You probably don't want to consider that your teen is engaging in sexual behavior -- and, well, he or she might not be. However, if that's your hope, you should know that the statistics aren't exactly promising. Even while the number of teens choosing to abstain from sex is growing, around 42 percent of girls and 47 percent of boys ages 15 to 17 are sexually active [source: Jayson]. And researchers have also noticed that oral sex, in particular, is rising in popularity among teenagers -- often in lieu of sexual intercourse [source: Jayson]. So while some parents might be relieved that their sons or daughters are at least not participating in an activity that leads to unwanted pregnancy, oral sex comes with its share of dangers, too.
Perhaps the most menacing risk of unprotected oral sex is a sexually transmitted disease (STD) like human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). Although STDs are more likely to be contracted through intercourse, the threat is still there [source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention]. Another health risk of unprotected oral sex is HPV, the human papillomavirus. Often considered an STD, HPV is a virus that can sometimes lead to cancer, and HPV from oral sex has the potential to cause oral cancer [source: Masters].
The sex talk isn't easy, but it's necessary if you want to help protect your child. And since many teens consider oral sex an alternative to intercourse, be sure to cover the spectrum of sexual behavior in your "talk."
Unprotected sex is sometimes the result of the oral habit on the next page.