Myths About Sex That You Can Help Your Teens Navigate

Myths About Sex That You Can Help Your Teens Navigate

  • Sex won't hold together a relationship in trouble. In fact, it can make things more difficult if things aren't already going well.
  • Sex is not proof that you are an adult. Waiting until you are ready for the emotional commitment of a sexual relationship is true maturity.
  • Friends and the media talk about sexuality, making it seem like everyone is doing it. Decisions should be based on the teens own feelings, not on what everyone else is doing.
  • Sex isn't the only way to show you love someone. Hugging, holding hands, kissing can all be ways to show this.
  • If a teen is having sex, they need accurate information about preventing pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections (STIs). Give them information on infections, HIV/AIDS and teen pregnancy.

Other Ways to Bust the Myths

Teens live with confusing language around sexuality. "Having sex" is called "making love" regardless of the relationship. So feeling "sexy" ends up being the same as being "in love". It's important to explain the difference. If your teen says they already know this, let them know "I know you know lots of this already, but bear with me, I'm checking in to be sure I've got what you know straight."

Teens want to know about the whole picture, not just sex. They want to talk about relating to others. So as parents we can open up, share you feelings about your teen years and talk about falling in love! This gives your children insight into your values and the comfort to share about themselves.

Teens have stated that they need:
  • Discussion of "real-life" situations
  • Honesty
  • Talk of how you felt as a teen
  • Information on how to avoid getting sexually transmitted infections or pregnancy
  • Attention and support for doing the right thing, not just noticing them when they've behaved "poorly"
  • Activities that include other youth and adults. Often all it takes to not have sex are other things to do that interest teens.
  • Show them what healthy relationships look like, including your own
  • Talk, don't lecture