At the end of speaking to several hundred high school students yesterday, a student stood up and said, “I now know I have a CHOICE. I have the CHOICE to say, ‘Yes’ or ‘No.’” What a powerful moment for everyone in the room.
The word consent was being understood by some teenagers yesterday for the first time in their life. All genders overwhelmingly agreed that the more consent is properly taught, the more likely they are to abstain because they will recognize they are typically not ready. AND if they are not the legal age of consent, they learned important reasons for waiting.
No one, whether a teen or an adult, EVER owes a partner sexual activity of any kind. Engaging in sexual activity is not a “role you serve” when in a relationship. Intimacy should be wanted willingly by all partners and without any influence (emotional pressure, alcohol/drugs, etc…).
What are you doing to help the people in your life know they have a choice? Do YOU realize you have a choice? If you have sons or daughters, what choices do they feel they should always have in a relationship?
Have you ever sat down with your partner and asked, “What choices do you wish you had in our relationship that you feel are currently missing?“
When you ask this question, remember you ASKED and so it is your responsibility to listen and hear the person’s response with respect. Treating someone with respect does not mean agreeing with or accepting their comment to be true for you. Respect can mean being caring and thoughtful in your response.
In the COMMENTS section below, share the greatest discoveries you’ve had in your life about having “choices.” I will personally respond to each and every comment!