Some boys and girls, concerned that they might not be able to have a good sex life later on if they do not use their sex organs for a number of years, ask if these organs dry up or gorw weak with disuse, just as muscled grow weak if they are not exercised. The answer is "No''. Sex organs and muscles are quite different. It is true that there are some people who, when they marry, have difficulty in learning to enjoy sex freely after they have developed the habit, ever since puberty, of turning themselves off sexually every time they felt aroused, but most people who have no intercourse untis they marry find that their sexual power is strong and adequate.
In thinking and talking about sexual activity during adole-scence, it is important to remember that adolescence is a process of growing toward maturity. The decisions that boys and girls make will differ with dirrerent people, with the strength of their sex drive, the beliefs and teaching they have been exposed to how they reacted to them, the social situations they are in, and values and convictions they develop. Few people ever find final answers for questions as complicated as those relating to sexual behaviour. Most of us will go on searching and questioning during all of our lives.
And it is most likely that we are not going to be willing to behave in certain ways just because we are told to. Most of us will put together the information we have, the values we hold, our idea of the sort of person we want to be, and the things we have been told - and then decide for ourselves. If we are responsible, mature people, our decisions will be made in the light of knowledge of all of the consequences of what we do, consequences good and bad, present and future, for us and for others. If the consequences of the actions are likely to be good for all the people involved - for self, partner, family, community, nation, world - both now and in the future, then perhaps we can say that the actions are moral.
If they are bad, and especially if the person performing the actions knows they may be bad and does them anyway, then they are immoral. You can see that there is nothing easy about these definitions of 'moral' and 'immoral'. That is why it is such a good idea to talk over your questions about sexual behaviour, and all other important kinds of behaviour, with people your own age and also with those who have had more life emperience than you have and whose wisdom and judgment you respect.
One thing is sure : people's degree of sexual readiness changes as they grow toward maturity. Twelve to fourteen years are vastly different from ,say, seventeen to nineteen years lods. And, of course, the degree of readiness depends on the individual person and his or her interests, circumstances, values, and maturity.
Anothe thing is sure, too : some secondary school children are already having sexual intercourse, whether their parents, their schools, or society approve or not. On the other handm many people who have reached adulthood are not having and never have had sexual intercourse. As for how much sex is right to have at what age, there are probably nearly as many opinions as there are thinking people.
Here are two opinions, expressed in class by young teenagers whom I have taught, which show the differences there can be even among people the same age, Both were spoken by boysm but I think they could just as well have been said by girls. I write them down to the best of my memory, although I am sure I haven't succeeded in using the exact words of each speaker.
The Two Opinions in next episode ....