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Exclusive: Teen Sex in Schools, Part One

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Momvestigation: A national momlogic survey has found that one in five kids has witnessed sex at school.

"One couple at my school gets it on during lunch right near where my friends and I sit. Especially when the girl wears a skirt. It's pretty unappetizing, especially when I'm trying to eat." -- Aubrey, 15, Seattle

Over the past few months, we've been hearing news reports of kids having sex in school -- in the classroom, the school bathroom, even on the bus. As these stories became more and more frequent, we began to wonder if these were isolated incidents or part of a disturbing national trend. We consulted our friends at CosmoGirl! and the National Campaign to Prevent Teen Pregnancy, and they'd been wondering the same thing. So we decided to do a national survey on sex in schools -- the first study of its kind to be conducted in the United States. We surveyed 500 kids aged 12-17 from around the country. And what we found was shocking: One in five kids has witnessed sex in school.

One in five! Over the next few days, you're going to hear from teens who've seen their friends and classmates having sex at school. You'll also hear from kids who've actually had sex on school grounds. Experts who work with teens on a daily basis -- such as psychologist and momlogic friend Pamela Varady -- will offer advice on how to talk to your tween or teen about staying safe and making smart choices. In this landmark three-part series, our exclusive Momvestigation explores this alarming epidemic. Is your child having sex in school?

Coming Monday: Hear from kids who've seen it firsthand.

About the Experts ...
spacer dr shannon fox
Susan Schulz is
editor-in-chief of CosmoGIRL!
magazine.
rabbi sherre hirsch
Dr. Pamela Varady is a licensed clinical psychologist, couples' therapist and parent educator based in Venice, California.

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98 comments so far | Post a comment now
Maia January 10, 2008, 11:06 PM

My daughter was put up a few grades in elementary which i thought was a great privilege for her well being, until she starting attending middle school at the age of only 11. This was such a huge step, though she was use to being around kids a few years older than her. She is doing well, half way through the first year though last week she came up to me telling me about sex on school ground and how she can’t wait to get a boy. I could not believe the words that were coming out of her mouth! My 11 year old baby witnessing sex more than once is absurd! yeah I mean sure people are older than her but only by 2-3 years not 12-13 years! I immediately contacted the school and laid a complaint!

Maia January 10, 2008, 11:07 PM

My daughter was put up a few grades in elementary which i thought was a great privilege for her well being, until she starting attending middle school at the age of only 11. This was such a huge step, though she was use to being around kids a few years older than her. She is doing well, half way through the first year though last week she came up to me telling me about sex on school ground and how she can’t wait to get a boy. I could not believe the words that were coming out of her mouth! My 11 year old baby witnessing sex more than once is absurd! yeah I mean sure people are older than her but only by 2-3 years not 12-13 years! I immediately contacted the school and laid a complaint!

Maia January 10, 2008, 11:10 PM

My daughter was put up a few grades in elementary which i thought was a great privilege for her well being,
until she starting attending middle school at the age of only 11. This was such a huge step, though she was use to being around kids a few years older than her. She is doing well, half way through the first year though last week she came up to me telling me about sex on school grounds and how she can’t wait to get a boyfriend. I could not believe the words that were coming out of her mouth! My 11 year old baby witnessing sex more than once is absurd! yeah I mean sure people are older than her but only by 2-3 years not 12-13 years! I immediately contacted the school and laid a complaint!

sue January 18, 2008, 11:28 AM

even though teen do have sex in school don’t mean that they don’t respect there parents teacher and school maybe sometimes it is the parents that make the kids do this by being to over protective and not allowing them to do anything that involes the other sex. trust me i am a teen i would no because my parents nagg me all the time about not haveing sex and not being able to trust me at all because of what has happend to me in the past. i am 16 and i’m not even able to leave the house with parent supervision or an adult there with me i have no sotial life because of my parents. they think that just becouse my mom was pregnent befor she even tured 16 i will so the same thing i don’t want kids i don’t want to have sex and i think that parents should acully set their kids down and talk to them about it not just tell them not to do it. becouse that is exactlly what my parents did to me they told me not to do it so i was trying to tell them one night that i don’t want to do that and they told me just because i didn’t want to don’t mean that they didn’t want to. what i am tring to say is let you kids talk to you about it don’t push them away like mine done me. trust them and give them there space just like they give you yours.

