I am often asked to speak about sex to high school students. Many adults shudder at the thought of talking to kids about sex, but I love it. First, I have a captive audience, and second, I get to talk about two things that I am very passionate about: the dangers of teen sex and the joys of sex in marriage.
I am often asked to speak about sex to high school students. Many adults shudder at the thought of talking to kids about sex, but I love it. First, I have a captive audience, and second, I get to talk about two things that I am very passionate about: the dangers of teen sex and the joys of sex in marriage. Many adults worry that kids will be too shy to ask questions but on the contrary, I have found them eager to have their questions answered in an honest, upbeat manner.
I do not take the topic of teens and sex lightly. I have seen the pain of STDs in 13- and 14-year-old children in my office along with other serious health issues caused by sex.
Most people are aware of the physical repercussions of sex:
We now have 35 known STDs. In 1960, we only had two.
Teenagers make up one-third of the U.S. population, but they carry 50 percent of STDs.
One in four teens has an STD. (Over 80% of those infections have no symptoms, so they can go undetected, which is dangerous for the teen, their future sexual partners, and their future children.)
You may be familiar with those numbers, but few are aware of the emotional repercussions teen sex can have.
For the thousands of teens I’ve treated and counseled, many of them—yes, teen boys too—have depression related to sexual activity. You rarely hear the correlation made, but I consider depression an STD with effects as devastating as HPV, chlamydia or any physical infection.
Depression related to teen sex can have effects as devastating any physical STD infection.
Consider these numbers:
In 2015, an estimated 3 million adolescents age 12 to 17 in the U.S. had at least one major depressive episode in the past year—that’s about 12.5% of all 12 to 17-year-olds.
From 1999-2014, the suicide rate in girls age 10 to 14 tripled.
About 20% of teens will experience depression before they reach adulthood.
I believe it is no coincidence that as STDs have become an epidemic in teens, so has depression. The correlation is startling.