Is it just me or has the general understanding of "The Talk" shifted over the years?

Not too long ago at school I was overhearing these girls right next to me go on about when their parents gave them the talk. Innocently, I thought that “the talk” was about the general birds and the bees, but no, they went on to reveal that it was much more than that. It was the talk about contraception and how if they were going to have sex they had to let their parents know so they could be “protected” and “safe”.

I find it a little strange how at a Catholic school, parents who are Catholic (I do know the girls and I know that their parents call themselves Catholics) would actually encourage the use of contraception. I had seriously always thought that when people said “the talk” they were referring to the general talk of sex that their parents would give them, not the promotion of contraception!!

When did this happen and what are your opinions?

Maybe it is fear of their daughters getting pregnant that is causing these talks.

I just had a talk with my 12 year old daughter this week. Explaining to her to not to listen to the public school system. That they are wrong and have an agenda. So we discussed abstinence and waiting until you get married. Also, homosexuality which is pushed at a young age in the public school systems. Explained that there is only one correct family. Mom, dad and children. Marriage comes before children. We have these talks often.

I do not teach her to hate homosexuals. She has a homosexual uncle and cousin that we both love.

I find it strange parents would even bring contraception up when health classes are introducing it to middle schoolers (think condom-and-banana demo), condoms are available at the drugstore, and girls can get bc prescriptions AND have abortions without the need to notify their parents…

maybe these parents figure well it’s already out there, and since she’ll probably do it anyway, let’s show her we’re modern and supportive…

I got the basic birds and the bees talk when I was in elem school, which was totally embarrassing, and this neat book which I really liked because it was so sciencey - ( the illustrations showed, for example, your brain like a big switchboard with operators and people running messages back and forth - and since it was so sciencey, the sex pages were quite detailed and my mother didn’t need to do any actual talking :rotfl: which was just better for everyone!

personally I didn’t get any such birth control talk because my mother knew I was well aware of church teaching, plus the pills cause abortions, and therefore barring serious medical issues were absolutely not permitted. she did mention one time, probably at the beginning of high school, that if I got pregnant she wouldn’t disown me because it wouldn’t be fair to the child but she would be extremely disappointed and wouldn’t talk to me for awhile. :rotfl:

I was just considering this the other day, while watching the March for Life. Girls, I’m one, do not understand boys. Boys know about condoms, and, it doesn’t take but to check out the Internet to know that carrying condoms in one’s billfold or bag, for a man, is now considered civil talk. Back then, it was done, but hidden … and, a girl may like to know why a fellow hesitates to offer his billfold to her! It is disgusting, and one can talk to their daughters about these disgusting things, if they like. Personally, I didn’t care for girlfriend classmates, in teen years, who seemed to have knowledge that was purient. In college, it continues, with talk that is purient about their dates. This is not Catholic girls in college, BTW. Preparing a daughter for these things, albeit, encouraging the use of birth control, is wrong. My nephew was born in the late 1970s, despite me suggesting to his mother that she not get impregnated by her alcoholic, philandering husband. He, suggested she abort their son! The man should be glad to be alive with two Catholics and such advice. So, be aware that advice such as the use of birth control does change change God’s plan for us, by preventing the birth of their grandchildren. Also, this sister, who had this advice … and, most here would agree with not having sex with this fellow, I think … is no longer Catholic but a member of a cult, who control her life! CONTROL. So, go figure! She was a Catholic, nominally perhaps, when he was conceived and he was baptized. God bless. I agree with warning daughters about men, in general, or I guess, Protestant men.

A non-Catholic friend of mine worked for a condom manufacturer and bemoaned the fact that young men like those you talked to do not seem to realize that condoms are like milk…they do go bad and they go bad faster if you carry them around in your wallet. So anyone who is going to tell young women about young men who carry condoms around in their wallets had better tell them that those are some young men with more bad intentions than good sense.

