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Is Oral Sex the New Kiss . . . and Prostitution the New Fear?

There's always a new study, book, or movie to tell us how fast kids grow up, but Oral Sex Is the New Goodnight Kiss (both a book and a documentary) takes it to a whole new level. Some girls, it seems, are causally consenting to prostitution.

Canadian filmmaker Sharlene Azam worked with teenage girls from ages 13 to 15 for four years in order to gain their trust, and they did not hold back once they started talking.

While the idea that oral sex is commonplace is not earth shattering, the girls said it was basically expected at the end of the date. Why? It's quick, easy, and doesn't take up much space. (Umm, OK.) But things get more shocking when they talk about stripping and exchanging sexual favors for a few dollars, new clothes, or the "privilege" to hang out with a certain crowd, especially guys.

The film stresses that the girls are all from upper-middle class families in suburban Canada, and one teen adds "I had a really, really, really good childhood." In fact, Azam says, the girls most at risk are the prettiest and from the most successful families. And, they're recruited by their friends who tell them about the benefits. Yikes!

Good Morning America asked several American teenagers to watch the film and talk about it yesterday. While accepting money in exchange for sex seems to be news to them, they confirm the pressure to keep a boyfriend is intense. Their identity is wrapped up in who they're dating, and most girls, they said, would do "anything" to keep a boyfriend.

