This week I attended a very stimulating workshop. An exercise which explored values formed a part of our discussions. I found the demographics of the group interesting.
22 Women took part, of these 50% were under the age of 30, 40% were between 30 and 50, 10% were 50+ years old. 1 was white and the rest were black. 50% were lesbian.
The room was divided in half by a white line. Before each question we all stood on one side of the line. A statement was read out (all statements had a sexual slant which made for a great ice breaker). Those who agreed with the statement then stepped over the line. Each side were then asked to explain why they either agreed or disagreed with the statement. A few times a participant would cross to another side after being convinced by the view of another defending their stance.
One question was “It is acceptable for children aged 15 and younger to be sexually active” the wording may have been slightly different but that was the gist. I was a little surprised that only 1 person said that it is ok. My impression was that these days so much has become acceptable, I am constantly reading about children as young as 12 being sexually active. I thought that those in their 20’s have grown up with a different view of sexuality. Regarding those who are lesbian I thought that without the concerns of pregnancy and HIV they would see less reason to wait. Yet as the participants shared their point of view, it became clear that all women are aware that a teenager is not emotionally ready for sex. From my personal experience it was encouraging to see that reflected in the diverse group around me. Sorry guys but this points a damning finger at you. Just because a young girl fancies the socks off you, does not mean that she wants to get the pants off you. More and more and more needs to be done to make young men aware of the enormous responsibility which they have to the future. I’m not talking HIV and pregnancy, I’m talking about the lifelong impact which rape and pressure from them has on the futures of the girls who they seek to have their way with.
Sadly we live in a society where instant gratification is everything, no one wants to wait for anything anymore. This makes it harder for the youth to grasp, they do not understand the pleasures of restraint unless it involves bondage. Just as a child gets more pleasure from anticipating their birthday or Christmas than from the actual day, the young (particularly young men) need to learn that waiting is exciting and to relish that special phase in a relationship.