Is it affecting me?

If you are unsure if peer pressure is effecting you, check out what other people have to say about the pressure they're under:

Being single

"Single people are sad that's why you've got to have a boyfriend." Sara, 14

"Being on your own is lonely, people look at you as if you've got two heads." Jack, 12

What's wrong with being single? Nothing really if you think about it. Many single people are attractive and have fun - perhaps they like being single or just haven't found anyone they really like.

If you're so desperate for a boyfriend/girlfriend you need to ask yourself why? Are you hoping that someone else will solve all the problems in your life? Do you think having someone to date will make you less lonely? More attractive? Or more acceptable to your friends?

If any of these are your reasons then you need to think again. A date is not the answer to any of life's problems.

Breast size

"My breasts are too big, and I feel embarrassed. I know everyone thinks they look gross." Rachel, 13

"I am worried because I have no breasts. Boys don't like girls who are flat." Kelly, 12

Despite what some people say, having breasts of any shape and size is a perfectly normal part of being a woman. People only act weird about them because of the emphasis TV, advertising and films puts on breasts.

The important thing to remember is breasts are just breasts. This means all sizes and shapes are normal. If you still think yours are abnormal, take a look around you and see just how many variations there are.

First time sex

"I've heard sex is messy and hurts the first few times." Kylie, 13

"Sex is pretty scary. I did it once but it wasn't like I expected it to be. " Jason, 14

Sex is only scary when you do it for the wrong reasons - i.e. peer pressure, to be like your friends, or because you want to keep a boyfriend or girlfriend. On the whole there's a lot of good things to be said about sex. It's exciting, good fun, and with the right person is very enjoyable.

Sex should not hurt - if it does maybe one or both of you are not relaxed or are having sex when you don't really want to. A girl may experience some pain/discomfort the first time she has sex but this should not continue. Sex isn't particularly messy but the more comfortable you are with your partner the less you will be worried about being open about your body and using condoms.

Sex myths

"He told me, 'it's bad for a boy's health to get a hard on and not have sex'." Liz, 14

"Girls don't have sexual feelings which is why they don't want sex." Paul,14

Both of these are absolutely not true! It won't kill a boy not to have sex, and it won't physically harm him to not ejaculate.

As for girls not having sexual feelings - if this was true no girl would ever masturbate (touch their own sexual bits for pleasure).

Body odour

"Everyone makes fun of me at school and calls me BO boy. I never used to be like this, what's happening to me? I feel like a freak." Dave, 14

Sweating is completely normal and it happens to everyone. It only seems worse during puberty because the body's sweat glands have gone a bit wild. However, it's nothing to worry about, or feel bad about.

Perspiring is just the body's way of cooling off. It only becomes smelly when it dries on clothes. Beat the odour by changing your clothes and washing every day, wearing cotton t-shirts and using deodorant.

Periods

"My friends say there is something wrong with me because I am 15 and my periods haven't even started yet." Laila, 15

The strange thing about periods is that most girls spend months wishing they'd arrive, only to wonder why they bothered when they finally do! The fact is there is no 'normal' age for periods to start. Some girls begin as young as 10, others as late as 16 or 17.

If you want an indication of when you'll start ask your mother when her periods began, as your body's likely to start around the same time. If you're still worried see your doctor for reassurance.

Appearance

"Only good looking blokes get the girls." Tony, 12

"Boys don't want normal girls. They want to date girls who look like models." Jaqui, 14

If you take good looking to mean supermodel looks, then you're wrong - anyone can get a date. However, it is the people who are comfortable with themselves who get asked out.

Sex and love

"My last boyfriend said sex leads to love. I never slept with him because I didn't think that was true. But my friends all say it works. I'm confused." Rebecca, 14

Contrary to popular belief, sex doesn't lead to love, and love doesn't always lead to sex. If you have sex in the hope it will make someone love you, then you're destined to be dissapointed.

Likewise, if you love someone, this doesn't mean you have to have sex with them.