Is your teen having sex? If you’re like most parents, your answer is that while most teens are having sex, yours is not according to LiveScience. If you do think your teen is naïve and are avoiding the sex talk, I highly recommend watching The Secret Life of An American Teenager – although a little over-dramatized and exaggerated, I bet your teen’s life is more similar to the life of the teens in the show than you imagine. Just think back to when you were a teenager.
There is a large disconnect between how much sex teens are actually having and how much sex parents perceive their teen is having. This is dangerous, as avoiding the sex talk can lead to pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases. According to Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), there were 435,436 births to teens aged 15 to 19 in 2006, and 6,396 for those aged 10 to 14.
North Carolina State University Professor Sinikka Elliot interviewed parents of teenagers about their beliefs about teen sex. Elliot found that parents consistently thought of their teen as immature and naïve. The following response from one mother was typical: “”One thing I’ve noticed is that she’s probably a little bit more immature than some of her friends, and that’s okay, I think it will come.” On the other hand, parents have no trouble envisioning other people’s teens having sex and thinking of other teens as “real sexual” and “promiscuous”.
As a result, parents are worried that their child will be naively pushed into sex. Parents of teenage boys are worried that teenage girls will lure their sons into having sex in an effort to solidify a relationship. Similarly, parents of teenage girls worry that sexually driven teenage boys will take advantage of their asexual teen daughters. These beliefs shift sexual responsibility away from their children and onto others.
So don’t wait any longer. Talk to your teen about sex TODAY! Furthermore, make sure to be open about sex and provide contraception if your teen asks. “Abstinence Only” education has failed in schools and it will fail in your home.