Parents against teenage dating

Start with the role conflict in which a single parent can feel beset.

The nature of the conflict is in the title: single parent—between wanting to be a SINGLE person free to date and find a significant companion, and wanting to be a responsible PARENT by honoring family commitment to one’s children.

The “added layer of internal or external discrimination, isolation, or pressure” experienced by LGBTQ teens can compound abusive situations, March writes. When teenagers answered an online survey in 2009 on the Web Site Pangea Pulse, cited by The Tampa Tribune, 60 percent said pop singer Rihanna should break up with Chris Brown, after allegations surfaced that he physically abused her.

But 24 percent said “they should try to work it out” and another 16 percent said “she must have done something wrong.” A similar survey conducted by the Boston Public Health Commission found that almost half of the 200 Boston students interviewed blamed Rihanna for Brown’s alleged violence against her.

Troubled by the survey results, the Middlesex County District Attorney's office created a public service video contest to help educate teens about dating violence.

The winning video will become part of the health curriculum in Boston schools.

March reports that “up to 50% of people who identify as LGBTQ will experience abuse at the hands of an intimate partner.” Although the “types of abuse may be the same” regardless of sexual orientation, teens in LGBTQ relationships may have more difficulty dealing with abuse.

This conflict feels like a double bind because it often is when satisfying one want sometimes comes at the expense of satisfying the other.

To make time for dating and developing a serious relationship can mean energy and attention taken away from parenting; while putting offspring first, treating children as a top priority, can mean finding and keeping a romantic interest a secondary concern.

Jackson Katz, leader of the program Mentors in Violence, added, “If parents have any reason to suspect their son might be mistreating his girlfriend …

they have a special responsibility to address this.” According to Science Daily, a 2007 National Youth Risk Behavior Study found that one in 11 adolescents, both male and female, reported being victims of dating abuse.