Parents and Concerned Adults: HAVE YOU EVER ASKED YOURSELF THESE QUESTIONS?
“Im so embarrassed How can I teach abstinence when I didnt wait?”
“This is awkward Should we talk about birth control?”
“How can we judge how much physical affection is appropriate in a relationship?”
ANSWER: When its time for THE TALK!
The Federal Center for Disease Control estimates that:
- close to 1 million pregnancies occur to teenage girls each year and more than 1/3 of these pregnancies are aborted.
- Teen cases of HIV double every fourteen months, and one in every 250 people in the nation are now infected with this deadly virus.
- 63% of all STD cases occur among persons less than 25 years of age.
- An estimated 1/3 of sexually active teenage girls are infected with chlamydia and/or human papilloma virus (HPV) [www.cpr1.org – CPR – Creating Positive Relationships]
Oral Sex is Associated with HIV Infection
A recent study presented at the 7th Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections revealed that data has existed for some time that oral sex could be a considerable route for HIV infection.
A study of 102 men by the CDC and the Univ of CA at San Francisco found that 8 of these men were infected with HIV through oral sex.
This is a transmission rate of nearly 8 percent for something people thought was safe While this study surprised researchers at this conference and stunned the gay community in San Francisco, it wasnt necessarily new news. A study in the journal Science in 1996 concluded that “the oral route can lead to infection”. [Science, “AIDS: SIV Data Raises Concern on Oral-Sex Risk”, 1996; Reuters 3Feb00; HIV Update, 3, 14 Feb00; Abstinence Network, Spring 2000]
“CONTRACEPTION” FAILS!! A research study found that of 235 women interviewed, “70% of the sample of women who used emergency contraception pills were using a contraceptive method [that had failed]. Moreover, when asked about the situation that led to unprotected intercourse, nearly one-half indicated that it had been a condom failure.” [“Womens Experience and Satisfaction with Emergency Contraception”, Family Planning Perspectives, vol 31, no.5, Sept/Oct99]
In a 1994-95 study of 10,000 patients published by the CDC, “58% of patients [women procuring abortions] reported that they currently used contraception during the month of their menstrual period.” [MMWR, Abortion Surveillance United States, 1995, 3Jul98] This means they were using a contraceptive but became pregnant anyway…
“Induced abortions are linked usually to unintended pregnancies, which often occur despite use of contraception.” [MMWR, Abortion Surveillance United States, 1992]
At a 1995 PPFA conference, Dr. A. Kinesey said, “At the risk of being repetitious, I would remind the group that we have found the highest frequency of induced abortion in the group which, in general, most frequently uses contraceptives.” [FRC News, 1/97]
Countering this, the abstinence-until-marriage (AUM) movement is producing desired results.
Indeed, since federal funds began abstinence-until-marriage (AUM) projects in 1998, the number of teen-age pregnancies, abortions, and births have all fallen dramatically.
Moreover, the average age at which teens have their first sexual experience has risen from 15.8 years of age in 1997 to 16.3 years of age in 1998 [Durex Global Survey (not pro-abstinence)].
These developments show that the prevailing wisdom about teen sex that kids simply cannot control their raging hormones, that they are bound to have sex is a fallacy. Our teens live up or down to our expectations.
There are millions of responsible teens out there who are living proof that younger Americans are quite capable of waiting before becoming sexually active. [excerpt from “The Best Choice for Teens Concerning Sex”, by Joseph Perkins, The San Diego Union-Tribune, 13Aug99; CPR News, 3/00]
So, Parents, talk to your tweens and teens!
Tell them to abstain from sexual activity period.
You dont have to give them details about your younger years; after all, from a physical health standpoint, things were quite different then (only 2 STDs, not 50 like now!).
You may have made mistakes; but true wisdom means learning from those mistakes, and trying to keep other people from falling into the same traps!
And who do you want to protect more than your own children?! Your kids are waiting to hear from you
Parents, here is a Letter from a Physician which contains more important information that you ought to know:
In July of 2001, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) released a report on condom effectiveness against eight major sexually transmitted diseases (STDs).
After an exhaustive study of 138 major studies by a team of experts from CDC, NIH, FDA, and USAID, condoms were shown to be effective for only 2% of all the 15 million STD cases reported annually in the US: heterosexual HIV (AIDS) and woman-to-man gonorrhea. Of course, the vast majority of HIV is not heterosexual, and most gonorrhea is not transmitted from females to males; besides, gonorrhea is bacterial and can be treated.
