Approximately half of teenagers in the United States have sex before they leave high school. In our culture, sex is used to sell products on TV. Movies, TV shows and Internet sites bombard teens with sexual images and have language that is full of sexual innuendo. All teens are curious about sex in one way or another –- their hormones make thoughts of sex almost impossible to ignore.
What should you, as a parent, know to be prepared?
First, it may be helpful to get a better sense of sex and teens as a whole. Brush up on current stats:
You also need to think about how teens become educated on sex. Schools do provide some education on the topic, but it is important to know what they are teaching. You may be surprised, but parents are a major influence on a teen's sexual behavior. What is your teen learning about sex from school -- and you?
Lastly, teens should know how to protect themselves from sexually transmitted diseases and pregnancy. With teen pregnancy rates on the rise, and the astronomical numbers of teens who have an STD, this information is more important than ever.
There are no easy answers when it comes to talking to your teen about sex. Being knowledgeable about sex can make you an ally, not the enemy, when trying to discuss the issues with your teen. Good luck!