Thursday, November 11, 2010

Modern Sexuality: The Risks, Problems and Solutions

Article written by Matt Phillips

Sexuality becomes more pervasive in our culture every year. More than ever, it’s used to promote and sell products, entice consumers and entertain the masses. However, all this brazen sexuality has actually led to higher rates of sexual activity, especially for younger Americans. Unfortunately, the spread of sexually transmitted disease and unwanted pregnancy are two serious outcomes of this social trend, especially for women. Although pregnancy rates have recently declined for teenage girls in the U.S., sexually transmitted disease numbers continue to climb, indicating that teens are not choosing to abstain from sex, but instead finding products which allow them to continue to be sexually active without the risk of pregnancy. However, teens need to understand that sexual promiscuity is not possible without some degree of risk.
Unfortunately, sex education in this country doesn’t do enough to teach teens this. While attempting to inform today’s teens, it actually might promote more negative results associated with sex than good. With the government renewing its abstinence-focused education programs this year, readily available and unbiased information for teens still choosing to be sexually active might be in short supply. This education, telling teens that abstinence is the only legitimate way, runs the risk of alienating some teens, in addition to providing little useful advice. By failing to recognize sexually active teens, this legislative measure successfully disregards the population of teens needing that information the most.
Some evidence-focused groups have even found this renewal of funding unwarranted, pointing out that no conclusive results showing its value has been found. However, the gaps in sex knowledge don’t stop there for young Americans between the ages of 18 and 29. Although most of these young adults agree that pregnancy should be planned, about half fail to use contraceptives regularly. This again highlights the inconsistency in the value of the information provided by this legislation.
However, even if teens do use contraceptives, as many parents would prefer, there remains a serious lack of information available as to their effectiveness and safety. While it’s tempting to point to the slew of birth control options on the market and trust their value, it’s also worth realizing that some of these products might not be completely effective. Worse still, some of these contraceptives may cause serious medical injury to the user.
Easy solutions to this lifestyle concern aren’t simple. Barrier methods, while safer than no contraceptive, are fallible. Hormonal methods, while relatively effective, can falsely imply complete protection to all outcomes of casual sex, including sexually transmitted diseases. In fact, the growing number of complaints against oral contraceptives, exemplified by pending Yaz lawsuit, indicates that the safety of such birth control options is far from guaranteed. Users of this particular product have seen serious, and sometimes fatal, side effects including heart attack, stroke, blood clots, pulmonary embolisms, and gallbladder disease.
Although our culture is often brazen about sexuality, reiterating the seriousness of the act, both emotionally and from a health standpoint, needs to be a part of sexual education today. As we have seen, complete condemnation of a particular act does little to deter it. Therefore, it might be better to empower young people and give them the information they need about responsible sex. Trusting teens to act responsibly also includes accepting many will not wait for marriage or even stable relationships to have sex, so teens need to be made aware of ways to remain sexually active without the use of dangerous contraceptives.
Young women have some tough choices to struggle with if they choose to become sexually active, especially if they accidently become pregnant. Therefore, girls who are sexually active should figure out the answers to some of those tough choices they might have to make. Such decisions include whether to keep the child, have an abortion or put the baby up for adoption. Premarital sex carries with it the risk of bringing another life into this world and young couples need to be prepared for that immense responsibility. If the answers to these questions are too difficult to find, abstinence might then be the best option. Although sex is a huge part of our society today, we have the choice whether we let that influence our lives or stand up to the trend and find fulfillment elsewhere.

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Matt said...

I would like to thank Gretchen for allowing me to write this article on such an important topic. Women's health has always been a huge topic of interest for me and for her to allow me to put up some information and my thoughts means the world.

I did want to site some of my resources for everyone who might be interested. Here are some of the websites that I used.

sex education
Yaz lawsuit
responsible sex

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