- The age of consent (age at which it is legal to have sex) in the state of Washington is 16. The age of consent is 17 or 18 in many other states—and no states are lower than 16. Having sex with anyone younger can lead to a charge of statutory rape.
- STD’s are also spread to children by child molesters.
- Nearly 1 in 4 teenage girls
ages 14-19 have a sexually transmitted infection, according to the 2008
report by the CDC (Centers for Disease Control). The sexually
transmitted diseases include HIV, syphilis, gonorrhea, HPV, Chlamydia,
Many girls may not know they even have a disease,
or that they are passing it to their sex partners. In addition, these
girls are at risk for the serious health effects of untreated STD’s,
including infertility and cervical cancer. (ABC News, March 2008,
- A Hidden Epidemic. The CDC
calls STD’s a hidden epidemic. 18 million Americans get a new STD every
year, and 2/3 of them are under the age of 25, representing 8-10,000
teens per day. About 25% of American teens say they have had sex before
the age of 16. This is an alarming, disproportionate statistic among
our youth. According to the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention):
- 46% of high school students had ever had sexual
intercourse, and 14% of high school students had had four or more sex
partners during their life. (2009)
- 34% of currently sexually active high school students did not use a condom during the last sexual intercourse. (2009)
- Young people in the United States use alcohol and
other drugs at high rates. Adolescents are more likely to engage in
high-risk behaviors, such as unprotected sex, when they are under the
influence of drugs or alcohol.
- 22% of high school students who had sexual
intercourse during the past three months drank alcohol or used drugs
before last sexual intercourse. (2009)
- Abstinence is the only 100% effective way to prevent
HIV, other STDs, and pregnancy. No protective method is 100% effective,
and condom use cannot guarantee absolute protection against any STD or
- HIV/STD prevention education should be developed with
the active involvement of parents, be locally determined, and be
consistent with community values. It should address the needs of youth
who are not engaging in sexual intercourse, as well as youth who are
currently sexually active, while ensuring that all youth are provided
with effective education to protect themselves and others from HIV
infection and STDs now and lifelong. For more information, see CDC’s
Healthy Youth, Sexual Risk Behaviors, at
- There are some 15 million new STD cases each year in the United States, and they occur among all ages and walks of life. Some are incurable, although all can be treated.
- Teach your children values at a very young age, and
set limits which will make them feel loved and secure. Be honest with
your children about your feelings about pre-marital sex.
- Develop and maintain a close relationship
with each of your children from an early age. Studies show that youth
who are sexually promiscuous are, generally speaking, not as
well-adjusted as those who are not sexually active.
- Remember—you have a great influence on your children.
Study the critical information available on STD’s, and teach your
children accordingly. The average age of a girl’s first sexual
intercourse is age 15.
- Remove inappropriate media from your home where the language and images are very sexual, provocative, and also degrading to women.