Love these bumper sticker messages done by 8th graders based on their three years of sex education with Planned Parenthood League of Massachusetts. Just goes to show what open communication and real sex talk can do to open your heart and mind.
It was brought to my attention recently that I am a Studette. I always knew there was something about me that was a little different from all the “other girls,” but I couldn’t quite put a name to it. I love words like “succulent,” “juicy,” “erotic,” and “powerful.” I like to behave in a manner that tends to intrigue men. I love eye contact. And I happen to enjoy sex. Very much. I’ve been able to take the most innocuous comments and turn them into something suggestive or sexual very easily from the time I was a young teen growing up on the west coast. I just never knew others like me, and I certainly didn’t know what to call myself. The word is “Studette.”
I have also recently noticed some striking similarities between my early teen self and my teenage daughter. She too has some rather advanced knowledge for her age. It finally occurred to me that she is a budding Studette herself. This brought about a certain near-panic in me, but being the Studette I am, I have calmed down and am putting my mind to the question of how to raise a Studette in Training.
First and foremost, there are safety issues. We adult women have generally addressed these issues and can take care of ourselves. But when you are raising a daughter who is much like yourself, it’s important to be sure she understands safety. Having worked for several years as a nurse in the women’s health care setting, many of these issues have been discussed with both of my daughters from a young age. The obvious ones are protection from disease and pregnancy. Having a thirteen year old patient with a new baby makes one quick to review these sorts of facts with your own daughters. Protection like this is a no-brainer, so I won’t really elaborate here. The trick is to speak honestly and openly with your daughter. Other dangers, however, come to mind as well. I’ve discussed with my girls not accepting a drink from someone you don’t know very well, especially if you didn’t see that person pour/make the drink. Various drugs are out there and are still in use. Another danger is that of getting involved with someone who has violent tendencies. For both the adult woman and the teen girl, I believe it’s important to know a little about your partner, or potential partner. I personally enjoy the intimacy involved with sex at least as much as the act itself, so getting to know that potential partner is paramount with me.
One thing I think is of utmost consideration is to raise your daughter in a way that empowers her. A Studette is not just about being sexy, but about being confident, free-thinking, and empowered. A girl should not grow up with the “slut” stereotype, but should learn to be expressive and self-assured. Praise her successes, and help her through the downfalls. Be there for her. Listen to her with an open mind. Teach her how to make good choices. Most of all, love her with all your heart.