Interesting article: Rigid parenting CAUSES sex in teens!

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by MidwestMom, Jan 4, 2009.

  1. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

  2. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    I've long thought it a bad idea for parents to be too rigid--it's almost always the most tightly reined-in kids who rebel.

    However, the write-up of the Boston study is too vague for me. I wish they had listed the questions they had asked the teens.
    I wonder how many teens told the truth.
    And what teens considered rigid parenting to be.

    Children also seemed to be less sexually active if their parents did not engage in 'negative and psychologically controlling behaviors.'

    The article also talks about risky sex. Risky sex can mean 1) unprotected sex with-one partner, or 2) sex with-multiple partners, or 3) unprotected sex with-multiple partners.

    Again, too vague for me.

    For every Sarah Palin type family, there are families like the ones I know, where mothers not only allow their daughters to have serious relationships, but encourage their girls to have sex, by allowing the boys to stay overnight, regardless whether the parents are home (among other things). For example, we have one acquaintance whose daughter is a straight-A, Honor Roll student, and as long as she brings in good grades, she can do anything she wants in her personal life.

    I think it would be interesting to study the minority of older teens who don't have sex and find out exactly why. Are they shy? Nerdy? Self righteous? Well-disciplined? Sheltered?
  3. change

    change New Member

    I think sometimes it just comes down to the "core" being of the child after awhile. I am the oldest out of 4 and the only daughter. We were brought up with double standards (100% Latino my father is an adult immigrant). We went to Catholic school but then in middle school, my parents decided it was too expensive and began to send us to public school. We were in Vanguard (gifted and talented) but the school was low-income. I liked it and rebelled. (My parents were very strict.) As soon as they decided I was acting like a "low-rider" because of public school, they sent me back to private school (high school) but not my brothers who were rebelling even more. I soon settled down (on my own) in high school after I felt really guilty for some promiscuious behavior and really paid attention to my theology classes. My brothers were in CCE classes but it didn't stop them except for the youngest. To this day, he is a youth minister and he didn't go to Catholic School like I did. In fact he barely graduated high school (not Vanguard like the other 3 of us). The other 2 siblings went crazy sexual exploits, supposed pregnancies, etc. and other things before they both married and neither went to church for a long time. They go occassionally now.

    We all 4 had the same overly strict parents. We went to 4 different kinds of high schools. We all still are close to our parents, especially our mother.

    Just my opinion.
  4. bran155

    bran155 Guest

    Are we talking about "normal" teens? I think it is a whole other ball game when it comes to difficult children. In my own experience with my mother and sister I agree. My mom was so strict with me, I was grounded for months on end for the tiniest infraction. I rebelled, climbed out windows, stole her car, did not tell her much, never trusted her with any personal information as she would only use it against me. Her husband hated me and that didn't help. My sister, on the other hand was a goody two shoes as my mother pretty much let her do whatever she wanted. She could hang out with whom ever she chose. My mother hated my friends, blamed them for all of my wrong doings. My sister could stay out as late as she wanted. I was on a strict curfew, therefore I lied a lot. My sister was given enough rope to hang herself with and she never did. She always made good choices, never got into any real trouble. I always got into trouble. Nothing serious though. I did smoke a lot of pot, drank somewhat but never did hard drugs. I wouldn't say that I slept around but I did sleep with more guys than my sister.

    I tried to be as open as I could with my daughter and did not keep her on "lock down". She was never allowed to do whatever she wanted, however I was not very strict with her for fear of rebellion. Then again we are now talking about a difficult child who lives in her own little world where regular rules do not apply. I think when talking about a child with mental illness, all normal parenting goes out the window. Especially with regards to sex. Hypersexuality is a symptom of some disorders. I also think sex is directly related to your self esteem. Lot's of kids have sex to fit in or feel loved. A very sad reality. I have always taught my daughter to respect her body, that it is precsious, that sex should not be taken lightly. Her value does not come from her willingness to have sex. We have had the "sex" talk a gazillion times. On every level imaginable!!! It never stuck. I think whatever I could have taught her came second to her issues. She just wants to be loved. I also think that an absent father makes a difference in the way a young girl feels about herself, her self worth. They say that little girls get their self esteem from their daddys. In my daughter's case I truly believe that she views her body and sex as a way to make up for her inadequcies (sp). She knows she is different, therefore she can make up that difference with the use of her body. Very sad.

