Hi, Beke. Thank you for reading, and thank you for your work with teens. It’s a very noble and important profession, and I respect it a great deal.

My daughter will be 21 years old in October, and my son turned 17 this past March.

I agree with you (and with everyone who has said as much) that children who are not yet mature enough to responsibly make sexual decisions need to be guided, sometimes even against their will. That is an age/maturity issue, though, and is not gender-specific. The point I was trying to make with the article is that we act/think/speak overly protectively about our female children specifically because they are female, not just for reasons of age/maturity. No one asked me how I was going to feel when my son started dating.

I’m never opposed to the idea that children do not have the full ability to make responsible decisions for themselves until they reach a certain level. I am opposed to the idea that a young woman’s virginity/sexual virtue is her father’s to vehemently protect and defend simply due to their respective genders.

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