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September 23rd, 2009 by Dr. Phil

The Birth Control Debate

bControl1Hey, I want to give everyone a head’s up about the Dr. Phil show airing on Monday. We’re again featuring the Dr. Phil Family, and I will be having a very intriguing conversation with 19-year-old Katherine, the youngest daughter in the family, about sex and birth control for young girls.  It’s a conversation that I think every parent in America wants to hear, because based on recent research, I think it is representative of the mentality of many teens. I know that many parents are uncomfortable when it comes to talking to your kids about sex and birth control. And regarding birth control, the big question is: Do you offer it or not?

As a society, we seem to be pretty split over the issue of teenagers and birth control. One side believes that the only safe sex is no sex. They say if you teach kids about sex in school, a job many believe belongs exclusively to parents, that it is highly suggestive, and that if you offer birth control, you are implicitly endorsing sexual activity and giving kids permission to go out and do it.

On the other side, the proponents of teenage sex education and easy access to birth control insist that abstinence programs don’t come close to working and that it is naïve to believe parents can persuade, or even scare, their teenagers into not having sex. So, the proponents say, to keep our kids from getting pregnant or infected with a disease, they must go through a sex education program that encourages abstinence but emphasizes protected sex and proper birth control. They maintain that teens have to be equipped with the knowledge and the tools to make an intelligent decision.

bControl2I want you to watch Monday’s show and evaluate Katherine’s very candid — and I think pretty darn typical comments — and then, I want to hear what you think. Would the rate of teenage pregnancy in this country decrease if teens were taught more about birth control? Or would the opposite happen? Would sexually transmitted diseases go down, or go up? And, what would be the moral effects on our teens?

On Tuesday, after the show, I’ll put up another posting about what you wrote to me. And I’ll also let you know how I come down on the issue. See you then!

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182 Responses to “The Birth Control Debate”

  1. Essie says:

    Sex has been around for the entire time humans have been around. Throughout history people have tried to control the sex lives of others and have failed. There has never been success, never.
    I can tell you this, I have been shocked working with juvenile delinquents at the misinformation they have. Highly sexually active girls who thought that taking a shower after sex prevented pregnancy. Or “taking it out before…”. They also think that using any birth control is foolproof. I have explained over and over that if your birth control method is 90% effective that still means that you can get pregnant 1 out of every 10 times you have sex. Maddening I tell you!!! Their little eyes bug out of their heads!
    Forget STD’s. For the most part, the kids think they are bulletproof. It won’t happen to them and no one they know has one, end of story.

  2. Mitzy Roberts says:

    To Joyce Long

    Yes there is a risk of blood clots heart attack and stroke from taking the pill. The risk is low unless you smoke. There are plenty of other ways to preven pregnancy. Like IUDs I think that what they are called Mirena is one of them. Teens should be taught to use condoms more than anything else. The risk of STDs is really high if they don’t use a condom. 1 in 4 people have herpies. I am not saying to scare your kids into not having sex because it wouldn’t work anyhway. Most teens think that nothing will happen to them but it is still a good idea to give them information.

  3. lilly says:

    I have talked to a 19year old who in less then a year had given birth to a son, has tested positive for HPV, and chlamydia.

    I also, found out that my BFF’s 17 year old daughter was drugged and forcible taken 3 weeks ago, so now she has to go in and have std testing done.

    I have found that for my stance, condoms are great but for girls I would recommend an IUD, before birth control pills, because I find that most girls aren’t responsible enough to take a pill everyday. I also have told my 14 year old son, never to believe a female if she says she is on the pill, you have a condom, you make sure you are protected, don’t go on her word, some girls will try to trap you in getting PG by you.

    Also, 5 mins of fun can end up leaving you with 20 years+ of child support!

  4. MJ says:

    I personally do not think teens should be having sex before they are married. But I also know that it happens. Birth control should be giving out to teens as a precaution. They could very well be raped and being on birth control would prevent having an unwanted child in that circumstance. Or on the other hand, you can tell your teens until your blue in the face not to have sex but if you know they are going to, don’t you think you should give them the birth control. “It’s like having a pool. You can tell your kids not to go in it, you can even build a fence around it, but if you know they are going to find a way into that pool, don’t you think you ought to teach those kids how to swim??”

