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teenage sex

post #1 of 40
Thread Starter 

in todays world should abstinence be the way?

 

or should one have the right sex - for lack of a better word. good friendship, been dating for a while and then have it rather than one night stands or under duress. 

 

what do you feel you wish you had known as a teen to make a better decision?

 

i've just been reading a bunch of books on teens and some of them came down really hard on teen sex and pregnancy.

 

with teen pregnancy my personal gripe is that it is always coloured with a black hue, downfall of the mom, ruined life. is teen pregnancy really that bad. enough for the education folks to completely ban it out of teenage hood?

post #2 of 40

I don't think there is 'one answer'.  But I don't believe abstinence teaching is the only way to go.  I think you need to prepare kids for everything.  You need to prepare both boys and girls for the consequences of their actions and how to take preventative measures.  You need to teach kids how to access birth control BEFORE considering having sex.  Just because the girls says shes on the pill doesn't give the boy carte blanche.  

 

My parents were totally into abstinence, when I was in college it was like someone let go of a rubber band.  Even though I lived at home I managed to get into plenty of 'trouble'.  Oh I was able to give off that sweet and innocent appearance but trust me...I was anything but.

 

I wish I had know that sex didn't equal skank.  And that yes, normal kids could talk to their mothers about things.  But then, I was living in the land of dysfunction.

 

Yes teen pregnancy is really 'that bad'.  The younger the mom gets pregnant that much harder it is for her to finish high school.  That much more difficult for her to get any post secondary school training.  If the baby is sick, mom has to stay home and miss classes, most times dad is long gone.  Child support is minimal those first years of the baby's life.  High school is demanding with out being responsible for a baby.

 

I think sex education begins long before the teen years.  Sex education is a continual dialogue that begins sometime between birth and the toddler years.  The dialogue begins with body parts, 'keep your hands to yourself', stranger danger, and goes in an age appropriate direction.

post #3 of 40

For me, I don't think teen pregnancy is all that bad.  I know that people can finish school and continue on with their lives.  I think family support is critical though.  If they don't feel like they can handle it - there is always adoption.

 

I had sex as a teenager and in many ways I regret it.  I don't feel like it was an awful and horrible thing, but the guys who I had sex with didn't respect me and probably just were driven by hormones.  I think part of waiting a little while is that you learn that sex is about respect and love, not just the physical act of it.  I wish I had known that!  

 

So, I do think people should wait a healthy amount of time before having sex as a teenager.  I don't expect my child(ren) to be abstinent, as it is Denmark, but I would hope for them that they waited a very long time after beginning to date someone to get in bed with them.  I'd also like them to engage in the principle of courtship (not dating men that they wouldn't marry and having a strict timeline on which engagement and marriage will take place by) and be very demanding in terms of respect with their partners.  Sometimes it seems like the one night stand is the first date here and I don't think that sets a healthy foundation for any relationship, especially a teenage one.

 

I think teenagers should get comprehensive sexual education and be taught everything about their bodies and the sexual process.  I think they need to learn about charting, cervical mucus, risks and benefits associated with some forms of birth control, and really in depth details about STDs.  I think you just end up doing them a disservice regardless of whether you feel they should be abstinent until marriage or having sex at 16 if they don't get all the facts in an unbiased fashion.

 

zebra15  I too think sex education starts early and as a natural process of learning about your body.  The questions that my daughter asks about babies being in tummies or sexual organs are great natural in roads to having a normal conversation about things.

post #4 of 40

I want both my kids to handle sex responsibly and preferably in committed relationships.  I want my daughter to have a great relationship with her body and sexuality.  The same with my son but men don't seem to have as many problems with body image and figuring out how their particular body orgasms.  It is just a simpler process for boys because their bodies are not as complex of a machine as a girls'.  Women should learn to seek and own their sexual pleasures.  A lot of teenage/young sex ends up being about pleasing boys/men instead of focused on the female partner and that sucks for girls.   

 

That said, I don't mind if my kids slept around later, after they have gotten a handle on the workings of their own bodies.  I just think the figuring out stage is much better when it is in a mutually respectful, loving environment -- i.e a committed relationship.  

