Posted by: Damian (fanboy_of_zeus)
Posted at: January 24th, 2008 12:12 pm (UTC)

To bring a personal viewpoint into it: I was not, at age fifteen, ready to have sex. However, I *was* at age fourteen - and the thing that changed between fourteen and fifteen was a shift in relationship dynamics that made sex less likely to happen. (Admittedly, there would have been no potential for pregnancy, so that's one consequence I wouldn't have had to be ready for - but I could have handled the emotional fallout, perhaps better than I handled the relationship falling apart.) And as for the physical consequences - sufficient education and availability of protection (birth control, condoms, whatever) to that age group would fix that.

So, yes, I think it's at least possible for a fifteen-year-old (of either gender) to be ready to have sex.

Posted by: Katie (october31st)
Posted at: January 24th, 2008 12:37 pm (UTC)

"In a perfected version of our current sociocultural state, no fifteen-year-old would be having sex" is what she meant to say. The body is more than ready for sex when puberty hits in the early teens (how interesting that we keep driving that onset further and further back) and as for being ready psychologically or emotionally, well, the majority aren't in this culture, where sex is taboo and this age is meant to be devoted to schooling, but throughout all of time young teens were brought up to marry and rear children by what's now sophomore year. Not to say that one way or another is right.

Edited at 2008-01-24 12:38 pm (UTC)

Posted by: the girl with violets in her lap (slammerkinbabe)
Posted at: January 24th, 2008 06:03 pm (UTC)

as for being ready psychologically or emotionally, well, the majority aren't in this culture, where sex is taboo and this age is meant to be devoted to schooling, but throughout all of time young teens were brought up to marry and rear children by what's now sophomore year.

Yeah, I was thinking about that too. I'm not sure that *is* what she meant to say, though. It would have been if she'd been thinking about it dispassionately and clearly. But I'm not so sure she was. Bah.

Posted by: Tasha Rebekah Martin (lietya)
Posted at: January 24th, 2008 06:45 pm (UTC)

Posted by: Spencer Irving (archaica)
Posted at: January 24th, 2008 07:53 pm (UTC)

Posted by: Tasha Rebekah Martin (lietya)
Posted at: January 24th, 2008 07:55 pm (UTC)

Posted by: Katie (october31st)
Posted at: January 24th, 2008 08:39 pm (UTC)

Posted by: Tasha Rebekah Martin (lietya)
Posted at: January 24th, 2008 10:32 pm (UTC)

Posted by: Chris Schmidt (crschmidt)
Posted at: January 24th, 2008 01:20 pm (UTC)

I would agree that teens are not ready for coping with pregnancy at 15 -- male or female, though obviously males have a lot easier way of 'disappearing' from the scene than a female does. Given that, combined with the fact that "abstinence is the only 100% reliable way of not getting pregnant", does kind of lead to the concept that 15 year olds of either gender are not actually prepared for sex and everything it entails.

Posted by: the girl with violets in her lap (slammerkinbabe)
Posted at: January 24th, 2008 06:07 pm (UTC)

The thing that bugs me about the "abstinence always works" concept is that in a world where rape happens, abstinence DOESN'T always work. I dunno what the percentage of people who are abstinent by choice but get pregnant through rape is, but at the very least it isn't zero percent. And in that circumstance, the pill would be a good thing to be on. I just think that in this world, nothing is a hundred percent certain, so it's best not to use that argument in decision-making. I tend to worry more about whether teens can/should be having sex with proper protection, ideologically. (I'm leaning towards yes, I guess, although I'm recognizing that my viewpoint is kind of colored by the fact that my flist is liberal enough that no one is giving me reasons why not, either. ;) Still and all, I think the reasons people are giving are valid, and that thinking of teenagers as too immature to have sex is frequently no more than a willful infantilization of people that we want to keep on being "children" until their 21st birthday.)

Posted by: Hello. (bbsy)
Posted at: January 24th, 2008 01:22 pm (UTC)

I think people tend to get that mindframe of teenagers being not ready for sex because they're not legally adults (in terms of consent) and because they're not ready to have kids. (No incomes, legal marriage, etc.)

That said, I don't think they're not ready to explore their sexuality, within the context of people their own age, and safely.

Posted by: Spencer Irving (archaica)
Posted at: January 24th, 2008 01:55 pm (UTC)

What "consequences?" The consequences of having an orgasm?

