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Cause & Effect Essay: Teenage Sexual Intercourse

The statistics that accompany knowledge of teenage sexual intercourse are fairly alarming for many people. According to a recent University of Kentucky study, 13% of teenagers have sex before the age of fifteen, and by the age of nineteen, 7/10 teens have had their first sexual encounter. What makes this even more alarming for North Americans, is that European teen are more likely to use contraceptives. That means that teens in Canada and the U.S. have increased risks of pregnancy and contracting sexually transmitted infections. These effects are fairly well known when speaking of teenage sexual intercourse, but what causes teens to start sex so early to begin with? And what preventative measures can be taken to reduce the likelihood of teens having sex?

There is no one cause for teens experimenting with sex. Often an array of factors can lead teens to initiate their first sexual experience. A lack of awareness of the consequences of sex is one such factor, as is improper communication between parents and children. Many teens believe that their friends are having sex (even if this isn’t true) and feel pressured to fit in. Girls with older partners are sometimes persuaded to have sex at an early age, and teens (both boys and girls) are more likely to have sex if they are involved in a long-term relationship. Teens may feel a need to mature and see sex as a way to become a grown up. (Think of it as a rite-of-passage). And it must be remembered that not all initial sexual experiences are voluntary.

The consequences of early sexual activity are plentiful. Teens who engage in sex have a higher risk of suicide, drug and alcohol use, low self-esteem, school truancy, and pregnancy. Teen pregnancies often end in abortions or miscarriages. For those pregnancies brought to term, there are more health risks for both the baby and the teen mother. Other health risks to teenagers engaging in sex include HIV, Human papillomavirus, and other sexual transmitted infections.

Though the causes of teenage sexual intercourse are plentiful, and the effects are scary to think of, there are also many ways to help prevent teenagers from engaging in sex before they are ready. Often, a supportive family with healthy communication can lead teens away from risky behavior. Candid conversations about the consequences of sex are beneficial and education in general, both at home and at school, can keep teens from sexual intercourse. Interventions programs for at-risk teens are also known to be beneficial.

Both teenagers and parents need to become aware of the causes, effects, and preventative strategies of teen sexual intercourse. Young sex can be risky behavior, as someone under the age of twenty is less financially and emotionally ready to handle the consequences of sex than someone older. The impact of teenage intercourse can affect families for many years.

Contributors Bio

Contributor photo Lona Glenn
Los Angeles
Lona graduated from Los Angeles City College. While being a lecturer in several high school institutions Lona founded an online educational project Tutorsclass.Read more
Contributor photo Maria Castle
Davis, CA
I studied education and currently work as a tutor for school-age children. I've worked as a volunteer in many different international social projects and as a camp counselor every summer.Read more

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