As a parent of a teenager, I find some of the information on teen sex frightening. It is a subject I read,
talk, and learn as much about as I can. The information I gather will help me filter fact from fiction. I want
that knowledge to help my teenager thrive in this difficult time. In reading about this problem, I have
learned that there are many sources of information. This information helps understand the scope of the
problem, the consequences on youth, and the effects on families, schools and the community. It also
explains the relationship between sex and other at risk behaviors and, thankfully, ideas on ways to
prevent it or at least intervene if it ...view middle of the document...
The difference in views makes it a difficult subject for parents to
talk about. The lack of conversation on the subject allows teens to hold on to the misconceptions they
have about oral sex. “For most teens, the only form of sex is penetration, and anything else doesn’t
count. You can have oral sex and be a virgin” (“Technical” 1). This idea of technical virginity is
increasing the acceptance of oral sex among teens. “Half of 15-19 year olds have received or given oral
sex, and one quarter of teens who have not had intercourse have had oral sex” (“Technical” 1). The rise
in incidents can be explained, in part by the casual views and misconceptions teens have about oral sex.
Although teens have misconceptions about oral sex, it still holds dangers.
The consequences of oral sex are as dangerous as those associated with sexual intercourse. Sexually
Transmitted Diseases (STDs), sometimes called Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs), are a risk.
Because education on STDs focuses on the pelvic region, most teens do not associate them with oral
sex (Jolley). “Because so many [STDs] are undiagnosed, experts can only estimate that there are nearly
19 million Americans get [ting] infected every year. Historically about 25 percent of all new STD infections
occur in teens” (4 Parents-Talk Topics). STDs can be put into two categories, Viral and Bacterial.
Chlamydia and Gonorrhea are examples of bacterial STDs. They can be cured with antibiotics, but can
cause life long pain and scarring (4 Parents-The Facts). Both types of STDs have immediate medical
concerns, but Viral STDs can have life changing consequences. Herpes Simplex Virus, better known as
Herpes, is one type of viral STD. Although medication can relieve symptoms, outbreaks are a way of life
for someone infected with Herpes (4Parents-Talk Topics). “Having some active STDs make it easier to
get HIV” (4 Parents-The Facts). HIV, Human Immunodeficiency Virus, is another Viral STD. Medication
can relieve symptoms and prolong life, but there is no cure for HIV. Teens’ belief that they are invincible,
combined with their misconceptions about oral sex, puts them at risk for undetected STDs. Once STDs
are detected, the consequences shift from the teens to include everyone involved in their lives.
Families, schools and communities are all affected by the consequences of teen sex. Most parents do
not believe that their teen is having sex, certainly not oral sex. Parents have to face that fact when a teen
gets a STD. “STDs in young people cost more than $6.5 billion every year” (4Parents-The Facts). The
cost of treatment can put a financial strain on a family. If a viral STD is involved, the cost will continue.
An STD and the consequence that go with it can also put an emotional strain on the family. Additional
emotional strain may come from the fact that parents must then face the reality that...