Friday, December 21, 2007

Gasp. The horror. What's a vagina for...?

Parents across the country... commiserated over the Internet about how, thanks to Ms. Spears, they were facing a conversation with their 8-, 9-, and 10-year-olds about sex. -- The New York Times

Gasp. The horror.

I suppose some good is coming out of J.L Spear's teenage pregnancy. What an amazing concept... talking to your child about about sex.

My folks weren't nudists, but they weren't shy, either. Growing up, I saw them naked. It wasn't odd, much. Seeing all that flesh to raise questions.

As I developed and gained the cognitive ability to formulate questions and devise "answers" to those questions, I thought that when a girl got older, she simply lost her penis. You know, it fell off in the tub or something.

This was my "answer" for why my mother didn't look like me, my dad and brother.

So one day I asked, I think while eating breakfast, when her penis fell off. I think I was five at the time, because it was the same year my friend had told me that pussy was cold like ice cream (I wasn't certain what pussy was, but I was certain it wouldn't feel cold like ice cream. I mean, I'm just saying.)

My mom must have been shocked, perhaps amused, when I asked. "Did you keep it." But she never let on. She simply answered, "I never had a penis."

"Huh?"

She explained.

"Then what's a vagina for?"

Again, she explained. And though it sounded like it could be a nice thing, I certainly didn't want to use it to make a baby. And eww. Girls at school annoyed me.

Though I did like ice cream?

And that's how it went. Sex was an open subject at my house. Of course as I got older, and more shy in my adolescents, information was received often without my posing a question.

I never asked how to protect myself against AIDS-- oral sex was not a safe guard. I had never thought standing on one's head would keep a girl from becoming pregnant. I did want to know where I could find condoms for free, but was later happy to have the information. And knowing that there was a Planned Parenthood in our town sure did come in handy when a friend thought her boyfriend had given her an STD. Another thought she might be pregnant. My friends were tested before they became sexually active with their partners. I made sure of it.

I had become the sexual information source because no one else was handing out the information. Thankfully, I knew what I was talking about.

My point, it's never too young to start discussing sex. If a child is old enough to ask, they're certainly old enough to know. And in my experience in working with small children, they have a lot of questions and thoughts about sex.

But like me at a young age, they don't really have the right answers.

Do you really want your kid growing up to think penises fall off of girls? Or worse. Much, much worse.

Besides, who isn't going to want to try the new ice cream?

1 Babble-Backs:

Mishka said...

My mom thought she could get pregnant from kissing until she was way past kissing. My aunt (her sister) thought you couldn't get pregnant on the first time (hence the birth of my cousin 9 months later). My grandma didn't talk to either of them about any of that stuff....they both found out the hard way what periods were as well.

I think communication is key and education is a big part of that. If I ever have kids, we will have open discussions whether they want to or not...haha.

 

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