Teenage Sex Lives is a Series programme that first aired in 2000.



Teenage Sex Lives (2000)

Generation Sex, Channel 4's revelatory season about sexual attitudes and experiences among Britain's teens, continues with Teenage Sex Lives. Through unprecedented access to Brook's sexual advice centres for young people, Teenage Sex Lives follows the stories of a number of sexually-active youngsters in a Britain that is only just beginning to face up to the taboo of teenage sex.

Baby Mothers meets two troubled teenagers, both pregnant, but with different plans. MARIE is 14 and ZIHANNAH is 18. They both have to make a decision that will affect the rest of their lives. What unites these two young girls is the realisation that their youth is about to be snatched away.

"If I had my way, I'd be 14, going to school, getting my education.... Not being pregnant, I wouldn't be pregnant." But 14-year-old Marie is pregnant, and admits, "I thought 14-year-olds couldn't get pregnant." For Marie, a greater fear of abortion rather than giving birth at such a young age has led her to decide to have the baby.

Zihannah is ten weeks pregnant and up until now had planned to keep the baby. But things aren't going well with her boyfriend and she doesn't want to end up being one of the single mothers queuing up at Brixton Post Office with their prams... she wants a future for any kid she has. As a practising Catholic, this is an especially hard decision to make, "It's the terriblest thing you can do. I was brought up in a Catholic family, went to a Catholic school and was told that abortion isn't right." Her mum and boyfriend want her to keep the baby, but she knows she isn't ready to have a child and memories of the abandonment and loneliness Zihannah felt when her father walked out on the family three years previously make her determined not to repeat history by bringing up a child without its father.

Marie is now six months pregnant and the days of bunking off school to hang out on the streets with her mates doing teenage things are over. She says, "I have grown up faster. I'm a kid-cum-adult". But coping with being a teenager and being pregnant at the same time, is becoming overwhelming for Marie and her emotions swing from fear of her situation one minute to excitement at feeling the baby kick the next. The emotional rollercoaster becomes increasingly bumpy, when Marie's boyfriend, 15-year-old JOE tells her that he doesn't want to see her any more. For Marie, this is a devastating blow and leaves her feeling used by him. It also enrages her father JIM who had wanted to batter Joe when he found out he had got his little girl pregnant.

For Zihannah, her decision continues to cause emotional turmoil as she waits for the termination. Not only is she experiencing the early symptoms of pregnancy, but the relationship with her boyfriend, who is angry at her decision, has deteriorated. Zihannah calls him to try and patch things up. To her horror, he holds a crying baby up to the phone. She is one week away from having a termination.

Marie goes into labour three weeks early and arrives at the hospital with her mum and dad by her side. In stark contrast, Zihannah arrives alone for the termination. Whilst Marie's mum comforts her little girl as she screams and cries during childbirth, it is a nurse who comforts Zihannah. For Marie, the ordeal of pregnancy and childbirth are over, but the trials of motherhood are just beginning. As Zihannah comes round from the anaesethic, her relief is clear as she whispers "Thank You Jesus".

For help and support phone the Channel 4 helpline on 0800 600 444

Genre: Series

Running Time: 60 minutes (approx)

Production Year: 2000