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Section 2
Track #2 - How to Help Teens Decide about Sex with 10 Negative & Positive Consequences

Question 2 | Test | Table of Contents | Adolescence/School
Social Worker CEU, Psychologist CE, Counselor CEU, MFT CEU

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On the last track, we discussed four common misunderstandings teens have regarding sex.  These included losing virginity as planned, emotional pain, sex will create feelings that aren’t already there, and one you start, you just can’t stop.

On this track, we will discuss a teen’s deciding about sex. This will include five negative consequences and five positive consequences to premarital sex. Especially in discussing positive consequences in having sex, think of a client with whom you would have this discussion and at what point would an ethical boundary be violated concerning client self-determination and therapists counter-transference and client’s transference issues.

As you are aware, making the decision about whether or not to have sex used to be simpler when society’s values were more clear-cut. As Wendy, age 16, said, "When my mom was a kid, if you did it, at least you didn’t have to worry about whether you were right or wrong! You knew you were wrong!"  I asked Wendy to think of some consequences regading having sex or not having sex. 

Here is, in essence, what I conveyed to Wendy over a period of several sessions. You might play this track for your client in an upcoming session who is deciding whether or not to have sex. I stated, "Let’s take a look at five negative consequences regarding having sex. 

Five Negative Consquences

Consquence #1 - Unwanted Pregnancy

First is unwanted pregnancy.  This is always a possibility any time intercourse takes place. Birth control methods reduce the risks of pregnancy, but they cannot eliminate them completely. If an unwanted pregnancy occurs, very difficult decisions must be faced concerning alternative routes of action, including abortion, adoption, marriage or single parenthood. The problem of unwanted pregnancy is one that easily can be denied by thinking, "It can’t happen to me!"

Consquence #2 - Possibility of Disease
Second is the possibility of disease. The incidence of a sexually transmitted disease, or STD, is on the rise. If a sexual partner is chosen who has shared sex with someone else, there may be a risk that he or she has a sexually transmitted disease. Although treatment is available for most STDs, there is no known cure for H.I.V. or for AIDS or Genital Herpes. This makes it crucial to be extremely cautious about sexual partners whose possible earlier sexual encounters are not known, or who may be at risk of carrying a disease.

Consquence #3 - Unexpected Emotional Involvement
Third, in addition to unwanted pregnancy and the possibility of disease, let’s discuss unexpected emotional involvement. Even casual sexual activity often produces intense emotional reactions, even if those reactions are not wanted. Intimate physical contact sometimes generates strong emotional attachments that may be difficult for both partners to cope with. 

For some young people, sexual activity is mistakenly interpreted as a sign of long-lasting commitment to the relationship. This is simply another reason why good communication between people is so essential before sex takes place.

Consquence #4 - Guilt and Regret
Fourth, in addition to unexpected emotional involvement, let’s discuss guilt and regret. Plenty of people still feel guilty and regretful about sexual experiences, especially if they are violating moral codes of their parents or their religion. Guilt doesn’t help people to feel good about themselves and may eventually be quite destructive. Each individual must carefully consider the potential of sex producing guilt in his or her life, and attempt to pursue relationships which will not be regretted later.

Consquence #5 - Feeling "Conned" or Used
Fifth, in addition to guilt and regret, let’s discuss feeling "conned" or used. I have found that sexual activity that is positive and healthy takes place as a matter of choice in an atmosphere of mutual honesty and trust. It is unfortunate that some people, both males and females, view the persuasion of another person into sex as some sort of conquest, or as a way to hold on to the other person. Not only are these poor reasons for sexual activity, but it is almost inevitable that the other partner will eventually feel as if he or she has been "conned" and used.

Now, let’s consider some of the possible positive consequences of sexual activity. It should be emphasized that positive consequences are generally possible only in the context of a loving, committed relationship between the two people involved. You may want to keep in mind that sexual activity is only one of the ways in which the following may be achieved.

Five Positive Consequences

Consequence #1 - Sexual Sharing

First, let’s discuss learning the pleasure of sexual sharing. In the context of a healthy, loving relationship, sexual activity can often provide new heights of physical and emotional pleasure.

Consequence #2 - Feeling Good about Your Body
Second, let’s discuss feeling good about your body. When we get pleasure from our bodies while giving another person pleasure, we often feel more positively about what our bodies have to offer. Additionally, when we feel that our body is attractive and sexually desirable to another, we generally feel good about it.

Consequence #3 - Deepening the Sense of Intimacy and Caring
Third, in addition to sexual sharing and feeling good about your body, let’s discuss deepening the sense of intimacy and caring. In a relationship that involves real intimacy and caring, sexual activity can be an expression of these feelings, and can deepen them. If the relationship is one of giving and getting, as it should be, then sexual activity can symbolize this relationship, and both partners may feel more closely involved than ever before  

Consequence #4 - Learning About Sexual Functioning
Fourth, in addition to deepening the sense of intimacy and caring, many individuals learn a great deal about their body’s sexual responsiveness during shared sexual activity. Some girls and women do not experience orgasm until they have had sexual experience with another person.

There are studies that show that premarital intercourse can lead to more rapid sexual adjustment after marriage, though not necessarily a better adjustment. Some people in committed relationships report that they are glad of having had previous sexual experience, while others regret such experience and feel that it was not helpful to them.

Consequence #5 - Learning About Sexual Responsibility
Fifth, in addition to learning about sexual functioning, let’s discuss learning about sexual responsibility. Some young people report that previous sexual experience helped them to learn about the responsibilities they must take in deeper, more committed relationships. Often, they report that they have learned by making some mistakes with sex. 

Because most people know how "mistakes" with sex may so strongly affect lives, they hope that others will make as few mistakes as possible. Yet, maybe the most important suggestions I can give you are to try to prevent mistakes by thinking carefully about your decisions and to learn whatever you can from your own mistakes or those of others.

On this track, we have discussed deciding about sex.  This has included five negative consequences and five positive consequences.  Especially in discussing the positive consequences of sex assisting a teen to make a choice my conflict with parental wishes.  Thus the ethical boundary you set regarding your definition as to who is the client you are treating becomes essential.

On the next track, we will discuss being in love.  This will include choice, giving, closeness, trust, caring, responsibility, respect, delight and self-awareness.

What are five consequences of a teen’s deciding to have sex? To select and enter your answer go to Test

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