That's why I think a lot of teens go off and have sex. For guys who have never been married, 44 percent have had sex, down from 60 percent in So even if a parent is comfortable talking about sex with his or her teen but hasn't brought it up out of respect for the teen's privacy, the teen may assume that the parent doesn't want to talk about it, or that his parent would be angry or uncomfortable if the teen brought it up. In other words, about 0. Even though we know teens have a social life that frequently doesn't include adult supervision, the oft-sudden realization that they may be hiding such an important part of their lives can be a startling wake-up call. And anecdotal as well as scientific research and good common sense tells us that teens, like children of all ages, are loath to disappoint their parents. See the introduction for my personal story about this. They tell me about parents who get angry or seem embarrassed or otherwise act in a way that makes the teen conclude this topic is off-limits.
Unless the parents and teen are extraordinarily close or the teen has sex for the first time when she's in her late teens, the parents probably won't get to know for sure exactly when it happens. Teens are exploring dangerous territory, without a map Many teens tell me that they expect to sort through the questions, decisions, and issues concerning sex and sexuality alone. Or to read their teen's journal—be it an online diary or a lined book filled with loopy script that was left spread-eagle and spine-up near the family computer. Also, 60 percent of teen girls and women reported having used the withdrawal method the report did not give the percentage of boys and men who reported using this method , and 56 percent of teen girls and women reported ever using birth control pills , according to the report. What he means is: The other two-thirds wrongly assumed their teens were virgins. Teens Want to Close the Communication Gap As I was starting research for this book, I sent an e-mail to teens saying, "Listen, I know it can be hard to talk about sex, so if you tell me your secret thoughts, feelings, and actions, I'll share your words in a book, to help adults understand where you're coming from and how best to help you. So I included that question in the Truth survey: The states with the lowest unintended pregnancy rates were New Hampshire 16 per 1, women younger than 20 , Minnesota, Massachusetts, Utah and Vermont. On the contrary, says Furstenberg, parents expect sex not to happen "knowing full well that it usually does" and distance themselves from the process of preparing teens to be sexually responsible. Teens cited condoms as the most common form of contraception they used during sex, with 97 percent of girls and women and 95 percent of boys and men saying that they had ever used condoms. They tell me about parents who get angry or seem embarrassed or otherwise act in a way that makes the teen conclude this topic is off-limits. This is, in part, because of the embarrassment factor. Vaccines to Prevent Human Papillomavirus, Atlanta: Because I have teens in my life who I'm close to, and I'll admit it pains me to think about them fooling around, I understand where this desire to be in a little denial comes from. So we prepare them to drive, and we do everything we can to help them manage the risks associated with driving. I'm into sports and hanging out with friends, at the movies and the mall. There are groups of kids at my school who like to sleep around. Guttmacher Institute, , https: It's way too early, and I don't think we should. How often are sexually active teens having sex? Teens are exploring their sex and love lives on their own, without a map. Because they are driven crazy about all the things in their heads, that they have to know. Nationwide, just under half of all teenagers— As they develop, adolescents and young adults need access to comprehensive and non-stigmatizing information about sexual and reproductive health, support networks to have the pregnancies they want, and high-quality, affordable and confidential contraceptive services and abortion services to avoid the pregnancies they do not want. Sure, these statistics are all very interesting—and right now parents may be rethinking that "open-door" policy that used to seem so restrictive but now suddenly sounds like a good idea. When and where are teens having sex?
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