To watch a clip from the documentary,


Join The Conversation
pink-pirate pink-pirate 8 years
bransugar I think you hit the nail on the head. We not only need to speak to young girls about these issues at a younger age and more explicitly. But we ALSO need to speak to young boys. They are often exposed to double standards at home - brothers and sisters are treated completely differently. The majority of the time when teenagers are having oral sex it's boys are pressuring girls into giving blow jobs. They are learning this somewhere - from TV, movies, their older brothers, their dads, etc. We need to start there first and foremost - teach boys to respect women.
bransugar79 bransugar79 8 years
Things like this are not as isolated as you may think. It is sad and horrible to think that raising a daughter in this culture would lead to her selling herslef for attention. I don't know what the whole answer is, since there are kids who come from homes where both parents are attentive and loving and teach values and self respect that still seem to fall into this trap. All I can say is that if I had a daughter I would definitely confront issues like this early on and let her know that no amount of attention from others will ever be as satisfying as respecting yourself and knowing that your value can't be assessed by someone who doesn't know your mind or your soul and certainly isn't interested in anything besides your body. Also people need to start expecting more from their sons. If my brother was doing things like this to girls not only would he have to deal with my mother, but with me and every other member of our family. The first thing my mother taught us was to respect ourselves and to respect others even when they aren't respecting themselves.
dm8bri dm8bri 8 years
My parents taught me early on about sex and its various ramifications. They were especially diligent about teaching me that when a guy's penis is involved, their brain goes out the window - it's not that they like me for who I am, just what I can do for/to them. Never an attractive scenario for me, so I waited to get physical until I was getting what I wanted out of the deal, and it sure wasn't drugs or money. How degrading. I think prevention of this behavior falls to the parents first and educators second. If we're teaching our daughters (and sons for that matter) to have self-respect and esteem and respect for others, they will be way less likely to engage in this crap. Certainly monitoring their subsequent social interactions is part of it, but if we're not guiding them from the get-go it won't make much of a difference. We can't monitor what they're doing all.the.time.
KimBurnett KimBurnett 8 years
It's crucial to monitor all peer activity with these children as it always has been.
fcseamstress fcseamstress 8 years
I agree that these kinds of girls lack a serious amount of self-respect but I think the boys do as well. They need to be taught that this could be their sister, cousin, daughter, etc. that they're demeaning in this way. And it is very possible to teach boys this; my strong feminist father taught it to all 3 of my brothers and to my knowledge they've all had healthy relationships with women and wouldn't participate in this kind of stuff. Same with my husband, although he has a very machismo father who taught him basic RESPECT. So it doesn't matter who it's coming from, so long as ALL kids are taught to respect themselves and each other. Kudos to you Kia! The world needs more people to step up and help kids in need, whether they're blood or not!
Symphonee Symphonee 8 years
Things like this have been happening in lower middle class and lower class communities for years. I remember chicks blowing guys for weed back when I was 13 and 14. This is what happens when the worse parts of society are glamorized and touted as the new thing on a daily basis. Since when was it cool to be a pimp or a hoe? Taking part in your kids life can help curb this but we all need to learn to care for the kids in communities and neighborhoods. Your kids hang out with kids with no dad at home and they talk about things like that. What harm could you possibly do by taking an interest in a child who is not your seed?
Pistil Pistil 8 years
What about the boys? I think this is about a serious lack of self-respect on the part of these girls, and a serious lack of respect for women on the part of the guys. I know young men are horny, but that's not an excuse to take advantage of these girls. And they know they are. What's even worse is I'm sure many of these guys are far too old for these (13!) teenage girls.
kia kia 8 years
I think the only thing that can be done is be involved with your kids, teach them about self-respect through example, and make sure they know you love them. Kids love and need boundaries and sex is one of the things they need boundaries about at an earlier age these days. I am dealing with two young teenage nieces that don't have great role models in their parents and it darn near makes my stomach turn... but we talk about sex and what they are doing with their friends a lot now. Their mother is not taking the initiative and I am doing the best I can by them. Even with rules and the best of intentions, a kid will sneak out if they really want to. One of my nieces is visiting me next week and watching this clip will happen on the first day... with the subsequent discussion. It really does take a village. I don't talk about sex to young ladies I am not related to but I do make time for my friends' kids, or kids I know through programs I do volunteer work with. Just making time for them to talk, even about silly stuff, does wonders for young women and their place in this world.
kimmieb124 kimmieb124 8 years
I think the saddest part about this is how desperate these girls are for attention and for male approval. I agree with kiwitwist that part of the problem could be a lack of a strong father figure in their lives. People always say how much boys need their fathers, but girls need their fathers, too. I read a study a few years ago that connected female eating disorder behavior to the relationship the girls had with their fathers, and it makes sense that sexual behavior like this would also be connected. These girls need someone to tell them that they are important and worth so much more than this!
CaterpillarGirl CaterpillarGirl 8 years
Allium, it is that simple actually. Your child cannot sneak out if you are a dilligent parent. You arent going to drive your child to give BJ's by teaching them self restraint and self esteem.
margokhal margokhal 8 years
Why do young girls (and some older women! it's not just the young ones!) feel this overwhelming need to get attention from males? It's so disturbing. I know the media plays a part in it, insinuating that you're not worth anything/not attractive/not loveable or something if you can't get a guy to be with you in some capacity. It's sad that oral sex has become a tool to get or keep a significant other. What really needs to be emphasized, and I'm not sure why it's not catching on as much [probably b/c it's not as appealing as the glitz and glamour of being involved with a bunch of guys like the girls in the beginning of the clip], is more self-acceptance and self-respect programs, like Dove's Campaign for Real Beauty. People I guess think it's cheesy, but now this stuff has gotten to be so rampant [basically doing every and anything just to get male attention] that I think it should be mandatory in schools as part of sex education, or at least get parents/guardians involved. Anyone who cares about their child I would think want to do everything in their power to make sure they don't end up like these girls [or even like the GUYS who encourage this foolishness!] on the video.
kiwitwist kiwitwist 8 years
this is soo sad. :( Do you think it is because a lot of them do not have father figures??? I couldn't believe the comment of guys just taking turns with a girl.
jenintx jenintx 8 years
wow. this is really sad. and also why i'm never having kids.
CaterpillarGirl CaterpillarGirl 8 years
and this is why you dont allow your children to date untill they mature socially and mentally.
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