Tag Archive | Teen Sex

Teen Dating: Cautions of Online Dating and Teens

Teen dating is part of our kids growing up.

Now this part of life is compounded with the use of the digital world.

Skout, a mobile flirting application that uses GPS technology has been linked to three instances of sexual assault in recent weeks. In response, the under-18 portion of the community has been shut down as its organizers work to develop better safeguards.

The mobile dating site, which was originally created for adults, uses GPS technology that allows users to see nearby singles. In a safety precaution, the app does not reveal street addresses.

However, if you were at your neighborhood grocery store, you would be able to check your phone to see if another single was in the area, check the profile and then send an IM or text if you were interested in meeting that person.

In the teen version of Skout, the app pinpointed other users’ locations within a half-mile radius, and though it was supposed to be a safeguard, it proved to be the perfect tool for predators to scout their victims. In all three instances, adults took advantage of underage teens; but GPS is also a tool that can be used in teenaged dating abuse.

A technologically savvy teen can use GPS to monitor a dating partner, either through cell phones or other devices. Often, GPS isn’t needed to monitor a teenager’s location.

With the ability to update a Facebook status, Tweet or even “Check-in” via Facebook, teenagers are revealing their locations all the time.

In the past, teen dating abuse was more easily identified. Ten years ago, when landlines were the norm and phone bills had limited minutes, abusive behavior like excessive phone calls would have been easy to identify. Today, teens can put their cell phones on silent and receive unlimited texts, masking abusive behavior from parents.

“I call it an electronic leash,” said psychotherapist Dr. Jill Murray in an interview with ABC News. “I’ve had girls come into my office with cell phone bills showing 9,000 text messages and calls in a month. This is all hours of the day and night. And it’s threatening.’Hi. How are you? Where are you? Who are you with? Who are you talking to?’” Considering a teen’s constant attachment to his or her cell phone, the potential control for the abuser is virtually unlimited.

In addition to the private world of text messaging, the world of social media offers abusive teens a public platform to humiliate and degrade their partners.

Teens can use Facebook or Twitter to insult their partners or reveal embarrassing, false or intimate information about the victim. Abusive partners can even use this potential public humiliation as a form of blackmail.

You might be surprised to learn just how common it is for teens to develop an abusive relationship. The National Center for Victims of Crime cites that over 40 percent of both genders report having been involved in some form of dating violence at least once during high school.

If you recognize that your teen is in an abusive relationship, your first reaction may be to begin limiting freedoms such as Internet and cell phone use, but often teens in an abusive relationship don’t confide in their parents for fear of such restrictions.

Remember, the victim in an abusive relationship is often made to feel as though he or she has done something wrong. A reaction that could be seen as a “punishment” could only increase feelings of low self-esteem and could further alienate your teen from you and other positive support groups – while the abuser will see the opportunity to slip into the position of the ally.

Instead of revoking mobile access, you could recommend this app for your teen. It was made for college students, as a peer-based support system to help escape social situations, but it can easily apply to the teen dating world. In this app, GPS is used to empower the victim, proving that technology can be a helpful tool in avoiding abuse.

The app is called “Circle of 6” and it allows users to easily contact 6 people with discreet SOS messages:

“Come and get me. I need help getting home safely. My GPS coordinates are…” and “Call and pretend you need me. I need an interruption.”

If you notice that your teen’s partner is becoming too controlling, a good strategy is to engage in a project or take more trips together. You can also offer to facilitate outings for your teen and his or her friends. You can also go on trips and invite your teen and his or her significant other. The goal is to offer your teen examples of healthy, positive relationships that will contrast the negative emotions spurred by the abusive one.

Contributor: Amelia Wood is a blogger and freelance writer who often writes to explain medical billing and coding online. She welcomes your questions and comments at amelia1612@gmail.com.

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Teen Relationships: Summer Flings and Teen Sex

Teenagers are no different than adults, they want to find love and find that relationship that they believe can fill their lives.

As summer is here, school is out and teens are looking forward to their time off.  Whether they are traveling with their family or off to summer camp, most will be meeting new people and building new relationships.