    I'm sorry for all of the babbling!!!! I got a bit carried away. Good topic though. :)
  5. trinityroyal

    trinityroyal Well-Known Member

    I agree with Terry that the article is vague. For me, it raises more questions than it answers. I would have liked to see the survey questions and some statistical details to back up the statements they are making.

    I also feel compelled to point out that socially conservative does not necessarily equal rigid or restrictive. I think there are compassionate, understanding and open parents of all stripes, just as there are authoritarian and rigid parents of all stripes.

    I don't think it's fair to equate Sarah Palin's political stance with her being a rigid parent. We don't know what goes on in her home. Just as I would think it unfair to judge Barack Obama's parenting style based on his politics, should one of his daughters find herself "in trouble" later in life.

    I will stop there lest I stray too close to any political lines.

    Last edited: Jan 4, 2009
  6. KTMom91

    KTMom91 Well-Known Member

    I have several additional questions. Did they ask parents of the target group how they defined their parenting style? Was there a concrete definition of rigid parenting? Did they take into consideration the family structure; extended family available, size of family, blended families, single parents? Income levels?
  7. DaisyFace

    DaisyFace Love me...Love me not

    I dislike anything that blames parents too much...

    We really have so little control over who are children are. We can only hope to guide them in the right direction....
  8. Nancy

    Nancy Well-Known Member Staff Member

    bran, I completely agree and I'm glad you said that. Whenever I read or hear anything like this my first reaction is that these generalizations just don't apply to difficult child's. I'm not sure they apply to normal teens either and I do think each child's personality and genes determine how they will react, but it certainly gets thrown out the window when you are talking about difficult child's.

  9. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    I didn't mean anything about Palin's political views. It's more about her insistence on teaching abstinence for Sex Ed and she has a pregnant that didn't work. I think you have to strike a good balance with both "normal" kids and difficult children. However, face it, our disordered difficult child's are going to be at higher risk for everything, no matter how we parent. Still...I thought the article was interesting. Of late, with a 12 year old who is suddenly interested in boys (and vice versa as she looks so much older) I have been reading up on these
  10. trinityroyal

    trinityroyal Well-Known Member

    MWM, sorry for jumping to conclusions.
    I totally understand that with your daughter growing up this would be high on your radar.

    I'm not dismissing the study or its findings. I'd just like more information, so I know how they analyzed the data, where they got the data, etc.

  11. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Oh, trust me, I took it with a grain of salt, just thought it was an interesting point of I'm on a mission to learn all I can to see if I can parent this daughter right. I was such a miserable failure with the first one :<
  12. DazedandConfused

    DazedandConfused Active Member

    This is sort of related.....

    I remember reading an article years ago regarding a study about alcohol that was similiar. In short, it concluded that children that came from homes where the parents were hyper anti-alcohol were just as likely to become alcoholics as those that came from homes where drinking was prevalent.

    That article always stuck in my mind because my paternal grandparents were anti-alcohol zealots. Absolutely none was allowed in their house. They were not religious people, so that wasn't a factor. Yet, all of their sons (4), my Dad included, were alcoholics. My uncle literally drank himself to death.

    Honestly, I think there is something to the study, but I think it's a complicated issue with a complicated answer.
  13. gcvmom

    gcvmom Here we go again!

    I am living proof of THAT. My father was VERY negative, VERY psychologically controlling, VERY verbally abusive. I sought self esteem and validation from whomever I could get it from and equated physical affection with that kind of validation and self worth. For a LONG time I lived my life that way. I might even go so far as to say I jumped into marriage with this same mindset.