  5. Sandy says:

    Dr. Phil, I am 46 yrs. old and I have 2 sisters, who are 48 and 54, and a brother who is 50. My mom was a single mom when I was a teenager. Actually, she remained that way til she died. Needless to say, she had to work a lot in order to provide for us, which meant she wasn’t home a lot. I started smoking when I was 9 yrs. old and by the time I was 13 yrs. old I was drinking quite a bit. Just because every one else did and because my mom wasn’t there, so I could. I fell “in love” with an 18 yr. old married man and he told me one day that if I loved him I would sleep with him. I knew that my mom wouldn’t want me to do that, I knew if she found out it, would hurt her deeply. Unfortunately, she wasn’t sitting there when he said that to me. So, because I loved him, I did what he asked. As I got older, I started doing more things that I knew weren’t right, that I knew mom didn’t want me to do. Mostly because I could. I’m not sure how long that relationship continued. We continued to have sex, UNPROTECTED a couple more times. But then eventually because of what my mom had taught me, I made an appointment at Planned Parenthood and started taking birth controll pills. When my mom found out about everything, she told me that as much as she didn’t want me to have sex, didn’t condone it, she knew that she couldn’t be with me 24/7. She told me to stay on the pill because she didn’t want a baby to raise. After that, I knew that no matter what happened, my mom would be there for me. It didn’t matter how bad what I did was, or that I would get punished, I knew that I could tell her anything and she would somehow make things “seem” better. Also, for some reason, I had an extremely hard time lying to her. If I did something wrong, I would tell everyone not to tell her. But as soon as I saw her, it just came out. I spent most of my teenage yrs. grounded!! But when all my friends, as a matter of fact half of the girls at school, were getting pregnant, I didn’t. Neither did my sisters. I was 29 yrs. old when I had my son. My one sister was 31 (we were pregnant at the same time!), and my oldest sister was 34 or 35. All 3 of us had one child each. It was by the grace of God that I made it through those years, although I put my mom through hell. Unfortunately we all did. She deserved better. She was a good mom.
    I graduated from high school, though none of my siblings did, and I went to college and received my Associates Degree. Unfortunately, I never put it to good use and when my son was 4, his father and I split up after almost 10 years of living together. We were never married. Unfortunately, like my mom, i’ve never been too good at picking men! I started working in a convenience store to support us, and that’s what I did for 10 years. The majority of that time, although I was in a long term relationship, I pretty much supported my son by myself.
    My son is 17 now, and planning on going to college. Although his dad is still a practicing alcoholic, I quit drinking and drugging 20 or 21 yrs. ago, long before he was born. I have told him everything I did when I was younger, from the smoking at the age of 9 to the sex at 13 to the drinking and drugging and to the 3 DUI’s and jail time. I want and need him to know that when I tell him something, I know what i’m talking about because i’ve been there and done it.
    At the end of 2005, God sent and angel to me. In January of 2006, I quit my job due mostly to stress and in 2006, my angel proposed to me. I accepted, and we were married in August of 2006. My very first marriage at the age of 43! Now that takes some getting used to! In September of 2006, I was diagnosed with M.S. God works in mysterious ways!
    I guess the bottom line is that parents can only do so much. They can’t hold your hand every single second of every single day to make sure you do what you’re supposed to. Teenagers have to be held accountable for their actions to some extent. All a parent can do is teach you…it’s up to you to learn.
    My mom passed away when my son was 2 yrs. old. She was only 60. He was the light of her life, the reason she lived every day.
    Today, because of her and what she taught me, and what I LEARNED from her, I am a pretty good, honest, and caring person. I often wonder if things would’ve been different if I hadn’t had the opportunity to do the things I did. I’ll never know. What I do know is that I couldn’t have had a better mom if I had hand picked her.
    When I talk to moms today, I tell them:
    1. Let your child know that you will always be there for them. That they can tell you anything, good or bad. It is a priceless gift from a parent.
    2. Remember how you were when you were their age. Children today are feeling and thinking the same things we did when we were their age. We all thought our parents didn’t know anything, we knew everything. Parents act like their children are so much different, so much more trouble than when they were teens yet, truth be told, that’s only because they are the parent now. They are the ones doing the worrying. The staying up all night wondering if their child is dead or alive.
    3. STOP TRYING TO BE THEIR FRIEND!! You are here to be their parent! That’s it. There is plenty of time for friendship IF you are a good parent.
    4. Stop worrying whether they are gonna be mad at you for something you say to them or do to them, such as punishing them. They WILL get over it, just like we did, and will thank you when they get older.
    5. Stop thinking that your child “would never do that”, that your child “knows better”. Believe me when I say, even if they know better, they WILL do it. Probably more than once. Probably WITHOUT protection. Instead, teach them about birth control and std’s. Tell your daughter about Planned Parenthood. It is one of the best organizations ever. As much as it should be the responsibility of both parties, the odds are that YOU will be the one raising the child. Teach your son that girls don’t always tell the truth about birth control, that it’s also his responsibility. That some girls get pregnant just to keep a boy.
    6. Stop giving them everything they want. How on earth can they be expected to deal with the realities of adulthood and working and the responsibilities that go with it, if you constantly sugarcoat and “cushion” everything for them. Let them go without and they will learn the value of a dollar. Let them take the fall sometimes. They will get back up and they will be better adults because you did
    For all those parents who are still advocating abstinence, let me ask you this…if you don’t teach them how to be adults, who will? I shudder to think.
    By the way Dr. Phil, I love your show!!

  6. AH says:

    We need to stop promoting a perpetual adolesence. There was a time, not too long ago, that almost everyone was married before they were 20. Many of our hang-ups about girls remaining virgins until marriage are throwbacks to that time. I think the reason young adults do the things they do is because they have the capability and desire to do things, like have sex, but are not handed any responsibility to make them actually feel like an adult. We tell them sex is wrong and bad and dirty, leading them to have negative feelings about it their entire life, and then wonder why when they get married they have sexless, loveless marriages.

    Birth control is only a symptom of the problem. Every teenager should have access to birth control, but girls especially need to take this matter into their own hands. The truth is that birth control pills are extremely detrimental to girls. Artificial hormones damage their health, especially when taken long term. And, it is a false sense of security, because they feel like they don’t need condoms if they are on the pill. This leads to more risk of STDs. Girls need to take their sexual health into their own hands.

    So, how can parents combat the problem? First, make sure your child is involved in something. Whether, for a girl, it’s cheerleading, dancing, getting a job, joining clubs, or whatever else their interest might be, the more they are involved in, the more time is taken up with that and the more self-esteem they have. Give them as much freedom as they can handle. Make them get a job, so they make their own money, understand what money means, how much they can buy with what they make, etc. Talk to them, but not on the defensive. Don’t talk about sex with the assumption that it will be “a long time from now” or “when you get married”. Don’t get mad when they tell you something about sex you don’t want to hear, whether it’s that they’ve already done something or want to in the near future. Emphasize their power over their body and their situation. If a young adult has a plan, has responsibility, has power over their life, and feels like they are truly an adult that is beginning to find their place in the world, they will be much less likely to take risks, be stupid, not think, etc.

  7. Sonya says:

    I began using birth control at the same age as Catherine. It wasnt intended to go out and have sex but more for menstrual issues that most girls have. With or Without Birth Control, SEX isnt a big deal to teens. I live in a small town and kids at the age of TWELVE are experiencing. TV, Internet, Magazines, Video Games, Music.. all things teens like make this idea of “SEX” huge, desirable.. COOL. I think parent should talk to their kids sooner than later, I have parents that didnt and even now at the age of 22, still havent. Taking birth control has no moral benefits.. What do you learn? Take a pill and you wont have a baby. Take this from a teen who in her teen years was on birth control, who has friends who take it to prevent pregnancy.. It is only what it is to a lot of teens.. a pill you take every day. I believe teen pregnancies can go down with the right education on it, talk to your doctor, mine helped a lot. One thing is that many need to know Birth Control Pill doesnt prevent STDS… Condoms will help but if a boy isnt educated in it.. it can go wrong in many different ways. Another thing, a lot of young people dont think they will get STD’s and when they know their partner is on birth control and think “ok, well she wont get pregnant” Thats all they care about and they dont use condoms.

