Family life would be happier if U.S. parents let their teen-agers have sex with their lovers at home, argues Amy Schalet, a U-Mass sociology professor, in the New York Times. For her book, Not Under My Roof, Schalet interviewed 130 white, middle-class, not-very-religious American and Dutch parents.
While American parents think they should “steer teenage children away from relationships that will do more harm than good,” Dutch parents regard teenagers “as capable of falling in love, and of reasonably assessing their own readiness for sex.”
Dutch parents are more likely to talk to their children “about sex and its unintended consequences and urge them to use contraceptives and practice safe sex,” Schalet asserts.
Normalizing teenage sex under the family roof opens the way for more responsible sex education. In a national survey, 7 of 10 Dutch girls reported that by the time they were 16, their parents had talked to them about pregnancy and contraception. It seems these conversations helped teenagers prepare, responsibly, for active sex lives: 6 of 10 Dutch girls said they were on the pill when they first had intercourse. Widespread use of oral contraceptives contributes to low teenage pregnancy rates — more than 4 times lower in the Netherlands than in the United States.
However, “sleepovers aren’t a direct route to family happiness.” Good to know.
The op-ed doesn’t compare sex education, contraceptive use or pregnancy rates for white middle-class Americans and Dutch teens. It’s possible to discuss the risks of sex without providing a bedroom, writes Stephen Kruiser on PJ Media.
A no-sex-under-my-roof policy is a great way to get adult children to move out of the house, suggests Instapundit.
Raise your hand if it feels weird to have sex in your parent’s house with your spouse. Yes, I thought so.