Robin January 24, 2008, 11:12 AM

I agree with the fact that the teachers are limited to what they can & cannot do b/c of parents always feeling the need to side w/ the child. this is a bigger problem than we admitt to. I am a mother of 3 & only believe half of what they tell me before I speak with the teacher in question.I also remind them of where thier faults lye.allowing the techer to keep the respect b/c this is why some many teachers give up caring.But what are the answers to your young teenagers having sex when you know you have schooled them on every possible subject pretaining to sex.you make them feel more than welcomed to talk w/ you when the time is right. but yet they seek outside opinions that DON’T have thier best intrest at heart.How do you prevent them from moving from one partner to another b/c they started soo young?I ask b/c I have a 15yr old that i know is active & i want badly to lock her away in order for this to stop but I know ‘m not being realistic. But just because times have changed doesn’t mean our parenting has to be compromised. & i refuse to give up I will continue to fight untill one of us gives in.These children have to know there are consequences to anything they do. esp. SEX too many risk. & I only pray my child gets a clue before it’s too late .As parents WE CAN NOT just except what thier doing b/c of the changing of times there is a NEED for actions behind the caring.

Cynthia January 31, 2008, 9:16 AM

i am a 17 years old and i am a senior in high school i have never even heard of people having sex in school. I have seen people being affectionate as most people are. I believe that some teenagers start acting like this because of the role models they have. In malls and on the streets they see adults dressing skimpy and think that it looks good. short skirts and low cut tops are what starts this. These girls wear clothes that are unappropriate to school. My everyday clothes are a pair of jeans with a t-shirt. I think it is ridiculous what these girls wear. what most of your children wear. They are asking to get pregnant with this fact and how they act. There is a 13 year old girl on my bus who is always hitting on the seniors and this is why you have to worry.

April February 11, 2008, 3:19 PM

I’m a teen, 18 to be exact. Kids rarely have sex because they think it’s cool. And, even if that’s the reason they start having sex, it won’t be the reason they continue. Once a child has sex once, they believe that it is the ONLY way to keep someone interested in them.

I lost my virginity at a young age, and I don’t regret it.
You can tell them that they might contract an STD or get pregnant, most won’t care unless they’ve seen it in action. Unless you know someone personally who has an STD or a child, or is pregnant, it won’t affect you much.

What you need to tell your children is that they have a long life ahead of them, and sex won’t make it anymore exciting. Tell them that it is something that’s beautiful and amazing when it’s the right time and with the right person.

Waiting until marriage rarely happens anymore. Most couples have sex, get pregnant, and then get married. It’s a change in our culture. And, it’s not likely to stop any time soon.

So, tell your children that if they do engage in sexual activities that protection is a MUST. Whether your daughter is having sex or not, get her on birth control. it will help her growing body, and if she does decide to have sex, the risk of her having a child while she still is one goes down quite a bit.

When it comes to boys, they face the same problems. Do you think that you don’t have to worry about this problem because all you have is a son? WRONG!

Girls sleep around more than guys now days. He’ll always be at risk for getting an STD and getting a girl pregnant. Buy him condoms, and tell him that while you hope he doesn’t have sex, that if he does he NEEDS to use protection.
And, if he were to get a girl pregnant…think of the fact that he could go to jail. No matter the age. if he’s the same age as her or older, you might have a law suit on your hands. And, if they decide to keep the baby he could possibly be asked to pay child support, or court-ordered to.

You have to explain all aspect of sex to your children.

Oral isn’t a “better” or “safer” way to have sex. In fact, you’re more likely to contract and STD from oral.

