There is no doubt that the healthiest plan for adolescents is to save sexual relationships until marriage. But how to achieve that in this sex-crazed age?
Here's some sound advice from the American College of Pediatricians:
1. Understand the relationship between increased commitment and increased intimacy. Hold the line on physical intimacy.
2. Make your decision now to be abstinent.
3. Set limits on physical intimacy and be assertive to keep within those limits.
4. Hang out with friends who share your values and are abstinent.
5. Keep your thoughts clean by avoiding sexually explicit music, movies, magazines, and the internet.
6. When on a date keep busy with fun activities and do not spend a lot of time alone late at night.
7. Get involved in some after-school activities such as sports, theatre, clubs, or part-time work.
8. Take part in meaningful religious activities such as going to
church, reading Scripture, praying and talking with religious leaders.
9. Realize that the risks of premarital sex are real and could happen
to you. You could get pregnant, or get someone pregnant, or get a
sexually transmitted disease.
10. Recognize the benefits of being abstinent, including no worries about pregnancy or STDs and an unhindered future.
11. Remember you are free to make choices regarding your sexual
behaviour, but you are also responsible for those choices. Once you make
bad choices you are not free to avoid or set aside the consequences of
12. If you make a mistake in your sexual behaviour you can change and return to a virtuous life.
For more, including what parents can do to encourage youngsters in abstinent behaviour, see here.