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This is a chapter from the book The Teenager's Guide to the Real World by Marshall Brain, ISBN 1-9657430-3-9. For more information on the book please click here.

Teenage Sex is an Option

Should you pursue or have sex as a teenager? This is an option, and you get to make the decision. Like any other decision, however, there are things you should keep in mind. Here are three of the more important:
  • Fact #1: If two people have unprotected sex long enough, they will get pregnant.
  • Fact #2: This comes from the October 1996 issue of Scientific American magazine: "Six out of 10 women having abortions used protection." What that says is two people who have protected sex have a pretty good chance of pregnancy as well.
  • Fact #3: If two people have sex and one of them is carrying a sexually transmitted disease, then the other person has some probability of getting the disease, even when the couple uses protection.
Think of these three facts as "disadvantages." They tend to be good reasons not to have sex as a teenager. None have them have ever stopped anyone from having sex, however. You can look at the rate of infection for STDs, the number of abortions performed every year and the number of unwed teenage mothers to see that.

To any adult the three disadvantages make it "obvious" that teenagers should not have sex. What adults generally forget is that for many teens the brain and body are sending signals that indicate otherwise. The question for you as a teenager is, "Should logic win this one?" Your body has a desire to reproduce. To your body sex is important. Can you discipline yourself enough to live with the urges and wait until you get married? That is the question.

Here are two things to keep in mind as you are making that decision:

  • By having sex you are making a hidden commitment to the child that results. The purpose of sex is to create a baby. Therefore, by having sex you are saying, "I am willing to care for the baby."
  • Babies carry with them a lot of baggage. They need constant attention, they cost a lot and they require two people. Therefore, once you and your friend create a baby you will need to get married, and then the two of you will need to care for the child for the next 20 years. That means you will give up a tremendous amount of personal and financial freedom. Spend some time with someone who has a baby and see how much work is involved before you underestimate the amount of care a baby requires.
If you decide to have pre-marital sex, do it with the understanding that once a child is conceived you are responsible for the care and well-being of your mate and the child for the next 20 years. The hospital bill alone for a normal childbirth is $5,000 to $10,000. Do you have that money? If not, then why would you have sex? Never mind the cost of housing, feeding, clothing your spouse and the child (see Chapter 1 for details).

The correct path is to find someone you are madly in love with and want to spend the rest of your life with, then decide that the two of you want to have a child, then get married, then save up enough money to provide a stable environment for a baby and then conceive a baby. Have a baby within a strong marriage that is ready to support the child: It is best for the baby and best for the parents.

As an unmarried teenager there is one other fact that you should keep in mind. You generally donít hear much about this fact, but it is important. You are doing your thing right now. You are meeting people, going out, having fun. That is all fine. You have this vague notion in your head that one day you will get married. That is also fine. But eventually you will find someone who you want to marry, and it will become much less vague. You are going to be deeply in love with this person. You are going to be with this person for the rest of your life. That is a fact.

On the night of your wedding you are going to be with that person in bed. There are two options on that first night you are together. Either it will be the first time for you, and therefore it is going to be special. Or it will not. If both of you are able to come to bed and learn about sex with each other and share that throughout your lives, it is a good thing. It is an incredible gift to give to someone. Maybe your partner cannot give it to you. That is OK. You can still give it to him or her.

In general, teenage sex is like drugs (see Chapter 37). It seems like it should feel good when you do it, but longer term it often feels bad. It is a "cheap thrill" that has little or no value. It also tries to separate sex from babies, which is impossible (see Chapter 9). Keep in mind that the purpose of sex is to create a baby, and that a baby is an incredible long-term commitment. You should not be attempting to create a baby unless you are willing to make that commitment. If you want to make that commitment, you should be getting married first for the sake of the baby. That is a fact of life.

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This is a chapter from the book The Teenager's Guide to the Real World, ISBN 1-9657430-3-9, published by BYG Publishing, Inc. For more information on ordering a copy of the book, click here.

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Keywords: teenagers, teenager, teen age, teenage, teens, teen, adolescents, adolescent, parents, parent