The bottom line is this: condoms do NOT stop 98% of the STDs transmitted in the USA each year. There are 15 [update – 18.9] million new STD cases each year, at least 3-4 million cases are teenagers. Many of these are life-long viral infections.
The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) announced in January 2001 that condoms do NOT prevent the spread of HPV (Human Papilloma Virus which causes genital warts and cervical cancer about 5000 US women die/year from cervical cancer, more than from AIDS). HPV is spread by skin-to-skin contact and is incurable. At least 20 million Americans have HPV, with 5.5 million new cases per year.
Herpes II is also a viral infection which cannot be cured and which can be transmitted even if the painful sores are not present; condoms have not been shown to be effective against Herpes II. Studies show that if Herpes is present, the chances of acquiring HIV (AIDS) are dramatically increased; that HIV increases the Herpes breakouts experienced by the person (2-4 times more outbreaks per year), and that these Herpes breakouts speed up the progression of HIV in that person. At least 45 million Americans have herpes.
Chemical contraceptives such as “the pill” or “the shot” do NOT prevent STDs at all. New studies actually show that chemical birth control such as the pill actually appear to significantly increase the risk of STDs like HPV, and may increase the chances of cervical cancer when HPV is present. Some of the worst STDs, such as HPV, are spread by skin-to-skin contact, not by fluids, so condoms have no protective effect.
For HPV, herpes, much of the HIV, man-to-woman gonorrhea and the remaining diseases (syphilis, Hepatitis B/D, trichomoniasis, chlamydia) the expert Panel noted that “the absence of definitive conclusions reflected inadequacies of the evidence available and should not be interpreted as proof of the inadequacy of the condom to reduce the risk ” (ES page ii).
This report was delayed for more than one year before being made public; one wonders why.
After more than two decades of research, one must also wonder why there are no “definitive conclusions” and why there are such “inadequacies of the evidence available”.
Major national health agencies have known about condom inadequacy for years and have not made it public. In fact, they have been central players in the promotion of massive “safe sex” publicity aimed at our young people. Could it be they were trying to hide the reality of condom failure from the public to protect themselves and any possible interests in the condom and pharmaceutical industries?
Our children are experiencing STD epidemics, high teen pregnancy rates, poor academic performance, poor standardized test results, violence, drug and alcohol abuse, increasing suicide.
All of these problems either directly or indirectly, are related to premarital sexual activity.
Our children are pushed into physical and emotional relationships for which they are entirely unprepared.
On an informal survey for 7th-10th graders, twice as many of the students indicated that they believed abstinence would help them make better grades and do better on standardized tests than those who disagreed. After the training, many even wrote thank you notes to the abstinence instructors who explained to the students that they do NOT HAVE to have premarital sex!
As adults, many of us know the pain of a broken marriage, that special bond ripped apart. So why do we encourage our children to enter into sexual relationships which also cause tremendous emotional trauma when they end?
Broken relationships result in increased drug and alcohol use and the failure to bond in the future. Research has found that sexually active girls are over six times more likely to attempt suicide than virgins.
As physicians, we encourage and urge parents to whole-heartedly promote sexual abstinence to their offspring as the only physically and emotionally safe and healthy choice in order to live a happier, healthier and more comfortable life. Certainly, parents want what is best for their children; from every medical perspective, sexual abstinence until marriage IS what’s best.
School systems which promote “comprehensive sex education” should reconsider their part in aiding and abetting the “safe sex” myth. By promoting, explaining birth control methodology, and/or distributing condoms, schools may be hit with lawsuits when students are found to be infected with HPV, Herpes, or HIV, all of which are incurable. If schools encouraged the Sexual Russian Roulette in the first place, shouldn’t they have to bear the burden of medical expenses?
From an emotional standpoint, when teens are dealing with the fear of pregnancy and STDs/AIDS, abortion decisions, painful STD infections, and feelings of humiliation and low self-esteem, is it any wonder they don’t concentrate well in school and that they do poorly on tests?
Perhaps we should add two more R’s to Reading, ‘Riting, and ‘Rithmatic: Responsibility and Respect, for self and others. These will do more to help students improve academically than lowering teacher-student ratios or providing standardized test training.
C. Paul Perry, M.D. OB-GYN, Birmingham, AL Abstinence WORKS!