Teen sex is constantly in the news. The whole world seems very worried about the dangers facing young people who have sex especially at an earlier age and the question of what to do about it seems to never be answered. So why do teenagers have sex and what dangers do they face?
Sex is for grown ups.
While every grown up person is trying to regain their youth, young people like to do things that make them feel like adults. These can be positive things like choosing their educational path or managing their own money but it could also be drinking or having sex.
Some teens see sex as a gateway to being an adult. Sex is everywhere: in adverts, on TV and in day to day conversations. Teens feel like they are missing out on an important aspect of what life is about and so of course they are keen to try it.
The problem with this attitude is that teens are not adults and have less knowledge and experience. Even the most savvy teen can make a mistake with contraception and end up pregnant. They may be able to research what they should do to have protected sex but they don’t know about all the exceptions, problems and warning signs that go with them that only come with experience.
Your first crush, kiss and love interest is a big deal as a young person. It feels as though you’ve found the one and that what you have will last forever. If you’re going to be together for the rest of your lives (as they think at the time) then why wait?
A major problem with this approach is that, as most grown ups know, the first love is not often the one you end up with in the future. First love is new and therefore feels disproportionately overwhelming.
No one wants to make teens unnecessarily cynical by pointing out that their first love might not last forever. Parents especially want their children to experience the joys of first love and not the cynical caution that often accompanies adult relationships.
On the flip side a headstrong approach to having sex often results in a slip up and a pregnancy. With the new pressure of a baby at such a young age whatever chance the couple has of staying together is reduced even more.
Some teens have sex to seem important and impressive to their peer group. They may like a person who asks them for sex and not want to appear foolish by saying no. In this case they are also unlikely to insist on the proper use of contraception if any is used at all. This puts them at risk of unwanted pregnancies and STDs.
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