Sex, Sexuality, Sexual Identity, and Values
In 2009, 46% of high school students had sexual intercourse, and 14% of them reported having more than four partners. In 2006, an estimated 5,259 young people aged 13–24 were diagnosed with HIV/AIDS. Twelve percent of all pregnancies are from young people aged 15–24 (CDC, 2010). In 2005, 1 in 4 sexually active teens contracted an STD, and 29% of teens felt pressure to have sex while 1 in 10 high school students reported having been forced to have sex (Kaiser Family Foundation, 2005). New studies are being developed to estimate current levels of sexual activity and while there are some indications that adolescents are waiting longer to have sex, by age 19, 7 out of 10 adolescents have had sexual intercourse (CDC, 2010).
Sex is a prevalent issue among teens today, and many young people struggle with the vast issues that can evolve around sex. For example, sexually transmitted diseases, pregnancies, and the overall pressure to have sex can be difficult to handle or even devastating to adolescents. Some adolescents struggle with the social awkwardness to engage in any relationship or may not know how to engage in a healthy relationship. Some may struggle with their family or community values or expectations regarding sex. Counselors must be familiar with the current trends and issues related to adolescent sexual behavior and must be able to address them effectively. In addition to sexual activity, sexual identity can be an issue among children and adolescents. Adolescents who are gay, lesbian, bisexual, or transgender (GLBT) can face many challenges. GLBT adolescents often struggle to find a positive identity among adverse reactions from peers or family and may find it difficult to deal with homophobia in society. It is not uncommon for GLBT adolescents to fear their sexual identity and fear that their support systems, such as family, churches, schools, peers, and organizations, will no longer accept them. Counselors must be cognizant of the needs of GLBT adolescents and be able to provide effective support and guidance. For this Discussion, review the scenarios located in this week’s Learning Resources and select one scenario. Consider how the values of sex, sexuality, and sexual identity can adversely affect the child or adolescent in the scenario.
National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion. (2010). Sexual risk behaviors. Retrieved from http://www.cdc.gov/
Kaiser Family Foundation. (2005). U.S. teen sexual activity. Retrieved from http://www.kff.org/
With these thoughts in mind:
Post by Day 4 a brief description of the sex and sexuality scenario you selected (Case #1 or Case #2). Then, identify two potential parent/guardian, school, or community values related to sex, sexuality, or sexual identity that might adversely affect the child or adolescent and explain how. Explain one way you might support the child or adolescent in the scenario. Finally, explain one way you would ensure that your personal values would not interfere with the counseling process. Be specific and use examples to illustrate your points.
Be sure to support your postings and responses with specific references to the Learning Resources.
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o Chapter 15 “Gender Dysphoria”
o Chapter 17 “Substance-related Disorders”
Reeves, T. Horne, S. G., Rostosky, S. S, Riggle, E. D. B., Baggett, L. R., & Aycock, R. A. (2010). Family members’ support for GLBT issues: The role of family adaptability and cohesion . Journal of GLBT Family Studies, 6(1), 80–97.
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