Oh, wait, that's right. She means the consequences set up by society - like, having a baby, because society won't give teenagers access to contraception or birth control or sex ed information, because that would make them more likely to have sex (News to society - information doesn't make it more likely for kids to have sex, it makes them more likely to have happy, good, safe sex). She means the consequences of a society which is simultaneously obsessed with sex and puritanical about it, driving any consideration or discussion of sexual desire on the part of teenagers into the realm of perversion and pedophilia. She means the consequences of an establishment so eager to kowtow to the right wing that instead of discussing the inherent foolishness of abstinence-only education, and the benefit to society of raising informed, non-sex-negative adults (I don't demand that everyone be a "let's get laid!" sex-positive activist, just someone who doesn't hate their genitals), we admit that blinkered ignorance is a legitimate point of view, and therefore act in opposition to that, treating sex like a hazard of car wreck to be mitigated, rather than something which, with caution, can be enjoyed.

Teenagers are not inevitably too immature - anecdotally I can prove it, as I've had friends who had great sex in their teenage years (I've also had friends who had awful sex in their teenage years, but if we allowed negatives to disallow things for anyone, we'd all be dry because of drunken Uncle Frank). But more to the point, teenagers should be experimenting with sex during their teenage years. If not then, when? When they're away from home and their support systems, in college, where Mommy and Daddy can feel good because little Janie is getting double-teamed in her dorm room instead of in her bedroom with the My Little Pony posters? After they've graduated, when their lack of sex in high school and college makes them feel like there's something wrong with them and suddenly they can't orgasm with a man? Putting off sexual development in the interests of some modern over-protective notion of "girlhood" or "childhood" (because let's face it, when people talk about 15-year-olds having sex, they're talking about girls - young male sexuality might as well be explored for all it's worth!) is just asinine nonsense. Maybe if little Janie *had* more information, she'd be better off, rather than putting off her sexual development until she's "out of sight, out of mind".

And, my third and final point: There's a lot of adults who are too immature for sex. Yes, sex is an emotional and potentially shattering experience. If you have great sex with someone, and then you're treated cruelly, or you find the sex disappointing and don't bother to keep that off your face, it can be crushing for the partner. But, again, find me an adult who fucks up a sexual relationship, and I'll find you a teenager who handles a sexual relationship just as well as we would hope all adults would. Are teenagers, as a whole, a class of assholes and emotionally stunted morons? Pretty much. But saying that "no teenager should be having sex" just betrays a very, very narrow view of what sex means, to my mind.

Posted by: Ponykins (rolypolypony)
Posted at: January 24th, 2008 02:01 pm (UTC)

*applauds*

WELL SAID!

Posted by: Spencer Irving (archaica)
Posted at: January 24th, 2008 02:02 pm (UTC)

Posted by: Spencer Irving (archaica)
Posted at: January 24th, 2008 02:58 pm (UTC)

Posted by: Underwear Ninja (chavvah)
Posted at: January 24th, 2008 04:34 pm (UTC)

Posted by: Spencer Irving (archaica)
Posted at: January 24th, 2008 04:39 pm (UTC)

Posted by: the girl with violets in her lap (slammerkinbabe)
Posted at: January 24th, 2008 06:14 pm (UTC)

(Deleted comment)
Posted by: Spencer Irving (archaica)
Posted at: January 24th, 2008 03:22 pm (UTC)

Posted by: electric misfit love machine (eyelid)
Posted at: January 24th, 2008 03:54 pm (UTC)

Posted by: Spencer Irving (archaica)
Posted at: January 24th, 2008 03:55 pm (UTC)

Posted by: electric misfit love machine (eyelid)
Posted at: January 24th, 2008 03:59 pm (UTC)

Posted by: Spencer Irving (archaica)
Posted at: January 24th, 2008 04:00 pm (UTC)

Posted by: epilimnion (epilimnion)
Posted at: January 24th, 2008 04:03 pm (UTC)

Posted by: Spencer Irving (archaica)
Posted at: January 24th, 2008 04:05 pm (UTC)

Posted by: the girl with violets in her lap (slammerkinbabe)
Posted at: January 24th, 2008 06:17 pm (UTC)

Posted by: Blue (hobbitblue)
Posted at: January 24th, 2008 07:48 pm (UTC)

Posted by: Kare Bear (luvs_chicago)
Posted at: January 24th, 2008 09:09 pm (UTC)

Posted by: Tasha Rebekah Martin (lietya)
Posted at: January 24th, 2008 10:39 pm (UTC)

Posted by: Spencer Irving (archaica)
Posted at: January 25th, 2008 12:17 am (UTC)

Posted by: A Delicate Corpse Flower (peregrin8)
Posted at: January 24th, 2008 02:30 pm (UTC)

For me, "in a perfect world" no teenager would be having sex without first having full and shame-free access to safe and reliable birth control as well as all kinds of sex ed information. Including information on female pleasure.

