15 and sexually active
Sipho Yanano expresses his disgust at a parenting expert's shocking pregnancy advice.
“Over the weekend, during a heated argument with my 15-year-old daughter, I found out that she and her boyfriend of a year have recently started having sex. I had suspected this, and, to her credit, when I asked she said yes without hesitation…I am devastated!... How do I make her understand that even though I know she is having sex, and even though I have taken her to see a doctor, that I'm not OK with her having sex? What discussion is appropriate for her dad and me to have with the boyfriend?...”

This is an excerpt of a letter a mother wrote Slate’s agony aunt, Emily Yoffe, aka Dear Prudence. What touched me about this correspondence is that it summarizes the average parent’s fear when it comes to a teen becoming sexually active prematurely.

And what parenting advice did this distraught mother get from ‘Dear Prudence’?

Dear Prudence writes: “…dry your eyes and accept that in this arena your daughter is precocious. She is having sex with someone she cares about, and vice versa…As for your fears that something horrible will happen, being a parent means living with that fear but not letting it disable you…initiating a discussion with him(Your daughter’s boyfriend) about the fact that he’s having sex with your daughter might terrify and (temporarily) wilt him. But I don’t see anything good coming of it except awkwardness and a sense of violation on the part of your daughter…”

In short, this mother is being advised to allow her 15 year-old-daughter to be sexually active, help her to have safe sex and not to interfere in the relationship.

Hands up  those  parents who agree with this? I’m sure though that many teenage boys will be giving ‘Dear Prudence’ a lot of thumps up. After all she’s given them a go ahead to act out n their raging hormones, without any repercussions.

I certainly don’t agree with this modern and liberal parenting advice. This is what I’d say to any 15-year-old who has decided to be sexually active and is living under my roof.

“Ah! So you’ve decided to have sex hey. We’ve talked with you so many times about making wise choices and I  have to say, we’re disappointed by your decision.

By telling us that you are ready have sex you’re also telling us you are ready to be an adult. Only adults have sex because they are ready to take on the responsibly that may come with the act. To you and your boyfriend sex is just one cheap form of entertainment, hey?

But have you ever thought of what will happen if you fall pregnant? You are both not mature to be parents and as a result you will be giving us the added responsibility of raising you and your child. Not to mention the medical complications that may come from  you falling pregnant a such a young age.  Although your boyfriend professes to love you, his feelings towards you may change as soon as he finds out you are pregnant.

By deciding to be sexually active at a young age you are also exposing yourself to emotional and physical risks. You run the risk of contracting sexually transmitted infections, including HIV.

The choice yours. It’s either you stop sleeping with that boy or you move out of my house- that’s what adults who are ready to have sex do. And by the way, I don’t ever want to see that thief of a boyfriend setting foot into my house! ”

How would you feel about your teenager being sexually active?

Read more by Sipho Yanano
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