A key ingredient to your Sexual Integrity Plan is making sexual choices that will keep you a healthy and whole person. Sexual decisions you make throughout your life will either positively or negatively affect your life.
If you have chosen to be sexually active or you are considering the possibility of becoming sexually active, you need to investigate the risks and rewards of your activity.
Here are some important facts that you need to know:
- One of our three sexually active females becomes pregnant at least once by the age of 20. #1
- There are approximately 19 million new sexually transmitted infections occurring each year, with approximately ½ occurring to individuals 15-25 years old. #2
- Teens who abstain from sexual activity tend to have higher self-esteem, better grades, low rates of depression, and lower risk of suicide. #3
Take a closer look...
Being sexual active in a monogamous and committed relationship such as marriage can eliminate or reduce the consequences of an unplanned pregnancy. In a marriage, a father and mother looking at the prospect of having a baby- even in an unplanned pregnancy- can be a time of great joy and fulfillment.
Facing an unplanned pregnancy alone or without a committed marriage partner can be a frightening and confusing experience- one that can require heavy decisions. Very often these decisions made in a crisis mode may result in a life long series of consequences.
Faced with an unplanned pregnancy, a woman must first determine if she will allow the pregnancy to go to term resulting in a living baby or to terminate the pregnancy through abortion resulting in a dead baby. Women who contemplate abortion need to know the facts of the abortion procedures, whether medical or surgical, and to be fully aware of potential risks to their bodies now and in the future. (I.E. bleeding, infection, damage to organs, increased risk of pre-term birth for future pregnancies, potential breast cancer etc.) Many women experience very strong and negative emotional consequences of an abortion experience. #4
Assuming a woman decides to carry to term her pregnancy, she then faces the choices of whether to parent or to develop an adoption plan for her baby. Single parenting is a difficult path but can be accomplished with good support and education on parenting skills. #5 Adoption planning is a courageous, caring choice in which the mother makes the decision to release her little one to a loving family who will legally become the parents to her child. #6
You also need to know about the “morning–after pill”.
#1 National Coalition to Prevent Teen Pregnancy 2009
#2 Center for Disease Control 2007
#3 The Heritage Foundation 2005