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Is oral sex "sex"? 

Go ahead, ask your middle schooler........................................................

Each year, I speak to hundreds of middle school and high school students in community centers, schools and churches about topics related to healthy relationships and sexual health. I always ask them the same questions as we make our way through information that is both intriguing and awkward. When I get to the oral sex question, this is how it typically goes:

First, there is silent staring… "I can’t believe she just asked us that."

Then a few begin shaking their heads, and finally someone brave says, “No….” then, the rest begin to comment, “Not really;” “No, because you can’t get...

 

I recently asked a room full of 5th and 6th graders to anonymously write down what they had heard about sex from their friends or parents. Although a few wrote, “nothing,” the rest had heard plenty. 

Some of their (mostly inaccurate) reports were about “how” sex happens, “the dude touches the lady with his penis.” But most of the others reported soundbites like, “You have to use a condom” or “You can get AIDS.” Then there was one that made me want to cry, “Boys like it but girls don’t.” Do you see how much they need real sex ed?!

So if your child is beyond elementary school age, whether you think she’s old enough to know about sexually transmitted infections or not, she has probably already heard more...