Saturday, October 20, 2012

Teens are Having Sex. Get Over It!

Originally posted at AbortionGang.


A new study came out this week saying that 2 in 5 women don’t use birth control. The two most common reasons listed for not using birth control were not being sexual active, and believing they were unable to become pregnant. The study also mentioned that many women underestimate their ability to become pregnant. I believe our current lack of comprehensive sexual education is partially responsible for this situation. I also believe that sex education is not the only change needed. We need to stop being afraid of young adults having sex, and we need to stop thinking of it as a horrible tragedy when young adults have sex. We need to stop believing that it’s wrong to talk about sex with anyone, at any age. We need to start seeing our body’s sexual organs, cycles and activities as part of us.
Young adults, yes,  teenagers, are having sex. Our culture’s refusal to acknowledge that has led to the situation we’re in now. Any sort of talk about teenage sex is deemed as “encouraging” or “promoting” teenage sex, and thus seen as a horrible thing. While parents and teachers and administrators and policy makers squawk back and forth at each other over how they shouldn’t talk about sex because we don’t want teens having sex, teens are having sex. They are having sex and not paying attention to the discussion others are having about whether their sexual activities are right or wrong. And it’s not just teenagers who are in this situation, but also unmarried adults. Even married adults sometimes falter when trying to talk about sexual activities- after being taught for so long that sex is bad, it’s hard to make a 180 turn and say sex is okay.
Our refusal to educate the public about sexual activity has put them at risk, and it’s time for us to stop worrying about whether we are encouraging sex or not, and start teaching teens (and everyone!) about how our bodies and reproduction work.
One result from the above study should be easily resolved with education. As previously stated, one of the most common reasons for not using birth control was a woman believing that she couldn’t get pregnant. This is surely due in part to our fear mongering over pregnancy. Many people believe they have an equal chance of getting pregnant every time they have sex. In reality, one’s chances of becoming pregnant are higher and lower at different parts of the ovulation cycle. If a person has sex when they are not near ovulation, and thus does not become pregnant, this can lead to a false belief that they are unable to become pregnant. While I do not support NFP for teenagers as a way to prevent pregnancy, I highly suggest we begin educating teenagers (male and female) about the ovulation cycle, and encourage young women to track their cycles. Tracking your cycle as a young adult can lead to better understanding of your body, and help you figure out when to have your chances of becoming pregnant when trying to avoid pregnancy or when trying to create a pregnancy. Tracking your cycle can also help you notice something out of the ordinary that requires a doctor’s attention.
The other man reason for not using birth control was a lack of sexual activity. While I see nothing wrong with this, I do believe that even people who are sexually inactive should be educated on condoms and hormonal contraceptives. Anyone who is currently sexually inactive could change their mind and become sexually active, and they should be prepared for that if/when it happens. Hormonal contraception is not easy to get quickly- one usually needs a doctor’s appointment, then to actually purchase the birth control at a pharmacy, and then wait for it to take effect. While we hope sexual activity is well thought out and planned for, often it actually happens in the heat of the moment. No one should have to be risk pregnancy or STIs because they weren’t educated on effective contraception since they weren’t yet sexually active. Education should always come before activity.
A person facing an unplanned pregnancy should not be judged for their situation or lack of education. We should not be asking the individual, “why didn’t you know better?” or “why didn’t you use birth control?” We should be asking the establishment, “why didn’t you provide proper education?” and “why did you limit access to contraceptives for this individual?” Our cultural fear and shame around sex has led to a situation where people rely on rumors whispered among friends, websites that aren’t always accurate, and even lies taught in schools practicing abstinence-only education. We need to stop hiding sexuality under the rug, and start talking about it openly and honestly.

4 comments:

  1. CP. Your comments are all really PC. There is nothing "Christian" or "biblical" about your positions. So, please just call yourself "Prochoicer" and leave it at that.

    If you were to truly represent a biblical Christian perspective on this topic, you would advocate a distinctively Christian teaching -- which is what thousands of churches do. This might include highlighting such "Christian" perspectives as:

    - God has designed the family to be his means of declaring His glory and carrying out the gospel message and Christian living from one generation to the next.

    - God has designed marriage (incidentally between one man and one woman committed to each other for life) to be a sacred bond and a picture of Christ and His Church, in purity.

    - God created sexual activities for various species to propagate their species. Among humans, more than any other species, God designed a delight and enjoyment of this activity to seal the bond of commitment and to express genuine love.

    - God's design for the joy of sexual intimacy is to be reserved for those who are committed to one another in marriage. Thus, sex is to wait until marriage and then to be participated in only within the boundaries of marriage. This is holy to God, and represents His picture. (Meanwhile, fornication and adultery are parallel to and also pictures of forms of idolatry).

    - So, to raise up a generation of responsible teenagers in our present climate which consistently opposes God's purposes and place for appropriate sexual expression, we as "Christian" influencers (unlike you in this post) intentionally offer guidance in the opposite direction. We want to inspire teens to be Godly with their bodies -- to be pure before Him prior to marriage, and to fully enjoy marital blessings once committed to a spouse.

    - We resist playing games with teens by encouraging girls to become accustomed to offering their bodies in sex to boys according to their cycle, or according to pills they have taken. And we resist telling boys that it is ok to take the virginity away of another man's future wife, or to temporarily benefit from sexual arousal with no intent to love and provide for a lifetime - as long as she is taking a pill or is correctly counting days in her cycle.

    No, a truly "Christian" response is far higher than your purely secular rationalizations.

    Really, is there a single idea that you have offered that has come out of your study of the Bible and/or out of prayer regarding how teenage fornication could possibly honor God and fulfill the biblical picture of the marital bed?

    This is a serious question.

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  3. Personally, I completely agree with you. What our kids need right now are to be properly educated about reproductive health. Yes, at the end of the day, we still want them to be sexually inactive until after marriage, but we cannot control all of their decisions. What we need is peace of mind that should they decide to be sexually active, they know what to do to be safe. The reason why we have pregnant teenagers now is not because of the sex talks currently being implemented at schools, it’s because of the parents who are too conservative to talk about it to their children; therefore, their children decide to try experimenting among themselves without being properly informed.
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