Tuesday, April 14, 2009
Talking to Boys About Sex
NY Times: Another Awkward Sex Talk: Respect and Violence, by Perri Klass:
Not long ago, in the clinic, a fellow pediatrician and mother asked whether we were still teaching our sons old-fashioned elevator etiquette: stand back and let the ladies off first.
We all protested that we don’t particularly like it when men pull that elevator stunt — hospital elevators tend to be packed, and the best thing to do if you’re near the door is get out promptly — but we had to admit we thought our adolescent sons should know the drill.
Once you start asking about whether there are special lessons that should be taught to boys, people jump pretty quickly from elevators to sex (or maybe that’s just the crowd I run with). Sex, after all, is a subject on which pediatricians give plenty of advice. And it becomes very tricky to formulate that advice without making some unpleasant assumptions about adolescent sexuality.
I believe that there are certain practices that older men do in situations that I wish younger men today still followed. It is nice to have the door held open for you when a guy is walking in front of you and receiving that act of kindness. However not all of the old-fashion customs are as appealing, such as the practice of men standing up at a table when a lady leaves. This etiquette seems a bit unnecessary and awkward in our society. I don't think that there are specific lessons for just boys but more a general politeness that everyone, male and female, should be aware of and taught. Teen boys possessing a polite attitude and their sexuality are not directly connected. Parents can tell their sons to open doors for girls or to say thank you without going into the awkward subject of their sex life.
Posted by: Veronica | Apr 19, 2009 5:39:49 PM