Teens, Sex, and Virginity - Teenagers and the Importance of Abstinence

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Teenagers and the Importance of Abstinence

Teenagers need to be taught to practice abstinence. By learning this important lesson, youths will be less likely to contract sexually transmitted diseases, and they will be safe from unwanted pregnancies that could lead to abortions.

Three million people under the age of 20 in the United States become infected with a sexually transmitted disease each year. With 66 percent of high school students having had intercourse by graduation, these numbers are not surprising (Planned Parenthood-Helping Young).

The effects of sexually transmitted diseases can be devastating. Once a person contracts herpes, he must deal with it for the rest of his life. The HIV virus puts a person on the fast track to death. Growing up is hard enough for a child without having to face his own mortality.

I learned all I wanted to know about sexually transmitted diseases while attending religious school at my synagogue. I was 13 at the time, but I still remember the experience vividly eight years later. One Wednesday night, the rabbis called all of the eighth, ninth, tenth, and eleventh graders into the chapel for a special program. One of the teachers had prepared a slide show to demonstrate the effects that a sexually transmitted disease had on the human body. The first several pictures were not too bad, showing not much more than some bumps around a girl's mouth. As the show progressed, the slides got more gruesome. A man's genitals with large sores displayed the effects of herpes. Another slide showed the bottom of a girl's foot that had a hole the size of a quarter in it, the STD eating away at it like termites do an old house. I never have forgotten that night, and I wish that every child ...

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...ng People to Delay Intercourse. 21 Mar. 1999.

http://www.plannedparenthood.org/library/TEEN-Pregnancy/helpyoung.html>.

Planned Parenthood. What to Expect if You Choose Abortion. 21 Mar. 1999.

http://www.plannedparenthood.org/abortion/what-to-expect.htm>.

Powell, Betsy. "Dangers of Teen Abortion." San Francisco Chronicle 5 Apr. 1996: A23

Teen Pregnancy. CDC State-by-State Pregnancy Rates for Teens 15-19. 21 Mar. 1999.

http://www.teenpregnancy.org/govrates.htm>.

Teen Pregnancy. Teen Pregnancy Facts and Stats. 21 Mar. 1999.

http://www.teenpregnancy.org/factstats.htm>

Teen Pregnancy. Teen Voices. 21 Mar. 1999.

http://www.teenpregnancy.org/teen/voices.html>

Thomas, Cal. "The Wrong Message." World Magazine. 11 Oct. 1997. Vol. 12, No. 21.

Also found at http://www.worldmag.com/world/issue/10-11-97/national_2.asp>.

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