I know from first-hand experience that a significant number of Orthodox Jewish teens are sexually active. And not just the "bad kids," either. Don't let denial of this fact lead children to unnecessary disease and unwanted pregnancy.
Most young people begin having sex in their mid-to-late teens, about 8 years before they marry.
By age 18, about 71% of U.S. youth have had sexual intercourse.
A recent New York Times article found that 88% of teenagers who had taken abstinence pledges reported having sexual intercourse before marriage. Of these teenagers, many are less likely to know that they have contracted a sexually transmitted disease, and are therefore more likely to transmit STDs to others...
Three out of ten teenage men become sexually active before they have received any school instruction on AIDS, sexually transmitted diseases, birth control, and the correct use of the condom, or how to say no to intercourse. (source)
Some Facts You Might Not Know
- Emergency Contraception works. If, for whatever reason, you had unprotected sex, you forgot to take your pill, or your condom breaks, you can get your doctor to prescribe emergency contraception pills for up to 72 hours. "ECPs reduce the risk of pregnancy by 75-89 percent when the first dose is taken within 72 hours... The sooner you start it, the more effective." ECPs act before implantation occurs, so they are not the same as "the abortion pill," Mifepristone or RU-486. For up to 5 days afterwards, your doctor can insert an Intra-Uterine Device (IUD.)
- How to use condoms properly. "Of 100 women whose partners use condoms, about 15 will become pregnant during the first year of typical use. Only two women will become pregnant with perfect use." More protection against pregnancy is possible if condoms are used with a spermicide foam, cream, jelly, suppository, or film.
- HIV and other Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STDs) can be transmitted through cunnilingus (oral-vaginal), fellatio (oral-penile), and analingus (oral-anal.) HIV transmission is very rare, but possible, through cunnilingus. HIV transmission can occur through fellatio even if there is no ejaculation.
- Certain STDs like Herpes and Warts can be transmitted even when using a condom.
Be safe, teach your kids, and encourage schools to teach all the kids.