Bases teen dating

"A lot of kids have this idea that it's no big deal." Kids who think this may be missing crucial messages about sexually transmitted diseases and self-esteem.

Talk to your kids about the seriousness of any sexual contact.

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One woman with three sons was astonished last summer when a girl took a liking to her 15-year-old and got aggressive. Teen pregnancy numbers are down, and so is the number of kids who are having intercourse.

Kids still start pairing off around the same age (between 12 and 14, with more serious relationships usually reserved for the later teen years), and parents still worry about them experimenting with sex.

But these days, there's even more reason for concern.

But that doesn't mean kids aren't sexually active: Studies have found that some 50 percent of teenagers, ages 15 to 19, have engaged in oral sex.

"I have an 11-year-old middle schooler who came home saying that a boy wanted her to have oral sex with him in the parking lot," says Tonja Krautter, a psychologist in Los Gatos, California, who works with adolescents.

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