The Sex Battle: Parents vs Media & Peer Pressure

By brandon

Teens and young adults are exposed to sex from an early age through friends, books, movies, Youtube, and TV shows. This exposure will have an impact on their approach to sex. Without your involvement, they might be more inclined to engage in risky sexual behavior due to what they learn from these other sources.

In 2014, a study was conducted by the University of Missouri that examined the sexual content of the top-grossing movies released between 1998 and 2004. Researchers then polled 1,200 students ages 12-14 to determine how many had watched any of the films on the list.

Surveyors later followed up with the same students to determine when they became sexually active and if they’d participated in risky behaviors such as sex with more than one partner or sex without a condom. The study results showed that students who had been exposed to movies with more sexual content became active earlier and were more likely to engage in risky sexual behaviors. (Sex scenes in movies impact sexual behavior in teens, study says | Fox News)

Between influence from entertainment and social influences, teens are under a lot of pressure to start engaging in sexual activity at a young age. That’s why parents need to step in and educate them on the dangers associated with risky sexual behaviors.

These behaviors include:

  • Illicit Drug Use
  • Having Multiple Sex Partners

It may seem as if illicit drugs don’t belong in the category of risky sexual behaviors; however, when drugs are involved, judgment tends to get cloudy. Teens and even adults who depend on the highs that come with drug usage are more prone to engage in the other two risky sexual behaviors on the list.

As a result, they leave themselves open to consequences like an unplanned pregnancy, the contraction of an STI or STD, or even violent behaviors like rape.

Having multiple sex partners and participating in sexual behavior put teens at a higher risk of unplanned pregnancy or contracting an STI or STD. It doesn’t matter if a student is engaging in oral sex or “doesn’t go all the way,” they are still at risk of contracting a sexually transmitted disease.

For example, some diseases only require skin-to-skin contact to spread, while others may not show symptoms in the carrier, so they might not be aware they have an STD. Therefore, it is imperative to educate teens on how diseases like chlamydia, gonorrhea, syphilis, trichomoniasis, hepatitis A, B & C, HIV, and herpes 1 & 2, and more are spread and how they can affect the body.

According to statistics gathered by the CDC in 2018,
21% of all new HIV cases were found in young people ages 13-24, 50% of new STDs were reported in ages 15-24, and nearly 180,000 babies were born to teen girls between 15 and 19. 

As a parent, you can’t control the actions of your teens. However, you can be an active participant in their growth by encouraging them to practice Sexual Risk Avoidance. Sexual Risk Avoidance teaches participants to avoid having sex until they are in a monogamous married relationship. Doing so will help pre-teens, teens, and even adults to avoid the risks that come with having sex with multiple partners.

In addition, by providing them with fact-based information and leaving an open door for them to talk to you, they will be equipped to make educated decisions regarding sex rather than relying on entertainment or friends to guide them.  

If you or someone you know is looking for information about scheduling an STD test, visit: https://langleyhealth.com/sumterville/

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