Sexual Abstinence

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Today's world is full of worries and problems which did not affect teens a generation ago. New problems keep appearing in today's world, such as STDs, increased pregnancy rates, and other factors facing teens who choose to have sex. Emotionally and physically teens and getting less developed before having sex and are not prepared for the serious problems which come along with their decision to have sex. No longer is it a matter which will just go away if we ignore it, but teen health and the health of our society depend on choices which today's teens make regarding sex. With so many diseases and problems facing today's world, abstinence is the only way to protect ourselves. Abstinence is a safe choice in preventing the possibility of pregnancy. One-tenth of young women between the ages of 15 and 19 get pregnant every year, 83 percent of these pregnancies are unwanted or unplanned. Half of the unmarried teens who get pregnant do so within six months of their first sexual experience. In fact, between 1986 and 1990, teen childbearing increased by 16 percent. What's worse, pregnant teenagers often don't see a doctor until the time of delivery. The dangers of going through a pregnancy without seeing a doctor are not only serious to the mother and child, but may risk the lives of both. "I'm doing the body count at 3 a.m. at Ben Taub [Hospital]," said Dr. Hunter Hamill, "and I can tell you that most of our (teen pregnancy prevention) programs aren't working. We have blood on our hands." (Feldman 1). Without seeing doctors or receiving correct pre-natal care, the risk of complications for mother and child nearly quadruple. Not only can these complications include still birth, but may also cause excessive bleeding and hemorrhaging of the mother. According to an article in America magazine, "The place to begin combating teenage pregnancy is in the family, not a clinic." (Leone 19). Although parents seem to be afraid to talk to their children about sex, it is vital to the teens' health. If teens feel their parents are reluctant to speak about sex, they may feel uncomfortable coming to theur parents with any problems or concerns about sex. Teens who feel they cannot speak to their parents about STDs or pregnancy can now speak confidentially with their doctor. Doctors are required to inform and treat teens with confidentiality if the teen seeks their help. Another serious problem surrounding teen sexual intercourse is the probability of AIDS and sexually transmitted diseases (STDs). Each year, three million teens are infected with STDs. Among 14- to 20-year-olds, chlamydia is the most common. It has no obvious symptoms, and can cause infertility if left untreated. Another common disease is herpes, which causes sores and painful swelling of the genitals. Its symptoms can be managed, but not cured. Fifteen percent of all teenage girls carry the virus that causes genital warts, another common STD. Gonorrhea, not uncommon in teens, is known to cause pelvic pain, discharge, and painful urination. It may leave its victims sterile. Perhaps even more serious is the disease Syphilis, which killed famous mobster Al Capone. It causes sores, rashes, brain and organ damage, and death. It can also harm an unborn child. AIDS (Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome) is a growing danger, and is by far the most serious sexually transmitted disease. "Kids don't take AIDS seriously," said Dr. James W. Curran. "One thing they do have is sex. They have sex. They have sex. They have sex." (Ferriss 16) AIDS is the sixth leading cause of death among 15- to 24-year-olds. Cases among teens have grown 62 percent in the past two years, and the number of teens with AIDS doubles every 14 months. A fifth of all AIDS victims in this country today are in their twenties, and since the disease takes two to ten years to develop, those victims contracted it in their teenage years. Even scarier is that, according to a study of 19 universities, one in 500 college students may...
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