Teens learn about sex online - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Teens learn about sex online

June 17, 2007

Albany - - It can be a pretty uncomfortable topic, talking to your kids about sex. In today's age of technology and Internet savvy youngsters, there are a ton of web sites out there providing all types of sex related topics. Many of them are targeted to your children. 

If you're not ready to talk to your kids about sex, there are web sites out there ready to do it for you.

"The sites are going to be out there, there's nothing you can do about it but educate your kids at home," says Yolanda Solomon, a parent of five teenagers.

She's not too keen on the wave of web sites wooing in youngsters on some pretty heavy hitting topics. Some of them allow teens to download software translating sex speak into a language they can understand.

Take for example Scarleteen.com. If your child has a question about sex, he can just type the question on the web site. Shortly after, a "sexpert" will reply with an answer.

"I don't like that. I don't like that because you have to think who is behind the site?" Solomon asks.

Owners of the site say they are committed to make your child's online experience "safe and secure" and won't give out your kid's personal information.

This mother says when it comes to teaching sex, that's her job.

"I talk to my kids about everything and anything. Were close. We talk about sex, drugs, relationships, alcohol, you name it we talk about it."

In fact, she doesn't even let them visit online chat rooms. Her 16 year old may not like it, but she deals with it.

"She's trying to teach me not to go on chat lines to talk to people because you don't know who they are," says Anquiette Solomon.

And since her kids are in love with the world wide web, Solomon has had to learn to get Internet-savvy herself.

"They have visited pages they don't have any business visiting but now that they see I can go back and check, they don't visit those pages anymore."

Until they become adults, she says they wont be learning about sex from a computer screen. 

Proponents of the teen sex sites say they inform children about issues they may be too uncomfortable to discuss with an adult. Scarleteen.com says it gets about 15,000 to 30,000 visitors.

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