Sex and Your Teenager


Perhaps when you were that age, there were not nearly as many kids having sex as there are today. Your teen sexual experiences and opportunities were most likely quite different than those of your sons and daughters. Keep in mind, too, that today the risk of AIDS and other sexually transmitted diseases means teens need more factual information than ever.

What is the #1 reason teens give for having sex? Raging hormones, right? Wrong. Only four percent gave pleasure as the reason in one large survey, and only ten percent said they were in love. Peer pressure (everyone else is doing it) and curiosity were the main reasons.

Choosing to be sexually active is no small step in a person's life, no matter what the age or reasons. Next to your kids themselves, who could care more than you, the parent? One of your options is to say nothing to your children about sex, and hope for the best. But the younger they are, the more dangerous that is. Younger teens not only conceive easier, they often don't know they're pregnant for months because their world is not on that page of life.

You might think that because they regularly attend church or synagogue your children will be opposed to premarital sex. A Christian Broadcasting Network survey of church-attending college students, however, showed that 70 percent did not believe sex before marriage was wrong.

As a parent, you have three choices. You could play the odds and do nothing. If three-fourths of teens are having sex, that means one-fourth aren't. Maybe yours is one of the one-fourth. Therefore, your daughter or your son's girlfriend is not going to get pregnant, or your children are not going to contract a sexually-transmitted disease. But know that the odds are weighted against you.

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