There is a direct correlation between underage drinking and early sexual experimentation. Alcohol suppresses the inhibitions and under its influence, many a teenager has done things they regret later. To protect your teenager you need to make sure that they fully understand the dangers and this is not the time to be coy. If the thought of talking to your teenager about sex makes your blood run cold, then make sure that another, responsible adult has this conversation with them.
Far too many parents assume that schools deliver sex education and that this is sufficient. The truth is that some children become sexually active as young as 11 years old, and the average age for trying their first drink for teenagers is between 11 and 13 years of age. Your pre-teen is the one you need to talk to and keep talking to, this is not a one-off conversation. Sex is not something to be taken lightly, neither is it realistic to assume that your normally sensible child will be able to handle a situation they know little about, just because they are smart at school or do all their homework.
Sex involves hormones and they are unpredictable, they can make teenagers absolute hell to live with and play havoc with common sense. Add to that the influence of alcohol, and the fact that teenagers suffer from an overwhelming desire to be liked and popular, then underage sex is a distinct possibility for your teenager. The centre for disease control has just published figures reporting that over half of all American teenagers have had sex but less than half of all girls and a third of boys have spoken to their parents about birth control or abstinence. More worryingly, there are still over a third of teenagers who receive no sex education from school.
Not understanding about sex is like giving your teenager your car keys and telling them to drive your car, having had no lessons. Teen birth rates in America are a staggering nine times higher than in other developed countries, and certainly, sex without birth control is likely to lead to pregnancy, or worse, sexually transmitted diseases. The emotional damage of underage sex is harder to quantify but counseling services and psychologists can tell you of the emotional scarring that irresponsible sexual encounters leave on a young person. If you do not talk to your teenager about the dangers of underage sex and how to stay safe; you may find yourself having a far more distressing conversation with them later on.