A new study has found that two-thirds of teens and young adults between 15 and 24 have had oral sex. It also found that one in four teens is now having oral sex before intercourse. Experts believe this is because they think it's much safer and it allows girls to preserve their virginity. While having oral sex gets rid of the risk of getting pregnant, it's definitely not safe. Teens having oral sex are still at risk of getting infected with a number of sexually transmitted diseases. More than likely, however, they're not aware of these risks.

Read more in ¿Qué más?: 10 Teen sexting codes all parents need to know

Although the rate of teens who've had vaginal sex has dropped significantly in the last years and condom use has increased, the percentage of STDs has remained about the same, according to researchers.

The study, conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and based on more than 6,300 anonymous online interviews from 2007 to 2010, also found that boys and girls gave and received oral sex in equal amounts and got started around the same age. In other words, there no longer seems to be a difference in terms of gender when it comes to sexual activity.

Researchers found racial differences too when it comes to oral sex. More white non-Hispanic teens are having oral sex before vaginal sex than Hispanic and black kids.

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I must say that while it wouldn't make me happy to find out that my 15-year-old daughter was having oral sex, I'd at least want to make sure she understood the risks involved and protected herself accordingly. According to the report, gonorrhea, genital herpes and chlamydia can all be transmitted through oral sex. And even though the risk of being infected with HIV through oral sex is lower than both vaginal and anal intercourse, it still exists. 

At 6 years old, my daughter is way too young for me to worry about this, but I plan on being extremely open about sex with both her and my son when the times comes.

How about you? Do you talk to your children about the risks of having oral and vaginal sex? Share your thoughts with us by leaving us a comment below. 

Image via michi003/flickr

About the author

Roxana A. Soto is Features Editor of MamásLatinas. She's a bilingual and bicultural journalist born in Peru and raised in Mexico, Argentina, South Africa and Miami. She's also mom to a girl in 3rd grade and a boy in Kinder. She loves books, languages, traveling and good food – especially when cooked by someone else.

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Filed Under: teenagers, teen issues, sex
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