Love is the most influential, powerful state of being that any of us will ever encounter or experience in the course of our lives. It is beyond emotion, as it encompasses and affects all levels of our actions, thoughts, inspirations and aspirations. To be devoid of love is to be absent of life. The elements of love are intertwined and dependent upon one another; and, in most instances, are realized upon reciprocity. Any deficiency of these elements, or ‘links’, would therefore compromise the ‘chain’ that binds and holds each component together, and love will suffer.

Trust - This may be considered the most challenging element of love. You grant another person the right to hold your life, your emotions in their hands. You don’t question their intention as you firmly believe and confirm that they will not do you harm and, instead, will flourish with such privilege.

Honesty - There is no true love relationship that may occur without honesty. While certain truths may be painful to expose and share at times, the act and willingness to put truth above self-preservation is a constant testimony to that attests to the claim of love.

Tolerance - We are all predisposed to idiosyncrasies and quirks inherent in our personalities; and, in general, these are very good things. Oftentimes, however, such things may go across the grain of those closest to you. Tolerance permits these differences in actions or thoughts and accepts the  them in the other’s composition as part of who they are, and not an affront to who they are.

Forgiveness -It is impossible to embrace another so closely without, at some time, hurting or disappointing them in some way. Forgiveness is the power and strength the ‘victim’ renders that indicates that the relationship is more important than the injury they feel has been done to them.

Kindness -As simple as this may appear, it is the food that helps a relationship to grow. Kindness acknowledges a unique awareness of the other person. It demonstrates gratitude and sensitivity in the relationship.

Security -While often difficult to foster and maintain in a relationship, security is closely related  to trust. When you are secure in the relationship, envy and jealousy are less likely to raise their ugly heads. Security dismisses the notion that a partner may hold something or someone else in higher regard or interest.

Understanding/Compassion -It’s important to achieve an understanding of the motivations and values of your partner.  True understanding and compassion recognizes that both the strengths, and weaknesses of another, equally comprise the total makeup of who they are.

Commitment -While some may see this is as a form of personal sacrifice, it is really quite the opposite.  To be dedicated to the wants, needs and aspirations of your partner is truly noble and selfless. With commitment, your focus is on striving, to the best of your ability, to encourage anything that will bring prosperity and happiness to the other; and to do so without self-interest.

Respect -It’s important to avoid anything that would hinder the growth of the partner and, subsequently, the success of the relationship.  This is achieved by showing respect for the partner and the relationship, at all times.

Desire–This would be considered the delicate thread that weaves through all those elements listed above.  Without the passionate desire to meld with another, the concept of love would certainly be an exercise in futility.

As the title states, these are the ten words that describe love to me. You may have a different list, but it was a good exercise for me. Sometimes it helps just to think through what we really mean, when we use a word like ‘love’.

Source:  Top Dating Sites

Sex, Drugs and Rock and Roll: ‘SKINS’ Where Teens Are Teens?

Viewer discretion advised…

Is that enough to convince your teen to watch with caution?  It seems most of today’s society simply ignore any warnings of viewer discretion announcement.

Reality shows are definitely the trend and there is no denying, they are becoming more and more popular with all ages, but what happens when it involves minors?  Toddlers and Tiarras has had much controversary, not to mention Jersey Shore.  From toddlers to young adults, when is enough – ENOUGH?

The controversy surrounding MTV’s no-holds-barred teen drama “Skins” is shaking up parents as as as the Parents Television Council (PTC). Just days after the U.S. version of the British teen series first aired,  PTC has urged the federal government to investigate the show for possible violations of child pornography laws.

According to the president of PTC, Tim Winter, “You have a major conglomerate, Viacom and MTV, that is directly marketing to children graphic sex, profanity, drug use.”

Seen on the Today Show (must watch video), legal analyst and victims’ rights advocate Wendy Murphy not only sees the PTC’s point, she anticipates Viacom’s defense.

Their defense is likely to be ‘oh, come on, this is just a television show,’ but that’s not really a defense, because that’s not the issue,” Murphy explained. “The only issue is, are there kids involved who are under the age of 18? That’s it! That’s enough!  That’s child pornography.”

For those that have not heard of this new show, Skins is not a reality show, it is actually scripted and the actors are between the ages of 15-18 years-old.  They are participating in disturbing acts such as sex, drugs and more.  Is this legal?