 

I think teenage pregnancy is awful.  Yes yes, some teenage moms go on and do well in life but it is really difficult. And many, many more flounder and get stuck in lives they would not have chosen for themselves.  I hope that does not happen to my daughter.  I will do anything in my power to prevent it.  

 

I also find it interesting that when teenage pregnancy or any unwanted pregnancy happens, keeping the baby and adoption are the only ones readily discussed.  There is also that other option women had fought for, ya know? Abortion. I am baffled as to why it doesn't often come up in these discussions when in reality THAT is also an option, you know? 

post #5 of 40
Quote:
Originally Posted by meemee View Post

in todays world should abstinence be the way?

 

or should one have the right sex - for lack of a better word. good friendship, been dating for a while and then have it rather than one night stands or under duress. 

 

what do you feel you wish you had known as a teen to make a better decision?

 

i've just been reading a bunch of books on teens and some of them came down really hard on teen sex and pregnancy.

 

with teen pregnancy my personal gripe is that it is always coloured with a black hue, downfall of the mom, ruined life. is teen pregnancy really that bad. enough for the education folks to completely ban it out of teenage hood?

 

I don't believe abstinence is the answer.  I don't know what is.  Ideally, both parties would be mature, responsible, loving and respectful to each other but what I see and hear about from parents of teens is pretty horrific.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by meemee View Post

 

with teen pregnancy my personal gripe is that it is always coloured with a black hue, downfall of the mom, ruined life. is teen pregnancy really that bad. enough for the education folks to completely ban it out of teenage hood?

 

99.99% of the time, I do think it teen pregnancy is that bad.  (I am the daughter of a teen mom.)  Where I grew up, a teen pregnancy was the first step toward a life of struggle for many, many reasons.

 

Emaye - I suspect it isn't that no one discusses/uses that option, they just keep it to themselves because of the social stigma. 

 

I had a pretty good experience as a teen with no regrets.  My mom made it her life's mission to make sure I didn't get pregnant so I had her complete support when it came to health care and birth control.  She took me to a women's clinic where I had a female doctor who basically approached it as "old enough for sex, old enough to be responsible and make good choices".  I also had her permission to take any friend who needed bc, no questions asked.  I also dated a truly nice guy (my only partner until college) and he was loving and respectful.  These two things combined got me off on the right foot, so to speak.

 

Sadly, I saw my teen friends make choices that eroded their self esteem, things like letting guys disrepect them, blabbing details to their guy friends, refusing to use condoms, etc.    I think girls are more prone to the ugly side of teen sex than boys.

post #6 of 40
Thread Starter 

this is a great article on teen motherhood http://www.economist.com/blogs/democracyinamerica/2012/05/economics-and-culture

 

i learnt a lot from it. fascinating. 

post #7 of 40

Interesting economic article but (and in my opinion, a huge BUT) the scope is so narrow, they are only examining teens that are already on, as they put it, "a low economic trajectory in life" and saying that no matter what, those girls will continue on that path of poverty with or without with kids so why should we worry about it, nothing is going to change for them anyway? 

 

From the article -

 

Perhaps we'll be less eager to combat teen motherhood now that we understand that it doesn't much harm the economic prospects of the young women most likely to go in for it. My own reaction to this news is to wonder whether it isn't cruel to try to discourage relatively poor teen girls from seeking the comforts of motherhood, if motherhood won't hurt their prospects. If we set aside as ill-founded our paternalistic economic motivations to reduce rates of teen motherhood, only the impulse to discourage the proliferation of those people and/or that culture seems to remain. I'm not comfortable with that. But if we wish to reduce teen motherhood anyway, we ought do more of what has been found to work. So poor young women should have access to birth control, including abortion, at no cost. And welfare transfers to teen moms should be reduced.

 

They are saying it doesn't hurt the already poor prospects for the mother but it doesn't address the cost to the child(ren) or society at large.

 

ETA - the comments present interesting points too

post #8 of 40

i started having sex when i was 15. i went down myself and got BC and condoms from the health dept.  no one cared what i did growing up and i think a lot of the reason i had sex was because i had self esteem issues and come from an abusive home.  by the time i met my x and married him 3 years later i had sex with some 18 guys. i dont necessarily regret it but i think i was trying to use sex with sometimes strangers as a way to feel loved.  

