Teenage Sex: Do The Dutch Have A Better Idea?

(Courtesy: MISCHELLE/Flickr)

(Courtesy: MISCHELLE/Flickr)

Should parents allow their teenage kids to “sleepover” with their teenage sweethearts?

University of Massachusetts sociologist Amy Schalet explores the treachorous terrain of teen sleepovers in her book, “Not Under My Roof: Parents, Teens And The Culture Of Sex.”

Schalet, who grew up in Holland, interviewed 130 Dutch and American parents and teenagers. She found that while nine out of 10 Dutch parents had allowed or would consider sleepovers once their child was 16 or 17, 90 percent of American parents were adamant: “Not under my roof!”

Schalet also found that Dutch teenagers are far less likely to become pregnant or contract a sexually-transmitted disease, and are far more likely to use contraception than American teenagers.

So should Americans consider loosening up a bit when it comes to sex and their teenage kids?


  • Amy Schalet, sociologist, University of Massachusetts, Amherst
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