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Teen Listening Tours - HSC

Teen Listening Tours - HSC

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Published by Erin Petrie

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Published by: Erin Petrie on Nov 12, 2010
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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Teen Listening Tours


Engaging Teens in the Issue
y A priority of the Task Force is to hear the voice of teens

and engage them throughout the entire task force process y First step was to schedule regional listening tours to have a conversation with teens about teen pregnancy, sex education and adolescent behavior y UNF nursing students received training on focus groups, developed questions and facilitated the ³tours´ y Heard from a wide variety of teens: 

Rural Urban Difference Races & Ethnicities: White, Black, Hispanic Male & Female Ages 13-19

Listening Tours
y Lighthouse Christian School 

12 girls (15-18 years old) 15 boys (ages 14-18 years old) 7 teenagers (5 boys / 2 girls) 14 teenagers (6 boys / 8 girls) 7 teenagers (4 boys / 3 girls) 2 Listening Tours ± November 10, 2010

y AMIKids 

y Baker County YMCA 

y YouthLink 

y Hollybrook Homes 

y A. Philip Randolph 

What influences teens to have sex or have babies?

Common themes identified:  Peer Pressure  Family  Self-Esteem  Education

Peer Pressure
y Teens say sex is very prevalent in their lives:  Media  Rap & other music videos  Teens know their family members (brothers, sisters, cousins) are having sex.  Constantly hearing about sex creates a curiosity y Many teens feel egged on or pushed into having sex:  By their friends  From older siblings or cousins. y Teens do it because they think it¶s cool and they want to brag

± some may even lie about having sex just to be cool.

y Many do it just to feel popular ² ³Everyone else is doing it´


Peer Pressure
y ³Our generation was

raised on sex from a very young age.´

y ³My older brother

pushed me to have sex´ be popular.´

y ³Young people do it to

y ³Because people think

it¶s cool and they want to fit in´

y Teens are aware of more than just the physical aspects of

sex. y Emotion: 

Sex is emotionally overwhelming ± can create attachment, etc. Many teens can feel sad, used when they are dumped after having sex. If their partner was pregnant, male teens would immediately ask for a DNA test (influence from their mother or aunt). In relationships: Girls feel that having another baby will ensure the father of her child stays in the relationship. Girls may dress sexy to get attention. Teen girls dress sexy because they think their body is all they have.

y Trust: 

y Confidence: 

y ³Girls dress sexy because they don¶t

believe in themselves and don¶t have any confidence ± they just want to be noticed.´ looking for someone to love them.´

y ³Families are broken up« girls are just

y ³But if you have sex and the guy just

moves on, it can make you feel sad, mad, guilty and have trust issues.´

y ³If you¶re not with a girl 24/7, you don¶t

know if the baby is yours.´

y Family is a big part of teens¶ lives ² it is a source of

information and an influence on their behavior
y Having the talk: Teens want to be able to ask their parents

about sex, but it¶s uncomfortable and parents don¶t always know how to talk to their kids about it or handle the fact that their children are sexually active
y Continuing the cycle: If teens are raised by young parents,

many of the teens think it¶s normal and can¶t see past that ± they become young parents themselves.

y Family dynamics:  Many boys think the girls are responsible for raising a child because their moms did it for their family.
Ù 75/25:

Males said three quarters of the responsibility falls on the mother of the child

Many girls start having sex at a young age because they come from a broken family and they use sex to get away from that.  Some of the clothes teen girls wear may not be considered ³inappropriate´ depending on her family values.  Many very young kids (3+ years old) learn about sex from their cousins ± just learning through absorption. 

y ³Girls, especially, start having sex at a very young age because

their families are broken up and they are using sex to get away from that.´ talk about.´

y ³Parents need to learn how to make the topic less awkward to

y ³Parent should be open with kids ± talk about the issues.´ y ³Parents need to be less controlling ± they need to provide

kids with more freedom, so they don¶t go wild.´ different.´

y ³Dads don¶t have to be there [with the child] every day, so it¶s

y Where are teens getting their

information about sex from? 

Media Friends Internet Family A little bit in school health class (mainly anatomy and hygiene).

y Sex education in school: 

The first thing they stress is you shouldn¶t have sex. It¶s not helpful because not everyone is abstinent. You cannot stop teens from having sex ± so they want and need all of the details (good and bad).

Holistic approach to sex education. 

Very limited education on birth control and STI prevention.
Many believe birth control doesn¶t work. Ù Schools tell teens not to have sex, but many are already sexually active and need to know how to practice safe sex.

Want to know more about the emotions relating to sex. Don¶t scare teens away from having sex because you don¶t want them to be scared to ask questions or not take sex seriously when confronted with problems/issues.

