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I’m 15 . . . Am I too young to have sex?

A lot of teens wonder if there is a “right” age to have sex. Many adults would agree that 15 is too young to have sexual intercourse. But how old you are in years isn’t the only way to know when and if it’s the right time to have sex. Here are some things that people consider when they try to determine if they’re ready to have sex:

  •  Have you and your partner talked a lot about why you want to have sex, what you expect from it, what worries or fears you might have about it and what you think it will be like? Have you talked about how it might change your relationship? What does having sex mean to each of you?
  • Have you also talked to your parent(s) or guardian(s) or another trusted adult about your decision?
  • Why do you want to have sex? Is it because you want to make your partner happy or make them love you? Do you want to feel older? Are you thinking of having sex because it seems like everyone else is having sex? If you’re thinking about having sex for these reasons, you probably aren’t ready.

Sex doesn’t prove love or make people more in love. It doesn’t make you into an adult overnight either. And the truth is that everybody isn’t doing it. Actually, most high school students aren’t. The Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance, a national survey conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention from 2009 found that 66.8 percent of high school students are not engaging in sexual behaviors. That’s more than half!

Here are some things you need to be able to do before you’re ready for sex. Talk to your partner about your relationship, sex, birth control and/or safer sex, sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) and your feelings about each of those things.

Visit a clinic near you to get the information and protection you need to be safe and responsible.

If you’re afraid to have any of these conversations with your partner or to visit a clinic or see your doctor about birth control and safer sex, then you’re not ready. Wait until you’re sure. You’ll be happiest when you do what’s right for you.

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