what is peer pressure?

What is peer pressure? Peer pressure is when you feel pushed towards making a particular choice. This choice could be good OR bad. 

From an outside viewpoint, peer pressure may make it seem like everyone is “doing it,” whether it’s sex, alcohol, drugs, or so much more. But are they really?

When it comes to sex, you could be feeling pressure from your peers or from your partner. But it’s important to take a step back and consider a few things, like the fact that not everyone is having sex, even though it may seem like it. In a recent study, 55% of California teens said they had never had any sexual contact.  Some teens will say they are having sex to look cool around their friends and to keep from being judged. 

It is also VERY important that your partner respect your decision about sex. This includes whether or not you want to have sex, and if so, whether you want to practice safe sex each time.

You could also find yourself in a situation where you are being pressure to use alcohol or drugs, which can increase your risk of having unsafe sex, unintended pregnancy, sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) or sexual assault while under the influence.

Here are some tips to help you fight any kind of peer pressure:

-Find a group of positive individuals that have the same goals as you and encourage a smarter and more confident lifestyle.

-Don’t be afraid to leave a situation that makes you feel uncomfortable. Excusing yourself from a bad situation shows strength and can help you feel more confident in your decisions, keeping you from falling into a choice you might later regret.

-Find your voice. Don’t be afraid to speak up for yourself! Words can be powerful and as much as they can make you feel pressured, they can also fight back against it!

-You are not alone. Many people around you are feeling the same pressure. Set your own path and if you need to, find a trusted adult or family member that can help you with what you’re going through.

To see stories of other teens fight against peer pressure, click here. It can be easy to fall under peer pressure, especially when they start to treat you differently for not doing “it.” If you are feeling pressured, check out these resources that can help or find more information on teensource.org

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This blog was reposted from TeenSource.org, a project of Essential Access Health. TeenSource.org is an online hub for comprehensive and teen-friendly information on birth control, STDs, relationships and teen’s rights to accessing sensitive services. The site features youth-developed blogs and videos, a clinic finder, a Condom Access Project and links to TeenSource social media where youth can stay updated on relevant sexual and reproductive health information and news.

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