Depending on your teenagers age and the people they hang out with, you will probably find that they have been thinking about or exploring sex and sexual relationships. During the later teenage stages, sex becomes a big deal and each teenager will approach it differently. Young people are talking about, thinking about and having sex. Young people from families in which sex and sexual relationships are openly discussed are more likely to delay the age they first have sex, have fewer sexual partners, and behave respectfully and safely when they do have sex. Evidence shows that children and young people want to talk to their parents about sex and relationships, and vice versa, but both can feel awkward about starting the conversation. The average age that young Australians are starting to have sex is around 15 years. Reassure your teenager that sex differs for each individual. Many parents feel anxious talking about the topic of sex with their children, so feeling prepared and confident will make it much easier for you and your child.
How many teens are choosing not to have sex?
Talking about sex and relationships with your teenager
As young people move from early to late adolescence, they develop both physically and psychologically, which also includes their sexual development. During this time, teens experience and explore different feelings and behaviours as aspects of their sexual growth. Many young people may not become sexually active until their late teenage years Fisher et al. At this time, teenagers receive different information from parents, peers, social media and the internet about sex. How young people approach their sexual development is personal, and so understanding their own sexuality and making informed decisions about their behaviours is essential for healthy sexual development into adulthood Frayser, Parents and schools can play a pivotal role to enable a supportive environment so that teenagers can explore their feelings and behaviours in a respectful way for themselves and towards each other Albert, ; Department for Education and Child Development, ; Dittus et al. This important period in young people's sexual and psychosocial development - and the supportive role that parents and schools can play - is increasingly recognised with the delivery of respectful relationships education in schools and other child-focused settings. This chapter provides a snapshot of insights into sexual experiences and behaviours of teenagers aged years.
Young people are learning about sex and relationships, not only from you, their parents, but from TV and films, online, and their friends. They need and want their family to help them to sort out fact from fiction, to understand what is happening to their bodies as they grow older and to talk about their feelings and their relationships. Remember that the earlier you start talking, the easier it will be to tackle some of the more difficult subjects as they grow up. It made a big difference to the way we felt about ourselves and others. Being a parent of teenagers can be tough.
The historic drop is one of the findings in the iteration of the Youth Risk Behavior Survey YRBS , a biannual survey administered by the CDC that tracks risky behaviors, including sexual intercourse, among America's high schoolers. Administered to high school students across the country since , the YRBS offers one of the more detailed longitudinal views of the state of high school sexual activity. What this year's report shows is yet another drop in that activity, consistent with the more or less continuous trend since Closer examination reveals that most teens are having less sex and delaying sex longer, and that sexually-active teens have fewer lifetime sexual partners. That confirms other data indicating that American teenagers are far more risk averse than their parents, challenging the popular media representation of an increasingly sexualized adolescent life.