06 July 2005

Teens and sex

The mere thought that your 14-year-old could be considering having sex is enough to give parents permanent insomnia. So what makes some teenagers decide to go ahead anyway?

Deciding to have sex is a very personal decision that people should make for themselves, without being pressurised into it. Teenagers generally have very strong sexual urges, which sometimes makes a decision one way or the other difficult.

Some of the reasons teenagers have sex can include:

  • Simply because it feels good
  • Curiosity
  • Often it gets confused with closeness
  • Sometimes it just happens – it is often easier to just do it than to talk about it or to say no
  • Peer pressure is tremendous during adolescence and the need for acceptance is great
  • Being in love
  • A desire to experiment
  • Very strong sexual urges

Some questions to ask yourself (whether you are a teenager or not!) before you have sex with someone:

  • Am I mature enough to take precautions against STIs and pregnancy?
  • Am I ready to take on the responsibilities of parenthood if this sexual encounter produces a child?
  • Do I really want to do this at this point in my life?
  • Am I prepared for all the emotional feelings sexual relationships usually bring with them?
  • Am I being pressurised into doing this by means of all sorts of arguments even though it might not be what I want to do?
  • How am I going to feel about this tomorrow morning?

Having sex is not a decision to take lightly, as it can have far-reaching consequences on your life and your health.

(Susan Erasmus, Health24)

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