It’s talked about at school, it blasts through the music in their headphones and they watch it on television.
Sex is everywhere.
But while the images saturate pop culture, Broadway Baptist Church Youth Pastor Yannik McKie said many young people are missing the full story about premarital sex.
They aren’t talking about sexually transmitted diseases or teen pregnancy. Even less popular is the emotional turmoil that can come with physical love.
“Nothing can affect a child’s life more than the decision to have sex,” McKie said. “There’s no way to do something dangerous in a safe way, and we want them to understand that.”
To help young people, Broadway Baptist Church is holding its third annual Let’s Talk about Sex conference with roundtable discussions for boys and girls, group workshops, music, food and skits.
McKie said the conference is abstinence-based and aimed at giving youths 12 to 21 a place to hear facts about sex from adults they can trust – not from music or others at school.
“We want kids to know they should never be ashamed at doing the right thing,” McKie said. “If you love your body and your future, don’t jeopardize that.”
Kennedy Johnson, 15, said last year’s conference was a good way for her to talk about a sensitive issue with other young women. It’s a place where you don’t have to worry about asking a silly question or discussing what can be an embarrassing subject.
“It helps when I’m talking to someone who is, you know, young and hip, it’s just easier that way,” she said.
As in past years, McKie said, the conference will have workshop sessions for students to talk about issues and will include lunch from Chick-Fil-A and a concert. Registration costs $10, but no one will be turned away for not being able to pay, he said.
Rudolph Brown, 17, said that with kids as young as 13 talking about having sex, it’s important to make a stand in the other direction. He said that some adults avoid the subject altogether but that avoiding the awkwardness can be best in the long run.
“You’ve got to come out of that mindset and just be able to explain how it really is,” he said. “I don’t believe in sugarcoating things, and this isn’t sugarcoating.”