I think it is important for young people to know that it is not only the people with obviously bad intentions that can pose a threat to their chastity. Good people who have every intention to remain chaste fail because they think “nice” people won’t do that. Well, very nice people who are nuts for each other do it all of the time, even when neither party had intended it, and, as far as intentions go, Juliet was right: “Dost thou love me? I know thou wilt say ‘Ay’; and I will take thy word. Yet, if thou swear’st, thou mayst prove false. At lovers’ perjuries, they say Jove laughs.” (Act II, Scene II)

Young people need to know that not just scoundrels and Jezebels but also “nice” well-intentioned people, young and old, have been known to lie like rugs when they’re in love. They lie to their lovers, they lie to themselves, they lie to other people, they say and think the best no matter what their own eyes, ears, and brain could scream at them, if they wanted to hear it. They take chances that a riverboat gambler wouldn’t touch. It is the self-deceit that is usually laid on the thickest, but never intending to hurt someone you love doesn’t make the consequences any easier to bear. The glamour of evil is never more alluring than when one is in the throes of romance, and a person is rarely more vulnerable to the Prince of Lies. If you don’t understand this, it is unlikely that you’re going to submit to the kind of chaperoned situations that are prudent for unmarried people in love to confine themselves to. That has taken tragic turns more than once.

Just by the way, if a Catholic finds himself or herself married to a philandering spouse, it is allowed under canon law for the offended spouse to bar his or her wayward partner from conjugal life thereafter. It should be remembered, though, that once the wayward spouse is re-admitted to conjugal life, that the marital debt remains. The offending spouse does not have the option of taking them back, but holding that over their heads forever. That may have nothing to do with your relatives’ situation, but it was something I did not know:

Can. 1152 §1. Although it is earnestly recommended that a spouse, moved by Christian charity and concerned for the good of the family, not refuse forgiveness to an adulterous partner and not disrupt conjugal life, nevertheless,** if the spouse did not condone the fault of the other expressly or tacitly, the spouse has the right to sever conjugal living unless the spouse consented to the adultery, gave cause for it, or also committed adultery.**

**§2. Tacit condonation exists if the innocent spouse has had marital relations voluntarily with the other spouse after having become certain of the adultery. It is presumed, moreover, if the spouse observed conjugal living for six months and did not make recourse to the ecclesiastical or civil authority.

§3. If the innocent spouse has severed conjugal living voluntarily, the spouse is to introduce a cause for separation within six months to the competent ecclesiastical authority which, after having investigated all the circumstances, is to consider carefully whether the innocent spouse can be moved to forgive the fault and not to prolong the separation permanently. **

Can. 1153 §1. If either of the spouses causes grave mental or physical danger to the other spouse or to the offspring or otherwise renders common life too difficult, that spouse gives the other a legitimate cause for leaving, either by decree of the local ordinary or even on his or her own authority if there is danger in delay.

§2. In all cases, when the cause for the separation ceases, conjugal living must be restored unless ecclesiastical authority has established otherwise.

Can. 1154 After the separation of the spouses has taken place, the adequate support and education of the children must always be suitably provided.

Can. 1155 The innocent spouse laudably can readmit the other spouse to conjugal life; in this case the innocent spouse renounces the right to separate.

I have to agree with this. When I was in high school, all of my Catholic girl friends had pretty much the same talk. It was: you really shouldn’t have sex before marriage, but if you’re going to do it anyways, at least use protection. I think a lot of these Catholic parents felt like society had a bigger influence over their kids than they did, and kind of gave up on trying to instill a higher system of morals in their children.

I remember my sex talk
Mom: don’t get pregnant, it will ruin your life. And I’ll disown you. shows me a picture of a woman giving birth

Me: :eek::bigyikes:

And my fiance wonders why I’m scared to give birth. Coupled with that birthing video in high school, I think I might be scarred.

We had a religion class for seniors in our Catholic high school. The priest teaching it went over the various forms of birth control, how they worked, what the specific problems the Church had with each method (some are abortifacient), and of course touched on unintended pregnancy rate for each method…making clear the fact that no method of birth control except abstinence can guarantee to keep you from getting pregnant. A member of the staff who taught NFP came in and explained how NFP worked, how it could be used to space births or increase the chances of conceiving, and so on. But the priest talked quite frankly about the long-term consequences of “doing it anyways”, both spiritual and emotional, and he was very clear that “nice” people who give their self-control too much credit fall all the time, with sad results.

I am 41 and I am the only one of my peers that got the ‘it is for marriage talk’ All my friends mom’s saw it as their duty as a parent to tell their girl how to avoid pregancy and disease. Heck, one of them even told me ‘Don’t ever do it without a condom’ (I was about 22 at the time) and when I told her I was waiting until I was married she said ‘that explains why you are single’

When did the shift happen??? When married women decided to use ABC as a step in being equal.


