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, such as herpes or genital warts, or HIV, the virus that causes AIDS.
The only way to be completely safe is not to have sex. If you choose to have sex, however, latex condoms are the best protection against sexually transmitted diseases (STDs). Condoms are also a form of birth control to help prevent pregnancy.
- Don't Blame the Media for Teen Sex, Study Says (07/06/2016, HealthDay)
- Dating and Sexual Feelings (Department of Health and Human Services, Office on Women's Health)
- Delayed Puberty (Nemours Foundation) Available in Spanish
- Especially for Teens: Birth Control (American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists) - PDF Available in Spanish
- Expect Respect: Healthy Relationships (American Academy of Pediatrics) Available in Spanish
- Helping Teens Resist Sexual Pressure (American Academy of Pediatrics) Available in Spanish
- Homosexuality: Facts for Teens (American Academy of Family Physicians) Available in Spanish
- Making Healthy Decisions About Sex (American Academy of Pediatrics) Available in Spanish
- Making Healthy Sexual Decisions (Children's Hospital Boston) Available in Spanish
- Masturbation (American Academy of Pediatrics)
- Sex Education: Talking to Your Teen about Sex (Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research)
- Sexual Attraction and Orientation (Nemours Foundation) Available 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) Available in Spanish
- Teaching Teens To Use Condoms Faithfully (American Academy of Pediatrics) Available in Spanish
- Virginity: A Very Personal Decision (Nemours Foundation) Available 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 ArticlesReferences and abstracts from MEDLINE/PubMed (National Library of Medicine)
- Article: Human Papillomavirus Vaccination in the United States: Uneven Uptake by...
- Article: Sexual-Orientation Differences in Positive Youth Development: The Mediational Role of...
- Article: Disparities by Sexual Orientation in Frequent Engagement in Cancer-Related Risk...
- Teen Sexual Health -- see more articles
Find an Expert
- KidsHealth (Nemours Foundation)