Saying No to Sexual Pressure
Contrary to what you might think, many teens and young people are deciding NOT to have sex.
- Not everybody is doing it.
proportion of students who report ever having had sexual
intercourse declined significantly from
1991 (54%) to 2001 (46%) and has remained stable
from 2001 to 2005.
In 2007, less than 48 percent of high school
students reported ever having engaged in sexual intercourse,
compared to 1991 when over 54 percent of students were no longer
virgins. The same study also shows that African American
students saw a decrease in sexual intercourse from 82 percent in
1991 to 66 percent in 2007 and white students saw a decrease
from 50 percent to 44 percent.2
- Most teens who have had sex wish they had waited.
Of those that have had sex, more than one-half of
teen boys (55 percent) and the overwhelming majority of teen
girls (72 percent) said they wish they had waited longer to have
Teens decide not to have sex for a variety
of reasons. In one survey of teen girls, "values and morals" was
the most common reason given. Others want to avoid pregnancy and
sexually transmitted diseases.
Whatever the reason, you have the right to make this decision for yourself. And, even if you
have had sex already, it is not too late to choose not to have sex from now on.
Children: Key National Indicators of Well-Being, Federal Interagency
Forum on Child and Family Statistics, 2007.
High School Students Showing Overall Improvements in Health-Related
, 2007 National Youth Risk Behavior Survey, May 2007
talk about sex, regret, and the influence of their parents,
Released by the National Campaign to Prevent Teen Pregnancy, June
30, 2000, accessed at www.teenpregnancy.org
What to Say When You're Being Pressured
If your partner is pressuring you to have sex, he may make the following types of comments.
Read through the possible responses and think about how you would respond.
Come on, everybody's doing it!
I'm not everybody, and everybody is not doing it.
If you really love me, you'll have sex with me.
If you loved me, you'd respect my feelings and beliefs and not push
me into something I don't want to do.
If you don't have sex with me then I'll break up with you.
I don't think that we are in this relationship for the same reasons,
and if that is how you really feel, maybe we should reconsider our
It's just a part of growing up.
Sex is a part of growing up, but only when I'm ready for it to happen
and I'm not ready right now.
You say you want to wait until you are married, but I want to marry
Being married to me and wanting to marry me are two different things
and that is a long time from now.
We had sex once before, what's the problem now?
I have the right to change my mind, and I'm just not comfortable
with the idea of having a sexual relationship.
Having sex will make you a real woman.
Having sex doesn't prove anything and I don't need to have sex to
feel like a woman.
Don't you want to see what it's like?
Sure, and I can't wait to find out on my wedding night.
Don't you find me attractive?
Yes, I find you attractive, but having sex with you is not going
to prove that.
You've got me all excited. If you love me, prove it.
We're both a little excited right now, I think we should slow down.
And having sex with you is not going to prove that I love you.
If you don't do it, someone else will.
If that's how you feel then I think we need to talk about why we
are in this relationship.
But I need it.
If I can wait, you can wait. It won't kill you.
Abstinence means waiting until you are in
a committed marriage relationship to have sexual intercourse. Here
are some tips for practicing abstinence.
- Remember, sex is not a test of love. You can show someone special
that you care deeply about them without having sex. You can hold
hands, kiss and hug, listen to the other person.
- This is something you should talk to your partner about. If
it is something you can not talk to them about, then that says
a lot about your relationship.
- If your partner threatens to break up with you because you won't
have sex, don't try to stop him or her. Say, "I'm sorry you feel
that way, but that won't make me change my mind." A partner who
won't respect your wishes isn't worthy of your affection.
- Have a plan for the evening. Fill up the whole evening and don't
leave time for parking or sitting on the couch in the dark. Hang
out in public places rather than at home by yourselves.
- On a first date, don't go out as a twosome. Go out with another
couple or in a group.
- If you say "no," say it so it is clear that you mean it. Don't
- Try not to put yourself in a place that makes it hard to say
"no." Remember that when you drink or use drugs, it is harder
to say "no."
- Always think ahead and have a way out.
- Leave the situation if you feel uncomfortable.
- Remember, you are in control of your life and the decisions
you make for yourself.