By Madeleine Richey
When was the last time you picked up a book, watched a movie, or flipped through pictures to get a glimpse of something—anything—to do with sex? Okay, next question: when was the first time?
For just a minute, let’s put all religious views on the matter aside. Whether you’re Catholic, Lutheran, Jewish, Baptist, Buddhist, Muslim, Atheist, or anything in-between…whether you think sex before marriage is wrong or not: let’s look at the facts.
First let’s look at the primary fear that goes through your head when you think of sex; pregnancy. A survey taken in 2010 indicated that 34.4 teens out of 1000 gave birth. A teenage pregnancy is defined by the pregnancy taking place and ending before the mother has reached the age of twenty. The teen pregnancy rate in the USA has dropped, but the United States and the United Kingdom are still among the highest in the world for teen pregnancy rates. Almost a third of teen pregnancies end in abortion. It’s shown that in teen pregnancy, the mothers are less likely to finish high school and attend college, and the rates for poverty among teen mothers and their children are high. It’s not an inviting future.
In America, birth control is widely accepted and promoted, but it’s not as effective as it’s marketed to be. Let’s take a look at some of the most common forms of birth control. Birth control pills are not magic; they have an 8 percent failure rate with typical use. Pills have to be taken every day, and can often be forgotten. A condom is great, but it only works if you remember to use it. And even if it is used with every act of intercourse, it has a 15 percent failure rate. An IUD has only a 0.2 to and 0.8 percent depending on the type used, but an IUD can potentially cause dangerously heavy periods, grow through the uterine wall, enter into the womb, and cause miscarriage in the event of failure and pregnancy. A contraceptive sponge has a 32 percent rate of failure, and spermicidal gels or foams have a 29 percent failure rate. None of them are perfect.
Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STD) are a risk former generations never had to worry about. But in this day and age there are at least 20 STDs, including HIV/AIDS. Sexually Transmitted Diseases are more common in girls than in boys. That is because women have what is called a ‘transformation zone’ on their cervix, which decreases as they grow older, but leaves them open to infection with STDs. The vagina is actually very well protected against infections, with elastic like fibers and walls over 20 cells thick, described by Dr. Miriam Grossman (author of Unprotected: A Campus Psychiatrist Reveals How Political Correctness in Her Profession Endangers Every Student) to be like a self-cleaning oven. But the transformation zone is where we are open to infection, along with anal sex. Have you ever wondered by STDs such as HIV/AIDS are so common among the gay community? The walls of the rectum are only 1 cell thick, easily damaged and wide open to infection.
For women, we are often obsessed with our “choice” in our reproductive health, but women are built differently than men. Should we be infected with an STD, it could cause serious damage to our reproductive tracts, such as scarring, which can close the fallopian tubes and render us unable to bear children later in life. We are also severely uneducated when it comes to our biological clock. Childbearing is easiest in the early to mid twenties, but as women get older, the chances for conceiving become less and less, and our chances for miscarriage or birth defects doubles when we reach somewhere around the age of thirty.
Our culture is obsessed with sex. Everywhere you turn there is an ad promoting birth control, abortion, sex, and all manner of sex related materials. But when it comes to actually holding an educated conversation, we stammer and blush, and hurry from the room. Parents who do not educate their children on safer sex leave them to their own devices, and the material they will find widely available preaches only of sexual exploration and freedom.
I was at the library a few weeks ago, and I picked up several sex education books targeted at middle-school children and teens. The first thing I saw when I opened one book to a random page was “what to do when you decide to bring the baby home”. That told me everything about what the book was telling our children; feel free to explore your sexuality, make your own choices, use birth control, abortion is an option, and…if all else fails, do you want to keep the baby, or give it up for adoption?
The problem with abortion (despite any religious views) is that is can cause scarring, an incompetent cervix in a later pregnancy (where the cervix gives out and cannot carry the baby to term, resulting in a miscarriage), and emotional scarring. Women who have suffered abortions report that they often bled for days, and in the case of chemical abortions, held fetuses in their hands, and suffered for the rest of their lives with memories of the child they were told did not exist.
That brings us back to the beginning. When was the last time you picked up a book, watched a movie, or flipped through pictures to get a glimpse of something—anything to do with sex? When was the first time?
Children are exposed to sex from an early age; encouraged to be beautiful, sexy, to explore, exercise their freedom…but when pregnancy, the very thing the sexual act is designed for, occurs, there is scandal and shame. STDs can cause infertility, and even death, not to mention the emotional trauma that comes with it. Pornography? Forget about it. Even in this over-sexed culture, it’s sinful. Prostitution is outlawed. Who needs it anyway? We’re selling ourselves, and you don’t even have to pay.
You can turn on the TV, go to the mall, or even to the library, and find anything you want about sex. And I have no doubt, that opening that first misguiding book as a nine or ten-year-old, leads us to this: to slavery to sex, and our own free will. Just because you have the right to ‘make a choice’ to do something, doesn’t mean you have to do it.
Author’s Note: “I want to share this information with people because I believe that ignorance is a danger to us and to others. The religious influences in our lives, which I believe are a great help shaping us morally… don’t give us the practical information that, let’s face it, could possibly come in handy for a lot of people.”