 

i wouldnt want my teens having sex but i think teaching them to have safe sex if that is what they are going to do is more important than abstinence. 

post #9 of 40

I got pregnant once at 17 and once at 19. I miscarried at 17. My firstborn is from the pregnancy at 19. It was all with a partner that I started dating at 14 and having sex with at 16.  I'm happy with my life. I'm happy with my partner who is the same guy I started dating when I was 14. My kids are doing well. We don't cost society any more than most families. I don't regret my choices about sex or pregnancy during the teen years, even though it's not for everyone or most people.

post #10 of 40

I had sex when I was 16- to they guy I had been dating and he was the first boy I was ever in love with. it broke my heart into ten million pieces, and I wasnt prepared for it at all. But who is? No one is "prepared" to get their heart broken, and what better time to have it happen to you the first time than when you *can* lay around in your bedroom and cry for two weeks while listening to every smashing pumpkins album over and over again and eating nothing but rice with sugar on it? I'd have hated to have it happen the first time when I had to go to work and pay the bills to keep the roof over my head. I'd have lost my job, my apartment, and not eaten for two weeks if I hadnt still been living at my moms house. 

 

My sisters both lost their virginity by sleeping with some guy at a party after they graduated high school just because they didnt want to go to college still a virgin. I think having sex while in high school is better than sleeping with someone you barely know just to get it over with. 

post #11 of 40
Quote:
Originally Posted by Emaye View Post

 

I also find it interesting that when teenage pregnancy or any unwanted pregnancy happens, keeping the baby and adoption are the only ones readily discussed.  There is also that other option women had fought for, ya know? Abortion. I am baffled as to why it doesn't often come up in these discussions when in reality THAT is also an option, you know? 

 

It might have been just me that gave just those two options, because they are the only two I believe in personally and the only ones that would be acceptable in my household.  What other people do is their own business. 

Quote:
Originally Posted by revolting View Post

I got pregnant once at 17 and once at 19. I miscarried at 17. My firstborn is from the pregnancy at 19. It was all with a partner that I started dating at 14 and having sex with at 16.  I'm happy with my life. I'm happy with my partner who is the same guy I started dating when I was 14. My kids are doing well. We don't cost society any more than most families. I don't regret my choices about sex or pregnancy during the teen years, even though it's not for everyone or most people.

 

I read something that statistically said that mothers under 22 fair no better than teen mothers.  I was 21 when I had my daughter and she wasn't my first pregnancy.  I felt perfectly capable of dealing with the situation.  My husband is the product of a teen mother and he had a great upbringing.  I think people often times judge what they don't know but I am incredibly glad to have a child earlier than most and would have done it sooner if I could have.  

post #12 of 40
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sharlla View Post

i started having sex when i was 15. i went down myself and got BC and condoms from the health dept.  no one cared what i did growing up and i think a lot of the reason i had sex was because i had self esteem issues and come from an abusive home.  by the time i met my x and married him 3 years later i had sex with some 18 guys. i dont necessarily regret it but i think i was trying to use sex with sometimes strangers as a way to feel loved.  

 

I am with you.  I would not want my daughter having this kind of sex, not when she is starting out and is developing her self-esteem.  These sexual experiences can feel so empty and devoid of pleasure.  However, it is not the sleeping around part that bugs me although I know it is a big deal for some people.  Sleeping around is fine as long as she has a handle on her sexuality and body and feels empowered to seek and demand her own pleasure.  I find that developing this takes time for girls.  In the mean time, the potential for emotional devastation is huge.  

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Caneel View Post

Interesting economic article but (and in my opinion, a huge BUT) the scope is so narrow, they are only examining teens that are already on, as they put it, "a low economic trajectory in life" and saying that no matter what, those girls will continue on that path of poverty with or without with kids so why should we worry about it, nothing is going to change for them anyway? 

