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Sexual Health's Main Goals: Being Comfortable with Sexual Relationships and Practicing Safe Sex

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Sexual Health is defined as, “a state of physical, emotional, mental and social well-being in relation to sexuality” (http://www.cdc.gov/sexualhealth/). There are many ways for teenagers to practice safe sex. While many people view condoms and birth control as the only means of having safe sex, there is actually one form of contraception many teenagers overlook; abstinence. Abstinence is defined as, “the restraint from indulging a desire for something” (http://www.cdc.gov/sexualhealth/). This is the only form of birth control that is 100% effective, because there is absolutely no risk of pregnancy, STI’s, and HIV.

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People in my age range need to understand what sex really is and what the possible consequences of such actions are. Even though people my age have an understanding of what puberty is, some may be unaware of the psychological changes involved with it. For example, puberty is a time when boys start taking interest in girls, and vise-versa. People in their teenage years are more likely to give into their emotions than older adults are. When it comes to sex, giving in to one’s emotions can prevent someone from making smarter choices when it comes to sexual health. Teenagers need to realize that if abstinence cannot be their first option, then alternate forms of contraception must be used to prevent unwanted pregnancies or STI’s.

If teenagers were to have control over their emotions and use some form of contraception, there would be many benefits from this simple choice. One benefit would be the feeling of security after sexual activity; not having to worry about accidental pregnancies or STI’s. Another benefit is the feeling of responsibility initiated by both parties; if both parties were responsible enough to use contraception and practice safe sex, then they have been thoroughly educated to make these adult choices.

There are two barriers that may get in the way of teenagers practicing safe sex. One obvious barrier is the embarrassment of purchasing condoms and birth control pills. As you stated in class; if you aren’t mature enough to purchase contraception, you probably aren’t mature enough to make these adult decisions in the first place. If someone is really that humiliated and anxious to purchase condoms or contraception, I can think of maybe one alternative- stores with self-checkout lines. Not only does it skip the embarrassment of a cashier ringing up the condoms or pills, but it will also get the customer out of the store in a timely manner.

Another barrier that may prevent someone from having safe sex is a lack of common sense knowledge. Whether it is how to properly put on a condom or how to take birth control, there are many ways similar to these two that could prevent a teenager from making smart decisions. There is a solution to this problem; having the courage to ask a teacher or school nurse for advice on this matter. If teens realized that these adults are there to help them, there would be less unwanted pregnancies and STI’s.

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