At what age would you be OK with your kids having sex?

Esther - posted on 03/04/2010 ( 38 moms have responded )

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The extra small condom thread made me think about that. Is it different for girls than for boys? I'm honestly not quite sure at what age approx. I would be OK with it. I personally waited quite a while (I was 19) but my husband didn't exactly wait that long (he was 14). Although intellectually I don't think I should make a distinction between boys and girls, I think on an emotional level I kind of do. I think I would preach to my daughter about abstaining longer than I would my son. But when exactly would I think it would be OK for him to go out and have (protected) sex ...? I'm not sure. Maybe 17 or so? Of course it all depends on the circumstances too. But generally speaking, when do you think YOU'll be ready?

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Sunny - posted on 03/06/2010

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Thats such a hard question to answer! I started having sex at 14 and yet i don't regret it or feel bad about it. I had no bad unsafe sex or self esteem stories. I simply wanted to have sex and there were boys who wanted to have sex with me. (also 14) I know this sounds horrible but that was just what kids did where i was, their were 12 year olds having sex and the oldest that i know of from my school was 16. I know how terrible it sounds but as long as my children are safe and not having sex for reasons of peer pressure, self-esteem, abuse or anything along those lines than i don't think i have the right to have a say. If they can understand their bodies, safety and the real reasons behind having sex and still want to do it than i think its out of my hands. Thats simply my opinion.

Jennifer - posted on 03/07/2010

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I'm not sure about ages, but I'm pretty sure my son will do what he peer group does when the time comes. I guess 18 is a pretty good age for boys or girls.

What I find interesting, is that my plan is to tell my son to think carefully about who he has sex with. He probably shouldn't have sex with someone unless he is prepared to have a baby with that person. The condom can always break, the girl could always lie about being on birth control (and never believe her if she says she's current!), etc. However, I plan on telling any daughters (don't have one yet) to look at sex as an opportunity for a fun time. Don't take it too seriously or invest it with emotional meanings because 99% of the time, they won't. Take precautions to ensure you optimize your experience by making sure he is not drunk or intoxicated in anyway. Make sure he will be the type of person who will want to help you have a good time. Make sure you know what you like and don't be afraid of telling your partner what it is, etc.

Basically, I want my sons to take take sex seriously, and my daughters to take sex casually. It's probably because I assume that men can easily hurt women with sex both physically and emotionally.

Joanne - posted on 03/07/2010

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I'm much less concerned about the when as I am about the why. I had sex at 16 but my reasons weren't good. I equated sex with love. I hope that I can help my daughter have the self-esteem and self-love that she'll not need sex for validation and not use or be used by sex.

Veronica - posted on 03/06/2010

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i want to instill in my children that when they are old enough to raise, and support a baby - then they are old enough for sex -- because to me its not about 'omg i dont want to be a grandma !!!" its about them taking responsibility for their actions. Birthcontrol, safety protection - blah blah blah - there is still a chance of pregnancy and STDs also.



I guess i take care of my kids and teach them the best i know how - and leave the rest in the Lord's hands. What path my children take isnt' mine - and I dont know the Lord's great design.

But here is an interesting aspect for all - something I heard once, and it was sooooo true - basically of why we are to remain abstinent before marriage (or virgins,etc.)



A girl brought her boyfriend home to meet her dad - the dad asked the boy right out - "Do you plan on marrying my daughter?" and the boy said, i dont know -- the father then replied, "Then make sure you keep your hands off of someone else's wife!"



I dont know about anyone else - but in my faith, this makes sense to me - because in reality we are supposed to save ourselves for that one person.



I hope to instill good morals and values, and most importantly self-discipline and self respect into my children -- boys and girls. An ok age - when they are married (of course over 18) But im going to keep myself open to the fact that just because this is what i want for my children - that it may not be whats on their path in life.



Id like to throw a wrench into this discussion - considering everyone is so apt on throwing kids on pills/contraception --- what would your reaction be if your son got a girl preg. or your daughter got preg. (regardless of pills/condoms) -- what would you do?? Adoption, abortion, or let them have it?



Edited to add: I personally would let them have the baby - id honestly probably be upset that it happened -- but i would open my arms and embrace it - as grandchildren are a true blessing. I say this because i was the first in my family to get pregn. I was going on 19 years old - was engaged - but it was an unexpected surprise. My mom was very upset - mainly because we were out of wed-lock -- but her and my family swooned in - and welcomed the baby -- it actually reunited my mom, brothers and sisters. Now me, and my two brothers have children -- and my mom once again was upset about the fact the my bros were out of wedlock at first too (now they are married ) -- and my aunt told my mom, "be greatful that you have grandchildren to cherish, my children are killing mine." (my aunts daughters have had abortions, and are on the pills, etc.etc. - cause God forbid they have a child! oh no!!!) Ok, that wasnt the nicest for me to conclude on -- the point is, its still a gift regardless of the circumstance -- and I would be open to it and embrace it as well.



so - what about you?