 

From the article -

 

Perhaps we'll be less eager to combat teen motherhood now that we understand that it doesn't much harm the economic prospects of the young women most likely to go in for it. My own reaction to this news is to wonder whether it isn't cruel to try to discourage relatively poor teen girls from seeking the comforts of motherhood, if motherhood won't hurt their prospects. If we set aside as ill-founded our paternalistic economic motivations to reduce rates of teen motherhood, only the impulse to discourage the proliferation of those people and/or that culture seems to remain. I'm not comfortable with that. But if we wish to reduce teen motherhood anyway, we ought do more of what has been found to work. So poor young women should have access to birth control, including abortion, at no cost. And welfare transfers to teen moms should be reduced.

 

They are saying it doesn't hurt the already poor prospects for the mother but it doesn't address the cost to the child(ren) or society at large.

 

ETA - the comments present interesting points too

 

Yes and the already well to do (economically and educationally) have various avenues to help them mitigate their new found circumstances, should they, in the first place find themselves there.  This article is talking about those who are already doomed to low economic trajectory -- basically saying that, (IN GENERAL), those who end up becoming teen mothers are those who come from poor backgrounds.  Now, it ain't like the rest of the girls from other economic strata are not having sex.  They are; but they have got better/well informed/supported options  -- in terms of preventative precautions, after the fact care (regardless of what choice is taken) and resources (both in terms of money, education and parental involvement).  

Quote:
Originally Posted by Caneel View Post

Emaye - I suspect it isn't that no one discusses/uses that option, they just keep it to themselves because of the social stigma. 

 

 

I suspect you are right but the fact that there is such a stigma around it, so much so that it does not get discussed in "public" spaces saddens me because I think it is a legitimate and relatively simple choice that should be explored before it is totally ruled out.  

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by nerissav View Post

It might have been just me that gave just those two options, because they are the only two I believe in personally and the only ones that would be acceptable in my household.  What other people do is their own business. 

  

 

I meant in general.  Of course you are free to have your preferences. 

post #13 of 40
We are pro-sex at our house. I made sure my kids know all the safe sex stuff and tell them to be choosy. Good sex takes time and privacy, something teens generally have little of. I'm also careful to talk to my daughter and my son about mutual pleasure... not one giving in or giving out just for the other partner. And yes, the choosy part... I tell them not to sleep with anyone who's not "gene pool worthy". Cause the best birth control is not 100%.
post #14 of 40
I was raised by a teenage mom and I don't think it is all that great, neither did she. Teens sex is a reality though. My mom encouraged abstinence but if we did choose not to go with that she encouraged, and paid for birth control and condoms. I plan on taking a simular approach and using Planned Parenthood resources.
post #15 of 40

I'm an extreme case. Before I was 18 I had sex with 30+ men/boys/girls. I don't remember exact numbers and I had a hard drive crash so the list is gone.

 

I start telling kids at about 10 "If you have sex and you aren't ready to be a parent the boy and the girl need to each be on birth control. That means a boy never has sex without a condom until he is actively thinking, "I want a kid with this person!"" I say it over and over. That's how I didn't have unexpected kids. Thai prostitutes have a basically 100% effectiveness rate on condoms. Me too. :) I started taking the pill when I was 12. The first person I had sex with was 25 and he refused to wear a condom and I was too young and stupid to push harder so I took that risk with him. Because I asked him to fuck me. Then I went on the pill. Then I turned into a hard ass about condoms.

 

I learned a lot of lessons the hard way. I have never understood this "emotional devastation" people talk about having after sexual contact. I don't feel that. I get the impression I probably qualify as having one or more attachment issues, perhaps all the way to a disorder, because of the extent of abuse I went through. Sex is one of the only ways I can feel close to people. I have built a lot of friendships this way. I tend to hang on to my sexual partners and stay on good terms with them. Even my one night stands are usually quite fond of me. If you don't count my rapists (because who wants to count them any way) then I've only had two sexual partners I have tried to get away from afterwards. One was a boyfriend of nine months--that was the closest I came to an abusive relationship. Anyway.

 

I discourage teen sex. I tell kids to go masturbate. I tell them to masturbate all the god damn time because learning how to orgasm is harder than you think and you'll be a better sex partner if you spend a lot of time learning what you like. I did it with partners--it's a rocky road. I understand that few people are as disconnected as I am and I encourage girls (in particular though not exclusively) to be selfish about sex. Don't have intercourse with someone until he has already put the time in to get you off a lot or you really shouldn't bother. He probably won't be nicer once his dick is in you. Almost no men get nicer then. At this point I have slept with more than a hundred men. They don't get nicer once their dick is in you. You have to be damn sure they are nice first.

