For Boys: Deciding About Sex
You know the feeling: all the talk about who's doing what to whom and how great it is. It puts pressure on you to prove yourself "as a man.'' But the best kind of sex is about 2 people getting close, not proving something to their friends or anyone else. So while you won't get pregnant from sex, do you know your other risks?
Your Health Risks
Sex can be risky for boys as well as girls. Remember: every time you have sex with someone, you're also having sex with all of their past sexual partners. So you don't have to be gay to get AIDS or another STD (sexually transmitted disease) from sex. Some birth control (like latex condoms), when used correctly, can only lower, but not erase, these risks.
Your Personal Risks
No birth control gives 100% protection against pregnancy, no matter how carefully you use it. Child care is not just a woman's problem. If your child is born - even if you're not married to the mother - you may be legally responsible for supporting the child for 18 years. Child support can cost hundreds of dollars a month, so you may have to work instead of (or along with) going to college. And you can't just spend the money on yourself.
Why Some Boys Have Sex
- "If I don't push her to have sex, she'll think I don't really like her - or I'm gay.''
- "It feels great, and besides, I'd know if she had 1 of those diseases.''
- "I'm not that great at sports, and I'm kind of short for my age. Me, a father? Ha.''
What Really Happens
- "I really liked her a lot, but she broke up with me because I kept pushing for sex.''
- "I never guessed she had an STD. I guess you can't always tell.''
- "Last year I got a girl pregnant. I never thought it would happen to me.''