Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Sex Choices

OK, now that I have your attention, I want some feedback on this one!

You may remember I've been volunteering with teen moms at the high school. Wow! I think the program is an immense help to them, but an even greater help would be not having to deal with this in the first place. Duh.

So, tell me, please:

if you were NOT sexually active in high school, why weren't you? What tools did you have to help you make the choice? What made a difference for you? Was it lack of opportunity, moral conviction, fear of repercussions, personal responsibility?

and if you WERE sexually active in high school, how did you make that choice? What did it mean to you? Could anything have "stopped" you, and if so, what? Do you think now that it was a good choice for you then?

As for me... I had plenty of opportunity, unfortunately; I never took advantage of it, fortunately. I was afraid of disappointing my parents, had my mind set on college, and had an ideal about sex being such an important thing I didn't want to share it with just "anyone". Romanticized, perhaps, but it does work. I thought about my partner: would I have wanted him to have been sleeping around before he slept with me? STDs, pregnancies, pain...all this played into my decision, and it was a conscious decision. I also assumed that IF I had sex, I WOULD get pregnant--statistically not true, but it was a good deterrent. Oh, and there was that pastor thing--I knew in high school I wanted to be a pastor, and sleeping around did not seem a good choice. Besides, I dated all the gay guys at school and wasn't enough in love with anyone to want to.

So, what's your story? This is a sociological survey; I'm pondering how we might reduce the rate of teen pregnancies in this community (currently 50 women are pregnant at San Marcos High School). Teach me.



At 6:28 AM, Blogger sarah said...

Hey PL! I wasn't sexually active in high school, for many of the same reasons you mentioned for yourself. I did have a friend, also, who was pregnant at 15, married 2 weeks after she turned 16, gave birth at 16, and has since been divorced. Watching her go through those painful choices at such a young age was a MAJOR deterrent for me, but with 50 moms-to-be at SMHS, the "I don't want to go through what I'm seeing in front of me" factor doesn't seem to be doing much.

I think that bringing the issue of teen pregnancy out in the open might do a lot down the road to reduce the incidences... my friend had to go to an "alternative" high school so she could get her diploma and raise her daughter.

At 11:51 AM, Blogger Jill said...

I didn't have any serious relationships in high school, and I always felt that I would really have to love someone a lot to share sex with them. Also, my parents were very against pre-marital sex and I didn't really rebel against them. Now I wish I had rebelled more! But I think also having and aunt, a cousin, and some family friends who dealt with teen pregnancy made me more willing to wait.

At 8:22 PM, Blogger LauraLu said...

Hello. Well, in high school I did have the opportunity and I entertained it. I was in love, and I thought we'd spend the rest of our lives together. You know the story. What stopped me was being very aware of how young I was in the grand scheme of things. I was 18. That already seems like a kid to me, and I'm only 21. Having sex at 18 just seemed scary, like I'd totally mess it up somehow.

Also, my sister got pregnant as a teen, and I saw how hard her life was for years. It's not just 9 months, it's an entire lifetime.

And I didn't want to upset my parents. My other siblings had sex in their teens, but I thought I was the exception. And I was also in denial of other people having sex in high school. It didn't dawn on me until college that my peers really DID have sex!

At 4:44 PM, Blogger coreyleigh said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

At 4:45 PM, Blogger coreyleigh said...

Pastor Lori,

I came across your journal and this post really struck me. I am teaching juniors and my school last year was full of teens who became or were or had been pregnant.

I think that one of the issues I faced was that most of these girls were the result of a teen pregnancy themselves. Some told me they wanted a child so that they had someone to love them. Others felt that their lives were spiralling out of control, and they became active before they wanted to. There is a lot of pressure for teens to be mature, and one way they try to exert their maturity is by partaking in mature acts, like sex.

I know a few of my students said that sex was the one thing they felt they could control, up til they became pregnant, and then their life was going down that same path.

I see it all the time; high school students and even middle and elementary students feeling the pressure to be mature, whether from home, peers, or society. Many of them seem to give in, and many don't. I think the biggest factor is parenting, and how parents address these issues with kids.

People whose parents are strongly against it from the get go, like Jill's, seems to resist the temptation the best.

I don't know if this helps at all, but I appreciate what you are trying to do. Teenage mothers are faced with so much stress; they need all the help they can get.

Corey Weber

At 12:01 PM, Anonymous Olivia-Beth said...

I am going back and reading old entries that catch my eye if you haven't noticed, leaving messages along the way. You are keeping me busy at work. It has been kind of slow around here today. This one defiantly caught my attention! I am going to send an email of my thoughts though.


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