Believing Sex Comes Without Consequences – Excerpt from Guys are Waffles, Girls are Spaghetti
Below is an excerpt from a book I read with teenagers a while back- “Guys are Waffles, Girls are Spaghetti”. The chapter highlights how young people act when they believe sex comes without consequences, this excerpt focuses on the girls.
If you are unsure how to help navigate the topic of consequences of sex with your teen girl, read this and I encourage every parent of teens to read this book.
I thought it was an interesting share and I cannot think of a better time to share than now when lots of people tend to go crazy on sex and hurtful sexual behaviours common to this generation.
SCIENCE OF THE BRAIN
I think every adult can recall how easy it was to learn new things when we were young. Music, sports, languages all come much easier in the developing brain.
It is not just lack of spare time to acquire new skills that makes it so “old dogs can’t learn new tricks.”
The brain of a teen is still developing, and thus it has greater plasticity than the adult brain and is more primed for learning.
Scientists believe that as a brain matures, neural connections that are not used wither and die. It is a “use it or lose it” proposition, and those neural connections that are used begin to hard wire. In other words, the behaviours and attitudes of the teen years become the imprinted ways of an adult. Wow! The implications of this are good and bad.
OPPORTUNITIES TO HELP YOUR TEENS- LEVERAGE THE POWER OF THE BRAIN
On the good end of the spectrum is the fact that as parents we have the opportunity to help our children develop healthy attitudes and behaviours that will be hard wired into their brains.
When we consistently expect and encourage patterns of behaviour that our children may think of as mundane—completing homework, keeping clean rooms, participating in family chores, and so forth—we are preparing our kids to be responsible and successful adults.
The same is true regarding more meaningful behaviours and attitudes that we want cemented into our children’s hearts—qualities such as compassion, responsibility, and self-discipline.
Just as important, if we help our children to have healthy attitudes and behaviours about sex, these are also getting hard wired into their brains.
On the bad end of the spectrum is the fact that unhealthy attitudes and behaviours get imprinted as well. This is why the attitudes and behaviours that our teenage daughters are developing with regard to sex are so critical.
WHAT SEXUALLY ACTIVE TEEN GIRLS ARE ‘LEARNING’ ABOUT SEX
What is the overall message that sexually active teen girls are learning about sex? That sex is mostly for him and it isn’t all that special. In coaching and teaching it is said that “perfect practice makes perfect.”
Because teen sex is a mere shadow of what it is supposed to be in a mature, lifetime relationship, what actually is happening for a teen girl is that “imperfect practice makes imperfect.”
The more sexual partners a young girl has, the more her brain is imprinting that imperfect practice. How is she supposed to learn to be vulnerable and trusting with her sexuality in this context? Sex is supposed to help sustain marriages for decades. But how can it when it has been cheapened and diminished through imperfect practice?
In earlier chapters we discussed the role of oxytocin in social bonding and physical pleasure. Numerous studies have confirmed that oxytocin also plays a significant role in the formation of trust. In fact, oxytocin is often called the trust hormone. When a girl is in a relationship, physical intimacy produces large amounts of oxytocin that facilitate trust.
confusing sex and love
This may in part explain why girls confuse sex and love. The feelings of trust created by oxytocin are short lived but profoundly important. These trust feelings, when juxtaposed against the reality of feeling used and empty, leave a girl hopelessly confused.
She “trusts” again and again through sex, but ends up feeling hurt. When a girl’s trust has been violated, she is likely to withhold trust in future relationships in order to avoid the anticipated hurt. She avoids heartache by investing less of herself emotionally.
She avoids pain by downplaying the power of sex by believing it comes without consequences.
Have you read this book? What were your biggest lessons and highlight from the book? What are your thoughts? Does having sex outside of marriage have consequences?