Huge social issues today are teen sex, teen pregnancy, and the high incidence of human papillomavirus [“HPV”] infection among teenagers. On June 12, 2007, the New York Times reported on a case in Georgia in which a judge ordered the release of a teenager sentenced to 10 years in prison without parole for having consensual oral sex with a girl. He was 17; she was 15. The statute at that time would have made vaginal sex between consenting teenagers a misdemeanor, but there was no such “savings clause” for oral sex. The statute has since been amended to include oral sex in the so-called “Romeo-Juliet” exception to a statutory rape charge.
Almost immediately upon receiving the judge’s decision, the prosecuting attorney announced that he would appeal. 
What are the potentials risks and consequences of oral sex for teenagers?
The Washington Post reported on September 16, 2005, citing a report from the Center for Health Statistics, that slightly more than half of American teenagers ages 15 to 19 have engaged in oral sex. Kids think that oral sex is “safe sex.” Of course, it’s safe in the sense that a female can’t become pregnant. However, oral sex has been associated in clinical studies with several infections, including gonorrhea, syphilis, herpes and the human papillomavirus “[HPV”]. HPV is the cause of well over 90% of all cases of cervical cancer. 
The high incidence of HPV 
24.5% US females aged 14 to 19 years
44.8% US females aged 20 to 24 years
27.4% US females aged 25 to 29 years
Bonnie Halpern-Felsher, PhD, associate professor of adolescent medicine at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF), conducted a survey of 580 ethnically diverse Northern California ninth-graders published in the April 2005 issue of Pediatrics. Halpern-Felsher concluded that young adolescents think oral sex is less risky to their health and emotions than vaginal sex and that their peers are more likely to engage in oral sex and to find it acceptable. These kids are also more likely to try oral sex. 
Teenagers often substitute oral sex for the real thing rather than to buy into the abstinence program, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation. 
In a report published in 2005, researchers document that nearly half of U.S. high school students (9th-12th graders) have had sexual intercourse and over 60 percent report having had sex by the time they graduate. Risk occurs when condoms aren’t used or when teens engage in oral sex under the mistaken belief that it’s safer.
At some point during their adolescence, many teens are confronted with choices about whether or not to have sex, what kind of sex to have, and, if they choose to have sex, whether or not to use condoms and/other contraceptives. Their choices are affected by many factors. Controlling the sexual behavior of teens is something that parents, educators, and other adults working with youth have learned that they cannot accomplish directly. Parents, as much as they might like to do so, can’t monitor their kids 24/7 to keep them from having vaginal or oral sex, or worse yet, unprotected sex.
So what will work better? As researchers, Douglas Kirby, PhD, Gena Lapore, B.A., and Jennifer Ryan, M.A, writing for the Campaign to Prevent Teen Pregnancy point out
“Parents and others concerned about youth can only try to affect those factors that, in turn, affect the sexual decision-making of young people. For example, they might try to affect factors such as the teens’ values about sexual behavior, their perceptions of family values and peer norms about sex, their attitudes about condoms other forms of contraception, their educational and career plans, or their connection their parents, their schools, and their faith communities, all of which are likely to affect whether or not teens have sex and whether or not they use protection against pregnancy and sexually transmitted disease (STD).
Understanding important factors
related to sexual behavior is important not only to
change that behavior; it is important to identify those teens who are most at risk of having sex and unprotected sex. First people can use these factors to identify those teens at greater risk; then they can address the important factors affecting their behavior.” 
Kirby, Lapore, and Ryan’s report identifies many risk factors and helps parents and others working with teens to help them avoid risky sexual behaviors and potential consequences.
Other recent articles on Updates in Michigan Family Law regarding teen sex, the prevalence and dangers of HPV infection, and the new vaccine approved by the FDA to guard against HPV infection may be found here. Updates in Michigan Family Law | Children and Social Issues
 New York Times, 6/12/2007: Day of Split Outcomes in Teenage Sex Case [One-time registration may be required.]
 Science Daily, April 12, 2005. Teens Believe Oral Sex Is Safer, More Acceptable To Peers.
Risk and Protective Factors | Factors Affecting Teen Sexual Behavior, Pregnancy,
Childbearing and Sexually Transmitted Disease: Which Are Important” Which Can
You Change? By Douglas Kirby, PhD, Gena Lapore, B.A., and Jennifer Ryan,
M.A.—August 2005, for the Campaign to End Teen Pregnancy