Parenting For Dummies
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When children ask why people have sex, they often hear about love and expanding on that love by starting a family. Those reasons for sex are pretty accurate, although they leave out some of the finer points. With a more mature viewpoint, it's worthwhile to consider the finer points about why people have sex.

  • Making babies: Biologically, people are hard-wired to have sex in order to keep the human race going. In other words, at its heart, sex is about making babies — generally and historically speaking. With the advent of contraception, sex and pregnancy aren't inextricably linked.

    If you absolutely, positively don't want to make a baby, then don't have sexual intercourse — be abstinent. No birth control is foolproof.

  • Enjoying a sensory experience: Many people engage in sex for the sensory experience, the wide range of physical and emotional pleasures that a person can derive from sexual activity.

  • Partnering up: Sex can play a role in forming a bond with another person, which is yet another need that humans have.

  • For love and the long haul: The drive to find someone to love remains a strong one. Part of the glue that holds longtime love together is sex.

About This Article

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Sandra Hardin Gookin serves as a parenting expert for Parents magazine and Working Mother magazine. Dan Gookin has been an author, editor, ghostwriter, and a public official. He's written more than a dozen Dummies books on technology, with a special focus on PCs, the Android operating system, and Microsoft products. And in 1991, he was the author of the very first Dummies book, DOS For Dummies, which started the whole enterprise.

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