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Private Practice: Should a 12-year-old girl be having sex?

private_practice_cooperOne of the storylines in this week’s episode of Private Practice involved a 12-year-old girl having sex with her 8th grade boyfriend. Not only that, but her mother was actually OK with the sex, letting the kids do it in her house while she was there, so she could keep an eye on them, so to speak.

The mom’s reasoning was that the kids were going to do it whether she liked it or not, so she wanted them to have sex in a nice clean bed in her house rather than a dirty alley or wherever.

So, this was the moral/ethical/whatever dilemma of the week — whether the girl should be having sex and whether the mom should be saying it’s OK.  And whether the Oceanside Wellness docs should prescribe birth control pills for a child.

Well, I have a daughter who will be 12 in two months, and it is NOT OK. And there’s no way in a million years I would ever say it’s a good idea. That’s crazy!

And, well, the writers and producers of Private Practice were saying it’s not OK either, because they wrote the episode so the girl would get pregnant, and now you’ve got a child having a baby and a mother who regrets her decision to allow it to happen. And Cooper at the end of his rope with the whole situation and the mother’s nonchalance about it.

So what do you think? Is there EVER a situation where this would be ok? Did Private Practice handle the storyline well?

Photo Credit: ABC

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Categories: | Episode Reviews | General | Private Practice | TV Shows |

13 Responses to “Private Practice: Should a 12-year-old girl be having sex?”

March 27, 2009 at 12:19 PM

Not o.k. It’s difficult to believe that anyone can be found to say it’s o.k.

March 27, 2009 at 12:39 PM

Don’t know. Depends on the girl. If she’s still playing with Dolls no. If she solves Highschool math problems and is able to talk about her relationship in terms some 18 year redneck tomboys wouldn’t be able to then maybe. I think it heavily depends on her development and on the boy as well.

I mean if those two think they love each other why not? Of course if it were my daughter I would go insane and would try my best to convince her that it’s too early and that sex isn’t everything and that there are more important things to life but you just can’t put a tag on this and say “it’s ok from this many days lived”. As if growing up was a process with yearly milestones.

Oh and I would have a hard time not just making the boy disappear.

This is one of those questions like “Would you abort a child in this or that situation”. I don’t really want to answer. Every time you try to talk about something like this reasonably you get looked at as if you are insane if you aren’t starch conservative.

I mean there’s a show on TV called “Big Love” about polygamy. That’s just wrong. I mean seriously wrong. Wrong wrong wrong wrong wrong. It’s demeaning towards women. Why is that even allowed on the air? Why in the 21st century is something like that even considered anywhere near legal and gay marriage isn’t?

March 27, 2009 at 2:09 PM

Sebastion, I am going to answer you, but to preface, I probably should say that I have nothing against your politics, and that one of my best friends is a Green Party lovin’ German in Muenster. And it’s true that I’m a God, Country, Notre Dame girl so that will color my response, I imagine. But, understand, I am not wanting a punching match, and for mercy’s sake don’t *snicker*.

You wrote that if it were “your daughter”, you would “go insane and would try to convince her…” Why is that, I wonder? Obviously because you would want what is best for her, right? And what does your heart of hearts tell you about what is best? Probably that 12 year old girls are not emotionally ready, for sex, and if they think they are, later on, they find that they are damaged in some way by that early impulsive decision.

You wrote,”I mean if those two think they love each other why not?” Sebastion, how can a 12 year old girl cope properly with the consequences of sex – pregnancy, std’s, abortion, shame etc. ?

I won’t even go into your reference to abortion, but I’m sure you can guess my feelings about that too.

My opinion about 12 year old girls, AND boys, keep them busy. Contact with the opposite sex should be in public settings, and as parents/society we should do our darndest to keep them innocent for as long as possible. It’s important to tell children what’s appropriate, they DO listen.

March 27, 2009 at 2:56 PM

You’re absolutely right.

Problem is – if it were my daughter she would’ve already NOT listened in the first place. My parenting would’ve failed. My anger would stem from facing the fact that I (!) failed. I brought up the abortion topic because that’s another situation where you simply are thrown into something you can’t control anymore and have to deal with something that’s already broken.

I already mentioned my anger but I trust myself that I would find enough love and understanding in myself to try and do what I would’ve done before it happened – tell my daughter again that I think what she does is wrong and that she should trust me in understanding that usually a twelve year old girl is not ready.