Let’s hear your opinion.  Leave your comments below.

Alexis P. of Ft. Lauderdale commented, “When my 14 year-old son sees a view discretion warning, he continues watching as if it wasn’t there.  It is ridiculous to believe that parents are able to control everything their kids are watching and it is a shame people see this trash as entertainment.”

MTV issued a statement on Today Show as follows:

Skins’ is a show that addresses real-world issues confronting teens in a frank way,” the statement read. “We are confident that the episodes of ‘Skins’ will not only comply with all applicable legal requirements, but also with our responsibilities to our viewers.”

Let’s go back to the beginning, who is really reading Viewer Discretion Advised? Most likely, not the kids watching it – those words usually peak the curiosity of most teens and tweens.

Be an educated parent, know what your kids are watching.

Read more.

Sue Scheff: Sex in the City – Why Are Teens Having Sex?

Whether you have had an opportunity to watch 16 and Pregnant or Teen Moms, there is one common thread that weaves through these shows:  Teenage girls seem to believe having a baby will keep their boyfriend or having a baby will give them someone to love them unconditionally.

Every day, more than 2,000 teen girls in the United States get pregnant. In fact, 3 in 10 girls will become pregnant by age 20. Not having sex is the only sure way to avoid pregnancy, though there are a lot of other good reasons to wait, too. But if you’re having sex, you must use birth control carefully and correctly every single time you do.- Stay Teen

Teens and sex is a growing subject that has more resources and information than ever before.  Educating parents, teachers and teenagers is a commitment everyone needs to have.  Stay Teen is one of several valuable websites that offers a vast amount of information about having sex and/or considering having sex.

One common question is, “why’d you do it?”  Here are some of answers from Stay Teen:

  • I’m curious – I want to experiment/ get experience.
  • I just want to get this first time out of the way.
  • Sex is no big deal. Everyone is doing it.
  • Every one of my friends has had sex – I’m the only hold out. I feel like a wierdo.
  • The popular kids in my school are the ones who have sex – I want to fit in with them.
  • My partner really wants me to do it – he/ she says that it’ll bring us closer together/ prove my love/ show my commitment.
  • There’s nothing to do in this town but have sex.
  • I won’t really know how compatible we are until we’ve had sex.
  • My parents are so controlling and strict – they’d freak out if they knew I was having sex.
  • We’ve already had sex once – I can’t very well say no now.
  • It’s just a “friends-with-benefits” thing – what’s the big deal?

Think you might not be ready yet? Check out the Waiting page for more.  Visit www.stayteen.org for more educational information.

In South Florida, Planned Parenthood can help you educate your teens on sex and if they are considering have it.  Teen Talk is targeted at discussing sex education and protection with your teens.

Be an educated parent, you will have safer and healthier teens. Read more.

Sue Scheff: Do Teen Boys Brag More About Sex?

S-E-X.  A little three letter word that can make parents crazy, happy, thrilled and frantic.  Parenting today, like years ago, includes the birds and the bees discussion.  The difference?  There seems to be a lot more to talk about today.  Kids are starting younger, or maybe adults forget exactly when they started, however one thing remains the same, the discussion of sex can cause stress. 

Parents will attempt to anticipate what their kids know already and what questions they will be asked.  It can be a trying time for both parents and kids. 

How prevalent is sexual behavior among teens? The most recent numbers come from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention’s 2007 Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance Survey of high school students from 34 states:

  • An estimated 48% had sexual intercourse before graduating from high school.
  • Approximately 15% had sexual intercourse with four or more partners before graduating from high school.
  • Nearly 62% of currently sexually active students used a condom during last sexual intercourse.
  • Approximately 90% of the students said they had been taught about AIDS and HIV infection in school.

In a new Seventeen magazine survey of boys and young men, almost half said they were virgins and one in four said he had lied to other kids about not being a virgin. According to the survey of 1,200 boys and young men, age 15 to 22, 60 percent said they lied about something sexual, 30 percent lied about “how far they had gone,” and 78 percent said that there was too much pressure from society to have sex.

Source: Connect with Kids

Nearly two-thirds of teens that have had sexual intercourse say they regret it and wish they had waited, according to the National Campaign to Prevent Teen Pregnancy. The campaign also found that when it comes to making a decision about sex, 30% said that friends influenced their decision the most.

