Is it necessary for teenagers or young adults who just entering college to have sex whilst dating? Is it true that most teenagers who are dating end up with the involved boys and girls having sex? What is the incidence of teen sex? What are the cultural differences in sexual attitudes?
These are some of the queries I attempt to answer in this short article.
Dating is a very important part of modern social behavior and cannot be condemned by civil society. The controversy lies around the rising trend of teen sex and its consequences. The liberal thinkers who advocate teen sex during dates are now an increasingly vocal number. Among the benefits is the fact that teenagers get a better understanding of the opposite sex and prepare them for adult life.
But the vast majority still believe that premarital sex is taboo, and definitely not during teen years when the child is in the phase between adulthood and childhood. This phase of life needs to be closely monitored with the parents always available to advise the adolescent rather than condemn him or her for their sexual adventurism. The biggest danger of teen sex is unwed motherhood or teen pregnancy. Such pregnancies endanger the life of both the teen mother and her unborn child. Teen pregnancy results in trauma, both to the boy and the girl, as well as their families. The legal issues of such an event are even worse, with the possibility of the boy being accused of rape and subsequent imprisonment. The other dangers include venereal diseases, notably HIV—AIDS, syphilis, gonorrhea etc.
The social implications of unwed and teen pregnancies and teen motherhood are very great. Whole generations are now laid wasted by this process. So whilst dating may be acceptable, teens should be strongly advised against having sex.
The statistics: (USA)
Leading surveys on adolescent sexual habits show that almost 46 percent of all teens (fifteen- to nineteen-year-old) have had sexual intercourse (USA). By fifteen years old, 13 percent of teen females would have had sex. However by the age of nineteen, more than 70 percent of teen females have had sex (USA). These figures are rather disturbing by any account. Many liberal Western nations now freely allow the distribution of condoms and other contraceptives among adolescents, due to this trend. Another disturbing fact is the rise of STD (sexually transmitted diseases) among the youth. Nearly half of all new STD cases in USA occur among the teens (out of a total of nearly 19 million new cases each year).
The cultural differences in sexual attitudes:
Most Asian societies frown on premarital sex and anything more that polite social interaction between youth. Thailand is an exception to this rule. Here premarital sex is common and can be easily purchased (via sex workers or as sexual favors). Many, so called, primitive or tribal societies also allow premarital and extramarital sex. This is found in many tribes in India and other parts of Asia. A fact that needs to be noted is that societies that encourage frequent sex among married or unmarried men and women also are liberal and spend more time on eroticism and sexual encounters. These societies/ nations also have less time for war or aggression.
Sex is part of humans’ life, no denial. But it should be done with full consciousness and responsibilities. I strongly recommend that teenagers should not have sex until they fully understand the consequences that come with it.
Parents play a big role in this matter. Give clear understanding to their teenager child about sex, and parents’ support if somehow teenager has had sex.
After all, there should be time for everything. So why rush?