Under Pressure

The pressure to be sexually active in high school is growing.

High school is a place that is infamous for pressures. The pressure of fitting in with the rest of the group has always been a part of high school, but the aspects that encompass “fitting in” evolve over time. In today’s day and age, high school students, specifically upperclassmen, feel not only the pressure of having to excel in school and standardized tests, but also the pressure of having to be sexually active, go to parties and dress a certain way. These are all factors that play a role when it comes to where one stands in high school.

The largest and maybe the worst of these pressures is the one that makes students feel as though they have to be sexually active.

“People feel the need to be sexually active so they can brag and talk about it to feel like they fit in and to be ‘cool,’” junior Becca Bargamian said.

Stereotypically, people tend to always blame the male in the relationship for trying to advance the relationship to a sexual level; however, this stereotype falls short in many situations. Based on Dr. Ruth Westheimer of “Forbes Magazine,” girls are often the ones to put pressure on boys to do sexual acts. It’s not fair to assume that the boy is always to blame in situations like these.

The pressure to be sexually active leads a lot of teenagers to perform acts that they wouldn’t otherwise. It’s become a trend to commonly talk to friends about how “far” one went with their significant other; however, this pressure brings upon a lot more complications than just that. Feelings such as regret and guilt are oftentimes pushed to the side.

“I think the pressure to have sex really affects a relationship negatively more times than not,” Bargamian said.

The solution to this is simple: not giving in to pressure. One does not need to fall victim to the pressures of high school: a short four years of life that will eventually become a faded memory. Basing decisions on individual wants and preferences will give growth to a better mental state, whereas basing decisions on pressures and the desire to fit in could potentially end in regret.