Teens, Sex & Rape: Where Are The Fathers?

I am beside myself. I have treated teens for 20+ years and never before have I seen such desensitization to the concept and behavior known as rape. The word rape has become part of the teen vernacular as in “that test totally raped me.” I am not okay with that. Rape is a serious crime and our teens should not become desensitized to the word.

Nor should our teenage boys become desensitized to sex and making videos of sexcapades. I recently learned about the three teen boys in Virginia who who got in serious trouble for making videos of teens having sex. I wonder if they are feeling more manly by posting these videos. Are the videos the new form of “notches in the belt?” Would these boys even be having sex with the teen girls if they had no evidence of their shameless behavior? Is the internet the new street corner?

What I really want to know as a clinical psychologist who has been paying close attention to the behavior of teens and their families for two decades is where the fathers are and what they are teaching their boys? I believe that it is the role of the father to talk to their teen sons about how to treat women. There is absolutely no excuse not to. Fathers have an ethical responsibility here. What about fathers talking to their sons about not only the mechanics of sex but also about the impact of both consensual and forced sex on the teen girls and the boys? What about the fathers looking over the boys’ shoulders and seeing what they are posting on the internet?

Are fathers in a “head in the sand” mode? I certainly hope not but I don’t know who is minding the boys. The concept of groups of teen boys having sex with passed out girls absolutely terrifies and appalls me. This type of behavior will continue unless dads get a grip and attend to their teen sons. In my experience behavior continues and even escalates until it is addressed and dealt with.

Fathers-you must get off the couch and see what your sons are up to unless you don’t mind going to juvenile court with them and seeing them incarcerated.

I am not suggesting that mothers play no role here. Nor am I suggesting that the schools play a minimal role in educating the teen boys. The male role models, however, have an opportunity to play a critical role. I am told by the teen boys that no one is talking to them about their feelings about sex. In school they are learning about the mechanics of sex and STDs not emotions. That to me is a tragedy. We all know that sex involves the body, heart and mind. We are forgetting to teach our kids this? That to me is a crime in and of itself.

Talk to me. The law is the law. And, your sons need to be taught and held accountable. And so do you as their parents and most important role models.

Comments

comments