Teenagers and the Importance of Abstinence
Teenagers need to be taught to practice abstinence. By learning this important lesson, youths will be less likely to contract sexually transmitted diseases, and they will be safe from unwanted pregnancies that could lead to abortions.
Three million people under the age of 20 in the United States become infected with a sexually transmitted disease each year. With 66 percent of high school students having had intercourse by graduation, these numbers are not surprising (Planned Parenthood-Helping Young).
The effects of sexually transmitted diseases can be devastating. Once a person contracts herpes, he must deal with it for the rest of his life. The HIV virus puts a person on the fast track to death. Growing up is hard enough for a child without having to face his own mortality.
I learned all I wanted to know about sexually transmitted diseases while attending religious school at my synagogue. I was 13 at the time, but I still remember the experience vividly eight years later. One Wednesday night, the rabbis called all of the eighth, ninth, tenth, and eleventh graders into the chapel for a special program. One of the teachers had prepared a slide show to demonstrate the effects that a sexually transmitted disease had on the human body. The first several pictures were not too bad, showing not much more than some bumps around a girl's mouth. As the show progressed, the slides got more gruesome. A man's genitals with large sores displayed the effects of herpes. Another slide showed the bottom of a girl's foot that had a hole the size of a quarter in it, the STD eating away at it like termites do an old house. I never have forgotten that night, and I wish that every child in high school could see that slide show.
There needs to be a slide show about the horror stories of teen pregnancy. Then, parents could show their children the story of Lorette. Just a 16-year-old student from a loving home, she has a son and deals every day with the realities of motherhood.
"It's really, really, hard. I've got to get up with him during the night, then get up early for school. My mother watches the baby during the day. But in the evening, I've got to do my homework, feed him, give him a bath, get him to sleep, and get myself ready for the next day" (Teen Pregnancy-Teen Voices).
Teen pregnancy is prevalent in America today, with approximately one million teenagers getting impregnated each year (Planned Parenthood-Helping Young). As of 1995, Texas had the third-highest teen pregnancy rate in America (Teen Pregnancy-State). Some teens are risking a pregnancy because of peer pressure. One 16-year-old virgin explains, "It's hard to abstain when it seems like everyone but you is having sex,"(Teen Pregnancy-Voices). Six out of 10 sexually active girls are having intercourse because their boyfriends want them to (Teen Pregnancy-Facts & Stats).
So many of these relationships are resulting in...