Parental Love and Sexual Choices

What does parental love and attention have to do with a teen’s sexual choices and activities? Research has shown that teens will often use sex as a means to express and satisfy emotional and interpersonal needs that have little or nothing to do with sex. Sexual intercourse becomes a coping mechanism to deal with the absence of love and affection at home. One study of ninth graders sought to discover why young teens want or would want to engage in male-female sexual intercourse. Intimacy was the number one reason given, with respondents understanding intimacy as something that would make them “feel close” or “feel loved.” Chap Clark discovered in his conversations with teens that sexual activity oftentimes serves as “a temporary salve for the pain and loneliness resulting from abandonment. Parents, three of the greatest gifts you can give your children are the gifts of your time, your attention, and your love. Your kids need all three. Give them generously.