Should high school students be having sexual intercourse?
At the risk of sounding old fashioned, I would say "No." There are simply too many risks involved and teenagers are not psychologically ready for sex. Despite the ready availability of contraceptives, the risk of pregnancy is never completely eliminated, and an adolescent girl who becomes pregnant is not ready physically or emotionally for the rigors of pregnancy, childbirth and possibly motherhood.
If a girl does become pregnant, she has three very difficult choices: abortion or adoption, both of which could involve guilt and loss, or keeping the baby which could involve a lifetime of financial struggle whether she marries the father or not. She certainly can say good by to the carefree days of her youth.
Sexual intercourse also entails the risk of contracting a sexually transmitted disease as the recent outbreak of AIDS has shown. It should come as no surprise that since AIDS has become more widespread, fewer people are having intercourse outside of marriage for fear of catching what is an incurable, possibly fatal disease.
In addition, sexual intercourse can create feelings of shame or guilt in adolescents and lead to a tarnished reputation. It can also leave a bad impression about sex since the first experience of sexual intercourse is often painfully or clumsily handled, and not the delight it is expected to be.
Finally, sexual intercourse entails certain responsibilities. From a biological point of view, the primary reason for sex is reproduction and the survival of the species, not just for people to have fun. Nature made sex so pleasurable for two reasons: to insure frequent intercourse with a female who can be impregnated only two days out of each month and to better insure that two people will stay together to raise the children born of a sexual union.
In other words, nature's only concern is that human life continues. The pleasure of sex increases the frequency of intercourse and so increases the chances a woman will become pregnant. It is also one of several bonds which hold two people together in love so both will be around to care for their children. The advice that young people not have intercourse outside of marriage is based on an ancient biological wisdom.
In short, the momentary pleasure of sex for high school students is simply not worth the risks of pregnancy, sexually transmitted disease, guilt, shame and a tarnished reputation. For those adolescents who want to avoid the risks of intercourse, Dr. Sol Gordon, a psychologist who has been studying adolescent sexual behavior for most of his professional life, would give this advice: the best oral contraceptive is the word No. It's free, painless, readily available without a prescription, and 100 percent effective.
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