Are We Forcing Our Teens to Have Sex?

As a parent, have you ever had the feeling society is working against you in raising your children – particularly in regard to sexual matters?  If you have, you might just be right.

  

Let me begin by setting the stage with information from the 2014 National Campaign to Prevent Teen Pregnancy Survey which no doubt supports your desire for the very best for your children.

 

The survey found:

·       Tremendous support among young adults (18 to 24-year-olds) for waiting longer to have sex.

·       Virginity is widely accepted and respected among young men and women, including those who have already had sex.

·       Pressure to have sex is common, but the pressure comes more from within than from others.

·       Many young adults want the media to show more and varied portrayals of those not having sex and they want the media to improve the way they portray young adults’ sex lives.

 

 The survey also found:

·       Most teenagers have not had sex.

·       Most sexually active teens wish they had waited.

·       Most young adults think it would help teenagers wait longer if they knew most of their peers are virgins.

 

Note: All Aim For Success abstinence programs conclude with the following statement…

 

MOST TEENAGERS HAVE NOT HAD SEX!

 

BUT NOW . . .   The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) is encouraging pediatricians across the county and anyone else who will listen, to consider LARC as America’s first line of defense against teen pregnancy. If AAP has its way, the use of birth control pills and condoms for reducing teen pregnancies will soon be a thing of the past. So what is LARC?  It stands for Long-Acting Reversible Contraception which includes IUDs and Implants. Both provide a high degree of protection from pregnancy for up to three to ten years.  Ironically, up until recently, IUDs were not considered safe for teenage girls, but now they are being touted as:

 

Easy and Invisible

Nothing to Remember

Freedom for Girls

Get It and Forget It

Never Interrupt the Heat of Passion Again!

 

In the September 24, 2014 issue of Pediatrics, AAP provided pediatricians with an eight page policy statement, Contraception for Adolescents, as a means to promote LARC and an instruction manual on how to talk to teenage patients about protecting themselves while having sex. The following is the information on avoiding sexual activity:

 

“Counseling about abstinence and postponement of sexual intercourse is an important aspect of adolescent sexual health care. Abstinence is 100% effective in preventing pregnancy and STIs and is an important part of contraceptive counseling. Adolescents should be encouraged to delay sexual onset until they are ready.”

 

The remainder of the eight page policy is devoted to instructing pediatricians about the various forms of contraception along with details on how to work around those pesky parents who might interfere with their Child’s Confidentiality Rights. (Note: The policy states, “In the setting of contraception and sexual health care, American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) believes that policies supporting adolescent consent and protecting adolescent confidentiality are in the best interests of adolescents.”)

 

This approach might be beneficial in lowering teen pregnancies in those teens with no parental involvement or support.  But let’s face it, in your home where you are trying daily to help your children learn to make good decisions and build strong character in order to achieve the most from their lives, the ability to go behind your back under Child Confidentiality Rights and provide a message contrary to your values is anything but helpful.

 

However, for those whose ultimate goal is to prevent teen pregnancy, this must seem like the long awaited silver bullet.  But here’s a question to consider: With the Nothing to Remember mentality and the ability to circumvent parental involvement in issues pertaining to sexual health – what are the odds of a teenage girl returning to the doctor every year to get tested for STIs? Considering about half of the 20 million new STIs in America each year are contracted by 15 to 24 year olds and the fact that teenage girls are far more susceptible to STIs than anyone else, shouldn’t there be serious concerns about an upcoming rise in the teen STI epidemic?

 

It’s also important to remember the only way to prevent STIs is for two people to remain faithfully committed to each other for life. However, the terms – “marriage”, “lifetime partner” or even “long-term relationship” are not a part the AAP’s policy. They do, however, explain that latex condoms reduce STI transmission. But then they go on to state, “Condoms require commitment at every sex act which tends to drop off over time.” If the concern of STIs is included in the equation of IUDs, and IUDs provide no protection against STIs, then the silver bullet is looking rather tarnished. 

 

The American College of Pediatricians (ACP) – not to be confused with AAP – weighed in on the controversy with the following statement: “Even when contraception is used, early sexual debut has been associated with negative consequences including multiple sexual partners, sexually transmitted infections, increased likelihood of psychological injury (feelings of regret, depression, suicidal attempts), greater substance abuse, and lower academic achievement.  Delaying sexual activity, ideally until marriage, has been associated with improved emotional and physical health, higher achievement and a more stable marriage.” Dr. Den Trumbull, president of the American College of Pediatricians, went on to state, “Our primary message to adolescent patients must not be contraception, but rather the tremendous physical, psychological and even future marital benefits in delaying all sexual activity until after marriage.  Anything less is a compromise.” 

 

We at Aim For Success believe your children consist of far more than a body filled with raging hormones. They have a brain, abilities and the potential for a bright future. They also have the ability to develop self-control, self-respect and self-discipline. The AAPs mentality of “not having sex until you’re ready” is nothing more than allowing hormones to dictate the outcome of your child’s life and hoping for the best.

 

Aim For Success is committed to empowering teenagers to build strong character and to save themselves for one lifetime partner inside marriage. This lifestyle provides freedom from pregnancy before marriage, STIs and painful memories. It also paves the way for the freedom to enjoy fulfilled dreams and goals.

 

All parents would be wise to have a conversation with your children’s health care provider to make sure your family values are not being compromised when the doctor closes the door and leaves you sitting outside.

 

So with all this said, do me a big favor – keep reminding your teenagers of the previously mentioned survey that found:

·       Tremendous support among young adults (18 to 24-year-olds) for waiting longer to have sex.

·       Virginity is widely accepted and respected among young men and women, including those who have already had sex.

·       Pressure to have sex is common, but the pressure comes more from within than from others.

·       Many young adults want the media to show more and varied portrayals of those not having sex and they want the media to improve the way they portray young adults’ sex lives.

 

 The survey also found:

·       Most teenagers have not had sex.

·       Most sexually active teens wish they had waited.

·       Most young adults think it would help teenagers wait longer if they knew most of their peers are virgins.

 

And don’t forget – All Aim For Success abstinence programs conclude with:

 

MOST TEENAGERS HAVE NOT HAD SEX!

 

 

References:

http://thenationalcampaign.org/sites/default/files/resource-primary-download/virgin-territory-final.pdf

http://pediatrics.aappublications.org/content/early/2014/09/24/peds.2014-2299.full.pdf+html

http://www.acpeds.org/promoting-the-myth-of-safe-sex

 

 

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