When you face a medical procedure, your doctor is required to sit down with you and tell you everything that might possibly go wrong, even if, statistically, the probability is very slight. You will be asked to sign a form certifying that you have been notified of these risks.
What about the potentially negative consequences of adolescents having sex? Do sex education programs include warnings of the risks involved? To a very limited extent, for the most part. There is instruction about how to use a condom and about the importance of consent to sexual activity. But there are also statements like these in a sex education textbook for 13-year-old girls:
- “Sex is to be experimented with and enjoyed.”
- “There is nothing wrong with having sex and enjoying it.”
- “Most STDs are easily treated.”
Dr. Patricia Sulak, an American obstetrician/gynecologist and author of the sex education curriculum “Wellness and Sexual Health” is deeply concerned about this. She says,
Adolescent sex and multiple sexual partners are well documented health risk behaviors:
- teen/out of wedlock pregnancy
- pre-cancer/cancer: cervix, anus, penis, vulva
- socioeconomic detriment
- psychological sequelae
- tubal pregnancy
- legal remifications
Initiation of sexual activity is a critical health decision with possible long-term consequences if initiated during adolescence.
A critical decision, with long–term consequences!
How can we not warn teens of these risks? How can sex ed authorities encourage adolescent sexual activity?
To be continued …