LatinaLista — There’s no time that a girl is literally at the crossroads of life — on the edge of both adulthood and childhood — than when she is a senior in high school. On the one hand, girls who are seniors in high school: get together with their friends to gossip and giggle; use Facebook and social media almost every day; spend at least 10 hours per week texting on their cell phones and can’t wait to leave home and be on their own.
On the other hand, most girls who are seniors have experienced the most adult thing in any person’s life — sex.
A new report released by the National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy and Seventeen Magazine asked 1,200 12th grade girls to share their intimate, candid thoughts about sex. The findings illustrate that most girls’ experience with sex is far from their daydreams.
The report, Girl Talk: What high school senior girls have to say about sex, love, and relationships, found that 51 percent of senior girls who have had sex would describe their experience as “mostly good.” In fact, when looking back, the girls are less happy about their first time and regret it.
A unique element of the report is the advice the senior girls would give to younger girls:
82 percent advise young girls not to do something that makes them feel uncomfortable just to please a guy.
78 percent advise it’s better to break up than stay in a relationship that’s bad for you.
78 percent advise not to worry about impressing boys.
But perhaps the biggest surprise is whom senior girls get the most pressure from to have sex:
A sizable majority of senior girls (79%) say there is pressure to be sexually experienced in high school and more than half say that pressure comes directly from their friends — both from friends who talk about their own sexual experiences (47%) and from friends who tease other people about sex (26%). What goes on beyond their immediate circle also makes an impact—51% say that what they hear about what other teens are doing is a source of pressure; 45% say they feel pressure based on what they see in TV and movies.
Though the report focuses on senior girls, real life tells us that the issue of sex starts much earlier. Yet, in hearing these girls share their feelings about sex, it’s obvious that three things could help young girls of all ages make the right decision: open communication with their parents, accurate sexual education in school and pairing up senior girls with young girls for frank talks about boys, self-esteem and their futures.