Responses - Advocacy / Dating / Instruction & Teaching Abstinence

Abstinence Is For Lovers!© Day 1 – PFL Abstinence Curriculum

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Abstinence is For Lovers!ã

Elsewhere in this web section, a 45-minute presentation on abstinence is available. What follows here is a 3 day to 5 day abstinence presentation, to serve as an aid to you when you get the opportunity to go to schools/clubs for longer periods, OR to use for your own children at home. Some of this material is the same as for the shorter talk, just more in-depth. Other topics, such as dating and how-to develop healthy long-term relationships, will be included in this presentation.

As mentioned in the 45-minute presentation, the most important thing you need to get across is to let them know YOU SINCERELY CARE ABOUT THEM as unique individuals — their health, their lives!! Stress this throughout your presentation. Four other quick points:

1) walk among them — let them know you are not afraid of them;    

2) pull them into the conversation — ask them questions to keep them involved;                                                                                

3) talk fast! keep things moving, or you’ll lose them, and be theatrical — put on a show! Use your arms, change your volume, change your facial expressions; AND (drumroll…)                                             

4) BE PASSIONATE ABOUT PURITY!! YOU have to let them see and sense that YOU BELIEVE what you are saying! 

DAY 1

[Try to talk to the teens as they assemble in the room. Be calm. Smile. As you begin, mention that you have always admired young people, and that, in your “business” you have done a great deal of research about health issues, and that you are very concerned about the high rates of teen sexual activity, which is leading to about 800,000 unwed teens giving birth each year, and epidemics of STDs. Start your talk by stressing:]

I know that all of you are intelligent and can make intelligent decisions, but only if you have all the information! Right? Nobody can make good decisions if they don’t have all the facts!

So, that’s why I’m here: I want to make sure that you have all the up-to-date medical information you need to make intelligent and mature decisions.

[If the group gets rowdy during the talk, act surprised and remind them that you know they are smart and that you are discussing adult issues because you thought they wanted to discuss adult issues, and that you thought they wanted to know all the facts so they can make the best & most mature decisions in life. Question them; that should quiet them down…]

As we begin I want to share 2 thoughts. First, Know Your Value. [Transparency of a key, titled “Know Your Value – The Key to Your Future”] You each have tremendous value and purpose! We each fit together as pieces in a huge puzzle. We are each here at this time in history, for a special purpose. You may not know what that purpose is yet; but never doubt that you have a purpose and someday you will understand.

Secondly, I want to show you a cartoon. [Transparency: a Rubes cartoon, by Leigh Rubin. 2 goldfish in a small fishbowl – one angrily says to the other: “I’m tired of just watching the world go by! I’m going to go out there and experience LIFE!” (say this loudly, theatrically; then pause; the group usually chuckles) Now, show the second cartoon picture — the fish is traumatized and dying. The kids usually chuckle again.]

That fish didn’t understand that the fishbowl wasn’t a jail — it protected the fish and kept it alive. Sometimes you think that your parents are trying to smother you, to keep you from having fun. You might even think they are enjoying making your life miserable! 

But, they love you and they are trying to protect you, just as that fishbowl protected the fish. Your parents set limits to keep you safe from dangers in the world, until you are old enough to handle them. You may THINK you are old enough now, but you still need to grow and mature more before you are really able to handle “the world”! 

YOur parents may not be good at talking to you about things. They may just yell and say,”Because I said so!” [yell!] But they probably just don’t know how to talk with you; they may be embarrassed or uncomfortable. That doesn’t mean they don’t love you. So try to be patient with your parents. When you get upset with them and feel trapped, think about that fish, OK?!… 

