Thursday, April 29, 2010

Myth #15- TALKING about STDs encourages SEX

Okay, my last myth for April's STD Awareness Month is one that I'm truly passionate about airing. Let me assure you, when I teach youth about sexually transmitted infections, no one leaves the room ready to jump in the sack! There is NOTHING SEXY about genital warts, infertility, and painful, recurring ulcers in your genitals. NOTHING!

When we teach kids that they shouldn't smoke, we do way more than say "don't smoke". We appropriately teach them that not only does nicotine cause yellow teeth and bad breath, but also leads to lung cancer (and bladder cancer and mouth/throat cancers!) Do pictures of black lungs and stained teeth encourage youth to go out and try smoking??

So, why not teach our kids about the real medical risks of physical intimacy? It's NOT ENOUGH to say "don't have sex". Believe me, that is why I wrote the book Seductive Delusions: how everyday people catch STDs! I wrote the book for every smart, educated, and yes, religious young person who ended up with a sexually transmitted disease because they did NOT understand all the facts.

BOTTOM LINE: Teaching kids about STDs does NOT encourage them to have sex- it helps them have all the information they need to make smart, safe choices.

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