A PROJECT OF THE County of San Diego Health & Human Services Agency


Making a responsible decision about sex is very important. It is necessary that you find out all the facts and explore your feelings before making a decision; this choice will affect you for the rest of your life.

It is also very important for you to remember that you have a choice. You can join many other teenagers and practice abstinence. Abstinence is the decision to refrain from having sex. This can be a good choice for teenagers because sex can be very complicated.

If you’re not ready to deal with all the issues that arise with a sexual relationship, abstinence is the best and most responsible choice you can make. However, if you are already in a sexual relationship or are considering becoming sexually active, you should ask yourself the following questions:

How do I know if I'm ready for a sexual relationship?

Do I have accurate information about sex?

  • Do I know what is true and what are myths?
  • Do I know how the reproductive system works?
  • Do I know about birth control, how to use it and where to get it?

Why do I want to have sex?

  • Do I think it will make me popular?
  • Do I love my partner and does my partner love me?
  • Am I being pressured to have sex?
  • Am I making this decision based on my feelings or am I doing it for some other reason?

Can I handle the consequences?

  • What if I am no longer with my partner after we have sex?
  • What if my parents find out?
  • What if I or my partner become pregnant?
  • Can I financially support a baby?
  • What if I get an STD?

This list of questions brings up just some of the issues that need to be thought about when deciding to become sexually active. If you are unsure about the answers to any of these questions you should wait before you make a decision and get more information.


  1. If you have questions about medical issues like birth control you could talk to your doctor or call a family planning clinic.
  2. If you have questions about your relationship you should talk with your partner, talk to a close friend or seek some counseling from a clinic.
  3. If you are confused about your emotions or your own personal values or morals you may want to talk to a close friend, your parents, or an adult you can talk to.

Remember that you must take responsibility for whatever decision you make because you are the one who has to deal with the consequences.

Having sex is about making choices.

  • We choose when we are ready and when we want to wait.
  • We choose our partners.
  • We choose what we want to do and what we don't want to do with our partners.
  • We can choose to do it in the safest way.