  8. Lindsay says:

    I hear alot of people saying “you can’t tell kids not to have sex, because they’re going to anyway.” I agree and disagree at the same time. You can’t JUST tell a kid not to have sex. You have to explain to them WHY it’s best to wait. And, these days, we have removed God from everything. If you are raising your child with Jesus as Lord of their lives, then you will be able to establish REAL self-esteem that will allow them to have so much respect for their own bodies because they will understand that it is a temple of the Holy Spirit. When you, the PARENT, teach your children WHY God wants them to wait until they are married, it will sink in with them. Alot of parents think they can get by with, “you shouldn’t have sex until you’re in love.” My parents did. Here’s the problem with that confusing message; a teenage girl thinks they’re in love every five minutes.” I tell all teenage girls I know now that the only way to be sure that he really loves you is when he’s willing to wait until he MARRIES you to make love to you. And when he stands up in front of God and your family and his family and promises to love you all the days of his life, and he’s waited until then to have a sexual relationship with you, you know you will be safe in his arms. Every teenager I’ve said this to, has said no one ever told them that before. Maybe that doesn’t ensure 100% that they won’t, but saying “don’t have sex, but if you do, here’s a condom and some pills” isn’t working, statistics have shown us so.

  9. FosterBoys says:

    Taking out frustrations on a pet is not a good sign.

  10. merville says:

    my concerns are health & scientific research which proves a woman on the pill will almost certainly choose the wrong life partner. on the pill women choose bad boys more often than not. off the pill they choose solid family men. also according to science, none of us get our adult decesion making part of the brain until 23-25. so no frontal cortex, no proper decision period.

  11. nikki says:

    I believe that kids today should be using birth control for many reasons. I have a seventeen year old daughter although we dont want to beleive they are sexually active I would at least like to know they are responsible. If they choose to take their relationship to that level I would like to know they are taking precausions. I do realize and I tell her very often that it does not always work as she is a product of us using a condom and I was on birthcontrol and he pulled out as far as we can remeber. I believe she was meant to be hear and I would not change it for the world. I do not however think it gives them permission to go and have sex, there are many reasons she is on the pill, to regulate her period, incase she gets in a bad situation she is covered. Kids drink and have sex weither it is with someone they have been seeing or just because they hooked up under the influence of alcohol. I am not saying this right it is reality. I believe she has the smarts to say no and she has not had a problem with self esteem cause god knows i tell her she is Beautiful everyday and that I love her more than anything in the world. My daughter has friends that are pregnant and friends that have had children we are there for them. Some of her friend get the pregancy scare however they do not change their ways so how do you have sympathy for them. I am there for my daughter we do not fight,we do not yell at on another we talk I listen and we discuss things that can happen. I believe if parents were more into talking to their children instead of judging them and makeing them feel like a piece of crap then the world would be a better place

  12. Pam says:

    My heart goes out to Katherine’s Mother. I have been down that road that she is now going down and I know her heart aches for her daughter. My daughter was 16 when “all hell broke loose”! She went stark boy crazy! That was approx. 8 years ago and she is now married to a man (I use that term lightly) whom she has 3 children for. They are STILL living with HIS parents and don’t plan on moving. (His parents are enabling them). I was very open with my daughter as I am with my 17 year old son regarding sex, birth control, STD’s and the like. I tried everything I could for my daughter to “not” go down the road she was headed but seems like “Katherine” is following in my daughter’s footsteps. Please let Katherine AND her Parents know that they are in my prayers!

  13. karen says:

    i think people take sex for granted, i would not stop the youth from having sex, but i would at least encourage them to not have sex till they graduate from high school, if one can do that , then thats a good thing, who knows maybe if you can get them to do that , maybe they might wait longer on their own.

    i would tell them to use a condom, to find out more what safe sex is, use a I.U.D, they work better then the pill but you have to get check more often because of them, a friend of mine had hers in for too long and the thing was becoming embedded in her uterine, but after awhile of having it taken out , she then had one put back in.

    and i agree with “lilly”, tell the boys to not believe the girls, i have heard of this and even observed it with my own ears, so ya tell the boys to use a condom no matter what, why ruin 20 years of you life.

  14. Susan says:

    Dr. Phil, I’d like to thank you for doing all teenagers a wonderful service by discussing the issue of birth control as you did on today’s program. To me, it is a very intensive debate which needs to be discussed continuously. I am far beyond my teen years, but I do have a teenaged son. It is my personal belief, although I know many will disagree, that the high rate of teenage pregnancy will only go down when there are more comprehensive sex education programs in public middle and high schools all across the country. Parents need to help too, by getting over any possible discomfort and TALK about sex with their kids in a way that doesn’t sound angry or judgmental.

    By a comprehensive sex ed program, I mean a course that talks about sex in an open, honest way, which doesn’t make sex sound evil or bad, but a program that addresses the very serious risks teens face when making the decision to participate in sexual activity. I don’t agree with the “abstinence-ONLY” approach, and in fact I think it has been a miserable failure. Yes, abstinence should always be encouraged, because I think it is a very practical advantage for students in their teenage years. After all, teens who avoid sexual activity are also avoiding the risks of unwanted pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases. I can’t think of a better advantage than that at the moment.

    That being said, the facts about contraception — meaning its risks and failure rates — and sexually transmitted diseases must also be addressed in a good teen sex education program, because without those facts, teenagers are NOT getting sufficient information. Without the information they need to have, they are missing very important facts that could help them make the informed and smart choice to AVOID sexual activity, at least for the next few years. Thanks again, Dr. Phil, and I hope this debate will continue. :)

  15. shirley ann says:

    further, I actually felt sad for Katherine when she commented on previous sexual behaviour with other men. She was so oblivious to her announcement.

    Also, I have an important correction to my previous comments. It should read “to my grandchildren and animals” and “animals and grandchildren”. I offended myself and others I am sure, by putting “animals” first. Made a grammatical error. Sorry

  16. Margaret says:

    Leaving people ignorant is never a good idea.
    Ignorance always leads to stupid choices.

  17. Lani says:

    In my personal experience,with my niece,who is a 16 year old mom, who was on birth control before she got pregnant and is now on birth control after her first child. She was on birth control, that she chose not to take so she would get pregnant. And now she’s had the shot that lasts 5 years. The way I see her acting about it, is that I am protected so now, I’ll have all the sex I want. And which she has. Her baby is 5 months old now, and she has been with at least 3 guys. I am not her mother, and she better be thankful for that, but I am 28 years old and have never been on birth control. During high school I was having sex, but I made sure that I used a condom, and was extremely careful. Like I said, I have never been on birth control and have not had an unexpected pregnancy. I know when my daughter is old enough, I will talk about sex with her and tell her my expectations. I will also put a fear of God in my daughters boyfriends,and my son, about not having sex. I also will be honest with my kids about not having sex, until you find the person that you are going to marry. I will tell them how I made the mistake of not doing this. But my husband can tell them how great it was to wait.

  18. Susan says:

    For Lani: I’m just curious; what if either your son or your daughter told you when they were teenagers that they never intended to marry, or would wait for a very long time before GETTING married? Would you insist that they never have sex then?