Now! I’ve been doing lots of research on the medical realities of STDs, or STIs, which I want to share with you, because you probably haven’t heard these facts on TV, radio, or internet. These are actual scientific facts & stats that you need to know if you are going to make good, adult decisions. By the way, what does “STD” mean? [students respond “sexually transmitted disease”] That’s right! You may also hear them called “STIs”. What does that mean? [Infection] OK, does Sexually Transmitted “Infection” sound as bad as Sexually Transmitted Disease? [wait for response; but don’t wait too long] Not really; but does the name change actually change the effect of the bacteria or virus? [wait] No! It’s still the same virus or bacteria in the body, doing the same damage, no matter what we CALL it.Let’s start by naming some STDs [let them raise their hands or just call out names — some will undoubtedly say crude terms — just continue]. Does anyone know which 2 STDs have been around for hundreds of years? [wait for responses — syphilis and gonorrhea] That’s right! We only had 2 STDs for hundreds of years. In the past 30-40 years, do you know how many more STDs we’ve gained? [wait] 48!! We now have 50 STDs! So, we had 2 STDs for hundreds of years, and in the last 30-40 years we’ve added 48 more! What does that tell you? [wait] Right! It doesn’t sound good for the future…STDs are multiplying at a rapid rate. Right now, almost 19 million Americans are infected with STDs each year! [use one of these figures:  That’s over 52,000 people infected every day. OR: That averages to 380,000 people infected in each of the 50 states.]Let’s talk about some of these STDs. [see sample transparencies]

STDs can be either bacterial or viral. Let’s look at a bacterial STD —

Chlamydia.

Chlamydia was unknown about 30 years ago. Today it’s No. 1 on the charts!! It mainly affects teens aged 15-19. Since it’s bacterial, it can be treated; however, about 20% of the people who go in for treatment still leave with the disease — it doesn’t respond to the treatment — but while these people think they are cured, the chlamydia continues to do damage to their bodies.

Chlamydia causes sterility in women. What does that mean? [wait] Right – it damages the reproductive systems of women so that when they later marry and want to have children, they cannot.

It also causes tubal pregnancies. What does that mean? [wait] OK, we’re going to have a quick anatomy lesson. In women, the ovaries are about the size of almonds and are located here [use yourself as the mode & talk fast — don’t be embarrassed or you’ve lost them.] Right near each ovary is a tube — what’s it called? [wait] Right!  the Fallopian Tube. Each Fallopian tube attaches to the uterus, located here, about the size of my fist.

Now, normally, if an egg is released and if it’s fertilized by a sperm, it’s fertilized in the Fallopian tube. This fertilized egg is called a zygote and it begins to divide 10 hours later. It moves down the Fallopian tube and divides & divides for 7-10 days until it reaches the uterus. By then, it’s about 100 cells big and is called the blastocyst. That’s how each of us began. We each attached in the uterus and begin to grow, and 9 months later, we were born.

However, Chlamydia causes infection in the Fallopian tubes and lots of stringy yucky stuff clogs up the tubes. So, what happens to the little developing embryo as it tries to move down the Tube? [wait] Right! it gets stuck. And it keeps growing. So what’s going to happen? [wait] Right! the Tube is going to burst, and if the doctor doesn’t realize what’s happening, the little human embryo AND mom are going to die. Mom will hemorrhage to death.

Tubal pregnancies are on the rise because of infections caused by STDs and by abortions. About 3-4 million cases of Chlamydia occur per year.

Now, you may think “oh, that’s just the low life — that just happens in CA or NY”. But let’s break that down. If we take 3.5 million and divide by 50 states, that’s 70,000 cases per state. Our state has 64 counties [divide]; so that’s more than 1000 per county. We have less than 50,000 people in this county, so that’s more than 1 in 50 people who could be infected.

Chlamydia is very contagious — an uninfected person has about a 1 in 2 chance of getting the disease from an infected person — that’s a 50% chance of infection with every sexual encounterBottom Line: Condoms provide little protection against Chlamydia. [you may want to tell them about studies done on college campuses with groups using condoms and not using condoms — both groups have the same or very similar rates of transmission of Chlamydia. This means that condoms do NOT stop Chlamydia.]

Among sexually active teens, anywhere from 10-30% are infected with chlamydia [CDC STD Prevention in 1997 stated that 15-19 year old girls had 46% of all reported Chlamydial infections.] OK, math majors, if we take the average between 10% & 30% — 20% — what is the fraction for that? [wait; tease them if they don’t get it!] Right! 1/5.

