Sexual Behavior Issues

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”Pregnant Twelve Year Old — What’s a Mother to Do?”


Q: Dear Dr. Gelb:

My 12-year-old daughter just came home from school and shared with me that about six weeks ago she had sex with this 16-year-old boy. Please help me live with this. I’m frantic for answers. I’m afraid to tell her father — who knows what he may do to both of us.

Mad With Fear

A: Dr. Gelb says . . .

Dear Fear:

It is so unfortunate when a mother finds herself fearing her child’s father, and it is not uncommon for this type of fear to be embedded in the child as well. Some mothers who have found themselves the regrettable situation you face, have done the following: First, in those instances where the daughter has begun experiencing the menstrual cycle, they immediately consult with the family physician because there is a possibility that the young lady may be pregnant. Second, they make every effort to contact the young boy’s family to discuss the situation with them, primarily to determine if he has been sexually active with other females; if so, the mother tries to insist on an HIV test. She also has her daughter tested. Third, despite any fear of her husband’s reaction, the mother manages to approach him and tell him that she has something very serious to share with him about their daughter. She also tells the father that if he thinks he might get upset to the point of becoming physical with her or their daughter, then she wants a third party, such as a therapist or a social worker, to be present.

”Not Interested in Sex — What’s a Wife to Do?”

Q: Dear Dr. Gelb:

I am a 46-year-old married woman and I am menopausal. It is hard for me to be intimate with my husband. I just don’t seem to be interested and it is uncomfortable and painful. Lately I have been noticing funny spots on our bed clothing and it has a smell of bleach or something of that nature. Could that be coming from my husband’s body?


A: Dr. Gelb says . . .

Dear Worried:

This is not an uncommon situation. I am sorry to hear that you and your husband are not enjoying a wholesome, intimate relationship. My thoughts are that what you have described could very well be semen. I am not a physician but in consultation with physicians, they have shared with me that it is not uncommon for men, after a long period of abstinence, to begin to have what are called wet dreams. They dream about having sex, and the dream is so real to the nervous system that the man will actually have an erection and ejaculate. It is not considered to be an unhealthy experience. Also, it is not uncommon for one partner to masturbate while the other is sleeping. Some women who have found themselves in your situation have seriously considered psychotherapy.

”’Suzanne J. Gelb, Ph.D., J.D. authors this daily column, Dr. Gelb Says, which answers questions about daily living and behavior issues. Dr. Gelb is a licensed psychologist in private practice in Honolulu. She holds a Ph.D. in Psychology and a Ph.D. in Human Services. Dr. Gelb is also a published author of a book on Overcoming Addictions and a book on Relationships.”’

”’This column is intended for entertainment use only and is not intended for the purpose of psychological diagnosis, treatment or personalized advice. For more about the column’s purpose, see”’ “An Online Intro to Dr. Gelb Says”

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