Ask the grumpies: teens today

Anoninmass asks:

[T]een daughter wants birth control but refuses to learn how to drive, is this weird?

No… not weird.  Kids today are less likely to want a driver’s license right away.  We don’t really know why. But this is documented all over the place, even including cities with crappy public transportation.  My guess is that kids like being chauffeured and their parents are more willing to do it (and the current generation of dads are more involved with their kids) whereas boomer parents were less likely to drive kids places so they needed a car to get anywhere.  But that’s completely uneducated based on no real research.  Maybe it’s easier to walk places now and no reson to go to the mall.  Who knows!

Even though teens are not more promiscuous compared to recent generations, apparently they’re being much better about using birth control.  Long term birth control is also much better than it used to be.  I also do not know why teen sex hasn’t changed (maybe a combination of a more permissive society being balanced out by more attentive parenting) or why kids are more likely to actually use birth control than in the past.  My guess there would be a better job of culture making birth control seem normal (you can tell a hero is a good guy because he puts on a condom in romance novels and tv shows) although there is still an erosion of non-abstinence based education or planned parenthood in much of the country.

So… basically your teen daughter is completely normal for her generation!

11 Responses to “Ask the grumpies: teens today”

  1. Comradde PhysioProffe Says:

    It’s normal for anyone to love boning & hate driving!!!

  2. nicoleandmaggie Says:

    Speaking of teens, there are teens being mistreated in concentration camps at the border and teens doing the jobs of adults because nobody else will. I will have more suggested actions tomorrow (including donations and an upcoming vigil), but sometime today call your congresspeople, no matter the party, and say this: https://5calls.org/issue/immigrant-detention-ice . If you’re up to making another three calls, here are state officials you can urge: https://5calls.org/issue/ice-detention-center-oversight

  3. Bardiac Says:

    Also, there’s more education about the use of birth control pills to reduce/control periods, cramping, and so forth.

    • nicoleandmaggie Says:

      Well… that depends on where you live. Though the internet is omnipresent (still, the internet is also full of bad information… and I’m not really sure the teens around here are equipped to winnow out the good vs. bad given how popular say, breitbart is around here). That’s probably true where the OP lives in Mass!

  4. Steph Says:

    I dislike driving, but having the ability to get myself places without public transit or relying on other people is really important. Your daughter is going to make her own decisions, of course, but it might be worth pointing out how much harder it is to learn and get a license as an adult. Very few places have truly reliable public transit, and if you can’t get to the grocery store, you’re going to blow a lot of money on delivery. Even relatively close to Boston, living without a car makes some things pretty hard for me. And I rent cars for work trips or nearby weddings, etc, which wouldn’t be possible without a license.

    Basically, I agree with everybody else that your daughter sounds normal. I’ve just known so many people who never got their license (usually because they lived in a city), and then it kind of bit them in the butt later in life.

  5. Nanani Says:

    Related to the “no reason to go to the mall” – All the socializing that boomers needed to go to the mall (or other destination) can bee done online. It’s a lot easier to get the occasional ride to a movie than to constantly need to go to a hangout.
    Not to mention driving is extremely dangerous and pollutes so why does anyone do it when they don’t really have to?

  6. Chelsea Says:

    As for birth control options – I had no idea of this until I went in to get an IUD recently – but it’s now common (at least at my doctor’s office) for women who haven’t had children to have IUDs inserted. There’s even a smaller one marketed toward teens. Obviously YMMV, but it’s hands down been my favorite form of birth control and it seems really ideal for a teen. Nothing to remember or take on time…

    • nicoleandmaggie Says:

      Yep! And they’re not as terrible as the ones my parents’ generation complained about. There’s some pretty phenomenal research in econ and other fields showing that these new IUD are having real effects on lowering teen fertility and teen second pregnancies, much more so than the pill ever did.

    • Leigh Says:

      Oh wow, fascinating to consider an IUD as a teen! I’m glad there is good research that that helps. I also wouldn’t assume your daughter is having sex necessarily. I started on the pill because college stress caused some missed periods and I wanted them to be regular. My college gave free birth control, presumably to help keep women in school.

  7. Revanche @ A Gai Shan Life Says:

    I grew up with more than one person who handwaved the necessity of learning to drive as a teen and only in part because it costs money for cars and insurance. It’s a little weird to me in the sense of wanting to have the ability to venture out on my own in a place with no transportation but not that weird.


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