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Old 02-12-2011, 10:27 PM   #1
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Default Are all teenagers invincible?

Help! My 15 year old daughter, I just found out, has been having unprotected sex. And is so busy hating me for not allowing her to see her boyfriend that I can't get any resonable or even rational thought to enter her brain. I have heard everything from I don't care about her feelings to she will absolutely not get pregnant! I was a single teenage mother, and have always tried to be very honest with her about how hard it was to raise her and her brother by myself. Which, up until now, I thought was getting thru to her. She has always been a good girl. Good grades. Not much trouble at all. A few minor teenage things, but never anything serious. She is a very intelligent child, but for some reason I just can't seem to get thru to her. How do you convince a very angry 15 yr. old girl that she is not the exception to the "you will get pregnant if you have unprotected sex" rule??
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Old 02-12-2011, 11:39 PM   #2
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Default Re: Are all teenagers invincible?

Has she watched the show 16 and Pregnant on MTV? Seriously, there is a series on it. During the reunion show at the end of the season, all but one couple stated that they were not using birth control because they thought the girl would not get pregnant. She is not going to listen to you, you are right. But getting her to talk to other girls her age that got preggers, maybe.
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Old 02-13-2011, 12:52 AM   #3
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Default Re: Are all teenagers invincible?

Welcome. I suspect that all she is hearing is "don't have sex" and the unprotected part of the message is getting lost.
Of course, I'm sure that giving her permission to have sex, even protected sex, is not a thrilling idea, either. But you know she is going to do it no matter what you do or say.

I suppose you could explain just that, that you are NOT giving her permission but you aren't nieve either and help her to get some kind of birth control on board.

In any case, welcome and good luck.
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Old 02-13-2011, 01:43 AM   #4
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Default Re: Are all teenagers invincible?

Thanks for the welcome and the advice! Ok, so here's my problem. We have covered pregnant friends of which she has 2. And, (I guess I should have said this before) I was aware of her being sexually active before this bombshell and was having the conversations and supplying condoms. You're right. I'm not naive about the fact that teenagers will do what they will do whether we like it or not. But the safe sex talk has been an ongoing thing since way before she was active. I even sat down with her and the boyfriend and had the safe sex conversation with the both of them. Maybe I'm just venting. I just feel like there must be something I haven't covered if this is her mindset. I didn't have to deal with this with her brother. He's 18 and is religious about safe sex. So, I'm having trouble dealing with the level of denial that I'm getting from her.
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Old 02-13-2011, 04:01 AM   #5
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Default Re: Are all teenagers invincible?

Maybe you should get her one of them electronic baby things that cries all the time like a real baby and you have to change it and feed it and get up all night with it. Maybe make her see how hard it is having a newborn, might make her think twice about having unprotected sex.
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Old 02-13-2011, 07:22 AM   #6
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Default Re: Are all teenagers invincible?

Well, this will probably sound awful, but when my daughter was at the age where I became concerned that she was discovering her sexuality in an overt way I was fortunate to have a friend who worked in a hospital that had a large percentage of AIDS patients. End stage, alot of them. Sad and scary stuff.

My friend knew these people on a personal level well enough to get their permission to bring my daughter to meet them. They were willing to tell their stories about how they contracted the disease, too.

It was not presented as a "scared straight" kind of thing, it was just a "hang out at N's job for a bit while she finishes up, casually meet some people she really likes, and then we go to lunch (with N)"

It was also, seemingly, very effective.
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Old 02-13-2011, 08:33 AM   #7
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Default Re: Are all teenagers invincible?

I don't have much, I have four boys but some food for though to share:

Abstinence-based sex education remained front and center as a tool of public policy through the past decade, with a particular emphasis on convincing unmarried teenagers to forgo having sex.

And that makes the results of a survey recently released by the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention particularly interesting. The report is titled "Teenagers in the United States: Sexual Activity, Contraceptive Use, and Childbearing, National Survey of Family Growth 2006-2008." It's a follow-up to a series of similar surveys, the last taken in 2002.

The focus is on males and females ages 15-19, which means the youngest teenager surveyed in 2002 would be too old for this one -- a complete turnover of teen populations. So what changed with this group, compared with their just-older peers? Pretty much nothing.

In the most recent survey, as in the previous report: The percentages of teenage boys and girls who say they have ever had sex was about 4 in 10. The percentage who said they'd had sex more than four times in the previous month was steady at about 1 in 10. The percentage of sexually active teenagers who said they'd ever used birth control was still pretty much all of them.

