Here are some quick thoughts that come to mind about teens having sex:
> It feels good. Let’s be honest – good sex feels really good. God designed us in a way that makes sex possible, and he created the hormones and nerve receptors that make sex pleasurable. Teens have hit the stage in life when this reality becomes obvious to them, and sometimes their curiosity overcomes their caution.
> Sense of maturity. Sex is an adult activity. It’s possible that teens get the feeling that having sex somehow means they’re more adult, more grown up. With so few clear ‘rites of passage’ from childhood to adulthood, maybe teens have co-opted sex as a mile marker…
> For guys, this may be giving in to the pressure to ‘be a man’. Locker room logic may be telling them “You’re not really a man until you’ve had sex.” I know a number of boys who’ve traveled through adolescence with a sense that being a virgin somehow made them less of a man. I wonder if our society has lost the sense of what it really means to be a man, so teens try sex, thinking that’s a part of it.
> Girls may feel a similar pressure, but I’ve seen it often directed at keeping a boyfriend. There’s an underlying assumption that all boys want to have sex NOW and if a girl won’t give him what he wants, he’ll just move on to another relationship. But the assumption is wrong. Even if the boy does want to have sex, doing so is not some kind of relational glue that will keep him around. In fact, many girls find themselves more shattered than ever when he moves on anyway, despite their giving in to his persuading.
> I wonder though, if it’s an unmet need for real relationships that lies behind the current of teen sex. People hope that sex will produce the sense of intimacy they are really longing for. With so few authentic relationships (ones where they don’t have to wear a mask) teens may use sex as a substitute.
> I’m not sure the problem of teen sex is really a teen problem. Students have been given poor examples to live up to and have sunk to level of low expectations placed on them. When teens, trying to find the way to a meaningful adult life, open up to any media channel and find Big Ben and Tiger and Lindsay and Gaga doing whatever they want with whomever they want… When teens bounce from house to house in shattered families that may now have a revolving door for mom or dad’s latest fling… How are they supposed to make better choices? We (the adults) have to give adolescents a better example to follow.
Again, these are simply my thoughts and conjecture – not thoroughly processed or neatly packaged. Feel free to share yours below, whether you agree or disagree. But more than that, think about the teens you have contact with. If you’re an adult, when was the last time you had a real conversation with a teen? When was the last time a teen really felt like they were important to you? Today’s young generation is already changing the world we live in and will continue to do so for some time. What are you doing to help them shape the future in a positive way?