    While I certainly feel that it is smart to avoid sexual activity while in high school, knowing what it can lead to, I don’t subscribe to the belief that sex is a privilege for the married ONLY. Not everyone chooses to marry, and I don’t believe people should be deprived of sex simply because marriage isn’t in their life plan.

  19. Susani Sacca says:

    Dear Dr Phil,

    Will you please consider doing a serious show on incest and how if not treated can effect your whole life and self esteem.

    I have had serious therapy however it has still effects me Dr Phil i.e. like if I see a child on the news who is abuducted or sexually abused I totally relate to the pain of the child something like if a person is a surviour of an airplane crash, everytime another crash happens the person can identify with its surviors.

    I am no longer a victim, I am strong and I want to help others. I started to help myself when OPRAH started to speak about this 23 years ago when she picked up the rock and shined light on the subject. You have helped me so much with all of your books and I know somehow this will benefit millions of people.

    For me I just need to figure out how to finally release this cord or whatever I geuss what I am asking is for your help and I am not exactly sure what but I no longer have those “labels” PTSD, or depression but I could really use your help and would love to watch a show on this not only to VALIDATE I am a good whole person but also to help me just to release this yuky ness once and for all.

    I greatly appreciate your consideration for this topic.

    xox
    Susani Sacca aka Labelfree on your website/EcentricGenious on Twitter

  20. Ashley says:

    I wasn’t able to watch the show today and don’t know what was said as my computer will not play back the video.

    I’m 25 years old and have 3 kids. I’ve made a good life for myself. I had my daughter when I was 13 years old. You can tell your kids not to have sex but it’s just like one viewer said if you tell the kid not to swim in the pool their going to find a way. I’ll admit my mom really didn’t talk to me about sex it was pretty much just don’t do it! I did it and I ended up pregnant.

    As a mom I talk to my 11 year old daughter, I’m sure she knows more about sex and the outcomes then any girl her age but she has hopes and dreams and I want to make sure she gets a chance to live some of those at which time she should be mature enough to decide if or when she wants to start a family. I feel like a drill sargent sometimes because she tells me “I’m not you!” I just want to make sure she realizes what can happen.

    She isn’t on birth control yet. My husband who is her dad, thinks this is just saying it is ok to have sex. I think we should start soon to prevent something from happening if it does come to that point! When is too early? Do I go against my husbands wishes or how do I make him see? I feel like talking to her, knowing her friends, etc. will help. She is a smart kid and I think she will use better judgement than I did but I also know things happen and in the heat of those moments you as a teenager think it will not happen to you!

  21. Pam says:

    I believe that parents need to be open and honest with their children about birth control and sexuality. Parents should be a safe haven for children to have these discussions. My parents never said a word to me, except, “don’t do it.” I didn’t really know what “it” was and ended up pregnant with a baby that was given up for adoption on my 18th birthday.

    The important thing beyond all talks is to foster self-worth, self-caring, and self-esteem in all children. I really believe that if the focus is on having worth and developing one’s self, then the need to have sex at a young age might be less important. My sexuality was spurred on by a sense of being invisible and not having self-esteem or self respect.

    When I learned that my self respect was the most valid thing and important thing, there wasn’t a need to have sex in exchange for what I believed previously was love. Sex isn’t love, and it is okay to tell your children that. Sex is often accompanied by love, but sex is sex! Girls need to be told clearly that boys will tell you anything to get into your pants, and that isn’t love, that is lust and young hormones running rampant.

    I am totally in favor of birth control with an understanding that birth control alone isn’t enough because of the danger of developing STDs. Be sure your child has condoms and good self care too.

    God Bless Everyone!

  22. Serra says:

    People always talk about the way the country SHOULD be and this and that. The reality is that teenagers have sex and are curious about it. The media is screaming sexuality down the throats of everyone, especially our young ones who are vulnerable to these ideas. Knowledge is ALWAYS power. If you give your child the knowledge of what the risks of sex are, and how to protect themseleves, this can always be beneficial. Covering up by shoving abstinence only and only after marriage is just a bandaid. If a child is curious enough, they will do what they want to do and you’d rather have your child know what they need to know to be protected in a world like today than to be ignorant. At least I would.

  23. Wendy says:

    I know that I need to figure out how to have that talk with my daughters and son. When is a big question!? My mom never talked to me about sex. In our house it seemed like taboo or something. I think being molested at the age of 11 didn’t help either. It’s going to be hard to sit down and talk with my kids. I still have that feeling of it being a “dirty” subject. Its been the hardest thing for me to shake. My daughter is 8 and was exposed to and was asked to do some very inappropriate things last year by a cousin, a little older than her. She has already seen, heard and experienced to much for her age which makes me think we will have to have the talk sooner. The cousin is getting couseling now, but CPS suggested we not get her counseling!?

  24. Joyce Long says:

    Had a nice little conversation this evening with 13 yr old about birth control. I told her about all the conquences of being on birth control just to stop a period. She no longer wants to be on it. She is not thinking of sex right now, that is what she told me. She said she knows if she makes one mistake it could ruin her life and she has her heart set on college and being a dr. She said if she ever did have sex she was going to make sure the guy wore 3 condoms. She was very open. I think the emphasis should not just be on whether or not a girl can get pregnant but the importance of protection against sexually transmitted diseases. Which we talked about too. That is why she made the comment about 3 condoms.

  25. Paradoxis says:

    Joyce that was great to read. :D

  26. Lisa Winslow says:

    All I have to say is that I work at an ALC and right now I have a young lady, 17 years old, about to give birth to her second child. First baby-daddy is 25 yrs old, in and out of jail and all around not-so-nice guy.

    We, as a society, have to make these girls feel much better about themselves so that they can see another life besides being a mom.

  27. kelly oomen says:

    Birth control is a very hot,contaversial topic. This is 2009 and for some reason we are still having a very high teen pregnancy rate. There is really no excuse for this. As parents we must talk to our children, starting at a young age. Kids now a day are having sex at a alarming early age. I feel alot of problem is due to the face that they are maturing earlier than we did and they don’t have the skills to handle weather or not they should have sex. Here we did when it came to ” the sex tallk” We told our boys first of all that dating before 16 was out and gave our reasons why. When they were 17 I put condems in thier christmas stockings. I told I would never check to see if they are being used but I expected them to use them. I also told them that the first thing they have to consider before having sex is the respect of the girl. Yes, we also preached about the girl being on birth control. The other thing we told them is this; know whom you are having sex with. Remembering that they were having sex with everyone that girl had sex
    with. So basically know who you are sleeping with. Their sex life is non of my business. I gave them the tools and so did the school. We have tried as catholics to teach abstinace but hey who are we kidding here.
    All we can do as parents is give our kids the info and hopefully they will ask questions. Answer them truthfully and if we don’t have the answer, find someone that does.