The top reason teenagers say they have not had sex also remained pretty constant across the decade: About a third of males and 40 percent of females cited "against religion or morals" -- and not concern about pregnancy or catching a disease.

The changes were at the margins. The percentage of teenagers who say they use some of the least effective forms of birth control (withdrawal and rhythm) went up a bit. The percentage of males who cited "don't want to get a female pregnant" as their top reason not to have sex dropped to 12 percent in 2006-2008 from 25 percent in 2002.

(In 2006-2008, among never-married teenagers, 14 percent of females and 18 percent of males reported they would be "a little pleased" or "very pleased" if they became pregnant now /got a female pregnant now.)

Here's the rubber-hits-the-road reason for the poll:

"The U.S. birth rate for females 15-19 years of age was 42.5 births per 1,000 females in 2007, based on birth certificate data collected in CDC/NCHS's National Vital Statistics System. That rate was higher than a number of other developed countries in the world. For example, according to the latest available data from the U.N. Population Division, the teen birth rate in Canada was 13, or about one-third of the U.S rate. The rate in Germany was 10 and in Italy, 7, less than one-quarter the U.S. rate."

What does the flatlining of survey results mean? I can spin some theories:

Sex ed simply can't compete with teenagers' hormones. The methods we're using to instill moral values in teenagers don't push abstinence hard enough. Kids lie to pollsters. The whole idea of teenagers as some unitary group that can be measured this way is wrongheaded -- different teen populations behave differently for their own internal reasons. Teenagers having babies is really not such a bad thing -- younger parents have the energy that older parents lack. Or there's only just so much that any adult effort can do to prevent teenagers from having sex in modern American culture -- and we're approaching that limit.

And so on. But I've not been a teenager in a long time, nor have I done research on the current sexual habits of current teenagers. I went looking for folks closer to the action for their take.

Let's start with Heather Corinna, owner and operator of a website called Scarleteen.com, which bills itself as "Sex Ed for the Real World" and aims to be a one-stop information source for young adults. (And yup, the site's name is an ironic reference to "The Scarlet Letter.")

Her e-mailed soundbite about the new survey: "Nothing in it surprised me or felt at all new."

She pointed out some limits to the polling. For one thing, it defines sex narrowly -- only activities that could, in principle, produce a baby are counted (including, btw, rape). And that, Corinna said, leaves out an awful lot of things that teens are actually choosing to do.

Like what? Any same-sex sexual activities, plus the broad range of possibilities for people of different sexes that do not involve putting one specific this inside one specific that.

"A whole lot of young people choosing to abstain due to 'morals or religious beliefs' are, in fact, having different kinds of sex, just not vaginal intercourse," she said.

Which means the study can't really assess teenagers' attitudes toward sex, broadly speaking. (Though to be fair to the authors of the study, making babies was really the peg for the work.)

And she suggested that the very efforts by adults to pressure teenagers into non-sexual behavior may be backfiring.

"If young people were given more breadth and space to find and articulate their own ethics and values, and supported if and when they didn't 'match' the beliefs adults around them or culture wanted them to have, we'd probably see more of them making sounder choices they felt better about, and thought about with more nuance, whether or not those choices meant having any kind of sex or not."

I sought another perspective from Debra Hauser, executive vice president of Washington-based Advocates for Youth ("boldly advocating for a more positive and realistic approach to adolescent sexual health").

Her e-mailed response pointed me at some of the other data in the report:

"The data show that we were making good progress from 1991 until about 1999 then the trends leveled off and in recent years even began to go in the wrong direction," she said. "While no one can prove cause and effect, there is some belief that the trends started leveling off as abstinence-only funding really began to take effect. These funds (Title V) first hit the streets through an entitlement program to the states in 1998."

So we know where she is coming from.

She found some half-full elements in the recent results, however: A modest uptick in the percentage of sexually active teenagers using more than one birth control method. A relatively small percentage of teenagers reporting casual first sex -- more than two-thirds of the girls and more than half the boys said their first experience was with someone they were "going steady" with.

For half-empty, she pointed at the result I already mentioned of an increase in use of frankly ineffective methods of birth control.

And then there's a result that's harder to characterize as good news or bad: Large fractions of boys and girls said they had mixed feelings about that first experience with sex, while somewhat smaller fractions were very happy about it.

