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The Answer Blog

What’s a Teen Girl to Do?

For this blog, I’m pretending that I’m a teen girl. Yes, I’m really 78, but go with me.

I have to say, I have a few issues with you adults. Talk about being under the microscope and having everything constantly scrutinized: the way I dress, my body and my sexual behaviors!

One specific issue I have with you is how you talk about me. In The Truth About Teen Girls, Time magazine writer Belinda Luscombe talks about how some adults think teen girls are being “too sexy” and “too liberal with sexual favors.” Some of you even feel that we’re “sexually loose” because we’re copying what we see on TV or read about in magazines.

If that’s how you feel, why blame us? Why not look at yourselves and how you use sex to sell products? Don’t you think that has something to do with teens being so overtly sexual? Why not look at our culture and come up with some solutions instead of blaming us for mimicking what we see?

My second issue is with the solutions you do come up with. Sometimes it feels like you adults don’t know us at all.

For example, the cure for all the “sexual transgressions” of teen girls, some of you adults say, is teaching us that abstinence-only-until-marriage is the only sex education we should receive. That really acknowledges the world in which I’m living today—NOT! Some of you tell me, “Here, wear this purity ring and wear it on the third finger of your left hand, and promise God and your future husband that you won’t have sex until you’re married.” I don’t remember ever saying I wanted to get married…or that I was even attracted to guys. You adults make a lot of assumptions, you know that?

Some of you do seem to get what we teens need. In his New York Times op-ed piece Let’s Talk About Sex, Charles M. Blow writes that Americans are a bunch of puritans who can’t deal with the facts like 1) obviously some teenagers are having some kind of sex; and 2) knowledge and support can help us figure out when it’s best for us to have sex. Smart guy. He knows what most of us teens already know—that ab-only programs don’t help keep us safe sexually, and that we need comprehensive sex education that helps us learn how to wait, while also including information on condoms and other contraceptives. Awesome.

I ask you: What’s a teen girl to do? Until you adults get it together, I think I’ll just go to and get the straight scoop from adults who don’t talk down to us and who give us the information we need to help us make good decisions.

Honest, accurate sex ed? Bring it on.

And now I think I’ll go call my grandchildren.

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