While it is normal for teens to be curious about sex, sexual promiscuity is risky behavior that exposes teens to a myriad of unfortunate consequences. In an article on Sexual Risk Behavior, The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) states that since 2000, nearly half of the new 19 million sexually transmitted disease cases each year belong to adolescents and young adults. Through education, connecting with your teen, and encouraging decision-making based on personal values, your teen can understand there are far too many dangers involved with promiscuity.
There is substantive information available for you to share with your teens about the dangers of irresponsible sexual activity. The CDC offers up-to-date statistics on teen sexual behavior from a public health perspective. Share these statistics with your teen so that she is forewarned and to ensure that she’s receiving accurate sexual information. The Guttmacher Institute offers valuable information about sexual behavior, including when and why teens are having sex, and why some teens have chosen abstinence and would rather wait. If your teen realizes that not everyone is sexually active, this may empower her to make choices for herself instead of succumbing to negative peer pressure.
Talk Early and Often
Talking early and often about sex to your kids is a good way to encourage responsible sexual behavior, notes OB-GYN and author Dr. Jennifer Ashton in "How To Talk To Your Teen Daughter About Sex," on HuffingtonPost.com. Dr. Ashton suggests talking to your teen before you believe it’s necessary, and talking often so that you become more comfortable having the conversation. Nicholas Lagina with AdvocatesForYouth.com notes in "Parents Play the Most Important Role in Sex Education, But Need Resources and Support," that parent-child communication increases the chances of more responsible sexual behaviors, such as increased contraception and condom use and fewer risky behaviors. Have in-depth talks with your teen about sex -- if not you, then her friends may be the ones providing her with misinformation.
Your teen’s value system will significantly impact the decisions she makes. The Guttmacher Institute website notes that many teens have chosen abstinence based on their moral, religious or personal values. Talk to your teen about her value system by providing her with an extensive list of value words, such as self-respect, faithfulness and discipline, and having her choose the best fits. Teach your teen that when making life decisions it is important to consider her values and how these decisions will affect them. If your teen values self-respect, for example, then remind her that sexual promiscuity does not align with her value system. Be a good example of living a life that is in alignment with your own personal values so that she can see values-driven behavior in action.
If you are unable to address your teen’s sexual promiscuity from a preventive standpoint and find yourself in the throes of her sexually inappropriate behavior, it may be time to find outside help. The Aspen Education Group website notes that “sex may become an outlet for a struggling teen’s frustrations, much in the same way drugs and alcohol serve as an outlet.” If your teen does not open up to you, suggest either individual or group counseling. While your teen may be resistant to getting help, intervening as soon as possible allows her to get to the bottom of her troubling behavior and get back on track to living more responsibly.