Christy - posted on 03/06/2010

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i would definitely let my daughter keep her baby (i don't and won't have the issue of a son as i plan on having only one child). in fact, if she would ever become pregnant young i would push for this. if she wanted to adopt it out, i can see myself being the kind of person who would actually ask her if i could raise the baby unless/until she could be ready. having a baby at a young age is hard, my best friend had her first at 16 and had her third at 20, but she wouldn't have given them up for anything. if she truly felt that an outside adoption was the only way to go i suppose i could make my peace with it but i hope it would never come to that.

as for an abortion, i am pro-choice but i would never have an abortion myself and want to instill that same belief in my daughter. the only way i would be comfortable with her having an abortion is in the case of rape or medical emergency but i believe that with the way i plan to raise her that will the only way she would be comfortable with an abortion as well.

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Shayna - posted on 03/07/2010

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Oh my lord I don't even want to think of this with my son!

I will never preach to my son about abstinence, because I think that is just being led up to failure and pretty unrealistic. Don't get me wrong, people do go through with it. Our society is just so sexually explicit, tempting & demoralizing, it's certainly hard raising children.

I will teach him safe sex when the time is right, how to be a gentleman and treat his girl right. I want to have a open relationship with him, but to a parent degree. To put a limit to when I think it is ok for him to be sexually active would be when he is of age at 18, but none the less it will not happen under my roof until he is married!

ME - posted on 03/06/2010

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I don't know...I was 21 and almost out of college...so, I'd like to say that I expect my kids to make it at least that long as well...but I know it's not realistic to demand it...all three of my sisters had sex at some point in high school...it was a mistake for all of them, and they all regret it...however, they also all feel that it would have been unrealistic to expect them to wait any longer. My hubby was something like 14 his first time. I guess I hope that both my son and my daughter will have graduated from high school (or be 18yo), and had some time to figure out who they want to be in life before getting mixed up in such a serious relationship...

Christy - posted on 03/06/2010

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i would like her to be at least 16 but more important than the age, i want her to always feel comfortable enough to talk to me about it so i can make sure she's using proper protection. i don't want to be one of the moms that pushes abstinence so hard that she is afraid to come to me to get on the pill or some other kind of birth control. i don't think it will be something that wrecks my world because it is a very realistic part of growing up. would i prefer that she's out of high school before she loses her virginity? of course but that wasn't a realistic thing when i was in high school and i can only imagine how much worse it's going to be by the time she gets there...

Sharon - posted on 03/06/2010

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Honestly? For all them, I'd like to see them in their 20s before they start having sex. I also think the driving age should be moved up (older).

Mary - posted on 03/05/2010

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According to my husband, never....

But I'm a bit more of a realist. My hope for her is that, regardless of age, it will be with someone she truly loves, and has been in a significant, and reciprocal relationship with. I hope that it will be a positive experience in her life, and something she looks back on with fondness, and has no regrets about, ever. I hope that it is with someone she respects, and who respects and cares about her in return.



I myself was 17 (about 2 months shy of 18) , and had been dating this boy for well over a year. I can honestly say that I really did love him, and this feeling was returned. I have no regrets, and will always be glad that he was my first. He is someone who, over 20 years later, I am still friends with today. Had I accidentally gotten pregnant, he is someone who I know would have stood by me, and supported both me and that child to the best of his ability. While I doubt that we would have stayed together as a couple, he is the kind of guy that would have always been an active part of that child's life. ( I know this for a fact because he did knock up his lunatic girlfriend in college, and while they did not stay together, he has always been an active father, and helped her crazy ass out as much as she allowed - he's now paying his son's college tuition, alone).



So while I would prefer that she would be nearer to 18, I also know that it is something I have very little control over. I hope that whatever age she is, it is a special and meaningful for her as it was for me.

Lea - posted on 03/05/2010

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I just thought I should point out that there was a study done that showed a correlation between the number of hours of TV watched per day and how young a kid was when they first had sex. I think that kids need their parents around to show them right and wrong. They can't be left to their own devices and let TV tell them what they should be doing. Kids are in such a hurry to grow up, and once they do they realize what a huge disappointment it is.

Tah - posted on 03/05/2010

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i was 15..used a condom..it broke..he didn't tell me.it was my first time.and when we were done i was thinking is that what all the hype is about..i'll pass...and i just brought that surprise his 4th pair of glasses because he can't seem to understand stems only work when attached and if there is no glass there is no point....s$$t happenes

Sara - posted on 03/05/2010

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Can I just say that the show "16 and Pregnant" on MTV scares the shit outta me? Whenever I come across it I look at Rowan and say "You better not get pregnant when you're 16". That is my worst fear. So, while I'd rather her wait to have sex until she's older (35), if she's going to have sex, she better use a damn condom or get on the pill. I've come to terms with the fact that she's going to do things I can't control, but she just better not be a dumbass about it.

