Incredulity – that’s the word that comes to mind after listening to the stories of a friend and her saga in the academe. The kerfuffle that rocked her otherwise sedate world was news of canoodling in the bathroom of some sophomores, which sent her colleagues screaming murder and labeling the kids sex maniacs. Canoodling is not surprising but it doesn’t necessarily mean it’s to be tolerated. Yet calling the kids sex maniacs and treating them as outcasts don’t sit well with me.

There are certain aspects, I feel, that have to be faced head-on in this kind of situation. First, that the kids’ molecules have gone berserk has to be recognized. Can you blame them? Not really; blame the hormones instead, which have put them on a roller coaster ride. Riding this crest of massive changes is difficult so guidance and constant dialogue (no evasive tactics here) can help abate the uneasiness of the situation. This sounds easier than one thinks, as I found out, because the attitude towards sex is a big factor. One can’t turn into an atavistic puritan yet one has to be careful not to end up sounding like a sybarite. Using euphemisms for sex – think of the age-old birds and bees, flower and the trees’ speech – isn’t going to work either because kids have been exposed to sex on TV and movies endlessly that they’ve become desensitized. The kids have to be told to their faces that sex cannot be removed from the context of a loving relationship. If they do, sex becomes a mere experiment to engage in without regard for the consequences. The other issues of sex are something they can lock horns with later when they’re older.

Second, and the last, there’s no avoiding the fact that kids will always find an empty room or dark area to be alone. Screaming murder won’t help the situation, pretending it never happened or leaving the babysitting job to teachers alone. It’s like basketball – face the enemy and engage in rigid man-to-man guarding from all sides so the play moves smoothly.

Molecules gone berserk will eventually find their usual routes but everyone has to weather the bumpy ride with calmness and intelligence.


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