feel like I’m coming out of the closet here (no it’s not what you think). I know this is a risqué subject but I also
feel like someone has to say it. In the
past year, I have had the privilege of working with hundreds of youth; many of
them are teens and pre-teens. My
children, sisters, nieces, nephews, many cousins and mentees are also in this
age category. They are combated every
single day with explicit images of sexual activity via, radio, television, peer
contact, the internet, and in school.
They have adults giving them condoms, telling them that sex is just a
part of life and to just be careful.
Yes, its human nature we know that’s a fact. However, I believe that self-regulation and
control should be taught to our children.
Don’t validate the madness!
Children imitate what they see. If
they are going to just be defiant, I rather them be safe and have protection
than to be sorry. But it’s important to
give them messages filled with values and morals. They need people that can be
honest and straight forward with them about sex and abstinence. They need strong support systems helping them
make good choices, so they can fight against what has become society’s norm,
even though it’s not what’s best.
Here are some scary facts:
A large number of teens are sexually active. According to the CDC, in 2005, 47 percent of high school students had had sex at least once, and 14 percent had had four or more sexual partners. Sixty-three percent of sexually active students had used condoms the last time they had sex, but only 18 percent had used birth control pills. Furthermore, one quarter of sexually active high school students had used drugs or alcohol before the most recent time they had sex. It is clearly important to teach teens how to make decisions that protect both their bodies and their minds. http://std.about.com/od/prevention/tp/toptencompsexed.htm
Unfortunately, they do not hear a lot of stories about or from people who successfully abstain and the benefits that out weigh their desires are not always properly related. So I decided to share and I hope others will do the same.
My children’s god-mother was abstinent 10 years before she married her best-friend. He had already made the decision to become abstinent before they even thought about becoming a couple. As single people at that time, they encouraged me to try abstinence too. For us, it was from a religious stand point. Their church promoted abstinence and so did mine. I had other reasons, but religion was number one. I also had other friends and acquaintances practicing giving me plenty of encouragement. That support system truly helped me, especially in the beginning. I am a divorcee and have been practicing abstinence for six years, although I messed up twice, I am still proud! I know that I am God’s work in progress and I am truly working toward my personal goal.
There are many people who practice abstinence, but you hear more about people having relations than you hear about people abstaining from them and for youth it is not exactly the coolest thing to do. It is truly a challenge. Temptation is everywhere. The truth is, you can be young, have a fun life style, date, be attractive, be popular, and still be abstinent. ; ) Whatever your age its not an impossible feat, be encouraged and be empowered!
I wanted to share some facts, (outside of obvious religious reasons) with those of you who are mentors, parents or a young person thinking about waiting. I hope you find the information helpful:
· REASON #1 STD’S
http://www.stdtestingdetroit.com/detroit-std-statistics Note: Rates are per 100,000 people.
Michigan STD Facts
Michigan reported 16,866 AIDS cases to CDC, cumulatively, from the beginning of the epidemic through December 2008. Michigan ranked 15th highest among the 50 states in cumulative reported AIDS cases.
Michigan ranked 31st among 50 states, with 2.1 cases of P&S syphilis per 100,000 persons. The number of congenital syphilis cases decreased from 22 in 1999 to 10 in 2008.
Ranked 14th among 50 states in chlamydial infections (446 per 100,000 persons) and ranked 7th among 50 states in gonorrheal infections (169.4 per 100,000 persons). Reported rates of chlamydia among women (659.6 cases per 100,000) were 3 times greater than those among men (221.9 cases per 100,000).
For U.S. stats please visit http://www.avert.org/std-statistics-america.htm
· REASON #2 Single Mother’s
Detroit’s single families define the real State of the City
…family disintegration continues to threaten the well-being of city residents.
The extent of this problem was confirmed in a recent study by the Baltimore-based Annie E. Casey Foundation. Comparing statistics for its Kids Count report, the organization reported that Detroit ranks No.1 in unmarried births among the nation’s 50 largest cities. Of the 16,729 babies born in Detroit in 1997, 13,574 were black, 1,679 were white and 817 were Hispanic. Seventy-one percent were born to unmarried mothers. This compared with a state average of 33 percent and a 50-city average of 43 percent.
Government statistics reveal that the percentage of all babies born to unwed mothers nationally rose to 32 percent in 1997 from only 5.3 percent in 1960. Among blacks nationally, 69 percent of births were to unwed mothers. And in a departure from previous increases in births to unwed teen mothers, 70 percent of births to single mothers involved women 20 or older.
For full article please visit this link http://www.dadi.org/dn_bleak.htm
According to Custodial Mothers and Fathers and Their Child Support: 2007, released by the U.S. Census Bureau in November, 2009, there are approximately 13.7 million single parents in the United States today, and those parents are responsible for raising 21.8 million children (approximately 26% of children under 21 in the U.S. today).
· REASON #3 Emotional Instability
Using sex as a coping mechanism can create depression, low self-esteem, or interpersonal problems, and often leads to hyper sexuality. It also can inhibit intimacy, prevent personal and interpersonal growth, and diminish sexual satisfaction. Unless we help adolescents become aware of these needs and how they influence sexual behavior, they will develop immature, ineffective, unsatisfying relationships and sexual habits that will carry into adulthood. (p. 755)
Shaughnessy and Shakesby (1992) explained that adolescents have a tough time with true emotional intimacy for three reasons. First, they do not have the verbal skills to effectively label or describe their feelings. Second, their hopes, dreams and aspirations are not very concrete, and third, sharing emotional intimacy does not always involve a conscious decision like having sex. Thus, sex has become a convenient symbol and method to deal with this need for emotional intimacy. However, true emotional growth may be stunted by the substitution of sex for intimacy. Hajcak and Garwood (1988) state, most teenagers have too many unresolved nonsexual needs to truly enjoy and grow through an active sex life. Indulging in sex inhibits their emotional and sexual needs and, unfortunately, many of these teenagers will never learn to separate the two. (p. 760)
Please go to the website for the completed version.
· REASON #4
Please go to the links below for great additional reasons…