Sexual Health: What Every High School and College Student Needs to Know
Our young people are being lied to. Sold a damnable bill of goods that is wounding them physically, emotionally and spiritually.
Some few, these lies are killing.
You probably realize that a majority of unmarried college students—80 percent or more in America—are having sex. Almost two thirds of high schoolers have had sex by their senior year; over one in five has had four or more partners by that point.
What you may not realize is how much this sexualized culture is hurting these students. One quarter of sexually active teens contract a sexually transmitted disease. Teenaged girls are over three times more likely to feel depressed a lot, most, or all of the time if they are sexually active, and almost three times more likely to have attempted suicide, according to one study; teenaged boys are eight times more likely to try to kill themselves if they are sexually active.
Other surveys show that sexually active high schoolers are 50 percent more prone to drop out of school and 60 percent more liable to be expelled. They are also half as likely to graduate from college. Even among teens from identical socio-economic backgrounds, sexual activity dramatically hurts academic performance. Sexually active college students, living out the dramas of making and breaking sexual relationships, have lower grade-point averages than their chaste peers, they seek counseling more often and are more apt to consider their relationships stressful.
The risks associated with early sex experience are many, and the younger it begins, the higher the risks. It boosts the probability of unmarried pregnancy and abortion, births and single parenthood, and poverty among mothers and children. The danger of infection by stds is higher not only because of increased exposure but also because of the biological susceptibility of less-mature sex organs. At the same time, early sex experience is proven to lower happiness and decrease the odds of later marital stability.
What makes this tragedy more than merely sad—what makes it truly outrageous and angering—is the fact that these students are, at least in part, acting in ignorance, having been deliberately fed false information that obscures how destructive their behavior really is.
Unscrupulous educators—people more committed to politically correct principles of “sexual freedom” than to protecting our youth—are suppressing solid, scientific evidence, damning facts that might endanger their own perverse social agendas.
If you are a young person contemplating or having premarital sex, you desperately need the whole truth. If you are an adult who has teens or children off at college, or with friends who have, you owe it to those young people to get these truths into their hands.
Truth is power. As Jesus Christ said, truth can set us free.
The Biology of Bonding
One book that exposes this devastating reality and supplies some of the truths our young people need is Unprotected. It was authored by “Anonymous, m.d.,” an Ivy League-trained psychiatrist working at a prestigious American university, trying to treat the physical and emotional wreckage in the lives of thousands of ace students caused by reckless sexual conduct. She won’t publish her name for fear of censure by colleagues who demand that those in her profession toe the politically correct line.
This book speaks of a hormone called oxytocin that is released in a woman’s body during sexual activity and while nursing a baby. Oxytocin is proven to increase maternal attachment, devotion and trust. In married women and mothers, such effects can be wonderfully beneficial. In college girls, however, the premature release of this hormone can make a young woman emotionally vulnerable as she bonds with and trusts a guy who has no intention of sticking around.
Unprotected’s author says she deals every day with students, particularly women, wounded by the heartache (and other, sometimes quite serious related problems) of failing and failed relationships. Surely such information about the body’s “bonding” hormone could help these women make better-informed decisions regarding sex. “Why isn’t oxytocin—likened to a ‘love potion’ by one neuroscientist—part of the vocabulary of our youth …?” she asks.
She answers: “I submit that the notion of being designed to bond is to some an unwelcome finding. It implies that sexual activity, especially in women, might be more complex than, say, working out. It suggests women may be vulnerable, unprotected.” The trouble with that concept is, it runs directly counter to the fallacy—heavily promoted by radical social engineers—that men and women are essentially the same, virtually interchangeable. Is this why the truth about this hormone hasn’t been more widely publicized?
You will never hear this in a school health clinic, but it is beautifully true: The woman who chooses to wait until marriage ensures that this hormone binds her emotionally to just the right individual: the man with whom she plans to spend the rest of her life.
The Myth of “Safer Sex”
Information handed to students from official college sources about sexually transmitted diseases runs through a distorting filter.
Consider. First, these pamphlets and websites tend to overpromise on the amount of protection offered by “safer sex” precautions like using prophylactics and “limiting” your number of partners (what does that mean, exactly?). Thus, many students engage in terribly risky behavior and think they’re safe.
At the same time, these materials play down the harmful health costs of stds. And as a result, millions of college students are shocked when they end up with diseases that often have uncomfortable, painful and disgusting effects—and sometimes irreversible consequences like infertility, cancer and death. Human Papilloma Virus (hpv), a highly contagious infection rapidly spreading on college campuses, afflicts 43 percent of college women getting annual check-ups, according to one study. The American Social Health Association says one out of twostds occur in people younger than 25.
