The Sleepover Dilemma

Wondering where Canadians stand on matters of teen sexuality, gender and parenting?  Read Macleans Magazine’s “The Sleepover Dilemma.”  Journalist Anne Kingston interviewed me about my book, Not Under My Roof, talked with parents, youths and other experts, and captures the many complexities of the topic.  She quotes me saying about “the Dutch model”:

It provides a context that “not only allows young people to develop their emergent sexuality and selves within a larger social fabric but it also gives parents the opportunity to provide guidance and exercise oversight.”

Kingston also interviewed Karen Rayne, an Austin Texas-based psychologist, who provides consulting to parents of adolescents.  Rayne makes some great points:

Adolescents, like all human beings, have “skin hunger,” the need to be touched and to touch, Rayne says. “But many teenagers have only one model for this: intercourse. So having conversations about sensuality rather than sex can go a long way.” And parents want to forge close bonds with their teenagers, and to have influence over them, she believes. “But they do all of these controlling things that put them at odds with their teenager rather than drawing them in closer.”

One of the young people interviewed shows what an impact good parent-teen communication about sex and relationships can have:

Rockman’s daughter, Casey Fulford, says she’s fortunate to have had open rapport about sex with her parents. “I loved that I could tell my mom anything,” the 20-year-old, third-year Queen’s University student says. “I’m meeting people now, some of them never have talked about sex with their parents—that they’re even having sex. Which is weird because it means they can’t go to them with questions.” The big lesson her mother imparted was, “You can always say no,” Fulford says. “And that was even before I started having sex. And that really benefited me. I know a lot of girls have gotten into situations they wished they hadn’t, but I’ve never done anything I’ve regretted.”

To read more

 

Share with others
  • Print
  • del.icio.us
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Google Bookmarks
  • LinkedIn
  • Netvibes
  • PDF
  • RSS
  • email
Amazon
BARNES-&-NOBLE-logo
ChicagoPress

Amy Schalet is Associate Professor of Sociology at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. Read More...