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12-Year-Olds Are Having Sex

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What can moms do to prevent our kids from taking the same path?

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A newly released study is completely freaking us out.

Middle school youth are engaging in sexual intercourse as early as age 12, according to the study by researchers at The University of Texas School of Public Health. According to their research, by age 12, 12 percent of students had already engaged in vaginal sex, 7.9 percent in oral sex, 6.5 percent in anal sex and 4 percent in all three types of intercourse.

Results from this study are published in the April issue of Journal of School Health.

The study found one-third of sexually active students reported engaging in vaginal or anal sex without a condom within the past three months, and one-fourth had four or more partners.

"We need to develop prevention programs that address the needs of students who are not yet sexually active in order to promote skills and attitudes to help them wait until they are older to have sex," Christine Markham, Ph.D., assistant professor of behavioral science at the UT School of Public Health said in a press release. "And we need to provide skills and knowledge related to condoms and contraception for youth who are already sexually active."

These findings clearly indicate the need for open discussion about sexual health at the middle school level, Markham said. "It is critical that health education teachers and school nurses feel comfortable addressing these issues with their students and that their efforts are supported by parents and the school administration," she added.

But of course some of the responsibility lies on us as parents, too. It's important to create an open dialogue, but talking to your teens about sex is never easy. But these five tips from psychologist Pamela Varady can help parents get the ball rolling.

Start early.
The earlier you talk to your kids about sex, the more informed your child will be and the more comfortable they will feel about coming to you with questions. Plus, future conversations will be much, much easier if you start young.

Let them know your values.
Teenagers want guidance from their parents, whether they admit it or not. Don't be afraid to tell them your own views on sex.

Teach teens about emotional intimacy, too.
Sex talks tend to focus on the physical. But you can also tell your child that you feel sex should occur in the context of an intimate relationship, and why.

Don't lecture.
A lecture instantly turns the conversation from two-way to one-way. Talking to your teen about sex effectively has to be a give-and-take. Remember to ask a lot of questions, and encourage your teen to do the same.

Relieve the pressure.
If your child has difficulty opening up, try initiating the conversation while you're doing something else, such as taking a walk or shooting hoops. Being involved in an activity while you talk will take a lot of the pressure off.

Parents of tweens and teens: What do you think about this study?

next: Note from School: Your Kid's Fat!
84 comments so far | Post a comment now
cameron September 20, 2010, 9:16 AM

im 12 and i have not had sex yet ive done other things though. theres a fourteen year old girl down the street that has ben saying things to me and acting well i dont know but any way i want to do it but im gonna try to wait but if the right oppertunity comes up then ill take it. ive ben kinda sexual my hole life. even with my cousin, who is only a year younger and with my friends sisters. i started doing things when i was six i always use to here things from my brother then i would go do them with girls i dont know why i wrote this, maby becouse i needed to tell some one or becouse of the girl down the street has me thinking im going to do it soon well i dont know how to end this so ill end it with a good by.

cameron again! September 20, 2010, 9:34 AM

i realy need any advise any one can give on if i should do it with this girl or not so please wright

cameron again! September 20, 2010, 9:41 AM

i need some advise on getting with this girl i realy like her but shes 14 and has already done it with two other guys her age id probaly rather do it with a girl my age and a virgin like me.

cameron September 20, 2010, 9:52 AM

were im at or its ur clock its 12:50

cameron  September 20, 2010, 10:01 AM

can some one send me an email about ur thoughts i probaly wont get back on this site. its

shut the hell up September 25, 2010, 8:21 PM

how can I have sex without condom
how can I hold my sperm in while im having sex without condom ??????
12 year old you guys

radi October 5, 2010, 10:56 AM

good sex smoll

Fizzypuff October 23, 2010, 12:50 AM

I am 12 and i don’t want intercourse with a boy, but whenever i think about sex it makes me tingle and i just want to finger myself so much. Is this normal because i’ve been feeling pretty hormonal over the past few weeks. please help!

cameron October 28, 2010, 11:01 AM

i had sex! it was oquword at first but then we started to enjoy it, we did it on her trampoline at like 1 in the morning, it was freezing. i dont realy feel any regrets, our friendships a little wierd now but i think well be ok

cameron October 28, 2010, 11:22 AM

yes its pritty normal fizzypuff, around 12-13 your going to get erges try to stick to masterbation instead of doing it with boys and if u do get a boy friend and u dont want to do (it) then theres always other ways to please eachother only if both of u want to good luck

jacob November 11, 2010, 11:33 PM

I have sex alot hell my mom lts me

Karsyn November 18, 2010, 5:19 PM

I am a mother and I walked in on my 12year old son having sex with a girl

Alliieee November 23, 2010, 8:31 PM


Jake November 26, 2010, 3:29 PM

I have done this though now I regret it, I was 10 yrs old when I did it one of the biggest mistakes in my like although I was a early bloomer, Im 21 now.

Anonymous December 9, 2010, 4:02 PM

i dont like it how kids have sex its grose and like someone else said if they get pregnant its there own fault

kesha December 21, 2010, 7:56 PM

i have sex im 11 its fine for me… my parents dont know sozz… but yah my bf and i sneak put tje house and meet at the park and just … have sex! we both love it :)

tiffany December 22, 2010, 8:13 PM

if kids didn’t know about it they wouldnt be doing it i mean cmon now… sex ed in 5th grade? no no no no 9th grade is appropriate for sex ed u have to think gurlies mature faster than boys so boys are 2yrs behind mentally so youd be teaching a 14 year old girl about sex and a 12yr old boy about sex. not a 10 year old girl about sex and a 8 or 9 year old boy about sex… keep ur legs closed panties up… tramps

Luann Pilat December 29, 2010, 7:46 PM

Hi I am having a trouble visiting your web site, I am getting 504 errors fairly frequently, I am not much too certain why however if I refresh the webpage it returns alright.

hello kitty game December 30, 2010, 11:41 PM

Could I have a word of advice? I believe youve had sth great over here. Yet let’s suppose you also provided a couple references towards a page that supports what you were you said? Or perhaps you could offer us something to check out, something that might connect what you were saying, something more concrete?

cameron January 9, 2011, 11:11 PM

hay its the guy that talks to much again. im 13 now! ive had sex now 7 times and 8 counting just today.. yeah that 14 year old girl down the street is now my girlfriend and i also found out she never did it with any other guy and dont worry i made shure if you know what i mean. sex helps and complicates any relationship so be careful with it and be careful with love and peoples hearts.. there vary fragile so its youre job to make it strong. the word love is a joke theese days and it pisses me off. i hate when people have sex just to have sex or to get paid off of it like in pornos. its suppost to be between two lovers. come on people! all im trying to say is dont joke with this stuff…good night!

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