A limit is a boundary or point that should not be crossed. Sexual limits refer to sexual behaviors that are acceptable or unacceptable to an individual. Sexual limits are personal and should result from careful consideration. Everyone should set sexual limits for the following reasons:
Steps for Decision Making
Some decisions are unimportant and, therefore, do not require a decision-making process. For example, a decision about which pair of shoes to wear to school does not need to be a thoughtful process. Sexual limits affect many aspects of a teen's present and future life; therefore, a decision-making process is important.
The following model relates the decision-making steps to setting sexual limits.
In addition to the positive and negative consequences of decisions, we often have to consider the questions of short-term and long-term consequences. Information can be gained from a variety of sources. It is important that the information be accurate. Once the advantages have been determined, numbers can be assigned to reflect their importance-1=unimportant, 3=somewhat important, 5=very important.
Analyzing Options about Sexual Limits
Like other decisions, choices about sexual limits can be improved by having accurate information. Peers, family members, the media, health care providers, the library and the Internet can provide information about sexual choices; however, information from some sources may be inaccurate or biased. For example, the purpose of media is to entertain and sell products, not to provide accurate information. Many myths surround sexuality in our culture; therefore, it is important to be critical of information sources. Every person has his or her own values related to sexuality. These values also affect the information that is provided.
Sexual limits related to intercourse include three options: abstinence, protected sex, and unprotected sex.
Advantages of abstinence include:
Advantages of protected sex may include:
Unprotected sex may provide: