In It For Health

Where health and psychology intersect

Posts Tagged ‘sex’

Virginity pledges for teens…uh what do you think?

Posted by Dr. Susan on January 3, 2009

Teens make pledges to do and not do all sorts of things…not drink, not have sex, be BFF’s. Do these pledges work. What do you think. A researcher at Johns Hopkins looked at teen virginity pledges to be specific to see if teens stuck to them. The results of the study didn’t surprise me.

Bottom line: teens who take pledges are just as likely to have sex (ANY kind of sex–not just vaginal!) as those who don’t. In fact, five years down the road, more than eight percent of the pledgers denied even taking the pledge!!

Bottom, bottom line…teens need REAL sex ed…not denial, not a pledge and not just forced abstinence. Maybe our new president will see to that. One can only hope.

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REALLY underage drinking…

Posted by Dr. Susan on October 25, 2008

Some parents have come to accept that their child will experiment with alcohol–and even perhaps drugs–in college, or even the upper high school grades. They hope that it won’t be serious, but they are realistic in recognizing that very few teens abstain completely.  However, this powerful and important study demonstrates that kids who drink or use drugs before they are fifteen-years old, are at much higher risk for substance dependence, sexually transmitted diseases, dropping out of school or acquiring criminal records in adulthood. Also, please note that a full fifty-percent of these kids had NO prior behavior problems!

The take home message: drinking or drugs and teens not a good combination. Be clear about your message of disapproval. Research clearly shows that parents who give their kids a clear message that they will not tolerate drinking or drugs are more likely to have kids that don’t use–especially at a younger age.

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Are teens flawed or the research?

Posted by Dr. Susan on March 14, 2008

A study,  released this week by the CDC is sending panic through the nation–it proclaims that 26% of teenage girls have sexually transmitted diseases (STD’s), most of them black black girls. I have two serious problems with this research.

It is basing these findings on 838 girls. The CDC extrapolated findings of an ENTIRE nation from a sample of fewer than nine hundred!! They’ve got to be kidding, right?! This is a “nationally representative sample”? Shame on them–a waste of time and money.

To make matters worse is my second problem. The study is based on data that was collected FIVE YEARS AGO. Teens are like technology. Five years ago is irrelevant. Why didn’t the CDC team up with MTV now–they would have collected 10, 000 interviews in five minutes and had real, current data to analyze. Instead they’re relying on a pathetically small sample size that’s completely outdated.

But what amazes me is that doctors and the media are buying it, accepting it, panicking about it…but not questioning it. I’m not saying that girls don’t have STD’s or that we shouldn’t be concerned. Of course we should! I speak to hundreds of girls every year about practicing safe sex. I believe in the new HPV vaccine–although I don’t think we should be giving it to 9-year olds because we don’t know how long it lasts. But the truth STD’s may or may not be a huge problem for teenage girls. Are they? Based on this study, I have no idea and neither do you!!!

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You need to really TALK to your teen

Posted by Dr. Susan on March 4, 2008

I love this new research, being reported in the Journal of Pediatrics which tells parents that one big talk about sex isn’t enough! It’s great advice… talking to your kids more frequently about intimate topics will improve your relationship with them overall. In addition to this, you can’t expect to be able to spring a talk about sex on your teen if you haven’t been talking to him or her all along about everything else in life. Intimacy needs to be built over time–this is true in all relationships and it can’t begin with sex–even in conversations! So talk to your kids about everything and even more than that–listen!!!

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