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The Truth Behind the Trope: Understanding the Realities of Teen Parenthood and Teen Pregnancy Prevention

What do we know about teen parents? Take a moment to make a mental list (or, if you’re motivated to get out a pen and paper, I won’t stop you) of all the facts and statistics you’ve heard.

In case you’re coming up short, I’ll give you a few:

  • Most teen parents drop out of high school.
  • Only 2% of teen parents will graduate from college by age 30.
  • Many teen parents will end up on welfare, costing tax payers billions of dollars nationwide.
  • The children of teen parents are more likely to fail a grade in school. Their sons are more likely to go to jail. Their daughters are more likely to become teen mothers themselves.
  • The relationships of teen parents almost always fail, leaving teen mothers to be single parents.

You can read more here or here or here or watch any episode of 16 and Pregnant that features Dr. Drew. He’ll usually cover most of these points before the hour is up – while interviewing young people who are actually parenting.

Beyond these “facts”, we hear plenty of othe

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The Scarleteen Do-It

Feeling low about your body and how it looks? Thinking about, or already doing, some drastic things to try and change it? You're not alone. But you can get to a better place with your body and how you feel about it without doing anything that keeps you feeling just as bad, or puts your physical or mental health at risk. Here's some ways to ditch the die(t)s and go for the happy, healthy do's.

Sorting Maybe from Can't-Be: Reality Checking Partnered Sex Wants & Ideals

Is what you want from sex with a partner realistic, or is it impossible, unlikely or out-to-lunch? Take a trip with us to go visit our pal reality.

When you use the pill, do you still have to use condoms?

Kori_Sanchez asks:

I'm and 18 years old and have been having sex for a year and been on the pill for about a year. I take my birth control like a ritual at the same time every day (the combination pill). Sometime my boyfriend and I don't use a condom in the beginning to get him hard then we always put one on. My question is, when on the pill do you absolutely have to use condoms? They say that every time you have sex you NEED to use a condom. I know it is the most effective way, but I thought that the one of the points of the pill is so you don't need to use a condom.

Whoa, There! How to Slow Down When You're Moving Too Fast

Is your sex life or sexual relationship feeling like someone pressed the fast-forward button and now it's spinning out of control? Evaluate whether things are moving too fast for you or a partner, and then get some help on pulling back the reins and slowing things down to a more comfortable pace.

Should I Stay or Should I Go?

Feeling unhappy in or unsure about your relationship? Having problems you don't know how to work through, or don't even know if you should? We'll talk you through making these choices, including how-to's on conflict resolution and doing breakups better.

Getting Past the Shoulda, Woulda, Coulda.

heartbroken117 asks:

My boyfriend (20) and I (19) have been together for three years. We really do love each other and so we decided to have sex about two years into our relationship. First things were great, but a few months after we had been having sex regularly he changed his mind. He said he liked me better when I was innocent and that he hated what we did. He stopped all those cute romantic things like telling me I was pretty and writing me love notes. No matter how hard I try, I can't get him interested in me again. He used to tell me he was going to marry me and we always talked about the future and everything but now he just says he doesn't know what the future will be. Obviously, had I thought this would happen we wouldn't have had sex in the first place but since I'm stupid... we did. What do I do? To call it quits after three years is just too much for me to handle... but I can't live like this anymore. HELP!

That Guy

Anyone who knows me or who knows anything about me usually knows that my pre-teen and teen years were incredibly difficult. I dealt with neglect and abuse in my family, starting from about the time I was 10. I was sexually assaulted twice before I even became a teenager. I was queer. I was suicidal and was a self-injurer. I struggled to find safe shelter sometimes. Few people seemed to notice, even though after I gave up trying to use my words, I still used my eyes to try and tell them constantly. The one adult I could count on over time to be unilaterally supportive of me had (still has) serious mental illness. I had to take more adult responsibility at the end of my teen years than anyone else I knew. Like many adolescents, I constantly heard directly or got indirect messages from adults who talked about how awful teenagers were, how awful I was, how difficult, how impossible, how loathesome. Four days after my sixteenth birthday, the first real-deal big-love-me-lover I had, who tre

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Legit or Unfit? Finding Safe, Sound Sex Educators & Support Online

How can you separate the wheat from the chaff when it comes to sex educators, sex education services and online sexuality spaces for young people online? We walk you through it so you can be more sure that wherever you're talking, you're getting good information in a space that's safe for you.

How can I talk about sex without pressuring her?

DaltonTopiary asks:

I'm 17. I love my girlfriend. Really. Real love. Love as in "I want to marry you. I want to respect you. I want to commit my life to you." We brought up the topic of sex a few months ago, but it didn't go any farther than "How do you feel about it?" From that little talk we concluded that it was something we both wanted to do.

That was nearly three months ago and I want to talk about it. Nothing dirty or anything, I just want to know how important (or how un-important) it is to her. I want to know that she wants to have sex with me because she loves me, not because she feels she has to. The problem is...I don't know what to say or what to do to bring it up to her. I fear she might think that I'm trying to tell her that I am waiting and begging for sex, which I am not. I'll wait for her forever. Any advice?

Information on this site is provided for educational purposes. It is not meant to and cannot substitute for advice or care provided by an in-person medical professional. The information contained herein is not meant to be used to diagnose or treat a health problem or disease, or for prescribing any medication. You should always consult your own healthcare provider if you have a health problem or medical condition.