MYTH: Guys and girls are from different planets. (I don’t know… say, Mars and Venus?)
TRUTH: Nope. We’re all from earth, and we are the same species. Gender expression is a spectrum, and guys and girls are rarely as different as we think they are [link].
MYTH: My son doesn’t need me to talk to him about sexuality; he’ll figure things out for himself. It’s our daughters who need to know how to protect themselves.
TRUTH: 1 in 6 males in Virginia are sexually assaulted at some point in their lives. Also, when we talk to sons OR daughters, we want to keep them AND their dating partners safe!
MYTH: Girls should cater to boys and do what boys want.
TRUTH: Girls can and should be independent people in a relationship, who get to do what they like, and say ‘no’ to their boyfriends when they don’t want to do something.
MYTH: Boys are supposed to be powerful, aggressive, & dominant.
TRUTH: Boys are people too! Everyone can be powerful and aggressive SOMETIMES. But everyone can also be kind, loving, gentle, and respectful, as well.
MYTH: Girls are supposed to be passive and submissive, but inside they’re just controlling vixens.
TRUTH: Girls are people, too! Everyone can be manipulative SOMETIMES. But everyone can also be honest, powerful, and heroic, as well.
MYTH: Teens have too many hormones and can’t control their sexual urges. Especially boys—boys will be boys.
TRUTH: Teens can, and often do, find healthy ways to resolve their feelings. We are all responsible for our own behavior, and boys are entirely able to control themselves. If parents educate pre-teens about appropriate and healthy sexuality, they will be healthier in their teens.
MYTH: Boys are supposed to push for sex in a relationship, and girls should resist and are responsible for knowing ‘when to say when’.
TRUTH: We are all responsible for listening and communicating with our partners, and for being honest about our own boundaries. The person who initiates a sexual action is responsible for finding out FIRST what the other person is or is not comfortable with.
MYTH: It’s not cool for a boy to care or be sensitive to what his girlfriend thinks or feels. Guys need to be tough. Men are selfish and don’t show emotion.
TRUTH: Every human being needs a little toughness to get through life, but everyone also needs emotional intimacy and supportive relationships.
MYTH: If a guy doesn't want to have sex, there must be something wrong with him.
TRUTH: Boys, just like girls, also have the right to choose what they want or don’t want to do, and with whom.
MYTH: Most sexual assaults are physically violent and committed by creepy strangers.
TRUTH: Most sexual assaults are committed by someone known by the victim, who seems ‘normal’ and trustworthy.