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Monday, December 22, 2014

Teen-age sexuality. Part 2

Posted by William on October 22, 2012

Discuss contraception and sexually transmitted diseases frankly. Be sure your child understands your feelings and works to form his or her own attitudes on abortion, contraception and teen-age pregnancy.

Teach your child about the dangers of acquiring sexually transmitted diseases, including AIDS (acquired immunodeficiency syndrome). The risk factors for these diseases include sexual activity (especially promiscuity, prostitution, and male homosexual activity) and sharing needles or syringes to inject drugs. If your adolescent is already sexually active, stress the risk of sexual exposure to people known or suspected to be infected with the AIDS virus or the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). Explain that the risk of infection is increased by sexual contact with many partners or with a person who has had multiple partners.

To protect your adolescent from AIDS, other sexually transmitted diseases, and pregnancy, it makes sense to discourage your adolescent from becoming sexually active until he or she is more mature. Stress that when your child does start sexual activity, the regular use of condoms can reduce the risks of infection with the AIDS virus and other sexually transmitted diseases as well as help prevent pregnancy.

The use of drugs and alcohol can disrupt the process by which your teenager develops a secure sexual identity. They can mar judgment and self-control. The most effective way to discourage your teen-age child from abusing drugs and alcohol is to gear your message to his or her level of intellectual and moral development. Particularly in early and middle adolescence, your child may be less impressed by the long-term health effects of these substances than by their immediate social consequences. Even more important than delivering an anti-substance abuse message is to set a good example through your own lifestyle.

According to the AAP, when your child becomes a teenager, the focus of your talks about sex should shift towards the social and emotional aspects of sex, and about your personal values. Even if you think your values are old-fashioned by today’s standards, you should share them with your child. It will help them establish their own value system — even if it turns out to be different than your own.

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