‘Girls & Sex’: The Importance Of Talking To Young Women About Pleasure

Girls 7

Author Peggy Orenstein says that when it comes to sexuality, girls today are receiving mixed messages. Girls hear that “they’re supposed to be sexy, they’re supposed to perform sexually for boys,” Orenstein tells Fresh Air’s Terry Gross, “but that their sexual pleasure is unspoken.”

While researching her new book, Girls & Sex, Orenstein spoke with more than 70 young women between the ages of 15 and 20 about their attitudes and early experiences with the full range of physical intimacy.

She says that pop culture and pornography sexualize young women by creating undue pressure to look and act sexy. These pressures affect both the sexual expectations that girls put on themselves and the expectations boys project onto them.

Orenstein adds that girls she spoke to were often navigating between being considered “slutty” or a “prude,” and that their own desires were often lost in the shuffle. Girls, Orenstein says, are being taught to please their partners without regard to their own desires.

“When I would talk to girls, for instance, about oral sex, that was something that they were doing from a pretty young age, and it tended to go one way [and not be reciprocated],” Orenstein explains.

Orenstein recommends that parents examine the messages they send regarding girls and sexuality. “One of the things that I really took away from this research, is the absolute importance of not just talking about [girls] as victims, or not just talking about them as these new aggressors, but really surfacing these ideas of talking clearly and honestly to girls about their own desires and their own pleasures,” she says.

On the silence surrounding girls’ genitals

Parents don’t tend to name their infant baby’s genitals if they’re girls. For boys they’ll say, “Here’s your nose, here’s your shoulders, here’s your waist, here’s your pee pee, whatever.” But with girls there’s this sort of blank space – it’s right from navel to knees, and not naming something makes it quite literally unspeakable.

Then they go into puberty education class and girls have period and unwanted pregnancy, and you see only the inside anatomy, that thing that looks like a steer head, with the ovaries and everything, and then it greys out between the legs, so we never talk about the vulva, we never talk about the clitoris, very few girls explore, there’s no self-knowledge, and then they go into their sexual experiences and we expect them to be able to have some sense of entitlement, some sense of knowledge, to be able to assert themselves, to have some sense of equality, and it’s just not realistic that that’s going to happen.

On whether kids are having more sex at a younger age and the prevalence of oral sex

GIRLS 2

Kids are not having intercourse at a younger age, and they’re not having more intercourse than they used to. They are engaging in other forms of sexual behavior, younger and more often. And one of the things that I became really clear on was that we have to broaden our definition of sex, because by ignoring and denying these other forms of sexual behavior that kids are engaging in we are opening the door to a lot of risky behavior, and we are opening the door to a lot of disrespect.

[Oral sex] is considered to be less intimate than intercourse, and something that girls say repeatedly to me would be, “It’s no big deal.” There’s an argument that some of the girls have in the book about exactly what it is. Is it sex? Is it not sex? Is it no big deal? … It was something that they felt that they could do that boys expected. That they could do to not have to do something else. It was a way that they could cultivate popularity, it was a way that they felt interestingly, they would talk about feeling more in control, than if it was reciprocal. ..

The Author

GIRL 4

Peggy Orenstein is the New York Times bestselling author of Cinderella Ate My Daughter, Waiting for Daisy, Flux, and Schoolgirls. A contributing writer for the New York Times Magazine, she has been published in USA Today, Parenting, Salon, the New Yorker, and other publications, and has contributed commentary to NPR’s All Things Considered. She lives in Northern California with her husband and daughter.

Amazon page: http://www.amazon.com/Peggy-Orenstein/e/B000APACZI/

Full article: http://goo.gl/3lnLcs

The Fear Of Death Hunting Homosexuals In Africa

Is homosexuality a sickness or disease that can be cured?

Homosexuality is not part of the African culture but they are now listening to external voice: First traditional Gay marriage in South Africa.

Homosexuality, men having sexual intercourse, is an abominable act in many parts of Africa. Africa, a continent of different tribes and clans, doesn’t approve many things that they considered a taboo. Thus; someone caught in a homosexual act, instantly faces severe punishment, beatings and lynchings, many times leading to death.
                             Since homosexuality is a crime in African countries that don’t permit, those involved in such acts, hide it from the sight of the public, but homosexuality movements in Europe and America today, fighting for  recognition have inspired or encouraged African homosexuals to make their voice heard.
                            Thus, the social vice which is less popular in Africa, is now becoming famous in many African countries, turning the countries into an unnerving place to live in, because church leaders and many organisations against this practice, wouldn’t like to embrace this type of culture, they called it ‘Evil’ to add to their own culture.
                          At times, I do ask myself time and time, do Europeans or Americans think Africa will readily accept whatever they are interested? Africa has nothing to do with Christianity before the white missionaries ever went there. They thought Africans to follow the Bible or the gospel. Well, later the truth was discovered. The reason wasn’t to let Africans know about Christianity but to loot.
                       Fortunately, many parts of Africa derived interest in the Bible and studied it thoroughly, therefore living by its teachings. An African Christian, explaining his point, to defend his hate against homosexuality, would take one deep step into the Bible. Two of such scriptures confirming that homosexuality is an evil act can be read at  1st Timothy: Chapter 10 and 1st Corinthians, chapter 6, verse 9.
                      The question is: Why are Europeans and other Gay Rights Organisations, now fighting for the practice of homosexuality to be recognized in Africa, when they had already been there with the Holy Bible, a book telling Africans how evil the practice of homosexuality is?” The teachings of the Holy Bible can’t be reversed, so I am afraid to say that Africa can never change its mind or opinion on the negative aspects of homosexuality.
                       Africa is already overwhelmed by many diseases, such as AIDS, Ebola, malaria and others. It’s, therefore, make sense when they don’t want that practice. Europeans, Advanced Countries, and some Civil Right Organisations are the first people that voices are heard, whenever there is any bad situation in Africa, but whenever there is an epidemic, the respond to contain the situation never comes or very slow.
                      Aids have taken thousands of Africans to their untimely grave, since the early eighties, but there some rich people that had Aided in that period in America, who are still living. Many believed after Africa’s survival of Aids, Ebola, and other deadly diseases, America and Europe are destined to ruin the continent with homosexuality, just to continue to kill Africans, when any epidemic erupts.
                     Africa has learned a lot from their misfortunes, that is the reason it is fighting against homosexuality today. Unfortunately, the path Uganda has taken to deal with this issue is totally out of course. The proposal for the death penalty for homosexuals is sheer madness. Violence against homosexuals is not an option or solution.
                    According to many homosexuals, they were born with it. Who feels it, knows it. Do men bear to love men? That’s really a hard concept to accept. The more I think about this issue, the more I get confused. African leaders must find a way to deal with the rise of homosexuality in Africa because death is not an option to eradicate or stop homosexuality in Africa.
The next article: Is it right for homosexuals to adopt children?