Guide to Teen Girls

Helping mothers and daughters everywhere.

Male Virginity Myths

Is your virginal teen son suffering in silence?

Our culture promotes the myths that all boys want to lose their virginity to the first willing girl and that virginal teen boys are somehow ridiculous; they deserve teasing or shaming. Movies like "American Pie" and "Sex Drive," reinforce the myth that teen boys who have not had sex with a partner are socially inept.

Of the hundreds of boys ages 14 to 21 interviewed about male virginity, twenty-eight percent claimed they were depressed after giving their virginity to a girl they discovered did not care about them. The girls only wanted sex or the bragging rights to claim they had bagged a virgin, a trend by girls called "V Card collecting." One boy reported self-mutilating for a year trying to resolve his feelings of regret. A few boys reported they lost their virginity when intoxicated to girls who mistook their body's normal arousal reactions as consent. The boys had negative emotions after the event. "Girls and society in general don't understand male virginity. If you are still a virgin at 21 you are considered a weirdo," claimed a young man from Australia. A young man from the United States claimed, "Girls and society don't understand male virginity. It's the least discussed topic. It's taboo. "

Fathers often tell me the boys who feel bad after losing their virginity are whiners, sissies or homosexuals. It is no wonder they suffer in silence. It's time to break the taboo about male virginity so boys can talk about the topic without ridicule. Talk to your son while he is still a virgin. The birds and bees talk can be embarrassing but it's important that parents take an active role in teaching their children about sex. Sex education from school systems, the internet, peer groups and trial and error isn't enough for our sons or our daughters. Parents should talk about emotions and sex, not just the actual biology of the act. When we reduce boys to just their plumbing, we diminish them as human beings.

It is important for parents to understand the changing cultural shifts. Girls are becoming more sexually aggressive. Many fathers reported that this shift will make it easier for their sons. Not according to the boys interviewed. Most of them claimed they are confused by the saturation of sex in society and yearn for a return of romance. The majority of them wished that girls would go back to being more lady-like so they could go back to being more gentlemanly. It's not healthy to assume boys are basking in the joy of easy to get sex. Nor is it healthy to assume all boys can't wait to shed their virginity to just any girl. We need to teach our children to respect themselves and each other. That means we stop believing that male virgins are weirdos we should ridicule and we teach our daughters that collecting V-Cards can be emotionally damaging to a boy.

Jennifer Austin Leigh, Psy. D., is a life coach for teen girls and a parenting coach for their mothers.

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