Tuesday, November 25, 2008

The Development of the Teen Brain

The brain does not reach full development until mid-twenties and one of the last regions of the brain to develop is the pre-frontal cortex which is the part of the brain responsible for making executive decisions such as planning, setting priorities, controlling impulses and weighing the consequences of actions. Learn more about the stage of development that the teen and young adult brain is in at The Medical Institute for Sexual Health's website.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Love and Chastity

Pope John Paul II said that "Chastity can only be thought of in association with the virtue of love." So simple, yet it sets chastity in the right light. Without love, chastity looks a lot like prudishness or repression. If we do not understand what it means to love then we will not understand chastity. Love seeks what is best for the beloved and is willing to make sacrifices for them. Sex outside marriage puts the beloved at risk of: out-of-wedlock pregnancy, STDs, psychological and emotional pain, spiritual void, bad reputation, loss of trust from parents and others, stress and anxiety, loss of dreams and goals, etc. Love would never place the beloved at risk.

Jason Evert says that chastity is a virtue, just like "courage" or "honesty," that relates to our sexuality. It means we have the strength to use our gift of sex in accord with God's plan.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Question Box Friday: Do condoms work?

There are 18.9 million new cases of sexually transmitted diseases each year and 9.1 million of those cases happen among people ages 15-24. There are around 800, 000 teen pregnancy each year. Why such high numbers? It is because we've given into this "safe" sex mentality. This mentality tells us that it is possible to "protect" ourselves from the consequences of sex such as an STD or a pregnancy by using a condom or getting on the birth control pill. However, condoms and birth control have failure rates. Just think about how much protection doctors wear when they know they could come in contact with their patient's bodily fluids. They are covered head to toe in protective gear. However, when talking to our teens or young adults about sex (an exchange of bodily fluids), they are often handed a small piece of thin latex and told "Just use this and you will be safe."

Here are some informative information to chew on from The Medical Institute for Sexual Health's (MISH) 2003 publication, Sex, Condoms and STDs: What We Now Know - "Safer Sex" isn't nearly safe enough.

What does "protection" mean?
The scientific meaning of the word "protect" can mean anything from "somewhat better than nothing" to "complete safety from a risk factor."

What is consistent (always) condom use?
It is usually defined as 100% condom use during all sexual acts indefinitely.

100% use of condoms for many years is so uncommon that it is almost a, "purely theoretical concept," except for very few, very meticulous individuals. Even among adults who knew their partner had HIV, only 56% used condoms every time.

What do condoms actually do?
Condoms DO NOT provide protection, they reduce the risk of infection

Condoms slip or break on average 1.6% to 3.6% of the time even when used 100% of the time.

The less experience someone has with condom use the greater the chance of condom failure, but most importantly, the more acts of sex someone has, there is more chance of experiencing condom slippage and breakage.

Which STDs do condoms "protect" a person from?
Human Papillomavirus (HPV and the #1 most common STD) and Trichomonas Vaginalis: NO clinical evidence of any risk reduction.

Syphilis: With 100% consistent condom use, there remains a 50%-71% risk of infection

Chlamydia and Gonorrhea: With 100% consistent condom use, there remains a 50% risk of infection

Herpes II: With 100% consistent condom use, there still remains a 60% risk of infection
(Herpes II often produces lesions outside the areas that are covered by condoms.)

HIV: With 100% condom use, there still remains a 15% risk of infection

For the approximately 20 other STDs, not enough data exists to say whether or not condoms offer any risk reduction from sexual transmission.

Among teenagers and young adults, when using a condom, there is still a 22.5% risk of becoming pregnant.

The birth control pill, when taken properly everyday, has a 2% failure rate of pregnancy, but provide no reduced risk of contracting a STD.

Condoms and the birth control pill were not invented to "protect" us from STDs or pregnancy. They were created so we can have sex whenever we want with whoever we want.

