This post was originally published at The Daily Blog on 23 May 2013.
God, we’re a terrible society to be a teenager in. Scary, dramatic adolescent shit is going down, you’re trying to discover who you are and what you want to be in life, and at a time when you could seriously just use a little bit of understanding and hands-off-yet-supportive guidance from the adults in your life …
Things which are apparently news now:
- Teenagers have sex
- Teenagers don’t tell their parents they’re having sex
- Teenagers, especially teenage boys, aren’t really hyper-focused on the legality of their actions
Things which are apparently the problem:
- The teenage brain is so underdeveloped that they’re literally incapable of understanding where babies come from. And walk into poles a lot.
- Binge drinking culture, which affects only young people and is not a reflection of their parents’ generation’s behaviour and attitudes at all
- Teenagers watch TV and go on The Twitters and that’s how they figure out that they have fun nerve endings in their genitals (seriously, go re-read paragraph 8)
Things which are totally not the problem:
- Adults throughout history treating teenagers like they’re fucking idiots/criminals who must be monitored and tracked at all times
- Adults throughout history panic-mongering about young people having sex
- Our media constantly panic-mongering about SEX!!!!!!!!!! yet ignoring the wider social context even when that context is described in their coverage
- Young adults being denied decent information on sex and relationships because ew, sex is icky
Things which you would think are the solution but clearly aren’t because ew, sex is icky:
- Comprehensive sex and sexuality education which emphasises consent and gives teens the power to resist peer pressure
- Not treating sex like it’s the bubonic plague – because maybe teens would feel like they had more of a support base if our answer to them having sex wasn’t LOCKDOWN! CURFEW! CONSTANT VIGILANCE!!!