In Broward County, Planned Parenthood of South Florida and the Treasure Coast, goal is to ensure that every individual has the information, services, and freedom to make healthy, responsible decisions about sex, sexuality, and parenthood.
 

Be an educated parent, you will have safer and healthier teens.  Read more.

Sue Scheff: Teen Dating – What is age appropriate?

Many parents will cringe when they even think about their precious “children” reaching the age of dating.  Whether you believe it is 16 years-old or 26-years-old, there are worries and stress at all ages.  As a parent, worrying is a built in feature that comes with parenting – especially teens.

Teen dating can be an exciting and fun time where self confidence is built up, and dating techniques are learned. Teens also learn how to be both assertive and compromising, how to be giving to another and how to expect the same in return. All of this is a sort of practice session in order to find that “right” person.

Unfortunately, too often teens start dating with no preparatory talks from their parents and then they can lead to trouble. According to Planned Parenthood, about 10 percent of teenage girls in the U.S. become pregnant before age 20. And the U.S. Attorney General reports that 38 percent of date rape victims are girls between the age of 14 and 17.

Talk to your children. Teach them how to date, how to have respect for one another and how to protect themselves from emotional and physical hurt.

Here are some more tips:

  1. BE A GOOD ROLE MODEL.Your relationship with your partner is a model for how your teen will behave with others. Your relationship for your child speaks far louder than anyone’s words. Show them how you compromise, stick up for yourself, give and expect respect and argue but love your spouse.
  2. TELL THEM TO LISTEN TO THEIR INNER VOICE. Help them pay attention to the voice inside that says, “I’m uncomfortable in this situation and don’t want to do this.” Teach them to trust their judgment. Tell them how to avoid unwanted sexual advances. Tell your sons that having sex does not make them a man and tell your daughters that having sex does not make them cool. 
  3. WARN THEM ABOUT THE DANGER SIGNS. Being manipulated, verbally put down, pushed or slapped and kept isolated from other relationships are all signs of an abusive relationship. Make sure both your son and daughter understand that, and that they should come to you or another parent/teacher/counselor if they feel at all threatened or oppressed by their boyfriend or girlfriend.
  4. NO, MEANS NO. Tell them they need to be honest and clear in communications. “I’m not sure…” from a girl can mean “I just need to be pushed or pressured some more before I say yes” to her date. Tell girls to say “No” clearly and firmly. Tell boys if they hear “No” then proceeding anyway is rape.
  5. HAVE THE SEX TALK. Make them think seriously about what sexual intimacy really means to them. Tell boys they are not expected to try a million different ways to get sex. Tell girls that they do not need to have sex to keep a guy.

    Tell them that oral sex and anal sex are sex. Many kids are having these forms of sex because they tell themselves it’s not really sex.

    First tell them they shouldn’t be having sex yet. Then tell them about contraception and sexually transmitted diseases. You hope they will wait to have sex, but if they don’t, it’s best that they protect themselves.

    Let them talk privately with their doctor so they can get what they need to take care of themselves. Encourage them to come to you with any question or conflict. Try to be open to discussing it, rather than lecturing them. You want them to listen to your opinion, yet at the same time feel they are making up their own mind.

Source: Dr. Gail Saltz

February is National Teen Dating Violence Awareness and Prevention month as well as Teen Sexual Assault Awareness Week.  It is a perfect time to sit down with your teens and talk to them about dating.  This is one of the first big steps into adulthood, and a parent should be the one discussing these issues and concerns with their teenager.

Be an educated parent, you will have safer teens.

Read more on Examiner.

Sue Scheff: Teen sex games and the dictionary

In the same week we hear about the increase of teen pregnancies, we also learn about parents in California wanting “oral sexremoved from the Merriam-Webster Collegiate Dictionary.  As uncomfortable as some parents are with discussing oral sex, if we don’t educate our children, someone else will!  And it may not be exactly the way you would like them to learn it.

Recently two articles struck a nerve with many parents that were completely unaware of the teen or even tweens, sex games.  Just when you think lipstick is a little spark of beauty and bracelets can be a fun accessory, we learn about the Rainbow and Snap games!  You won’t find these games in the dictionary – but both offer “oral sex” so you want to be sure YOU are the one talking to your teens about this.

