What should I say if I think my teens are sexually active?

Ian Kerner, PhD
Sexual Health

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, about half of U.S. teens in ninth to twelfth grade have had sexual intercourse. If your children are sexually active, it is most important to make sure they are well-informed about matters of the heart as well as safer sex. Think of the important points that you want to share with your children. Maybe you want them to know that if  they are having sex, your hope is for them to always use protection to prevent pregnancy and reduce the risk of sexually transmitted infections.

You might want them to know that even though you would prefer they wait until they were older, you are here for them if they have questions, concerns, or feelings they want to share. Starting this type of conversation isn't easy. Pick a time when you think your children will be most receptive. Let them know your hunch, without being accusatory, and see what they say. Then share your messages in such a way that your children know without a doubt that you are a source of support, rather than strife.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.