Let me tell you about my sons and their teenage friends. They love to sit and talk. They love to just "hang out" at my house. Several of them especially love to get down on the floor and play gentle games with Caden. They range in age from 16 to 19 and none of them, not one, has a girlfriend. They don't even talk about girls. In fact, they are slightly terrified of girls. I know, because I eavesdrop. They talk about food, movies and video games.
But this is what I see on facebook and on blogs:
In other words, teenage boys are horrible creatures that should be shot.
Teenage boys are also punks with earrings and spiky hair.
I know these are supposed to be funny, but what if I wore a shirt that was derogatory towards teenage girls? I don't even think there is such a thing, actually. There's a double standard in today's society. Teen boys are dangerous and can't control themselves around girls. Grown men are stupid and incapable (just watch any sitcom).
And what are we teaching our teen girls? That boys are not to be trusted? That they are inherently evil? That they are dangerous and scary because they have penises? I ran into one comment from a teenage girl during my research that read, "When my dad says all boys want from me is sex it makes me feel worthless and like I don't have anything else to offer."
I also read a comment on facebook by a woman who has a young boy and a girl. She said in her comment that she is teaching her daughter to be wary of boys and her son to respect women. It sounds good, right? My reply was this:
"So, you are teaching your daughter that she is someone worthy of being respected, and your son that he is worthy of being feared."
She was not happy with my comment. I didn't care.
Now I know what some of you are thinking. You are thinking that my sons are not the norm. This may be true... I happen to think they are exceptional of course. So I went in search of some studies. Here's what I found:
I found that teen girls drive more aggressively than boys:
I found that teen girls are more likely to have risky sex than teen boys:
I found that more teen girls than teen boys (but only slightly more) are likely to have sex before getting married:
According to a report in the New York Times, 43 percent of unmarried teen girls and 42 percent of unmarried teen boys have had sex at least once.
I found that teen girls are becoming more and more aggressive: (The author of this article found this out when he wrote a book about how to protect his 4 daughters from boys... he found that aggressiveness in teenage girls is a huge problem in today's society).
I also found that teenage boys really do eat a lot! ;)
I am not writing this article to "put down" teenage girls or to say that all teen boys are innocent and never think about sex. Of course, that is not true! Girls should absolutely be wary of aggressive teen boys, and date rape is still far more common when it is the boy raping the girl. But teen boys that act this way are a very small minority -- although you wouldn't know it by the way the media and even people I know and love act.
I am writing this because as a mom, I am tired of ALL teen boys being painted with a brush dripping with negative paint. I hope that, when my boys DO begin dating, they can find a young woman who hasn't been taught ahead of time that my sons are inherently dangerous, that they can't control themselves, or that they only have one thing on their minds.
Because you know what? If they do have one thing on their minds...it's probably food!