Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Teen boys and sex

Recently an 8th grade boy commented that sexually active teen boy's reputations and self-esteem are boosted by sex. Nicole and I have been asking the opinions of some of our male friends (stay tuned for another post), but I also looked into studies that show otherwise.

1) Teen boys who are "sexually active are more than twice as likely to be depressed as those who are not sexually active." (Heritage Foundation)

2) "Sexually active teenage boys are eight times more likely to attempt suicide than are boys who are not sexually active." (Heritage Foundation)

3) "Sexually active boys aged 12-16 are four times more likely to smoke and six times more likely to use alcohol than are those who described themselves as virgins." (Pediatrics Magazine)

As much as our culture says that sex proves manhood, at our very heart we know this isn't true. I'll post more later, but for now, ponder this: True manhood is not proved by sexual promiscuity but by self-control, courage and the strength to stand up for sexual purity.

6 comments:

Anonymous said...

The site that you linked for citation shows plenty of signs of good ol' fashion bias. Please show other websites that are unbiased, preferably medical journal sites and other unbiased outlets. Also, show if these results have been duplicated. I found a site that that is unbiased and far more inclusive than the sites you have on citations for teen sex and depression, and an article from AP to refute that abstinence only programs work.(sorry you have to copy and paste them!) Also both of these article are from 2007

http://hosted.ap.org/dynamic/stories
/T/TEEN_SEX?SITE=FLTAM&SECTION=US

http://www1.umn.edu/umnnews/Feature
_Stories/Study_examines_link_
between_early_sex_mental_health.html

Emily said...

Anonymous, thank you for your comment and for the links. While it is true that the Heritage Foundation supports abstinence education, I would argue that it is because of the research they have done proving its efficacy and prevention of certain emotional and social issues for young people. We all have a bias, one way or the other, and so even sources like the Associated Press are biased (though they often try to appear neutral). I majored in journalism and finally came to realize that even when we try to hide our bias and opinion, it is still there.

As you mentioned, some studies have shown that abstinence education does not work. But others maintain that it is making a difference (http://www.medinstitute.org/includes/downloads/MathematicaStatementFINAL.pdf and http://www.frc.org/get.cfm?i=IF06B01, for example).

Regardless of what the studies say, the reason that I do full time chastity education is primarily because I care about my students and want them to have the happiest and most fulfilled life possible. I have seen many of my friends go through devastating experiences, physically, emotionally and spiritually, because of their non-marital sexual activity, and I never want to see these young people go through something similar.

So even if some studies "prove" that sex without emotional strings attached is possible, I've heard enough stories to the contrary to propel me in sharing the good news about chastity.

Emily said...

Oh, one more thing: Anonymous, I agree that it is good to use medical journals and such. We rely heavily on organizations like the CDC in presenting statistics in our program. Thanks again!

Blackrose said...

Thank you for relying on CDC! It is refreshing to here that. Thank you also for being very gracious. It is good to hear that you admit bias is everywhere, not many people on both sides of the issue do(myself included sometimes) I am glad that you have made a decision through thought and experience as I have. I have had different experience with people and sex and I have not heard about anyone being emotionally scarred from sex in my area(that is people who made a decision that this is what they wanted, no one pressured them, they used contraceptives ect ect). I honestly, though, do not believe sex without strings is possible either. I just believe if you are in a long term committed monogamous relationship sex is something can help deepen a relationship. I personally do not think people should just go running around having sex. Sex for me is still about the emotion love that you feel for someone. I just don't believe that Putting it on paper makes it so.(IE getting married) But the reason i want there to be more all inclusive sex ed is so people fully know all of the options and can make an informed decision. There were too many pregnant girls in my high school(Catholic education=abstinence only) But i will not be one to deny that abstinence is the only sure fire way you will avoid pregnancy and STDs.

Hope i didn't ramble or anything....sometimes i do that

thank you for being honest, I appreciate it!

Blackrose~formerly anonymous

Emily said...

Blackrose,
Thanks for sharing your insights! You share some very common opinions with today’s culture. With so many marriages failing, it’s no wonder that we don’t grasp the importance of marriage.

So why would I advocate saving sexual activity for marriage? Is it just about a piece of paper? I think it’s a lot more than that. See, sex is like body language for married love – it signifies giving a total gift of oneself forever. Other kids of love (love of parents, friends, etc.) aren’t diminished or hurt when shared with other people (having multiple children or several friends). However, when it comes to married/sexual love, the love is meaningless if shared with more than one person. How can we say, “I give myself to you totally forever” if we are giving ourselves “totally” to multiple people? So the bodily union of sex signifies this completeness and exclusivity.

Marriage isn’t about the piece of paper; it’s about the commitment. Without committing to one another in front of family and friends, there is nothing to hold the couple accountable. It’s an easy way out if one or the other decides to leave. How can I give myself totally to another if I’m afraid that the other person may leave? As Dawn Eden said on her blog, "... I knew when I was having sex outside marriage — which is to say, all the sex I've ever had — that even as I was pouring out my body completely to my partner, I could not pour out my heart and give it all to him as a gift. If there was the slightest chance that we might not get married — and until you’ve gone through with it, there always is — then it would be too painful. So I learned to build up a shell. ..." (http://www.dawneden.com/2007/11/sex-and-shell-game.html).

I will admit that many marriages don’t work out, but oftentimes it is due to a lack of understanding of the meaning of marriage or due to previous “training” to live a non-committal lifestyle. See Dr. Jennifer Roback Morse’s articles and books for an explanation (http://www.jennifer-roback-morse.com/articles/cohab_fast_facts.html). Marriage is meant to protect a lifelong commitment (and in the Catholic Church is a sacrament that gives a couple more grace/strength to live that commitment). Saving sexual activity for marriage is a way of preparing for the faithful relationship that marriage entails. And it protects us from the possible heartache of giving ourselves to another person without that promise of commitment.

Thanks again for sharing your thoughts. I really appreciate it.

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