Teenage sexuality is often someone jumping up, down, and sideways with need and desire, and then hearing a resounding ‘No’ from the object of the obsession. Still we go out and want it, because it’s in our nature.
At least that is the conclusion one can draw after five minutes of conversation with Abbie when he is slightly drunk, as he was yesterday when we went to a school mate for a Halloween party. Before long, you’ll hear him zone in on sex, or the desire for sex, or the particular advantages or lack thereof about some particular person.
Unlike yours truly, Abbie is in that situation where ‘he is looking’. It is also the situation that Stephen is in. Ben is more cautious, and don’t chase skirts as such. He’s more like a trap-door spider that grabs opportunity when he sees it. And then you have me who is comfortably married and off the game.
In the game of averages that all teenagers engage in, the result can only be desperation. It’s all about probability.
Each sex is, in the main, limited by population and demographic. A woman dominated course like ours reduces the chance for women, and increases it for men. But if you’re gay, like Abbie, the female domination is disastrous because the probability that one of the few guys is gay or bi is always very low.
If the male population of the group is low to begin with… Desperation. Conversely, for Ben, the options are wide open – if he wasn’t so cautious in these matters of the heart.
Adults often refuse to acknowledge that from the age of thirteen or fourteen, any human being is a highly sexual being. By the time anyone is sixteen, three-quarters of teenagers will have had sex with someone. Age of consent laws are pretty useless except as a ward from adults having sex with people under that age.
Instead of recognising this basic biological need in teenagers, adults would rather hide it or at least change the subject because talking about “children and sex” is creepy. So, like yesterday at the Halloween party, teenagers toss themselves together in small rooms where the adolescent levels of hormones and sex-drives are at a peak.
There the sexual tension oozed to the beat of House music, and people like Abbie and Stephen desperately tried to lure someone to fornicate with. And this they do without really knowing the risks and dangers they face.
You have all these people sweating together on the dance floor, and then expect that nothing untoward will happen. Christ, the amount of snogging going on at a thing like that could power the Greater London area. I and Mark could power all of Hackney on our own!
In the UK this results in a very high pregnancy rates among teens. We’re only comparable to deprived parts of the United States when it comes to this. And the main cause is that adults refuse to deal with the fact that kids will have sex, and they’ll know better than to try to talk to adults about it.
We don’t even have the excuse of religion. We’re uptight anyway, despite being a very secular nation these days. It is just that the cultural norms persist despite the secularisation.
It is like there’s a class conspiracy where the working class have a very conservative view on sexuality, and that view is shared by the upper class. So, you have progressives that don’t talk about teen sex because we don’t do that sort of thing, and you have Tories that complain about the ‘immoral youth’.
In sex education, and this is something I’ve only heard from others because I certainly had nothing like sex-ed in college here, the focus is about pregnancy and adolescent development. Mark, for instance, didn’t learn much about contraception because that bit is discretionary and up to the schools. Uptight schools and teachers will focus on ‘teen sex is bad, so watch it, but here’s how the baby is made’.
It is said that you are entitled to your own opinion, but not your own facts, and the facts are that biologically speaking, when the clock starts ticking on the sex front after puberty hits, there’s little that the adults can do about teenagers and sex.
We’re going to have sex, and like I said, by the age of sixteen the vast majority will have engaged in the activity. By the time we’re eighteen nearly everyone will be doing it. If adults try to impose some kind of cultural norm, without giving access to knowledge and understanding, the kids will just won’t tell the parents about it.
The numbers speak for themselves. In both the secular UK and in the very religious American south, the teen pregnancy rates show the widespread sexual activity among teens. Burying the head in the sand, and attempting to impose abstinence, or to try to shame teenagers will just force it underground.
Hiding the activity just leads to the statistics we all see, because like I saw at the party yesterday, and like I see at any party, when your body starts grinding on the dance floor, the libido overrides the head. And that the intellect rules the body is just a myth anyway. Hormones and endorphins and body chemistry is are powerful things where what is bad can seem good, and what is good can seem bad.