When you explain these things to your children, if you have an personal experience with this, let them know. Tell them that sex, just once, can change your life forever.

Your virginity is something you’ll NEVER get back. And, when you’re that young, normally any relationship you’re in, ISN’T love and won’t last forever.

Just make sure that you are open with them, and tell them that you’ll still love them and support them, but you want them to do what’s best for them, and that it probably doesn’t involve sex.

carla February 14, 2008, 4:08 PM

thats crazy!!! people having sex 7 !!!

Katie February 18, 2008, 3:11 PM

I think this is a startling statistic. As a mother of twin three-year-old daughters, I worry about the world my girls will be growing up in. I certainly don’t want them witnessing anything like this when they are older!

Anonymous February 27, 2008, 6:44 PM

This is a close to home subject for me because I was one to have sex at school.. jr.high to be exact. He was 7 years older than me. I was in 6th grade. Sex is a popular suject among students.. back then and even now. Parents- please talk to your kids about sex before they hear it from their friends who are “doing it”. I was immature and stupid to have sex at school. I ‘played it safe and didnt get caught’.. wow.. how popular does that sound? My parents told me about sex. I heard what they had to say but I wanted to be rebellious. So.. from me to you, be open and upfront with your kids. If you find out that they are having sex, tell them about safe sex. They are kids and for the most part, if you stay on them all the time, they are not going to listen to you.

Anonomus February 28, 2008, 12:08 PM

In my school this doesn’t happen what is the world comming too!!!

As 50 cent states

They Heaven’s For The Church Go’ers, And Hell’s For The Heathens
so Im’a Just Ball The F*** Out, While I’m Breathin

Juliana March 11, 2008, 5:13 PM

I find this statistic shocking too. Shocking that you all believe this crap. 1 in 5 out of 500. How can you all apply a survey of 500 kids to approximately 1 in 5 of 10 million kids. Is sex going on in school, yes. Two of my teachers one in middle and one in high school said they witnessed it (this was 5 years ago). With this article you would think kids are having orgies in the hallways. I’m pretty sure in the 70s and 80s kids were having sex in school but everyone these days is so paranoid about sex especially when it comes kids. Monet, Terry wants to go back to the good ole’ days when girls wore chastity belts. PM, why wouldn’t a teen go on national tv and lie. Tell the adults what they want to hear and get 15 mins of fame.

Altview March 27, 2008, 2:25 PM


What seems to be an increasing problem to me is parents are not taking responsiblity for their own children. They instead push it off and blame their kids behavior on the internet,tv, schools, etc. Quit blaming how you child acts on everyone else and take responsiblity. This reminds me of how Yahoo greatly restricted their adult sections( which i believe in non existant now) because their parents cannot control their own children. They no longer try to raise them. They try to make everyone else raise them. They dont take responsiblity for their children. They push it off on others like say Yahoo to govern their childs activities.. Its not a business’s job to watch your child, its yours. Its not the schools job to teach your children what is right or wrong. Its yours. You made it, take care of it.

Parents differ, not all parents will ever agree on how to raise children. What some view as right some view as wrong. You put a large group of children togather in a school and you have certain parents saying i dont want my kid to learn this or experience that. while others may not.


In our society, sex has been so repressed, so taboo that we try to teach our children that sex is wrong. or its only right under certain conditions. We try to repress them. To make them live up to social standards. Instead of letting people be humans we try to program them to be robots. Then you all sit their and wonder were you messed up.What did i do wrong in trying to teach my child? You taught you child that his/her basic instincts are wrong. their gut feelings are wrong, their desires are wrong, their feelings are wrong. thats where you screwed up. You taught, or tried to , your child to be less human so what do you expect?


It is perfectly natural for younger ones to have sex and want to explore the opposite sex. Mother nature determined this with giving them the ability to reproduce at that age. According to mother nature they can handle it physically and mentally. But parents repress their children so much and force their ideals and beliefs on them so much that by time a child is 13-14 they still act like they are 6-7.

