It seems like all the other guys are talking about sex. They seem to think that if you’re cool, you’ll be able to get a girl to do it with you.
It sounds like those guys are just using girls to make them feel more popular or powerful. Sex should never be about power or using another person. Any “respect” you might get from them if you choose to follow their example would be superficial and harmful. Plus, most guys (and girls) your age aren’t having sex. A lot of times, talk is just that - talk.
I’m the only one of my friends who hasn’t had sex. I don’t really want to do it, but I feel left out because they seem to talk about it all the time.
You seem to already know that you don’t agree with their decision to have sex. Don’t feel pressured into doing something you don’t want to do. It can be difficult to stick to your opinion when everyone else seems to be doing something different.
If they seem too preoccupied with sex to be able to enjoy other activities and topics, maybe you should think about expanding your circle of friends. Try to find other peers that you have a little more in common with; you don’t need to lose your old friends, but it will help you keep your commitment to abstinence if you also have friends who are supportive of your decision.
Some of my friends smoke and they want me to try it too. What’s so bad with just seeing how it tastes?
Not only is smoking illegal if you are underage, it is extremely bad for your health. Almost 400,000 people each year in the U.S. due to cigarette smoking and 50,000 people die from the effects of second hand smoking! Nicotine, found in cigarettes and other tobacco products, is a drug that alters the way your body works and is very addictive. Lots of people who started out “just trying” cigarettes ended up becoming full-fledged smokers. It can be easy to ignore the risks of smoking because often you can’t see the damage it’s doing for years. But medical research shows that smoking causes cancer, heart disease, and strokes – the list of negative consequences continues to grow almost daily. Besides that, it can stain your teeth and nails, and make your breath, hair and clothes smell. And, kids who smoke are more likely to engage in sex and other risky behaviors.
My friend’s parents let them have safe parties where the kids can drink but not drive. I think it’s a great idea where we can all be responsible and I want to have one too!
No. I understand that it seems like a safe idea and that other parents allow it. But it is actually a very bad idea and would put me, the parent, in a liable position. Teenagers can’t legally drink because they aren’t mature enough. Alcohol lowers one’s ability to make good choices. For example, the majority of acquaintance and date rapes are also associated with alcohol use. Teens who drink are seven times more likely to engage in sexual activity than those who don’t. Teens don’t drink to enjoy a fine glass of wine, but drink for the thrill. They are more likely to experience alcohol poisoning from sheer lack of experience. Alcohol can also be a trigger for aggressive or even deviant behavior. It also diminishes a person’s ability to make good decisions. Even supervised, alcohol and teens do not go together safely, and I can’t sponsor something that is both illegal and unhealthy.
(If this doesn’t give you enough to ponder, the National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse at Columbia University is an excellent resource on the topic, www.casacolumbia.org.)