Teens are pressured into having sex everyday. There are different forms of sexual pressures but all of them lead to one thing: unwanted sex. Let's be honest, just because someone says yes to sex does not always mean they are a willing participant. If there is pressure behind the sex, then it really isn't a desired decision, but is more accurately defined as coerced sex. Amongst teenagers, this kind of pressure is more common and more harmful than one might think.

Teenage Girls & Sexual Pressure

There have been studies that show nearly half of teenage girls felt pressured into having sex on at least one occasion. Nearly a quarter reported having oral sex to "avoid having sexual intercourse" with a partner.

Approximately one in three adolescent girls in the United States is a victim of physical, emotional or verbal abuse from a dating partner – a figure that far exceeds victimization rates for other types of violence affecting youth. Nearly 40 percent of those girls also admitted to having unwanted sex because they were afraid that their boyfriend would be angry if they said no. Ten percent, though, said their partner forced them to have sex when they didn’t want to

Emerging Issues:
  • One in five teen girls have electronically sent or posted nude or semi-nude photos or videos of themselves. Even more teen girls, 37 percent, have sent or posted sexually suggestive text, email or IM (instant messages).
  • More than half of teen girls (51 percent) say pressure from a guy is a reason girls send sexy messages or images
  • Twelve percent of teen girls who have sent sexually suggestive messages or images say they felt “pressured” to do so.
Teenage Guys and Sexual Pressure

One in three boys ages 15-17 say they feel pressure, often from male friends, to have sex. Some boys claim having sex is more important than feeling the pleasure that comes with it. Being able to tell their friends is sometimes more important than any pleasure that they would share with their intimate or sexual partner.

18 percent of teen boys say pressure from a girl is a reason they sent sexy messages or images.

Eight in 10 teens say that a lot of people their age drink or use drugs before having sex and about a quarter said that alcohol or drugs had influenced their decision to do something sexual at least once.

These unwanted sexual experiences result in risk for sexually transmitted infections and pregnancies. Unwanted sex -- including rape and being pressured into sex -- has been related to depression and anxiety disorders in teenage girls. The physical and emotional effects that result from unwanted, or coerced sex are real and can both be equally as damaging to young teens.

Positive Approaches To The Pressures Teens Face

We need to give guidance to teens on how to communicate with each other, that means helping them to take more control over their sexual activity, and to understand what constitutes as pressure. The majority of teens believe that abstinence before marriage is a good thing but they also view abstinence as something that is unattainable. We need to reinforce the reality that practicing chastity is not only rewarding and effective, but it's possible, it is an attainable goal. We can do this by focusing on the positives of chastity and why it is so rewarding.

Positives of Chastity
  • Clarity of vision -you can value the relationship beyond sexual pleasure
  • Encourages creativity - allows you to find creative ways to express how you love and care for someone in creative, non-physical ways
  • Lower Divorce Rate -couples who marry as virgins have a 70% lower divorce rate
  • Training in faithfulness - couples who save sex for marriage are 6 times more likely to be faithful to their spouse in marriage
  • Your "yes" means so much more -if you never say "no" to sex then what is your "yes" really worth?
  • Frees us to love -you're not in it for the taking but in it to give, not give it away, but give a gift of yourself, only with self control can you make a gift of yourself
Encouraging chastity is not enough...we need to live it. We need to be an example to our world that chastity is not only good and rewarding but it works!
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