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Scarleteen Confidential: Ten Questions with Dr. Karen Rayne about Parenting, Sex, and Communication

This is part of our series for parents or guardians. To find out more about the series, click here. For our top five guiding principles for parents or guardians click here; for a list of resources, click here. To see all posts in the series, click the Scarleteen Confidential tag above, or follow the series on Tumblr at scarleteenconfidential.tumblr.com.

You've probably seen all kinds of adults writing about teens and sex. Some of that writing is well-researched and thoughtful. Some --- most, sadly -- is hysterical and full of fearmongering and shoddy (or no) research. I was lucky enough to interview an author who belongs solidly in the first category.

Dr Karen Rayne has spent the past ten years actively and thoughtfully supporting parents and teens in their conversations about sex and sexuality, and she's released a new book called Breaking the Hush Factor: Ten Tips for Talking to Teenagers about Sex, which we think is accessible, compassionate, and incredibly useful. Keeping with the

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Scarleteen Confidential: In Defense of Teen Media

This is part of our series for parents or guardians. To find out more about the series, click here. For our top five guiding principles for parents or guardians click here; for a list of resources, click here. To see all posts in the series, click the Scarleteen Confidential tag above, or follow the series on Tumblr at scarleteenconfidential.tumblr.com.

For two years, I worked in a bookstore that was aimed primarily at children and teenagers. It was a job I quite enjoyed, but I quickly discovered that when you work near books, people always want to tell you their opinions on said books. That's fine most of the time. But I noticed a pattern when parents or adults would refer to The Hunger Games series. They would express dismay over a child wanting to read the book, wondering what they saw in it, and either implicitly or explicitly stating that they thought the book was not good for youth to be reading. I would usually give a neutral response about how yes, the book is dark (for t

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On Identifying Identities

Teenagerhood should be a time of dreams and expansion. We should be allowed to open our inner selves up and absorb as much light and life as we possibly can. We should be, but other people are often too often invested in what they think we should be to let us be what we are.

Are we addicted to sex?

cfishhyy2694 asks:

My boyfriend and I have been together for almost 7 months. We had sex after the 1st month because we felt that special connection with each other. Ever since the first time with him, I keep wanting more. I think I'm addicted to sex with him. That is all I think about constantly. He is the same way but for my sake (he doesn't want to be a father yet, if you get what I mean) he tries to control himself as much as possible. He can't always though. To be safe I've asked him to buy condoms but since we both realized we are doing it too much, he says we aren't going to do it anyway so why have them. Well then he comes over and we wind up doing it without a condom. It was a close call one time where he almost ejaculated inside of me, but pulled it out just in time. Do you have any suggestions on how we can overcome out sex addiction and try and be safer? I'm not allowed to go on the pill and my boyfriend and I have a lot of time to be alone together. We are just teenagers. Thank you for the advice.

Can Bosom Buddies Be Bad?

A bosom buddy is someone very near and dear, with who you can share your most intense feelings and difficult challenges. Also known as “bosom friends,” the term is a bit antiquated and the wording not embraced by all; however, just Shakespeare said “A rose by any other name would smell as sweet,” a true friendship is special and unique regardless of what you call it.

Can such friendship start to sour? According to a recent New York Times article entitled “Talking is Good; Too Much Talking May Not Be” by Sarah Kershaw, this intense sharing can become more negative than positive. Some researchers studying the nature of female friendships believe that friends' excessive dwelling on their emotional difficulties can lead to additional challenges, such as anxiety and depression. Referred to as “co-rumination,” the article gives examples such as “Why didn’t he call?” and “Should I break up with him?” as such so-called obsessive discussions. These researchers also believe that technologic

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