Friday, November 6, 2009

The Birds and Bees for '09

Teen Link receives questions regarding teens and sex ALL the time. Lots of "What if...?" questions, "What does it mean if...?" questions and "Is it normal...?" questions. And of course it makes sense that you would have a ton of questions - sex is EVERYWHERE these days. Between explicit images on TV and everything that seems to be on the internet, kids are becoming young adults faster and sooner than ever before. Add raging hormones to the mix and it makes perfect sense that teens want to know how all this "sex" stuff works.

But are the questions being asked? And if so, are they getting answered?'s webpage Teen Advice says, " scares us how much some sexually active teens DON’T know about sex, pregnancy and STDs. Silly or not some of these questions get asked so often that it makes us believe they are sincere."

Questions like:
  • Can i get pregnant the first time i have sex?
  • If a guy is a virgin can he get me pregnant?
  • Can a girl get pregnant from oral sex?
  • Are two condoms better protection from STD's?
Some of these questions being asked online are due to the fact that many parents don't have the first clue of how to have "the talk" with their kids (nothing against parents - kids don't come with an instructional manual after all). "Sometimes parents are fearful about saying too much too soon (although there's no evidence that this should be a concern). Some parents feel they don't know enough to be a reliable source of accurate information.

But when teens don't get the full picture from their parents (or even worse, NO picture at all), they'll seek the answers elsewhere - typically from their friends, who are in the same boat as they are.

Sex-ed Programs in schools can provide a lot of really helpful information (like clearing up the questions above - although there is still a great deal of controversy around what's okay to teach and what's not) but other questions like "How to know when you're ready for sex?" and "How to talk to your partner about sex?" tend to go unanswered, and yes or no answers and statistics aren't enough to help teens make responsible decisions that work for them.

SO, if you, your partner, or your friends have questions about sex in general or about sex in regards to your relationship, please give Teen Link (anonymous, confidential and non-judgmental: 1-866-833-6546) a call. But, if talking to someone is still intimidating or awkward for you, here are some really great sites that have real answers for today' questions:

Been around for 10+ years, dealing with sex, sexuality, and pretty much everything in between
Sex education for teens, by teens - on a large variety of issues beyond just STDs
Facts on dating, pregnancy, STDs and getting tested

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