Many parents and teenagers find it difficult to talk about sexuality and especially sexual promiscuity. It is often difficult for parents to broach the subject of sexuality under normal circumstances and more difficult if a parent suspects that a child is sexually promiscuous. It is important for parents to understand that the avoidance of the topics of sexuality and promiscuous sexuality is often as risky as the behavior itself. Not only can sexual promiscuity cause serious health problems for an adolescent, it can also damage self-esteem and emotional health.
Statistical information on sexual promiscuity
According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, 36.9 percent of fourteen-year-olds have engaged in sexual activity–more than one out of three. Among 12th graders, 66.4 percent have engaged in sexually promiscuous activities. Among adolescents, there are three million cases of sexually transmitted diseases and approximately one million pregnancies. HIV infection is now the sixth leading cause of death among persons aged 15-24. Centers for Disease Control, Atlanta, Georgia.
Reasons teenagers may engage in sexually promiscuous activity
Sexual promiscuity may become an outlet for a struggling teenager’s frustrations much the same way drugs and alcohol are used as outlets. In many respects, therefore, sexual promiscuity can become a drug–a way to escape negative feelings and emotional confusion. In some cases, sex can be used as a weapon or defense. An adolescent might see sexual promiscuity as a way of showing parents that he or she is “free” or someone who can do whatever they want.
Results and effects of sexually promiscuous behavior
Sexual promiscuity carries with it significant health risks for the participating adolescents including pregnancy, HIV, AIDS and cervical cancer. However, less well understood are the emotional and psychological consequences of such risky behavior. Incidents of depression are significantly higher in adolescents that engage in sexually promiscuous behavior. Additionally, such activity has been linked to lowered self-esteem and other emotional health problems.
What should a parent do if he or she believes their child is engaging in sexually promiscuous behaviors?
If you believe your teenager is engaging in sexually promiscuous behavior, seek help from competent professionals immediately. Havenwood specializes in treating teenagers who are engaging in sexually promiscuous behavior. We would be happy to consult with you to determine how we can help–CALL NOW.