Posted by: Pewter Wings (pewter_wings)
Posted at: January 24th, 2008 02:39 pm (UTC)
black and puple

Kids are not ready for sex but are mature enough to be tried as adults.

*I wish I were joking*

Posted by: Doc Manhattan (docmanhattan)
Posted at: January 24th, 2008 02:42 pm (UTC)
sanger

Is she making a causal argument, i.e. "No teenager would be having sex BECAUSE of the consequences"? That's still a bold statement, but at least then you can evaluate its logic. Unfortunately, Ms. Keenan's logic is that of a concerned psychic: how does she know that all young people aren't "spiritually" and "emotionally" ready for sex? (And she's just wrong outright about "financially" and "physically" ready.)

This is the same rhetoric of "concern" that I railed about in Caitlin Flanagan's op-ed. Why is it coming from a NARAL leader? The whole purpose of activism is to be extreme, absolute, and outspoken, so that when the opposition is compelled to meet you halfway, "halfway" isn't on your opponent's porch.

Posted by: the girl with violets in her lap (slammerkinbabe)
Posted at: January 24th, 2008 06:21 pm (UTC)

Yeah, I really like your last paragraph. I was wondering that too.

Posted by: Spencer Irving (archaica)
Posted at: January 24th, 2008 07:56 pm (UTC)

Posted by: Saucerful of Secrets (visibleroots)
Posted at: January 24th, 2008 03:05 pm (UTC)
snow orchids

first, i think defining the term "sex" is important. most people define it as M/F vaginal penetration. using the harm reduction method and definitions in sexual education, makes a huge difference in how i answer the question.

using the standard definition, i think i'd say that younger teens (the differences between a 13 y/o and a 19 y/o are vast) are too immature, on the whole, to be ready. this comes from my own story of getting pregnant at 15 (had an abortion which was the most bizarre experience due to the laws here at the time), observations of my own 16 y/o son, his friends and the 4 years i spent counseling young male offenders in criminal detention. also, being capable of dealing with the financial consequences of an unwanted pregnancy today is much different than it was when there were still decent paying jobs for unskilled labour.

now if were are to use the harm reduction approach to sex, we'd include mutual masturbation, oral sex, etc. in the definition and my view changes to yes, teenagers are ready, on the whole, for these acts, consent implied.

so, i'd like to see the term sex categorized and i'd like a break between 13 and 19 y/os before i could possibly say yes or no to the question, even if only a general one.

Posted by: rainswolf (rainswolf)
Posted at: January 24th, 2008 03:39 pm (UTC)

I think very few really have the self-knowledge, communication skills, sense of how to protect themselves and someone else, and ability to protect themselves and someone else. Very few are really ready.

Of course, perhaps people are often not ready for most of what we do when we do it.

Posted by: electric misfit love machine (eyelid)
Posted at: January 24th, 2008 03:57 pm (UTC)
claws - evilweegee

I think a blanket statement like Ms. Keenan's is the height of stupidity.

Of course there are some 15 year olds who are mature enough to deal with sex. And there are some 30 year olds who aren't.

Ms. Keenan's comment is indicative of exactly the problem I have with the current pro-choice movement.

Posted by: kokopellinelli (kokopellinelli)
Posted at: January 24th, 2008 04:45 pm (UTC)

I was taught in school never to make a general statement like that. Of COURSE there are some 15-year-olds ready for sex. Just because I wasn't ready at that age doesn't mean there aren't any at all. It depends on the person. People are individuals, that's all.

I'm not sure how coherent that was; I tried to rephrase it but I'm not all the way awake yet.

Posted by: Underwear Ninja (chavvah)
Posted at: January 24th, 2008 04:48 pm (UTC)
1up

I think that the problem with this statement is that there are just too many ways to interpret the conditions she suggests. For one thing, consequences; it is clear that she is talking about either pregnancy or disease. But not all sex inevitably leads to pregnancy or disease--a fact which seems to escape most people who get fanatical on this subject.

I think that a 15-year-old's "readiness" for sex depends entirely on the individual, and also on the various elements of the individual's upbringing. For example, I was raised by an extremely sex-positive mother (and later by a ridiculously prudish aunt, but we'll leave that out of the equation for now) who taught me at a young age that it was normal to explore and enjoy my body. We also had an excellent sex education program in school. As a result of this, I think I was somewhat less likely to be curious about sex as a teen, because I had a lot of the answers, and had a pretty fulfilling (solo) sex life already. But I would say that I was probably more "ready" for sex at that age than some other kids.