"The data may reflect society's (and therefore young people's) ambiguity over sex -- many had mixed feelings and many really wanted it to happen," she said. "The older the teen the more likely he/she wanted it to happen. This is normal adolescent development."

For a very different perspective, let's turn to Valerie Huber, executive director of the National Abstinence Education Association.

Huber has her own glass-half-full thoughts about the survey results. For instance, teen sex didn't get more common between 2002 and 2008, she said. And it was lower in 2002 than it was a decade or more previously.

And the latest poll shows that even teenagers who had tried sex mostly weren't very active, she pointed out. Three-quarters of never-married teenagers had not had sex in the month before being polled. And as I've pointed out, only 1 in 10 said they'd had sex four or more times in that month.

Turning to sex education, she suggested the data actually supports those in favor of what she called "abstinence-centered" sex education. Almost every sexually active teenager used some kind of birth control, "so the problem isn't that teens don't know about contraception."

Although, I'd suggest that the data also shows that teenagers are inconsistent in their use of contraceptives. And that, as I noted above, some methods are ineffective at best. Be that as it may, Huber has a point. Most teenagers know enough about contraceptives to try them.

So what's a better approach? Huber, as you might expect, has a suggestion:

"A holistic approach that refocuses teens to see beyond the immediate in favor of delayed gratification," she said. "This is exactly what an abstinence-centered approach does. It encourages youth to set goals for their lives and then to devise intermediate goals that will make them successful. Adding sex to a relationship has the potential of derailing future aspirations."

The survey data showing a downtick in fear of pregnancy as a reason not to have sex is an indication of where sex education should be aimed, she said.

"A growing number of teens are not concerned if they become pregnant, so they don't really care if they use a condom or not and it suggests that they are not informed about the challenges of a teen birth/pregnancy," Huber said. "There is a need to switch the conversation from 'me' to 'what's best for the child' and 'what is the best environment in which to bring a child into the world.' "

Although I wonder how many teenagers are less familiar with the challenges of parenthood than they are of the proper use of contraception.

For a final perspective, let's hear from Jimmy Hester, coordinator of True Love Waits, a program of the Southern Baptist Convention.

From a religious perspective, the numbers aren't really the point, he said.

"While studies about teens' sexual behavior sometimes have contradictory findings and conclusions, we believe the true measure of success is changed lives, and that every person who keeps an abstinence commitment until marriage is a victory," he said.

Well, yes. But surely the goal of a formal program is to maximize success? And sure enough, TLW is in the process of tweaking its program. A meeting held a year ago in Nashville, Tennessee, was devoted to coming up with a retooled version of the program.

The top suggestion: Increase parental involvement.

"While the message in society today is one of encouraging teen sex, they noted that many parents are in denial as to the scope of the problem and the ways their children are affected," he said.

Really? Parents are in denial? Frankly, I'm not seeing that among the parents I know. They may be in panic or at a loss for what to do, but "denial" isn't where I'd put 'em.

In any case, a new version of True Love Waits is about to be rolled out that will "include a variety of markers students experience from childhood to young adulthood" and "guide parents and church leaders to take advantage of these markers and treat them as teachable moments on purity."

By the next federal survey, we may get to see if the new version makes a difference.

When I look at the report, I'm reminded of a wonderful old Peanuts comic. A character named Pigpen is being berated by one of the girls in the strip. She hands him a mirror, hoping to shame him.

"On the contrary," he says. "I didn't think I looked that good!"

Maybe that's the proper response to this new survey?
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Old 02-13-2011, 12:14 PM   #8
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Default Re: Are all teenagers invincible?

There are many reasons not to do what my first thought is here... but the bottom line is she's having unprotected sex right now. She's not using condoms so risking both pregnancy and std's. I'd be inclined to take her to the doctor, put her on the pill and watch her take it every morning. No, this won't protect her from disease, but it will keep her from getting pregnant. Clearly she's not going to practice abstinence and clearly they are not using condoms. Unless you think you can get her and boyfriend to change their thinking OR keep them away from one another.... I'd be inclined to at least try to keep from her becoming a teen parent.
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Old 02-14-2011, 02:20 AM   #9
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Default Re: Are all teenagers invincible?

