What if the opposite were true: what if understanding one's physical responses, truly "expressing your sexuality" instead of just impersonating sexiness, could actually raise girls' expecations of intimate encounters? What if self-knowledge encouraged them to hold a higher standard for their experiences, both within and outside relationships?
So I'll tell my daughter that it's possible to make mistakes, that not all scenario are as clear as we would like. That said, if for whatever rason, she does get waated - because it's part of the culture she's in or because she wants to see what it feels like or because the drink didn't taste strong - and, God forbid, is targeted for assault, it is positively, in no way, under any circumstances, her fault. I will tell her that nothing ever, ever, ever justifies rape.
There's a lot of persuading and pleading and guilt-inducing tactics, along with a lot of complimenting and flattery. And because it's subtle, you see a lot of self-questioning among girls. They wonder, "Am I reading this right?"
Simpson Rowe and her colleagues have developed a training program that ues virtual reality simulations to help girls recognize and resist those cues.
We end up with a self-fulfilling prophecy: teens assert independence by breaking rules, rupturing their relationships with parents, separating from the family. Sex, which typically involves sneaking around or straight-up lying, becomes a vehicle throught which to do that.
Dutch teens, on the other hand, remain closely connected to parents, growin gup in an atmospher of gezelligheid, a word most Americans can't even pronounce, but which Schalet translates loosely as "coze togetherness." Parents and teens are expected to discuss the children's psychological and emotional development, including their burgeoning sexual drives. The Dutch actively discourage promiscuity in their children, teaching that sex should emerge from a loving relationship. Negotiating the ground rules for sleepovers, while not always easy (parents admit to a period of "adjustment and some embarrassment), provides yet another opportunity to exert influence, reinforce ethics, and emphasize the need for protection.
First off, we want them to be autonomous, to understand desire and pleasure, to be able to assert sexual wishes and set limits, and to prepare responsibly for sexual encounters. B, for building egalitarian, supportive relationships that value shared interest, respect, care, and trust; C for maintaining and nurturing connnection with your child; and D for recognizing the diversity and range of sexual orientation, cultural beliefs, and dvelopment among their peers.
I want sexuality to be a source of self-knowledge and creativity and communication despite its potential risks. I want them to revel in their bodies' sensuality without being reduced to it. I want them to be able to ask for what they want in bed, and to get it. I want them to be safe from disease, unwanted pregnancy, curelty, dehumanization, and violence. If they are assaulted, I want them to have recourse from their school administrators, employers, the courst. It's a lot to ask for, but it's not too much.