In defense of my pediatric colleagues, let me rush to add that they have been burned a few too many times on this issue so their stand of not believing that any child is going to abstain from sexual activity is understandable. Just last spring a pediatrician was successfully sued in the courts because she believed the mother and child who said she had never had sex. Turns out that the fourteen-year-old was pregnant after all and the mother sued the doctor.
In this same report, I was equally amazed to read just how few teens are actually having sexual relationships, as compared with how many the media would like you to believe are. The kids think that “everyone is doing it”, when that is actually not accurate. Only one in three are involved in sexual activity of any kind. Which means that a full two-thirds majority are not. Kids need to know that. Those abstaining from sexual activity are in the majority and should not feel “left out.” Additionally, most of the activity that 30% of middle school age children are experimenting with is not going to get anyone pregnant, though it can certainly give them sexually transmitted diseases. Since these diseases can have serious consequences, we should encourage the children to abstain from such experimentation on health issues alone, even if you have no particular belief that sexual activity is wrong outside of marriage. The kids should know that not everyone is doing “it.” It is okay to be a child for a few more years and not skip that important part of growing up! They will never be ten, eleven or twelve again and those teen years rush by, never again to be experienced. Help them to know it is okay to just say “No.” Sex can wait.
****Peer Relationships: Opposite Gender, Answers to Questions… Coming Tomorrow