Are we teaching teens to have unhealthy sex?

While the modern sex education curriculum focuses on the biology of sex—and the risks associated it—teens aren’t being taught how to have truly healthy intercourse. Part of this is understanding the notion of fun, pleasurable sex, which is glossed over by most adults during “the talk.”


This lack of discussion can lead to sexual dysfunction, which is a great issue for teens—according to the University of New Brunswick (UNB), young people aged 16 to 21 years have rates of sexual issues comparable to those of adults. This led the researchers to ask: is this dysfunction a byproduct of displeasing sex?


According to Lucia O’Sullivan, a professor of psychology at UNB, 79 per cent of young men and 84 per cent of young women experience distressing and persistent problems in sexual function. This, she says, could evolve into poor sex lives as adults.


To combat this, she says, parents need to talk to their children about enjoying sex—rather than delaying, avoiding, and preventing it and its associated issues. Although these topics may be difficult to broach at first, having them could be key in the development of happy, safe sex lives.