In addition to talking to my kids about the birds and the bees, I’ve also talked to them about rape. I’m doing my best not to raise boys who are rapists. We’ve all had THE TALK with our preteens and teens. What we expect from them in regard to their sexual activity, how to protect themselves from STDs and pregnancy, what we as parents consider appropriate or inappropriate behavior regarding their sexuality, where babies come from, all those sometimes cringe-worthy topics of conversations we all subject our kids to in order to educate them about sex and share our own moral views. Whether you are pushing abstinence or are taking a more liberal view in regard to what you are telling your kids, I urge every parent to start adding rape information to these talks. The statistics are staggering.
Of female Americans who are raped, 54 percent of them experience this type of sexual abuse for the first time before they are 18.
Teenagers account for 51% of all reported sexual abuse.
In July, when a thread on the popular website Reddit about men and teens admitting to raping women and girls became news, I read the articles and the Reddit thread and even though I found myself horrified at the information I was reading, the reasons that the men gave for being rapists made me question whether we are doing enough as parents to fully explain to our kids why certain behaviors are wrong. The excuses the rapists gave on the Reddit thread are terrifying.
I was a freshman and hooking up with this girl who got naked in bed with me, then said no. I think she just wanted to do oral. I was extremely horny and already close to doing it, so I ignored her and did it. She realized what was happening and tried to clamp her legs shut, but it was too late and I was much stronger than her.
Most girls don’t really understand how horny guys are, how much stronger guys are, how guys will rationalize what they do. I see feminists and women on the Internet saying that no means no and women should be able to get as drunk as they want and not be sexually assaulted.
Terrifying, and enlightening. And it’s all too easy to see a lot of teen boys making the same excuses, the same rationales as to why they feel it’s okay to rape.
I think the majority of parents talk to their daughters about rape, how they can protect themselves in social situations, how “no means no”, how to fight back if they are ever accosted in a dark alley, but the majority of parents don’t sit down with their boys and tell them “Don’t be a rapist.”