Protection, emotions, pregnancy prevention, peer pressure.

y ³Schools teach everything else,

why not sex?´
y ³They all say µDon¶t have sex.¶, but

what is so bad about it. Almost like telling a kid not to do something ± makes them want to do it more«´
y ³They need to teach the TRUTH

about sex ± sex education is sugarcoated and boring.´

y ³There are side effects to birth control like weight gain ±

it¶s like steroids.´

y ³Condoms aren¶t effective because guys try to use two for

more protection, they don¶t know how to put them on, use the wrong size and they break.´

y ³Teens don¶t know the consequences of sex ± it¶s not

taught in school. If they went into details about it, they would get somewhere with teens.´

y ³Obviously it didn¶t help; Teen pregnancy just got worse.´

Now that we know what teens think«

What can we do?

Provide better sex education
y What kind of sex education do teens want and


Abstinence-only education is NOT working ± need to be realistic!
Teens want to know the truth. Ù Open and honest conversations about sex (good and bad) instead of demonizing it. ³Sex education is sugarcoated and boring.´

Need to include the emotions in sex education (attachment, guilt, anger, etc.) Education needs to include STDs.

Learn best through visuals ² photos of STDs gets their attention better

Provide better sex education, cont¶d.
y What kind of sex education do teens want and need?
Continued  Much more information on birth control.

Top prevention methods known/used: condoms, IUD, birth control pills and tubes tied (in teens). General mistrust of birth control -- teens don¶t think it works 

Holistic, consistent and age-appropriate sex education.

³Start early, do it yearly and go through college.´ Sex education is needed earlier because kids are hearing about it much earlier. 

Mentorship programs needed.

Want to talk to someone who won¶t judge them and will get them the right information and answers to their questions. Would want a mentor or someone who is ³open-minded, outgoing, someone they could trust and not make you feel bad.´

Provide better sex education, cont¶d.
y What kind of sex education

do teens want and need?
Continued  Sex education classes need to be taught in small classes by someone they can relate to and trust.
³Someone in their 20¶s and has had sex before ± not someone who is a virgin.´ Ù Abstinence for kids 11 and younger Ù Honest education for those 12 and older: risks, protection, lifestyle consequences

Educate and Engage Parents
y What can parents do to be more engaged? 

Educate parents to make them feel more comfortable talking to their kids.
Parents need to be ³open with kids and talk about the issues´. Ù Parents need to learn how to make the topics less awkward.

Break the cycle: Teens need to see their OWN potential ± they aren¶t able to see beyond their parents actions and they need to make a life for themselves.
Boost self-esteem for teens. Ù Teens only know what they see, they don¶t have role models. Ù Teens need to recognize that they need to be emotionally and financially ready before they have children.

y How can teens pregnancy

and repeat teen pregnancy be prevented? 

You cannot stop teens from having sex, but can educate to help prevent teen pregnancy. Teach teens about healthy relationships and self worth.

Teens can¶t depend on having a baby (or another baby) to keep their relationship and life together.

y How can teens pregnancy and repeat teen

pregnancy be prevented? Continued 

Teens need to know what their options are and where to get birth control.
Parents have to provide consent for their teens to get on birth control. Ù Access to birth control for sexually active teens and those who already have had a baby should be a priority.

y ³Pregnant teens mindset: µIf I can deal with one baby, I

can have another. I can handle it ± I¶m grown.¶´ girls with babies and they want one too.´

y ³Some girls find it cool to have a baby. They see other

y ³Parents need to learn how to talk about sex, how to deal

with the fact that their kids are having sex and need to know sex is bound to happen so it¶s better to face it ± come to terms with it and address it.´ keep the guy in their life.´

y ³Teens have repeat pregnancies because they want to

What we learned!
y There is a huge gap between knowledge and


Teens know what they need to do to prevent pregnancy, but no one is talking to them and holding them accountable. They aren¶t holding themselves responsible/accountable.
Teens getting pregnant on the pill ± not taking it every day like they are supposed to. Ù Unprotected sex

Teens are not actively preventing pregnancy (taking pill correctly, not using condoms regularly, going out to find birth control).

What we learned! 

Teens don¶t know the full consequences of having a baby until the baby arrives ± teen mindset: ³It can¶t happen to me.´ There isn¶t a connection between a baby and a lifelong commitment. Teens need to see their own potential ± they need to see beyond their parent¶s actions and their own life.

Only know what they see ± they don¶t have positive role models.

What we can improve
y Teens don¶t think birth control works! 

Teens need RELIABLE information.

y Teens need mentors who can give them good

information and provide them with support.
y Parents need a program to help them feel more

comfortable talking to their teens about sex. 

Teens want to talk to their parents about sex.


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