My parents say I (16) have to be careful with my German girl friends. They have already all had sex with boys. Are my parents right?

We don’t know if your girl friends have already had sex.
Sex can be done in different ways.
Let’s look at ‘intercourse’.
Intercourse means: the penis is pushed into the girl’s vagina.

So what do most girls and boys in Germany do?
Lots of young people are asked regularly.
They answer anonymously: that means they do not give their names.

Imagine a school class with 10 boys and 10 girls the same age as you.
Only four of these girls have already had sex.
That means: six girls are still waiting a bit longer to try sex.
It’s very similar for 16 year old boys.
Here, too, only four boys have already had sex.

Most young people are still waiting for the right partner.
Some are worried about getting pregnant.
Some are still too young or afraid of their parents.
Every girl or boy should only do what is right for them.

I have recently started growing hair on my face (boy, 14). My voice is strange. It’s embarrassing.

You are worried because your body is changing.
But that’s completely normal: you are growing up.

Your body is now producing sexual hormones.
These hormones are new information for your body.
They are telling it what needs to change.
They are slowly turning your body into a grown-up’s body.
This period of change is called ‘puberty’.

You start growing hair in your armpits and genital area.
You start growing beard hair, which you can shave off or leave to grow.
Your voice changes from a child’s voice to a man’s voice.
You experience ejaculations.
That means: fertile semen comes out of your penis.
This change doesn’t happen overnight, it takes a bit of time.

And: the hormones make you feel things very strongly.
Sometimes you will feel very sad, sometimes very angry and sometimes very happy.
This is all part of puberty and part of growing up.
This change in feelings will calm down again at some point.

There is a 17 year old girl in my class. She told us that she is actually a boy. I find it confusing! How should I act around her?

It is completely understandable that you are confused.
I suspect many young people feel the same way.
She has told you something important about herself: she feels she is a boy.
Her physical gender is not the gender she feels she is.

We would like to explain it to you:
Who are you? How do you perceive yourself? This is your ‘identity’.
‘Gender identity’ means what gender you consider yourself to be.
If the gender you feel yourself to be does not match your physical gender it is called:
‘Trans-identity’ or ‘Trans-gender’.
That means some girls feel they are boys.
And some boys feel they are girls.
Some people are also born ‘inter-sexual’.
That means their body is neither clearly male nor female.
Some of these people do not feel they are male or female.
So you see: there are a lot of different gender identities!
The best thing to do is to continue treating him as you did before.
Or you can ask what she or he would prefer.
For example, how she or he would like to be addressed.

I am a 16-year-old boy and a friend told me that in Germany you can touch girls on the bottom and not be punished. Is that true?

No, that’s not true.
A new law was passed in November 2016.
Perhaps your friend doesn’t know that yet.

The law now says:
Nobody is allowed to touch another person on the body “in a sexual way” if they do not want to be touched.
“In a sexual way” means:
The touch has something to do with sex.
Or the touch is in an intimate area.
For example, on the bottom, the breasts or between the legs.
This is also called “sexual harassment”.

Everyone is allowed to decide for themselves how they are touched.
And everyone is allowed to decide for themselves where they are touched.
That is called “sexual self-determination”
That is a right for all people.
Anyone who infringes that right can be punished.

I am a 16-year-old boy and I have to watch my sisters to make sure they don’t go out with boys. They have to behave virtuously in public. This is a matter of honour in my family. My parents say that I am responsible. It’s often exhausting. What can I do?

Watching your sisters is very tiring and a great responsibility.
And it is very unpleasant for your sisters.
It means that they are not free to live and enjoy their own life.

Honour is very important in many families.
Think about what honour means for your family and you.
And what is really important to YOU?
What will you do when your sister meets a boy?
Unfortunately there are some families who may hurt girls because of this.
They also say that this is a matter of honour.
But honour should not mean violence.

Other boys have already refused to do this in the name of honour.
They say that “honour is fighting for my sister’s freedom”.
That is also honour.
It might still be difficult for you to think that way.
You might need support from other boys.
You can speak to boys who think differently about honour.
They might be able to help you decide what honour is for you.
Find them here:
www.heroes-net.de (in many large towns and cities)
http://www.aufbruch-neukoelln.de/

I am a 15-year-old boy and my friends go into town to harass and touch girls for fun. I don’t want to take part. What should I do?

