► “I can talk about the rules with my boyfriend”
Louise, 20 years
“I was not surprised by my first period. My mother had already explained to me well but without going into details. I did not know how to put a tampon for example, I learned by talking about it with friends. In school, you only learn the physical changes of puberty, not the emotional, hormone-related changes. It seems just as important to me.
I remember we were shown in a test tube the average amount of blood evacuated during periods, not to mention the practicality, tampons, pads or alternatives, less harmful to health, such as period panties . Some subjects were obscured, such as menstrual pain or endometriosis. I have the impression that the rules are becoming a less taboo subject. I used to talk about it with my friends. Today I can talk about it with my boyfriend. “
► “Entry into sexuality is still taboo”
Gregory, 21 years old
“My parents never really broached the subject of puberty. I first noticed the changes on my two-year-old older brother, when he moulted for example. My parents then explained to me what was going on. Then, at school, the SVT teacher detailed the bodily changes to come: the appearance of body hair, muscle gain, the first ejaculation… To complete this, we referred to the comic strip. The Guide to sexual zizi, by Titeuf.
At this point, questions of manhood begin to come into play. The boys compare themselves in the locker room, reflect on other people’s bodies. Fortunately, I didn’t develop too many complexes. Overall, I don’t find puberty taboo. On the other hand, the entry into sexuality is still. It is rarely studied at school, and parents do not necessarily talk about it. When I wondered, I turned to books or to my friends. “
► “The door opened and then closed”
Marie-Jeanne, 46 years. Mother of 18 year old daughter and 15 year old son
“I behaved with my daughter like my mother did when I was a teenager. I told her about the women’s cycle when I entered college. I’m sorry I didn’t do it sooner, because some of her friends were already settled. They discussed it together and wondered.
Talking about puberty with my son is more difficult. This is why we followed together the two sessions of the School of Love (1), one for the sixth-fifth classes, the other for the fourth-third. His father accompanied him for the first, me for the second. I hoped that this teaching would allow us to approach these subjects more easily as a family. It hasn’t happened yet as if the door has opened and then closed. Our son is very modest. But perhaps he also feels a certain embarrassment on our part. Suddenly, we try to convey messages differently, for example by talking about a situation or a fictional character. “