Teens Having Sex: What Parents Need to Know
After peaking in the early 1990s, the nation’s teen pregnancy and birth rates have declined dramatically—teen pregnancy is down 51%; teen births have plummeted by 61%. Since the federal, evidence-based Teen Pregnancy Prevention Program (TPPP) was established in 2010, the teen birth rate in the U.S. has declined 29%, a drop about twice as large as the decline in any other four-year period.
This is good news, but pregnancy is only one of the issues that teens need to be concerned about. Having sex also leaves you at risk for contracting sexual transmitted diseases (STD). Using the appropriate protection is imperative.
Why do teens have sex? Here are some common answers:
- I’m curious – I want to experiment/ get experience.
- I just want to get this first time out of the way.
- Sex is no big deal. Everyone is doing it.
- Every one of my friends has had sex – I’m the only hold out. I feel like a wierdo.
- The popular kids in my school are the ones who have sex – I want to fit in with them.
- My partner really wants me to do it – he/ she says that it’ll bring us closer together/ prove my love/ show my commitment.
- There’s nothing to do in this town but have sex.
- I won’t really know how compatible we are until we’ve had sex.
- My parents are so controlling and strict – they’d freak out if they knew I was having sex.
- We’ve already had sex once – I can’t very well say no now.
- It’s just a “friends-with-benefits” thing – what’s the big deal?
We spend a lot of time today talking about technology and cyberspace. It’s important to discuss digital citizenship with our teens, but we can’t neglect the basics. Like before technology, the birds and the bees are still a very important topic that needs to be a priority with digital citizenship.
- An estimated 48% had sexual intercourse before graduating from high school.
- Approximately 15% had sexual intercourse with four or more partners before graduating from high school.
- Nearly 62% of currently sexually active students used a condom during last sexual intercourse.
- Approximately 90% of the students said they had been taught about AIDS and HIV infection in school.
In a Seventeen magazine survey of boys and young men, almost half said they were virgins and one in four said he had lied to other kids about not being a virgin. According to the survey of 1,200 boys and young men, age 15 to 22, 60% said they lied about something sexual, 30% lied about “how far they had gone,” and 78% said that there was too much pressure from society to have sex.
Nearly two-thirds of teens that have had sexual intercourse say they regret it and wish they had waited, according to the National Campaign to Prevent Teen Pregnancy. The campaign also found that when it comes to making a decision about sex, 30% said that friends influenced their decision the most.
Be an educated parent, you will have safer and healthier teens.
If you are struggling with your teenager and have exhausted your local resources, learn more about how residential treatment can help your troubled teen make better choices. Contact us today for a free consultation.