Tuesday, April 14, 2009
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.