The latest craze among teens in the United States is not a computer game, a
sports shoe or a dance style. it's oral sex.
According to a survey by condom maker Ansell, 20 per cent of teens have had oral
sex by the age of 15. These confronting statistics are compounded by others
showing that one third of teenage girls don't consider oral sex to be sex.
To many teens, it has become a relationship ritual far removed from sexual
intercourse and on par with holding hands or a good night kiss.
Bill Clinton, who famously denied having sex with Monica Lewinsky even after it
was revealed they had indulged in oral sex, has a lot to answer for.
Oprah Winfrey recently devoted a program to oral sex and teens. Girls who
appeared on the show were taken aback by their parents' belief that oral sex was
on a par with intercourse.
Some teens say they have oral sex because it protects virginity and because of a
misguided notion that is it "safe sex" and does not lead to sexually transmitted
diseases. They also say you can't get pregnant through oral sex.
Oral sex is so widespread among teens that it has, according to the Oprah show
become the new "spin the bottle".
Many see it as an obligatory part of relationships and say it is uncool not to
have tried it. According to Seventeen magazine, the teen bible in the United
States, 55 per cent of teenagers have tried oral sex.
The Australian Research Centre in Sex Health and Society should soon be able to
say whether a similar trend is at work in Australia.
Their five yearly survey of Year 10 and 12 students has, for the first time,
asked questions about oral sex as a separate category of sexual activity.
Anne Mitchell, manager of communication for health and education at the centre,
says anecdotal evidence certainly shows teens are having oral sex long before
Also interesting is other research showing the age gap is alive and well. Most
parents still take the romantic view that other people's children are having
sex, but not theirs.
It's all too easy to pass judgment on what the younger generation is getting up
to. And the antics of youth will always seem shocking to parents.
But those same mums and dads who are now aghast were probably scandalizing their
own parents with their sexual behavior. It wasn't so long ago that sex outside
marriage was taboo. Now everyone's doing it.
Om Lokah Samastah Sukhino Bhavanthu
Om Shanti Shanti Shanti
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