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I only have sons and i hope they dont have sex until they are perhaps 18 realistically i expect my oldest to start when hes about 14 perhaps younger. Hes 11 now an already takes far too much interest in girls. My 9 year old might be the type to wait longer because hes shy and not so confident.

Isobel - posted on 03/04/2010

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ok...I was 18, but my very best friend was 15...I don't think there was anything particularly wrong with either of those numbers...I sincerely hope that my kids are closer to my number than hers...but I will understand no-matter which way they go. I, personally will probably never be "ok" with them having sex...but I won't freak out about it either.

Jodi - posted on 03/04/2010

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Quoting Amie

Ryan may have a heart attack when it happens, no matter their age


LOL, I thought Rob would have a fit when his baby girl started having sex but when I mentioned it to him after Christmas, he kind of just looked startled, and then shrugged and said "Oh well, I like Mark, so it is what it is". I'm guessing his reaction may have been VERY different if she'd brought home some loser.

Tah - posted on 03/04/2010

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lets see..her dad is loco..lol...her step dad is super qualed up on every weapon in the navy and boxes....her uncle has a license to correct if you will and can actually kill you with his thumb while drinking kool-aid(some wax on wax off class he takes...lol) ...her brother tells her what will happen and her cousins are klying in wait....these girls have a army around them..my 13 year old can't breath deep without someone checking her respirations because she looks at least 16-18..lol...



to be honest...not that i wasnt a minute ago..lol...i just want them to make better choices that me...

Amie - posted on 03/04/2010

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Dana,

I honestly haven't thought of an age. We've talked extensively with our oldest about this. It's just a non issue. I know it's not something I need to worry about any time soon. She knows very well how serious an issue it is. If she keeps maturing at the rate she is though, with the good head on her shoulders she has.. it won't be the end of my world if she starts having sex around 16. I don't see her doing it but she may change. She's not much of a follower though, has good self esteem (something we worked hard with her to improve, she did go through a real weird low stage last year), uses her critical thinking skills and knows that when it comes to huge life decisions she can come to me and talk freely. We've talked about her body changing, we've talked about her tingly feelings when she thinks of boys, we've talked sex, anything she has ever come to me about with a question I've answered honestly.

Ryan may have a heart attack when it happens, no matter their age but I'm just not like that. I'll prepare her, I'll be there for her and when she finds the right one. I'll give her my input but ultimately it is a decision I can not make for her, I can't stop her or any of my kids. So long as I prepare them, I am ok with it for the most part. It doesn't mean I won't be concerned but I'm not going to lose my head either.

Jess - posted on 03/04/2010

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I find it funny that some people say its ok for their son's to be sexually active sooner than their daughters. If your 16 year old son is having sex.... its pretty safe to say his sleeping with someone else's 16 year old (or younger) daughter ! Its not often that teenage boys date older girls... in my experience. I think we need to treat girls and boys equally and my daughters virginity is just as important as one of your son's ! If I ever have a son, I will teach him the same expectations as my daughter. Ideally waiting until she is married would be great, but I'm not married so its unrealistic for me tell her to wait. But I want her to wait until she is 18 and out of school.

Jocelyn - posted on 03/04/2010

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I am going to cross my fingers and hope that my kids make it to at least 14...

Kelly - posted on 03/04/2010

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lol Tah! I would love to live in ideal! I would love for my girls to not make the same mistake I did and have sex too young ( I was 15). Knowing then what I know now, I wouldn't have given myself to someone who soooooo didn't deserve me! But thinking back to being a teenage girl, I am sure I am not the only one who thought at 15 or 16 that I was in love, and we would be together forever *barf*...... I just want my girls to respect themselves, and have the self confidence that I lacked. They deserve the world, and they need to make sure when it happens, that it is with someone who really loves them. And realistically, how many 16, 17, 18 year old boys think with their heart, let alone with their "big" head? I don't have boys, so I don't know if I would apply a double standard, but I do know that my husband is being punished for his past, he has 3 beautiful daughters....... He will be making it known to boyfriends though that he excelled as a sniper in the Army..... lol

Tah - posted on 03/04/2010

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real world can be overrated sometimes...i like to visit ideal...they have the best pizza....and kids that are virgins until they are married, problem is it's more of a vacation spot than long time...i do love the view...

Iris - posted on 03/04/2010

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I feel the same about this as Amie does. I can't put down a certain number, it depends more on my daughters maturity levels and when they reach the point of being responsible enough to understand the seriousness of this level in a relationship.
My 10 y/o is very spontaneous and her motto at the moment seems to be "act now, think later". All I can do is keep our communication open and honest and hope she will grow out of it and become more responsible in her actions over the next years. And when the time comes she will think it through before acting on it.

