Sex in Middle School?

ByABC News
December 3, 2002, 4:02 PM

Dec. 6 -- Remember what it was like to be a young teen? You worried about your clothes, acne, braces, who's popular, and, of course, dating and sex.

But given what's happening in America today, the choices now are bigger.

Anya Alvarez, a 13-year-old girl from Tulsa, Okla., agreed to record a video diary for 20/20. In it, she describes her transition from childhood to adolescence. "When I was 5," Anya said, "it was like, 'Should I give him a toy or not? Now, it's should I smoke weed? Should I have sex? Should I lie to my parents?"

Anya responded to a posting on our Web site seeking people concerned about the pressures middle school kids are facing when it comes to sex.

So far, Anya's done well in life. She's a good student and an accomplished golfer who has won some junior tournaments. But now that Anya's a teenager, her mother, Pamela, is worried about her.

"I am concerned about her sexuality. She's very precocious. She comes on strong. At this age, you don't know what you're doing with it," Pamela said.

This week's Newsweek highlights a government report that says the percentage of high school kids having sex dropped this past decade to 46 percent. Still, that's about half the kids, and more are having oral sex.

Anya said, "There's one girl at our football games that like gave oral sex to five different football players."

Students told us that some kids are having sex in school bathrooms and hallways even in classrooms.

At a middle school outside Baltimore, Md., a couple of 12-year-olds had oral sex in their science class. Their classmates watched, but the teacher didn't see them. (The teacher was suspended and later resigned.)

And the kids say it happens at home too, and we parents almost never know.

Guys Get Popular, Girls Get Labeled

The girls talked about the pressure they feel to become sexually active. Anya said this is "because guys don't need girls' approval, but girls need guys' approval." But Anya recently learned that giving in doesn't necessarily win the guy's approval.

Anya said she had "an incident with a guy and it wasn't a very good one" last summer. She's not comfortable saying exactly what happened, but it shook her.

"He didn't care about me. It felt, I just felt dirty, I guess. After that I realized, you know, I wasn't important to him at all," Anya said.

The girls complained that when they give in they get labeled. When people find out, "you're a slut," 16-year-old Josslyn Kolb told us.