Not having a proper understanding of how our bodies work has been shown to lead to all kinds of accidents and unprepared moments.
But is it ever your job to tell another parent when they need to have a talk about reproductive health with their kid?
One Reddit user was recently left baffled when they discovered that their teenage niece doesn’t know about periods or reproduction and even further baffled when the teens parent (their sister) called them the a**hole for suggesting that the talk needs to be had ASAP.
Confused, it was obviously time to take things to the AITA (“Am I The A**hole?”) subReddit to get some outside thoughts on who, if anyone, is the a-hole here.
“AITA for telling my sister she needs to tell my niece where babies come from before a disaster happens?”
Before we get into the details—and wow there are details—let’s talk about how the subReddit works. The original poster (OP) shares their story as a post.
Other users comment to vote for who the bad guy in the situation is and why they feel that way. The voting options are four simple acronyms.
Take a look:
- NTA – Not The A**hole
- YTA – You’re The A**hole
- NAH – No A**holes Here
- ESH – Everyone Sucks Here
Now that you understand how voting works let’s dive into the story and see if people can figure out who, if anyone, is in the wrong in this situation.
Here is OP’s full post.
“About a week ago, my daughter (8) came to my husband and I and asked how come her (female) guinea pig couldn’t have babies, and that her friends guinea pig (friend has a male and a female) had some.”
“Well, husband and I looked at each other and figured it was time, so daughter got the talk. We spoke as plainly as we could and also told her to take any questions to us and to not be embarrassed.”
“We have already been big on bodily autonomy, but we also worked that in a bit here. It was fairly uneventful, though she did give us a somewhat horrified look once she put two and two together and avoided us for the rest of the day after that, lol.”
“So, I was recounting this to my sister on the phone yesterday. She was horrified and said 8 was way to young to hear about that type of thing.”
“She then said I needed to tell my daughter not to talk about that with my niece, who is 13, because she doesn’t know about it. I was shocked!”
“It turns out niece doesn’t know about the mechanics of it all or periods or anything. I got really curt with my sister and told her she needs to tell niece like, yesterday.”
“What’s gonna happen when her period comes and she’s terrified? I also told my sister ‘If she doesn’t know how a baby is made, she’s at higher risk for doing the exact thing without any protection and then you have a bad situation on your hands.’ “
“This was apparently too far and my sister hung up the phone on me. I’ve been getting nasty messages from her and her husband all day.”
“I really don’t think I’m the A, but did I take it to far? AITA?”
Reddit was pretty clear on their thoughts on this one.
“NTA LMAO if that girl is in school she definitely has a preteen version of what sex is which is prolly even worse.”
“Add in social media and such and that girl knows. Her parents should decide have the talk with her ASAP. Hell don’t they talk about it in middle school anyways?”
“You are totally not wrong and your sister is going to have an even harder time explaining it once her daughter lets her know she’s learned everything from other preteens. Kids at 13 are definitely talking about sex.”
“I also feel you did the right thing telling your daughter the scientific truth at age 8.” – TRoseee
“This is horrifying, and so baffling to me. I think it really exposes how a lot of these beliefs are really about misogyny rather than ‘conservative attitudes about sex.’ ”
“Getting your first period has nothing to do with having sex – most girls get it when they’re little kids, long before they have sex. It’s just shame about the female body. NTA.” – pm_me_pm_speeches
“You are absolutely NTA, and 8 is a perfect time for a child-friendly version of The Talk.”
“As you said, 13 is awfully late for a child to NOT have had The Talk. Because I guarantee you that she has been having some kind of talk with someone, probably her peers.”
“Maybe they are all super mature teens with Scarlet Teen in their bookmarks, but more likely than not, they are your usual mix of clueless, eager, and misinformed.”
“You are correct that your niece is at greater risk of making poorer choices, and I bet your sister will have a surprised pikachu face when the consequences come home to roost.” – Noirceuil_182
“Yep, coming from someone who didn’t get the talk from their parents, kids say some wack stuff about sex. At around 11, I thought boys had to pee on you to get you pregnant, and had a full fucking meltdown when I heard some boys at a pool party bragging to each other about peeing in the pool.”
“Add to that the fact that I had super irregular periods, and my mom explained periods to me after I got my first one and only by saying ‘You’ll bleed once a month until you’re really old, and if you don’t bleed it means you’re pregnant’ – holy sh*t I thought I was pregnant for like 3 months and lived in terror of my parents finding out.”
“Personally, I think it’s super neglectful and borderline abusive to not tell your kids accurate scientific info about sex and their bodies. They’re going to figure it out with or without you, so wouldn’t you rather then find out easily and accurately? OP, definitely NTA.” – Dracarys_aspo
“NTA. She is 13 they definitely need to talk to her about this stuff, and while I usually don’t approve of telling other parents what they are doing wrong, the fact that they are telling you not to have your 8 your old explain to their 13 year old the stuff she doesn’t know about sex is ludicrous.” – calgary_chris77
Many Redditors pointed out ignorance is not bliss when it comes to health and safety. Knowing about your own body is an important part of that.