Susan had been sexually abused at the age of twelve by her father. By the time she came into my (Sissy's) office, she had averaged ten to twelve boyfriends per year since then.

"I hate my life. No one knows what I'm really like. Everyone at school thinks I'm a slut. My mom does too. I got so tired of hearing it that I decided I might as well give in. I decided to just be one. At least the guys will be nice to me."

Susan has gotten stuck in the boy category of the girl-boygirl-boy. It is where she feels safe. She has been rejected and hurt by the girls in her grade. Boys compliment her and make her feel good about herself. For Susan, that is more valuable than what she has to give in return.

Sadly, there are many girls just like Susan. Through whatever circumstances have led them there, they have decided that boys are safe and girls are not. So they do whatever they can to connect with those boys.

Susan hung around Daystar for almost a year. In that year, she dealt with the abuse of her father and her poor self-image. She started to believe that she had more to offer than just her body, and she started to make better decisions with guys.

If your daughter is heading down the same road as Susan, help her see that she is more than her physical appearance. Encourage her. Tell her about the strength and the beauty you see inside her—rather than just on the outside. If she is drawn to relationships with guys and uncomfortable around girls, put her in safe groups where she has to build relationships with other girls.

Preventatively, these suggestions can help, as well. Start early in drawing out the deeper beauty in your daughter. Help her find other voices to do this, as well—and not just the voices of her boyfriends. Educate her about sex. Teach her that it is something to look forward to in a marriage relationship. Help her understand why God desires purity rather than just the fact that he does (see chapter 6).

Relationships are full of rewards and risks . . . regardless of the gender involved. As a parent, there are things you can do that help maximize the rewards and minimize the risks. Here are just a few of our suggestions.

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