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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
paulina January 12, 2011, 1:20 PM

im only 12 13 this year and not had sex and not even done you are werid

haveaonto January 15, 2011, 10:43 PM

having sex is it hard and does it hurt just say yes or no and give me so evses so i can have it there are two boys that want me to have it with them and am not sure if i should have it and one more thing would i have a baby

hacet January 15, 2011, 10:46 PM

i want to have sex and does it fell good or not plz plz plz HELP ME

Big boy February 9, 2011, 4:54 PM

I had sex and I’m 12! I stuck my log in a girl! It felt so good then I got very hard! I went in her now she is fat! ^_^

Big boy February 9, 2011, 4:55 PM

I had sex and I’m 12! I stuck my log in a girl! It felt so good then I got very hard! I went in her now she is fat! ^_^

sexmachin February 12, 2011, 11:02 PM

have fun having sex

Dacia Kaskey February 15, 2011, 6:37 PM

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jenny March 5, 2011, 6:22 AM

im a 13 year old girl and i had lesbian sex it was AWSOME

Kazuko Bairos March 17, 2011, 5:57 PM

I’d be inclined to give carte blanche with you here. Which is not something I typically do! I really like reading a post that will make people think. Also, thanks for allowing me to speak my mind!

Tim macohy March 19, 2011, 5:09 PM

I actually just got a girlfriend at 12 we hug and kiss, and we are thinking of doing other stuff, and there is no doubt she wants to do it with me, I’m not going to, i’m going to engage with nothing with the risk of pregnancy but we might engage in sexual contact through other ways, not anal, not vaginal, we are going to pleasure each other with our hands lol….

Not telling my name March 21, 2011, 3:12 PM

I had sex at 12 I am 14 and it felt great hot girl great vagina :)

Laser Hair Removal Dallas March 23, 2011, 11:18 AM

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Anonymous March 24, 2011, 8:19 PM

sexis fun

Anonymous March 27, 2011, 4:18 PM

im 10 and i had sex

skybird April 2, 2011, 6:52 PM

trix is for kids,not sex.

Amber J April 11, 2011, 2:23 PM

I definitely think sex education should be taught in schools, but I’m not sure about how early of an age. I took health in 9th grade and learned all about the risks of sex, but I knew most of that before I took the class. Now, health isn’t required at my school, which I think it should especially in a society where kids are more sexually active. If someone is going to have sex, they should at least know the risks and how to prevent some of them.

I’m 17 and a virgin, and I’m proud of that no matter what anyone says. It’s not because of religion eiter; I’m not a religious person at all. I have to agree with what someone said here earlier…I believe it should be for love, not just have sex now and then they won’t be with you.

Those are just my thoughts.

yo mama April 12, 2011, 4:46 PM

its so dam fun and feels so dam good

annabelle April 21, 2011, 5:40 PM

I know that I am not a “perfect Parent” but I have tried to be honest, direct, and loving to my preteen daughter. I found out that she has been having sex. I put her on birth control.. I told her that this doesn’t mean that I condone it, but I am also not stupid nor can I be with her 24/7.

Best ever April 21, 2011, 11:41 PM

I learned health in 6th grade and im 15 now and I had sex at 12 with my gf Mary but were still together and its really fun!! You should try it BTW MARY IS SO FU*CKING HOT!!!!!!

Sherue May 1, 2011, 10:40 AM

And people wonder why I home school my kids…. For starters, they don’t feel pressured into having intercourse. How can anyone send their kids to a co-ed school knowing that this is going on? Sending your children into such an environment is reckless, not just in my opinion, but in obvious fact.

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