Impressionable boys and the "facts of life"

When my brother and sister and I were kids our parents gave us a plain-spoken explanation of where babies come from. Of course, the three of us giggled and snickered a little about it, but essentially we filed the matter away in our minds and didn’t give it another thought for years–my brother was 10, I was 9, my sister was 7.
A few years later a neighbor of ours gave birth at home–long story. My Mom told us about the agony the woman went through to give birth.
And, years after that, when I was a high-school senior, my Government and Society teacher gave us formal sex education, which included the matter of labor and delivery. I didn’t contemplate it much, but he pointed out–sure that some of us had already experimented with sex on our own–how a woman giving birth feels such incredible pain. My mind went back to what my Mom told us about our neighbor.
It didn’t have a severe impact on me, but I have to wonder: This kind of revelation must affect a lot of guys, in that they will be strongly sympathetic to girls who someday will have to go through that ordeal–and it may be those own boys’ fault. :frowning: (I wonder if this is partly what Helen Reddy meant in her song: “Make my brother understand.”)

You think some guys are sympathetic towards girls just because they might experience childbirth someday? That seems a little premature. I even did give birth at the age you’re talking about, HS senior, and still didn’t get (or want) some outpouring of sympathy.

As an impressionable girl, the thought of childbirth sure kept me away from sex. Didn’t make me any more sympathetic towards myself, though.

Well, only half their fault, unless the act was non-consensual.

College Bio class 35 years ago they showed us a film of a birth. I am squirming in my seat now remembering the episiotomy. When my wife gave birth I did not want to see that.

So yes, it looks painful but what kind of sympathy are you expecting from young men? Are we supposed to send a sympathy card to any young ladies we hope to have sex with or only the ones who we actually get into bed?

When I was a young woman, the thing I feared about having children was being saddled with a kid to the detriment of my education and life in general. Not the pain of childbirth.

Actually, I meant it as a sense of a stab to a boy’s conscience “before the fact”–if that makes sense. It’s as if he realizes someday he may cause some girl to suffer that ordeal.

And I apologize to all of the Teeming Female Millions for neglecting a complementary point–that girls of the same age may realize that they are quite likely to go through the ordeal themselves–and thus regard the matter with fearful anticipation. :frowning: :frowning:

When I was a young man, I feared that having a child would dominate and ruin my life for 20 plus years after. Honestly, I gave no thought whatsoever to the pain of childbirth.

I think that gives guys a bit too much credit. Usually at that age, we’re not exactly thinking about how our girlfriend will handle the pain of childbirth as much as we’re cursing the invention of the hook-and-loop bra, hoping we don’t have BO, or hoping our parents don’t walk in on us. The sympathy comes later in life, when it’s more of a reality, as opposed to a theoretical girl in the theoretical future experiencing theoretical pain.

Thinking for the moment, eh?

I worried about this as a growing boy. Maybe I’m the only one, but it bothered me!

My husband had been brainwashed by his mom about the horrible ordeal that is childbirth, so much so that I had a lot of difficulty getting him to agree to go with me to Lamaze classes. Back then, the only way you could get a Lamaze delivery, without mandatory drugs, was to have your husband (not your best friend or your mother or your sister) take the classes with you so that he would be prepared to be your Lamaze coach.

His argument was that I would be in incredible shrieking agony and that he would not be able to stand it and would be of no help anyway. My arguments were futile, and finally I just said, “Well, if you won’t go with me, then I will have to get drugs I don’t want, and that could affect the baby. If that’s what you want, fine, but I am telling you that if one thing goes wrong that affects the baby, it will be entirely your fault. And I will lose all personal respect for you.” He decided to cooperate. Everything went fine, and I was at no time in severe pain. Really.

Frankly I wish we could go back to the days when the father sat at the bar waiting for the call and then passed out cigars. I was there for every one of my childrens birth, held my wife’s hand, fed her ice chips, stroked her hair, etc, etc, etc…

Every time I wished to God it was 30 years earlier and I was in a bar.

I know this makes me a pig. I can’t help it.

Just tell 'em: “Chicks are tough, they can handle it.”

“Women don’t have as many nerve endings down there, so they don’t really feel all that much pain in childbirth. That also explains why they don’t like sex as much.” :stuck_out_tongue:

Oh come on. Impressionably young boys are made to be messed with.

Trust me: we don’t lose any sleep over it. Anyway nowadays as long as they’re giving birth at a hospital, they get tons of yummy drugs to make them feel good so I doubt it’s that terrible.

Well, if medication alleviates pain and discomfort for the woman without putting the child at risk–fine. (When I was a kid I knew nothing about anesthesia and suturing. My parents told us about a friend of theirs–male and about 60–who had just had a hernia operation; my imagination went wild, and I was in anguish about how he must have looked and felt–as if someone had cut his abdomen open with a machete! :eek::frowning: I must have had Mr. Davis’ experience in mind when I realized what a woman usually goes through during delivery.)

Either that, or lacking the ability to think that far into the future. I’m at the “more of a reality” stage now though, and girls are usually the ones pushing for children. It’s hard to feel guilty when you both understand what it’s gonna mean, and you still try for it. I’d be more worried about how she would handle a miscarriage than the actual delivery. Miscarriages can mess a poor girl up.