To many, the idea of remaining abstinent until marriage is old fashioned, while for others it’s a life goal that they hold strongly to as a part of their faith or values. In modern day society, many teens equate having sex to being in love; however, it’s known that many teens who aren’t ready to have sex, feel peer pressured from friends, or even strangers.
A study conducted by the Kaiser Family Foundation found that one third of males and 22 percent of females feel peer pressured from their friends or significant others to participate in sexual activity before they are ready or even willing to.
“I think there is so much pressure nowadays to have sex just because everyone is doing it,” junior Austin Surrey said. “It is portrayed as something you do to prove you’re ‘cool’.”
According to the Center for Disease control and prevention in their article ‘Teen Pregnancy,” half of teen mothers do not graduate from high school. Also, having sex as a teenager can have negative effects on one’s mental, physical, and emotional health. Physically, risks such as unplanned pregnancy and lifelong disease can even lead to death.
“They may experience guilt, regret, hurt, and loss of self respect,” Health teacher Christine Bette said. “One should examine values and beliefs of self before choosing to have sex or engage in sexual activities. Teens should set limitations and know boundaries.”
Eighteen year old Maliwan Kau describes how having sex as a teen can seem fun at first, but can make you feel like you made a “really big mistake.”
“Do I regret having sex as a teen? Yes,” Kau said. “It messed up my life. I got pregnant at 18 and I really didn’t want to be put in that position.”
Many use sex as a way to prove either to themselves or to others that they are in love with someone. However, not all teens think sex equates to love.
“Sex is not the equivalent of love. However, one is the product of love,” senior Hope Cassidy said. “Show her you love her by respecting her and her boundaries. You see, if we have suddenly become the generation to separate singleness and virginity into separate categories, were we the generation to have been born with different morals and convictions? Have human instinct and desire changed so much that we truly would rather share our bodies with more people than one for the sake of temporary happiness and fulfillment? If we lose the belief that virginity is sacred, then what is sacred? Sex before marriage is not simply a matter of STDs. It is a matter of whether or not I treasure my virginity enough to save it for someone who will value me for it.”
Many teenagers struggle with setting boundaries for their own individual opinions. However, by doing so at a young age, you will be able to help prevent many future mistakes.
If you feel pressured to have sex before you are ready, talk to a trusted adult. Don’t be afraid to say no and stand up for what you believe in even if it may be hard. If you want to have sex but want to stay as protected as possible, talk to your doctor about ways to prevent teen pregnancy.
For more information on sex visit:
It’s Your Sex Life