I think the shift happened when young ladies and gentlemen shook off their chaperones, which was some time before the Pill was invented.

I think everyone having chaperones back in the day was such a good idea. I wish we still did that!

My parents divorced right at the time my younger siblings were entering puberty and teenhood. Parental involvement and guidance pretty much crumbled at that point, and as the big sister, I stepped in. My mother had always told me that I should try my best to wait until marriage, but that we are never as strong as we think. She said she hadn’t made it herself. While I didn’t get much strong guidance from her in that arena, I started learning Theology of the Body through my Catholic homeschooling and came to my own very strong resolve to save something so beautiful for marriage. And I succeeded!

My sisters had already passed puberty when I started talking to them, and one of them had turned away from the Faith. The younger sister is still very close to me and we talk regularly about her struggles with chastity. The only instruction she had received from my dad was to get on the pill. Because of her talks with me about our Faith and chastity, she refused.

My little brother has just passed through puberty. I started trying to teach him general principles of the Theology of the Body when he first began puberty, and we talk about it every time we see each other. As a result, he comes to me for guidance about his dating, and I am one of the first to know when he gets a new girlfriend. He decided on his own that he would be upfront in the beginning of any new relationship and tell the girl that he is waiting for marriage, no matter what. His last girlfriend eventually started trying to pressure him in another direction, and he promptly broke up with her.

I am so proud of my siblings, and I believe that our children/younger siblings will hold themselves to high standards if we believe they can and keep the communication and guidance ongoing.

When I was middle-school-aged (in Catholic grade school, so not real middle school), my classmates (all but one of whom were Catholic) dated and had parties at which more-than-appropriate physical contact was normal and clothes were trendy and immodest. I went to a good handful, mostly for the snacks and because my classmates usually treated me like a friend at parties, unlike at school (it was nice). I was thinking about these parties today and realized that, if I had been my own parent, I never would have let myself go to these parties. (My dad would have cared if he had known–my mom probably not as much, but she didn’t really know either–but my dad was too naive to ask, and my parents were divorced.) I was even asked yesterday by a close friend (she has fallen away from the faith and is a professed atheist) whether I was using birth control or not, even though she knows I’m devoutly Catholic and knows “the rules.” (I’ve been with my boyfriend for almost a year and I guess everyone has sex in their relationships, especially after a year…) (I politely informed her that I had no reason to be on birth control.) So even people outside the Church think that Christians are talking the talk but not walking the walk.

It doesn’t surprise me at all that parents are telling their kids how to avoid getting pregnant if they stray rather than “just don’t do it.” I mean, sure, whether you tell you children what not to do or not, they may do it anyway. Of course, I think it’s important to make sure your children can always come to you with problems or for advice when they have done something wrong, but I don’t think saying, “If you need help breaking the rules, I’m here to help,” is the right way.

Society these days, instead of saying, “When you get married, you can have sex, and this is how it works. Don’t do it before then!” is saying, “Well, you’re seriously going to do it anyway, so I’ll help you.” And I guess parents are picking up on this and figuring that, if you can’t beat 'em, you should join 'em. Speaking from my experience in grade school and my knowledge of the world today, I think there are a large number of Catholics and Christians who are more secular and tend to consider their faith to be unrealistic, and that’s very dangerous. Most of my grade school and high school classmates had a more “secular” Catholic upbringing, and in 13 years of Catholic school, I’m sure I learned just as much about sexual immorality as in public schools. (Even my Catholic mom is pretty secular. When I was in sixth or seventh grade, she told me, ignorantly, that it was okay if I used ABC after I got married. I’m glad I figured the truth of this one out… But at least she expected me to wait until I was married.)

In sum, yes, I think the understanding has shifted. It’s dangerous, and I think a lot of souls will be lost this way.

My children are still young, 3 and 10, and I do plan to discuss abstinence and waiting for marriage with them both, but I also have to be realistic and look at the statistics and evidence that kids are having sex younger and younger. Before it used to be a high school senior who got pregnant, now it is middle school kids…11-12-13yr olds!!! While I want my child to wait, if he chooses not to wait, I would want him to use a condom (my daughter also, but since she is 3 I don’t have to worry about that anything soon). I am more concerned with him contracting Herpes, Syphillis or HIV then I am about a baby. And I am worried about the child who was born to a woman with an STD who out of shame never bothered to tell her daughter this, or have her tested to see if she passed her STD onto her.