But then again – that’s fatherly love speaking. It’s irrational. As a father I would most likely not want my daughter to have sex until she was fifty. The rational standpoint I gave above that. Growing up I met girls who, at age 13, were more mature than others I went to highschool with. It heavily depends on their development. Life scars you no matter what and if all is lost and I’d already “failed” as a parent in this instance I would still try to help my daughter through this situation, talk to the boy and try to talk him out of it, talk to his parents and I don’t know – do things that might occupy them otherwise.

Of course you could always separate them.

Anyway, I think you can’t answer this with a simple no. If the boy were older then of course but an 8th grader… that would be a 14 to 15 year old boy. The age difference isn’t the problem here. Nobody would get used.

Ah what the hell I’m not in the situation. Let me put it this way: if it was my daughter I would HAVE to decide. If it weren’t I would let the parents of the girl and the boy decide because it’s their decision and not my place to rule over them with my sense of decency. It’s just Sex, the most natural thing in the world.

March 27, 2009 at 3:09 PM

Well said, and I agree completely. There is no way any 12-year-old has the emotional maturity to handle the repurcussions of having sex. I don’t care if they’re the most intelligent human being that ever lived, book sense and intelligence are not the standards that make someone ready for sexual relationships.

Honestly, while I don’t agree with it I think polygamy is a far more acceptable situation if the parties involved are all mature, consenting adults. The people depicted on “Big Love” are all well past the age of 12. What goes on between consenting adults in private is really nobody’s business but said adults. And, yes, this ultra conservative is most decidedly FOR gay marriage. Of the handful of homosexual adults I’ve known, most are in loving, monogamous relationships and I see no reason to keep them from making those relationships “official”.

To be in completely disgusted by, and staunchly against, polygamy while advocating sex between 12-year-olds if the conditions are agreeable to you is just wrong.

That’s just my view. Your mileage may vary.

March 27, 2009 at 4:15 PM

I guess we both mean the same on different topics. You think that no twelve year old is capable of having sex and not getting mentally scarred by that. I say the possibility exists.

You say that consenting adults can live in polygamy. I say that in that kind of situation, people get scarred just the same.

You see I think a lot of twelve and thirteen year old girls are having sex and I don’t really think they are all that much affected by the experience – or better not worse than other girls who had a horrible first time in a non-loving relationship and got dumped right away, used, discarded.

I just don’t think that you can put all twelve year old girls in one bag and say “too young”. If you do that I might just as well put all women in one bag and say that it’s not possible for all of them to live in a polygamous relationship.

If you say there are such women who can deal with it I can say there are twelve year old girls who can handle having sex with a two to three year older boy who loves them.

Honestly, I don’t like either scenario. That’s just it. I think having sex at twelve is wrong. It isn’t necessary no matter how much they love each other. I just don’t want to apply my values to all twelve year old girls on the planet and I guess with that I can’t apply my rules to all women on the planet who might very well be able to live in a multi-wife marriage.

I simply don’t watch Private Practice nor Big Love and I guess I’m better off that way :-)

March 27, 2009 at 6:55 PM

Youngsters need you to apply your values to them.

March 29, 2009 at 1:11 AM

Thank goodness I’m an old woman.

Back in the 50’s when I was 12, I was too busy going to school (walking, up hill [both ways] — in the snow!), doing my homework, playing outside with my brother and/or friends, reading books, visiting my great-grandmother and great-aunts, doing my chores, fishing, golfing, going to summer school (walking, up hill [both way] — in the heat!], going to Girl Scout camp, riding my bike, playing softball, going on vacation with my grandparents, taking care of the family cat, learning to play the piano, watching my grandfather playing horseshoes, tending the garden, going shopping with my grandmother, practicing gymnastics, going to church, waiting for the next Elvis movie, or the next Beach Boys concert …

Being a child.

Being protected by the family that loved me.

April 8, 2009 at 5:30 PM

Hell Yeah!! You should because it feels good.

April 9, 2009 at 9:22 PM

Only if she will have sex with me

April 23, 2009 at 1:56 PM

bob; get a fucking life !

May 11, 2009 at 8:50 PM

Me too….old enough to bleed is old enough to breed …

June 30, 2009 at 5:30 PM

I think it’s not ok. And the girl’s IQ, wit, or discernment have little to do with it. Engaging in sex at such an early age (not to mention an accidental pregancy) takes a certain toll on the body. Personally I think the mother was sick, if she literally kept an eye on them.