Controversial Teen Issues

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Many controversial teen issues apply to a wide range of adolescents. It's essential that parents work towards educating their children on issues such as teen sex and sexual orientation, substance abuse, texting and body image and peer pressure, as these are all problematic concerns among teenagers.

Sexual Activity

  • Many serious issues revolve around teen sex, including pregnancy, STD's (sexually transmitted diseases) and using protection. Many parents don't want to provide their teenagers with a form of protection, thinking it will prompt their child to become sexually active. Many mothers and fathers preach to their children about abstinence. However, while abstinence is the safest option for teenagers, it's not always a realistic one. According to the Guttmache Institute, seven out of 10 teens become sexually active by their 19th birthday. The age at which teens most commonly lose their virginity is around 17.

    For young adolescents who do become sexually active at an early age, it's essential that they use protection and make responsible choices. Although condoms are not 100% guaranteed to prevent pregnancy and STD's, they decrease the odds immensely.

Substance Abuse

  • According to Medicine Net, the younger a person is when they first begin to use drugs, the more likely they will become addicted and the less likely they will be successful with rehabilitation programs. That said, it's vital that parents talk to their teenagers about substance abuse and the realistic facts that go along with it. Young adolescents who engage in using drugs are more likely to make poor decisions, which can lead to unprotected sex, trouble with the law and health risks. Many teenagers don't see any harm in experimenting with drugs, or just trying something one time and some teens are easily susceptible to peer pressure. What many adolescents don't realize is how addictive drugs are and how trying a drug can change their lives forever.

Texting

  • Although cell phones may seem like a harmless accessory to many teenagers, there are many associated risks involved with adolescents and cell phone usage. Teens are typically more digitally savvy than most adults and they often think they are invincible. According to the Mayo Clinic, it's very important that parents talk to their children about texting and what risks are involved. It's essential to set clear boundaries and ground rules on when it's not appropriate to use a cell phone. The many issues involved with teens and cells phones, include texting while driving, sexting, cyber bullying and texting during class. These are all serious issues that need to be addressed thoroughly.

Body Image

  • Body image and self-esteem is a major struggle for many teenagers, especially females. According to Teen Advisor, 90 percent of patients with anorexia or bulimia are females. Teenagers experience a lot of physical changes and if they are not happy with what they see, this can send them into a very self-conscious state of mind. Some adolescents complain of being too fat, skinny, tall or short, or even unhappy with their overall appearance. Overall, these issues can become a major concern. Teenagers have a need to feel accepted by their peers and if they feel that their physical appearance is holding them back, they can become susceptible to many dangerous activities. Teenagers with a low self-esteem due to body image can become anorexic, bulimic, depressed or even suicidal. It's essential that parents talk to their children about all of these issues and look out for any warning signs that may indicate that they are struggling with a dangerously low self-esteem.

References

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