I talked with a journalist in the June issue of Metro Parent Magazine in the Detroit area about helping parents talk to their children about sexuality.
On the Birds and Bees:
Royal Oak psychotherapist Joe Kort adds that if parents are uncomfortable with their own sexual feelings, they are going to be uncomfortable with their kids.“They don’t want to see their child as sexual,” Kort says.
Royal Oak psychotherapist Joe Kort says that throughout history, masturbation has been associated with shame, guilt and all-out fear. “You’ll go blind!” was a common threat, as parents slapped chastity belts and other medieval contraptions on their children to prevent them from the sinful act of “spilling their seed.”
(I am reminded of the joke where the father says to his little boy, "Don't masturbate you will go blind" and the boy responds, "Can I do it until I need glasses?"
On Having Gay Children:
“You can really end up making them feel they don’t belong,” says Kort, warning that the more disapproving you are, the more you’ll damage their self-worth and send them into hiding. “Often a child will turn to the Internet, pushing them to do dangerous behavior,” Kort warns. He says that gay teens can be vulnerable to sex abusers because they have no one else to talk to. He recommends if parents feel uncomfortable, or cannot discuss the topic in a respectful manner, they should seek out assistance, such as family counseling or a sex education class.