What Glee Teaches Parents about Teens and Sex

The teen coming of age TV show Glee, featured an extremely good portrayal of healthy teen sexual decision making.  In Season 3, Episode 5, two loving, committed teen couples (one straight, one gay) discuss whether and when to have sex for the first time.

I usually avoid watching depictions of teen “first times” because they frustrate me as a sexuality educator. Typically, there is no discussion of contraception, the decision is usually made on the spur of the moment or under the influence of alcohol, or there is an element of coercion wherein one partner isn’t ready to have sex but is pressured to into it.  I was pleasantly surprised by the Glee episode, which touched on many issues usually ignored in teen shows. I recommend that parents watch the episode with their teens or, if you’re not comfortable with the sexual content, watch it separately and then discuss some of the issues it brings to mind.

For another perspective on the show, please read this well-written column written by Meredith Melnick for Time Healthland online. To read it, click here.