  28. Claire says:

    I’m so annoyed by what i have seen today!! I am from the UK and I totally agree with giving Information around sex AND relationships to teens so they can make their own informed decisions. I think if you know about the risk’s of STI’s and the affect on your emotions etc.. you can make a competent decision. I don’t think the woman was saying that just information should be given but they teens, they should be encouraged to talk to their parents and maybe parents shouldn’t be so scared to talk about sex with their teens. Just because a teenager has a condom or is on Birth control doesn’t mean that they are going to run out and have sex but isn’t it better to be safe than not have that information/condoms!

  29. Sandy says:

    Sex education, a must. But when you fail to foster morality and self-discipline, society erodes and we are left to try to maintain order and civility by compulsion. The lack of internal control by individuals breeds external control by governments and natural consequences such as pregnancy and sexually transmitted disease increases. Education begins in the home which should include the teaching of morality and self-discipline. This is true with sexuality as well as integrity, honesty, hard work ethic, setting and achieving goals, personal responsibility, service and love toward others. These things, when taught, breed youth with solid self worth who, more often than not, have the ability to make wise choices for themselves.

  30. Delia says:

    I totally agree with Lindsay. I believe we should set higher standards for our kids. They are persons with intelligence and souls. BY saying “they are going to to it anyway” we are implying they have no control over themselves? Are we putting them in the same level as animals? Some people talk about stds and pregnancy, but what about the emotional roller coaster that takes place in our kids as a result of having multiple sex partners before marriage? Statistics show that kids who have sex are seven times more prone to suffer from clinical depression, alcoholism and illegal substance abuse. Parents take charge of your kids and expect more of them. Give them time, teach them values and you’ll see the results. But most of all set a good Example! God bless you all

  31. Cat says:

    Education, morality, empowerment, and tools can all go hand in hand. I think it’s important to discuss all reason’s why a girl should wait to have sex, the emotional, psychological, physical, and spiritual consequences of having sex as a young adult. We need to communicate with our children, and by all means provide them with protection against STD’s and pregnancy. birth control and condoms. IF we don’t, someone else will and it may be misinformation. My daughter picked up some free condoms at a clinic to hand out to her friends who were having unprotected sex..I don’t know who I feel more sorry for, the girl who is putting her life at risk or the parents who have a blind eye…Do I want my daughter having sex as a young adult?..no. But a far greater consequence to me would be an unplanned pregnancy or STD…

  32. chasity says:

    As the product of a teenage pregnancy (my mom had me at age 15), my mom was always very candid and open with me about sex and the responsibilities that go along with it. When I was in my early teens she actually physically took me to the drug store and showed me where I could purchase birth control. I’ll never forget her words, “I know you’re not even thinking about it right now, but someday you will meet someone and fall in love. When that happens, you will need to know where to find this, and that its OK to use it.” This is mortifying and embarrassing to a 13 year old, but at the same time, when I was ready I knew where to go to protect myself.

    Everything about me contradicts the usual stereotypes of being the child of a teenage parent- my mom and dad both stepped up to the plate and accepted the responsibility of a child, I did not spend the majority of my time with my grandparents, I was 27 and married for over 7 years before my first pregnancy.

    My sister, however, had her first child at 16. She grew up in the same home with the same parents and the same candor.

    This leads me to believe that while education about birth control is crucial in a young girls life, a lot will also depend on the personality of and personal choices made by each individual young girl.

  33. Stef says:

    Everyone seems to want to believe that it’s not going to be their kid having sex. But it is. So many of us need to remember what it was like when we were younger. You can’t just say don’t do it, that doesn’t work. Kids are just stupid and that’s a fact. I don’t want my young teenagers having sex, but more than that I don’t want them to get an STD or get pregnant. Which is worse? Having protected sex is still a better option. I agree with Cat … talk and expalin, talk and explain, talk and explain … not just once but ongoing. And Delia, it happens to the best of them … sometimes all it takes is an “I love you” and they are just too stupid to do the right thing. I am a very good moral person and I take pride in that, but I still fell for the trap.

  34. Elizabeth says:

    I believe that every teen and preteen should be talked to about sex and regardless of what their parents think and feel, every teen should be able to approach their parents and let them know if they are thinking about having sex so that they are able to protect them in anyway they can. I was 13 when I first had sex and I thank my lucky stars my mom had the forethought to put me on birth control when I talked to her about. I, now in my mid 20’s, have two little girls and I hope that when they are older, they will be able to talk to me before they have sex so I am able get them on some form of birth control. Because even though I don’t want to think about my girls being sexually active at a young age, it is better to be prepared then to have my baby have a baby or catch an STD. I think that educating teens at a younger age and trying to have an open mind, as a parent, about young teens having sex is the best you can do. I know that when my girls are older and I tell them about my past and how I was, that may not make a difference in their decisions they make. I know that I knew some of my moms past and she was a good girl, it didnt make a difference to me. So I hope that I will continue to be open minded about things like this and everything else a teenager does to be “cool” because I feel sorry for the parents who choose to “ignore” their teens behavior and think that “That won’t happen to my kid” because it usually does.

  35. sharon says:

    Dear Phil,

    This blog site is the only place I publicly post so since I’m not in the twitter world, is it ok if I say this here, please? This blog is talking about birth, after all. ;)

    CONGRATULATIONS to you & Robin on becoming grandparents!! :) How exciting for you and your family! I’m SO happy for you! So are you going to be called Blossom & Possum? Jay did say he likes something not in a child’s vocab. ;) Or maybe for you, since Robin likes Poppy and Jay likes Doc – Poppydoc? No wait, that sounds too much like poppycock so scratch that. Well, we know you won’t be flying me out there anytime soon with my suggestions, but as long as this put a smile on your faces, then I’m happy. God bless you and your expanding fam!

    love, prayers and hugs to you all at this extremely special time in your lives,

    sharon

    P.S. Whatever nickname you start out with, I always think it’s cutest when your little “poppette” can’t say it and comes up with something original themselves and that’s the name that sticks. It’s personal and even more special for that reason.

