How to talk to daughters about sex without giving permission

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How to talk to daughters about sex without giving permission

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I think one of the toughest jobs any parent has is talking to their teenage daughter about sexual responsibillity or about sex in general without also feeling like they are saying it's okay for her to go out and start expressing herself sexually. And I can understand, that's a concern. People don't want to feel like they are talking about this and therefore they are also giving permission at the same time . And I think what's important is to communicate to your daughter that there is responsibillities that come along when becoming sexually active. It is not just an impulsive. It may happen in the heat of the moment, it's important to mention that because people can get carried away in certain situations or they can be pressured. And I think that's also important to talk about and also let your daughter know that respect should be fundamental underpinnings before they decide to undergo or enter into the sexual relationship. And if they are being pressured or feel like they are being manipulated, that's not trust. That's not respect, that's manipulation, which is the complete opposite of that. So I think it really is really more important for parents to talk about that. Talk about what a relationship really is and what a good relationship looks like. And then when it comes to sex if she and her partner decide to enter into a sexual relationship is that there are true risks that are associated with it. She could contract to sexually transmitted infection that there is no cure for such as HIV or Herpes, or HPV. We don't have cures for that we just have treatments that keep the virus under cintrol but not complete irradication. Other infections such as Chlamydia and Gonorrhea we could cure, but who wants to get those in the first place. And then also pregnancy. And I don't think that there is any parent or daughter, girl who starts thinking yes, I'm going to become a mom at 14. That's what I'm going to do. I don't think anybody starts off. I think it comes about through situations and then next thing they know they find out that they are pregnant. And who wants to end up like that. It will be like me going sking and saying Oh, I didn't realize the Black Diamond run was the most difficult run, suddenly I find myself in the middle of it, I'm out of control, and I fall and I break my leg. That's not the time to learn about it. You want to know in advance these are situations that come up. These are the ways to protect yorself. However, how do you decide that you are ready to enter into a sexual relationship with somebody is a much more important conversation to be having with your child. And one that probably will not be completed in one conversation. It's going to be several conversations that you are going to have over time. And perhaps you and your own relationship can model for your daughter. What a healthy relationship looks like? That's founded upon trust, respect, true intimacy.

View Diane Tanaka, MD's video on How to talk to daughters about sex without giving permission...

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Diane Tanaka, MD

Adolescent Medicine Physician

Dr. Tanaka is an assistant professor of clinical pediatrics and the medical director of the Homeless Adolescent and Young Adult Wellness Center and the MyVOICE Adolescent Transition Program, both at Children's Hospital Los Angeles. Dr. Tanaka went to University of California, Davis for medical school and did her residency at Cedars Sinai Medical Center. Dr. Tanaka's primary speciality is Adolescent Medicine, and her clinical interests include: menstrual disorders, substance use and abuse, and the treatment of sexually transmitted infections. She currently serves at Children's Hospital Los Angeles, and was awarded the Barbara Korsch Medical Education Award at CHLA in 2008 and listed in Castle Connely’s directory of top physicians in 2009.

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