Sex and Your Teenager


Sex Ed 101 doesn't happen much at home. Most of a teen's information, a mixture of fact and fiction, comes from friends and TV. Examples: Friends sometimes tell each other they can't get pregnant if they do it standing up, or nobody gets pregnant the first time. Actually 20 percent of teen conceptions occur the first month and some of them the first time. As for TV, when was the last time you saw sexually active couples on the tube mention birth control or responsibility?

And demonstrating the need for more AIDS education, some students believe the Pill protects them from this disease, or they can tell if people have AIDS just by looking at them.

If the average age for first intercourse is 17, do you want your children to learn about sex and contraception only from other 17-year-olds? And though some parents do not approve of sex education, there's some research that suggests comprehensive classes at an appropriate age reduce teen pregnancy and delay sexual activity. Regardless of parental approval, however, such classes are not available to most teens.

Many teens are dumbfounded when an unexpected pregnancy happens to them. Many parents are equally dumbfounded to discover that their teens are sexually active or a daughter or son's girlfriend is pregnant. If you're like many other women, when you were a teenager, your mom didn't discuss sex and birth control options with you. Unless, of course, you're going to count the times she said, "Don't!" if the subject came up.

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