Promiscuous behavior


It can be difficult for parents to address their teenager’s promiscuity, especially if the teenager is engaging in behaviors that the parent disagrees with or finds concerning. It is not uncommon for teens to be curious about sexual relationships, and it is important for parents to provide accurate information and support. At the same time, it is important for parents to set boundaries and teach their children about the importance of safe sex and healthy relationships. It’s also important for parents to remember that their teenager is an individual with their own thoughts, feelings, and experiences and that it’s important to listen to their perspectives and concerns. It’s also important to remember that every teenager is different and what works for one may not work for another.

What IS promiscuity?  Promiscuity refers to the act of engaging in casual sexual activity with multiple partners. It is often associated with a lack of commitment, exclusivity, or emotional attachment in the relationships involved. Promiscuous behavior can take many forms, including having multiple sexual partners, engaging in casual or anonymous sexual encounters, or participating in non-monogamous relationships. While there is no one definition of promiscuity that applies to everyone, it is generally understood to refer to a pattern of behavior that involves frequent or casual sexual activity with a variety of partners. Some people may view promiscuity as a positive or neutral trait, while others may view it as problematic or risky behavior. It’s important to remember that people’s attitudes towards promiscuity can vary widely, and what one person considers promiscuous may not be seen as such by someone else. Ultimately, whether or not promiscuity is considered acceptable or appropriate is a matter of personal opinion and cultural values.

Here are a few steps that parents can take to address promiscuity with their teenager if they are concerned:


Start a conversation:

It’s important for parents to approach the topic of promiscuity with their teens in a non-judgmental and open-minded way.  Encourage your teenager to talk about their thoughts, feelings, and experiences related to sex and relationships. Make it clear that you are open to having an honest and respectful conversation about these topics. Encourage your teenager to make healthy decisions and to think about their long-term goals and values.


Set boundaries:

It’s important for parents to set boundaries and establish expectations for their teenager’s behavior, including around issues related to sex and relationships.  Parents can establish clear expectations for their adolescent’s behavior, such as what types of relationships are appropriate and what behaviors are acceptable. This can include setting guidelines for curfew, dating, and sexual activity.

Encourage responsible decision-making:

It is important for parents to approach this topic with sensitivity and care, letting them know that you care about them and want to help them make healthy decisions. Talk to your teenager about the risks and consequences of promiscuity, including the risk of sexually transmitted infections (STIs) and unintended pregnancies.  Help your teenager understand the importance of being responsible and considerate when it comes to sex and relationships. This can include discussing the importance of consent, communication, and protecting oneself from unwanted pregnancies and sexually transmitted infections. Encourage your teenager to think about their values and the impact their actions may have on others.  Help them to understand the importance of consent and mutual respect in relationships.


Provide education and resources:

Make sure your teenager has access to accurate and age-appropriate information about sex and relationships. This can include books, websites, and other resources that provide information on these topics.


Increase self-worth and confidence:

Help your teenager build self-esteem and self-confidence, which can help them make better decisions about their relationships and sexual behavior.


Monitor Social interactions:

Parents or caregivers can monitor their child’s social interactions, both in person and online, to ensure that they are not engaging in risky or inappropriate behaviors.  This can include following your adolescent on social media, to identify any potential issues or risky behaviors. Parents can also monitor their child’s phone usage, such as text messages and phone calls, to ensure that they are not engaging in risky behavior. Another option that gets forgotten, is that it’s okay to check in with other parents or caregivers of their child’s friends to get a sense of their social activities and ensure that they are being supervised appropriately. Additionally, parents can attend social events with their children, such as parties or school functions, to monitor their interactions and ensure that they are making safe and appropriate choices.


Seek support:

If you are concerned about your teenager’s behavior or are having a difficult time addressing the issue, it can be helpful to seek support from a mental health professional or another trusted resource. Some examples of trusted adults such as a family doctor or school counselor who can help you and your teenager navigate this difficult situation.  A therapist or counselor can help your teenager work through any underlying issues that may be contributing to their promiscuity.



Overall, it’s important for parents to remain supportive and understanding, and to try to help their teenagers make healthy decisions for themselves.