So weird question came up when I was having a discussion with a friend earlier. We were talking about giving HPV vaccinations to children and the concept of whether or not some parents are against because they think of it as giving their kids permission to have sex (similar reasoning to some parents being against putting their daughters on birth control). I of course think this is silly because giving your kid the HPV vaccine is “permission” in exactly the same way as giving your kid the MMR vaccine is permission to go out and try to get measles. It’s protection. Not a dare.
Anyway, it’s not so much the morality of the vaccine that I want to debate here. It was more a question that arose out of that. When we were talking about it, I said it was a silly issue because “most parents never give their kids permission to have sex.” That is, I don’t think it’s a permission issue. I don’t think most people are ever “given permission” to have sex. Sure there are some sexualized activities (mostly for girls) like makeup, or ear piercing or dating, where the parents might say “you’re not allowed to do____ until you’re 15” or however old. But I don’t feel like anyone ever says that about sex. It’s either your parents are cool and realize it’s your body and you do with it whatever you want… or they just tell you that sex is just “against the rules”… you can’t do it until you move out (or *shudder* should save yourself til marriage), and sooner or later puberty kicks in enough that you’re like “I don’t give a damn what mom and dad say, I’m horny, and I gots to get laid”(no boys in your room, Suzie… wait, what do you mean you’ve been gay all along… shit!). Then you sneak some of your parents liquor and invite some other teenager over to get drunk and awkwardly fuck on the old couch in the basement that the dog sleeps on. And then six months later you’re slutting it up in college. You know… the natural order of things!
Or is it?
Maybe I’m wrong. Maybe people are given “permission” to have sex. And that’s what I’m wondering.
So completely unscientific survey: When did this happen for you? That is… I’m not wondering when you lost your virginity, specifically (unless that’s somehow relevant). I actually know that already… it’s about 17.5 on average (at least in the US… two earlier years in Europe…. because we’re a bunch of prudes). No, what I’m wondering is:
- Did your parents had specific rules as to when it would be allowed for you?
- What age or event (when you get married, when you move out) was the cut off?
- When was this (what decade)?
- Did you follow said rules or just not care?
- At what age did you decide that it really wasn’t their decision anyway (whether you acted on it or not)?
- If you have different-gendered siblings, were the rules different for them?
- If you have kids, I’m wondering the same basic questions that you have for your kids. And did you experience at that time cause you to be more or less strict about it?
And of course if you have any other relevant thoughts, please feel free to add them. If for some reason you want to answer this anonymously, you should be ale to do so on the blog version of this post on my website (you have to type in an email address, but they don’t show up and there’s nothing stopping you from using a fake one anyway… if you do this, I guess at least let me know a ballpark age and gender that you are and stuff). I’m super curious about this. I’m actually wondering if it’s something that I should pursue in more detail for like my actual work and stuff.