Thursday, 26 January 2017

ASK THE DOCTOR - Postponing Sexual Intercourse in Teenagers

QUESTION:
As parents, what kind of messages can you give your teenager about postponing sexual intercourse that won’t sound preachy, or like you are living in the dark ages?
- H Pawar



ANSWER:
Most parents hope their teenagers will wait to have sex till they are psychologically mature and are able to have emotional resources to manage relationships. It is important for parents to be able to convey this hope while communicating accurate information about sexual health and consequences. While we may encourage teenagers to postpone intercourse, the present reality is that, most young people become sexually active when they are in the clutches of their hormones. Because of this, they must be prepared to protect themselves when they decide to engage in sexual activity. Information about preventing pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases is vital to help young people make informed decisions. And parents can help their kids understand the value of selfrespect, assertiveness, and responsible decision-making in postponing sexual activity.

‘Everybody is doing it’ is an age-old pressure tactic that applies to experimenting with drugs and alcohol as much as it does to experimenting with sex. Encourage your children not to be taken in by it. Teenagers often say they have intercourse the first time because they are curious. Open family communication about sexuality can satisfy your teenager’s curiosity, and help him/her behave more responsibly while exploring his/her sexuality.

You can communicate to your teenager that anyone can have good intentions of abstaining from intercourse. However, to translate this intent into responsible behaviour may not be as easy because of the high levels of arousal experienced due to raging hormones. And yet one needs to remember at the right time the consequences of irresponsible sexual behaviour in order to practice responsible sexual behaviour.

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