Today on my parenting blog "Mommy Monsters" I comment on a study I discovered today that indicated that ONE IN FOUR teenage girls (ages 14-19) have contracted an STD. Among African-American teens, that figure is one in TWO.
Part of what we're facing, of course, is that teens are going out into the world armed with little more than "don't have sex." While chastity is the best policy, and the one I plan to impress on my own children, the fact of the matter is that they need more information than that to keep themselves safe. To demonstrate, I gave a little quiz ... and (now that you've taken the quiz) here are the answers. (There may be other acceptable answers ... the whole point is to get you discussing it with your teen.)
1. Tell him to stop the car. If he won't, do whatever is necessary to get him to stop. TossÂ whatever is handy --Â his cell phone, contents of glove compartmentÂ --Â out the window. If there is nothing to throw, unbuckle HIS seat belt and grab the steering wheel and force him off the road. Hit something if you have to. Once the car is stopped, RUN. DO NOT get back in, no matter what. If there is a divider, get to the side of the road opposite his car and get to a public placeÂ as quickly as you can.
2.Â Jam nose up and in, instep (especially with heels),Â elbow inÂ solar plexus ... and of course the groin. Thumbs in eyes work well, too. Surprise is key ... don't wait around to see him double over. RUN.
3. Any genital contact can transmit STDs. Direct or indirectÂ contact (with mouth or hands) isÂ high-risk behavior.Â Condoms will NOT stop HPV; the virus is too small.Â
4.Â Girl may be spitting shots back into empty beer bottle.Â Repeat after me, "Real Men Don't Try to Drink Women Under the Table ..." You can lose a wallet (or worse) that way!
5. Tell the super. Pronto. Make him change the locks. Also cancel your credit and debitÂ cards immediately, even if you think you're getting your purse back. If you leave the house to meet this woman, take a friend with you and leave her in the car while you go inside; leave a second friend at the house (preferably with a large, angry sounding dog)Â in case it is a set-up for a robbery.Â If you don't have an extra friend, leave the one at the house and park very far away and walk, or youÂ could get your car stolen as well as your purse (someone may be watching for you to pull up). If there is actually a woman there with your purse, thank her and offer her whatever cash remains in your wallet (if there is any). But chances are excellent she won't be there.
6.Â DO NOT GET OUT OF YOUR CAR. Signal that he should follow you to the next public place, such as a gas station or (better yet) police station. Meanwhile call the police and give your location. Too many car jackings take place in circumstances like this. OtherÂ dangers (beside this "bump" game) includeÂ "swoop and squat" (so you bump the other guy), waitingÂ in a gated area to pin you in and swipe the car when you get out to open the gate, and enter through unlocked passenger side.
7.Â Kick out a tail light andÂ take off articles of clothingÂ to wave outside the car to attract attention.