Why teens have sex
We can help teens embrace their sexuality if we can acknowledge the obvious reasons, and a few more complex ones.
As the writer of a book about my teen pregnancy, I’m always asked why I think teenagers have sex. Duh. For EXACTLY the same reasons adults do. Some good, some stupid.
It’s simplistic and dangerous to assume that only teenagers from dysfunctional homes have sex. Sooner or later, we all look outwards into the world, away from our parents, no matter how attentive they were. That’s just natural. Here are some other reasons:
- Biology. Teenagers have been having sex for millennia. It’s what our bodies were made to do at that age, because we were dead by 20 and needed to have sprogged before the sabre-tooth tigers got us. Society has moved on and now tells us we may not do it, but our bodies have not caught up.
- It feels good. Sex for fun is fine for a while, but without a safe and true emotional connection, recreational sex gets old very fast. Which leads to riskier choices in pursuit of the same high as before.
- Emotional fulfilment. Having sex with someone you love, and who loves you, can inspire contentment and joy. Sharing in this way can be a beautiful thing. Maybe to you this will mean sex after marriage only. But marriage is still no guarantee of a safe or happy sexual experience, and no amount of sex or wedding cake will magically provide intimacy, confidence, self-esteem or love that wasn’t there already. When you come right down to it, it won’t give you anything you haven’t already got. Except maybe gonorrhoea.
- Power. Some people of all ages and genders use sex to get what they want: whether it’s by demanding it, promising it, providing it or withholding it, it’s a means to an end and someone is getting used and hurt. So, so wrong. NOW you can talk about sex and morals in the same sentence.
Read 14 questions for your teen to ask before having sex
. Are there other reasons why teens have sex?