No matter how open you are with your children about sexuality, you may not be prepared to discover that your pre-teen or teenager masturbates. Masturbation is touching or rubbing the genitals to receive pleasure. Research shows that most teenagers masturbate. But some teens never do. (The same applies to adults!) Both are quite normal. Masturbation cannot hurt someone and it does not result in pregnancy or in getting or passing infections that are spread by sexual contact. Many parents worry about how often their children masturbate. As long as it doesn't interfere with your child's schoolwork, friends, or family life, don't be concerned. Be sure to let your child know your family values about masturbation. Every adolescent deserves to know that it doesn't cause physical or mental harm.
1. At what age do most teens become sexually active?
a. 12 - 14 years of age
b. 13 - 16 years of age
c. 16 - 18 years of age
2. At what time of day are teens most likely to have sex?
a. 7 am - 12 pm
b. 2 pm - 6 pm
c. 5 pm - 9 pm
3. On what day of the week are teens most likely to have sex?
4. What is the main reason teens give for having babies?
a. Low self-esteem
b. To keep their partner
c. Someone to love and to love them
5. Why do teens have sex even if they know they are not ready?
a. Peer pressure
b. Under influence of drugs and/or alcohol
c. Looking for love
6. When are teens most likely to get physically or mentally abused?
a. When a pregnancy occurs
b. While high on drugs and/or alcohol
c. When leaving a relationship
7. Most Americans who are HIV positive were infected as teens.
Answers 1. b, 2. b, 3. a, 4. c, 5. c, 6. a and c, 7. True
Adapted with permission from Action for Boston Community Development, Inc.
The Gardasil vaccine is now available at Planned Parenthood League of Massachusetts and through pediatricians and other primary care physicians. The vaccine protects against four strains of Human Papillomavirus (HPV), a sexually transmitted infection that can be acquired through genital contact with or without sexual intercourse. Two of the strains of HPV can progress to cervical cancer and two of the strains can cause genital warts. Visit www.pplm.org, click on Local Training and Education, click on Interactive Webcast: HPV vaccine to view a webcast featuring PPLM's Medical Director and Manager of Parent Education presenting information about HPV, the Gardasil vaccine and how to talk with your daughter about the importance of receiving the vaccine.
Don't forget to visit our website at http://www.plannedparenthood.org/ma/fo r-parents.htm! Our website is updated regularly with helpful tips for talking, information about workshops, and much more. Don't miss an opportunity to be the primary sexuality educator for your children. Need help? Call our Parent Education Team at (617) 616-1658.
Planned Parenthood League of MA
phone: (617) 616-1658