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Sexual activity in general is associated with various risks including unwanted pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases including HIV/AIDS.
The risks are elevated for young adolescents because their brains are not neurally mature; several brain regions in the frontal lobe of the cerebral cortex and in the hypothalamus important for self-control, delayed gratification, and risk analysis and appreciation are not fully mature; the brain is not fully mature until age 25. The sexual maturation process produces sexual interest and thought processes.
Teenage girls who use the most common form of birth control pills, combination birth control pills with both estrogen and progestin, are 80% more likely to be prescribed an antidepressant than girls who were not taking them.
After their first act of sexual intercourse, adolescent girls generally see themselves in one of the following ways: as a gift, a stigma, or a normal step in development.
In a sample of fifteen year olds from 24 countries, it found that most self-reported that they had not experienced sexual intercourse.
Among those who were sexually active, the majority (82%) used contraception.
Increasing levels of androgen and estrogen have an effect on the thought processes of adolescents and can be described as them being in the minds "of almost all adolescents a good deal of the time".
The sexual behavior of adolescents is, in most cases, influenced by their culture's norms and mores, their sexual orientation, and the issues of social control such as age of consent laws.In humans, mature sexual desire usually begins to appear with the onset of puberty.