There's an article on Newsweek's site today called "5 Reasons To Warn Your Daughter About Alcohol," which includes such news flashes as girls can get drunker faster than boys, there are health consequences, peer pressure is hard and girls can get assaulted when under the influence. There's no comparable conversation for boys because, of course, since it's a girl's responsibility to protect her precious ladyflower at all costs, it's not up to a boy (or his mother) to have a conversation about how not to be an alcoholic date-rapey asshole. But it should be. And so, after the jump, we give you the ways to talk to your college-bound sons about how not to be the kind of guy that other people's daughters have to protect themselves from.
- One Of The People Your son is probably going to go to a college with women, and they're going to be around for the rest of his life. Teach him from an early age that girls and boys — and men and women — are all equals and people first and foremost. Teach him to treat himself and all his fellow humans with equal respect. By the time he's on his way to college, it's a good time to reiterate the lessons of his youth. Women are not sexual objects and are deserving of respect even as he recognizes biological differences like average weight, average time to drunkenness and the more obvious one of sex. If you catch him acting or talking differently, fucking say something. You're his mother.
- The Odds Of Injury Drinking and driving and alcohol poisoning are equally risky for boys and girls, and shouldn't just be a conversation one has with college-bound daughters. Given how early teens start drinking, this should be an early conversation reiterated before college. At the same time, it's important to stress to him importance of looking out for his friends — boys and girls — in a college setting. Anyone can get mugged or attacked and anyone can be assaulted — and "looking out for yours boys" does not include making sure they don't get caught for doing illegal things to other people (like raping girls).
- A Lifelong Hangover Uh, yeah, men become alcoholics, too. Also, assault can land you in jail. Unprotected sex while drunk can have long-term consequences including disease and early fatherhood. Choices have consequences, so make sure his actions have some as you go.
- The Truth About Peer Pressure Dudes are just as susceptible to peer pressure as girls. If he's hanging out with alcoholic date-rape-y douchebags, he might come to think that it is normal behavior to treat women with disrespect and to drink to the point of being blacked out every night. While you can point out that lots of people don't drink while he rolls his 18-year-old eyes, you can finish by pointing out that there are also lots of girls who don't drink, too, and those girls aren't usually going to frat parties and hanging with enormous douchebags. And if he says stupid crap like "nice guys always finish last" and "girls only like bad guys," ask him what kind of girls he's obsessing over and have a talk about dating someone other than the types of girls who don't appreciate nice guys. That stereotype sucks.
- Keeping In Touch You know how your mom probably told you about dating guys that have strong family ties and love their mothers? Be that mother without excusing intolerable behavior. If you wouldn't want your daughter to take that crap from a boy, don't look the other way when your boy dishes it out. And insist that he calls.
The 'Other' Talk [Newsweek]