May 14 2009

May you live in interesting times…

Published by at 8:45 pm under Sexuality


It seems that I was told that these words are a Chinese curse. But have you noticed that these are indeed fascinating times? There are so many areas that have changed in the last 50 years, but one that may not be obvious to everyone is sexuality.


In the 1970s, I had the good fortune to be introduced to health education via a practicum in undergraduate school.  Our class was charged with the task of teaching sex education to freshmen in an effort to reduce the number of sexually transmitted diseases on our campus.


As a young married woman with a new baby, I had a lot to say and so a passion was born. I felt safe in my family and so was able to teach this touchy (no pun intended) subject without fear of ostracism or misunderstanding in that southern town.


One of the changes I have noticed through the years of learning and teaching about sexuality is that we don’t…teach that is. Instead we seem to accept the skewed view of sex we are given by the media.


We no longer teach our children about healthy sexuality and we don’t allow others to do so. Kids are interested in this topic naturally and they will accept information from any source available.


How do I know this? From grownups!


As a sex therapist, I hear so much sadness from folks who were never taught how to sexually love another with respect. This lack of knowledge paired with one of our most basic drives and youth can be a disaster waiting to happen.


It seems as that as we relinquish our role as parent, it is being picked up by the legal system.  Our young men learn to see women (or men) as objects for their own pleasure rather than as human beings with feelings and rights.


Although this part of the problem may not be new, the consequences are escalating. The impact on a young man (and his family) can be devastating without correcting the underlying problem.


Laws and the legal system were not set up to remedy problems, only to stop behaviors and sometimes they are successful. However, imprisoning people does not stop the cycle of sexual abuse.


But knowledge and willingness can end many of these problems and make the world safer for all of us, including our children.


If you have children…get busy, teach them about love, about themselves as sexual beings, about boundaries and how to protect themselves and others.


Learn about healthy sexual development for yourself and them. The more you understand the more likely you are to raise children whose mistakes will not cost anyone their health or freedom.


Sexuality is part of our identity, not a choice and the desire to express it is as

natural as hunger is to an infant.


Sexual behavior is where we get to choose. If we are unaware of what hurts others we are ill equipped to make loving and safe choices.


In the words of a favorite song “teach your children well”.


To speak with one of our counselors, visit our website or call 407.323.9961. We are here to help you.

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