Caroline is a 17-year-old Junior in high school who enjoys being on her school's debate team, rock climbing and playing the guitar. Her favorite subject is Biology and she would like to incorporate it in her future career.
Last Friday, we featured a post from Shadra Bruce about the importance of talking to your teenagers about sex. Today we’re following-up on this important topic from a teenage girl’s perspective.
My generation is constantly surrounded by messages of a sexual nature in the media, in the hallways at school and at recreational get-togethers. The problem is they’re all sending a different message. You hear conflicting political messages about defunding Planned Parenthood and debates about making abortion illegal on moral grounds. Then you see television shows on MTV, like Jersey Shore, that glamorize drunken sex with multiple partners and you hear all your friends talking about having sex, and it’s hard to know what to think about it all.
One thing I’ve noticed about my friends is that the ones with the strictest, most distant parents are the ones who seem to be “acting out” the most and having promiscuous sex. I think this is because the more mysterious and forbidden sex is to teenagers, the more appealing it becomes. It’s important for parents to provide their children with proper sex education and advice, because they’re naturally curious about it and treating it like a big secret doesn’t help.
Whether you have conservative or liberal ideas about sex, talk to your kids about it. Explain to your teenagers why you feel that way and let them talk to you about their own feelings. The “sex talk” can be uncomfortable for everyone, but be patient and make it an ongoing discussion. You should start the discussion earlier than you think your son or daughter will learn about it somewhere else. You want your opinions on sex to be his or her first impression. The point of this is so your teenagers come to you with their thoughts instead of the repercussions of their actions.
According to the National Survey of Family Growth in an article posted on the Washington Post, teens are having slightly less sex now than the surveys reported in 2002 due to factors like commitments to abstinence, awareness of STDs and a busy schedule that prevents them from even having time to think about sex.
From what I’ve noticed among my friends, the ones who are goal-oriented and stay busy with after-school activities don’t really participate in sex or at least have less of it. From a girl’s perspective, I know that a lot of other girls my age feel pressure to have sex because they have issues socializing and feel pressured to meet the requests of their boyfriends or other guys at school. These girls mostly have self-esteem issues that contribute to this kind of behavior.
Keeping your children busy is one of the best ways you can help them to postpone sex. For one, teens involved in sports can often relieve any sexual tension out on the field. Also, regular exercise helps teenagers stay healthy and gives them endorphins that make them happy and build their self-esteem. Other extra-curricular activities can also help your teen socialize with others and build their self-confidence. These activities can help them recognize their own talents and make them feel less pressured to give in to sex in order to gain approval.
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