(Deleted comment)
Posted by: electric misfit love machine (eyelid)
Posted at: January 24th, 2008 05:55 pm (UTC)

My son is heading rapidly into teenagerhood, so I can't help but think: No. Sex. Ever.

lol - my son is only 3 1/2, so things may change, but I always have the opposite reaction. I look at him proudly and think "he's so good-looking, he'll be able to get sex whenever he wants." (I'd think the same thing if I had a cute girl, no double standard here :)

(Deleted comment)
Posted by: Brennan M. O'Keefe (harmfulguy)
Posted at: January 24th, 2008 05:47 pm (UTC)

I really don't have anything of my own to say on the subject, but I saw a piece on another site that covers the same ground, including a link to an academic paper on the subject. Hope that's helpful to you.

Posted by: Tasha Rebekah Martin (lietya)
Posted at: January 24th, 2008 06:38 pm (UTC)

If we want to wait until every single person who has sex is guaranteed to be "ready emotionally, physically, spiritually, or financially to live with the consequences," we'd better be prepared for the human race to die out after this generation. ;)

Less sarcastically, there's some groundbreaking research that suggests that the whole "dealing with consequences" aspect of the brain and psyche isn't developed until closer to 25, which I think even most people who holler "ick" at the notion of teen sex would agree is rather a lot to ask. As others have noted, not everyone is physically ready by the non-teen age of 20, either. (My sister wasn't until she was about 19, and that's for the loosest definition of "ready" that means "menarche." Fully physically developed? Well, she might be close by now, at 26.)

The flip side, too, is that I knew fifteen-year-olds who were emancipated, self-supporting minors. And fifteen-year-olds who had PIV sex at that age and told me, then and since, that it was fine, they were ready and coped just great, and why is everybody bugging them about this again? So maybe they're lying, but at that point we're into a philosophical discussion in Keenan gets to invoke the existential Catch-22 that if the answer isn't one she likes, it's a sign of psychological damage. She can feel free, mind you, but I frankly find that silly. What she's perhaps angling for is that having sex too young is statistically correlated with a greater *likelihood* of failure along one of those listed axes, but that may be a result of society more than of youth, per se. (As I'm always fond of mentioning at this point, my great-grandmother and my aunt were both married in non-shotgun weddings at 16 and had babies at 17, and because of the cultural context [mostly non-integrated Italian Catholic immigrant community], neither suffered any ill effects, thankyouverymuch.)

For that matter, *I* was a teen sex statistic, odd though I find that fact myself. I was, after all, barely 19.

Posted by: Spencer Irving (archaica)
Posted at: January 24th, 2008 07:58 pm (UTC)

the existential Catch-22 that if the answer isn't one she likes, it's a sign of psychological damage.

That is a great one, innit? "If you don't react the way we think you should, then there's something wrong with you." Normalizing made medicine, tonight on Fuckwit Theater.

Posted by: Tasha Rebekah Martin (lietya)
Posted at: January 24th, 2008 08:01 pm (UTC)

Posted by: Spencer Irving (archaica)
Posted at: January 24th, 2008 08:08 pm (UTC)

Posted by: the girl with violets in her lap (slammerkinbabe)
Posted at: January 25th, 2008 01:17 am (UTC)

Posted by: Tasha Rebekah Martin (lietya)
Posted at: January 25th, 2008 01:48 am (UTC)

Posted by: Tasha Rebekah Martin (lietya)
Posted at: January 24th, 2008 06:48 pm (UTC)

I meant to add, and I'll make this its own comment because it's tangential, that I also had what I just described to someone as "my own _Wedding Crashers_ moment" (sorry!) when I [re-]watched a teen soap [Dawson's Creek] and the fifteen-year-old boy who had sex with his teacher was presented as him getting lucky. Even when a later, teenage girlfriend blew up at him for his "poor taste" in doing so, even when the teacher was almost brought up on charges... never once was it so much as hinted that perhaps he wasn't ready and she was guilty of taking advantage of a child.

Drove me batshit, because if that were a female teenager, I guarantee that plotline would either have been scrapped entirely or presented as a Lifetime Special of the Week about abuse.

Posted by: Amy (amyura)
Posted at: January 25th, 2008 01:15 am (UTC)

I think there's a huge difference between "no 15-year-old" and "no teenager." I have to say as someone who teaches 15-year-olds that it truly grosses me out to think of them having sex. They are pretty much still children at that age.

But no teenager? I think by 17-19, most kids ARE ready from a physical and probably an emotional standpoint to have sex. Financially and educationally, not so much, because there's always the chance sex can result in a baby and not everyone would have an abortion.

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