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My classmates are obsessed with sex--and it's freaking me out

 
 
Kids in my class are obsessed with talking about sex. It makes me uncomfortable. 

What should I say? 

"It’s OK to feel uncomfortable!" says child and adolescent therapist Angela Marie McMahon. "During adolescence, it's normal for those three little letters to bring out different emotions-curiosity, fear, excitement, anxiety, uncertainty. Surely, other kids in your class have similar feelings." Ms. McMahon suggests talking with your peers (that is, buds) to release all those emotions that come with growing up. You may want to chat privately with your best friend, or you may feel more comfortable bringing it up with a group of your close pals at the next slumber party. 

Ms. McMahon says classroom talk can sometimes get out of hand. "It becomes a gossip session or class debate fueled by pressure to be hip," she says. "This can lead to a false belief that everyone is 'doing it.' As a result, some girls become sexually active because they think it's the cool thing to do. Whether the class discussion has become destructive or is just getting on your last nerve, the best advice is to honestly express your thoughts. Try not to stress over what the other kids' reactions might be. Congratulate yourself on the inner courage you strengthened by being true to yourself."

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BY GL ON 2/10/2010 7:00:00 AM

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