Facts About Teens and Sex

The Facts

  • 58% of 12th graders in Colorado have had sexual intercourse
  • 10% of all births in Garfield County since 2005 were to teen parents
  • Garfield County’s teen birth rate between 2010 and 2012 averaged 42.3 per 1,000 compared to the state at 28.4 making it the 3rd highest in Colorado. The good news is that this is a 22.4% improvement compared to averages from 1990 to 1992. The GREAT news is that after the 6th year of the program, Garfield County fertility rates were at the lowest on record since 2000 at a below the state average of 23.5 per 1000!
  • Research shows that sexuality education provides tools and strategies for teens to think critically about the sexual messages they receive every day through media and social culture
  • In 2012 Garfield Chlamydia rates for youth between the ages of 15 and 19 were 1179.6 per 100,000.
  • 39% of people with HIV are between the ages of 13-29
  • 68% of all teens say the reason they don’t use birth control is fear of their parents finding out
  • Upon discovery that your child is having sex, 68% of parents say they would hope that their teen would talk to them so that they could ensure they were on birth control

Tips for Becoming a Trusted Askable Adult

Garfield County PREP wants to help parents and adults with these difficult conversations. Trusted Adult trainings can be arranged for parent groups through schools, faith-based organizations or by gathering a group of your friends together for some supportive conversations, information sharing and myth busting.

Trainings and workshops can also be arranged for any youth serving organization’s staff on topics ranging from sexuality development across the lifespan, supporting LBGTQ youth to knowing local resources to connect youth to when they need more help that you are able to provide.

PREP can help adults learn to suspend their judgment, remain value neutral and know where to find the right answers to those tough questions. But, in the meantime, here are some tips for becoming a Trusted and Askable Adult:

  • Stop and Breathe
  • Reflect on your own values and emotions
  • Know that questions DO NOT always lead to actions
  • Inquire, don’t interrogate
  • Only answer what is asked (think and ask yourself, ‘is this TMI?’)
  • Assure Confidentiality (and/or policies your agency or family have about talking to others)
  • Look up answers together using online and local resources

“I am not an actress and do not like role playing; however, during the Street Smart training there was an extremely safe and comfortable environment that was established making it a well implemented class/subject.  I have tried to implement some of the same facilitation techniques with the youth leadership meetings.  I have more openly talked with youth about sexual situations, contraception, and their rights to birth control, morning after, etc. “

Stefanie HortonBehavior & Life Skills Case Manager - Garfield County DHS

Teens say parents most influence their decisions about sex and 87% say it would be much easier for them to postpone sex and avoid teen pregnancy if they were able to have more open, honest conversations about these topics with their parents, according to a new survey from The National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy.

Talking with your children about their sexual health can be stressful, awkward and may even lead to tumultuous conversations or complete silence. Parents often feel like they don’t have all the answers or that talking about it will encourage their children to start having sex (a misconception according to research). Youth are often concerned that their parents will be disappointed or mistakenly think they’re having sex if they try to talk to them or ask questions. So, let’s face it: talking about sex with teens is not easy on either the parents or the child!

But, getting them interested in something like classic cars can open up the chance to have a non-threatening conversation about planning, goal setting, finding something to be passionate about and how having an unplanned pregnancy or STD can have lasting effects and prevent you from reaching your dreams.