Teens and Sex

Teenagers’ sexual habits is not exactly every parent’s favorite topic. However, if we were all honest – we’re curious. And while the birds & the bees conversation may have occurred years ago, it’s still just as uncomfortable to bring “it” up with our kids, even if they are old enough to drive, apply for college and win the Olympics. Although statistics are just that … statistics … they might provide insight into your teenager’s lifestyle. And while no statistic represents your kid, it may be the open door to an honest conversation with your teen about sex.


Statistics on teen sex

So – here are some of the juicy details. No, it’s not a Fifty Shades of Gray novel, however here’s some info about current teenage sex habits according to a recent CDC study:

  • The proportion of high school students who’ve had sex is 47 percent today — down a bit from 54 percent in 1991 — and they typically start at age 16.
  • About 60 percent of sexually active high school students say they used condoms the last time they had sex.
  • Black students are most likely to heed the safe-sex message, yet their condom use dropped from a high of 70 percent in 1999 to 65 percent last year.
  • Black teens showed a bigger decrease, with 60 percent sexually active today compared with 82 percent two decades ago.
  • Fifteen percent of high school students say they’ve had four or more partners.

Source: “More teens using condoms over past two years” by Lauran Neergaard, Associated Press

Talking to your teens about sex

Statistically, about half of you with teenagers need to be having “the talk.” And no, we don’t mean rehashing the birds & the bees … statistics show they get that part of life. However, more serious talks need to be taking place if your teenager is engaging in sexual relationships. Conversations like:

  • how to prevent unplanned pregnancy
  • how to protect oneself in situations where alcohol (and lack of judgement) is involved
  • risks of drug use on the body and overall safety
  • importance of condom use for STD (even HIV prevention)
  • importance of routine STD testing, especially if there are multiple sexual partners

You know … all of those types of topics we parents like to avoid.

Sure, the conversations won’t be easy, however it’s our job to continue parenting our teenage kids and this falls under our duty. Be loving yet be firm. An open conversation with your teen might just be the best way to protect them.

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