Lindsay - posted on 03/04/2010

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Oh Esther, this is such a hard question. I don't know that there's magical age when I finally think they are old enough but to keep it realistic, I would hope they would wait until they are at least 16 or 17 and would be thrilled if they waited longer than that. I definately won't be giving them an ok age. I really just hope that by that time, I will have given them enough information that they will properly protect themself and make good decisions about it. I hope that they have enough self respect to know that not just anyone and everyone is good enough for them. But regardless of their age, I will be there to listen, give advice without pushing them away, and provide them with any and all protection they need.

Jodi - posted on 03/04/2010

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Oh well, this is a reality for me :) My step-daughter has been with her boyfriend for about 9 months, and I KNOW they have had sex. She is 17, he is 18. Yeah, there was a little twinge of "Oh but she's so young", but realistically, I don't have a real problem with it if she is being careful (which she is, and she is also very sensible). What can you do? I guess I am happy that she waited until 17, and also waited until she had a boyfriend who so obviously respects her and cares about her.

Krista - posted on 03/04/2010

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It's not something that any of us like to think about, but that's life, right?

That being said, there's the ideal world and the realistic one.

Ideally, I'd like him to wait until he's a legal adult and engaged or in a long-term, committed, monogamous relationship.

Realistically, I'd be content if he waited until he was about 17, and would hope that it would be with a girlfriend (or boyfriend, if he's gay) who he really loved and cared about, as opposed to just some fling.

And in either case, I would hope that he would be smart and safe and respectful towards his partner.

Johnny - posted on 03/04/2010

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Not until she is ready to raise and love my grandchildren? lol. Or never.....

But seriously, I think it is an individual thing, and depends on what kind of situation/relationship she is in. I will make it clear to her that I expect her to wait until she has completed high school. But I am most concerned that she has a strong sense of self, is able to own her choices, has self-respect , and that she is aware of the consequences, both emotional and physical. I have absolutely no problems with sex outside of marriage, so that is not a concern for me. I just want her to have the most positive experience possible, and hopefully with someone who loves and respects her.

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Married. That's when it happened for my husband and me. I know we are in the vast minority but that is what we are going to teach her.

That being said, once she is out of our house and fully supporting herself, I can't do anything about it. But I would be very sad and disappointed.

Rosie - posted on 03/04/2010

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i'm not sure either, i'd like to say when they are 80, but obviously i know that's unrealistic, besides i want grandchildren before i die! i'm more concerned about them protecting themselves than what age they do it at. i had sex when i was 14, i was able to handle the emotional part of it responsibly, but not so much with the protecting myself part. the first 3 times were unprotected, and then my mother found out and put me on the pill, if she hadn't of found out, i'm positive i would've never gone to her to ask for the pill and would've ended up pregnant.
i don't have a specific age, i guess. i just want enough time to be able to instill in them the value of protection, and knowing how to respect women, and when they find somebody that they truly care about, and respect - i guess i'll have to be okay with it.

Ez - posted on 03/04/2010

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I will cry a million tears if my daughter starts having sex before 16. In a perfect world she would wait until she's finished high school, but that's not very realistic.

Dana - posted on 03/04/2010

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Amie, since you didn't actually give an age or range, what age range are you talking about?

Dana - posted on 03/04/2010

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I hope and pray Ethan waits until at LEAST 16, preferably 17. I think anything else is unrealistic.

Irene - posted on 03/04/2010

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When she is 18, she can do what she wants (within legal limits of course). HOWEVER...

She better not even come up with "mom I'm pregnant" until she is at least 25 and married. CONDOMS, CONDOMS, CONDOMS, BLOOD TEST, CONDOMS. If I have to supply them myself I will happily do so. Just no babies please.

Amie - posted on 03/04/2010

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It depends on my child. Some are ready sooner than others and are capable of making mature, responsible decisions when it comes to this. Others not so much.

When will I be ready? It's really not a big issue for me personally. I'll probably feel a twinge or two because one of them has taken another step in their life. It's a huge step too. But I don't think I'm going to get overly worked up about it. However if they make this type of decision without any forethought about what it means, then I'll be pissed. I'm raising them better than that and I expect some of what I teach them to sink in.

Jenny - posted on 03/04/2010

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I will be ready for my kids to have sex when they are about 80. Seriously though, while I will always be open to them about sex and teach responsibility I will always see them as my babies and be giving their partners the stink eye for defiling them. I hope they wait until they are in a long term, equal, commited relationship at whatever age that occurs.

Tah - posted on 03/04/2010

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23 for my sons 25 out of school and married for my daughter..them be the breaks...sorry....

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