Teenagers can have sex anywhere

A friend of mine from junior high school came from a very conservative Catholic family. She was not so conservative, or so Catholic. She started dating boys in 8th grade. Her parents were, they thought, fairly strict with her. So if she wanted to visit with boys, the boy had to come to her house when the parents were home. My friend and her boyfriend could spend time in the common areas of the house or in my friend’s room with the door open. The parents figured that was pretty good. So my friend had sex for the first time in her room, with her bedroom door open, when her parents were home. Someone else I know had sex for the first time in the backyard, when her parents were home. Another at a well chaperoned party. Another at school. Another at church. None of these young people used a condom correctly.

The point is, sex feels good, and any teenager can find a time and a place to have sex. Because, let’s be honest, it doesn’t take all that long. Proper knowledge is the best way for adolescents to keep themselves safe, not force through rigid rules.

About Karen Rayne

Dr. Karen Rayne has been supporting parents and families since 2007 when she received her PhD in Educational Psychology. A specialist in child wellbeing, Dr. Rayne has spent much of her career supporting parents, teachers, and other adults who care for children and teenagers.


  1. I think if teenagers want to have sex, they will find a way to do it. But if they don’t want to have sex, their parents’ rules can help them save face with their peers.

  2. So, are you saying that the only point of the rules is to save face? Don’t teens have enough respect for their parents (in general obviously not every single one!) to follow the rules their parents establish?

  3. I’m unclear on your comment, Dorian. Are you asking whether most teenagers follow their parents rules?

    I also want to point out that as a teenager, there were times when I made up rules and attributed them to my mother as a way of saving face among my friends. That may be a particularly good way for teenagers to make moral or social judgement that conflict with those of their friends and not have to take flack for it.

  4. I guess I was making a tongue in cheek comment about the fact that it is SO easy for teens NOT to ‘follow the rules’. The rules can help them save face (or they can make them up as you say you did – in order to help save face), but the rules seldom keep teens safe unless they respect their parents and AGREE with the reasoning behind the rules.

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