Many clinicians would have you believe that such diseases are just part of growing up. For example, of hpv, health center pamphlets say, “hpv infection is very common … almost everyone gets hpv at some time. … [H]aving only a single lifetime partner does not assure protection. … [A]nyone who has ever had sexual relations has a high chance of being exposed to this virus … most men and women are infected with hpv at some time in their lives.”
Reassuring as these statements may be, they are misleading at best, false at worst. There are people who need not fear such terrible diseases at all: those who wait until marriage, and marry someone who waits until marriage.
You probably won’t hear this in a school health clinic, but some stds, notably the dreaded hiv, almost exclusively affect homosexuals and drug users—not because the virus is politically incorrect, but because it spreads primarily through behaviors engaged in by homosexuals and drug users. That is a proven fact that gets papered over because some people consider it “judgmental,” and because certain powerful segments of society simply refuse to consider curtailing their behavior.
Information about hiv and aids says that everyone is at risk—that no one is safe. Wrong. If you don’t use illegal drugs and don’t sleep with anyone other than the person you’ve married, and your spouse has done the same, you are approximately 100 percent safe. That’s the truth.
Also conspicuously absent from these professionals’ health advice is information on how to protect fertility. Apparently they are concerned only with preventing parenthood, not with facilitating it once someone desires it.
Though virtually all women in college plan to have children at some point in their lives, they generally do not hear information about fertility and about planning for children. Professional counselors generally focus instead on helping women overcome “sociocultural indoctrination” (that is, having a desire for anything that might look like a traditional family), encouraging them to put off children so they can aggressively pursue careers.
The problem is, stds aren’t the only thing that can make a person infertile. Age can too. A female doesn’t manufacture new eggs—she is born with all the eggs she’ll ever have. As she ages, so do those eggs. Many women are led to believe they can easily have children into their late 30s, early 40s or even later. But by the time they finally decide they want a baby, many are devastated to discover that—even with the help of expensive drugs and fertilization procedures—it’s a lot harder than they thought. For the great majority of these older women, they physically can’t.
Sylvia Ann Hewlett, setting out to write a book about high-achieving women turning age 50, realized in her research that there is a remarkable amount of childlessness among these women. “There is a secret out there, a painful, well-kept secret,” she wrote in what turned out to be the book Creating a Life: Professional Women and the Quest for Children. “At mid-life, between a third and half of all high-achieving women in America do not have children. … The vast majority of these women did not choose to be childless. Looking back to their early 20s, when they graduated college, only 14 percent said they definitely had not wanted children. … When I talked to these women about children, their sense of loss was palpable. I could see it in their faces, hear it in their voices, and sense it in their words.”
Here is something your college clinic won’t tell you: These high-powered professional women wish they could go back and do what society generally ridicules a younger woman for today—foregoing the big career in order to be a wife and mom.
The Trauma That Doesn’t Exist
Unprotected also speaks of another unmentionable problem in today’s universities: the pain—particularly emotional—suffered by women who decide to abort their babies, and even the men who fathered those babies. Health-care professionals patently deny the painful facts.
American Psychologist, for example, says that “severe negative reactions” to getting an abortion “are rare. … [A]bortion is usually psychologically benign.” Planned Parenthood dismisses abortion trauma as a “non-existent phenomenon” and says most women consider it “a maturing experience.” “Women who have had one abortion do not suffer adverse psychological effects. In fact, as a group, they have higher self-esteem, greater feelings of worth and capableness, and fewer feelings of failure than do women who have had no abortions ….”
Does that even make sense? That a woman would feel better about herself after accidentally getting pregnant and then having the unwanted child evacuated from her body?
A million abortions are performed each year in the United States, over half in women younger than age 25. And the truth is, for many of these women it is very traumatic. A study cited by Planned Parenthood (which it used as proof that “most women do not experience psychological problems or regrets”) indicates that after two years two out of seven women said they felt more harm than benefit from their abortion; almost one in five wouldn’t do it if they could make the choice over again; one in five were depressed; and 1 percent had post-traumatic stress disorder. That last statistic amounts to 10,000 women a year. Support groups attract thousands of them (e.g. afterabortion.com—“This website contains information, help and resources for women dealing with Post Abortion Stress Syndrome …. Regardless of whether your abortion was three weeks ago, three years ago, or 30 years ago, you can find other women who understand, and lots of support”). In some, the pain grows with time rather than subsiding; many experience tremendous sadness, anguish and guilt, and become overwhelmed with emotion over seemingly minor triggers.
