My 13 year old daughter is sexually promiscuous. I know she has had sex twice with one boy, one time being in a public toilet. She is not in a relationship with him. I know she has kissed three different boys this week. I cannot watch her 24 hours a day and I think that she will damage herself psychologically is she continues this destructive behavior. She doesn't know that I know all of this, but knows I found out about the sex. Any advice?
Teen Sex and Promiscuity
Moms and dads dread the day that their youngster becomes sexually active. Girls in particular, seem to cause more concern because of the risk of teen pregnancy.
Understanding why adolescents have sex is one of the most important steps towards dealing with the situation.
Why Adolescents Decide to Have Sex—
No single factor can be blamed for all possible occurrences of teenage sex. However, some of the more common issues raised by adolescents include:
- a belief that having sex will make them more adult
- a negative self-image, believing that participating in sexual activity can increase their popularity
- in girls more than boys, a belief that sex will keep their partner interested in them and will provide the love they crave
- media influence such as television, music and the Internet
- overly strict moms and dads, increasing the chances of promiscuity when the opportunity arises
- peer pressure—a feeling that everyone else is having sex
[Twenty percent of all adolescents have had sex at least once before their fifteenth birthday.]
Sex in the Media—
Sex is everywhere. Teens simply cannot avoid the topic. Researchers discovered that 83 percent of episodes of adolescents' twenty favorite television programs contained some reference to sexual behavior.
[If you were to watch an hour of music videos, on average, you'd see ninety three sexual situations.]
Even apparently innocuous family sports events are not free from sexual exploits. During the 2004 Super Bowl halftime show, over thirteen million kids under seventeen watched Justin Timberlake tear off items of Janet Jackson's clothing.
Try as we might—sex cannot be avoided.
Teenage Sex and the Internet—
Recently, the Internet has provided teens with an opportunity to satisfy their curiosity about sex. In the privacy of their bedrooms, adolescents can be exposed to an astonishing array of graphic pictures and video clips depicting erotic material.
Pornography is rife on the Internet, appearing as emails or pop-ups or even web sites designed to attract adolescents. While most adults simply ignore such intrusions, adolescents are particularly vulnerable to them. Pornographic material can give an impressionable teen a convoluted view of what is normal, healthy sexual behavior.
Dangers of Teenage Sex—
Teen pregnancy is by far the most publicized danger of underage sex. Statistics reveal that every year in the US, over 850,000 girls between the ages of fifteen and nineteen become pregnant. Equally worrying are the figures that suggest 20,000 girls under fourteen become pregnant annually; of those 8,000 go on to give birth.
Promiscuity is an urgent issue. Adolescents are much more likely to engage in unprotected sex with multiple partners. Half of all people infected with the HIV virus annually are thought to be between the ages of 15 and 24.
About 25 percent of all sexually active teens contract a sexually transmitted disease (STD) annually. Of those, eighty percent do not know they have a disease and run the risk of long-term health effects, such as infertility. Two percent of all girls between fifteen and nineteen have been diagnosed with Chlamydia.
What the Parent of a Teen Can Do—
Despite the prevalence of teenage sex, only about one third of moms and dads with sexually active fourteen-year-olds believe that their youngster had engaged in sex. However, of those kids, three-quarters used contraception the first time they had sex.
Signs that Your Teen is having Sex—
Adolescents who are dating someone who is at least two years older than they are twice as likely to engage in sexual activity. Furthermore, teens in a long-term relationship are considerably more likely to be having sex.
Teens with several social groups are less likely to be involved in intimate situations and are therefore less likely to be engaging in sex.
Tips for Moms and dads—
Experts have this advice:
- Believe it or not, many teens feel that their moms and dads are the most influential source of information on sex.
- Discuss sex with your youngster, from an early age, ideally pre-teen. Talking to your teen about sex encourages responsible behavior when it comes to sexual activity.
- Keep in mind that your teen gains a lot of information from simply watching how adults behave.
- Offer guidance, care and supervision. Adolescents are in need of parenting and feel more secure when boundaries are clear.
Sexuality is an important topic for your adolescent. Tackle it early, sensitively and in a matter-of-fact manner. Keep the lines of communication open as much as possible. Help your adolescent understand normal sexual urges and strategies for managing them healthfully.