There is quite a buzz in the world of sex trends with the new documentary and book out titled Oral Sex is the New Goodnight Kiss. The author and filmmaker Sharlene Azam highlights the sexual promiscuity of girls as young as eleven who are pulling a Natalie Dylan and selling their virginity, or charging for sexual favors. The documentary has caused a stir with people either agreeing or disagreeing with Azam’s claim that as a whole, the upcoming generation is more sexually active than they have been in previous years. Of course I am horrified by the prostitution apparently going on in school systems, and I find it very sad. And while Azam did find sufficient examples of this (her studies were based in Canada) I don’t believe prostitution is the norm for most adolescents and teens. When it comes to the claim that they are more sexually active than they were in the past, I am not so sure if I agree with this. It is true that with role models like Miley Cyrus turning from Disney queens to pop-tarts before they are even legal (although who didn’t see that one coming?), adolescent females may be a bit more open about their sexual curiosity.
But in truth, I feel as if ten years ago when I was in junior high, while I don’t remember hearing of any girls prostituting themselves, a large percentage of my peers were definitely sexually active. As for the title of the documentary, I feel as if junior high and highschool students are of the age where oral sex is most popular. By engaging in it, the kids feel as if they are sexually mature and yet still technically virgins. And whereas in college aged and older individuals, when you’re dating someone it is automatically assumed that you are sleeping with them, in junior high and early highschool this is not the case. It is expected that you will round all the bases (remember those ridiculous baseball analogies?) before hitting home, and often these relationships are so short-lived you never even get there. Again, I believe sexual education is key here, and if it is true that sexual activity is starting in younger and younger kids, then sex-ed should begin earlier too.
When it comes down to it, kids are always going to explore their sexuality. It’s natural, and there’s nothing we can do about it. But we can help them make smarter decisions by educating them, and hope they will skip the prostitution recruitment center that is apparently open in the girls bathroom and head right to their 5th period science class instead..