In this article we will be discussing some abortion related and other problems. We are going to follow a question and answer format.

I’m confused about the issue of abortion. Can you help?

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I’m confused when it comes to abortion. Some people say it’s OK to have one when you have no other choice, like when you are too young to bring up a baby. Other people say it’s never right – that it’s like murder. My parents believe in a woman’s right to choose, but I asked my mum if that meant she would have one and she said no, because she thought it would be on her mind for the rest of her life. I read that there are anti-abortion protesters who stand outside abortion clinics trying to stop girls from going in. I’m not sure what I believe! Can you help?

Answer

The reason abortion is such a contentious issue is due to the fact that some people believe the cells in the womb called a foetus are already a person. People who believe this are known as ‘pro-life’ supporters. Then you have people who say that at this early stage the foetus is ONLY a collection of cells with the ‘potential’ to become a person but this hasn’t happened yet. These people believe that given the right circumstances, it’s acceptable to halt the development of the foetus BEFORE it becomes a person. These people are ‘pro-choice’. Some pro-life supporters can have strong religious views and have been known to protest outside abortion clinics. There are also lots of countries where abortion is illegal, on cultural or religious grounds. As to whether it’s OK to have an abortion, in the UK the law says that it’s a woman’s right to choose, which means you have to make up your own mind.

All my friends go on about sex but it doesn’t interest me.

girls and sex

All my friends talk about is sex. I’m worried there might be something wrong with me because I’m really not that interested in talking about it. I told my best friend and she said to be careful because people might start calling me ‘frigid’. But I don’t care. I think there are better things to do than talk about sex all the time!

Answer

The reason why some people are more interested in sex than others is that teenagers develop both physically and emotionally at different rates. You have every right not to be interested in talking about sex all the time. It is possible that some of your friends are only talking about it to keep up with others? In many ways you are showing your maturity by not discussing something just because everyone else is. Safe sex with a long-term partner when you’re above the age of consent (16 years in the UK) is a lovely experience but it’s not necessarily something everyone wants to talk about every day.

Help! I think my sister is addicted to online games.

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I think my little sister who is 13 is obsessed with a Facebook game. I’m worried because she spends hours playing it alone in her room. She used to go ice skating and see her friends at weekends, but she hardly does either anymore. She told me yesterday that she wants to spend real money in the game and is saving up for it, which is why she doesn’t see her friends at the weekends. I don’t understand the game, but I’m worried she will lose her friends and interests for the sake of this online game!

Answer

Online games are not new but have become easier to access due to smartphones. Added to this, the new games that are being developed for them are designed to be habit-forming. The designers of these games want you to come back for more. ‘In-app purchases’ are designed to swallow money in return for ‘exclusive content’, which in reality is just pixels on your screen. Have a chat with your little sister and share your concerns with her. Encourage her to see her friends and resume her ice skating by explaining how isolated she may become if she carries on in this virtual world. If this doesn’t work, have a chat with your mum and dad (who may not be aware of the situation?) and suggest they limit play time while she is at home. The danger is that online games can consume free time and money, and prevent teens from developing socially and emotionally. Between you and your parents show her some love and support and try to break the bonds of this intense interest before it becomes a full-blown addiction.

I have feelings for another girl at school!

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I have strong feelings towards a girl at school. I don’t even know her all that well and I’m not sure what this means. I try and spend as much time as possible with her and I find myself thinking about her in lessons when I should be concentrating on my work! Sometimes I wonder if she might feel the same way as I catch her giving me looks and once she made a comment about my hair, which I suppose could mean she likes me. Does this mean I am gay or bisexual?

Answer

It’s very normal to have intense feelings and passions for same-sex friends at this age. Knowing for sure whether you are gay or bisexual is only something you can determine over time and it certainly isn’t as clear-cut as people think. Different feelings and emotions can take hold in your teens, but take time to get to know yourself and what you like, and if it does turn out that you prefer girls to boys, then so what? The most important thing you should take on board is that liking a friend a bit more than usual doesn’t necessarily make you gay. There’s no reason for you to worry or to change the way things are with your friend. Just be honest with yourself and see what the future holds.