You have the right to:
- a sexual life
- determine over your own body
- demand abortion within the twelfth week of pregnancy
- free birth control consultation
- free birth control pills if you're between 16 and 19 years old."
(Scanned from brochure co-sponsored by the Norwegian government, distributed to teenagers)
Debra W. Haffner, author of From Diapers to Dating, encourages parents to educate children about their developing sexuality from when they are babies. While Haffner is considerate of people's varying comfort levels with respect to nudity and sexuality, her book promotes an overall positive and open approach to sexuality.
As the mom of a toddler, I feel the responsibility of teaching my little girl to feel good about all parts of her body and to help her sustain a positive relationship with her body throughout adolescence. I know in a body and beauty obsessed culture, it will be a challenge. I personally remember agonizing about bodily flaws all the way back in elementary school; I don't want her to do that too.
Equipping her with the knowledge she needs to take ownership of her body and developing sexuality is one way of encouraging her to maintain a positive relationship with her body. It will also provide her with the tools to act responsibly and with integrity towards other. And there will be a time when she will need to know she has the right to say yes or no, and there is no excuse to act irresponsibly because she knows the consequences.