    Twenty years and many therapy sessions later, I realize the mistakes I've made, and am trying to NOT repeat history with my own kids.

    Time will tell...
  14. Shari

    Shari IsItFridayYet?

    Very interesting. I think there's a lot to this.

    Heck, maybe they should do a study of preachers' my own experience, that's the wildest group of kids I was ever around...
  15. compassion

    compassion Member

    Bran, thanks for saying that. I actually felt this way and have mulitple dialoges, focus on self esteem, etc. etc. but her choices would indicate otherwise. I think guidance, openness is important and that is the way I parent. She is so impulsive and wants peer approval. I do my best. Yesterday was a close call as it was the last night before public school started.Thankfully she did not end up at a party. I was on phone with her a lot and had husband go check out of they made it to the movie (they did not) She ended up buying mice at a pet shop and E's mom picked them up and I do not think they did anything else.
    I think having interests and positive support and supervision is important. Compassion
  16. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    On my trail of readings (grin) I have learned there are high risk behaviors that can predict stuff too and impassivity is one biggie. So are early signs of anger and aggression.
  17. Fran

    Fran Former desparate mom

    I have a lot of opinions regarding sex and teens. The bottom line is that it happens more times than not. Teaching self respect, pride and the consequences of unprotected sex is all we can do.
    If it's a difficult child, all bets are off. They will do what they know will break their parents heart. Just because they could.

    I had a pretty scary father in terms of strict. Same story as change had except immigrant Italian parents. Very suspicious of the new cultures rules so kept me to the one's he grew up with. Hard work, no back talk, hard work and no shame to the family.
    Needless to say it was difficult to be in our household as the oldest daughter who in my teen years had to help with babies.
    I couldn't wait to get out. I couldn't wait to date. It was a prize that spelled a chance at a life that was not pure drudgery. No laughter, no appreciation.
    If they had just given me normal teen control and waited until I was shown to be irresponsible(never ever was) I would not have been so interested to have what my parents thought I couldn't have or should aspire to.

    I was fortunate in that I read a lot and had strong women (nuns) who showed me that I had choices and opportunities.
  18. house of cards

    house of cards New Member

    I would be alot more interested in why the teens choose to have sex. I don't see having sex in a committed loving relationship, even as a teen, the same as having sex to seek approval, to try to be cool or fit in, ect.

    My first 2 were around/beyond 18 when they had sex in committed relationships, my 16 yo is looking to have have sex. I'm not happy with that.
  19. eekysign

    eekysign New Member

    Sigh. I wish research news would write the actual results, and not dumb it down to the 5th grade newspaper level. I know they have to, but augh---it's so frustrating!

    Speaking of sex edu---I used to work on a statewide research project evaluating abstinence-focused sex education. Our results were pretty much what you guys would expect---oh, the horror stories I could tell you of conducting interviews with those kids. They had the largest amount of misinformation I'd ever seen in children---our comparison group had some silly notions, but the abstinence kids absolutely took the cake. Where on earth do kids GET this stuff?

    If I ever had any doubts, that project nixed 'em. Seeing first hand the difference between public sex education and public abstinence-based sex ed---I will never let my (future) kids into a AB sex ed program. Pretty frightening, really.
  20. DaisyFace

    DaisyFace Love me...Love me not

    My worry with my difficult child (at that scary age of 13) that she is thinking about boys and relationships without any sense of reality. She is so desparate to hook up with a boyfriend, any boyfriend, anyone--she is practically writing her phone number on men's room walls...and yet she is positive that whomever finally responds to her advances will be Prince Charming.

    I can remember being that age and developing crushes on certain boys in my class. Maybe he was funny...or really sweet...or had nice eyes. I can remember being shy and hopeful that maybe that particular boy would ask me to the school dance. But my daughter is completely indiscriminate--no particular crush--just a desparate sense that she needs a man NOW.

    And that desparation puts her at risk for all sorts of sexual and other behaviors that will only harm her in the long run...