It’s a shock to any parent when they find out that their teen has become sexually active. But it is important to talk to them about the decision and their reasons for making it.
They may say they want to wait for marriage, because they’re too young, or for other reasons. Understanding their reasoning can help you understand their motives.
Teenage sexuality is a time when young people explore sexual feelings and sensations as they undergo physical changes during puberty. It’s a period of curiosity and experimentation that also exposes them to risks, including unwanted pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections such as HIV/AIDS. The media, however, presents teenagers with a casual view of sex that encourages them to consider experimenting and may even lead to “hooking up.”
Parents can help their teens manage the challenges of teenage sexuality by discussing it openly and honestly and offering honest, nonjudgmental answers to questions. The conversation can include topics such as intimate relationships, sexual arousal, gender identity, consent and respectful relationship behaviors. It can also include information about safe sex and birth control.
Although a teen’s sexual behavior is normal, there are times when it may cross the line into pathological behavior. For example, if a boy masturbates in public or shows a sexual interest in younger children, this could be a red flag that he needs professional help. Likewise, if a girl shows a sudden change in mood and devotes all of her time to a new boyfriend or girlfriend, this is another red flag that she should seek help. Regular checkups with a medical professional are important for all teens, but especially for sexually active ones, as they can provide information about contraception and prevention of STIs.
Teenage Sexual Behavior
It can be a very difficult time for parents when they learn that their child is sexually active at a young age. You may feel angry or embarrassed and want to scream, but it is important that you remain calm throughout the discussion so that you can listen to your child and understand their decision. Try to ask open-ended questions and avoid interrupting so that you can get as much information out of them as possible.
Sexual activity at a young age can have many negative social and emotional consequences for your teenager. It can lead to a lack of self-esteem, sexual promiscuity, sex addiction and a lack of respect for their body. It can also lead to harmful sexual behaviour that puts their own or other people’s health at risk.
Sexually transmitted diseases can be spread at a very early age and are most often caused by unprotected sex. It is very important that you talk to your teen about the risks of sexually transmitted infections and how to protect themselves. You should encourage them to use condoms, talk with their partners about any history of STIs and see a doctor regularly for a pap smear and a sperm count. It is also important that you let them know that if they ever feel unsafe or uncomfortable, they can always come to you for help and support.
Teenage Sex Development
During the early teen years, many critical biological and psychological changes occur that can put adolescents under stress. These include physical changes like the onset of puberty, the appearance of breasts in girls and the development of a voice change in boys (puberphonia). Adolescents may also experience sexual feelings that are not understood by their family or peers and may feel pressure to act on these feelings.
Having a regular conversation about sex is a key part of supporting a teenager’s healthy sexual development. It is also important to provide your teen with information about common STDs such as chlamydia, genital herpes and HIV, and to explain the consequences of teen pregnancy.
It is important to listen attentively to your teen’s questions and to talk openly, honestly and nonjudgmentally about sexuality. This will help them to build trust and a sense of safety when discussing these topics with their friends, other adults and later in their adult relationships.
When it comes to sex, teens need parents who are supportive of their decision and who will be there for them. However, there are some troubled teens who are not ready to make responsible choices and continue to be involved in risky sexual behaviours. In these cases, a residential treatment center offering behavioral therapy for troubled teens is often recommended.
Teenage Sex Issues
During this time of exploration, it’s natural for teens to have questions about their sexuality. Talking openly and nonjudgmentally with a trusted adult is an important part of healthy teenage sexual development. This can help prevent sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) and unwanted pregnancy.
Most teenage boys and girls are curious about sex and are ready to experiment. Teenage sexual behaviour varies, depending on teens’ physical development, social relationships and family and cultural experiences.
It’s important for parents to have a positive relationship with their teenagers and to teach them healthy sexual values. This can help prevent adolescent youth from adopting sexual attitudes and beliefs primarily from peers, television, music or the Internet.
For teens, a key factor in sexual behavior is how it fits into their relationships and life plans. It’s also important for teens to make informed choices about if and when to have children, use birth control and have safe sex.
Most young teens are aware of the risks associated with sexual activity, including unintended pregnancy and contracting a sexually transmitted disease (STD). It’s important for all teens to have accurate information about how to practice safe sex. Using condoms and other methods of birth control reduces the risk of pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections, such as herpes B and C. Teens who are not using protection should speak with their health care professional about starting to use contraceptives.