In this age of exploding technology, not to mention statistical spin, it’s important to remember that things are seldom as they first seem.
Consider a new study that was released last week from the CDC (Centers for Disease Control). At first glance, the findings appear promising, even encouraging. According to the report, nearly 75% of teenagers between the ages of 15 and 17 are now choosing to abstain from sex.
Given previous negative trends on this matter, this is good news, unless, of course, you’re the parent of a teen who falls within the other 25%.
Still, those numbers don’t tell the whole story, and not by a long shot.
By “sex” they are referring to sexual intercourse. Anything short of that, including oral sex, wouldn’t fall into that 75% reported figure.
Because of this, within the same study you’ll find that teenagers are contracting sexually transmitted diseases at incredibly high rates. According to the CDC:
Estimates suggest that while representing 25% of the sexually experienced population, those aged 15–24 acquire nearly one-half of all new STDs.
Case in point: girls between the ages of 15 and 19 suffer the highest rates of chlamydia in the country.
In other words, just because the majority of teenagers report abstaining from sexual intercourse doesn’t mean they’re abstaining from sexual activity. The data also suggests that increased condom use, which many so-called ‘safe-sex’ advocates champion, is not the best solution when it comes to protecting against sexually transmitted diseases.
If you are a parent of a teen, I would urge you, on an age-appropriate basis, to develop a habit of engaging in candid and regular conversation about sexuality with them. It’s important that they be reminded, in the starkest of terms, that not only is any kind of pre-marital sexual experimentation contrary to God’s law, it’s also highly detrimental to their physical health, beyond the risk of pregnancy.
I know that such a discussion can be difficult and uncomfortable, but the stakes couldn’t be higher. If you’re struggling with how to begin, please just click here to learn about resources designed to aid you with this critically important task of parenthood.