They teach them things that are natural are wrong, feelings and urges are wrong. They try to repress their children sexually for as long as possible. I know some parents that would love it if their children did have sex until they was 25. its unnatural what society forces on children thats why they rebel against it.

Personally, I am more free about the subject. I only let my children know the possiblities of a given path. i let them choose the path. I guide them, not force them to be something they are not or have no desire to be. and i support them. and i probably have more influence in my childrens lives than anyone on this board. yet my children have more freedom than that of anyone here. They respect my opinion and they know while i give it, the decision is theirs. by not repressing them they actually fare better than most.

parenting is not turning your child into a product of social standards. And its definately not about blaming everyone else because your child dont behave the way you want them too.

Steve April 7, 2008, 3:25 PM

Idk im a high school student and this sounds pretty kinky to me. if i didnt go to an all guys school id definitely go for it.

momof 2girls April 7, 2008, 5:04 PM

I have two girls 16 & 18 and they have always talked about the pressures of being female- dealing with the clothing designers’ merchandise with the low cut-exposure clothing,lingerie for tops, baring the midriffs, “showing the string” underwear and also the blatantly sexualized ads in magazines (like Cosmo) - which I won’t let them buy; and on TV. Sexual messages are everywhere and have been since we were young. Parents have a choice, either to encourage and allow slutty behavior and associations with the like-minded friends, or cultivate a positive relationship with kids so they will respect you and your thoughts or attitudes. I’ve taught my girls pride in themselves, confidence that they don’t need to DO what others do, just to be liked , and kept them involved in honors classses and sports and travel, so they have very little “bored” time with which to get in trouble. So far, it’s worked well! They are happy, healthy, pretty well-grounded kids who are going off to collge where they will have to deal with alot more of the same stuff while on their own!
I believe parents themselves are often too immature and have not really given much thought and effort to their skills at parenting. Choose life partners carefully, if you’re going to have to be co-parenting with them for 20 years!!
Another message to give teens regarding sex. **IF people grow up & mature before they become parents you have better odds of being successful!

Trish April 7, 2008, 5:40 PM

One big questions is—-why aren’t these kids being supervised? Too much T.V and movies that are above their level because parents don’t care what they watch, or who there with! Teachers cannot see everything, but they do know and see ALOT more than what they are willing to correct. Probably half the parents they would contact about this stuff would not even care to help the situation. My two girls have maybe 3 other children that i could trust the parents. I know what they watch,the parents will tell me how they behave.
My daughter had a play in 6Th grade at 8Pm, 3/4 of the kids there were acting like idiots because they were just dropped off. Parents cannot stop monetering the kids too early.

Anonymous April 10, 2008, 1:09 AM

Im a kid my self i dont have sex but it so scray kids with STD’s at the age of 15 so young and dying already??? and in the skool,the bus ect. where anyone im mean anyone can c u. I know there is temptation but that don’t mean u have to act on it!

rick April 10, 2008, 1:14 AM

please tell the airhead editor of cosmo that 1 in 5 is 20% not 25%.

Fred April 10, 2008, 2:50 AM

I am a single guy with no kids and had a girl, aged 9, who was petsitting for me, come into my apartment waving a condom around. This same girl asked me what I thought about Paris Hilton and seemed obsessed with fame.

She would suggest crude things that I wouldn’t expect a grown woman to say to me and told me that she had already done oral sex.

I tried to be a calming influence in her life but her parents didn’t care about her and her mom seemed quite willing to toss her daughter in as part of the bargain if I would be her bf. Needless to say I ran far and long.

I hate to think what that little girl has gone through.

Mike April 10, 2008, 4:44 PM

I’m not sure if I believe these stories or not. It seems exaggerated to me, not to mention the fact that I know one of the girls in this video, who completely IS NOT a virgin and has sex…AND A LOT OF IT. Nice try Alexa


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