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Standing up to pressure Print
Written by Karen Farris   

According to a report in The Atlantic Wire, 92 percent of top ten billboard songs contain strong sexual themes. With those odds, we can’t avoid the “in your face” message hitting us from signs, airwaves and full-color glossy prints.

Even if you look away you can’t avoid the theme. We also see those who buy into the offer. They wear the wares; they drink the kool-aid. What we often don’t see is the cost of that choice.

Unlike alcohol and smoking, the sexual trap can inflict pain now and later. Besides the STDs, the broken hearts caused by failed and flawed relationships litter the personal landscape of many. Relationships with lasting power can become forever beyond the reach of those who are desperately seeking them. These are serial relationships with sex being used like cheap glue holding them together. From one relationship to the next and the next and the next.

What they haven’t learned is that real faithfulness comes in saving sex for a monogamous marriage. The time before marriage is used to discover the other aspects of personal character, like integrity, honesty, selflessness and love.

So how can someone be sexually abstinent while immersed in a culture that values hyper-sexuality? It’s a choice. Daily. Sometimes hourly. But it’s a decision that one makes for oneself—regardless of the pressure. We have only ourselves to blame and it is we who will feel the consequences of our choices.

Last Updated on Friday, 11 November 2011 11:48
 
Teens won’t roll the dice: Less Teen Sex Print
Written by Karen Farris   

Statistics tell a story. And this story seems to have a better ending for a generation of teens. According to the Center for Disease Control the amount of sexually active teen girls has declined from 51% in 1988 to 43% in 2010 and teen boys declined from 60% to 42%.

Recent teen surveys indicate that they are choosing to abstain from sex for religious or moral reasons. Even though those nasty STDs could scare them off, teens are wise enough to also see the cost of a choice made now could impact their future happiness in ways that keep them from gambling with their chances.

As the nation’s health authority, the CDC still is concerned with teens choosing to disregard the health hazards with sexual activity. It’s a risky activity and can lead to health consequences far beyond what any young person should have to deal.  But for the MAJORITY of teens they are not choosing to roll the dice. Good for them. Even better news for our future.

 
Sex & Cancer Linked Again Print
Written by Karen Farris   

Just when sex seemed safe again and we trusted the HPV vaccine was doing its job, new medical reports now indicate we have some new worries. The news is  especially troublesome for guys.

We’ve known for quite awhile that STDs could be transmitted through oral sex. Well, now that includes a particularly nasty form of throat cancer. The cancer rates just keep increasing for cases of oropharyngeal cancer. Big word and even bigger trouble. This is cancer of the throat and neck. It can begin in the tonsils, the tongue and the upper throat. It’s increased at a rate of 28% since 1988. And these cancers are testing positive for HPV—which means they were contracted through oral sex.

While the HPV vaccine may be helping diminish a woman’s chances of contracting cervical cancer, it appears that HPV is attacking other areas in the body. Yikes.

So, the final score is the same. If you want to avoid these nasty consequences, there is only one guaranteed option: save sex for marriage and have a mutually faithful, monogamous relationship. Don’t we have enough to worry about without this?

 
What Does Sex Cost? Print
Written by Karen Farris   

In her book Epidemic: How Teen Sex is Killing Our Teens, pediatrician Meg Meeker describes the teenage patients she began to see in her middle and upper-income suburban practice starting in the 1990s:

Fourteen-year-old Lori almost died in the emergency room from an abscess on her ovary caused by pelvic inflammatory disease, brought on by chlamydia contracted while having sex with her boyfriend.  With one ovary removed and the other badly scarred, Dr. Meeker writes that it's unlikely Lori will be able to bear children.

Seventeen-year-old Alex came into her office in serious pain from blisters caused by what turned out to be genital herpes.  Dr. Meeker was able to given him pain medication and antibiotics, but she also had to explain to Alex that herpes is a virus and it would always be with him.  The three girls with whom he's had sex had to be notified of their possible exposure.  In a visit one year later, Alex confided to Dr. Meeker that he had considered suicide.

Meg was a college freshman who'd started having sex at age 17 with her boyfriend.  He was followed by another boyfriend, who was followed by two others "a coupla times with each."  Now, at the age of 19, Meg had been diagnosed with several strains of HPV (human papillomavirus).  Her pap smear showed the presence of precancerous cells, caused by the HPV.  Part of Meg's cervix had to be removed to prevent full-blown cancer, and Dr. Meeker learned from the gynecologist later that it will be difficult for Meg to bear children.

These are just three cases. With one in four sexually active teens infected with at least one sexually transmitted infection, what could it cost to have sex? It could cost you your future family and much happiness.

Last Updated on Wednesday, 28 September 2011 18:59
 
Taking Charge of Sex or Taking Charge of Chastity? Print
Written by Karen Farris   

The Planned Parenthood advertisement shows a somber young girl’s face covered with the words “Someone you know is taking charge of her birth control!” How convenient. How uncomplicated. Really? No.

How about the string of broken relationships that will follow the sex? Will Planned Parenthood be there to mop up the mess? No.

While Planned Parenthood offers free tests for Chlamydia and Gonorrhea, what they don’t necessarily tell you about are the other more infectious diseases that have no cure. Just in case, they forget mention it, the birth control pill doesn’t offer protection against STDs.

There are other ways of “taking charge”. It’s called sexual abstinence. That’s a choice too. Maybe it won’t be as “fun” right now with “everybody” having sex. But later on, when others are dealing with the fall-out from bad choices, you will be able to offer someone you love your body that is free of disease, free from the scars of relationships that were only about sex and not about real love.

The famous line from Love Story,  “Love means never having to say you’re sorry.”  can be your line too,  if you choose to save sex for marriage.

 

 
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