  36. Susan says:

    First of all, Dr. Phil, congratulations to you and Mrs. McGraw on becoming grandparents! Even though the little guy or girl hasn’t arrived yet, it is still very exciting news. The months will fly by very quickly. :) Again, congratulations and best wishes you both, to Jay and Erica, to Jordan, and the whole family.

  37. Susan says:

    Personally, I think it’s a great idea for teens to think of abstinence from sex as an ADVANTAGE, rather than a burden. I think one of the biggest mistakes teenagers make is believing that abstaining from sex with partners is a form of punishment. What they often don’t realize is that this isn’t a punishment at all. In fact, it is a very practical advantage, especially when they’re in middle and high school.

    When I was in my teen years, which was more than three decades ago, I didn’t hear or talk about sex very much, if at all. It wasn’t a subject I was concerned with. I was attending a rather expensive private school, and I felt my primary obligation to my parents was to get good grades and graduate high school after successfully completing twelfth grade. While that might sound very boring and imply that my life as a high school student was all work and no play, that was far from the truth. I enjoyed an active social life, filled with friends, school events, and more than a few dances and parties.

    I even had two high-school romances during that time, neither of which led to, as we used to put it, “going all the way.” The reason was simple; I didn’t want to. I had the “sex talk” with my parents when I was sixteen years old, and it was an honest and revealing discussion. I learned that this event called sex could have some very unpleasant results, which were primarily sexually transmitted diseases and unwanted pregnancy. Just thinking about what my nice, carefree teen lifestyle could turn into if either of those life-altering disasters happened to me at that point was enough for me to say an emphatic NO to sex whenever the topic was raised. In each relationship, it was raised more than once. Although both young men were annoyed enough to end the relationship over this issue, it was mildly disappointing but hardly devastating, because I still had the advantage. I had retained my independence, still had my friends, and most important, my freedom as well as my high school diploma when I graduated from high school. I had completed the first educational goal, and was ready to move on to goal two, which for me was vocational school.

    During the years before I finally got married and became a mom, I completed vocational training at the Katharine Gibbs Secretarial School, and was able to get my first job with a corporation. This job offered a variety of benefits, including more education and training if I chose to take advantage of it. I took a series of educational courses over those years, and this led to jobs that were even better, with higher salaries and the opportunity to learn more job skills.

    When I finally got married at age 32 and became a mom to my one child (by choice) three years after that, I did both because I wanted to, not because I was forced to by circumstance. Due to my avoiding sex in my teen and young adult years, I had successfully completed my high school education, vocational training, and had worked at a variety of great jobs before deciding I was ready and willing to take on the responsibilities of marriage and motherhood in my thirties.

    Without realizing what an advantage abstinence was during my school years, life may have turned out very differently for me, and possibly not nearly as happy. Abstinence from sex, especially in middle and high school, can have the same advantage for all teens. :)

  38. Donna says:

    Well my opinion on birth control is that a parent should explain to a child the facts about sex the risks and whether or not they feel they are ready but also more then that tell your son or daughter that if they are not ready for sex they should avoid situations that can lead to sexual behavior like being alone in the car with the person; being home alone without the parents there or lack of parental supervision. Every parent should also be open to take the time to explain these things to their son or daughter without being judgemental or closed minded . A child has to feel comfortable talking to their parents or they may go to someone else and ask for advice that may not always answer the questions they ask or just plain give bad advice.

  39. Mary says:

    After posting a comment on here yesterday I watched in horror on the news that ANOTHER BABY was found in a dumpster up in Indianapolis.We have “safe haven” laws that are meant to protect infants from these tragedies! It breaks my heart to hear of a baby being killed or abandoned.IF they find this mother, I can only hope she is forced to suffer the way her baby did in his or hers final moments!!!!So to ALL people who are against having our teens using birth control PLEASE go do some dumpster jumping? Maybe you may be able to save an unwanted child.

  40. Katie says:

    I think the problem of teen pregnancy is tied in with more social issues than are often brought up.

    From the moment you bring that newborn home from the hospital, most babies are often emerged into a world of entitlement. “You can have just one more outfit, that’s so cute. Only the best car seat will do for you…Grandma can spoil you, that’s okay…” When that cute baby learns to walk and talk, they notice the toy ads being bombarded at them through the media. Whether you buy the toys or not, whether you limit the toys, puzzles, treats, clothes, coming in or not, most children today learn they will get many things their hearts desire. Many families are forced to have either one or both parents (or the single parent) work long hours at work. The parents feel guilty and cover their guilt with more things. The entitlement attitude is rewarded.

    Why should we expect teens to suddenly not have an attitude of entitlement that they have had for their entire life? If they want sex, they expect they will get sex. They have been raised in this culture of expectation for as far back as they can remember.

    I think part of the issue is kids not only feel entitled to whatever they want, many feel extreme pressure in their life. The kids I know try to please their parents, please their coaches, and please their friends. Oprah had on several fifth grade girls a few years ago that were performing oral sex on the boys. The boys did not necessarily want to do it at first, but they felt pressure from the other boys that the virgins did not want to be left out. The girls did not want to be ridiculed by the boys if they chose not to have sex. We need to teach kids how to deal with the peer pressure and not to give in. I know many kids have sex for the first time in high school just so they can fit in, because everyone else they know is doing it. Some girls will be happy to be intimate the moment the boy say “I love you,” because they feel the pressure to keep the boy and please him any way possible.

    I think we should teach full STD education in school. We know not every parent will teach their child about STDs and safe sex. If we could rely on that, we would not be having this discussion. We can look at in Africa and see when safe sex practices are taught, STD and AIDs cases have dropped. This can happen here, too. We need to teach both genders all the options there are for birth control; the boys need to know all the girl options, too. If the boys are becoming intimate with a girl, then he should know how a girl’s body works, how her cycles work, how she can get pregnant, and even how the pill, an IUD, or hormone shots prevents that. It’s not too much information for the boys. They are human, there is no reason why they can not learn biology.

    Thank you for opening this discussion. My son is in third grade and I know I must start the dialog about sex soon. I think the discussion needs to be more detailed earlier on than in the past. I don’t think I had a discussion about sex with my parents until fifth grade, However, kids are starting puberty younger, they feel entitled to sex, and they feel pressured to have sex, so the discussion needs to start early in a child’s life. The best way is to have a continuous and open dialog in your family about sex, your family’s belief system, and your hopes for child.

  41. Jessica says:

    I don’t know anything about raising teenagers.. frankly I’d rather not have to think about it right now. I’m only 22 years old. But I can tell my story.

