Sexual Knowledge at a Young Age
By Bob Branco
Back in the day, sex was hardly ever talked about. A lot of parents were afraid to discuss it in the home with their children. Many schools were reluctant to teach it, and you couldn’t even say “pregnant” on television. When I was a child, my mother was so afraid to talk about sex in my presence that she would either whisper to someone else about it when the topic came up, or she would talk about it in Portuguese, so that I wouldn’t understand. This went on until I was in my teens. In the meantime, I heard about sex from my young friends at Perkins School for the Blind when we were 11 and 12 years old, and then I received a formal sex education from two different instructors while I was in eighth grade.
So there you have it. At home, my mother never really talked to me about sex until I was at least 16. Other young children were discussing it at age 12, and I received sex education in the eighth grade. This situation was the normal standard in the 1970s. However, as the years went by, children seemed to be learning about sex at a much younger age. In the ‘80s, long after I became an adult, some of the neighborhood kids shocked me with their sexual knowledge. One 11–year–old informed me about her plans to do it with a boy in school. She had learned by watching dirty movies with her grandfather. She even used terminology I had never learned, such as grinding. One day she was seen in front of someone’s car with her legs spread apart. Anyone with knowledge of body language realized her motives. This was all embarrassing, to say the least, but I realized that kids were learning at a much younger age than when I was a child.
One day, I was in my back yard listening to the radio with my girlfriend at the time. She likes listening to modern music, so I had the radio tuned to her favorite station. We were adults, so it didn’t matter what we were listening to. In the next yard was a little girl, approximately nine years old, who liked the same music that my ex and I were listening to. The music attracted her attention, so she joined us. While the three of us were together, a song by Busta Rhymes came on the air. After hearing the graphic lyrics, the little girl turned to me and asked, “You know what that means, right?” By her tone, I knew that she wasn’t asking me what the lyrics meant. She was wondering if I was as informed as she was. My girlfriend heard what the child asked me and became quite embarrassed by the situation. I proceeded to change the station. Even though the little girl already knew sexual vocabulary, I didn’t feel like I should expose her to this music any further. What she knew, she knew. I just didn’t want to add to it.
I would now like to put all of this into perspective and ask a very important question. Is early exposure to sexual terminology resulting in increased teen pregnancies and other sexual liberties which may do more harm than good for those who aren’t ready? It’s obvious that the music industry is no help. They don’t care what goes on the radio and who listens. Many radio program directors do nothing. They just play the music because they know that young people enjoy it. As long as the young people listen, the station’s ratings increase, along with the number of sponsors. Let’s face it. Music is a business, no matter how parents and other authority figures feel about children being corrupted at a very young age.