I understand the Churches teachings on birth control, but I will honestly say, I am not 100% on board.

We grew up with Baptist nurses for parents, and we didn’t actually get “the talk”. It was more like we just always knew the scientific facts about how babies were made. There was also a video they showed us at about 6 years old called “Where Did I Come From?” that presented the act of sex as a means of conception in stead of recreation (it’s been almost 20 years since I’ve seen it, but I would suggest it as an alternative for parents who choose to bring the subject up with their children at a younger age- you can get the book and the movie at I think my parents did a good job of explaining it to us in that manner; that it was for married couples who wanted babies. Being nurses, they also weren’t shy about sharing those wonderful pictures of STD’s. It wasn’t until the 6th grade that I realized people did it outside of marriage.

My parents chose to discuss it with us at such a young age because both were victims of rape before the age of 8, and had children with other people when they were in their teens…they wanted us to be as prepared as a 6 year old could in case we were ever put in the situations they were as children. I can honestly say that their openness with us about it so early did not make me fantasize or constantly think about sex. It was just another thing I knew about, but wasn’t interested in.

The year after my brother graduated high school he joined the army, I was a senior, and my sister was a sophomore in high school. My brother lost his virginity to a girl he met in the army and my sister told my parents she has a boyfriend and was sexually active, all in the same 2 month time span. In stead of yelling and freaking out, my parents sat us all down and told us that they were going to have a drawer of condoms in the kitchen, and they weren’t going to open it to check if they were being used, but that they wanted us to know they were there. They were openly disapointed in my siblings decisions, but at that time they offered access to contraception as a last resort.

:slight_smile: now I understand. My parents weren’t shy with the pictures either, they’re both nurses so we got the whole gambett really early on.

I was actually horrified, not to mention incredibly dissappointed when I recently learnt my half sister has been on the Pill since she was 14, she’s 17 now, and that her mother actually knows about it and encourages her sex life!! In fact, my half sister posted on her facebook page that she’s a crazy sex addict and loves it!

Her maternal grandparents are devoute Catholics, but her mother is fallen away, she has no contact with her father - her mum [my biological mother] has had three different kids to three different dads!!

I thank God everyday that I was adopted and provided a strong Catholic foundation!!!

In a FB post my half sister related how she didn’t even know that contraception was wrong and that sex out of wedlock was against catholic teaching. I had to make a very tactful post correcting her.

What gets me is her mother, my biological mother had a terrible time with me when she was pregnant, and didn’t really want to put me up for adoption, and her second child had serious autism and health issues and died a few years ago when he was 21, and my half sister, she herself has health issues. The mother has emotional problems, issues with her self-esteem and has a very difficult time sorting her life out - you’d think she would have learnt form her mistakes and try to have her daughter not make them!

All three of us were concieved while this woman was using contraception!

I think it does boil down to the sick notion that kids will be doing it, might as well make them ‘safe’, like buying them all booze to drink in your basement instead of thinking they’re out at some seedy meth house. I think that opinion belittles these kids and reduces them to uncontrollable sex maniacs.

But it makes me really sad to think abut my half sister, she has no real Catholic role model in her life and no understanding of the true beauty of sexuality, she’s facing a lfie of possible unplanned pregnancies, STDS, heart ache, and divorce.

How can giving children the contraceptive pill be making them safe? It only sets them up for failure and heart break.

WIth all due respect, I remember hearing about 12 year olds getting pregnant in the early 80’s so kids are NOT doing it younger. That trend has been around for over 25 years.

Also, Jesus never told us to be of this world. As a Catholic, you also need to be realistic about God’s teachings and the consequences of having sex/encouraging your children to use condoms.

I hope you understand this is a post about stating God’s laws not judging you


I think that the Pope remarked that a male prostitute who used a condom in order to prevent the spread of disease, as one commentator put it, “shows a glimmer of moral consciousness.” Obviously, he was talking about a gravely disordered act that is never permissible.

If anyone is going to explain condom use to a son or a daughter, it needs to be in those terms: i.e., that the advice is along the lines of telling them that if they’re going to rob a bank, for heaven’s sake don’t shoot anyone. It has to be clear that the advice is not condoning the immoral acts in the least, let alone encouraging them.

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