Young people have always been curious about sex, and when our teenagers have questions, the internet is usually their first stop, for worse and for better.
Adolescents can and do find highly explicit sexual material online, and an emerging body of research tells a worrisome story about the place of pornography in young people’s lives.
Parents can address both of these fronts by talking with teenagers about pornography and by directing them to dependable online information.
While books about healthy sexuality can serve as excellent resources for children and tweens, older adolescents may appreciate (or, at least, tolerate) having their parents highlight online options such as Sex, Etc., a youth friendly website sponsored by Answer at Rutgers University.
When adolescents in my practice talk about their happy romances, I’m often amazed at how completely their lives are saturated by them.Indeed, a recent report found that rates of teenage births and sexually transmitted infections dropped in communities as high-speed internet access improved.