What My Kids Learned About Sex…From Musicals
My older daughter loves musicals. She has aspirations to sing on Broadway. So we watch a lot of musicals, which I must admit (not having been a big musical fan), I have enjoyed very much. Musicals really do put a spring in your step and a song in your heart (which you can use when you’re pushing Fifty). But lately what I’ve enjoyed about them most are the ways they are teaching my kids about life, diversity, sex, history, and morality.
Sure we love the classics like Singing in the Rain, but there ain’t much of a social message there. Give us Hairspray with the drag queen mom, the fat-positive teenage lead, and the civil rights struggle. And they adored The Rocky Horror Picture Show with its fabulous soundtrack and lore–but boy did I answer a lot of questions about transvestites, bisexuality, and geez, even cannibalism. In South Pacific the characters struggle with racism, interracial relationships, and children born out of wedlock. In Funny Girl they see a driven and talented career showgirl who earns more money than her husband (and does exactly what she wants while telling everyone else not to rain on her parade).
Newer musicals like Rent have taught them compassion for the sick and revealed the legacy of AIDS and the dangers of IV drug use, while celebrating homosexuality (gay and lesbian!) and the bohemian artist’s life and travails. Wicked, my daughter’s favorite,(which is based on a fantastic book by Gregory Maguire), is a clever political allegory about idealism, disillusionment, and rebellion, all played out while a powerful friendship emerges.
So, parents, if you’re looking for a new way to talk about some of these important issues–including sex–with your kids, watch a musical tonight! And if this post resonated with any of you, I’d love to hear what musicals have moved you or your kids.
- I Beg of Thee: Watch Glee
- The Kids are Alright
- Sex Ed As It Should Be (Or Things I Wish I’d Learned in School)
- Montana Sex Ed Program: Why Kids Need It
- Glee’s Sex Education Episode