The pressure to be sexually active comes at us all from various angles. The ads we see each day run the gamut from subtle ads for “performance enhancing” drugs to use later in life (when some of us may not even want to be all that sexually active) to the more aggressive ones, continuously targeting younger and younger audiences. You can’t escape these images, they’re on bus stops, locker rooms, in a banner on a website, in fact they’re so common that they hardly seem to stand out. As adults, maybe our life experience can buffer some of this imagery, but what about kids, teens who are in the process of figuring themselves out as people? A survey by ESSENCE magazine revealed that,
Black youth report considerable pressure to have sex, according to a new survey of 1,500 Black youth ages 13-21 released by ESSENCE Magazine and The National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy. Of those who have had sex, 47% of those 13-21 (including 21% of those 13-15) say they have been pressured to go further sexually than they wanted to. […]
Overall, the survey found that almost half of Black teens ages 13 to 21 reported that they have lied to get out of a sexual situation, and 54% of Black males said they feel pressure from their friends to have sex.
But some of the findings in the survey are hopeful. Nearly half of younger children (13-15) say they value their parents’ opinions and that their parents influence whether or not they will be sexually active. This gives parents an opportunity to express to our kids that they’re not expected to have sex.by