There’s more to sex than mere skin on skin. Sex is as much spiritual mystery as physical fact. As written in Scripture, “The two become one.” Since we want to become spiritually one with the Master, we must not pursue the kind of sex that avoids commitment and intimacy, leaving us lonelier than ever—the kind of sex that can never “become one.” There is a sense in which sexual sins are different from all others. In sexual sin we violate the sacredness of our own bodies, these bodies that were made for God-given and God-modeled love, for “becoming one” with another. Or didn’t you realize that your body is a sacred place, the place of the Holy Spirit? Don’t you see that you can’t live however you please; squandering what God paid such a high price for? The physical part of you is not some piece of property belonging to the spiritual part of you. God owns the whole works. 1 Corinthians 6:16-18 (The Message)
Today I am continuing a look at the dangers of teenage sexuality. This is a problem even among teenagers professing to be Christians. Adults would be fools to think that Christian young people are not tempted to become sexually involved with one another.
We are to be wise to the ways of our households. As an older woman I am charged with teaching younger women how to love their children. Part of loving them is protecting them from harm and at times, teaching them about things we would rather ignore and pretend doesn’t exist or apply to us. This is one of those areas that make us cringe just a little bit.
However, I take my responsibility to you seriously, and so I continue to inform you about the dangers of teen sex.
In the 1990’s the term “safe sex” became the mantra for those promoting sex outside of marriage. They touted the condom as the answer to safe sex of all kinds. Teens could have sex and not worry about getting a disease by using a condom. The reality is, even if a condom is used perfectly, 100% of the time there is a 2-4% chance it will break or slip. Condoms are best for reducing the exposure to HIV but not effective in combating other sexually transmitted diseases (STD’s).
Think of your State’s College football stadium. Statistically, 1 in 5 of the cheering kids (at least) in the stands has herpes. Every 3rd girl has Human Papilloma Virus (HPV), and 1 out of 10 girls have Chlamydia.
If we left only those with an STD in the stands and took out the healthy ones- the stands would still be nearly FULL! You need to know that STD’s are not a single epidemic; the CDC (Center for Disease Control) considers it a multiple epidemic of at least 25 diseases- nearly 50 is you count all the various strains of the virus groups. Nearly a quarter of a million teenagers are diagnosed with PID every year as a direct result of the spread of STD’s and public health officials are now beginning to see antibiotic-resistant strains of some STD’s that could formerly be cured.
In the year 2000, 61% of young people infected with HIV were women between the ages of 13 and 19.
15-20% of all young men will be infected with the herpes virus by the time they are 18, and statistics reveal that 50% of all students in grades 9-12 have had sexual intercourse. Among that group, between 12 and 20% have had 4 or more sexual partners in their young lives!
How scary is this: If a 17 year old boy has sex with 4 girls by his Senior year in high school, and his girl has also had sex with 4 boys in her high school years, they bring the sexual histories of 15 people into bed with them.
Let’s say that same boy has sex with 8 girls throughout his teenage years (conservative by some estimates) and that girl has had sex with 8 boys in her young lifetime, they are exposing themselves to the sexual history of – are you ready? 255 people. If those same 2 teens have sex with 12 people each, they will each bring an astounding 4,095 sexual histories into their next sexual encounter.
Many STD’s are transmitted despite the use of barrier contraceptives like condoms. Birth control is NOT disease control. By promoting easy access to contraceptives and abortions we have seen the rates of sex explode and it has caused an epidemic of STDs and teen pregnancy and unwed parenting.
Condoms have been promoted as the only birth control method to stop disease and they don’t work. Many infections can be spread from any sexual contact, on hands, mouths and skin.
An FDA brochure on condoms and STDs says the following in answer to the question, “Will a condom guarantee I won’t get a sexually transmitted disease?” “No. There’s no absolute guarantee even when you use a condom. But most experts believe that the risk of getting AIDS and other sexually transmitted diseases can be greatly reduced if a condom is used properly.
How “safe” does this sound to you? The bottom line is, sex with condoms isn’t totally “safe sex,” but it is “less risky” sex.
Is that the goal for our teens? Is our biblical goal “less risky” sex? I should think not! Next time we will look at some disturbing trends among our Christian teens.
The data for this posting was gathered from numerous sources, including:
America’s Youth: Measuring the Risk, 4th ed. Washington, D.C.: The Institute for Youth Development, 2002
“Young People At Risk: HIV/AIDS Among America’s Youth.” Center for Disease Control and Prevention. National Center of HIV, STD, and TB Prevention. Internet online. www.cdc.gov/hiv/pubs/facts/youth.htm
Sexual Health Knowledge, Attitudes and Experiences (Menlo Park, CA: The Henry J Kaiser Family Foundation, 2003)
Kara Joyner and J. Richard Udry, “You Don’t Bring Me Anything But Down: Adolescent Romance and Depression.” Journal of Health and Social Behavior 41 (2000) 369-391