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Initially, as an adult I would say I have no part in a teen having sex. However, with the recent statistics from The National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy out of 1,500 black youth surveyed, between the ages of 13-21, 47% admitted to being pressured to go further sexually. So how are these black teens feeling pressured? ESSENCE senior writer Jeannine Amber questioned several young people and came up with two ways black teens are mostly pressured into going further sexually.

  1. 54% of black males said pressure from friends
  2. “72% believe that the media sends the message black females most important quality is their sex appeal”
As an adult we are able to assist our teens with who they should hang with and what they watch on television and movies. If we stop funding these movies imagine how many would never make to the main screen…

Only 31% of teens surveyed mostly the younger teens said their parents are influential in the decision to have sex. However, as the youth mature in age the influence of their parents fades drastically from 47% at ages 13-15 to 17% by ages 19-21.

The article written by Jeannine is great, but as an African American community we must still face the reality that even though teen pregnancy has decreased by 47% since 1991. The challenge is not to stop teen pregnancy but rather stop teens from having sex period. Teen pregnancy may have decreased but AIDS, HIV, HPV and cervical cancer has hit unprecedented percentages within the last decade, because we as a people have settled for a band-aid instead of surgery. African Americans are the number one ethnic group dying to AIDS and HIV. The number to reason for death of all women is heart disease, which in recent studies is associated with HPV.

Question: How do we stop the spread of viruses?

Call to Action: Get tested and if an adult mentor a youth by joining organizations such as, Because I Said So, Inc.(http://becauseisaidso.org/), Boys and Girls Club(http://www.bgca.org/), or local community center.


For complete ESSENCE article check out the October issue.