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Friday, 23 July 2010

Whatever happened to just saying 'No'?!

Of course, the heading is a bit one-sided - but I didn't want it to be too long. The other half of the equation, as it were, is: "and to not asking in the first place?!"

The reference, not surprisingly, is to sex, and is in the light of news today that a survey of teenage girls in (I suspect, only) England and Wales, shows that one in eight has been pregnant by the time they have reached 18 years of age, with 3% claiming to have been pregnant at least three times.

The figures may relate, directly, only to England and Wales, but it is an apparent statistical fact that the U.K. as a whole has the highest teenage pregnancy rates in western Europe - even if they seem to have fallen to their lowest level for two decades.

The inevitable response from some is "... to maintain investment in young people's contraceptive and sexual health services." (Teenage Pregnancy Independent Advisory Group); and to "... continue doing what we know works to improve teenage pregnancy: improving access to sexual health services, good quality sex and relationships education in all schools, and supporting parents to talk to theor children." ('sexual health' charity, Brook).

Sadly, after many decades of following these policies, we still have the situation reported above. To give credit to some of the young girls involved, almost half of them went to full term with their pregnancies - but more than a third had abortions: little human lives snuffed out because a girl couldn't (or wouldn't!) say 'No' to a boy who was, in most cases, merely wanting to satisfy his own hormone-induced urges.

It all comes back to two old-fashioned ideas: purity and respect. Some girls don't seem to realise that they can only lose their virginity once; some boys have no respect for the girl whom they are dating, and see her simply as an object to be (ab)used. The end result is not only the statistics released by this Dept. of Ed. study, but also an ever-increasing incidence of sexually-transmitted diseases that have a longer-term effect on the recipients than most young people seem to realise; many girls who have abortions being less able to conceive in later adulthood; and, of coure, even in the cases of the girls who do have their children, another generation of youngsters with no wholesome male role model in their lives.

There is a lot to be said for the old-fashioned maxim of "Chastity before marriage; fidelity within it". Paul puts it like this: "Run from sexual sin! No other sin so clearly affects the body as this one does. For sexual immorality is a sin against your own body." (I Cor 6:18-19; NLT).

I have a cutting at home that contains some frightening statistics. I can't recall the exact figures, but the article shows how many sexual partners the average 'liberated' person really has. Not just the girl I was with last night - but every boy with whom she had previously had sex; and every girl with whom they had previously had sex; and so on, and so on! And it's not just the physical act that is involved. It's that passing on of chlamydia, genital herpes, gonorrhea, syphilis, and I don't know what else, that spreads such infections like wildfire.

The Bible may be old-fashioned to many, today. But its healthy attitude to sex (which was, after all, invented by God!) - that it be between one man and one woman, within the bond of a committed relationship - would, if followed, see a marked reduction in some of those horrifying statistics that we seem to now take for granted.

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