So, just to get an idea of how many people that would be in a group this size, I’m going to count off, and every 5th person please stand up. Now, we’re not saying anybody has this disease — this just gives us an idea of numbers in a group this size. [begin counting, walking among the teens. encourage every 5th one to stand]

OK! So this allows us to see, out of a group this size, how many COULD have chlamydia. [to the standers] Thank you! You can sit down now. Remember what this looked like, because another STD we will discuss — also infects about 20% of the whole U.S. population.Chlamydia can cause PID. Do you know what that is? It’s Pelvic Inflammatory Disease; it’s an infection in the pelvic area of women and it leads to sterility. According to the CDC [STD Prevention, “Some Facts About Chlamydia”, August 2000] up to 40% of women with untreated Chlamydia will develop PID. If the PID is not found and treated, 20% of those women will become infertile; 18% will have very painful, chronic pelvic, and 9% will have a life-threatening tubal (ectopic) pregnancy. Chlamydia can also lead to neonatal conjunctivitis and pneumonia in the babies of these women. Women infected with Chlamydia also have a 3-5 fold increased risk of acquiring HIV, if exposed to it. In men, untreated Chlamydia typically causes urethral infection but may also cause swollen testicles. Oh, by the way, is anybody hungry? [Go to Teaching Demos, Demo #2, for the complete explanation of the Chocolate Chip Cookie. This is very powerful and can be used to make several important points. While the cookie is being passed around, continue by talking quickly about a few more STDs.]Another bacterial STD is gonorrhea. [If you are dealing with a “tough” group, you may want to describe how gonorrhea received the name “clap”, from the WWII soldiers; this usually makes even tough guys winch and get squeamish]. Gonorrhea is similar to Chlamydia and is also responsible for causing PID. OK, let’s look at Herpes Simplex II. Herpes is a viral STD. What does that mean? [wait} That’s right-  there are no cures for viruses — generally when people get a viral STD, they will have it forever. Herpes shows itself as painful blisters; one teenage girl explained the pain as pouring lemon juice into a cut — not much fun, huh?

Has anyone ever had fever blisters? They hurt, don’t they? Well, fever blisters are Herpes Simplex I — this is NOT an STD!! Also, chicken pox is a herpes virus, so is shingles — but these are NOT STDs!!

Do you understand? Only Herpes Simplex II (also called HSV) is an STD. Now, it USED to be that doctors identified fever blisters above the waist and Herpes Simplex II, the STD, below the waist [use your hands to demonstrate above and below].

But because of certain sexual practices now [stress this], people are getting the STD Herpes in their throats, [point to the throat and pause, looking around so that they get the point] and cases have been recorded of herpes in the eye. Now, you may have heard people say that certain sexual behaviors in certain body places will not cause STDs. But we want YOU to know that those people don’t know what they are talking about…[stress this] It’s also important to understand that even if these blisters are NOT present, the disease can still be transmitted from an infected person to an uninfected person. Did you hear that? Even if there are no visible blisters on a person’s body, that person can still pass this viral disease – a disease that will never go away – to his or her sexual partner.Herpes blisters are painful, and stress seems to cause outbreaks of the blisters. But folks, that’s not the worst of it.  Herpes is believed to increase the risk of HIV transmission. HIV is the STD that causes AIDS. The Herpes virus provides an easy way for the HIV virus to get into the body. HIV is actually a wimpy virus; the chance of a healthy person contracting HIV (AIDS) is only about 1 in 500 sexual encounters. But, when another STD like Herpes, Chlamydia, HPV, or gonorrhea is present, the risk of HIV infection is dramatically increased!OK, at least 20% — 1 in 5 (remember?)– of the ENTIRE US population over the age of 11 has been infected with HSV — did you hear that? [repeat] One of every 5 people over the age of 11 has Herpes. That’s at least 45 million American people! And I’m not meaning to upset anyone; but, statistics show that 45% of Blacks [Afro-Americans] are infected. Bottom Line: Condoms provide little protection against Herpes II because Herpes II can be transmitted by skin-to-skin contact, not just by fluids…Remember, IF YOU’RE NOT HAVING SEX (beyond a simple good night kiss), YOU DON’T HAVE TO WORRY!!

