Teens, Alcohol, and Sexual Activity

Impaired Judgment Puts Teens at Risk

Teens who drink are more likely to participate in dangerous sexual behavior for a variety of reasons.

Help them understand the risks.

Alcohol use and sexual behavior are a common but perilous combination for teens. The risks are especially pronounced for young people, who have limited experience with alcohol coupled with limited sexual or social experience and raging hormones. Worse, they may be unaware of the effect alcohol has on their perceptions and decision-making.

Review with your kids the following risks so they understand how alcohol use can impact sexual behavior. Make sure they know that these risks apply equally to boys and girls.

Alcohol Impairs Communication Skills

They may be limited in their ability to clearly communicate their wishes to their partner.
They may be limited in their ability to understand what their partner is communicating to them.
They may misinterpret words, body language, and intentions.

Alcohol Use Affects Emotional State

Teens' emotions may be heightened, causing situations to get out of hand quickly.
Teens may become aggressive or violent, and force someone to do something they don’t want to do.
Alcohol Use Impairs Judgment and Decision Making Skills

Teens' inhibitions may be lowered, which can lead them to do things they otherwise wouldn’t do and may regret later.

Teens may be more likely to have unplanned, unprotected sex, increasing their risk of pregnancy as well as exposure to sexually transmitted diseases. This is because teens who are drinking while experimenting with sexual activity may not be thinking clearly about the possible long-term consequences.

Impaired judgment can lead teens to get into dangerous or risky situations. For example, they might go off somewhere private with someone they don’t know well, or they may get into a car with someone who is too impaired to drive. They may be more likely to “go along” with what others are doing than they would when they are sober.

Alcohol Use Increases Vulnerability

Teens may be less likely to be able to protect themselves against sexual assault, which is any type of sexual activity that they don’t agree to. In addition, when they pass out from drinking too much, they are at increased risk because they are completely vulnerable.

Teens are at increased risk for unknowingly consuming what is known as a date rape drug. These are odorless, colorless chemicals (GHB, rohypnol, and ketamine) that can be slipped into a teen’s drink without their knowledge. The effects?

They include loss of memory, loss of muscle control, problems talking or moving, confusion, distorted perception, and dream-like feelings.

Consuming these drugs puts kids at risk of being overpowered and forced do things they don’t want to do.

These very real risks are never mentioned in ads for alcohol, however, they do exist. Make sure your kids are aware of these risks, so they can make smart decisions about alcohol use.

Author's Bio: 

Families contact Horizon Family Solutions from across the country and internationally because of our expertise in dealing with a full range of pre-adolescent to adolescent to young adult issues.

Some seek preventive measures, while others are coping with escalating and unsafe situations that might include legal troubles. We provide guidance and support at every level.

Horizon Family Solutions, LLC was founded in 2001 with a sincere passion and strong commitment to making a profound difference in the lives of students and their family.