CultureWatch

Bill Muehlenberg's commentary on issues of the day...

Sexualising Our Teens

Feb 8, 1995

Some 800 sexologists were asked at a recent world congress whether they would rely on a condom for protection if they had available the partner of their dreams and knew the person carried HIV. After a long delay, one hand was timidly raised in the back of the room. The speaker was irate. She told her audience “it was irresponsible to give advice to others that they would not follow themselves”.

Such advice centres on the myth of safe sex – a myth encouraged by a Federal Government-sponsored booklet in the December issue of Cleo magazine. A Liberal senator recently condemned the booklet saying most people “would have been disgusted with the articles”.

Supporters of the booklet, including Health Minister Dr Carmen Lawrence, retorted that young people were sexually active and needed such information. I have seen the sex guide and I have to agree with the senator – it is atrocious. Considering that the average reader of Cleo is a 12 to 16-year-old girl, this stuff is sexual dynamite.

We learn, for example, that bondage and sado-masochism are perfectly acceptable, provided you “keep all the equipment clean”. When whipping, make sure “that blood does not come into contact with any broken skin”.

We are also informed that a golden shower (urinating on your partner) is just fine, as long as you “avoid getting urine into broken skin”. Of course, oral and anal sex (described in full detail) are hunky dory as well.

Dr Lawrence defends the booklet, saying that kids are “doing it” anyway. But are they? Are most 13-year-olds engaging in bondage, golden showers and anal sex?

And if they are, many parents might rightly be asking, are not “guides” like this largely responsible for that behavior? By describing such behavior in “value neutral” terms, such guides appear to be endorsing them.

This guide is one lung ode to the mantra of safe sex via condoms. But given the failure rate of condoms, our young people are being encouraged to play Russian roulette.

Not one word is made of abstinence in this guide. Family Minister Rosemary Crowley has admitted that $250,000 of our taxes went into this booklet. It’s odd the way the Government advocates safe sex, when with every other unsafe behavior (smoking, drugs, drink driving) it tells us to just say no.

Why the double standards? Why not teach abstinence?

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2 Responses to Sexualising Our Teens

  • Hi Bill. Great article. As one who grew up in the 60’s I am rather relieved that the young adults of today, for all their idiosyncracies, are tending to have a greater sense of morals and ethics than my generation ever did.
    Recently I spoke with an Army major who took a group of young men to New Zealand on an Army Adventure Trainining Course. These youngsters he said, showed a lack of interest in sexual activities and was more focussed on bungee jumping.
    His comment was interesting, he said “When I was young sex was safe and jumping from great heights was dangerous, these days youngsters see jumping from great heights as safe and sex as dangerous.”
    Are we pushing our youngsters to perform activities merely to cover our own guilt?
    Jim Sturla

  • Thank you Jim,

    Firstly: these youngsters who showed a lack of interest in sexual activities and been more focused on bungee jumping. Should really not humiliate the generations before them. For I tell you is’nt it self purification to forsake the pleasure of what this world is wanting and yet still wanting to offer the young men of this generation of our days. Finally: You see for e.g, a young man was examined and adviced not to be women-nizing around, i.e not to think of having a girlfriend. Now this young man was pricked to the heart but at the same time rejoicing in the truth. All because he knew that he has got something to live for as a gentleman. So we are not pushing our youngsters to perform activities merely to cover our own guilt because sex i.e love is only a fantasy, while activities is there to state that the youngsters are being active and that is for a purpose: leisure-energetic and pursuit.

    Babatundesunday Teniola

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