    Growing up I NEVER had any adult figues teach me about birth control and condoms, etc. As a matter of fact my mother was the type who would not let me get birth control. She wouldn’t talk about sex or STD’s. Except to tell me what an idiot I was for having sex at such a young age. I think back and it still angers me.. I think if she would have handled it differently I would have stayed away from a lot of things I use to do.

    As pre teen I went back and forth from Mom and Dad. They separated when I was 7 and the divorce was finalized 2 years later. I can’t remember my exact age but I was between 8-11 years old. My father would make us sleep in an enclosed patio on the hard floor and couch so he would have sex with his girlfriend at the time. Another time I was giving him a back rub and she walked in and sat next to him. Next thing I know she has her hands down his pants… right in front of me! Then had the nerve to ask who was doing a better job. I can’t even explain to you my anger. LOTS of anger. When I was 14 I was raped by a 28 year old man. I met him off of the internet and my mother found a note I had written. Really I wrote it to no one.. I just wanted to get it off of my chest. She called the authorities right away. They actually accused me of lieing. I’m not even the one who called them! They did end up catching him. Whoever lived in the house he took me to denied knowing him.

    Anyway.. this lead to lots of sex, drugs, alcohol. And I had no freakin clue what I was doing! I just knew it was what everyone else was doing. Granted a LOT of teens get into marijuana and a little alcohol.. I was doing it everyday. I was missing weeks of school. It’s a miracle I graduated! And like I said… I had NO IDEA what I was doing to myself.

    If my mother would have talked to me more.. I really think I would have stayed away from a lot of the things I was getting into. When I got caught she would ground me for weeks. Even off punishment I was not allowed to go to movies past dark unless parents were present (at 16 17 years old), I was not allowed to go to any school events (football, etc). I had to beeeeeggg her for months to let me go to my semi-formal. I couldn’t do anything and she never taught me anything that had to do with sex, drugs, and alcohol. So the only friends I really made were the ones that helped me sneak out and hook me up with older guys. I’m lucky I came out safe and didn’t get pregnant.

    I wasn’t just hurting my body. It affected my mind and still to this day I put myself down. The number of men I slept with, the grades I threw away in high school that could have gotten me a scholarship. I still think about it.. every day.

    Like I said.. I can’t give advice on raising teens. But I can tell you what I went through and the long term affects. I hate the way I use to be.. even though that’s what I wanted at the time. It makes me sick. I’m still fighting anxiety and depression to this day.

    I am in college today and working hard to make my life right. I don’t do drugs anymore and have been in a steady relationship for a year now. I’ve grown up. But that doesn’t mean I don’t still suffer. All I can say is talk to your kids. Don’t let them turn out like me. I’m doing the right things but sometimes I feel like a ticking time bomb.

  42. Gelly says:

    Dr. Phil thank you very much for this discussion. I come from Africa where sex discussions especially with parents are a taboo and that the reason why we have not only unwanted teen pregnancy but HIV positive teens in our streets. To parents I would like to say talk about protected sex with your children or else someone will do it for you and the results will not be good.

  43. Mitzy Roberts says:

    Katie

    Yes you are right that kids to have this sence of entitlement and parents should try to not spoil their kids. I hate that they think they can do whatever they want and get anything they want yet usually they don’t want any responsibility.

    I think the main thing is self esteem and respect. Girls need to have self esteem and respect for themselves and boys need to respect girls. I think parents need to be there for their kids more. Most of the time parents expect daycare and school to raise their children. Children need to feel loved by their parents and know that they are there for them and they can talk to their parents about anything. Parents need to be more involved in their kids lives

  44. Chris says:

    I remember being taught the mathematics and medical facts of sex.

    As an example: Bob has had intercourse with 3 girls and each of those 3 girls have had intercourse with 3 guys who in turn have had intercourse with 3 women. This means Bob has a huge potential for having an STD.

    Don’t get me going on the differences in gratification and satisfaction between boys and girls during the event!!!

  45. Valerie says:

    My husband and I have raised 4 daughters ranging in age from 16 to 23. Sex has always been out there; but being raised to know right from wrong is very important and knowing that values upon themselves and their bodies is very important. Our daughters were not allowed to go out until they were able to drive a vehicle in order to get themselves home. I also did not believe that my daughters should be put on the birth control pill so that they would not become pregnant. I felt that when our daughters were able to go out they were also somewhat a little more mature about their own selves. Our oldest daughter always had a focus on her career and has never ever lost that focus. As adults, they have to now make real life decisions concerning their own values. We are so proud of each and every one of them, it wasn’t always easy but they did have chores which were expected! My heart tears in half for all of these young children and their partents being caught up in this awful situation!

  46. Kelly-Anne Murphy says:

    The sex drive is very strong for a reason—-to get humans to procreate. It is a long-term commitment to have children and raise them to adulthood. Humanly speaking, it is understandable why some people want to use birth control: all the fun and none of the responsibility. But the big picture is that separating sex and procreation, although “fun” in the short term sense, causes more problems that it is worth. It reinforces our natural selfish natures, reinforces our innate desire to avoid responsibility for our actions, and literally comes between the total self-giving that makes sex an emotionally and psychically bonding thing between a man and a woman. The world doesn’t need more opportunities to be selfish and irresponsible; couples don’t need more excuses for mistrust. In the grand scheme of things, birth control is a really bad idea.

  47. Mitzy Roberts says:

    I asked my facebook friends what they thought and here it is

    Janet says

    I think that if a teen, depending on age, comes to his or her parent and explains that they are having sex.. I would MUCH rather raise a responsible teen by giving them birth control and responsible advice than raising my grandchildren. Though, every situation is different.. and the circumstance of each teenager would greatly affect how to deal … Read Morewith it.
    I guess what I mean is I wouldn’t say, “Here’s a condom go out there and have fun” !!
    There would probably be some major restrictions and if a teen is having sex she or he is probably doing other things she or he shouldn’t do.. soo, many things would be factored in. Ugh, I’m not a yes or no kinda person eh

    Jeanene says
    Pregnancy is one of God’s greatest miracles….when the situation is right. The fact is, teens have sex. Giving them birth control helps them be responsible with the decision they have already made, and not turn ini into something with lifelong consequences.

