Actual questions high schoolers are asking, and the answers that you might use to keep the conversation going.
Q: How can you tell if a guy is a virgin?
A: Great question! There is no way unless he tells you. You can ask, but know that he may or may not be telling you the truth. Do you need any more information?
Q: Can you get pregnant just fooling around?
A: It depends on what you do when “fooling around.” It’s possible, even though you may not have intercourse (the penis is in the vagina and the male ejaculates). If the semen from the penis gets anywhere near the vagina, the sperm can find their way into the vagina and travel to an egg. Then you might get pregnant. What else do you want to know?
Q: Is oral sex “sex?”
A1: Wow. That’s a tough question. What do you think?
A2: To me, oral sex is a very intimate behavior between two people. While pregnancy is not a risk with oral sex, you can get and transmit STDs like gonorrhea, herpes, and HIV. If couples engage in oral sex, condoms are very important.
Q: My breasts are not the same size. Am I normal?
A: Absolutely! Most women find that their breasts are not the same size. Are you worried about this? If you are, at your next check-up, mention it to your doctor and she can check it out.
Q: Can you tell if a guy has an STD?
A: Some STDs don’t show symptoms right away and some require a medical professional to identify them. If you are having any kind of intimate contact with someone else, whether it’s oral, anal, or vaginal sex, you can get and transmit an STD. It’s important that you know the signs and symptoms of STDs and protect yourself. I don’t know a whole lot about STDs. Let’s go on the Internet and get some STD information. Was this covered in your health class?
For more information on STDs, check out the CDC's Fact Sheets on STDs.
Q: My girlfriend is really moody when she is on her period. What gives?
A: Having a period or menstruation is a result of lots of hormonal changes in a girl’s body. These hormones also affect her moods, temperament, and how she relates to you. It’s pretty normal and I’m sure it’s uncomfortable for her. Some girls have cramps in their abdomen and other physical changes and this may also affect what she says and does. What do you think you could do during these times?
Q: A friend of mine is afraid she’s pregnant. What should I do?
A: It’s a great thing that she values your friendship enough to tell you. She needs to find a way to confirm whether or not she’s pregnant. If she is, then I hope she can go to her parents for help. If she can’t go to her parents, then maybe there is another trusted adult she can go to for support. Pregnancy means some big decisions ahead that she shouldn’t face alone. If she isn’t pregnant, then she may still need some help. If she is having sex, then it is really important for her to use an effective contraceptive. What else can I do to help?
For help locating a family planning clinic, check out OPA's Family Planning Clinic locator.
For more advice on how to talk with teens, check out OAH's e-learning module: Talking with your Teens About Reproductive Health.
Here, real parents share their sometimes awkward -- and sometimes funny -- experiences.