Why, then, do young pregnant people who receive professional counseling not hear about these individuals? Why are they encouraged to view murdering a fetus as a simple procedure akin to a tonsillectomy? Simply because too many feminists and feminist-sympathizers are married to abortion as a political issue. They want no obstacles in the way of women being able to terminate their unwanted babies, and thus flatly reject and ignore the psychological damage it can generate. By putting “the cause” ahead of actual people, they encourage countless youths into making choices with tragic consequences.
The vast majority of abortions are performed as a form of birth control—for people who wanted to enjoy the “recreational” aspects of sex without its responsibilities. Young people should not be lulled into carelessness by false promises regarding abortion. It is not like having a wart removed—it is eliminating the life of a child who exists because of your decision to procreate.
Don’t expect to hear this from your school counselor, but think seriously about it: If you wait to have sex until you are ready for the responsibilities of parenthood, you will never have to face the possibility of having to make such a devastating choice. You will be free to view the conception of a new life as the pure blessing that it is.
A lot of people will react angrily to the facts in this article. They don’t like things that repudiate their vision of how society should work and how they should be able to live their lives. They want to disregard the indisputable consequences of the poor choices they have made. But facts are facts, and ignoring these facts simply imperils lives.
Many people also think waiting until marriage is unrealistic—practically impossible—and hence not even worth seriously discussing.
That is ridiculous. I know this because I waited until marriage, and so did my wife. We are free from the emotional, physical and spiritual traumas associated with stds, unwanted pregnancies, abortions or infertility. We have two lovely daughters and are about to have our third child. This is not to say that waiting until marriage guarantees a problem-free life. But the problems associated with sexual looseness are virtually non-existent for anyone who chooses this path. It works.
I also know this because I am an instructor at Herbert W. Armstrong College, a privately funded liberal arts college in Edmond, Oklahoma. The students here date, and date a lot—but they date around; school policy forbids exclusive dating until just before a student graduates; sexual activity is forbidden. This means that these students’ education isn’t befouled by distracting and destructive trysts and dangerous “experimental” behavior. The students are free to develop strong friendships with all different ones; free to enjoy and develop their personalities through regular dates with dozens of people of the opposite sex; absolutely free of the depression, diseases and pressures associated with unmarried sex. As a result, they are happier, more care-free, and better able to concentrate on the education they came here to receive.
This is not boasting—it is merely meant to demonstrate that there exists a real alternative to the half-truths and outright lies being promulgated in the educational world at large. Our young people need the truth.Anyone who avoids unmarried sex will avoid problems and reap wonderful long-term benefits.
And the truth that will truly set you free—in your family and sex life—is an understanding of the real God-ordained purpose for sex and family. This is a dimension completely ignored by the “experts” in health and family planning; and it is their ignorance on this subject that leads them to advocate—even in the face of overwhelmingly contrary facts and logic—behaviors that are destroying the very people they have pledged to help.
If you would like this truth—if you would like to understand why God made male and female, marriage, sex and family, if you want to understand how to prepare for marriage and family during your youth, and how to make these things work in your adulthood—then we want to send you a free copy of a book called The Missing Dimension in Sex, by Herbert W. Armstrong. Just request it via e-mail, telephone or letter, and a copy of the book is yours (see the back cover of the magazine for details).
It so happens that the way of life free from the troubles we’ve discussed, and that leads to wonderful blessings, is spelled out in the Bible. God tells us to “Flee fornication” (1 Corinthians 6:18), which is all sexual activity before marriage. He forbids adultery (Exodus 20:14), which is all sexual activity outside of marriage. He forbids homosexuality (e.g. Leviticus 18:22; Romans 1:24-27) and bestiality (Exodus 22:19). He does this for our good—to increase our happiness and personal fulfillment! Anyone who believes these laws are “done away” should honestly consider the curses plaguing those who break them.
If you have made mistakes in your life, know that—although at times we may have to live with certain physical consequences—there is no sin too great for God to forgive. If you repent, Christ says to you, as He said to the adulteress in John 8:11: “Neither do I condemn thee: go, and sin no more.”
The truth is simple and beautiful. We need to cling to that truth in order to remain committed to going against the grain of a society bent on feeding its own lusts. As we do so, that truth will set us free.