 

So yeah. I don't encourage teenage sex. I talk frankly about it being physically much more uncomfortable; I wasn't done growing "down there" until I was in my twenties and sex magically stopped hurting. I thought it just had to hurt like that. Whoops. I also wasn't able to orgasm in the first five years or so I was having sex. I really should have spent the time masturbating. My life would have been happier.

post #16 of 40

I always talk to my boys  about bodily integrity,  and in intend to tell my girl the same-you dont touch me without my consent.  I dont force a hug on them, i say-would you like a  hug? I have a hug for you. (especially at times when i think they need one)

 

Legally speaking, consent begins at 18. But some  teenagers are more mature than others.  Some are more assertive than others.  For me,  if both parties feel ready, and truly consent, and  take the necessary precautions, then its their business. For those who dont want to , let them abstain. I abstained as a teenager. I just had other things to do.

 

If a person loves their body, loves  and accepts themselves, then they are more likely to make wise decisions, regarding their body, their reproductivity, and everything else that matters.

post #17 of 40

I've learned that how the west coast views sex is much different than the south. My DH and I grew up and are living on the west coast, my step daughter moved in with us in March and grew up in the south. We see casual sex as no big deal and that being someone's boyfriend/girlfriend is a big deal, where my step daughter sees causal sex as slutty and not something she does, but being someone's girlfriend is much more common and happens much sooner in the relationship. She wouldn't sleep with someone unless she is their girlfriend, whereas I would have one night stands and have no problem with it and not be seen as a slut. To her, one night stands are gross and so stanky. DH and I have had fewer relationships than her because be in a relationship is a bigger deal than just sleeping with them. Also, my DH has slept with 99% of his female friends. I thought that was really interesting. 

 

My DH and I do have a more casual view of sex, which includes teen sex. I don't have a magical age in mind for when I would want my DD to first have sex. I think it would be romantic if she had sex for the first time at prom with her high school boyfriend who adores her. For some reason 16 seems like a good age to me, some how better than 15 but I don't have a logical reasoning for that. Maybe because teens get the responsibility of a driver's license at 16 so it seems more mature than 15. 

post #18 of 40
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kaydove View Post

I've learned that how the west coast views sex is much different than the south. My DH and I grew up and are living on the west coast, my step daughter moved in with us in March and grew up in the south. We see casual sex as no big deal and that being someone's boyfriend/girlfriend is a big deal, where my step daughter sees causal sex as slutty and not something she does, but being someone's girlfriend is much more common and happens much sooner in the relationship. She wouldn't sleep with someone unless she is their girlfriend, whereas I would have one night stands and have no problem with it and not be seen as a slut. To her, one night stands are gross and so stanky. DH and I have had fewer relationships than her because be in a relationship is a bigger deal than just sleeping with them. Also, my DH has slept with 99% of his female friends. I thought that was really interesting. 

 

My DH and I do have a more casual view of sex, which includes teen sex. I don't have a magical age in mind for when I would want my DD to first have sex. I think it would be romantic if she had sex for the first time at prom with her high school boyfriend who adores her. For some reason 16 seems like a good age to me, some how better than 15 but I don't have a logical reasoning for that. Maybe because teens get the responsibility of a driver's license at 16 so it seems more mature than 15. 

In some places....and that's probably not going to be the case by the time our kids are old enough to drive. 

post #19 of 40

I am moving this to the Preteen and Teen forum.

post #20 of 40

in my house, we preach birth control and self-respect. i was taught abstinence, and got pregnant at 17. most girls i knew in strict religious homes were either secretly sleeping with lots of guys or ended up pregnant early.

 

what i wish i had known then...how to have sex that felt good. lubrication...and not to be embarassed about "down there". also i wish my mom had protected me and not let the damn doctor hurt me when he did a pelvic on me at age 14, bc that made me terrified to let a guy touch me. i am still jumpy to this day.

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