Dr. Dean

Teens Think Oral Sex Is Like Abstinence

Posting Date: 11/16/2000

Did you know that your teenage daughter thinks oral sex doesn't count? Maybe I should have picked up on hints during dinner table discussions at my house, but I was astonished to read about the frequency of this act in this age group. Teen girls consider oral sex to be abstinence.

It's hard to imagine a 10- or 12- year-old even thinking about this, but an article in today's USA Today reports from sources as divergent as the University of Minnesota's director of pediatrics and adolescent health, and an online survey in a teen magazine that kids this young engage in oral sex and don't think they're having sex. Oral sex was described "as a fun thing to do with a guy" by 27 percent of the 10,000 teenagers who answered the magazine survey.

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Of course this survey is far from scientific, but next month the Guttmacher Institute will report on dramatic increases of oral herpes and gonorrhea of the throat among teenagers. Oral herpes will be a tricky one to trace back to oral-genital sex, though.

I hate to sound like an old fuddy-duddy, but in my day this was the most intimate of acts, not the first sex act a kid did, the way it is today. It now seems to be considered petting. The loss of innocence is sad.

You can find the gory details in USA Today.

Source: USA Today, November 15, 2000