During your teens you go through puberty and become sexually mature. If you're a girl, you develop breasts and begin to get your period. If you're a boy, your penis and testicles become larger. If you have sex, you could get pregnant or get someone pregnant. Whether you choose to have sex or not, it is a good idea to know about safe sex and how sex affects your health. Besides pregnancy, having sex puts you at risk of getting a sexually transmitted disease (STD), such as chlamydia, HPV, or HIV/AIDS
The only way to be completely safe is not to have sex. If you do choose to have any kind of sexual contact, latex condoms are the best protection against STDs. Condoms are also a form of birth control to help prevent pregnancy.
- Most U.S. Teens Aren't 'Doing It' (06/22/2017, HealthDay)
- Dating and Sexual Feelings (Department of Health and Human Services, Office on Women's Health)
- Delayed Puberty (For Teens) (Nemours Foundation) Also in Spanish
- Especially for Teens: Birth Control (American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists) - PDF Also in Spanish
- Expect Respect: Healthy Relationships (American Academy of Pediatrics) Also in Spanish
- Helping Teens Resist Sexual Pressure (American Academy of Pediatrics) Also in Spanish
- Homosexuality: Facts for Teens (American Academy of Family Physicians) Also in Spanish
- Making Healthy Decisions About Sex (American Academy of Pediatrics) Also in Spanish
- Making Healthy Sexual Decisions (Children's Hospital Boston) Also in Spanish
- Sex Education: Talking to Your Teen about Sex (Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research)
- Sexual Attraction and Orientation (For Teens) (Nemours Foundation) Also in Spanish
- Talking to Your Parents about Sex (Department of Health and Human Services, Office on Women's Health)
- Talking to Your Partner about Condoms (Nemours Foundation) Also in Spanish
- Teaching Teens To Use Condoms Faithfully (American Academy of Pediatrics) Also in Spanish
- Virginity: A Very Personal Decision (Nemours Foundation) Also in Spanish
- Stay Teen: Games (National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy)
Statistics and Research
- Sexual Health of Adolescents and Young Adults in the United States (Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation) - PDF
- Sexual Risk Behavior: HIV, STD, & Teen Pregnancy Prevention (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention)
- ClinicalTrials.gov: Teen Sexual Behavior (National Institutes of Health)
Journal Articles References and abstracts from MEDLINE/PubMed (National Library of Medicine)
- Article: Why Sex Education Matters for Adolescents with Autism Spectrum Disorder.
- Article: Committee Opinion No 699: Adolescent Pregnancy, Contraception, and Sexual Activity.
- Article: Committee Opinion No. 699: Adolescent Pregnancy, Contraception, and Sexual Activity.
- Teen Sexual Health -- see more articles
Find an Expert
- KidsHealth (Nemours Foundation)