Let’s quickly talk about HPV — Human Papilloma Virus. Remember: HIV, HSV, HPV — these are medical names for different viral STDs. Viruses have no cure. They’ve talked about a cure on TV; but that’s only for 1 or 2 strains of HPV — there are over 100 strains known!! HPV causes genital warts. Has anyone ever had a wart on your hand or foot? Now these warts are NOT STDs! But did the wart bother you? Did you poke at it? [some boys say they ripped off their warts] [pretend you have a wart on your hand, look at it intensely] So, you were bothered by the wart?…[poke at & stare at your pretend wart a few seconds. Then look intently at your audience] Imagine having hundreds of warts in your genital area! [this generally invokes lots of noise from the teens!]

OK!! Now we live in America — land of the free! We get to make lots of choices don’t we? Well, when people get genital warts, they can go to the doctor and in humiliation, admit that they have warts. That’s pretty embarrassing for most people. But the doctor will say, “Hey, you have a choice! You can have them burned off, frozen off, scraped off, or surgically cut off!” So, the person gets to choose how the warts are removed! But guess what? [usually, someone says “they come back”] That’s right! Within a few months, they usually come back. So the person gets to go back to the doctor and choose a new method of removal this time! Imagine all the scarring from removal after removal. Isn’t it great to have so many choices??…[pause and look at your audience to let that sink in]

Of course, warts are not the biggest problem with HPV — it is present in at least 95%-99% of all cases of cervical cancer in women. Remember the cervix is at the base of the uterus. About 4500 US women die each year from cervical cancer.

Thousands more have to have hysterectomies just to stay alive. What is a hysterectomy? [pause] That’s right! Part or all of a woman’s reproductive organs have to be removed. One or 2 strains of HPV cause invasive cancer within 1 year of infection — so there are 15, 16, 17 year-old girls having total hysterectomies — that means all their reproductive organs removed — just to keep them alive, and then they always have to worry about getting cancer again…

Now, guys, don’t feel left out! HPV causes cancer in males, too!! {say it slowly for impact, grinning at the boys!] – Penile cancer. [the boys really get upset about this]

But, since guys have outdoor plumbing, it’s easier for boys/men to see there is a problem. Girls have indoor plumbing, and so they are in much more danger because they cannot see the developing cancer.

Is this the kind of gift you want to give to another person?…[pause] Guys, is it right to use a girl, and give her HPV or Chlamydia? Would it bother you if you caused her to lose her reproductive organs and to live with the fear of the cancer returning? Would it bother you if she was never able to have babies? Is this how we show someone we love them? [pause & look intently at them]At least 10% of the US population has been infected with HPV. HPV is highly contagious: uninfected people have a 1 in 2 chance50% — of getting HPV with every sexual encounter. It is very common among teens. Rutgers University had a big “safe sex” publicity campaign for years. You know how effective it’s been? 60% of the coeds [the girls attending the school] have HPV. So, how “safe” do you think condoms are?Bottom Line: Condoms provide NO PROTECTION against HPV. The CDC and all major government health agencies now admit this fact. HPV is passed by skin-to-skin contact — the virus is in the skin cells of the genital area, not in fluids which is all that condoms stop…

I promise you, I am not standing here to try to scare you.

But I know you want to be treated as adults, and this is adult information. I believe you can make good decisions when you have all the facts.

I believe you can handle these facts and make smart decisions for your future, and for the future of your spouse. That’s right! You need to be thinking about that special person you will marry some day. You need to make decisions for your life with your spouse in mind because he or she will be sharing in the good – and in the bad – decisions you make in your life NOW!I have a friend who is strikingly gorgeous! She told me once that she slept around in college and got Herpes. Since she married, she worries all the time about infecting her husband. Do you want to start your marriage with the person you truly love, by giving them a disease, or worrying that you will??..

