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Typically, their parents are shocked and overwhelmed when they find out.

The reason parents are often the last to know, she said, is because parents do not fully understand how commonplace these sexual behaviors have become in their children’s generation.

Having a car potentially gave them plenty of alone time with a member of the opposite sex, and that was cause for concern.

“No difference, except that they talked a good show and acted really nice in front of me.” When she probed deeper she found that Christian teens were engaging in the same sexual behaviors as their non-Christian friends. According to researchers at Yale and Columbia University teens pledging virginity until marriage are just as likely to have STDs as their peers.

Other research shows that each day 8,000 teenagers in the United States will become infected with an STD, with more than 3 million teens becoming infected this year alone.

One of the most common misconceptions that teens have, Di Marco said, is that oral sex is harmless and not really considered to be sex at all. Most teens do not realize that oral sex can transmit many of the same STDs that can also be contracted through intercourse.

Di Marco said that many of the teens she hears from grew up in good Christian homes but still gave in to sexual temptation in their dating relationships.

This often means learning the slang terms that teens use for sexual acts and being willing to broach uncomfortable topics.

“Parents, adults, and pastors are so afraid of saying the wrong words that they are just turning a blind eye.

That means giving youth pastors the freedom to frankly discuss modesty, purity, lust, and sex with teens.

“From when teens walk in with their breasts kind of showing or their stomach showing, and (pastors) don’t say anything, to when they don’t say anything about their sex lives, Di Marco said, “when pastors ignore it, it is a tacit endorsement of it.” Educating teens, especially girls, about the pitfalls of becoming sexually active outside of marriage is a mission that hits close to home for Di Marco.

Even Christian teens are not immune to the rampant sexual temptations bombarding their generation.

“I found no difference between Christian girls and non-Christian girls,” Di Marco said.

For instance, parents could refuse to allow the couple to spend time alone together or to be in a room with the door closed.

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