I Was a Teenage Liberal

Should I be a liberal dad and buy booze for my teenage daughter?
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Millie is looking after a sleeping Matt. Millie, are you awake? She appears, head on shoulder, appraising me with a look of warm indulgence that makes her seem older than her years. So it has happened. The advertising executive David Ogilvy said: Too harsh a response and I sow the seeds of rebellion and mutiny; too lax and I am on a course to blow my commitment to Helen not to screw up the kids by crappy solo parenting.

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What passed for sex ed came from "lock-ins," basically sleepovers at church single-sex, of course where we ate stale popcorn and greasy pizza, watched terrible movies about "youth led astray by pop culture into lives of sex and drugs" only to be saved by Jesus, and listened to lectures by "youth leaders" who preached complete abstinence outside marriage and basically promised us eternal hellfire and damnation if we so much as engaged in heavy petting with anyone but a spouse. There was no talk about pleasure; in fact, I vividly remember during my own "lock-in" experience when the leader asked "Why do people have sex?

It was the first of several incidents that would eventually make me walk away from religion, but that is another rant for another day I agree that school sex ed programs all too often fall short, mostly because they have to serve too many masters, watered down to appease both the far left and far right. They try to cover in a matter of days or weeks what really requires months if not years to learn.

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Also as you noted, sex ed in the US is too often "sex is dangerous" ed, and the ideas of communication, consent and pleasure are never discussed. I have to admit, the idea of a parent telling their children about the importance of condoms and pleasure made me initially squeamish; "it just isn't done," says a prudish little voice in my head. But if I stop and reflect, I know that voice was put there by a pentecostal upbringing and a culture which denies the importance of pleasure. We pride ourselves on our "puritan work ethic," but that same ethic also gave us the idea that "idle hands are the devil's workshop.

While it is true that you can get too much of a good thing witness our rampant obesity problems admitting that yes, you enjoy a slice of chocolate cake, a glass or two of wine, or even--gasp! And so you never discuss these things in the open, leading to all sorts of unhealthy behaviors. I suffered through years of dysfunction and heartache before I finally got into therapy and started to undo the damage my upbringing did to my ability to have a healthy sexual relationship. I am still undoing it.

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In an ideal world yes, parents would be their children's sex ed teachers, but are they really the best ones? I agree that if parents want to preach abstinence to their kids that is their right, but there is ample evidence it does not work. Even parents who aren't in the abstinence-only camp are often woefully misinformed themselves about human sexuality and the tools for building a healthy sexual relationship. Fewer still seem self-aware enough to know that they don't know. Any courses aimed at teaching parents to talk to their kids about sex must also teach parents about healthy sexuality, or at least give them the tools they need to learn about it themselves, and the ability to point their kids in the right direction if they can't answer their questions.

In fact, I would go so far as to argue that such "sex ed" needs to be made available to all adults, as widely disseminated as information on losing weight and exercise, if not more so. Maybe if we did that, we could not only reduce teen pregnancies, but also cut down on divorce, sexual assaults and other negative results of our guilt-tripping, pleasure-denying, sex-negative culture. It's a testament to your resilience and therapy that you've transcended your no-sex-ed upbringing. I'm confident that your children will have more parental sex ed than you did.

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I Was A Teenage Liberal tells how one man came to understand the dangers of Liberalism and grew to a more mature view of the world we live in. In a tour de. I Was a Teenage Liberal tells the story of how one man came to understand the dangers of Liberalism and grew to a more mature view of the world we live in.

I'm a retired child and adolescent psychiatrist with 33 years clinical experience. I have helped literally hundreds of young girls deal with unintended pregnancy. I agree with the observation that parental input - where teens can still stand to be in the same room with their parents - is more valuable than sex education. I also agree that teenagers are basically sexually conservative.

However the fact remains that the US has the highest rate of teen pregnancy in the developed world. The article article doesn't really explain why this is. In my experience, as well as that of many of my colleagues, these unintended teen pregnancies result from sex with older men - usually where the girls are manipulating into having intercourse when that's not what they intend to happen. It's the dirty little secret no one wants to talk about. Clearly we need to start talking about it - in sex education classes where kids can't discuss it with their parents.

Heaven forbid conservatives should use this article to justify discontinuing sex education classes. I do my own bit in trying to address the topic in a recent young adult novel The Battle for Tomorrow: He has written about sexuality for 36 years. Brief erotic fantasies hours before lovemaking can help ignite later heat.

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The Relevance of Religion. Why do Liberals and Conservatives have such a different view of the importance of Humanity? My mind — once it has overcome wondering what makes JD attractive to girls in their mid-teens — has less of a problem with her desire to release her personal booze genie from its bottle, or bottles. I agree Submitted by Michael Castleman M. Millie is looking after a sleeping Matt. Abstinence-only programs did not delay first intercourse at all.

In three recent reports, most users say cannabis enhances sex. Back Find a Therapist. What Is the Best Way to Propose? What's the Solution for a Coddled American Mind? Parents Talking About Sex If neither Conservatives nor Liberals deserve credit for the substantial long-term decline in teen sexual irresponsibility, who does? Submitted by Anonymous on April 15, - 7: This a big huge gaping double standard that no teen with a sex drive is going to ignore.

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I agree Submitted by Michael Castleman M. I like the idea of sexual Submitted by Anonymous on April 16, - 7: Another method is Submitted by Anonymous on April 16, - 8: If kids want to learn about Submitted by Anonymous on April 16, - Your experience is all too typical Submitted by Michael Castleman M. And where the girls are under 16, we need to be more rigorous about prosecuting these men. Post Comment Your name. E-mail The content of this field is kept private and will not be shown publicly. Notify me when new comments are posted. Replies to my comment. Leave this field blank.

Has Gender Always Been Binary? But there was a turning point in there somewhere. I saw conservative politics as a way that the powerful controlled people based on an opportunistic view of what was right or wrong, and as such, did not entertain the idea of debate or change. Around this time, I converted to political liberalism. I saw that while I strongly believed in family values being good for society, I did not have to subscribe to a conservative, authority-based version of those values.

As I opened up to a less prescriptive view, I came around to marriage equality. I saw that an understanding, wholesome family value system actually affirmed support of marriage equality and gay rights.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Not surprisingly, I came around on a lot of other stances I would have considered non-starters in the past, like labor rights and a robust welfare state. Rather than bringing others on board via reasoned discourse, opponents are simply labeled stupid or evil. Many I otherwise agree with on the left have become increasingly judgmental and unwilling to engage in discussion. The left increasingly demands people adhere to certain political stances in the name of solidarity.

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