Many parents are eager to know at what age kids start having sex. The answer might surprise you. While things have changed a bit in the past couple of decades, it might not be something you should focus on. Here, we will go through everything you need to know about this topic. We will answer questions like “When do kids start having sex?” and “What are some risks they should know?”
The Baffling Statistics on Teen Sexuality
Sex and sexuality are an important topic for everyone, especially for teens. They are experiencing so many changes in their organisms, and it can be overwhelming. To make things more interesting, teens are still in the process of discovering how the world works, their emotions, and relationships. When you think about it, it doesn’t seem strange that nearly half of teens have had sex before the age of eighteen.
According to research from 2015, the exact number was 42% for females and 44% for males. While there are many people who will find these numbers alarming, it is a significant drop since 1988 when the numbers were 51% for females and 60% for males.
But the next big question is — why do they start so young? Virginia Department of Health conducted research that showed how only one-fifth of both males and females had sex at the age of 18 or older. While the age of consent differs from country to country, it has nothing to do with sexual maturity. It just shows that teens are more mature than they were a couple of decades ago.
READ: Boys Reaching Sexual Maturity Earlier Than Ever
The Changing Teen Sexuality Trends
Modern culture plays an important role in sexual activity, and teens are more open than ever. It is quite normal for everyone today to discuss their feelings. Also, people are starting to focus on their sexual health as well. While there are still those who avoid sexual intercourse, it is not as common as it used to be. For some, this is an obvious step forward, while others will dislike the idea of sexual acts between teens.
Some might think that the world has gone to hell and that it is Sodom and Gomorrah all over again. However, the reality is quite different. While teens are becoming more open about their interests and sexuality, it seems that they have become smarter than previous generations. The majority of teens (over 73% females and 58% males) reported having sex for the first time with a steady partner. Moreover, nearly all of them reported using some kind of protection, which is great news. It shows that they aren’t doing it just for the sake of it or without thinking. Instead, it is more than obvious that they are taking necessary precautions to avoid sexually transmitted infections and unwanted pregnancy.
Many want to know how teens even get exposed to the topic of sex. The answer is simple. Sex is everywhere. It is natural, and it is present in every form of media, from music to movies. People are now more open than ever, and they love sharing their stories. That doesn’t necessarily need to be a bad thing, as long as teens are informed of the topic and are consenting to sexual activity.
The Effects and Risks of Teen Sex
There are two main problems with teen sex, and both can lead to so many problems. The first and obvious one is the risk of sexually transmitted diseases and infections. We can see from numerous studies that teens are sexually active regardless of what their parents believe. And having a proper education is more important than ever. They need to understand the risks that come with reckless behavior and how to avoid them. Health care is an important topic, and sex ed should get under the spotlight in schools.
The second major problem is pregnancy. We don’t need shows like “16 and Pregnant” that praise unwanted pregnancies. Of course, there are people who truly enjoy being a young mom, but for many, it leads to more problems. Teens are not capable of taking care of themselves (at least the majority of them), and having a baby might be a burden. Pregnancies can often lead to dropouts and other social implications as well.
It seems strange that people enjoy sex and praise it while judging everyone at the same time. Also, being pregnant at a young age can lead to harassment, a lack of education, and many other problems. The numbers seem relieving since they show an increase in birth control and protection, so things might not be as bad as they seem.
Helping Teens With Their Sexual Health
Instead of pretending that all young people are living in chastity and being frightened when teens start having sex, people should focus on proper education and talking about these topics as soon as possible. There are two main concerns that teens should be aware of.
The most important part is consent. Partners should understand the importance of consent and how it is essential for both parties to be on the same page. It is perfectly normal to be curious and to have urges. All of us were teens once, and we know how it feels. But both partners should have mutual consent before going to the next step of their relationship. And it doesn’t matter if we talk about oral sex, anal sex, or anything else. The thing that should matter the most is consent, and it should always be a hard “yes.”
The second thing that is equally important is protection. We already mentioned condoms and birth control and whatnot, but we can’t stress it enough — use condoms! There are no excuses and exceptions to protection. No, it doesn’t feel better, and no, your pull-out technique is not flawless. It is important even if you are in a steady, long-term relationship, and you know that your partner is healthy. Condoms are a great way to lower the chances of pregnancy as well as STDs.
Many people focus on numbers and how teens are having sex, while they should educate them and provide protection to ensure that they don’t ruin their future. So, if you have a teen child, let them have fun. As long as they are doing it with consent and protection, it shouldn’t be a problem for anyone.