I heard on the news the other morning that one in three Australian teens are having sex by the age of 14. FOURTEEN. 33% of 14 year olds in Australia are having sex. They had an “expert” on who attributed it to two things…the fact that the average age a child hits puberty has dropped from 15 to 10 over the last however many years. Also, kids and teens are exposed to sexual content every day via various media outlets.
A prime example was just on TV when Australian Idol had Mark whatever his name is sing “Sex on Fire” by the Kings of Leon. Who do you think Australian Idol’s main target audience is? I don’ t have facts or statistics, but if I had to take an educated guess it’d be 10-15 year old girls. That might not be their “target audience” per se, but I bet its the audience they get.
Neighbours, one of Australias longest running prime time soap shows, has a storyline about a teen pregnancy. Granted, the character is 17, but younger teens watch it.
I don’t believe in teaching abstinence, I think that is irresponsible and naiive. But I don’t think that means you just say, “oh well, they’re going to do it, nothing you can do to stop them.” Kids that are 14 have no idea what the consequences of having sex are. They don’t truly understand the ramifications of STDs or unwanted pregnancies.
I realise this might sound uptight or prudish or whatever. But I think kids are exposed to way too much heavy stuff at too young an age these days. And I think the media and shows like Australia Idol should show a bit more responsibility on the content they deliver to their audience.
I don’t want Nicklas to come home from first grade, 6 years old, and start asking questions about sex. Kids will always ask “Where do babies come from?” but I think you can difuse that situation, at least for a few years. And I certainly don’t want to be worrying about him having sex at 14. I’m sure there’s no 14 year old who would actually tell their parents they’re having sex, so what age do you arm them with information on safe sex and what happens if they don’t use a condom?
I feel really old. I don’t remember what it was like to be 14, but I know I wasn’t having sex. I wasn’t even interested in having sex. I think I’m suffering from Elvis Syndrome. Our parents parents didn’t like his gyrating hips on TV…well look at TV now! Can it get much worse than this, do you think? Where do we go from here, and how do we protect our kids from it without completely sheltering them?
I guess all we can do is educate them and trust that they’ll make the right decision/choice when faced with it.