Fact Sheet: What Teens Want to Know About Sex, Love, and Relationships
Each week, hundreds of teens from across the nation visit the National Campaign's website, www.teenpregnancy.org, and answer our question of the week. Recently, we asked teens to tell us what their biggest unanswered questions were about sex, love, and relationships. Here are their top ten:
- When is it okay to have sex? How do I know when I'm ready?
- How far is too far for me - or for someone my age?
- Does my partner really love me? How do you know when you're in love?
- How do I say "no" without making my boy/girlfriend feel bad and without feeling pressured?
- Why do so many girls get pregnant when there is plenty of birth control information available?
- Why do teens feel they have to have sex before marriage? Is it to feel cool?
- Where can I find out about birth control?
- How can I ask my parents about sex - or tell them I'm ready to have sex - without them having a heart attack?
- How many teen girls get pregnant every year?
- Why don't parents and other adults stress abstinence as a way to avoid pregnancy?
The teens also asked very specific questions about the nuts-and-bolts of birth control, sex, and pregnancy. Here are some examples:
- Can you get pregnant the first time you have sex?
- How can you tell if you might be pregnant?
- Do you gain weight if you take birth control pills?
- Do condoms prevent all STD's?
- Can you get pregnant while having your period?
- How well does the withdrawal method work?
- What is the real definition of sex?
As both parents and teens know, addressing these questions is not always easy, but teens tell us they'd rather find out the facts about sex, pregnancy, and relationships from the adults in their lives than through myths and half-truths in the school yard. If you need some help talking to your teens or younger children about sex, love, and pregnancy, check out the Campaign's Talking Back: Ten Things Teens Want Parents to Know About Teen Pregnancy and Ten Tips for Parents to Help Their Children Avoid Teen Pregnancy. You may also order copies from our website under the Publications section.
About the National Campaign to Prevent Teen Pregnancy
The mission of the National Campaign to Prevent Teen Pregnancy is to improve the life prospects of this generation and the next by influencing cultural values and building a more effective grassroots movement. The Campaign's goal is to reduce the teen pregnancy rate by one-third between 1996 and 2005.
Reprinted with the permission of the National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy. © 2008, The National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy.