Oprah, last week, had on a fourteen year old couple who thought they were ready for sex, along with their mothers and a sex counselor. The questions the sex counselor asked the teens changed the mind of the girl. Here are the questions and reactions, the best I can remember:
1. “How long do you expect this relationship to last?” The boy answered “6 months to a year”, which unpleasantly surprised the girl. The girl didn’t think the relationship had an expiration date.
2. What two forms of birth control are you planning to use? The sex counselor insisted they needed two forms as a back up in case one failed. They hadn’t thought past using condoms. She also frankly asked the boy if he had practiced using a condom and understood how to put it on to prevent it from breaking. His lack of confidence with this question didn’t help his cause.
3. “After the first time, what your expectations for frequency after that?” The boy answered one to his favor, “when she wants to.”
4. “Sexually transmitted diseases are common. Are you sure your partner has not been sexually active with another? If not, you need to get tested.” This was a buzz killer, I think because it introduced a unromantic extra step to the process.
5. “Thirty percent of girls get pregnant before they turn 20. What are your plans if you get pregnant?” This was the deal killer. Though the boy insisted it would be up to the girl, the only two options he mentioned were abortion or adoption, in that order. His body language said that he was scared she might want to keep it, which would rope him into the deal beyond his six month time horizon. I also think him saying “abortion or adoption” out loud registered the weight of making a human life just to satisfy their urges. I can’t remember the girl’s answer, but I remember her facial expression. It was over! This question made the chance of getting pregnant real to her. She realized the consequences of the deal were more severe for her than her boyfriend.
The guy said he still wanted sex, but he wasn’t convincing. The girl said she was “slowly” being talked out of it. I think she added the ‘slowly’ to spare her boyfriend’s feelings.
I’m sharing these questions because I was impressed with how these five simple questions knocked the teen couple out of their fantasy bubble. I love the format. I’d like to put together five questions to ask on other topics, that might get people to question their own beliefs.