Unsurprisingly it always ends up being one of the main topics of our conversation at my friends termly meet up for lunch.
Should I let my daughter, nineteen and at University sleep in the same room as her newly acquired boyfriend?
What age are teens losing their virginity?
Should we let our offspring share their ‘bedroom’ and bed for that matter with their boyfriend/girlfriend when they are only seventeen?
Is teenage sex that bad? There are worse things happening in the world?
Seventeen – yikes I hadn’t even thought about it at that age, call me a late developer or late starter for that matter, nope I was way too interested in other stuff and one blonde haired blue eyed boy that I was hopelessly in love with but teenage sex, no way, didn’t even cross my mind.
I know at that age some of my friends were doing it or experimenting I should say and took great delight in sharing all the details with me, like I was ‘Aunty’.
Whilst sex was a regular topic of conversation with my friends from 15-16 and upwards it didn’t matter if you admitted you were still a virgin there wasn’t this taboo, you weren’t ostracised and hung out to dry just because you hadn’t lost your virginity.
I’m holding out for someone special said one friend, what happens if you meet him when you’re 32 said another?
Two of us have boys, my other friends have girls, they want to get our perspective and try and understand what boys are thinking when it comes to girls.
Teenagers are more promiscuous than we were? A bit of a generalisation I said, not every single teenager from thirteen and upwards is having sex.
Most young people under the age of 16 will have an interest in sex and sexual relationships. Sexual exploration and experimentation are a normal part of childhood development.
The age of consent to any form of sexual activity is 16 for both men and women. The age of consent is the same regardless of the gender or sexual orientation of a person and whether the sexual activity is between people of the same or different gender.
It is an offence for anyone to have any sexual activity with a person under the age of 16. However, Home Office guidance is clear that there is no intention to prosecute teenagers under the age of 16 where both mutually agree and where they are of a similar age.
It is an offence for a person aged 18 or over to have any sexual activity with a person under the age of 18 if the older person holds a position of trust (for example a teacher or social worker) as such sexual activity is an abuse of the position of trust.
The Sexual Offences Act 2003 provides specific legal protection for children aged 12 and under who cannot legally give their consent to any form of sexual activity. There is a maximum sentence of life imprisonment for rape, assault by penetration, and causing or inciting a child to engage in sexual activity.
Are teenagers becoming sexually active younger?
The obvious answer is yes, but is it because we hear so much about teenage sex?
They see sex everywhere – on TV, in magazines, online, then there is peer pressure add to that pop stars flaunting what god gave them proving that sex does sell.
It is more accessible than when we were kids. Teenagers know so much more than we ever did but that’s because it is easier to access and view information. Therefore comparing the past with the present is impossible.
Biologically factual but with no reference to abstinence.
And, if you don’t learn at school and your parents don’t tell you, friends will.
Sexting is considered a normal part of sexual development akin to the fumble and kiss behind the bike sheds – I’m not saying I agree with ‘sexting being normalised’ but there is an argument that suggests teens have been brought up in a social, online world and sending images could be viewed as part of their sexual development and almost a form of courtship.
It is similar in the way we may of passed on secret love notes to the boy/girl we fancied in school or scribbled a note in their exercise book, they use sexting, the difference is, it is online, invasive and has a darker side particularly if an image goes viral.
If kids are told not to do something, that just makes them want to push the boundaries even more.
My eldest son tells me that teenage sex amongst his peers is common, is that just showmanship or boys being boys?
My girlfriend recounted a funny conversation she had with her son and his friend on the way home from school.
They were talking about how having sex first is far more important than starting a relationship with a person that way if the sex is no good you move on.
How can you be good at sex as a teenager?
Sex is the most natural thing between two consenting adults and can be a very beautiful experience if you are in love, but let’s be honest it takes practice.
I’m bringing up my boys up to respect women and to appreciate the differences between love and sex.
But, I’m not that naive to think that if they are going to ‘do it’, they will, but it is my job, our job as parents to point out the perils of having sex with different partners.
My twenty-four year old step son came to me when he was seventeen and told me that his girlfriend was on the pill, that was his way of saying we are having sex.
Following a long conversation about starting sexual relationships young, I pointed out that by the time he is thirty he could potentially have had eight different partners assuming the average relationship lasted a year.
I pointed to my then gorgeous three year old, as he toddled into his bedroom where we were talking, my stepson reflected on what I hoped were my words of wisdom.
I suggested that if they weren’t careful and didn’t use protection they might end up with a little bundle before they’ve even had time to enjoy the rest of their teenage years.
Now, what was I saying about my misspent youth…