  48. Sean Baines says:

    Download a 15 minutes sermon by Paul Washer called “Dating” and many questions about Sex and dating are answered but you ( I am sure) will not like the answers.
    I dare you to listen to it.
    SB

  49. Quinn says:

    I work at a planned parenthood; let me tell you what I see on a day to day basis. I put people on birth control all day every day. I have seen 12 yr olds to 60+. When it comes down to teenagers and BC , most of the time the parents say to their children your 14 yrs old, you’re getting on birth control and that is the entire conversation about sex and contraceptives, or your sis got pregnant so you’re getting on birth control, or they take them to their own personal GYN to get BC and they GYN lectures the teen , they feel like they are being punished for asking questions, then they feel bad and that starts a host of other issues. Majority of the time these teens do not have a clue about sex, birth control, or STI’s. When I ask the teens what do you know about sex, what kinds of sex do you have, do you use condoms, what do you know about BC … Parent need to have a CLEAR definition of what sex is! Is it oral, anal and vaginal sex, or is it just vaginal. Teens and adults do not understand that! It sounds elementary but is very true. They do not know how to answer the questions. Some do not even know what a vagina is-sadly. So, I spend my time educating the teens on things that they should really be talking to their parents about. The sex conversation or sex education needs to be a lifelong conversation. People need to start talking about body parts, and sex ECT with their children from the beginning. You cannot wait until they are 12 to start the conversation. Majority of the time by the time a 12 yr old or 15 yr old “has the talk” they have had 5 to 25 partners. Teens are having sex with multiple partners at 12 and children are having oral sex in elementary schools. Then you have people who say that BC is wrong, I had a lady tell me that using condoms kills life. So then you may have a teen that do not use anything, and they end up pregnant or getting someone pregnant, the first thing parents want to do is say, you got to take care of it” then they pressure the kid to get an abortion. Or the teen gets pregnant, they carry to term, and the parent still doesn’t teach contraceptive measures and they get pregnant again. So many teens come to planned parenthood period because they do not feel judged. I have had teens say I am so glad I came here because my mom’s GYN lectured me . Or they come to get BC 1, because they cannot approach their parents about sex for whatever reason, they are having sex and they do not want to get pregnant, but they do not worry about getting STI’s and still can’t talk to the parents, Or the parents drag s them in kicking and screaming! Many parents MAKE their children get the Depo. That is so dangerous, especially for their bones! The reason that they do that is so that they can control the BC. Parents need to stop pressuring their children to be on BC! Is saddens me to see a kid come into the office and get the Depo and they say that they hate getting it, but they have to because their sister got pregnant and the mom does not want it to happen to them. So you put the kid on BC and then they know they can’t get pregnant, and some decide well since I can’t get pregnant I am not going use condoms. Well there is another can of worms, because you have herpes 1 &2, gonorrhea, Chlamydia, Syphilis, HIV , thrich, scabes, crabs, they get bacterial vaginosis, yeast, HPV, condolomas, genital warts … The bottom line is that Birth control is not bad. Yes it has side effects but any other medicine has side effects that are much worse. ALL MEDICAITONS HAVE SERIOUS SIDE EFFECTS AND ANY PERSON WHO IS ON BC HAS TO BE UNDER A DR’S CARE. Some need it for PMS , PMDD, acne , and or cramps… But the truth is that parents need to protect their children by equipping them. Once they know the information THEY are responsible for it. You have to trust that you raised them right and that they will make healthy decisions. But it will not work if parents do not take the time to teach them, they cannot put it on me or just the school system or the church. We all have to work together in order to preserve this generaton.

  50. Jessica says:

    Being the mother of 2 young children and 1 on the way, I am stuck with this issue. I agree with parts of both sides. My daughter just turned 5 yesterday and my son will be 7 in May. This is a topic that I’d like to be fully prepared for and open with my kids about in the future when it arises. I really want to be open for discussion about sex and ways to prevent things that can happen because of it. This is my plan anyway.
    My mother always said she was open to talk to my sister and I about this stuff when we were growing up, but she didn’t make it very easy. She was a single parent working 3 jobs at one point and I see now that she did her best with us. My sister and I listened but didn’t always follow what she told us.
    I believe that life as a teenager seems to get harder and harder with every generation. The things these kids know today amaze me. I was very naive until high school…maybe that was my problem. TV, music, movies, magazines…this is where todays teenagers are learning what they know about sex. Girls grow up thinking they owe a guy something or that the guys won’t like them if they don’t have sex with them. “I don’t want to be the only virgin in my school”…this is what my 16 year old cousin told me not too long ago…so she went out and had sex with the next guy that said he “loved” her. Being a virgin has become a bad thing. Boys are taught that it’s the “cool” thing to have sex with as many different girls you can. I wonder sometimes when I hear young people talk, what exactly are their parents teaching them at home.
    I don’t necessarily agree with telling young people they should wait until they are married to have sex. This isn’t the reality for the majority of kids these days. Parents must prepare their kids for what can happen when they decide they are ready to have sex. Sex is great and kids know this, therefore, they will do it no matter what they are told by adults. Parents have to remember back to their teenage years…when adults knew nothing, adults just didn’t understand. A 15 year old girl is going to believe the guy that tells her he loves her. Maybe we need to start teaching our little girls that part of the whole situation. Not every guy who says they love…really love you. Maybe we should teach our sons that girls are not objects to play with. Boys today should be taught what a female goes through during puberty and vice versa. Boys should understand what happens to a females body when she gets pregnant.
    I just want my children to grow up knowing that I will love them no matter what they do and I also want them to be prepared for the teenage years and the things that are lurking around the corner for them…temptations. I will not be a naive parent and say “Oh my daughter or son will tell me when they choose to have sex”. That would be lying to myself just so I dont’ have to deal with the fact that my child isn’t and will never be perfect. I am already teaching my daughter about what she will go through in the next few years. My son is included in these conversations too. I know that they aren’t quite old enough to completely understand the medical mumbojumbo, so I explain it in short, simple sentences that they can understand. My kids have barged into the bathroom on me a time or 2 and I’ve had to explain these things. Not something I put in their face but I feel at least they know something about it now.
    My biggest question for parents these days…Why aren’t you teaching your children more about sex at home? Why are you letting your kids go out into the world not knowing what is really going on? Sex isn’t dirty, it’s a part of life…that is how we all got here. It’s not something they should learn about from friends. This is where kids get confused about what information is fact and what isn’t. Get them the information they need early, before these issues come up. Prepare them for the hard decisions ahead of them. We’ve all been through it, why is it different now that you’re a parent. Show them what STDs look like. The internet is full of pictures. Not to scare them but to prepare them.
    I don’t know what the answer is exactly to this issue, but I feel that the more prepared a teen is about a situation the better they can react to it. We as parents have to talk to our kids more about what is going on in their daily lives, even when they want to shut us out…that’s the most important time. Don’t ignore this topic and just let your kids figure it out themselves.

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