The dating scene has undergone tremendous transformation during these early years of the 21st century. Today, young adult couples seem far more interested in a casual hookup as opposed to establishing a real relationship. Parents have become familiar with such terms as “doing the dirty” and”booty call”. This casual attitude toward sexual activities have made even the most jaded of parents wonder exactly what their teens are planning when they head out the door to “meet up” with friends. How dangerous is this modern day “hookup culture“?
Younger Kids are Becoming Sexually Active
Kids are becoming sexually active at younger ages, and it is more common for them to have multiple partners. Virginity until marriage is far less common and many parents are concerned. They worry that the messages their children are receiving convey blanket endorsements for premarital sex. The clothing today is more provocative. Movies often include gratuitous nudity and sexual scenes. Censorship has diminished and headlines are seen trumpeting a new age of personal freedom and self-expression.
The permissive attitudes of modern culture appear to endorse and encourage hookups for today’s teens. This can be confusing to most teenagers who are already struggling to find themselves and their true place in the world. Thoughtless sexual involvement can result in poor self-confidence, ruined reputations, harmful gossip, unwanted pregnancies, abortions, early marriages and life-long emotional trauma.
Young people should be told that their actions can ruin their chances at education and a good career. They need to know that they do not have to give in to peer pressure or try to copy the “cool” crowd. With the emotional support and thoughtful parental guidance they need it is possible for teens to make up their own minds and dictate their own terms regarding any type of sexual activity.
Granted it is healthier to be open and honest about sex than trying to keep this natural urge under lock and key. Teens should know about sex, birth control and understand how to avoid sexually transmitted diseases. It is also good for young adults to understand that sexual activity is natural and nothing to be ashamed of, unlike the many prim and proper rules that were handed down many years ago.
The key is to strike a balance that is satisfactory to everyone. Talk with your children about sex and let them ask you questions. Tell them where you stand on the matter of premarital sex and “hooking up”. It’s okay to let them know that you would prefer them to wait for sex until they are older and are involved in a serious relationship. But remember the final decision is going to be theirs, not yours. You can only advise them and teach them how to be safe. Above all else let your child know that you will be there to support them and love them unconditionally. Your kids need to know that you will always “have their back”.