If you had asked me what a contraceptive was when I was 12, I would probably have told you that it was something you put on a wound to stop it from getting septic. Ah, but things have changed so much in the last few years that pre-pubescent girls can tell you the range of contraceptive options that they use to avoid getting pregnant.
What happened to just being kids?
What happened to high school crushes and all that teasing about being a ‘Sweet 16 and Never Kissed’?
In some countries, it is legal for people as young as 12 to gain access to contraception because hey, kids are having sex earlier and earlier.
I accept that. Fine. But at 12?!!
Surely that’s the lowering the bar too far.
Methinks that at 12 years old, one is just too young to understand what the consequences and meaning of a sexual relationship are. At 12, you are going through all those pubescent changes and trying to form and assert your identity. Frankly speaking, I don’t see where sex fits into that equation.
I hear someone saying that’s when the hormones kick in.
Yes, I agree. But that’s still no excuse in my book.
Hormones are informed by our socialisation, the way we have formulated ideas about certain things. So yes, your hormones might rage, but at the end of the day, it is your beliefs about sex and sexuality that will pause you from letting yourself get to the point of no return.
True, some people have greater powers of control than others but I still affirm that at 12 years of age, this all should not even be the topic of debate for anyone.
Sex will not run away, but youth is an expendable resource. So kids should be kids and adults should not give them rights to things that they aren’t ready for. Full stop.
I once watched an episode of Oprah in which she had some mothers who said that they allowed their daughters, who were about 13 years old, to have their boyfriends come for sleepovers and that they didn’t mind them having sex.
In fact, they had told them all about using condoms and contraception in preparation for sex. The reasons they gave were that it was better to teach their girl-children what to do than have them fall pregnant and have to suffer the trauma of either an abortion, or early motherhood.
Point taken. But at 13?
The only genuine fears I think that mothers should have at such a tender age is that their daughters might be raped or molested. It is unfortunate that there are so many paedophiles and rapists out there, but these should Concern Number 1.
Like I said, the way we perceive sex is all about socialisation. If parents teach their children that it is something sacred to be kept for the right time, with the right person, then that goes a way towards instilling some respect for an act which is more and more becoming a transactional process than an act of mutual love.
Admittedly, peer pressure and youthful adventure can play a role in influencing young people to have sex when they aren’t prepared for the consequences.
But seriously, no one at 12 or 13 should be bragging about having had sex and trying to get their mates to follow suit. That sounds a bit crazy to me.
Maybe I am ‘old school’ but at 12, I still found boys to be gross (although I had an innocent crush on Leonardo Dicaprio). At that age, I enjoyed nothing more than reading Sweet Valley High novels and going out to movies with my gal pals.
Is that really so boring?