Moral questions for teenagers

Updated March 23, 2017

Much to the chagrin of many teens, and the dismay of many parents, teens are often faced with an assortment of moral dilemmas. These issues can range from deciding upon the proper way to deal with complex interactions with peers to determining what they should and shouldn't do when faced with potentially problematic behaviour options. While nothing can make a decision easy when faced with one of these dilemmas, teens may be able to more effectively navigate through them if they take time to think about how they will respond to each before they face them.


Bullying is a hot-button issue, at least in part because some bullied teens have gone to extreme measures to end their torment, even electing, at times, to take their own lives. While some teens choose to intercede when they see bullying-related injustices, others simply go along with the crowd. To see what your teen would do in this situation, discuss this issue with him.

Sexual Activity

For many teens, sex is not only on the brain but present in their everyday lives. As the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports, 46 per cent of all high school students said that they were no longer virgins in 2009. Because of the potential serious consequences of sexual activity, this behaviour is not something in which teens should engage lightly, but instead something they should carefully consider and plan.


While the law says no one under 21 should drink, many teens pay little heed to this age requirement. Whether eager to experience alcohol-induced fun, or simply swayed by peer pressure, many teens opt to participate in alcohol consumption. To increase the likelihood that teens make wise, or at least safe, alcohol-related choices, discuss this topic with your teen.

Telling on Someone

The desire not to be a snitch leads many teens to avoid telling adults about serious situations, even if keeping their mouths closed means putting a friend in danger. While there is certainly something to be said for being a trustworthy friend, it is also important for teens to, at times, share things with adults. For example, if a friend confides that she has thought about suicide, this issue is far to serious to be ignored and, at least in this case, should be shared with an adult.

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About the Author

Erin Schreiner is a freelance writer and teacher who holds a bachelor's degree from Bowling Green State University. She has been actively freelancing since 2008. Schreiner previously worked for a London-based freelance firm. Her work appears on eHow, and RedEnvelope. She currently teaches writing to middle school students in Ohio and works on her writing craft regularly.