Reflections on Gulf Coast Social Worker’s Conference
Dr. Freda Bush, February, 2017
“Parents, Teen Emotions and Sexuality, Paving the Way for Healthy Sexual Relationships.” was the keynote I presented last Friday for the Gulf Coast Social Workers Conference held in Gulfport, MS. I am still so excited as the conference was attended by over 500 social workers from six states. The information presented was to help today’s teens, called “i-gens,” be better understood and have healthy conversations with their parents who may be “Gen X or Gen Y (Millennials)”. An awareness of diversity in parent’s and their children’s attitudes was considered very helpful in the questions and interactions following the presentation. Also presented was information from the book, Hooked, New Science on How Casual Sex Is Affecting Our Children. Specifically, I spoke on how sex affects the brain and emotions particularly as the brain is maturing. It’s not considered mature until an individual reaches their mid-twenties. With the growth of the use of pornography among young people, this information is helping many professionals and parents understand pornography addiction and counter it. There were many who gave testimonials about the information from Hooked being helpful to them in their practice. Others then bought the books, Hooked and Girls Uncovered, for their practices and for their family members including for their sons or nephews.
All were given information on the MI free downloadable resources called, “Had the Talk.” Had the Talk is a resource for parents to help them talk with their children about sex. A request for specific resources for youth who identify as LGBT was made. My response was from a medical perspective that all youth have the same needs regardless– for love, acceptance, protection, guidance…etc. Sexual activity is still sexual activity and STI’s are equal opportunity infectors. Behavior must be modified to avoid the risks associated with sexual activity regardless of orientation. I am reminded of an old saying, “Protect your tomorrows today.”
MI is presenting our Building Family Connections Training (BFC) in Austin, Texas March 29-31 and in Natchez, MS April 24 – 26. Medical Institute is now an official continuing education sponsor for social workers in Texas, so Texas social workers completing the course will receive 18.75 CEUs. MI has also applied for social worker CEUs in Mississippi for the BFC training and we hope to have credits available by the April BFC in Natchez.
Again, my heart is filled with gratefulness for the opportunity to make this presentation. I extend my gratitude to Mr. Wallace Long, LCSW for the invitation to present at the Gulf Coast Social Workers Conference.
A copy of the slide presentation, “Parents, Teen Emotions and Sexuality, Paving the Way for Healthy Sexual Relationships,” can be found on our Blog on the MI website at www.medinstitute.org.