OK! Where’s that cookie? [the last person to touch it may have already given it back to you; it may be in several pieces; that’s OK]. So, is any one still hungry? [of course, every hand goes up! Try to spot the first hand, or the most macho guy. Get another bagged cookie and walk directly to this person, smiling.] OK! I’m going to give you this cookie [the passed-around cookie], and I’ll eat this one! [the bagged cookie] [Of course, the teen says he/she wants the bagged cookie] Why do you want the bagged cookie? What’s the difference? [proceed around the room showing both cookies, eliciting the info that the passed-around cookie has germs] Where are the germs? Can you see the germs? [continue around to several teens — they all get worked up; back up to the front]

You don’t want the cookie that’s been passed around because you know it has germs even though you cannot see the germs. You trust a little thin plastic bag — like a thin condom — to protect the other cookie from germs; but how do you know that someone didn’t cough or sneeze on it before they put it in the bag?

How do you know that the first cookie I gave out was not passed around during the last class? [they may say they trust you!– the one who received the first cookie may get upset — assure him/her that the cookie was not previously used!] [Now, quiet them down and talk slowly] You can’t tell by looking that the cookie has germs, and you can’t tell by looking at a person that they have an STD! [this is very powerful — their eyes usually get very wide and it gets very quiet – this really hits home; pause about 5 seconds]OK, guys, you don’t have to say anything, but I want you to answer this in your mind [OR, you can specifically ask a boy this question] : when the time comes and you’re ready to settle down and marry the girl of your dreams, are you going to want the one who has been “passed around” or the one who has kept herself pure for you? [pause]Now, most of you probably want to marry a pure girl, one who has waited for you! Most guys do! So, let me ask you another question: you all know who the studs and stud-wanna-bes are. If they are “using up” all the girls, not only do they not care about the girls; they don’t care about you guys either, because they are ruining all the pure girls that you want to marry! Think about it…

[Time is running out! The class is almost over! REALLY talk fast!]

Now, you may be sitting here thinking to yourself. “Well, so where does this leave me?” [Call up an athletic looking guy; ask his name and what sport he plays] Jimmy [whatever his name is] has had an outstanding year and has won a tremendous award for __. They are giving a big banquet in his honor, so he’s going to pick up his date.

He gets in his car [put a toddler’s car console in his lap — you know, the kind with an ignition, a little steering wheel, horn, speedometer, etc. As you speak, look at him to do each thing you say], he starts the car and begins to drive [he will probably try to hold the steering wheel with one hand, because it’s so small, but fuss at him…] Both hands please!! [audience laughs]

OK! Jimmy thinks he knows her street. He turns down this road. It doesn’t look or feel right; but he keeps going. The road gets narrower and darker, no houses, no signs, but he keeps going.

Finally, he sees a sign [pull out a yellow poster board, drawn like a dead end sign] that says “DEAD END 5 MILES AHEAD”.

Now, Jimmy, are you going to keep going the next 5 miles, or stop and turn around? [Usually, the boy looks at you like you are stupid for even saying this, and he will say he’s going to stop and turn around; some boys say they’ll go the next 5 miles and then turn around] OK, so if you are going to get your award, you have to stop and turn around! Great! Thanks for your help! [turn to the group] So, Jimmy turns around, finds his date, and they get to the banquet. They may be a little late, [stress this] but they get dessert and Jimmy gets his award!!

And if you know people who are sexually active and uncomfortable in this relationship, tell them to stop and turn around!

It may be difficult, but the rewards are great! No more worries about getting pregnant, or AIDS, or some other STD! No more emotional stress and strain! Stop and turn around!

WE BELIEVE IN YOU!!

We KNOW you can learn to SAY “NO” to sex…

— for your HEALTH

— for your FAMILY

— for your FUTURE

Say “no” to sex for NOW, and “Yes!” to a HEALTHY FUTURE!

Please read these brochures we’re handing out. Thanks so much for your attention to this adult issue!…

Have a great day and see you tomorrow (next week)!

© 2006 PhysiciansForLife.org

For DAY 2, click here.