The Dark Secret in America That Threatens Kids

'Teen Vogue' and other glossy mags that push sex on our children are no friend to anyone — but it's even worse than that

When I see magazines, movies, or television shows that market sex to kids, I go ballistic.

Here’s why: There is a dark secret in America that is threatening our kids about which most parents and teens don’t know: Our youth are living with an unprecedented epidemic of sexually transmitted infections.

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That’s according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Yet if your teen reads magazines, watches television, or streams movies — he will never know this.

How bad is it? Let me give you a few solid medical facts.

  • Twenty million Americans contract a new sexually transmitted infection (STI) each year, according to the CDC. While the teen/young adult population comprises only 30 percent of the population, this group has 50 percent of all infections.
  • One in five people over age 12 tests positive for genital herpes, according to the New England Journal of Medicine.
  • Forty percent of girls age 14 to 18 experience unwanted sex. Why? They don’t want to say no and hurt their boyfriends’ feelings.
  • One in four teens — all teens, not just sexually active teens — lives with an STI today.
  • About 12 strains of human papillomavirus cause cancers in people. We now immunize children as young as 11 years old against nine of them.

On top of this, kids who are sexually active are at higher risk for depression — and most teens believe oral sex is safe because they can’t get pregnant or get STIs.

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Heard enough? This is just the beginning of the data that doctors know about teens and sex.

Parents need to know all of this. Why? Because teen magazines, sitcoms, movies, and music are delivering a colossal lie to your kids.

Today’s media and culture are persuading kids that all types of sex are cool, safe, and even a child’s “right” — no matter the age of the child. But don’t be fooled. Our kids are a pawn used by many to accomplish one major goal and belief: that sexual freedom is healthy, good, and a right for all Americans, including kids.

What they aren’t willing to tell you is this: Viruses and bacteria don’t care about rights, and they are winning.

Marketers manipulate your kids’ minds about sexual activity and sexuality. Don’t let them. Know your medical facts and teach them to your kids. Afraid of this? Don’t be. Kids understand there’s trouble out there, and they appreciate it when adults tell them the indisputable truth.

Related: What to Do If Your Teens Are Promiscuous

I have spoken to literally thousands of kids in the U.S about why they should hold off having any type of sex. I shoot straight, tell them the truth, and tell them how fabulous sex is when they’re married and aren’t infected with illnesses. And you know what? They listen. They inundate me with questions. (go to page 2 to continue reading)  [lz_pagination]

meet the author

Dr. Meg Meeker has practiced pediatrics and adolescent medicine for more than 30 years. She is the author of the book “Hero: Being the Strong Father Your Children Need” (Regnery Publishing), along with a number of digital parenting resources and online courses, including The 12 Principles of Raising Great Kids.

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