Teens are going to "do it" anyway, so why not keep them "safe" at home, where parents can teach them how it's done?
So suggests Soraya Chemaly in a Huffington Post blog entry titled "How Do You Feel About Sex and Teenage Sleepovers?"
The self-proclaimed feminist argues it's time for Americans to join Europe in adopting looser morals and a more open dialogue about sex, especially among teenagers.
"I recently picked up Alain de Botton's 'How to Think More About Sex,'" Chemaly writes, "which generated a very interesting conversation with a car full of teens about how they are taught to think about sex. Why not teach children, I suggested, how to have sex well, the way you teach them how to do other things?
"This, for the record," she admits, "horrified my children, but intrigued their friends."
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Chemaly explains she was prompted to discuss the idea after homosexual humorist Henry Alford penned a New York Times column called "Sex in a Teenager's Room?"
Though Alford admits he has no children, he claimed he would permit a 16-year-old daughter to have a boyfriend stay the night, but a 14-year-old? No, that would be too young.
Chemaly, on the other hand, didn't set a specific age limit in her column.
"Would you rather teach your kids that sex is dangerous and forbidden or that it is permissible and ... well, awesome?" she asks. "It seems logical to me that the same way I try to teach my kids to exercise, sleep well and be good people, I would teach them to have healthy sex and sleep with other good people."
Chemaly sets up a dichotomy in her column between parents who fall into either the "responsible-sex-is-good" category or the "scare-them-silly" category.
Nowhere does her column address the biblical position of marital sex as both "responsible" and "awesome," but fornication as sinful before God and hurtful to the people involved.
Chemaly's column, in fact, contends forbidding sex is part of the problem, and abstinence-based sex ed – which she describes as "slut-shaming" and "homophobic" – only pushes teens to explore their sexuality without meaningful parental instruction.
"Why would you create a situation where your children are forced to hide, sneak around, be dishonest, be uncomfortable, take unnecessary risks and make uninformed decisions about their physical and emotional health?" she asks.
After all, she concludes, if you don't talk to your kids about sex, it just sends them and their questions to pornography, where they naturally get all the wrong answers.
"Parents have more influence on what their kids think and do about sex than teachers do," Chemaly posits. "Parental attitudes, it turns out, are far more influential and meaningful."
Therefore, she concludes, for teaching teens how to fornicate, there's no place like home.