One of the nation’s shining success stories of the past two decades is in danger of unraveling,” said Sarah Brown of the National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy. “Clearly, the nation’s collective efforts to convince teens to postpone childbearing must be more creative and more intense, and they must begin today.”  – Washington Post January 26, 2009

As much as we talk to our kids about sex, offer sex education classes and continue to be there for them, this is a subject we need to continue to talk about.  Whether it is a word/term in the dictionary or slang on a school bus, encourage your children to come to you to discuss it.  If they are uncomfortable speaking with a parent, try to have a close relative or friend they can turn to.  Someone you trust.

Remember, an educated parent is a prepared parent which equals safer and healthier teens.

Watch PSA.

The Price is Your Life.

The term “oral sex” remains in the dictionary. For the parents in the California, Menifee Union School District, students will take permission slips home.  They also offer alternative dictionaries. 

Watch video and read more.

Sue Scheff – Social Networking and Teen Sex

teen-pregnancynatcampn1The news today? Teens floating photo’s of themselves in their birthday suits, well, more or less. It seems more and more teens are not thinking about the consequences of sending questionable photos through email, texting, social networks etc. Parents need to explain to their child that placing such pictures may potentially cause them “not” to be accepted at a college or not get a job. More and more college admissions offices and potential employee’s are Surfing the Net to find out more information on applicants. What you post today, may haunt you tomorrow!

With all the discussions around the nude pictures – it brings up another concern – does this mean your teen is being recognized as a sex object? Does it say he or she is “easy“?
Many people will ask, “where are the parents?”, however it is almost impossible to monitor your teen 24/7, especially Online. As parents and adults everywhere, we need to tell our kids how this can harm them in the future. Their BFF today – may be their enemy next summer! Then where will those photos end up?
Keep informed – stay up to date with information for parents and teens.

Sue Scheff: Teen Pregnancy is on the Rise

Many people have seen the recent news stories on the 17 girls in MA that made a pact to get pregnant and succeeded.  The Boston Globe  article details this distressing situation.

The National Campaign seeks to improve the well-being of children, youth, families, and the nation by preventing unplanned and teen pregnancy. Take a moment to visit this website of educational resources.

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For parents, a teenage daughter becoming pregnant is a nightmare situation.

 

Every year, approx. 750,000 teenage girls become pregnant in the United States. That is roughly 1/3 of the age group’s population, a startling fact! Worse, more than 2/3 of teens who become mothers will not graduate from high school.

If you are a parent who has recently discovered that your teenage daughter is pregnant or may be pregnant, we understand your fear and pain. This is a difficult and serious time in both yours and your daughters’ life.

Our organization, Parent’s Universal Resource Experts  (P.U.R.E.™) works closely with parents and teenagers in many troubling situations, such as unplanned pregnancy. We understand how you feel!

No matter what happens, you and your daughter must work together to make the best choice for her and her unborn child. Your support and guidance is imperative as a mother. You CAN make it through as a family!

We have created this website as a reference for parents dealing with teenage pregnancy in hope that we can help you through the situation and make the best decisions.

 

Sue Scheff: Talking with your children about sex and relationships

teensex.jpgSex & the Silent Parent

Sex. It’s on TV, the Internet, in magazines, movies and music videos. But it’s still one of those topics that is hard for parents and their children to talk about. And that’s a problem, because what kids don’t know – and what they think they know – can hurt them.

Learn how to talk with your kids about sex – in a way that they’ll listen. Order the Sex & the Silent Parent. You’ll learn specific advice about where, when, what and how to talk with your kids about sex.

You may be surprised by what your kids believe about sex. A recent health survey reported that most kids don’t know you can get an STD from oral sex. A majority believes you can’t get pregnant the first time you have sex. And two-thirds of teens that do have sex later say they regret it. It’s up to you to give your children the facts and help them be safe and healthy.

Sex & the Silent Parent provides information to help parents learn when the timing is right to have these conversations and how to answer the questions kids ask. You’ll learn how important it is to discuss the dangers and risks, as well as explain what it means to develop trusting relationships. Kids really do want to talk… and listen… and learn from an adult they trust.