My teenage daughter has become sexually active recently and in a passing comment she told me that all her friends think that oral sex is the safest sex they could have and that they feel like it doesn’t even count as real sex. What are the health risks associated with oral sex and are there any precautions short of “just say no” that can make a difference?
It is true that many teenagers consider oral sex “safe sex” and not the real thing. A recent survey of more than 12,000 teens aged 15-17, one third of both male and female respondents reported both giving and receiving oral sex. By the age of 18-20 the percentages jump to 2/3. Another recent study published in the Journal of Pediatric Psychology surveyed a group of 10th graders about their thoughts and perceptions on sex. The survey found teenagers were having oral sex more often than intercourse and with many more partners. The majority of the teens surveyed said they did not use condoms during oral sex.