There was already a very healthy and natural way of preventing STDs and pregnancy. It's called abstinence and it is a great thing! Our sexual urges and feelings are healthy and good, but we are not a mere a collection of urges. We are human beings with the inherent dignity of being created with the ability to reason and will. We have the great privilege and capacity to control ourselves; our urges or feelings whether they be sexually or not. We have got to stop believing the lie that "If it feels good then do it," or "If it feels good then it must be good" or "They'll going to do it anyways." Sex is great, but we don't have to have sex in order to be happy in life. I look forward to my honeymoon night, but I am 24 years old and have not yet had sex and I am very happy and fulfilled.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

An Article of Hope

Here is an article about the conversion of an abortion doctor that should give all of us hope. Click here.

Monday, November 17, 2008


November is the month of adoption so I thought I would take the opportunity to write a little blog about adoption. Scott, Thom and I's boss, worked as an adoption social worker for six years and often comes out to the schools with Thom and I to speak about adoption. An important point that Scott likes to make is that a person does not "put up" their child for adoption. The phrase "put up" comes from the early 1900's when parents would put their children on trains and send them out West to help on the farms. When they got off the train, they were put up on a platform for the farmers to choose from. Adoption is nowhere near the same experience. Birth parents do not simply put their child up for adoption. Rather, they make an adoption plan. They are making a plan for that child's future. For whatever reason, they are not mature (financially, emotionally, spiritually) enough to parent their child so they make a plan to ensure that child's going to be taken care of. Birth parents love their children and it is out of this great love that they choose adoption. It takes a lot of courage, responsibility and unconditional love to place a child for adoption.

In Semi-open and Completely open adoptions, the birth mother is able to choose the adoptive family. There are somewhere between 1-2 million couples waiting to adopt because teen pregnancy is no longer a stigma so teens are keeping and parenting, abortion has cut the pool of available babies in half, wide-spread STDs have caused infertility and people are waiting longer to have children and using birth control which can create infertility problems. Birth parents have plenty of couples to choose fro and the adoptive family goes through interviews, home study, training, finger painting, etc to ensure that they are a stable unit that can provide a strong and loving family for a baby.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Fight the Freedom of Choice Act

If you have not yet heard about the Freedom of Choice Act (FOCA) that President Barack Obama promises to pass within the his first 60 days as president, please take the time to read about it and sign a petition against it by clicking here.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Theology of the Body for Teens

Haven't heard the awesome news of Theology of the Body for Teens yet? On YouTube you can listen to Jason and Chrystalina Evert and Brian Butler give a brief overview of Theology of the Body for Teens. Click here.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

About Gardasil

New findings from Pharmabiz.com, India's most comprehensive pharma portal, show that thr new Gardasil vaccine is linked to 78 types of outbreaks of genital warts. To read more click here. Also, as of May 2007, the Judicial Watch reported that FDA has received 1,637 reported cases of adverse reactions linked to the vaccine (including three deaths). To read more click here. Based on our research we do not recommend giving children and teenagers the vaccine. We believe it promotes a mixed message (Don't be sexually active, but just in case you choose to be, we'll vaccinate you to protect you from one possible consequence). Instead, we encourage you to remind you children that you believe they are capable and worth living a chaste lifestyle and to support them by your words and your actions.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

The Beauty of Celibacy

Have you ever thought that priests and those in religious life must be crazy for choosing such a lifestyle? Who would ever choose to live without sex? Much of this reaction stems from the influence of our sex satuated culture; a culture obessed with sex. Because of it's obession, our culture has lost sight of the truth and meaning of sex. Believe or not, priest and religious are not all that crazy. Did you know that the Christian meaning of sex and marriage cannot be properly understood unless we understand the Christian meaning of celibacy? Check out the deep truth and meaning behind the celibant life by clicking here and you may just find yourself attracted to it.

Monday, November 10, 2008

A Belated Question Box Friday: "What if we love each other?"

I like how Professor Theophilus answers this question. Click here. I also like Jason Evert's answer that can be found on YouTube. Click here.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Teen Pregnancy linked to Sexual Content on Television

When we are in the classroom, Thom and I talk with our students about whether or not the media and it's message about sexuality has any effect on us. Some students are able to see how the media does have an effect on us, while other students are not able to see so. Check out a new study just release yesterday, Monday, November 3, 2008, that show girls who watch TV shows with lots of sexual content have a higher pregnancy rate. Click here.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Catholic Vote 2008

On the eve of election day, I just wanted to encourage you all to get out to vote tomorrow if you haven't already and encourage you all to watch the following video.