So if you’ve been loving what we’ve been sharing about The Great Sex Rescue–how do you make sure your kids grow up with healthy teachings?
Today on the podcast we tackled how to translate some of our most important themes into something that we share with teens–and we answer some of your parenting/sex questions!
Or, as always, you can watch on YouTube:
Timeline of the Podcast
2:20 Talking to youth about sex
4:45 Is context more important that what you do with your body?
6:00 Focus on Wisdom + Consent
9:40 What we NEED to tell our teens about boundaries
15:30 Let’s discuss how messy the conversation around porn is with teens
20:55 Teens DO have sexual feelings, and that’s not wrong?
26:50 RESEARCH: Masturbation rates in teens
31:00 We need a nuanced conversation concerning masturbation
32:50 RQ: I caught my son looking at stuff on the computer!
40:03 RQ: My daughter keeps watching videos of horses mating!
43:30 RQ: Encouraging my husband to help with teen boys
45:25 Another happy review!
Main Segment: What Should I Tell My Teens?
We received a lovely email from a woman who had read The Great Sex Rescue, and was asked to do a talk to the youth group in her church for about half an hour. She was trying to distill the most important points into a talk, and she asked for our input.
So Rebecca and I went over what we think teens need to hear–and you may want them to listen to this whole podcast with you, too!
Our big points were:
- Having sexual feelings/feeling attracted to people is normal
- Don’t tell kids to stay pure until marriage. Chastity (or following God’s design for sex) is a lifelong thing, and it isn’t only about not having sex before you’re married.
- Talk to kids about WHY God wants us to wait for marriage. Don’t make it into this sin/punishment issue, but instead a wisdom, make good choices issue
- Teach kids about consent. Have sexual boundaries yourself, but also honor the sexual boundaries of whoever you are with. If someone doesn’t honor yours, they’re not a safe person
- Porn use is widespread, sure, but it’s not inevitable. And girls can be tempted, too! Plus let’s frame porn as a justice issue. It’s driving sex trafficking.
- The way to fight lust is to learn to treat others as whole people
I’m sure we said some other things, too, but listen in and see if there’s anything you’d want to add!
New Research: How Often Do Teens Masturbate?
A number of the evangelical books we looked at for The Great Sex Rescue talked about boys being more prepared for marriage because they masturbated beforehand. But these authors seem to ignore that the majority of girls masturbate, too. So let’s look at the actual numbers. It’s good to be aware of this because it can shape how we address it with teens (and Rebecca and I gave a few talking points, too).
Across age groups, more males (73.8%) reported masturbation than females (48.1%). Among males, masturbation occurrence increased with age: at age 14 years, 62.6% of males reported at least 1 prior occurrence, whereas 80% of 17-year-old males reported ever having masturbated. Recent masturbation also increased with age in males: 67.6% of 17-year-olds reported masturbation in the past month, compared with 42.9% of 14-year-olds. In females, prior masturbation increased with age (58% at age 17 years compared with 43.3% at age 14 years), but recent masturbation did not. Masturbation was associated with numerous partnered sexual behaviors in both males and females. In males, masturbation was associated with condom use, but in females it was not.
Reader Questions: Kids, Porn & Curiosity
We had a number of questions that I put Keith on the spot for–since he is a pediatrician!
We worked through these ones:
I was committed to open, honest, Christian early conversations with our kids (two young teens, younger son). So we started early and every couple years re-visited with more age appropriate information. We homeschool and have pretty tight “tech” controls (yeah right!).
So in November, I checked my young teen son’s viewing history on his device, as I often do. He was in the room with me and started saying “Oh No!”. So I stopped and gave him a chance to tell my husband and I what we were about to see.
“I just wanted to know what a clitoris was”.
“You said something about it when we had ‘the talk’… so I wanted to see.”
“Ok. I wish you’d asked Dad or I, because wandering internet gets nasty really fast”.
He said he had only seen pictures with bikinis, but when we looked it was worse and I was so gutted! I wanted it to be different for him.
We confronted him with the lying. We told him he’s allowed to know the information and we understand curiosity- but he broke the rules for using Youtube and the internet. So there was a consequence. We also said that it’s not sinful to feel aroused, but it is sinful to use other peoples private and intimate relationship for your pleasure like voyeurism. And we assured him that our Lord God is faithful to forgive when you repent.
So we have another chance with our younger child to try to get it right. And our son has shown the weaknesses in our tech lock down- never locked enough!
So the questions… -How do you give them information without them having just enough to get into trouble? -Is this going to lead to more searching of “information”? – Does that initial exposure to porn doom him to being a user? -How can they have healthy relationships with God and future spouse?
I knew the stats “80% of boys have seen porn by the time they are 13”. BUT it wasn’t gonna be my kids!
Hi! I have a nine year old girl who looks up YouTube videos of animals mating. I believe she became intrigued by this by reading books about horses that had chapters about breeding them. Her screen time is normally properly monitored but if she is using my phone to listen to podcasts she might arrange to be alone and look up some videos. I haven’t been wanting to scold her for an interest in something that is a science topic and is natural for people and animals. But I think she is drawn to it too much. And it may be starting to be a problem. I have told her no videos of animals mating and she agrees and is remorseful but then gets caught again. How do I stop this from growing into an unhealthy fascination?
How do I help my husband stay emotionally involved with our teen sons?
You're telling me WHAT goes WHERE?!
Talking about sex with your kids doesn't always go smoothly.
That's why we created The Whole Story, our online course that walks parents through the tough conversations and does the hard parts for you!
Things Mentioned in This Podcast:
- Our Patreon! Help fund getting our research into peer-reviewed journals and onto new social media channels. Even $3 or $5 a month helps!
- The Whole Story: Our puberty & sex course for moms/daughters or dads/sons (or single parents & opposite sex child!)
- The problem with Shaunti Feldhahn’s survey question where she said that 82% of boys had little ability or felt little responsibility to stop the sexual progression
- That study about teenagers and masturbation rates
- The Great Sex Rescue: Our new book with lots of great research about lust, etc.
Sheila Wray Gregoire
Founder of To Love, Honor and Vacuum
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