Your friends are not playing a game.
What they are doing is prohibited in Germany.
Your friends can even be punished.

Girls and women in Germany have the same rights as boys and men.
They should not be harassed.
Nobody is allowed to touch them if they don’t want to be touched.
Nobody is allowed to frighten or hurt them.

You should not go with your friends.
If you are there you can also be punished.
Even if you do not harass a girl yourself.

Your friends may pressure you to go.
They want you to be there.
And you want to have friends.
You need a lot of courage to say NO.

Ask an adult to help you.
They might have an idea what you can do in response to the pressure from your friends.
Committing a criminal offence can have bad consequences for your future.

I am a 13-year-old girl and at home it was common for boys to harass and touch women. Now it’s the same here. I’m ashamed. Who can help me?

What these boys are doing is prohibited in Germany.
You should not be ashamed.
What these boys are doing can be punished.

Girls and women in Germany have the same rights as boys and men.
Nobody is allowed to harass you.
Nobody is allowed to touch you against your will.
Nobody is allowed to frighten you or hurt you.

Get help.
Tell your teacher about it.
Or someone else you trust.

You can learn how to react to foolish advances.
There are courses where you can practice this with other people.
You will learn how strong you are.
You will learn when you should run away.
You will learn what you can say.
You will learn who can help you.
You can take a course with a friend.
Your teacher can tell you where you can take a course.
You can also ask the school therapist or social worker at school.

You are not doing anything wrong.
The boys are responsible for their behaviour and must change.

Can you get pregnant from kissing?

No, you can’t get pregnant from kissing!
You can only get pregnant when sperm cells get inside or very close to the vagina.
I.e. when you have sex.
Even if the penis is only briefly inside the vagina.
Sperm cells come out of the penis.
These sperm cells can fertilise a woman’s egg cells.
You can also get pregnant during your period!
If you don’t want to get pregnant, you should always use protection.

There are a number of different types of protection.
You can get information about types of protection from the doctor or at an advice centre.
You can buy condoms in supermarkets and pharmacies.
They are safe and also protect you from diseases.
The pill, the contraceptive coil and the vaginal ring are types of protection which use hormones.
They must be prescribed by the doctor.

In “emergencies” you can buy the “morning after pill” from a pharmacy.
An “emergency” is when you have not used contraception or when there was an accident with the contraception.
The “morning after pill” must be taken within three days of having unprotected sex.

Text: pro familia München e.V.

I am a 13-year-old girl. My entire body is changing. Is that normal?

You’re worried because your body is changing.
But that is completely normal.
The bodies of all girls and boys change as they grow up.

This is what will happen over the next few years:
You will now produce sex hormones in your body.
Hormones give new information to your body.
They tell your body what needs to change.
This time of change is called “puberty”.

Hair will grow under your arms and in your pubic area.
You will sweat more frequently.
You may get spots on your face and back.
Your hair will become oilier and should be washed more often.
You will get your period.
Your breasts will start to grow.
Your nipples will become larger and darker.

These hormones will also make you feel very strong emotions.
Sometimes you will feel very sad, sometimes very angry and sometimes very happy.
That is all part of puberty.

My friend told me that he ejaculated. What does that mean?

Boys and men can ejaculate.

That means that fluid comes out of the penis.
This sometimes happens during sleep.
Or when a boy or a man rubs and strokes his penis.
And it happens mostly when a man has sex with someone else.

The boy or man will experience a great feeling when he ejaculates.
That great feeling is called an orgasm.
Most fluid comes out of the penis at the moment of orgasm.
Some fluid may also come out of the penis before orgasm.
From puberty, this fluid contains sperm.

Sperm can become a baby together with an egg.
The egg is found in the woman’s -> womb.
The penis sometimes enters the woman’s womb during sex.

Ejaculation is not bad.
Men and boys experience it as a good feeling.
Most boys and men ejaculate a lot during their lifetime.
Men should always use a -> condom to avoid “accidentally” making a baby.
A condom also protects men and women from contracting certain diseases.