SEX POSITIVE SEX ED FOR ADOLESCENT GIRLS
Adolescence is a time of many physiological changes for both boys and girls. It is a period of social role development as children transition to adulthood. Puberty occurs during this time period, which causes rapid physical changes in which the reproductive organs mature.
For girls, physiological changes begin to occur as early as 9 years old, when ovaries begin to produce more estrogen. Physical changes begin to occur such as body hair (underarm), pubic hair, breast development, an enlargement of the labia, voice change, as well as a general growth spurt.
The vaginal walls thicken, the uterus enlarges, the pH of the vagina changes from alkaline to acidic, and vaginal secretions begin. The most notable internal change is menarche (first period, which occurs around age 12). Due to an increase in oil-secreting glands, acne begins.
Masturbation continues from childhood (to learn more about early childhood sexuality read Sexual Exploration in Early Childhood) as a way to learn about one’s body. Sexual expression arises as teens explore their sexualities through kissing, touching, manual genital stimulation and oral-genital stimulation.
Oral Sex- According to research surveys, the incidence of oral sex among adolescents is increasing. Oral sex is viewed as a way to be sexually intimate with a partner yet maintain virginity. However, teens are seldom aware of the transmission of STIs through oral sex.
Sexual Intercourse (penis in vagina)-. According to recent findings rates of teen sexual intercourse are slowly decreasing, while condom use is increasing. However, teens are also experimenting with sex earlier. By 19, 82% of teens in the U.S. have had sexual intercourse.
Understanding Sex in a Positive Light
Sex is an inevitable occurrence. Humans are sexual beings with a need to reproduce. Parents can’t stop their kids from having sex, but what they can do is participate in proper and effective sexual education in order to establish safe sex practices. Teenagers feel invincible, yet are extremely vulnerable to STIs and pregnancy when safe sex practices are not instilled.
Adolescents, unfortunately, are seldom properly educated on proper use of contraceptives. They don’t use protection on a consistent basis; they use it ineffectively or fail to use it altogether. Inadequate sex education prevents teens from learning about their sexualities in a positive manner in which they may express their sexual urges safely.
Bottom line: They’re gonna do it, so you might as well teach them how to do it properly and safely.
Advice to Parents of Teen Girls:
- Focus on bonding with your daughter. Research has found that strong parent-child relationships are associated with increased contraceptive use.
- Encourage academic excellence and responsibility.
- Educate your daughter about safe sex practices and encourage open communication.
- Express to your daughter that sex is normal and a pleasurable act.
- Build your daughter’s self-esteem and self-confidence. Girls who lack assertiveness are less likely to use contraceptives. Think back to when you were a teen, how easy was it to feel pressured into something? Teach your daughter to stand up for herself and be true to herself.
- Take her to see a GYNE, get her on the pill if she is sexually active, and provide condoms, such as Trojan Condom Pleasures Extended Pleasure Lubricated (because you know teenage boys don’t last long).