by Chris Bodenner
A reader writes:
Marcotte’s Dutch example of more progressive attitudes toward teen sex is not unique to the Netherlands. When I was living abroad, a German friend explained to me that when she and every other girl she knew growing up turned 16, their mothers would take them to get birth control pills. It was entirely permissible for her to have a boyfriend spend the night and have sex with him in her parents’ home. In fact, she said, her parents would probably be concerned if she had a boy over and they DIDN’T hear them doing it. It’s worth noting that this young woman was not the daughter of freethinking hippies, but rather straight, conservative Bavarian Catholics; her dad is a cop and her mother is a theologian (yes, really). She always said she couldn’t understand why American parents were so afraid of their teenage children having sex. As a matter of simple logic, it just didn’t make any sense to her, given how many of them end up pregnant, with STIs, or in unhealthy relationships as a result of having no guidance on the subject.
Ferrett Steinmet focuses on the father-daughter dynamic:
“Rule Four: I’m sure you’ve been told that in today’s world, sex without utilising some kind of ‘barrier method’ can kill you. Let me elaborate: when it comes to sex, I am the barrier, and I will kill you.” All of which boil down to the tedious, “Boys are threatening louts, sex is awful when other people do it, and my daughter is a plastic doll whose destiny I control.”
Look, I love sex. It’s fun. And because I love my daughter, I want her to have all of the same delights in life that I do, and hopefully more. I don’t want to hear about the fine details because, heck, I don’t want those visuals any more than my daughter wants mine. But in the abstract, darling, go out and play.
Slightly off topic: A gay couple I know has an elementary school-age son and daughter who have lots of friends and who adore their parents. The couple is also popular with neighbors and fellow school parents. The daughter has girlfriends on sleepovers as often as the other girls – meaning all the time. But an awkward and sad problem: The fathers of the boy’s friends, as much as they get along with the two gay fathers, refuse to allow their boys on a sleepover at the gay men’s home. So the boy gets no sleepover parties like his sister and friends get.