Look up photos online of stds. Descriptions of std symptoms, like, "looks like cauliflower sprigs on the vulva," (there's a picture of that one, too) and others, and facts like, "Males carry the disease, but the females show the symptoms" will maybe make girls pay attention to the meaninglessness of him saying he's "clean," whatever. Or SHE is clean. Girl on girl has to be addressed too, both the experimentation of girl on girl that happens at slumber parties of otherwise hetero girls, as well as lesbian girls, of course.

Sex is a strong urge and they'll succumb to it sometime, but really, the facts about the new stds, and the papiloma virus, etc., are staggering. Pictures say a thousand words, and there are some very detailed, full color photos you can look up on medical websites...

Of course, we don't want to scare them, give them nightmares, etc., which some of the pictures might, BUT, those pictures might be strong enough to rise up in their minds at those moments they need the strength to resist having sex with a potential disease-carrying bare _____.

If one of our kids gets some disease... they will have to be asking us, "why didn't you tell me about this? why didn't you tell me it was this horrible?" Pregnancy is natural, not HORRIBLE to most kids, but a diseased crotch IS horrible. Sorry about the graphic pictures I've drawn, but, having discovered the information and the pictures myself, I feel confident that sharing it with other parents is a good thing, and something about it all could be the thing that snaps your child to attention.

I hope you can get through to your daughter. I know my time is coming to have this situaion with my daughter... she's just in sixth grade right now, but, changes come fast now...

Last edited by Brass Bells; 02-14-2011 at 02:23 AM. Reason: wording correction
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Old 02-14-2011, 03:02 AM   #10
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Default Re: Are all teenagers invincible?

Yes, pictures speak many words.

I think it's great you've not only spoken to your daughter, but the boyfriend as well. What about his parents? Are they approachable?
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Old 02-14-2011, 10:13 AM   #11
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Default Re: Are all teenagers invincible?

I know alot of the teen moms said they didnt know the options for protection... I dread when my lil man gets to that age.... Id have a serious talk about different types of birth control... like the implants mirana.... Do you have any friends that have babies? that need a babysitter or a group that has woman that have stds that would be willing to talk to her.. to make it real?

the pull out method does not work... ____ the pills are not even 100 percent.. has she seen 16 and pregnant or teen mom.... see all the things they have to give up and their teen years are over...

Have you thought about letting see the bf on ur terms like at your house or somewhere u know she will be watched? Alot of times when u block a child from seeing a bf or gf they do it behind ur back ... (((hugs))) my friends son who is 17 has a girl that is 15 pregnant.... ive watched some of the things he has said and its like they have no idea what they are about to get theirselves into... they think its like babydolls and playing house.... OOOOOOHHH THOUGHT.... those baby dolls that are robots that are like real babies see if there is a program that lets you borrow one for the weekend or for spring break the whole week... spring break would be awesome!!!!!

---------- Post added at 09:13 AM ---------- Previous post was at 09:08 AM ----------

Implant... then u dont have to watch her take a pill and it also takes the worry out that she forgot to take it if u are not watching it... i have friends that have it and they really like it... alot of times teens forget tho or ran out or the guy just doesnt like them or they break... id double double atleast.... implant and condom or pill and condom......
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Old 02-14-2011, 11:02 AM   #12
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Default Re: Are all teenagers invincible?

I don't envy you, i am so not looking forward to this stage....Everyone has given some very good advice. You don't think she wants to get pregnant do you? (i keep remembering the pregnancy pact) not saying that is what your dd is doing. I would def. consider looking into an iud or something for her and maybe having the dr. talk to her. Kids at that age tend not to listen to their mother...HUgs
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Old 02-14-2011, 11:35 PM   #13
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Default Re: Are all teenagers invincible?

You people give great advice! I think I might try that doll thing some of you talked about. Does anyone know where I can get one of those? One that cries all the time! And yeah, I've talked to his parents too. Didn't really go very well. They weren't near as concerned about the situation as I assumed they would be. I don't really understand that. But, I don't think it's really a stable environment the boy lives in, so...Anyway, thank you everyone so much. I'm really very thankful that I found this site. I've never participated in any support system. I think I should have done this a long time ago!
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Old 02-14-2011, 11:52 PM   #14
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Default Re: Are all teenagers invincible?

Two things; her daughter may have a right to make medical decisions on her own. In my state, I could not force legally, my daughter to take the pill, and the implant would not be possible without her consent.

Does the school have a early childhood program? They usually have those babies.

I really think the aids/std's thing is an EXCELLENT idea.
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