Interesting report from the NY Times which has only just come to my attention. In short it turns out that young guys for the most part are pretty respectful of the women they date. Very few in the survey conducted by the Journal of Adolescence appeared to be obsessed with sex, the majority were interested in women because they liked them and wanted to get to know them better.
Now the NY Times seems surprised by this. I'm not, the vast majority of guys I know of all ages are nothing like the noxious stereotypes portrayed everywhere from the lad mags to "teen" films like American Pie. By the same token the number of young women I know who act like Clueless is, well, zero.
Now to start with they title the article "Inside the Mind of the Boy Dating Your Daughter", which plays straight into the idea that sex is some sort of predatory act perpetrated by evil men on innocent unsuspecting women. And then it goes on to say "The overall findings are contrary to cultural beliefs that boys are interested primarily in sex and not relationships." Cultural beliefs from the 19th century maybe but I don't know anyone who really believes that.
There is also a fairly undisguised SEX IS WRONG message hidden between the lines. "Let’s give boys more credit,'’ said study author Andrew Smiler, an assistant professor of psychology at the university. “Although some of them are just looking for sex, most boys are looking for a relationship."
But there's really nothing wrong with "just wanting sex" as long as you are open and honest about what you are doing. There are plenty of young women out there interested to learn about sex through experience, who may be comfortable doing so outside the confines of a relationship. And that's ok, in fact it's pretty healthy to feel that way and have that desire to learn. Even if you're somebody's daughter.
The report concludes that parents should talk to their sons as much about relationship-forming as they do their daughters. Which is a bit like stating the obvious - although I have to say I never had any advice off my parents about relationships (well unless you count thinly veiled hints that I shouldn't expect too much...). Mr Cru by contrast did, but I think that had more to do with the families we came from than any gender issues.