Dear Dr. G.,
I am scared to death. I recently found out that my teenage daughter who is 15 is "hooking up" with boys and having sex. I don't think she is having sex, like intercourse, with all of them but at the very least she seems to be open to sexuality. I feel that she is way too young and not ready for this. I have told her my thoughts and feelings. Do you think that I'm being prudish or crazy? I know that the teens today are into "hook-ups" but listen, we are talking about my kid here.
What do you think Dr. G.?
A Frightened Mother
You are asking a very important and timely question. I do not think that you are being either crazy or prudish. Instead, I am happy that you are concerned about the connection between teen sexuality and emotional well-being particularly in era of of "hook-ups." For those who are not familiar with the term "hook-ups"it refers to two individuals, usually teens, who engage in physical intimacy while attempting to have no emotional connection. I have been scratching my head over this concept for some time now.
In my practice, I see teenager after teenager both males and females who have connected physically and then became disappointed and even depressed when the physical intimacy did not lead to an emotional connection. Look, any way you slice it the body, heart and mind are connected and what you and all other parents need to do is to teach your kids that physical intimacy can only rarely exist in an emotional vacuum. Im more cases than not one of the partners will have their tender feelings hurt. It is,of course, difficult to have sex with someone on Saturday evening and then be ignored by that same individual on Monday at school. There is even research that supports the premise that in teens sexual activity outside of the context of a romantic relationship may be associated with depression.
My suggestion is for all of us to talk to our kids not only about the mechanics of sex,STDs and birth control but also about the heart-body connection.
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