Wise Counsel From Susan Quilliam: Is my kid sister in trouble?

Hi Susan
 
I’m really worried about my stepsister. I’m 26, and am happily married to a man I’ve known since I was at school. My stepsister’s 17, the age I was when I got engaged, but she seems to know loads of boys. She says they’re all just good friends, but they spend most evenings together – often round at ours – and I have visions of her sleeping with all of them on a rota! You hear such awful things about kids nowadays. 
 
Lonnie
Hi Lonnie
I wouldn’t panic. Yes, the media are always on about teen pregnancy and Mars bar parties. But in fact, research due out in May suggests that young people are waiting longer than ever to have sex, are more likely to use contraception and less likely to get pregnant. All this sex ed – and all the good work done by people like us folk at Cliterati – is having an effect.
I also wouldn’t worry about your stepsister knowing loads of boys. The fact that she hangs out with a lot of them suggests that there isn’t someone special – and that makes it more likely rather than less likely that she’s bonking every night. Plus if she was seriously doing the rounds, she probably wouldn’t bring them all home!
I wonder if the problem is that you and she – having had a slightly different upbringing – see things differently and have a different relationship history. Nothing wrong with either pattern – but you fell in love early, paired up early and so didn’t have many male friends. She’s doing things a different way – but in the end, she too will settle, possibly with a broader knowledge of what makes guys tick, which is never a bad thing.
That said, it won’t hurt to have a word, just to  make sure that she’s well and happy, that she knows about contraception and isn’t being pressured by any of these guys. But to me, all the signs are that you’ve nothing to worry about.
Susan
Susan Quilliam also offers email, phone and face-to-face coaching on relationship and sexuality issues. Contact her here.
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