Teen Sexuality — Dutch StyleSalon’s Tracy Clark-Flory has an interesting post up today about a recent report by a sociologist that compares Dutch and American approaches to teen sexuality.
The Dutch see teen sex as part of a natural progression of physical and emotional development.
From a 2003 survey: “Dutch parents talk about sexuality as emerging from relationships and are strikingly silent about gender conflicts. And unlike Americans who are often skeptical about teenagers’ capacities to fall in love, they assume that even those in their early teens fall in love. They permit sleepovers, even if that requires an “adjustment” period to overcome their feelings of discomfort, because they feel obliged to stay connected and accepting as sex becomes part of their children’s lives.”
Apparently, the study found, the outcome of this:
Dutch teens are giving birth left and right and plagued by STDs! Oh, no, wait — the truth is actually the opposite of that. “In 2007, births to American teens (ages fifteen to nineteen) were eight times as high as in the Netherlands,” reports Schalet, and the Netherlands generally whoops on the states in terms of STD rates, too. What’s more, “it also appears that having sex outside of the context of monogamous romantic relationships isn’t as common among Dutch adolescents, especially older ones, as among their American counterparts.”
Hmmm. Maybe there’s something to this honesty and providing accurate information to teens thing.
Also, maybe prudishly shunning teens who have sex (when they likely need the most emotional support and guidance) has a detrimental effect.
Who would have guessed?
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